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Crafting the Perfect Abandoned Cart Emails: Strategies and Examples

Published on:

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

We’ve all been there. You’re browsing online and adding something to your cart, only to get distracted by something else and halt the process with your basket still full.

What typically follows is a campaign created by the brand or business whose site you have been browsing, to reignite your interest and convert you from a prospective into a full-blown customer. This is known as the abandoned cart strategy, using email to remind you about your interest and encourage you to hit the ‘Checkout’ button and complete the sale.

In this blog post, we’re going to uncover the secrets to a great abandoned cart email so that you can formulate your own perfect re-capturing campaign for customers.

Understanding Cart Abandonment

Most customers abandon their cart for one of the following reasons…

  • They get distracted / cannot make a decision quickly
  • The shipping cost is too high / order total is too high
  • Their preferred payment option is not available
  • The checkout process is too complicated

Of course, knowing which of these is at play across each abandoned cart is impossible. But there are things that can be done to alleviate some of these pain points - many of which can be addressed in an abandoned cart email.

Online shopping cart abandonment

For example, offering a free shopping code in an abandoned cart email is often incredibly effective. Regular Etsy marketplace customers may also have noticed that an abandoned cart often leads to discount codes being sent through after 24 hours by sellers - while the inclusion of a quick button that goes straight to checkout can help to overcome the obstacle of a lengthy process.

Here are some of the standout elements of an effective abandoned cart email…


The timing needs to be right if you want your abandoned cart email to be opened and to lead to potential conversion. It needs to be soon enough that the customer hasn’t forgotten all about their potential purchase (or opted for another supplier), but not so soon that it seems desperate.

You may find that sending a few follow up emails is more effective for some audiences, particularly if you want to offer one of the aforementioned deals such as free shipping. An initial reminder email, followed by a second email with a free shipping code can prove effective for many audiences.


There is nothing more compelling than an abandoned cart email - or really any email campaign - that uses personalisation.

Some of the best ways to integrate this into abandoned cart email chains include using the customer’s name, showing the items that they’ve left in their cart, and even recommending similar products that they may prefer. This is all about making them feel like they’re receiving a bespoke experience.

Content and Design

The abandoned cart email isn’t just an opportunity to remind them about a potential product purchase - it’s also an opportunity to draw their attention back to your brand or business.

Make sure that abandoned cart emails are neatly branded and concise in their content design, with a clearly defined call to action (CTA) for maximum impact.


Finally, to those deals and discounts that we keep mentioning.

Aside from the free shipping offer, consider incentives like a free gift, a refer a friend discount, and other ideas based on your audience and what you know about them.

Strategies for Crafting the Perfect Abandoned Cart Email

Every element of an abandoned cart email needs to be carefully crafted to maximise open rate and conversion.

From a compelling subject line to the wording of your CTA and its position, it’s important to make sure that abandoned cart emails stand out and provoke attention.

Some subject line ideas include things like…

  • Oops, you forgot something!
  • Are you still interested in this?
  • An exclusive offer just for you

If you’re unsure on the best way to structure and write your emails following an abandoned cart, our advice is to consider A/B testing - looking at the different elements of the email and how they could be adjusted to maximise their impact.

Top Tips When Creating Abandoned Cart Emails

Finally, to a few tips on how to make these emails work within your wider strategy.

First and foremost, don’t let the direct nature of an abandoned cart email detract from your messaging and from the need for a cohesive and well structured tone. These emails should be integrated into your wider strategy just as cleanly as any other email and need to match all other communication in terms of tone and messaging.

Another tip to consider is finding the balance between encouraging action and being too pushy. An email which is too pushy will have the opposite effect so take care to word the email carefully and focus on engaging and converting the customer rather than forcing a sale.

And don’t forget the importance of mobile optimisation and testing every element of the email - especially the critical CTA button that will make or break the sale!

Make Abandoned Cart Emails Work For You

A good, abandoned cart email campaign will remind engaged customers about a product that they were interested in purchasing, and will push them towards that final action through compelling copy and the inclusion of a potential deal or incentive.

As a starting point, our advice is to try a few different formats and styles and see which are the most successful, building a campaign which is as much about interacting with and engaging the customer on a long term basis, as it is about completing a single sale.

For more advice and for professional support in building a marketing campaign which integrates abandoned cart emails as part of the experience, get in touch with Social Loop today.