How To Send The Best Cart Abandonment Email


Shopping cart abandonment is inevitable in the world of online business. It’s easy for your online customers to lose interest, buy from a competitor, or abandon their cart because they were just browsing in the first place. One thing you can do to counteract these behaviors is to send a cart abandonment email. Reminding your shoppers about products left at checkout will help you recover and encourage sales. According to Listrak’s October 2013 shopping cart abandonment study, shoppers abandon a checkout process 73% of the time. With those odds, you’d be foolish not to try to win those lost sales back. Here are some tips that will help you craft the best cart abandonment email to help recover and encourage sales.

1. Collect Customer Emails Early

Even before you work on crafting your cart abandonment email, you have to make sure you have email addresses to send to. Make sure you capture your customer’s email address early in the checkout process, so that even if they move on to the next buying step and decided to abandon, you’ll have their email address to trigger your cart abandonment emails. Without an email address, there’s no chance for you to recover the lost sale.

2. Spend Time On Your Subject Line

You should spend twice as much time crafting your subject line as you spend crafting your email copy. An effective abandoned cart email needs to have a direct subject line that immediately tells your shoppers that they haven’t completed their checkout and re-introduce the benefits of completing the sale. Hey – it’s the first thing they’ll see when they get your email in their Inbox.

Here are some Subject Line ideas you can try:

  • Oops… Was there a problem checking out?
  • Your Saved Basket
  • You didn’t complete your purchase…
  • We’ve saved your basket for you…
  • Your [Company Name] Shopping Basket
  • 5% Off Your [Company Name] Order
  • Come Back and Save 10% Off Your Order

3. Remind Them Of What They Abandoned

A successful cart abandonment email will remind a customer of their abandoned item(s). Give all the essential information on the product such as name, style or model number, color, size, price, and estimated shipping costs. Don’t forget to include a picture of the product. Sometimes the little things, like a product description or product shot, can remind your customer why that product caught their eye in the first place and get them back into the buying process.

4. Give Customers A Reason To Continue

Your email content needs to give your shoppers a compelling reason to revisit their cart and complete the checkout process. In your email content, include reasons for them to complete the purchase. Here are some ideas on what you should include in your abandoned cart email content:

  • Offer multiple shipping methods
  • Display similar products and services that might be of interest
  • Offer a discount or free shipping
  • Easy to find customer service number and contract information
  • Mention of 100% guarantee on all products
  • Show customer reviews as Social Proof

5. Make It Easy To Complete The Checkout

The simplest way to make it easy for your customer to complete the sale is by providing a clear call to action. Your call to action needs to be a link that goes directly to your customer’s cart. This can be a simple text link or a graphic call to action button.

Try these Call To Actions in your abandoned cart emails:

  • Checkout
  • Complete Your Order
  • See What’s In Your Cart
  • Go To Your Shopping Cart
  • Retrieve Your Saved Cart
  • Finish Your Order

6. Send Your First Email Within 24 Hours

Speed is an essential part of a sales recovery email, with a 50% drop in performance after 24 hours. Re-engaging the customer within the first 60 minutes of an abandoned basket increases your conversion rate. According to Listrak, 73% of first recovery messages were received within 24 hour of the abandonment and 79% of the second messages were received within 48 hours of the first recovery message. It’s completely up to you how many cart abandonment emails you sequence to recover a lost sale just remember to send your first cart abandonment email the day your customer leaves their cart.

7. Send Your Emails Conservatively

The frequency you send a cart abandonment email is crucial to your success. Some companies choose to send 1 reminder email the day of the abandonment and some choose to send out 3 or more across the span of a week. 3 reminder emails are a common practice among online retailers but anything over that and you could go from helpful to annoying in no time.

Whatever frequency and time intervals you go with, make sure you pay attention to your customer’s purchasing window so you don’t over-communicate. For example, big ticket items usually have a longer purchasing window because your customer needs to take their time to think about the big purchase and justify the sale. Emailing them everyday might not be in your best interest. However, if you’re selling repair services and parts, it’s an immediate need and your customer will appreciate a ‘right away’ reaction from you.

If you go with the popular 3-step email campaign, it could look like this:

  • Email #1: Remind your customer about the cart
  • Email #2: Ask your customer to complete their purchases
  • Email #3: Offer a discount to finish the sale

Or like this:

  • Email #1: Ask if anything went wrong during checkout (The Customer Service angle)
  • Email #2: Give customers reasons to buy from you
  • Email #3: Last chance for your customer to retrieve their saved items

Abandoned cart emails aren’t one size fits all. But if you keep these tips in mind when creating your emails,  you’re sure to come out with a personalized campaign that is effective.