Getsitecontrol Insider

How to Write Epic Cart Abandonment Emails

March 21, 2021 Getsitecontrol Episode 28
Getsitecontrol Insider
How to Write Epic Cart Abandonment Emails
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

If you're an Ecommerce business owner, you surely know what shopping cart abandonment is. But do you know the best way to deal with those abandoned carts?

Meet the ultimate guide to writing abandoned cart emails.

From this episode, you'll find out:

  • what exactly you should include in an abandoned cart email
  • how many emails should you send 
  • when you should send them 
  • and much more

Bonus: in the text version of this episode, you'll find subject lines and abandoned cart email templates! Feel free to grab them and adjust the copy for your business.

Want an exit-intent survey template to find out why customers abandon their carts in your store? Check out this one.


You’re listening to Getsitecontrol Insider, a monthly podcast for ecommerce business owners. 

In this episode, we’re talking about abandoned cart emails – a hidden source of traffic and sales for your store. Stay tuned to find out why abandoned cart emails are so important, what you should write in them, and how many you should be sending to your customers.

Have you ever filled up your cart in an online store, and then left it behind without buying a single thing?

You’re not alone. In fact, the majority of online shoppers do this.

Perhaps you’ve also received reminders in your inbox about completing your purchases.

Those are called abandoned cart emails, and they’re a huge part of increasing sales for Ecommerce businesses.

So, how do you write abandoned cart emails? And should you bother doing it at all? 

Let’s dive right in.

What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are automated messages you send to those customers who added an item to their cart (as well as their email address to initiate the checkout process), but haven’t completed the transaction.

If users who aren’t logged into your store, add something to their cart, and leave without initiating the checkout flow, you can’t send them abandoned cart emails, since you won’t have their email address. 

This is one of the reasons you should start the checkout process by collecting the email address and notleave this step for the last moment.

Now, here is the shocking truth. The average abandonment rate for web carts according to the latest studies is almost 84%.

And because 59% of customers don’t complete purchases simply because they weren’t ready to buy, it makes sense that they will be ready later on.

The abandonment cart email is a friendly reminder for your customers that you are still holding their item for them in your cart. Those who were just browsing and weren’t ready to buy will often forget about the purchase entirely, so a quick reminder is sometimes enough to get them over the fence.

Although it sounds complicated to detect when your users leave items in their cart, the reality is that most Ecommerce platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce make it easy to set up.

Now, the next question is…

Do abandoned cart emails work?
The short answer is YES, they work and the data proves it. 

In fact, abandoned cart emails are so effective, it’s a wonder that many big brands aren’t using them.

According to SalesCycle:

●      46% of abandoned cart emails get opened by the recipients

●      13% of cart abandonment emails get clicks

●      35% of those clicks generate purchases

This makes sense, since the more exposure your customers get from your brand, the more likely they are to buy. Abandoned cart emails are just another piece of that exposure.

When is the best time to send an abandoned cart email?
While abandoned cart emails are effective, they need to be timed perfectly. Send them too fast, and you could be considered spammy. Send them too slowly, and the customer will have lost interest.

First, you need to figure out at what point in the process your customer left your store. 

Were they about to hit the “Pay Now” button with everything else complete? Did they leave once they saw how much they needed to pay for shipping?

The reason you need to figure this out is that not all customers left for the same reason, which means they don’t all need the same message.

Your Ecommerce platform will most likely be able to give you the analytics you need to figure this out.

The first email should be sent within a few hours – one hour is best – if you want the best chances of winning your customer back. 

The faster you can catch them, the more chances they’ll still be at their computer or using their smartphone to shop.

Subsequent emails should wait a bit longer. For the second email, wait at least 24 hours to make sure your customer doesn’t feel overwhelmed or spammed.

If you want to send a third email, wait another 48 hours at least. 

How many abandoned cart emails should I send?
At the very minimum, you should send one email. 

However, you can send up to three emails, with each email having a specific purpose.

Email One should be written to help your customer, not necessarily sell to them. Remember – they were probably just browsing. 

In this initial email, you can ask if the customer needs assistance. Maybe they were attempting to check out, and their browser bugged. Or maybe the process was taking too long, and they had to move on with their day. Explain possible solutions to help your customer, but also ask for feedback so that you can potentially learn why they abandoned their cart in the first place.

The second email, on the other hand, should provide a sense of urgency. At this point, their cart will expire soon, so you want to let them know that whichever coupons or discounts they’re using in their cart may no longer be available once this happens.

With the third and final email, it’s time to give an incentive to provide a final push. This incentive should depend on the reason they abandoned their cart if you have this data on hand.

For example, if the shipping was too expensive, consider offering a limited-time coupon for free shipping. A regular discount on the entire cart can work well too if shipping doesn’t seem to be what’s blocking them.

Best abandoned cart email subject lines

For the abandonment cart email to work, your customers need to open them. So your subject line needs to hook readers in and give them a reason to click.

For example, you can elicit the fear of missing out by using a subject line similar to “Did you forget something?” 

Here are few more subject line ideas:

●      Only 48 hours left before your cart expires

●      Oops! You forgot something

●      Where did you go? 

●      Your items are waiting

●      Just a reminder - you have items in your cart!

How to write an abandoned cart email that drives sales

Now you have a schedule to send your emails, as well as some great subject lines to get you started. But what should you write in your emails?

Here are 5 tips to consider.

1. Add a dynamic section for the abandoned product

There’s a reason your customer added a product to their cart. Something about this product caught their eye.

You’ll be more likely to grab their attention again if you display that product in the abandoned cart email.

Be as specific as your software will allow you to be. Tailor the item size and color when applicable, and add an image of the variant your customer added to the cart. 

That’s because there’s a chance they will forget what they added to the cart in the first place. Upon seeing the item again, they may remember why they wanted to purchase it at all.

2. Use an attractive, eye-catching CTA button

It’s not enough to show the product in the email – you want to call your customer to action, too. If they finish reading the email and are still unclear about the next steps to take, something’s missing!

The CTA button should stand out in your email. Make it bright, bold, and easy to click. 

Make sure you write engaging CTA copy on your button to increase the likelihood of getting click-throughs.

3. Provide a support email address

Remember we said there’s a chance your customer may have had a technical problem? Make sure you tell your customer how they can reach out to you if they need your help.

It might seem obvious that they can hit reply to your abandoned cart email to get your support, but that isn’t always the case. Write out the email address itself – and if it’s the same email address that was used to send the abandonment message, tell them they also have the option to hit reply directly.

4. Keep it short and sweet

There’s no need to write an entire sales page on why they should purchase your product. If they added the product to their cart, they already know about it, so keep the copy in your emails simple and to-the-point.

Your customer is most likely busy and may not bother to read through a text-heavy email, so avoid that at all costs.

5. Add social proof

88% of consumers are influenced by ratings and reviews, so you can increase your chances of getting a sale by adding social proof to your cart abandonment emails.

If the specific product abandoned by your customer has reviews, the best option would be to add those exact reviews to your email.

However, if you don’t have specific reviews, you can add testimonials and other comments from your existing customers that are related to your brand in general. 

For example, a simple abandoned cart email may look like this:

Subject line: Oops! Did you forget something?


Hey John,

You left these items in your cart!

Would you like to complete your purchase?

If you’re having trouble checking out, feel free to hit reply or reach out to this email and we’ll help you address the issue.

Want more abandoned cart email examples? Check out the link in the description to this episode.

When done right, abandoned cart emails can help you recover abandoned carts and spike up your store sales. Start by finding out what settings your email marketing software provides and why your store customers abandon their carts in the first place.

If this episode was helpful, make sure to subscribe and check out the links in the description.

Thank you for listening!

Until next time. 

What are abandoned cart emails?
Do abandoned cart emails work?
When is the best time to send an abandoned cart email?
How many abandoned cart emails should you send?
Best abandoned cart email subject lines
How to write an abandoned cart email that drives sales
1. Add a dynamic section for the abandoned product
2. Use an attractive, eye-catching CTA button
3. Provide a support email address
4. Keep it short and sweet
5. Add social proof
Bonus: abandoned cart email example (template)