10 abandonment cart email examples with easily-replicated tips

🕒 9 min.

I’m sure this has happened to you before: You’re on a website, maybe Amazon or ASOS, and you see a product that you like. You add it to the cart. But for some reason, you don’t make the purchase.

This action is very common among consumers.

A Baymard Institute study analyzed 37 ecommerce businesses, and found that nearly 70% of carts were abandoned. This means that for every 3 successful transactions, 7 are discarded.

‘Abandoned cart’ emails have become a staple in our email marketing strategies, because they provide a new sales opportunity and, on top of that, they’re automated, so they can be set up for future occasions.

Why do customers abandon their shopping carts?

These are some of the main reasons:

Reasons why customers abandon their cart

Some of them are browsing our page with no intention of buying anything in particular. We can do little to influence the consumers in that category. 

But there are a large number of clients that we can convince to finish the purchase. And ‘abandoned cart’ emails is a strategy to improve this .

What are “abandoned cart” emails?

‘Abandoned cart’ emails are automatically sent to customers to remind them of items that were left unpurchased in the cart.

In some situations, your user does not leave the cart because they want to. They could have experienced an error in the payment process, or were simply distracted.

The reason for them to abandon their shopping could be anything. Regardless of what it is, this kind of email is a very effective tool to increase your income.

  • According to Salecycle, 28.3% of ecommerce revenue comes from ‘abandoned cart’ emails.
  • Some brands claim that their revenue from recovery emails increased from 8% to 20%.
  • Salesforce data show that 60% of shoppers returned to make a purchase within 24 hours of receiving personalized emails after abandoning their shopping carts.

The perfect ‘cart recovery’ email is set up to allow you to continue exactly where you left off. This eliminates a repetition of finding the product and signing up to make a purchase.

The ingredients for an effective ‘cart recovery’ email

Groundbreaking subject line

64% of people decide whether to open an email based on the subject line. So the subject of your email must be attractive and interesting enough to get them to open the message in the first place. 

Make it attention-grabbing.

Jack Willis abandoned cart email example

HOW? Use a friendly tone, simplify the text, and use the customer’s name (the more personalized, the more your consumers will want to read it).

Exciting copy

Think of ‘abandoned cart’ emails as an additional market opportunity. Take the time to make all of your marketing materials compelling, so no effort should be spared in this strategy. Also, because ‘cart recovery’ emails are effective, you must take care in how you write it.

If we look at this example of Chubbies Shorts, we can see that they opted for original messages like “Allow me to transport you back,” along with the image of the online store run by fun-loving people, instead of the more brusque, “Go to cart.”

Chubbies Shorts email example

HOW? Don’t just tell them to return to the cart. Use a casual and distinctive tone.

Show off your product

Include pictures of the products that the customer left in his cart, along with a brief description. 

People may not remember which products made them click the “add to cart” button. But if we send them a reminder of the items they liked, they may think again and end up closing a purchase.

ModCloth's example of an abandoned cart email

HOW? Use a large, colorful photo that clearly shows the product that was left behind.

A visible call-to-action

A striking CTA button can also attract users’ attention and get them back to the website to continue searching for products that are interested in. You should use words or phrases that catch the user’s attention as well as using a button that is visible and well-designed.

Retailrocket ran an A/B test to find out which call to action was the one that most converted its users towards an actual purchase. They sent a sample with the word “buy” and another with “go to cart”. The second structure generated the highest conversion (it led to a 32% increase of the conversion rate).

RetailRocket's A/B test

Our recommendation is to experiment with different CTAs to assess which one works best.

HOW? Use sentences such as “Return to cart” and avoid words like “buy” or “pay”.

Customized content

Customers will always prefer personalized content; no one wants to feel like they are just any other customer. They want to be treated as though they are special.

Made's customized email example

You can customize your email using relevant customer purchase data: their name, a personalized intro, offering discounts to the highest value carts, or offering free shipping to those who dropped out due to high shipping costs.

HOW? Personalize the intro text with their name (this makes them feel like they’re being spoken to directly) and show them the items they had been looking at.

The importance of the design

Your email’s design and graphic elements are always the first impression of your audience. And the first impression is the one that counts the most.

A dynamic design, like a slideshow or an animated gif, can add energy and interest to your email.

Use colors carefully. Color evokes our mood: our brains are coded to respond in certain ways to the sight of certain colors. If you have brand colors, use them as much as possible

Very visual email example from Children's

HOW? Use elements created especially for your campaign and avoid stock images.

Lean on reviews

What is the first thing you do when you want to try a new restaurant or make a hotel reservation? You read the reviews, don’t you?

There’s a reason reviews and testimonials work so well – they’re real. People’s opinions of a product or service activate a psychological effect known as social proof. If visitors have doubts about completing their purchase, giving them a push with a testimonial may help.

Review example from a Casper's email

Product reviews create trust and credibility, with stats showing that 84% of us trust online reviews.

HOW? Pull the best reviews from your web page and include them in your email.

Show alternative items

People may have abandoned their online shopping cart because they were unsure of their choice or the article is not exactly what they had in mind. What can you do about it?

  • Offer accessories for the main item
  • Show different patterns or colors of the same item
  • Give them more options in the same theme
The Old Farmer's Store email example

HOW? Show pictures of other items. Additionally, use the words “You might also like…”, not “You might like these items instead“.

Create a sense of urgency

You may encourage your customers to go through the checkout process if you stipulate that items will only be retained for a limited time.

It is an example of the psychological effect of scarcity that motivates customers to buy.

Amazon's sense of urgency example

HOW? Include the hours they’re available or use a countdown.

Offer a discount

It is no secret that we like free things.

Discounts are another incentive to incite customers to follow through with their purchase. However, companies usually segment their users so that only first-time customers can get it for a limited time. They may also send coupon codes in the second or third abandoned cart email. Why? Because it’s not profitable to send a discount coupon to everyone. We must take this into account because they cost money, and we might trade our margin for nothing.

A very visual coupon from CaliFabrics

HOW? Make it visible and clickable, like a CTA.


Abandonment cart email examples infographic

In addition to all these steps, we must optimize our emails to the mobile format. Do not forget this because today, 61% of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices.

So, now is the time to act!

Remember, it is always easier to sell to someone who already knows your brand and your products. If someone leaves an item in the cart without buying it is because they are interested in what you offer but they need a push to finish buying.

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