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Abandoned Cart Email Ideas

Top 8 Abandoned Cart Email Ideas Plus Proven-to-Work Best Practices

Bring out the whole arsenal of email marketing to reverse the effects of abandoned carts, and recover lost sales and boost conversion rates....

Cart abandonment is part and parcel of the buying cycle. It’s inevitable due to natural pre-purchase concerns. Trying to stop it completely isn’t the goal. Each shopper is different, and their reasons for abandoning carts may be different. 

Therefore, any strategic maneuvers can only be considered after a shopper has left items in their cart. And this is where cart abandonment emails come in. 

To win back lost sales, your email strategy should be comprehensive. Not just design, not just content, not just development, but everything down to the wire. 

In this blog post, we’re sharing some of the best abandoned cart email ideas, tips, and best practices. Let’s roll!

The Best 8 Abandoned Cart Email Ideas

1. Hulu

Subject line: TV Fan, Your Free Trial is Waiting

A cart abandonment email has only one goal: to convert the hesitant shopper. 

Hulu’s email design reflects this. It’s simple, focused, and short. With just two CTA buttons and matter-of-fact FoMO nudges, Hulu sets the stage for a conversion.

2. Rael

Subject line: We noticed you, noticing us. 😉

“We Saw You Checking Us Out” is a cool way to begin a cart abandonment email. The emoji adds to the fun component of the heading. All this successfully hides the urgency that a brand might be feeling. The prospect is eased into a reconsideration. 

The second part of the email is purely promotional. It’s up to you to add or not add a promotional section to your cart abandonment email. 

3. Fabletics

Subject line: PSST: You left items in your cart

Next to the subject line, the headline is the main part of a cart abandonment email, followed by the CTA button. 

So Fabletics’ choice of bold typography is impressive. It immediately commands the viewer’s attention. The color contrast helps to keep the shopper engaged. The CTA button is well-padded, anticipating mobile-first viewing. 

4. Le Puzz

Subject line: Missing a puzzle?

Brevity is the soul of Le Puzz’s cart abandonment email. It’s unfussy, direct, and clean. The undifferentiated CTA button, possible thanks to the simplicity of design, improves loading time as well. 

Framing the reminder in the form of a rhetorical question is a beautiful way of starting the conversation.

5. Ugmonk

Subject line: Offering you my personal email

Ugmonk’s cart abandonment email stands out for being personal, empathetic, shopper-centric, and solution-oriented. 

The owner’s direct involvement with the shopper is sure to grab the latter’s attention, potentially leading to a valuable conversion. Help is offered every step of the way, and most importantly, the writer encourages the recipient to reply. 

Now this email may have been sent to a loyal customer, or for a high-value abandoned cart. Whatever the reason for the owners’ personal intervention, the point is how customer-centric a cart abandonment email can be. 

Whenever someone abandons a cart on your site, they signal purchase intent which you should view as a great customer service opportunity.  

6. Loftie

Subject line: Still not sure?

Loftie’s cart abandonment email includes a CTA button right in the header, which is quite unusual. But incentivizing the purchase is a formulaic, but useful approach. (More on this later.)

Once again, the most relevant information appears in the headline. The content is winning, and the social proof toward the end (from the New York Times, no less!) encourages the hesitant shopper to make a confident purchase. 

7. Whisky Loot

Subject line: Your cart is sobering up

Whisky Loot’s abandoned cart email starts with an awesome subject line. Unlike our previous examples, this email requires the shopper to read till the end. The CTA button appears at the tip of the inverse pyramid. 

In the meanwhile, the email entertains the viewer, and goes on to answer relevant questions. The product image splits the email into two parts: one psychological, the other practical. What’s the point of entertaining first and then FAQing? Whisky Loot’s objective is to first give a taste of the experience and reinforce desire. 

8. Bonobos

Subject line: Everything cool with your transaction?

The subject line is spot-on. “Distracted” and “confused” perfectly capture the potential pain points of the shopper. 

Apart from Le Puzz and Whisky Loot, this is the only email on our list with a single CTA button. It’s ideal for a cart abandonment email for two reasons:

  1. An abandoned cart email has a specific goal: conversion. Inviting the shopper to do anything else can seem redundant.
  2. Using just one CTA button in an email keeps things clear for the shopper. It’s meant to help them decide, not add more confusion.

Lastly, offering two options—either to send for help or complete the transaction—is always a good idea. 

Abandoned Cart Email Strategy Best Practices

1. Put on the customer service hat

Abandoned carts present a singular opportunity to continue the conversation with would-be shoppers who constitute the most important section of your audience because they have already signaled their purchase intention. 

Now is the time to put on the customer service hat. To that end:

  • Include a toll-free number in your abandoned cart email.
  • Request feedback; try to find out what went wrong.
  • Add helpful CTAs; make the tone of your copy personal and encouraging.

If possible, send your email using a person’s actual name, rather than the generic customer service team, which may seem trite. 

2. Prioritize responsive email design

Cross-device viewing is common. Customers might see your abandoned cart email on a different device, even if they filled their carts on another device initially. 

Which is why responsive design is critical. Your abandoned cart email should render well across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. 

In addition, make sure that shoppers can smoothly continue browsing when switching between devices. Your website should retrieve session data and recreate the shopper’s cart across devices.

3. Segment to target high-value carts

Segmentation is the process of sorting out customers based on relevant criteria. If you notice valuable carts left behind, put those customers in a special group and create a focused campaign to win them back.

4. Enable pre-submit tracking to spot leavers

Pre-submit tracking allows you to follow anonymous customers who fill out sign-up forms but don’t click “submit.” This way, you can gather email addresses of many potential customers who might otherwise slip through the cracks if they don’t finish checking out.

5. Distinguish between organic and non-organic returns

Not every person who abandons their cart needs follow-up emails. Some will return on their own. Calculate how many return without prompting, so you can send abandoned cart emails only to those who truly abandon their carts.

6. Send at most three follow-up emails

If the first email about the abandoned cart didn’t work, you can try sending two more with more benefits to encourage the customer. 

But don’t send them too often. Set a cadence that suits individual customer behavior and follows industry norms. Some retail stores send five reminders, but that might be excessive. You don’t want to bombard shoppers with reminders.

7. Offer discounts intelligently

Giving discounts to encourage purchases is a popular way to recover potential lost sales. Yet, it can be misused, as some customers intentionally abandon carts to get discounts. 

The best way to tackle this challenge is to set up a frequency capping safeguard. Frequency capping identifies these shoppers and stops sending them further emails. User behavior tracking is critical in this respect. You want the system to flag:

  • Frequent abandoners who seldom convert (habitual procrastinators, if you will)
  • Customers who repeatedly use discounts from abandoned carts
  • Shoppers who abandon carts but always return quickly to make a purchase 

In addition, to prevent discount codes from being leaked, make sure that each customer receives a unique code that can be used only once. 

8. Craft good subject lines and preheaders

Because an abandoned cart email acts as a reminder, you want shoppers to know what the email is about before they open it. Crafting a compelling subject line, along with a descriptive preheader goes a long way. 

Abandoned cart emails are often short and straightforward for this reason. The recipient is already aware of the situation, so there’s no need for new details. The subject line and preheader are usually enough to prompt action. When they open the email, all they need is to see the CTA button.

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    A realist at heart and an idealist at head, Susmit is a content writer at Email Uplers. He has been in the digital marketing industry for half a decade. When not writing, he can be seen squinting at his Kindle, awestruck.



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