How to Recover Abandoned Shopping Carts with Email

People abandon their shopping carts for a number of reasons. Maybe shipping was too high, they encountered a problem, or simply got distracted.

Abandoned carts are a large source of lost income online.

In Fresh Relevance’s study, 56.82% of carts were abandoned in one quarter.

Thankfully, there is hope in the form of well-planned and carried out email campaigns.

In a study by Barilliance the open rate of abandoned shopping cart emails was 43.21%.

Once opened, they can be effective for getting customers to come back and finish their purchases.

In this article, we are going to look at how to create stellar abandoned cart emails.

Let’s begin.

Spend Time on Your Subject Line

Your subject line is one of the few pieces of information a reader has to decide if they are going to open your message or not. So it needs to pique their interest.

Barilliance goes as far as saying that it’s the single most important element of your email.

In their benchmark report, Klaviyo found that simply reminding customers that they had forgotten something had a high open-rate at 47.67%.

Personalization is something that can help all of your emails. Using a recipient’s name or mentioning an item that they have in their cart could help here.

Try to avoid using certain words that can set off spam filters and get your message sent to junk.

Shorter subject lines can help to optimize your message for mobile.

Use the Power of Social Proof

Evidence that others have used your product and it worked for them or surpassed expectations could help to persuade readers to go back and finish their purchase.

Testimonials and product reviews can work here, star reviews can add an extra visual element.

Strong Call-to-Action

Call to Action Button support

The end goal of your emails is to get the reader to click your call-to-action button and head back to your site to finish their purchase. So make sure that your CTA stands out on the page and its copy is optimized for maximum clicks.

ActiveCampaign recommends avoiding high friction words like “buy now” in your CTA copy and instead of asking nicely with words such as “return to cart”.

Making sure that the branding of your call-to-action fits in with the rest of your page, but it is still eye-catching can help.

Some space around the button can help it to pop out on the page.

Send a Sequence

One email may work, but Neil Patel recommends sending a sequence of 3 emails to get the best results.

How long you wait once carts are abandoned to send emails is important. The optimum schedule can be unique to your business so it’s important to experiment with this to get good results.

Crafting Content

The content of abandoned cart emails doesn’t have to be complex.

Activecampaign says there are three main points you need to make to your reader:

  1. They liked something enough to put it in their basket.
  2. It was left in their online shopping cart.
  3. They should return and complete their purchase.


You can personalize the main body of your message. Using the recipient’s name and details of products left in your cart can help to add this element to your emails.

One approach BigCommerce suggests is to use part of your email campaign to focus on re-marketing and re-selling one product that a customer has left in their basket.

Neil Patel recommends customizing your emails based on your customer lifecycle and where the recipient is in it.

Write for the Internet

In a study by Nielsen Norman Group, the majority of participants scanned text when reading online instead of reading every word. This should be kept in mind when crafting your emails. Readers need to be able to get the main points of your message without in-depth reading.

Making use of headings and subheadings can help to make your email scannable. If you have large blocks of text break them into small bitesize paragraphs.

Play it Cool

If you are too pushy, this can put people off. Smartr Mail sums it up well:

The big issue with writing copy for abandoned cart emails is that you must walk a very fine line between encouraging people to complete their purchases and being a nag.

A/B Test

what is split testing

As with any kind of marketing email, it’s important to A/B test individual elements to find what brings the best results for your business. What gives the optimum result for one company may not give the same for another and it can differ from campaign to campaign and email to email. Lots of factors can affect results such as the type of product you sell, the goal of your email etc.

MailOptin and Abandoned Cart Emails

Sending abandoned cart emails can be an effective strategy to retrieve lost revenue, but what if you don’t have the shoppers email address in the first place? Exit-intent pop-ups can attempt to capture email addresses before shoppers leave your site.

MailOptin makes it easy to create beautiful pop-ups, optimized for conversion. With exit-intent technology, a split-testing tool and integrations with popular email marketing and eCommerce platforms such as MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and WooCommerce.

Wrapping it Up

Email can be an effective medium for reducing abandoned shopping carts. Make sure that you spend time creating each element of your email. Starting with a good subject line, content targeted for each recipient and a strong call-to-action. Continually A/B test to keep your emails optimized and hopefully customers will be heading back to take those carts to the checkout.

This post was written by Nick Stephens, a freelance writer specializing in digital marketing. He is a massive geek when it comes to learning how to drive business online. And loves crafting word magic. Check out more of his work at

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