Abandoned cart emails

An abandoned cart email is sent to prospective customers after they fail to purchase items at your online checkout. 

They’ve added items to their basket but decided not to purchase at the last minute. Abandon cart emails are a good way to give them a nudge and remind them to make a purchase. In fact, abandoned cart emails have (on average) an open rate of 41% - so you have a good chance of reeling those shoppers back in. 🎣

Why do people abandon their carts?

Getting customers to your checkout can feel like an uphill battle. You’ve won them over on social media, hooked them in with your newsletters, and wowed them with your product images. But that doesn’t mean you’ve won — not yet. People still fall down at the final hurdle. Here are some reasons they might be failing to make a purchase after adding items to their cart:

  • Extra costs at check out - a whopping 48% of people abandoned carts because of extra costs at checkouts. Don’t surprise them with outrageous delivery prices or admin fees. Instead, be up front and honest about extra prices before customers get to checkout.

  • Problems with shipping and delivery - if shoppers get to your checkout and see it’s going to take ages for the product to arrive, they’ll likely look elsewhere. Make sure to use a trusted and reliable courier service.

  • Setting up an account is time-consuming - some websites require you to set up an account in order to buy stuff. This can be a problem for people who want a quick purchase. They don’t want to input loads of information or jump over hurdles to grab your latest offer. To get around this, ask them to sign up before they get to check out, or give them the option to check out as a guest.

  • They’re not ready to buy yet - sometimes people get cold feet. Maybe someone’s been browsing your store and adding items to their cart without really thinking about it. A distraction IRL could cause them to exit your website, leaving goodies at the checkout. Don’t worry, an abandoned cart email will remind them to come back.

Best practices for sending abandoned cart emails

Ready to pull shoppers back to the checkout? Here are some abandoned cart best practices to get you started:

1. Choose an email provider

To get going with your abandoned cart emails, you’ll first need to pick an email provider. Take a look at tools that offer automation and sequences. Some popular choices include Mailchimp, Klaviyo and Drip. There are also loads of Shopify abandoned cart email apps that will automatically send a message to your shoppers whenever they leave your checkout. 🏃‍♀️💨🛒

2. Create a series of emails

You could stick with sending one email whenever someone abandons their cart, but you’d be missing out on some serious $$$ potential. Ecommerce brands who send 2-3 emails in an abandoned cart sequence actually make the most revenue from them. This should give you a good starting point. Here are some content ideas for each email in the series:

Email 1 - You need to give shoppers a reason to return. A phrase like “Have you forgotten something?” followed by an image of their forgotten item(s) will remind them why they put it in the basket in the first place. You could also show them pictures of other items that they might want to browse - a good reason to come back to your shop!

Email 2 - encourage them to finish their purchase. You could press them with a time-limited offer or you could let them know that lots of other shoppers are purchasing the product, so they better get in there quickly.

Email 3 - this might be your last chance to reel them in, so make it urgent. Perhaps the product is about to go out of stock, or you’re offering free delivery for a limited time only. You could also offer them a discount, say 10% off if they finish their purchase within a time limit.

Each email should include a snappy headline, an eye-catching product image and a clear CTA to lead your prospects back to their cart.

3. Get your timings right

Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. Abandoned cart emails are no different. To get the best chance of conversion, make sure to send your first email one hour after your potential customer’s last interaction with your site. Send your second email one day later, and your third three days later.

Abandoned cart email examples

Looking for some inspo? Take a look at these abandoned cart emails from ecommerce brands:

Away Travel - Subject line: Did you forget something?


This simple, yet effective email reminds shoppers that they’ve left their items ‘unattended’. This is a nice pun that reflects their position in the travel industry and reminds you that you better get shopping now if you want your bag before you go away!

Le Puzz - Subject line: Missing a puzzle?

Another cute email that’s simple yet feels personal. The clear call to action ‘Shop Puzzles’ leaves no doubt in your mind about where Le Puzz wants you to go. Better get solving!


Home Alive Pets - Subject line: Hey - your name - did you forget something?


This abandoned cart email example presses the reader to carry on shopping by instilling a (slight) sense of urgency. The line ‘go on, complete your order before your cart expires’ is a great way of encouraging shoppers to finish what they started - especially when there are several items in their basket. Who wants to go through the hassle of starting from scratch?