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Boost your sales with the abandoned cart email

Cart abandonment is something we talked about in another post. There, we made clear that there are various reasons for abandonment. Each reason asks for a different approach. Here, you will receive specific tips and tricks on the abandoned cart mail.

How to set up the perfect abandoned cart email

Who to send to

First off, you are going to need the contact info of the hesitant shopper. Something you can obtain in several ways. Just keep in mind not everyone is as eager to give your their contact info.

One way to get an email address is asking customers to create an account in order to complete their purchase. Unfortunately, asking people to make an account is one of the main reasons for cart abandonment. So adding the option to purchase as a guest is definitely interesting. By doing so, you give the customer the choice whether or not they want to share info with you. Take a look at what Nike does in the example below.

When customers at Nike decide to make an account then they already give Nike all their personal info. This can now be used in all of their marketing via newsletter, socials, etc. But when they decide not to go through with the purchase after they created the account, you can now send them an abandoned cart email as well.

Pro tip: You can also guide people towards creating an account by adding advantages to making an actual account. (free shipping, a discount, …)

If they decide not to create an account however, you can try another method. By adding a pop-up right before the customer decides to leave their cart or your website.

If they decide not to create an account however, you can try another method. By adding a pop-up right before the customer decides to leave their cart or your website.

When to send

You now know who to send your emails to. But there’s something far more important when it comes to abandoned carts and that something is timing. In order to get your abandoned cart email to convert you are going to have to find the right timing to send those emails.

We advise to send a first email one hour after the abandonment. Research (link) has shown that by doing so, the response rate is up to 6%. Something that isn’t too surprising since the need for the product(s) is still fresh.

A second reminder could be send after 24 to 48 hours to express urgency. And if needed, you could also send a third mail. But be careful here, ending up in spam is not what you want!

Converting subject lines

Now that your timing is right, make sure the subject line is attractive and urges the customer to come back to your webshop. Adjust your subject lines to the timing you send the mails as well.

The first email subject just has to recreate the need for the products, a bit of an emotional trigger. The next subject lines should focus on creating an actual urgency or pressure. Give people the idea that they are running out of time.

The two examples above show subject lines that can be used in the first email. Both suggest that the shopper should go back the webshop.

Knowing that Casper (left example) sells sleeping products, they add a pun to their email by inviting the shopper back to bed. This has a humorous tone and is very inviting.

GAP (right example) goes for the more direct and aggressive approach. These are two different ways of doing it. But the goal stays the same: convincing the customer to come back.

Pro tip: Notice that in the GAP mail a personal name is added right below the subject. This is an easy trick to give your customer the feeling that you are actually putting a lot of effort into getting to know them.

In your second email, the one you send 24h to 48h after the abandonment, you add urgency to the subject line. Urgency can be created by saying that products are only available for a limited period of time.

Under Armour (example above) does that with their “But it’s going fast” sentence. They give their customer the idea that someone else is eagerly waiting to buy those same products.

Pro tip: Avoid sending with a “no-reply address”. If the customer has a question about the products, or wants to reach out to someone, then they need to be able to do so easily.

What your content should look like

Recreate the feeling of need

The goal of your email is to remind and convince the shopper of the products they left behind. What better way to do so than adding those exact products in the email? Describe what they left behind and support your text with visuals. By seeing the products, they might be triggered into buying them again.

Get rid of the doubt

Customers are often just uncertain if it’s really the product they want or need.

Something you can do is adding similar products. Because the online shopper probably wasn’t convinced about what they were looking at. Those new items could be exactly what they wanted or needed.

Adding reviews from other shoppers is another option you can use in your mail. This works because people resonate with people in similar positions. Social approval is worth more than anything else when it comes to convincing people to buy something.

You could also hand out small gifts to convince shoppers. A coupon on their next purchase, free shipping, a free gift wrap during holiday season.

WARNING: Watch out that you don’t train your customers to abandon their cart. Make sure that your customer doesn’t get used to these kind of treats by randomizing your mails. Start switching up the triggers you use. That way they won’t be waiting for free shipping or gifts.

Adjust to your own business

We just listed all possible tips&tricks you can use in your abandoned cart email. But in order to make them actually work, you will need to listen to your customers. Check out the extra tips below!

Extra tips

Test various versions of your mail. By doing so, you will be able to see which kind of email and approach gets the best conversion rate.

Segmenting the shoppers in different categories allows you to send different emails. Categories could be: first time/regular customers or high/low value of cart. This way, the content of the mail can be adjusted to the needs of those specific shoppers.

A last tip would be the wish list. Where members could add products they like, or are planning on buying in the future. By making this option available you can also start retargeting those customers based on the products they would like to buy.


The abandoned cart email is a great sales tool if and when set up correctly. Start by collecting email addresses on your site. Then decide when to send the email and what the content should be. We gave you a bunch of tips on how to do it. But each business asks for a personalized approach. So time to get creative!

Quick summary

  • Target hesitant shoppers through the abandoned cart email
  • Gather contact info as efficiently as possible
  • Make sure that the timing, subject and content of the email are correctly set up
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