Shopify Basics | Updated September 16, 2023  

10 Irresistible Abandoned Cart Emails to Recover Lost Sales


Cart abandonment causes a great deal of pain and revenue losses to eCommerce.
According to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.99%.

This data came from 48 different studies containing online shopping cart statistics.
The percentage is astronomical because it represents massive lost sales revenue. Picture this, for every 100 customers, 70 leave without checking out.

{infographic of the cart abandonment percentage}

In revenue terms, let’s say you make about $20,000 monthly. Converting only 20% of these abandoned carts could earn you an extra $13,000 monthly.

Of course, this calculation assumes each cart contains products worth the same amount.

Regardless, it would be a significant boost to your business if you could convert as many abandoned carts into sales as possible.

And the best way to do that is by sending abandoned cart emails.

An abandoned cart email contains information that attempts to re-engage the shoppers and close the sale.

But you need to craft the emails concisely to increase conversions and reduce these abandoned carts.

This article explains:

  • Why customers abandon carts
  • How to craft the most effective abandoned cart emails
  • Email examples by reputable brands

These tips and examples should guide you in the creation process. Let’s get right into it!

Why Do Consumers Abandon Their Carts?

You should know why potential customers abandon carts after shopping in your store. The goal is to improve their checkout experience. So understanding these factors will help you make the respective changes. They include:

Expensive Shipping Costs

The most significant expense after the product price is the shipping cost.
Unexpected shipping costs are the primary reasons that make them rethink their purchase.

If too high, customers are less likely to complete the checkout process.

Other hidden costs include taxes and prices for required complementary items. These additions can annoy and irritate the customers. Worse still, they can create remorse that pushes away potential repeat clients.

{A customer shopping for products online}

The obvious solution is to cut these costs. But this action might not be workable for all products.

One trick you can use is to bundle the shipping and other extra costs into the product price. This option will allow you to show free shipping, and who doesn’t like free things?

According to a study, 84% of consumers purchased products because of free shipping. Additionally, 30% said they would increase their order size to qualify for free shipping.

So you should use free shipping to increase sales and reduce abandoned carts.

Or you can present all costs upfront on the product details page. The goal is to drop hidden charges that can annoy the customer, causing them to abandon the cart.

High Product Price

Expensive products don’t attract as many customers. They can deter even more when checking out.

Bundling the “hidden costs” with the product price will make your items uncompetitive.

So you should look for cheaper carriers and include them in your store.

Purchase Decision Not Finalized

Some customers shop while not ready to buy immediately.

They could be:

  • Adding items to the cart to check the final price
  • Using the cart as a wishlist
  • Researching different items

This type of shopping is more prevalent in technical items, such as electronics and cars.

{An online store selling electronics}

You can help these customers by providing social proof (product ratings and reviews). This unbiased information can assist them in their decision-making process and checkout.

Saving Products for Later Consideration

Consumers can shop and save products in the cart for consideration later if they don’t have enough money upfront.

If this is the case, how do you solve it?

Send them periodic reminders of the products they left in the cart. Customers are busy and can forget the items they saved earlier after getting the money.

Excessive Information Required Upon Checkout

Customers expect convenience. They want to shop and pay quickly.

Requiring them to provide excessive information or forcing them to sign up will create friction.

You should include guest checkout tools to prevent forced account creation.

But if you need extra information, such as names and dates for holidays and flights, make the process as simple as possible.

{Auto form filling fields during checkout}

For instance, you can use auto form filling to predict delivery addresses and other fields.

Also, you can take advantage of saved shipping and payment details in user devices to avoid filling out forms.

Slow Website

A long checkout process is inconvenient, but a slow website is annoying. It is like having a slow internet connection, and you know how irritating that is.

Slow website responses usually occur due to a poor design containing unnecessary plugins and features.

Also, it could be due to a slow hosting service.

{Internet user getting frustrated due to slow loading speeds}

You can end these issues by improving the web design or switching to a different hosting service.

A part of the online store maintenance process should be to test the website across different devices and browsers.

Most people shop on mobile devices, so your website should be responsive to different screen sizes.

Unfortunately, if the user’s ISP is causing the issue, you have no control over it.

Slow Shipping

Delivery is a crucial component of eCommerce. And it has a significant impact on the shopping experience.

Customers expect fast shipping. But quick delivery comes at a cost.

The key is implementing on-time delivery that suits each client’s needs and budget.

So your store should present a variety of shipping options.

{List of global shipping carriers}

Let the customers select their preferred carrier to personalize their shipping times and costs.

Insufficient Payment Options

Most online retailers offer PayPal payment. But not all customers prefer this option.

It is vital to offer several payment options, including debit and credit card payments. Of course, these should come with increased data security due to sensitive user data. 

Besides cards, some users prefer digital currencies. Including this option will also make your store appear more modern.

Poor Customer Service

Customers might have questions about the products after adding them to the cart. Some even feel safer buying in one-to-one conversations.

Reports show that 83% of customers would browse or buy products in messaging conversations.

If they experience poor customer service at this stage, such as slow feedback, the deal’s off.

So you should have a dedicated team to respond to live chats, emails, and other messaging options listed in your store.

Buyers also expect a comprehensive return policy. It should safeguard them if the product does not meet their expectations.

If this policy and the warranty are inadequate, they are more likely to look elsewhere.

The solution is to enhance your store’s customer service experience. And include attractive warranty and return policies that take care of both parties.

Spamming Customers With Too Many (Unnecessary) Offers

Shopping carts are great locations for upselling and cross-selling to boost your Average Order Value (AOV).

But overwhelming your customers with these offers can annoy them.

The promotion can also distract them from the original product, causing them to abandon the cart again.

{excessive upselling or excess offers in an abandoned cart email}

So you should use these promotional techniques sparingly.

Finding the balance can be tricky. So you should test upselling/cross-selling and abandonment analytics to understand the metrics.

Declined Credit Card

This factor is self-explanatory.

You can solve this issue by optimizing forms for updating payment information accordingly.

Also, you should have a payment recovery plan and include many payment options.

Foreign Currency Prices

Lastly, most eCommerce stores display prices in the currency of their business location.

But being online means customers from other countries can access the store.

If customers find products in non-local currencies when checking out, they are more likely to abandon the cart.

It is possible to make payments in different currencies. But remember, you should simplify the buyer’s checkout process.

Buying in another currency might force the customer to do conversions first to determine the total cost in the local currency.

Inconvenient, isn’t it?

The solution is to use plugins for currency conversion to match the customer’s location.

Or you can include an option to select the currency on a drop-down menu. Or you can list both options to give the customer control over the payment currency.

Abandoned Cart Emails to Win Back Customers

Now that you have an idea of what abandoned cart emails are, here’s how top brands craft their reminders.

Beauty Bay (subject line: We’ve saved your haul)

Beauty Bay is a beauty and skincare brand that uses bold text, bright colors, and unique photos on its website.

The same applies to their abandoned cart emails.

They put in place these aspects without missing the essentials of an effective abandoned cart email, such as a strong CTA.

The email also maintains a sense of scarcity, listing only a few products.

But the images are large, and the text highlights are large & bold enough not to miss.

These highlights include the copy title and “free delivery” at the end of the product list to entice the buyer.

The email is not what you’d call minimal because it matches its parent website. But it contains all the essentials of an effective abandoned cart email without overdoing it.

Design Milk (subject line: Forget something in your Design Milk cart?)

Design Milk is an architecture, interior design, and home furnishings brand.

These products are not items you can buy immediately. Like technical items, you might want to give them a thought first.

The best thing is that the brand gets it.

Buying expensive furniture or interior design items requires some thought.

Their clean and simplistic abandoned cart emails do not feel like they are pushing customers to clear the cart asap.

Instead, they try to connect with the potential buyer by first admitting the shopping process for their items takes time.

After that, they provide crucial information that shows the offers and after-sales services.

This information includes conditions for free shipping, guarantee, and return policies.

The email’s design is easy to skim through while grasping the relevant information.

Bluemercury (subject line: You have great taste!)

Everyone loves a compliment once in a while. Or all the time (my bad).

A small compliment might just do the trick if a customer leaves products in the bag

Bluemercury is a beauty website. And customers buying these products would appreciate hearing they made a good choice.

The brand’s abandoned cart email does just that.

First, you get the subject line “You have great taste!.”

Once you open the email, you can’t fail to notice the bold copy “We Love Your Choices” at the top.

This flattery will make customers feel like the products they left in the cart are great choices.

Bluemercury is creative and impressive with copies, as well.

For instance, the text “Some beauty products get us so excited, we keep them for ourselves. These are those products.” This piece is likely to make you browse their product list.

Beardbrand (subject line: Just a friendly reminder)

As the name suggests, Beardbrand deals with beards. So it is a men’s website.

Men can also do with a little flattery, and Beardbrand makes bearded guys feel special.

The brand’s email is simple as it bears the words like, “You are awesome. Keep on growing.”

But it does not show any products, which is a bit unusual. The email does not even seem like a reminder about an abandoned cart.

But the brand decided to experiment with that template. And it is impressive due to its uniqueness.

The only part that will let you know it is an abandoned cart email is the subject line.

Besides the compliment and the brand’s name at the top, other items in the email include:

  • Website links (Home, Products, and Blog)
  • Social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube)

So it is a minimalist email design born out of experimenting. And it works!

Timberland (subject line: Can’t stop thinking about me?)

Timberland is a brand well-known for making rugged men’s boots. But they also sell shoes for women and kids and apparel for men, women, and kids.

Since it has diverse product options, the brand tries to upsell or push alternative related products to abandoned cart emails.

Online shoppers are usually uncertain about which product to buy until they view it.

So they can store all the appealing products in the cart to revisit or compare later.

A little guidance might be helpful in such a situation. It should nudge these potential customers in the right direction.

Timbaland provides alternative items the buyer might not have noticed during their prior visit.

But the primary focus should remain on the original product of interest in the cart.

So the recommended products are few (usually three). This listing does not overwhelm or confuse the customer.

Another crucial part of the email is the “free delivery and returns on all orders.” This statement will nudge customers who prefer free things to buy.

Hungryroot (subject line: How it works)

Hungryroot is all about healthy eating.

But you might not understand how the service works when you visit the website. Customers leaving due to this misunderstanding represent lost sales.

Hungryroot’s abandoned cart email is more of an explainer than a reminder about forgotten purchases.

The email subject’s line explains this first so that you know what to expect.

Once you open the email, the brand uses a series of text and copy words to enhance its storytelling.

The offer at the end seals the deal by informing you of the available discount, “30% off your first order if it is $99 or more.”

Allbirds (subject line: Your cart is waiting)

Abandoned cart emails might as well be funny. And puns are those timeless jokes that will make adults and kids laugh.

Allbirds is a shoe brand, and its abandoned cart email copy title is “don’t get cold feet.” Get it?

After the pun and reminder of the product left in the cart is the critical return policy section.

About 50% of online shoppers check a store’s return policy before buying. And 55% do not buy from retailers whose return policies are rigid.

If such customers visit your store and fail to buy due to the return policy, you can show them it’s not too rigid.

Allbirds instills confidence in its brand by indicating its return and refund policy in a few lines.

And the policy is favorable. No questions asked if the returns occur within 30 days.

The conditions for refunding are also in black and white. Labels must be intact on apparel. Socks and undies must be unopened, while accessories are not refundable.

Customers also get “help” and “contact us” icons for further assistance if they need further clarification.

Native (subject line: Does this count as a humble brag?)

Social proof is a powerful marketing technique. It can sway users in a particular way by showing the real user experience when using the product.

Implementing social proof in abandoned cart emails is not difficult. And this brand shows how to do it. Native’s email indicates user ratings using massive stars that drive the point home quickly.

This rating also instills trust in potential customers who might be new to your brand.

The copy “People Love Native” further reinforces the star rating to create more trust.

Other than that, the email has a simple design that lists what you left behind. And there’s free shipping, as well.

Recess (subject line: you’re so close to having 10% off)

Recess sells some interesting hemp-infused products. And their color scheme is as fascinating as their products.

But perhaps what will excite you most when you receive the abandoned cart email is the offer.

The subject line explains everything.

If you are unsure about buying a hemp product, the email copy assures you using two statements. “The answer you seek has been there all along.” And “embrace your true self and take 10% off.”

The CTA button also has the text “I’m Ready” instead of “Checkout.”

The brand knows people might be skeptical about purchasing hemp products. So the email tries to soften their stance to get them to try out the products.

A 10% discount is the last chance to try to win back the customers.

Remember, putting the product in the cart means the buyer is interested. The trick is to push them to click buy.

The Home T (subject line: Oh no! This expires soon. Don’t miss it.)

Unexpected costs are the primary reasons for leaving products in carts.

So indicating your store’s free shipping policy can convert abandoned cart emails to sales.

After all, 79% of US consumers stated they would shop online with free shipping.

The Home T creates abandoned cart emails with the free shipping strategy to unlock the cost factor.

On top of that, the email comes with a discount code to sweeten the deal further.

The platform deals with apparel. But for some reason, the email has the copy “Get free shipping and bring that puppy home.”

Most people like puppies, so it could be a way to get you to click. Don’t be disappointed if a furry friend doesn’t show up with your order.

If you need any help, the email includes contacts at the bottom, as well.

Tips for Crafting Abandoned Cart Emails

You might have picked up a few tips or drawn inspiration from the abandoned cart email templates above. But it is best to craft unique emails that represent your brand.

Here are a few tips to help you create an effective abandoned cart email strategy to recover lost sales.

Use a Well-Crafted Subject Line

Subject lines determine any email marketing or campaign’s open rate.

According to a study, 47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line.

So it should be unique and draw attention to at least compel the customer to open the email.

But keep in mind that 69% of email recipients report emails as spam based on the subject line.

So you can try out different techniques when crafting it, but ensure it does not sound spammy or salesy.

For instance, you can make it:

  • Informal
  • Punny (or funny)
  • A bit urgent
  • Mysterious
  • Cheerful
  • A compliment

Another crucial point to consider is making it personal. 22% of emails with a personalized subject are more likely to get opened.

Those with the recipient’s name have an open rate of 18.3%, while those without only get 15.7%.

The study also found that emails with no subject line have an open rate 8% higher than those with a subject line.

{personalized email subject line}

We don’t recommend leaving the subject line blank, but maybe that’s where the mystery comes in. You can try this abandoned cart email strategy to see if it works.

If you decide to use the subject line, the optimal number of words should be 6-10. And the characters should lie somewhere between 30 and 40.

Most customers use mobile phones, so you want to keep the subject line short for easy readability.

Some examples include:

  • Just a friendly reminder, Angie
  • You’re so close to having 15% off, Sophie

Give a Clear Call-to-Action

Once the recipient opens the email, the CTA is probably the most crucial part.

It has the potential of making or breaking the conversation. And this determines if you will recover the lost sales.

But strong CTA words might not be ideal for abandoned cart emails.

For instance, you should not use complete, buy, shop, or other similar words. They might put off the buyer.

{Abandoned cart email with a CTA}

Remember, these potential customers might be unsure if the product is worth buying. So you should use low-commitment action words, such as:

  • See my bag
  • Return to cart
  • Go to bag
  • Shop
  • Teleport to your cart

If you have an offer, such as free shipping or a discount, you can include it in the CTA, such as “Get my 10% off.”

Ideally, the CTA should be action-packed with verbs like get, see, or shop. These should motivate the customers to complete the buy.

But you can try out different words to match your brand and resonate with your audience. And don’t forget to make the button bold and bright.

Make Your Copy Shine

Abandoned cart emails are among many that the recipient receives. So they should stand out and be compelling if you want to increase conversions.

Think of them as bonus marketing opportunities. So you should not let your guard down.

An impressive copy should be short and stay on brand. Also, it should be more like a welcome email because the purpose of abandoned cart emails is to serve.

Try starting with something bold and witty, then a brief description of the products left in the cart.

Scarcity is a crucial marketing strategy that can come in handy here.

People tend to place a high value on limited items because of the Fear of Missing out (FOMO). So customers are more likely to buy if you state that only one or two products are in stock.

You can be personal and friendly or include some humor (such as puns) to put a smile on the customer’s face.

Highlight Your Product

Customers are busy people. More often than not, they will forget what they were about to order.

So a quick reminder with a colorful product image can seduce them to complete the buy.

{abandoned cart email with 2-3 products}

Buyers can also abandon the carts due to internet issues or even a slow website.

The customers might still be willing to buy, but circumstances led to an abandoned cart. Worse still, they might have begun searching for the product in other stores, which is a loss.

An email with the product’s images can remind them how badly they want the product and nudge them to come back.

But you need to reserve the items in the cart so that the customers do not come back and find nothing to buy.

Maximize Graphics

The email copy, subject line, and CTA are vital, but graphics communicate faster.

Also, they are the first true impression. And they create an emotional connection between the recipients and the brand.

For instance, you can use dynamic designs like GIFs or slideshows.

These increase energy and interest.

And who doesn’t like cute animals? Puppies and kittens can generate more interest, especially from animal lovers.

{abandoned cart email with a cute animal or mascot}

If your business has a mascot, include it somewhere at the top.

Lastly, use colors creatively and thoughtfully. Color evokes mood and might cause the brain to respond in specific ways.

Ensure you include brand colors or those matching the product.

Create a Sense of Urgency

FOMO also comes into play here. Customers pay attention to what they are likely to miss out on. So make sure you include a sense of urgency in the email.

This sense of urgency is also known as the loss aversion marketing technique. The strategy creates a psychological phenomenon of preferring to avoid losses.

For instance, you can alert the customers that they might lose what they placed in their carts soon.

You can show them how many people have the product in their carts and show it is likely to sell out.

If it is a limited edition item, state that it won’t be back in stock soon.

Or you can include a timer in the email to show how long you can reserve the cart.

Offer Options

Some potential customers abandon carts because they might be unsure of the product choice.

Maybe they missed out on alternative options the first time, then saved what was available in stock to revisit later.

If this is the case, product recommendations or upselling will do the trick.

But there should be a limit to providing these recommendations. Overdoing it will overwhelm the buyer and probably cause confusion that loses the sale.

Only include a few alternatives to support the buyer’s taste. For instance, you can display the same item in different colors and patterns.

Maybe the client wanted black shoes but could only find white when shopping earlier.

You can also cross-selling (listing a few accessories for the item in the cart).

If you have a spending threshold that activates free shipping, include popular sellers that can reach this value.

Include a few of these incentives and show how the customer can benefit.

Address Possible Objections

Several reasons or objections can cause potential customers to abandon the cart before checking out.

The email should tackle these objections by clarifying any misconceptions about the product. Also, it should dispel any arguments before they arise.

You can address these issues via an FAQ section. Or inform users about the potential applications of a product.

Addressing some of these potential objections requires user input. So you can do usability testing and customer research before addressing them in the abandoned cart emails.

Companies like Whisky Loot have a well-thought-out abandoned cart email design. It challenges the recipients to identify and respond to any unaddressed objection.

Another neat trick is to provide help to abandoning visitors.

You can solve some objections and end doubts by direct communication via email, chat, or even calls.

List these options in the email or provide a link to a contact form after the CTA.

Showcase Reviews and Social Proof

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon whereby people try to correct behavior by copying the actions of others.

So social proof should “correct” potential buyer behavior by making them buy based on evidence from existing customers.

{Abandoned cart email with star or review ratings}

Implementing social proof in marketing makes customers trust your brand and buy more. And you can use the following strategies.

  • Placing a banner containing your customer logos below the fold
  • Featuring referral partners and famous customers in the email
  • Including a real-time feed of customer engagement, such as comments/reviews
  • Placing user star ratings, reviews, and case studies
  • Creating a customer wall of love
  • Using a customer’s voice in the email’s copy
  • Adding awards, trust badges, certifications, featured publications, etc.

The purpose of social proof and reviews is to convert the unconvinced by eliminating any doubts.

This factor outlines the importance of customer satisfaction and collecting feedback. The data helps court new buyers.


Now that you are familiar with abandoned cart emails, here are clarifications to the most frequently asked questions.

Do Abandoned Cart Emails Work?

Yes, they do, but not all. Abandoned cart emails have an open rate of about 44%. Most importantly, about 30% of these emails lead to recovered purchases.

Considering the abandonment rate stands at about 70%, 30% of carts go through to the checkout stage. So recovering 30% of abandoned purchases could double your sales revenue.

Why Do I Get Abandoned Cart Emails?

You get abandoned cart emails because you added a product(s) to a shopping cart, then failed to check out.

Should You Send Abandoned Cart Emails?

Yes. But don’t overdo it. The abandoned cart email sequence should consist of three emails. One email is still better than nothing. With two, you’re on the right path. But the general rule of thumb is three.

Takeaway Points

To conclude, abandoned carts do not cause losses per se. But they hold so much value to be ignored.

And as you have seen, you can double your store’s revenue by sending abandoned cart emails. On top of that, you will increase your customer base and have more repeat customers.

The open rate and conversion rate of the abandoned cart emails depend on several factors.

The subject line must capture attention.

Email timing, often best within hours of cart abandonment, influences success.

Content relevance, personalization, and incentives impact the recipient's decision to return.

Visual appeal, mobile optimization, and clear call-to-action buttons enhance conversion chances.

The tips explained above should help you craft effective Shopify emails that maximize re-engagement.

Use the guidelines to design compelling abandoned cart email examples and experiment with different approaches.

That’s it for this article! If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below, and we’ll get back to you asap.