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Regine Ward
9 May 2019
Reading time: 10 min

A Complete Guide to Writing Abandoned Cart Emails

Losing sales is always challenging, but doing nothing to fix the problem is even worse. There’s no need to wait for your customers to come back for the items they left. Make them come back with effective abandoned cart emails.

If you had a physical store, you wouldn’t run after customers who were going to buy something, but then changed their minds, right? However, e-commerce lets you reach your customers even after they leave your page without finishing the purchase process.

Why Clients Abandon the Shopping Carts

According to research by the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate of online shops is 69.57%. But why do some people leave online shops with items still in their carts? It turns out:

  1. 55% of abandoned carts happen because of high extra payments
  2. 34% happen because of the obligation to create an account
  3. 26% because the order creation process took too long or was too complicated.

Eventually, most of the difficulties that people face while placing their orders, or simply with the website itself, make them leave the page. It’s not surprising, as high competition provides simpler options that your customer might choose.

So, what can you do about all the abandoned carts that could have ended up as purchases but didn’t? Leaving them as they are is not an option. And after reading this article, you will know how to write effective abandoned cart emails that will help you stop missing out on opportunities to boost your sales, such as:

  1. Personalize them
  2. Work on their design
  3. Use reminder images
  4. React promptly
  5. Always test.
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1. Personalize Them

Email personalization is, without a doubt, crucial these days. According to a recent report by Active Trail, Adestra specialists discovered that 75% of marketers believe that personalized emails increase click-through rates (CTR), specifically up to 112%.

These statistics are a convincing reason tostart personalizing your emails if you haven’t done so already.

How can you personalize your abandoned cart emails?

Though abandoned cart emails are already somewhat personalized, as they are triggered by the customers’ behavior, you can make your email even more effective by setting them on the next level of personalization.

An abandonded cart email by Made.com_

It’s a mistake to think that content is the only part of an email that is important, as you need to visualize your customer opening your email first. Actually, chances are high that your email won’t be opened at all, as your customers receive hundreds of emails every day that they are already tired of. So, your subject line has to be strong and personalized in order to catch your customers’ attention.

To personalize the subject of the email, followthese easy steps:

  1. Use your customer’s name in the greeting and in the subject line.
  2. Stay away from formal language that makes you sound robotic.
  3. Be friendly and adjust the tone of your email to suit your brand, and your target audience (for example, you might consider the average age of your target audience).
  4. Send your emails from personal accounts, instead of “no-reply” ones. Let your customers associate your shop with real people and not with the bots.
  5. Create a warm and powerful closing, that includes your name, contact information, complements, a P.S. or even a customer testimonial.
  6. Always make sure to leave your contact information, so that your customers can communicate with you or your customer support team.

You can also include some related items thatyour prospective customers might find interesting, so as to make extracross-sales. Just add a few images with links and ad words, like “You mightalso like” or “Our customers recommend.”

2. Work on the Content

If your customer has already opened your email, then you have done a great job already. But it’s not enough. The content of your email should convince customers that they will miss out on a great deal if they leave your shop without making a purchase.


Design matters a lot. It can ruin all your good intentions or result in more purchases than you have expected. Picking a design for your abandoned cart emails can be challenging and time-consuming. So, A/B testing might come in handy when defining the perfect option for your audience. Keep in mind that the design of your emails should be closely related to the design of your website.


A good copy is what turns a few pictures into a persuasive and powerful email that is both a gentle, almost friendly reminder that acts as an effective sales boosting tool.

  1. Keep the text of your email personalized and polite
  2. Keep your emails short and sweet, as no one will read a five-paragraph email reminder
  3. Use CTAs
  4. Be attentive to accuracy and punctuation
  5. Add some casual humor
  6. Get straight to the point.
An abandoned cart email by doggyloot

Companies that want to create powerful abandoned cart emails should complete several templates for A/B testing. Some companies turn to freelance writers from services like Take My Class to get truly different versions of texts instead of getting those “reshuffled” by an in-house copywriter.


Images are essential for abandoned cart emails, as sometimes your customers visit so many websites every day that they can’t recall an item by its description or name. This means that they also can’t recall your website.

But if you attach an image of the abandoneditem, you increase chances of making the purchase interesting for the customeragain.

An abandoned cart email by WarbyParker

Many companies use the majority of the space to place an image of the abandoned item. And this is the right tactic, as all the text draws attention to the product and reminds the customer about its benefits.

3. Use Incentives

Incentives are great at nurturing leads. They can become a motivational force that helps to boost your sales and retain more customers. If you are looking for a powerful tool to use in order to improve the effectiveness of your abandoned cart emails, then incentives are exactly what you need.

But which incentives can you use?


Discounts are one of the most effective tools used to boost conversion rates and stimulate sales. You can use discounts in many cases, and one of them is found in abandoned cart emails.

An abandoned cart email by Simon Says Stamp

If you provide your prospective customers with an additional benefit, you give them another reason to pick your store, go back to their carts, and finish their purchases. The more money they can save on this deal, the more attractive your offer will look. Moreover, this might be the exact little push that they needed to get rid of their doubts.

Urgency or Scarcity

If you let your prospective customers know that the items they are interested in will be out of stock very soon, you can stimulate them to click that purchase button. Many purchases are made under the influence of an impulse, so you can use that to create a rush around the items that you are trying to sell.

Urgency is also a great way to stimulate purchases. Place time limits on using discount codes or special deals to make your offer look more desirable and valuable.

an abandoned Cart Email by Joy


If your store has a loyalty program, you can use it in your abandoned cart emails as one additional benefit of using your shop. For example, you can remind every customer of how a purchase in your shop brings bonuses, which can be put towards their following purchase. Moreover, you can offer extra bonuses if a customer makes an abandoned item purchase.

4. React Promptly

If you don’t want your email to be lost somewhere in the middle of a long list of unopened ones, you should act as soon as you can. If you have an abandoned cart, it’s crucial to remind your prospective customer about it within an hour of their abandoning it (as open rates drop to under 1% in 24 hours), so that the experience of shopping at your store remains fresh in their minds, and the intention for buying certain items remains present. In other words, strike while the iron is hot.

Many marketers advise sending a series of three abandoned cartemails within specific time frames, such as:

  1. 20 minutes after leaving your website
  2. 24 hours after leaving your website
  3. 48 hours after leaving your website.

After this, every follow-up email should offermore, like a larger discount than the previous one, for example.

5. Always Test

Testing is one of the most important parts of any process, including email marketing. By testing different variations of your abandoned cart emails you can pick the one that will be the most effective.

A/B testing is a great way to know what mistakes you have to fix and what elements make an effective difference to your emails. For A/B testing, you will need to create a few variations of your email and send them to different groups of people, while monitoring open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate.

You should also think about responsive design for your emails so that they can be easily opened and read on mobile devices. As more and more users use their mobile devices for online shopping, it’s important to make every piece of communication with your prospective customers mobile friendly.

Pay attention to the way your emails are shownon different screen sizes. If you attach larger images, be prepared to adjustthem so that they won’t look cropped on smaller screens. This will reduceloading time.

Think about prospective customers who like to check their inbox on the go (you probably do the same). By making your email equally attractive looking on the screen of every size, you increase your chances of instant link following, which is great for your sales rate.

Wrapping Up

Abandoned cart emails are an essential part ofe-commerce as they allow businesses to avoid missing potential revenue.

Keeping your abandoned cart emails in the form of friendly reminders, and working on their design to make them compelling and engaging, is the right way to boost their effectiveness for your business.

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Regine Ward

Regine Ward is a marketer for Take My Class where she handles engaging advertising content. She is also a freelance blogger, who loves creating motivating and educational posts. Her vast experience allows her to create educational materials on self-development, marketing and project management.

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