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11 Must-Have Abandoned Cart Emails That Recover Lost Sales (2019)

  • Email Marketing

I think we can all agree that cart abandonment is an inevitable pain in the a**, right?

According to SaleCycle, 75.6% of people put items in their online shopping cart only to leave it without completing their purchase.

That’s a LOT of potential revenue lost.

But that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel yet. The truth is, even though we can’t eliminate cart abandonment entirely, we can minimize the likelihood of it happening.

How I hear you ask?

By using abandoned cart emails.

This type of e-commerce email is one of the most effective, revenue-generating emails that you can send to prospects.

And in this post, I’ll show you 11 outstanding cart recovery email examples that will help you lower your cart abandonment rate and increase your bottom line.

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Want Good Abandoned Cart Email Examples?

Let’s be honest, writing abandoned cart emails is tough. To help, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite cart recovery emails to help you nudge visitors to complete their purchase.

1. Use Low-Commitment Calls-to-Action (Fabletics)

I think we can all agree that the most important call-to-action (CTA) in your cart recovery emails is asking people to buy from you.

But it’s easy to forget that how you phrase your CTA has a big impact on your emails’ effectiveness to convert subscribers into buyers.

After all, asking people to buy from you is one of the highest levels of commitment you can ask for.

So, instead of using the word buy in your email CTAs, reduce the scope of the commitment by rephrasing your CTA.

For instance, you could ask readers to “Visit Your Cart” as Fabletics do:

You could also use phrasing like “Return to Cart,” “See Your Favorites Again,” or “Take Another Look.”

Action Item(s)

  • Rewrite your CTA copy so it feels like a lower commitment to the reader and refrain from using words like “buy,” “pay,” or “checkout.”

Editor’s Note

One clever but underutilized way to reduce cart abandonment is to offer free shipping on orders above a certain value.

To do that, you can create an exit-intent popup that triggers when shoppers go to abandon their cart.

Here’s an example of how to do that using our SiteData feature.

Sleeknote Increase Product Sales Campaign

Sam Thomas Davies
Head of Content

2. Be Specific (Away)

People can sometimes forget about their abandoned cart items. That’s why some of the best cart recovery emails are those that remind the receiver when they left in their cart.

A perfect illustration of specificity is Away:

Showing people the forgotten item personalizes the email and reminds them of what they’re potentially missing out on if they don’t take action.

You can mention the abandoned items in your body copy, illustrate it with images and even include it in your subject line (if you’re feeling creative).

(You can also use an email software that’ll help you automatically include the product information in your emails.)

Action Items

  • Include product images to remind people what they forgot
  • Incorporate humor in your copy (if it aligns with your brand’s voice).

3. Use Scarcity (Beauty Bay)

Scarcity is an effective psychological trigger for any marketing message…

And using it in your cart recovery emails is no exception.

Informing prospects that they risk missing out on items in their cart invites them to complete their order.

Beauty Bay often use scarcity in their cart recovery emails for this very reason:

They use it subtly, but it’s especially effective when it’s placed under their call-to-action.

Action Items

  • Give prospects a reason to return to their cart
  • Add scarcity to your cart recovery emails (but only if it’s genuine).

4. Keep it Simple (Sunski)

It’s important never to overload readers with information. Instead, focus on what’s necessary for the prospect to return to their cart and complete their order.

Writing short emails is an effective way of ensuring that you hold the reader’s attention long enough to do this.

Take Sunski, for instance:

There’s no unnecessary information or unneeded images or CTAs. Everything is about the abandoned cart item.

The best part is Sunski also includes tracking in the links to identify when prospects click through. All you need to do is click the link in the email, and Sunski directs you your cart with the item already added to it.

(Note: To learn more about Sunski’s approach to reducing cart abandonment, read our post on their marketing strategy.)

Action Items

  • If an element in your email doesn’t support the CTA, remove it.
  • Add link tracking to your emails to help prospects check out faster.

5. Be True to Your Brand (Ghurka)

Today’s consumers want transparency and authenticity. So, if you want to build a stronger relationship with your audience, why not include your company values in your emails?

Your values, of course, are evident in everything you do. But reminding abandoned cart customers of what you stand for can encourage prospects to complete their order.

Here’s a great example from Ghurka:

Source: Pinterest

Ghurka begin by addressing the receiver by name to personalize the email. Then, they inform the reader of their abandoned cart item. Finally, they carefully select words like “popular,” “handmade,” and “limited,” to increase the product’s exclusivity.

Even though they manage to fit all of that information in one email, the focus is still on the bag that was left in the cart.

Remind people of why they like your brand, to begin with, and you’ll build a much stronger brand relationship with your customers and reduce cart abandonment.

Action Items

  • Write down your business values and turn them into a three-sentence value proposition for your cart abandonment email.
  • Ask yourself, “Why is my product unique? Why should my customers choose my product over a competitors’? Why should they buy from me now?”

6. Be Personal (Beardbrand)

With 94% of businesses saying how critical email personalization is to their success, it unsurprising that I’ve included personalization in this post.

Abandoned cart emails are already personal to a degree (especially if you show users the items they’ve left in their cart.)

But you can personalize your emails one step further.

In the following example by Beardbrand, you’ll see them take personalization at a whole other level:

Beardbrand has created an abandoned cart email that looks EXACTLY like an email you would receive from a friend.

Even though we know this email wasn’t just sent to my colleague, Sam, it still gives that impression.

Notice how Keith reassures Sam that the product he left in his cart is a great choice. (Haven’t you been more inclined to purchase something if someone else has given their “stamp of approval”? I know I have, several times, in fact.)

Action Items

  • Include a merge tag in your email for the recipient’s name (and maybe even include it in your subject line as well).
  • Confirm that the items the recipient left behind are indeed worth purchasing.
  • Send the email to yourself and ask yourself this “Do I want to purchase the items in this email now?” (Hint: if the answer is no, go back to the drawing board.)
  • Send the email from a real person rather than a “no-reply” address.

7. Offer Support (Man Crates)

There are many reasons people abandon their carts and it’s impossible to address all of those reasons in one email.

But what you can do is include your contact information for people who want to reach out to ask further questions.

Here’s how Man Crates does that:

By adding their contact information below the CTA button, Man Crates can invite prospects to reach out and overcome any objections they may have on a call.

Action Items

  • Add your contact information to your emails.
  • Keep the cart items as the main focus.
  • Give people a direct line of communication with you.

8. Offer a Discount (Birchbox)

It’s no secret that we love freebies. With that in mind, I encourage you to offer an incentive that is email-exclusive and not non-subscribers can get.

Imagine, for a moment, a visitor on your site abandoning their cart due to the cost of their order.

Maybe your products are more expensive than the visitor originally thought, or they added another item to the cart, increasing the total cost.

If you were to offer a discount in your email, it could be the final push they need to complete their purchase.

This is how Birchbox uses a discount as an incentive:

High-converting emails include scarcity, as mentioned above, and tell readers that their items are at risk of selling out if they don’t purchase now.

It’s important to mention here not to discount too much, too often, as people might come to expect it.

If your customers get used to receiving promo codes and free shipping, they might hold off on buying items at full price because they would rather wait for a discount code.

Granted, it varies from business to business, but it’s worth testing to see the influence a discounting strategy has on your sales.

Action Items

  • Brainstorm an incentive for you abandoned cart emails.
  • Test your incentives in your emails to identify what your audience responds to best.

9. Tempt with Related Items (Birchbox)

Sometimes, offering alternatives to abandoned cart items can help return a missed sales opportunity.

Visitors might not have been completely sold on the items they added to their cart, but they might be interested in similar items they didn’t notice the first time on your site.

Check out how Birchbox uses related items:

The placement of the related items is effective because it doesn’t take the focus away from the abandoned cart items.

Birchbox has also included customer reviews to encourage purchase.

There are two ways that you can promote new items in your cart abandonment emails. You can do as Birchbox do and show similar items, or you can show items that compliment the item(s) to increase additional sales.

Action Items

  • Decide what products you want to recommend in your email (if any).
  • Find a product recommendation software for your email marketing (try Addwish Business).
  • Implement your new product recommendations into your email

10. Include Customer Reviews and Testimonials (Casper)

What’s the first thing you do when you want to try a new restaurant or book a hotel?

You look at reviews, right?

There’s a reason why reviews and testimonials work so well—they rely on people’s opinions about a product or service.

If visitors are in doubt when completing their purchase, a little nudge with a testimonial might do the trick.

Casper, an e-commerce that sells mattresses and bed linen, knows this very well:

They use humor in their opening statement: “Come back to bed” before featuring a testimonial informing the reader how great their products are.

Even though this email is simple, the testimonial makes me curious and eager to know if the products are indeed good enough to make you call out of work.

The email also matches the design of their site which makes the email consistent with the company’s branding.

Action Items

  • Review your testimonials and choose three that fit your abandoned cart email best. (Hint: they need to address any concerns abandoning visitors might have.)
  • Add testimonials at the bottom of your abandoned cart emails.

11. Donate to Charity (Bombas)

Many businesses have incorporated charity donations into their business strategy.

And it works.

Donating to charities has a major effect on your brand, but it can also help in other ways—like recovering lost cart revenue.

Sometimes buyers need a small nudge or a reminder that their purchase can help other people.

Online retailer Bombas has a philosophy where they donate a pair of socks to homeless shelters for each pair sold.

And they cleverly remind abandoning shoppers of this in their cart recovery emails:

This is a great incentive to get people to complete their purchase, especially if you’re targeting Millennials who consider this a key deciding factor when buying online.

Action Items

  • Ask yourself how you can help people in need through your business (if you’re not already doing it).
  • Convey that message in your abandoned cart emails to encourage readers to complete their order.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Want Good Abandoned Cart Email Examples?

Let’s be honest, writing abandoned cart emails is tough. To help, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite cart recovery emails to help you nudge visitors to complete their purchase.

Conclusion

A good abandoned cart email contains many different elements which vary greatly from business to business.

I do, however, hope that these strategies have brought you closer to creating an abandoned cart email that works for you and your audience.

Too many e-commerce sites let potential revenue fly out the window because they don’t send people a friendly reminder that they left something behind.

Don’t be that business.

What are your experiences with cart abandonment emails? Leave a comment below.

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