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9 of the Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples We’ve Seen

  • Email Marketing

This blog post isn’t about the whats and whys of cart abandonment. It’s only for you if you want to learn from the best e-tailers in email marketing.

If you need a quick refresher on cart abandonment basics, we’ve previously written on:

Although you likely know the whats and whys of cart abandonment by now, sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration on the hows. And that’s what I’m going to focus on today.

Here are the nine best abandoned cart email examples I’ve seen, why they work well, and how you can use them for your online store.

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Let’s face it: writing good marketing emails is TOUGH. To help, we’ve put together an email marketing swipe file, including 41 email marketing examples (organized by category). Plus, a few other goodies not featured below (*cough* killer Facebook Ad examples *cough*).

1. Warby Parker

Have you ever received a vague abandoned cart email with little to no information about your basket?

I have. And I certainly didn’t click through that email. Simply because I couldn’t remember what I added to my cart in the first place.

It’s the simplest—yet most overlooked—rule of abandoned cart emails: Including the abandoned items in your emails.

Luckily, Warby Parker is aware of that. That’s why they remind you of your cart items, starting already from the subject line:

Warby Parker adds the name of the product you abandoned to their email subject. This way, they help you remember what you had left behind even before you open this email.

And when you open the email to find out about the “connection” Whalen felt, this is what you see:

In it, the company asks if you’re still interested in the product and reaffirms your taste by saying “they are very good-looking.”

Warby Parker is also aware that Whalen may not be the perfect pair of glasses for you, and that’s why they cleverly add the note: “We’ve got others.”

Since the name “Whalen” might mean nothing to you, although you intended to buy it once, Warby Parker makes sure to include a product image to refresh your memory.

Following another best practice in the remainder of the email, the company adds testimonials from their “happy customers”:

By featuring positive reviews about their product quality, Warby Parker tries to convince you to complete your order with the help of social proof.

Overall, it’s a simple, yet effective, abandoned cart email you can easily replicate for your business.

2. Zalando

While many companies only wait a few hours or days to send abandoned cart reminders, Zalando patiently waits to give prospects a compelling reason to return to their cart—when the time is right.

Sometime after leaving my cart on their website, I received an email with this subject line:

Rather than remind me of my cart items without any good reason, Zalando notified me when they went on sale.

This is what the email looks like:

Since I considered buying this product at some point, I am, naturally, more interested in it now when it’s at a lower price. What’s more, Zalando writes this email as if they’re giving me great news and it makes me think that today is really my lucky day.

After reminding me of my cart items, along with images and price information, Zalando aims to increase my average order value by recommending other products I might be interested in.

It’s a far less annoying way to send abandoned cart emails, although it might take a bit more waiting time. And it’s a smart strategy, especially if you don’t want to reward abandoners with a discount code.

3. MAC Cosmetics

We all have a desire to behave consistently with what we’ve already done before. MAC Cosmetics knows this well, and that’s why they remind you of an unfinished business you forgot:

MAC also knows that there are multiple reasons why a customer might abandon their cart. Sometimes it’s merely lack of time; other times the price isn’t right. While Warby Parker’s email works great for the former, Zalando’s tactic targets the latter.

However, sometimes, consumers abandon their carts because the product itself isn’t right. And that’s the insight MAC incorporates in their abandoned cart emails:

With a brief introduction, asking if you forgot something behind, MAC, first, invites you to return to their site and view your cart items. Shortly after that comes this section:

In case you’re unsure about the items in your cart and “searching for something else,” MAC introduces you to its bestsellers as an alternative. So, if you left your cart behind because the product wasn’t the right fit, MAC cleverly targets you with its popular recommendations.

After promoting its bestsellers, the company also informs you about free shipping and payment options to remove any possible obstacles to buying.

4. Vinomofo

While following email best practices and using persuasion triggers like the above work like a charm on convincing abandoners, world-class copywriting is what makes exceptional brands stand out with their abandoned cart emails.

Vinomofo is, without a doubt, one of those exceptional brands. Check out this abandoned cart email they send with the subject line “The 2nd rule of Vinomofo: never leave a wine behind”:

Written by the wine in your cart itself, Vinomofo’s abandoned cart email brings a fun angle to a serious issue. More importantly, the email copy fits Vinomofo’s brand voice so well that its customers won’t likely find it odd. This way, the company makes its abandoned cart emails memorable without compromising its humorous brand voice.

Referring to a phrase often used in this type of email, Vinomofo says “you have great taste.” However, unlike many others, the company says that its other customers have great taste, too, and that’s why you should act fast. This is an excellent way to drive urgency without hard-selling because Vinomofo gives you a valid reason to hurry up.

Vinomofo’s abandoned cart email is a winner because it’s not only about jokes and fun. Notice how the company writes down its contact number as part of an alternative call-to-action (CTA) in case you have any questions before placing your order.

If you want to follow Vinomofo’s path, be mindful of the dose of your humor and make sure to balance it with enough information.

5. Shinesty

Another e-tailer known for its humorous tone is Shinesty. Unsurprisingly, one of the most memorable abandoned cart emails I’ve ever received comes from the brand.

When you abandon your cart on Shinesty, first, you get an email with this subject line:

With it, the company evokes your curiosity and makes you wonder what you might have left at their “place.” (Also, notice how the sender name makes you want to find what you’ve lost.)

In the email, Shinesty maintains the “missing” theme and asks you to identify your cart items.

Naturally, the company displays your abandoned items so you can reclaim what’s yours and “get your cart back to safety”:

The next day, Shinesty follows up with a short subject that reads “found it” and another fun sender name:

This time, however, Carter E. Covery, the P.I., brings you good news and gets an excuse to show your abandoned items one more time.

With this two-part abandoned cart sequence, Shinesty reminds you of your cart items in a fun way. Although this angle fits the brand perfectly, be aware that this level of humor might confuse some prospects, so make sure to use it with caution, especially in this type of automated emails.

6. AYR

If you’re a fan of simplicity than farcical humor, you’ll appreciate this example.

Known for its emails with minimalist design and light copy, AYR’s abandoned cart emails aren’t your typical ones.

When you leave your basket on their website, this is the first email you get from the company with the short subject line “Ooh ooh”:

In it, the company simply invites you to take what’s yours with the almost-greedy CTA “Claim it.”

If you fail to do so, you receive a similar email the next day, but this time with a friendly subject that reads “Just lookin out for you :)”:

With this email, AYR incentivizes abandoned carts with a 10 percent discount, yet, the offer is only valid for first-time buyers. AYR cleverly segments its email list and adjusts its incentives accordingly, rather than overuse discount codes for every abandoning shopper.

If AYR couldn’t persuade you yet, this is the final email you get from them—this time with the subject line “Hit refresh”:

In this final follow-up email, AYR builds on the sense of greed once again with a bold headline. If you don’t want someone else to steal your compliments (and miss the 10 percent discount), AYR suggests that you simply hit “Go.”

AYR follows a different path by refraining from showing your cart items or using many words in its abandoned cart emails. Yet, this strategy works for AYR, simply because it fits the company’s value proposition to provide basic pieces for women in a simple manner.

If this sounds familiar to you (and to your brand,) try simplifying your abandoned cart emails, as AYR does.

7. Esqido

Converting abandoning shoppers with a discount code is the oldest trick in the book. Yet, most marketers overestimate the influence of discounts on consumers.

While AYR’s ten percent offer can be tempting as it is, making it bound by time would certainly enhance its effectiveness. That’s precisely what Esqido does in its abandoned cart emails by turning an incentive into a limited-time offer:

Sent with the subject line “We got you a discount!” the first part of the email is nothing extraordinary. But as you scroll down, you find out that the offer is only valid for the next 48 hours. Plus, the product you’re interested in is one of their most popular ones. Can you feel the scarcity yet?

To back up their claims of popularity (and therefore, scarcity), and to infuse social proof into the email, Esqido displays some of its most positive customer testimonials.

Next, the company reminds you of its satisfaction guarantee to remove any obstacles to buying. And finally, they drive further urgency with a countdown timer (which is a GIF that you can easily recreate for your emails.)

Esqido’s abandoned cart email is far from being fancy—it doesn’t have a special design or exceptional copy, yet, it’s a well-thought email you can replicate for your site without much effort.

8. Kat Von D

Discounts are a double-edged sword, especially when it comes to abandoned cart emails.

While a discount code might help recover some abandoned carts, it can also decrease your products’ perceived value. What’s more, by using discounts upon cart abandonment, you might risk people making a habit out of it. This means that your customers might start abandoning their carts on purpose—just to qualify for the discount.

An equally, if not more, compelling alternative to discounts is free shipping. And Kat Von D is well aware of that.

In this email, the company simply asks if you’re still deciding and if so, they can make it easier for you.

While Kat Von D incentivizes your purchase with free shipping and reminds you of your cart item, they also include the product’s rating and the number of reviews. This way, the company adds social proof to its abandoned cart email and makes your abandoned items more compelling.

In the remainder of the email, Kat Von D builds even more social proof by displaying its bestsellers (also with stars and numbers):

Even if you’re not convinced by the popularity of your abandoned item and the free shipping offer yet, Kat Von D aims to convert you with these customer-approved alternatives.

9. Prose

What if your products can’t wait in a shopping cart for days? Or, in theory, can’t go out of stock? Think about fresh flowers, tailor-made dresses, subscription boxes, or software businesses.

While you can’t easily use the urgency trigger for those types of products, you can do something better. Check out this example by the custom haircare brand, Prose:

I got this email shortly after completing a quiz on their site and leaving without purchasing my results.

Given that Prose’s products are custom-made based on your test results, they know that they can’t say “your items are waiting.” But what’s fascinating is, the company is aware of that, and they’re using it to their advantage.

Instead of playing the urgency card, they send you a gentle reminder saying they’ll wait until you’re ready to place your order.

Next, they feature one testimonial at the bottom of the email and invite you to contact them if you have any questions:

Rather than give a phone number or a contact email, Prose makes it easy for you to take action. All you need to do is to respond to their email, and they’ll be there if you need them.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Want More Email Marketing Inspiration?

Let’s face it: writing good marketing emails is TOUGH. To help, we’ve put together an email marketing swipe file, including 41 email marketing examples (organized by category). Plus, a few other goodies not featured below (*cough* killer Facebook Ad examples *cough*).

Conclusion

There are many different ways of writing and sending good abandoned cart emails. And these were only a few of the best examples.

The bottom line is, your angle and tone depend heavily on your brand and your audience. If your brand can handle a little humor, bring it in. And if you don’t want to sound too salesy, go easy on scarcity and urgency.

Finally, consider all the reasons why a customer might abandon their cart in your store and try providing solutions to most of them.

Have you seen any other good abandoned cart email examples? Which one of the above is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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