Abandoned Cart Emails: 5 Ways To Win Back Your Customers

Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.99% (according to research conducted by Baymard)? However, all is not lost when a customer abandons their cart. In this blog we’ll explore how to win over customers with abandoned cart emails, covering everything from what cart abandonment is, to strategies to perfect your abandoned cart messaging. 

Why has your customer abandoned their cart?

The first question you may have is why the customer abandoned their cart in the first place. Some of the most common reasons for a customer to leave their trolley include complex checkout processes, a lack of payment methods or transparency about price, better offers elsewhere, and long shipping times. 

Complex checkout processes can include the mandatory creation of an account — which buyers often don’t have time for — and long checkout menus or details. When it comes to paying, the customer also expects a variety of payment options including buy now, pay later and PayPal. If an option that suits them isn’t available, the buyer is likely to abandon their purchase. Equally, many shoppers end up buying their goods elsewhere if a quick Google search reveals better offers. Finally, long shipping times put buyers off, as they may feel deceived when they realize that their items won’t be arriving when expected. 

However, it’s also important to note that there may not be a particular reason for the abandoned cart, as sometimes shoppers don’t ever have the intention of completing their purchase, or plan to complete it at another day or time. 

What is a cart abandonment email?

Now you know why a customer might abandon their cart — so how can you bring them back? Cart abandonment emails, or shopping cart reminders, are emails that remind the shopper of the items that they’ve left in their basket. This gently prompts the customer to continue their purchase journey and check out. Cart abandonment emails may use incentives such as a discount or eye-catching copy to remind the customer of why they selected their items in the first place. 

In order to send the cart abandonment email, you must be GDPR compliant and have access to your customers’ email addresses. First-party data is ideal for this purpose, as it doesn’t require cookies. 

5 abandoned cart email examples

These abandoned cart email examples will give you inspiration for some of the most effective techniques to reel your customer back in and make you stand out. 

1. Call to action

Remind your customer why they were browsing the items to begin with, and what it was that they liked. Let them know that the product is still waiting for them and that it’s just one click away.

UNIQLO used Wunderkind to remind customers of the quality of the item in their basket, such as this tailored jacket. By posing a question and using short, concise copy that reminds you the jacket is designed for everyday wear and comfort, the shopper is prompted to reconsider their purchase.

2. Buy Now, Pay Later

Perhaps your customer abandoned their cart because of money concerns? Reminding them they can use buy now, pay later options such as Klarna or Afterpay makes their purchase low risk. 

Too Faced opted to remind their customers of the option to use buy now, pay later for their purchase alongside a 20% offer and free orders over a threshold. If your customers abandoned their cart over price concerns, then such reminders are sure to make them reconsider.

3. Learn more

Customers often leave carts behind because they feel unsure about the product they’re getting. To reassure them of their purchase, follow up with more information and recommendations based on their preferences.

Diet-to-go opted for follow-up emails to customers who hadn’t completed their diabetic meal plan sign-up, informing them of the health benefits of such a plan. Product-specific information was included, alongside a 25% discount timer. The abandoned cart email was not only personalized, giving the customer more info about what they were signing up for, but also created a sense of urgency to get started on the plan.

4. Personalized messaging and recommendations 

Speak directly to your customer and personalize your communications. When you know what items they were looking for, your cart abandonment email can let them know what else they might like that’s similar, if they didn’t find it first-time around. 

Skinny Dip used a ‘recommended for you’ panel, alongside a 10% off offer to entice customers to have a second look at their basket. 

5. Discounts and offers

Finally, it’s perhaps the most popular of all methods: discounts! Sales are very effective and are often used in conjunction with other techniques.

5 strategies to produce the best abandoned cart emails 

With the previous methods in mind, let’s take a look at the ideal strategies that will create effective abandoned checkout emails. 

1. Create an email nurture campaign

You never know when your first email marketing reminder will land with your customer. If the time isn’t convenient, then try once, try twice, try again! An email shopping cart reminder series may follow the pattern:

  1. You’ve left something in your cart, but don’t worry — we’re holding onto it for you.
  2. Pssst, your shopping cart is waiting. 
  3. Hey, we’ve got 10% off your cart, just for you!

2. Run A/B tests

Running different test groups to see which method comes back as the most effective is a great way to check you’re getting the most out of your abandoned cart emails. Wunderkind uses data as a proof point to determine which messages and techniques are performing the best. 

3. Play it cool

Timing is key, so send your abandonment email 2-5 hours after the cart has been left, indicating the customer has lost intent to purchase in their original session. Ensure It’s best practice to give them a few hours of space before following up. 

4. Segment those customers

Every marketer knows your customers aren’t all the same. Split your customer base into groups based on common behaviors, demographics, technographics, etc. to ensure you’re addressing the right people at the right time.

5. The perfect copy

Great copy is always short, concise, and eye-catching. When it comes to standing out, personalized copy really is the icing on the cake.

5 tips to prevent cart abandonment in the first place

Maybe after all this, you’re still wondering what you could do to prevent the cart from being abandoned in the first place —  so we’ve got a few ideas for you. However, remember that when customers leave their shopping cart behind, it’s not necessarily the end of that purchase.

1. Be transparent about costs

Keep your customer informed about costs at every stage of the purchase. They should know how much their items cost, the shipping price, and any discounts as early as possible. This can often be achieved with pop-ups that appear when hovering over the basket icon, and clear calculations and totals at check-out.

2. Offer promo codes or free shipping

If customers are worried about the cost — which many will be — let them breathe easy with a handy discount code pop-up, or encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter for 10% off promotions. 

3. Simplify your checkout

Short and simple: The ideal checkout should be no longer than three pages, and keep the customer informed every step of the way. Remember to include as many payment options as possible so they have a choice that suits them

4. Utilize exit intent pop-ups

Exit intent pop-ups are pop-up windows triggered when a customer looks like they’re about to leave the site. Wunderkind clients see amazing results with exit intent pop-ups. When triggered, they might offer a discount or a pause for thought for the customer.

5. Optimize your page

No customer wants poor loading speeds or website links that don’t work. The average attention span is now 8 seconds, so you have limited time to intrigue your customer and ultimately get them to the checkout page.

While you can reduce the risk of an abandoned cart, a staggering 7 in 10 customers will still proceed to abandon their carts. However, it’s not the end of the world, as cart abandonment emails, when done well, can bring them straight back. Test strategies to find best practices, keep email copy short and eye-catching, and tailor your emails to suit each customer. Happy emailing!


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Emily Black

Emily has a background in writing, specifically in the technology and eCommerce industry. After completing her MA she entered the eCommerce space, writing reports, blogs, and whitepapers. She aims to cut through the industry noise to bring clear insight to the Wunderkind community.