Automate Email Marketing and Boost Sales.

Automate email marketing and boost sales

11 Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices + Examples

Abandoned cart emails are your go-to solution for tackling shopping cart abandonment. Running your e-commerce site is no cakewalk – you work hard to make it user-friendly, trying to attract those valuable visitors. But what if customers leave their items in carts without making a purchase? The cart abandonment issue costs businesses a significant $18 billion each year.

Sending cart recovery emails isn’t just about reminding customers. Cart abandonment emails create golden opportunities for upselling, cross-selling, and offering tempting incentives. According to a study by BigCommerce, abandoned cart emails boast an impressive 41.18% open rate, trumping the average marketing email’s 21%.

In this guide, we spill the beans on the best practices for abandoned cart emails, armed with practical strategies and the best abandoned cart email examples. These tried-and-true methods ensure improved open rates and keep those customers coming back for more.

Recover lost sales and boost revenue with abandoned cart emails. Increase email open rates with Retainful and drive more sales. 

What is an abandoned cart email?

Abandoned cart emails are your go-to remedy for recovering abandoned carts. Imagine this scenario: a potential customer browses your online store, adds items to their cart, and then – whoosh! They vanish without making a purchase. With solid abandoned cart email best practices, these messages step in to reconnect with customers who left items hanging. 

Think of them as friendly digital reminders, prompting shoppers about their unfinished business. These cart abandonment emails provide a second chance, enticing users to return and complete their purchases. In a nutshell, they’re a valuable tool for recovering abandoned carts.

Why do people abandon carts?

People abandon shopping carts due to various factors that significantly impact their decision-making process. From unexpected costs to distractions, understanding these key elements is crucial for eCommerce store owners. Implementing abandoned cart email best practices can help recover lost sales by engaging with abandoned shoppers. 

Unexpected Costs: Hidden fees or high shipping costs often surprise customers, leading to cart abandonment. Consider offering transparent pricing to keep them engaged and utilize abandoned cart email best practices to address cost concerns.

Complicated Checkout Process: A lengthy or confusing checkout process frustrates shoppers. Simplify the steps to reduce checkout time and provide a guest checkout option to enhance the user experience and reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment.

Website Issues: Technical glitches, slow loading times, or errors can drive customers away. Regularly maintain and optimize your website to ensure a smooth shopping journey. 

Lack of Trust: Uncertainty about the security of personal information or payment details can deter customers. Display trust badges, secure payment options, and clear privacy policies to build trust and reinforce it through cart abandonment emails.

Limited Payment Options: If your store lacks preferred payment methods, customers may abandon their carts. Offering diverse payment options caters to different preferences and increases conversion chances. 

Comparison Shopping: Customers often explore multiple websites for better deals. Implement abandoned cart email best practices by emphasizing unique value propositions and incentives to sway their decision during their comparison shopping.

Distractions: External factors, such as phone calls or interruptions, can divert attention during the checkout process. Encourage customers to create accounts to save carts for later, minimizing distractions and utilizing abandoned cart emails effectively.

Related Reading: Top cart abandonment reasons in Shopify and how to deal with it

When to send abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart email timing best practices are a cornerstone of a smart abandoned cart email strategy. When it comes to winning back customers, timing is key. Crafting a compelling cart abandonment email involves pinpointing the perfect moment for those crucial reminders. Following ecommerce email strategies and adopting abandoned cart email best practices, including the ideal timing, significantly boosts your chances of recovering those lost sales.

Wondering how many abandoned cart follow-up emails can be sent and what’s the best time to send abandoned cart emails? Well, the sweet spot is usually three. Now, let’s break it down:

First email: Send it within an hour of cart abandonment. Make it considerate and helpful, capitalizing on the product and brand being fresh in the customer’s mind.

Second email: Send it after 48 hours to create FOMO, mentioning limited stock or an expiring discount.

Third email: Hit their inbox after 3 days, showcasing the product with an eye-catching image, a special offer, and recommending related products. Improve your open rate with these effective ecommerce email strategies

Related reading: How to Perfectly Time Your Shopify Abandoned Cart Email

11 abandoned cart email best practices with examples

Explore the best examples of abandoned cart emails, showcasing the art of crafting compelling messages and effective abandoned cart email strategies. Dive into insightful and practical insights.

Personalized abandoned cart email strategies

Personalizing abandoned cart emails is crucial for your cart abandonment email campaign. You make customers feel valued by implementing personalized abandoned cart recovery strategies and effective segmentation strategies. This increases the likelihood of them returning to complete their purchase.

abandoned cart email example

What better way to catch your customer’s attention than to use the customer’s name? This abandoned cart email example has taken the attention-grabbing game to the next level by adding an abandoned cart discount right after mentioning the customer’s name. 

The abandoned product is highlighted along with the discount. The CTA at the end of the email is hard to miss. 

Key Takeaways

  • Personalization at the very beginning, followed by a discount. 
  • Featured image of the abandoned product. 
  • A bold CTA at the end of the abandoned cart email template. 

Crafting compelling subject lines for abandoned cart emails

The purpose of the abandoned cart email subject lines is to get your customers to open your email. Creating a sense of urgency is one of the best abandoned cart email practices that encourage the recipient to open the email. You can also make the subject line sound considerate. 

Just keep it concise and clear to ensure that the message is easily understood by the recipient. 

subject line example from Zalando

The abandoned cart emails example from Zalando here has conveyed urgency in their abandoned cart email template by mentioning that the items in the cart are soon going to be out of stock. Creating urgency is one of the smart abandoned cart email best practices. Customers add products to their shopping carts because it means something to them. When you mention that their favorite product is about to be out of stock, that’s enough reason for customers to return to your store. 


  • Urgency conveying abandoned cart email subject line. 
  • Images of all the abandoned products with separate CTAs for each of them. 

A clear abandoned cart email copy

A clear abandoned cart email copy should be straightforward and friendly. Mention the items that were left, offer assistance, and highlight any special deals. Following an effective abandoned cart email best practices ensures better results in winning back customers.

Kate Spade abandoned cart email

Kate Spade has played personalization well in their abandoned cart email copy. This abandoned cart email example mentioned that the customer had abandoned their cart and went on to offer a personalized discount. The abandoned cart email copy also mentioned the time constriction of the offer strategically followed by a CTA. The abandoned cart email template also mentioned free shipping. 


  • This cart abandonment email is so set on conveying the benefits that the customer would get if they finished the purchase. 
  • The cool background color of the abandoned cart email template. 

Intriguing Call-to-Action 

A call-to-action in abandoned cart emails should be clear and inviting. Encourage customers to complete their abandoned carts with a friendly prompt. The objective is to guide them back to the checkout, smoothly achieving the abandoned cart email’s goal.

 CTA example in abandoned cart email

TOMS abandoned cart email example here has created a very interesting sense of urgency by giving the customers an ultimatum that their bag will disappear in 48 hours, followed by a CTA that says, “See my bag.” 


  • Strategically place your CTA after creating curiosity or by mentioning limited stock. 
  • Design your CTA in a bright color. 

Mobile-optimized abandoned cart emails

Statista’s research shows that mobile online shopping has reached 2.2 trillion in 2023. So, most of your customers will open their abandoned cart email on their phones. This emphasized that you have to keep your cart recovery email template mobile-optimized.

mobile optimized cart abandonment email

Ergo Design’s abandoned cart email example here has used mobile optimization as their abandoned cart email best practice. It has given a seamless mobile experience for their abandoned shopper, which would easily boost conversion rates. Capture attention and drive action seamlessly with a responsive design for increased engagement and sales.


  • Place the CTA and the image at the top so that the abandoned shopper won’t need to scroll down further. 
  • Keep the design clear and uncluttered. 

Attractive email design

In abandoned cart email best practices, an advanced abandoned cart email strategy includes an attractive email design. A visually appealing layout grabs attention, rekindles interest, and nudges customers back for a seamless shopping experience.

attractive design abandoned cart email

Society6, an art decor company, has layered bright, bold colors that bring an artsy aesthetic in their abandoned cart email example. Note that the time-sensitive words that create urgency and CTA are placed strategically at the top so that the customers don’t have to scroll down the email.  


  • Capture attention with a cool aesthetic abandoned cart email template. 
  • Place everything that is important right at the top. 

Create a series of abandoned cart emails

Sending an abandoned cart series, part of abandoned cart email flows, is key. This strategic abandoned cart email sequence gently reminds customers, offering a personalized approach to re-engage, recover sales and enhance the shopping experience.

abandoned cart email series from FitTea

Remember to strike the iron while it’s still hot. Send the first cart abandonment email within the first hour of cart abandonment. Keep the emails well-spaced from one another like FitTea’s abandoned cart email example here, because you don’t want to appear too pushy. 


  • Make sure your emails are not pushy but provide value. 
  • Find the best time to create a sense of urgency and to increase the open rate. 

Related reading: How to send multiple Shopify abandoned cart emails?

Recover lost sales and maximize your revenue effortlessly with Retainful’s automated abandoned cart email series. 

Add social proof to build trust

Boost customer loyalty with social proof in abandoned cart emails. It adds trust, showcases positive experiences, and influences purchasing decisions, amplifying the impact of abandoned cart emails on conversion rates for a more compelling and convincing shopping journey.

abandoned cart email with social proof. 

Quip’s abandoned cart email example has placed the social proof at the very beginning to instill trust. Imagine a customer new to the store reading this abandoned cart email that boats 5-star reviews from 20,000 customers. Nothing helps with first-purchase doubts better than 5-star reviews. 


  • Place the reviews strategically in the abandoned cart email template to catch the abandoned shopper’s attention. 
  • The email also has included a 30-day risk-free, free trial which is sure to erase all doubts in the customer. 

Feature the product

Maximize abandoned cart recovery rates by featuring the product in your email message. A visual reminder enhances engagement, rekindles interest, and prompts customers to complete their purchase for a more effective abandoned cart recovery strategy.

Product Feature

Shwood has nailed the product feature in this abandoned cart email example. The uncluttered design is another notable feature of this abandoned cart email template. The email has a clear product image followed by a discount and reviews. The brand has gone on to showcase real-time images from the customers who use the sunglasses. 


  • Product showcasing doesn’t have to stop with just showing the product. Get creative and show how your customers are using it. 
  • Throw in social proof. 

Related reading: Why Product Images Should be Highlighted in your Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails?

Using discounts in abandoned cart emails effectively

Boost effectiveness in abandoned cart emails with timely reminders and enticing discounts. Strategically use the best time to send abandoned cart reminders, incorporating compelling abandoned cart email templates highlighting discounts and encouraging customers to return and complete their purchase for maximum impact.

discount abandoned cart email

Hayneedle has wisely used abandoned cart email best practices to highlight the discount. This abandoned cart email example easily catches the abandoned shopper’s attention with the discount strategically highlighted. Note that the abandoned product is also featured, but what stands out is the discount that is being offered. 


  • Bring the focus to the benefit to catch the attention.
  • Also, remind them of the abandoned product. 

Related reading: 43 Brilliant Ways to Offer Discounts and Coupon Codes To Generate Sales for your eCommerce store

Product recommendation 

Elevate sales by recommending products in your abandoned cart emails. It’s a key practice for increasing sales through personalized suggestions and guiding customers back to their desired items. Embrace abandoned cart email best practices for a more effective and engaging recovery strategy.

Product recommendation email

Sometimes, customers no longer need the abandoned product, or maybe they are looking for something similar or even better. When you send them product recommendations, you give them a chance to return to your store and rethink their decision. Perigold’s abandoned cart emails example here has recommended three products, all similar to the abandoned product. 


  • Don’t overwhelm customers by adding too many products. 
  • Place a CTA for every recommended product in your abandoned cart email template. 

How to improve open rates for abandoned cart emails?

Improving open rates for cart abandonment recovery emails is essential for rekindling customer interest and boosting sales. In this guide, we’ll explore lesser-known strategies to enhance the effectiveness of your abandoned cart email campaigns. 

Enticing subject lines

enticing abandoned cart email subject line

Crafting effective abandoned cart email subject lines is crucial for boosting open rates. Customers are more likely to open the email when they’re concise, personalized, and create a sense of urgency. These subject lines act like a friendly nudge, reminding users of their pending purchases and encouraging them to revisit their carts. It’s all about making the email feel relevant and compelling to the recipients. 

Emoji Engagement

emoji subject line

Enhance your abandoned cart email subject lines with emoji engagement. Infuse personality into your abandoned cart email best practice by including emojis. These small icons in your abandoned cart email template add a friendly touch, making your messages stand out and increasing the likelihood of capturing attention.

Countdown Urgency

sense of urgency subject line

Create urgency in your abandoned cart strategy by mentioning countdowns in your subject lines. Send abandoned cart reminders that feature a ticking clock, urging customers to act swiftly. This abandoned cart email best practice taps into the fear of missing out, prompting quicker decisions and reducing the chances of carts being forgotten.

Surprise Incentives

Mention surprise incentives in your subject lines and create curiosity. To optimize abandoned cart email best practices include unexpected perks or discounts. Surprise incentives make your messages more appealing, enticing customers to return and complete their purchases with added excitement.

Personalized Storytelling

brand storytelling subject line

Boost your abandoned cart email open rates with a personalized storytelling series. Tailor your cart recovery strategies by sharing relatable stories, creating a connection that encourages customers to open your emails and complete their purchases. Make it a series of emails so that your customers will feel intrigued to open the following emails you send. 

Analyzing abandoned cart email performance

If you are serious about improving your open rate, you have to continuously track and optimize your abandoned cart emails. Tracking helps you understand how well your follow-up sequence works and lets you test different strategies, like A/B testing, to find what resonates best. 

This way, you can continually improve and optimize your approach for better engagement and, ultimately, more successful recoveries. Keep an eye on those metrics to steer your efforts in the right direction!

5 best abandoned cart email automation tools

The 5 best abandoned cart email automation tools are 

  1. Retainful 
  2. Omnisend
  3. Cartstack
  4. ActiveCampaign
  5. CartBounty

We have analyzed the best shopping cart abandonment software to help you deal with the frustration of abandoned carts. The following cart abandonment software helps you revitalize your sales. Dive into our list of the best tools designed for ecommerce platforms to turn those abandoned carts into transactions. 



Retainful sends timely and automated abandoned cart emails, and it is also quick and easy to create cart recovery email campaigns using pre-built workflows. The workflow has 3 abandoned cart emails in it by default, but you can tweak it to add however many emails you want to add. The best part about this email marketing tool is that you can customize every aspect of the cart abandonment email. 

This shopping cart abandonment software is also the best abandoned cart recovery plugin to keep your customers engaged throughout their shopping journey, starting from welcome emails to winback emails, order follow-up emails to thank you emails. 

Now what makes the abandoned cart emails from Retainful even more irresistible to the abandoned shopper is the Dynamic Discounts and Next-order coupons you can include in the email. 

The features of Retainful don’t just stop there. It’s got a referral program using which you can retain and acquire more customers through WOM sales. Retainful is widely regarded as the best shopping cart abandonment software that encapsulates every feature you’d need to take your online business to the next level.

Key Features


  • Essential $9/month
  • Starter $19/month
  • Growth $49/month

Related Reading: Best Shopify Abandoned Cart Apps to Recover Lost Sales



Omnisend, an abandoned cart email automation tool, simplifies the process in just a few steps. Build your email list, set up automated workflows, and launch your campaign effortlessly. Notably, Omnisend offers SMS outreach. This cart abandonment software excels in tracking customer data for personalized emails, while the sales dashboard monitors essential email metrics, providing a comprehensive solution for effective abandoned cart recovery. 

While Omnisend offers comprehensive abandoned cart recovery features, one potential disadvantage is its pricing, which may be relatively higher for small businesses with limited budgets compared to some other alternatives in the market.



Cartstack connects with abandoned shoppers through personalized cart abandonment emails, gently reminding them of their forgotten items. A standout feature of this cart recovery tool is real-time notifications, keeping you updated on abandoned carts for swift action. A/B testing helps determine what works best for your store. It captures visitor emails, monitors their journey, and offers custom domain sending for enhanced email deliverability, providing a seamless and effective solution for recovering abandoned carts.

Cartstack might not have as many detailed automation options. If your strategy needs intricate sequences, compare Cartstack with other tools to make sure it suits your specific needs.



ActiveCampaign is an omnichannel marketing tool that lets you segment your email list based on purchase history and customer behavior. This easily lets you send targeted email campaigns. This cart recovery software comes with more than 250 abandoned cart email templates all of which are B2B and B2C friendly. The real-time analytics comes in handy for you to tweak your cart abandonment email campaign to get the optimum result. You can integrate this abandoned cart email software with CRM to make your email campaigns even more personalized.

ActiveCampaign might be a bit tricky for beginners. Learning to use its advanced marketing tools might take some time.



CartBounty includes an automated abandoned cart recovery feature that sends abandoned cart emails to abandoned shoppers without any manual intervention. The abandoned cart recovery tool also comes with features to send personalized emails based on customized cart recovery workflows. If you want your customers to feel valued and appreciated, the automated coupon code generator will help you with that. 

CartBounty’s functionality is robust for email-based cart recovery, but it has limitations. It may not offer the extensive features and flexibility that some businesses need for a more comprehensive and diverse recovery strategy.

How to view your shopping cart abandonment rate?

Viewing your shopping cart abandonment is a quick and easy process with Retainful. Just follow these easy steps to install Retainful and check the abandoned cart rate in just a few minutes. 

Install the Retainful Plugin

Go to your WordPress dashboard -> search for the ‘Retainful’ plugin-> install it. 

Copy the API from the Retainful Dashboard -> enter it in the WordPress Dashboard under the ‘Connection’ tab.

How to view the shopping cart abandonment rate 

To view the shopping cart abandonment rate in Retainful:

1. Go to your Retainful dashboard -> Metrics -> Cart Activity

Viewing abandoned carts in Retainful

2. You can find the live data of abandoned carts, including Cart ID, Customer name, Phone number, and Total amount.

Abandoned Cart Metrics

3. Click on filters to view Abandoned carts, Live carts, Recovered carts, and Recoverable carts. You can also search for customers using the Customer email, Cart ID, Total Amount, and Checkout created. 

4. Click on the view option to take a look at the items abandoned by a customer. 

Related reads: How to Check Abandoned Carts in Shopify?

Creating an Abandoned Cart Recovery Email Campaign 

Creating your Abandoned Cart Email Recovery Campaign will need a tool like Retainful, which integrates seamlessly with your WooCommerce and Shopify stores – the two most popular ecommerce platforms in the world.

Retainful lets you create an abandoned cart email campaign in a few simple steps quickly using pre-built, ready-made email campaign workflows. Allow me to guide you through the process of crafting personalized cart abandonment emails.

1. Login to your Retainful dashboard

2. Go to ‘Automation’ -> Create Workflow -> Choose ‘Abandoned Cart Recovery with dynamic coupon’

Select the workflow template

3. Give a ‘Name’ to your abandoned cart recovery workflow and click ‘Continue.’

naming the workflow

4. The readymade email workflow gives them three email reminders at a customizable time interval.

  • The trigger rule lets you determine when a customer can enter the workflow.
  • The Entry Rule lets you restrict customers from entering the automation workflows if they have previously entered the workflow.
  • The wait condition lets you set a time delay for the emails.
Setting up trigger

Check out the step-by-step video tutorial to learn how to create and set live an abandoned cart recovery workflow. 

Create an abandoned cart email campaign in minutes with Retainful’s customizable pre-built workflows. 

Ready to recover lost sales today?

In conclusion, nailing your abandoned cart emails is a game-changer for e-commerce. It’s not just about boosting sales and revenue but also getting valuable insights into customer behavior. Personalized messages build trust and loyalty, offering discounts and incentives to sweeten the deal. Crafting abandoned cart emails with engaging copy and solid branding turns one-time buyers into loyal customers. 

Also, stay on the legal side of things with considerations for abandoned cart emails. Lastly, seamlessly integrate cart recovery emails with your CRM for a streamlined approach. It’s simple yet powerful. Don’t overthink it—start today, experiment with different strategies, and soon you’ll be acing those abandoned cart recovery emails, boosting your sales effortlessly.

Read next: 

  1. How to Setup Exit Popups for Abandoned Cart in WooCommerce?
  2. 10 Proven Ways to Convert Your Abandoned Cart Website Visitors Into Loyal Customers
What do you write in an abandoned cart email?

In an abandoned cart email, you’d typically write a friendly reminder about the items left behind, offer an incentive like a discount, and provide a clear call-to-action to encourage completing the purchase.

What is abandoned cart email flows?

Abandoned cart email flows refer to a series of automated emails strategically sent to users who left items in their cart, aiming to recover sales by nurturing them with reminders, incentives, and engaging content.

What is abandon email? 

An abandoned email typically refers to an email sent to users who have left a website or online store without completing a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.

Are abandoned cart emails legal?

Yes, abandoned cart emails are legal as long as they comply with privacy regulations. Ensure you have consent from customers to send such emails, and include an option for them to unsubscribe.

What is an abandoned cart transactional email?

An abandoned cart transactional email is a message triggered by a user’s abandoned cart activity. It serves both a transactional purpose (reminding about the abandoned items) and a marketing purpose (encouraging a purchase).

What is the best practice for abandoned cart emails timing?

The best practice for abandoned cart emails timing is to send the first reminder within 1-2 hours of abandonment, followed by a series of reminders over the next 24-48 hours, adjusting based on your audience’s behavior.

What triggers an abandoned cart email?

Abandoned cart emails are triggered by user actions, specifically when someone adds items to their online shopping cart but leaves the website without completing the purchase. This automated email aims to recover potential lost sales.

Are abandoned cart emails GDPR compliant?

To ensure GDPR compliance with abandoned cart emails, obtain explicit consent from users to receive such communications, and provide clear information on data usage and the option to opt-out of these emails.

How do you make a good abandoned cart email?

Crafting a good abandoned cart email involves personalization, a clear and compelling call-to-action, incentives like discounts or free shipping, and a sense of urgency to prompt users to complete their purchases.

What is an abandoned cart in email marketing?

In email marketing, an abandoned cart refers to a situation where a user adds products to their online shopping cart but leaves the site before completing the purchase. Abandoned cart emails are then sent to encourage them to return and finalize their transaction.

How do I create an abandoned cart email sequence?

Integrate Retainful in your online store and set up the abandoned cart email workflow. You can customize the pre-built abandoned cart email workflow in minutes using the trigger, wait, and entry rules. You can include as many abandonment cart emails you want to in an abandoned cart email sequence. 

Why use abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails bring back shoppers who left items in their online carts, giving a friendly nudge to complete their purchase and turn potential sales into actual ones.

What is an example of a cart abandonment message?

An example of a cart abandonment message could be: “Hey there! Noticed you left something special in your cart. Enjoy a 10% discount on your selected items if you complete your purchase within the next 24 hours. We’re here to make your shopping experience even better!”

When should I send abandoned cart email?

Send an abandoned cart email within 1-2 hours of the cart abandonment to catch the shopper’s attention while their interest is still fresh. If no action is taken, consider sending a follow-up reminder 24 hours later to rekindle their interest and offer additional incentives for completing the purchase. You can also send the third email with a personalized discount to entice abandoned shoppers back to the store. 

What is the purpose of sending a cart abandonment email to a customer?

The purpose of sending a cart abandonment email is to recover potentially lost sales by reminding customers of items left in their carts and encouraging them to complete their purchases. It aims to re-engage customers, provide incentives, and foster a positive user experience, ultimately boosting conversion rates.