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13 Best Subject Lines for Abandoned Cart Email Campaigns

Cart abandonment will cost huge loss in sales if left unnoticed. Though it is hard to predict and prevent cart abandonment, you can recover 70% of those lost sales by sending Abandoned cart recovery emails.

Yes, Cart recovery emails can convert abandoned sales to revenue. However, reports show that only 41% of Abandoned cart emails are opened, and experts blame bad subject lines for the low open rates.

Subject lines are the first thing that draws a customer’s attention and persuades them to open the email. Hence, the best subject lines undoubtedly impact the email open rate.

Is it hard to write a compelling Abandoned cart email subject line?

Honestly, writing a subject line is the easiest part of an Abandoned cart recovery email. You need to understand your audience and use inspiration from brands who have been successful in their cart recovery campaign.

We have helped eCommerce stores increase their email open rates with the best subject lines. And this article is all about the various types of subject lines used by popular brands to encourage customers to open their Abandoned cart recovery emails.

Marketers claim that these subject lines resulted in higher conversion rates and helped them convert lost revenues.

35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. Create and send a series of personalized abandoned cart emails with Retainful.

What are Abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are follow-up emails you send to customers who have abandoned their cart at the checkout without completing the purchase.

abandoned cart emails

Abandoned cart emails are sent to remind customers of the carts they abandoned and encourage them to return and recover their carts.

Ecommerce brands usually send a series of cart recovery emails along with exciting discounts to urge customers to recover their carts.

Why Cart abandonment recovery emails are important?

Stopping cart abandonment is almost impossible as you cannot predict when a customer will abandon their cart.

You can use Exit intent popups to prevent customers from exiting and encourage them to complete the purchase.

But what about the carts abandoned? They still hold a potential sale in them. Letting it go is not the right practice.

This is where Cart recovery emails come in handy.

You can send a series of cart recovery emails and convince your customers to recover their carts. By doing this, you can convert your lost sales into revenue.

Here are few more reasons why you need cart recovery emails,

  • Increase conversion rates by sending personalized cart recovery emails.
  • Improve customer engagement and relationship.
  • Cart recovery emails deliver a complete customer experience.
  • Offering discounts via recovery emails will increase retention rates.

So, now you know cart recovery emails are not just to recover lost carts. When you do it the right way, it can bring more sales-boosting benefits to your store.

How effective are abandoned cart emails?

Marketers and new store owners often ask, Do Abandoned cart emails really work? How effective are they?

Yes, they do work.

Studies show that seven out of ten customers abandon their cart after adding products to their cart. And Abandoned cart emails can recover 70% of those Abandoned carts. That’s how effective they are.

Around 50% of people who open an Abandoned cart emails have returned to the store and recovered their cart. But the key is to send a series of cart recovery email at well-timed intervals to increase conversions.

How Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines Affect Open Rates?

Subject lines are the first thing customers see in their inboxes, and a decision is made there. 47% of customers open emails based only on the subject line. Furthermore, 69% of customers define emails as spam based on subject lines.

Customers receive hundreds of emails every day. No matter how good your email design is, the subject line will be the one making your email stand out from the rest.

If you’re subject line isn’t captivating, the customer will not open your cart recovery email resulting in poor conversion rates. This is why you need to nail you subject lines to increase your email open rates.

check this off your list

You must use actionable words in your emails without fluff and fake promises. When you promise too much, customer might sense it as a spam and end up reporting your email, you don’t want that.

The subject line should push customers to take action, so use words that would grab their attention and increase their curiosity to open the email.

Abandoned cart email subject line strategies

So, now you know how important subject lines are and how they can impact your email open rates. Let’s list out the best practices while writing your email subject lines,

  • Keep your subject lines short, not more than 5-7 words
  • Use action words in your subject lines
  • Use emojis to sell a story
  • Pesonalize your subject lines
  • A/B test your subject lines to see which one works best
  • Use email pre-header to provide more context
  • Don’t promote or sell too much in your subject lines

Subject lines are not just to increase email open rates. It serves another crucial purpose – keeping your emails away from the spam box.

Spam box is the graveyard for emails, it will be hard coming back from that. The best practice is to not fall into it and the subject line is the key to achieve it.

Sending too many emails with zero-engagement will also mark your email as spam. So, test your subject lines constantly to see what works and how customers engage with the emails.

To help you out, we have listed some of the best conversion-boosting email subject lines that can increase your email open rates and conversions

13 Abandoned cart email subject lines to inspire you

A look into these subject lines will change your general perspective on how to craft one. Let’s dive in!

‘Generic-type’ subject lines.

This is the list of abandoned cart email subject lines that are the most commonly used ones. Every regular shopper will be used to seeing these after cart abandonment.

1. Heading out without checking out?

huckberry

Rhyming words never fail to catch a person’s attention, and Huckberry has used this element in their abandoned cart email subject line. Some marketers term this as the ‘oops approach.’

This kind of subject line is useful when the customer is assumed to have been interrupted during the checkout process. To say in detail, the cart is abandoned when the attention of the customer is diverted due to some other issue that is unrelated to the shopping done. In such cases, this best subject line is the right one to go for.

In reality, it is not possible to do this research separately for each customer. So the abandoned cart email with such a subject line is usually sent as the first one in the cart recovery campaign.

Here are some more examples for you.

  1. Did you forget something?
  2. You left something behind. – Moschino
  3. Your cart is waiting.
  4. Hey, did you forget to open this? – Dollar Shave Club
  5. Your shopping bag misses you. – Dote Shopping
  6. Don’t miss out on your cart full of awesomeness at 80sTees.com – 80sTees
  7. Don’t leave your items behind – Adidas

‘Funny n Friendly’ subject lines

1. Lemme Teleport You Back To Your Cart. Free Of Charge.

chubbies abandoned cart email

This funny abandoned cart email subject line makes the reader feel like being part of a movie based on science fiction. ‘Teleport’ is the word that makes all the difference here.

The use of informal language (lemme) resonates with a friendly and fun-loving approach by the company to connect with the customer. Of course, we know that a link back to our cart is free, but even then, the phrase ‘Free Of Charge’ strikes a chord.

2. Let’s check this off your list

kate spade abandoned cart email

Kate Spade never fails to impress with their effective abandoned cart emails. The subject line is one aspect that catches the readers’ attention. It sends out a message that reads like ‘let’s do this together or ‘we can help you get through this.

As expected, the copy of the abandoned cart email also addresses checkout issues with the lines ‘trouble checking out?”. Customer care is standing by.’ – is a real issue to be considered from the customer’s perspective.

Take a look at these subject lines used in abandoned cart emails too,

3. Howdy! – Chubbies
4. WHERE’D YOU GO?! – Black Milk Clothing
5. Open up and say wowie zowie! – Dollar Shave Club
6. This way please…
7. Oh, NO. Your cart just slid down the stairs. SAVE IT!
8. Your cart has found love again. I hope it’s YOU.

‘Personalized’ subject lines

Campaign Monitor found out that when emails have personalized subject lines, they are 26% more likely to be opened.

We guess that’s enough to start personalizing your abandoned cart email subject lines. Here are some examples,

1. Emma, thanks for visiting 100% PURE

abandoned cart email from 100% pure

This one is just plain you might wonder. Notice the personalization? It does create some magic. When it is personal, it tends to feel like the initiation of a real conversation. The brand, 100% PURE, is thankful and it seems obvious that there is some surprise waiting in the email which makes a customer click.

The mention of the brand name in the abandoned cart email subject line sets high expectations for the customer, acting as bait to get tricked into clicking the email open.

Here are more samples.

2. Wendy, that choice of yours in unique.
3. This is just for you, Sarah.
4. Hey John, your cart is expiring soon.
5. Haven’t decided yet, Scott?
6. Grab on to the free shipping offer for your cart, Steve.
7. Danielle, Your cart needs you.
8. Hi Bella, welcome to EddieBauer.com – Eddie Bauer

‘We are concerned’ subject lines

You might never know the problem or emotion a person is experiencing while shopping from the other end of the world. It does not mean you can stay away from addressing them in your abandoned cart email subject lines.

After all, you are human too. Guess the issue and give it a shot. Things might fall in place.

1. Sorry to hear about your Wi-Fi

adandoned cart emails from adidas

Adidas addresses a concern by saying ‘Sorry to hear about your Wi-Fi’ in the abandoned cart email subject line. Has something really gone wrong? The fact here is that nothing is wrong with the Wi-Fi of the customer and Adidas very well knows it. After all, it is email marketing.

The email also starts with a header that supports the subject line and it reads ‘Is your wi-fi OK?’. Other details to shop again follow the heading. It is one of the best and unique abandoned cart subject lines, which demands the attention of the user instantaneously.

Here are some subject lines used in abandoned cart emails to choose from.

2. Having trouble checking out?
3. Need some help with your shopping cart?
4. Don’t worry. We have your cart saved.
5. Distracted during the checkout process? Try your luck now.
6. Still interested in that deal? – Groupon
7. Was there a problem checking out? – 80s Tees
8. Does this belong to you? – Chicos

‘Scarcity’ subject lines

Orders will pour in when you say, ‘2 pieces of [product name] remain’. Everyone wants to own those last two pieces because people hate missing out on their favorite stuff.

When sending a cart recovery email, you are already dealing with a person who has shown some interest in the product, which is why using the scarcity technique works here.

Here is a subject line example from Zalando,

subject line zalando
abandoned cart email from zolando

According to yourdictionary.com, exclamatory marks were originally called the ‘note of admiration’. No wonder people pause when they read a sentence with an exclamation mark because 29% of marketers used ‘!’ in the subject line according to Unific.

Zalando put this into practice to create their scarcity-infused cart abandonment email subject lines. The above subject line conveys a ‘do or die’ message and the exclamation is the one that reinforces it. With the mention of the free delivery, it would be absurd if people didn’t click open this email.

Some more scarcity infusing subject lines for abandoned cart emails,

2. Eek — something you like is almost sold out! – Mod Cloth
3. All eyes are on your cart. Own it.
4. It is either now or never. Few stocks left.
5. Say Goodbye – Brooklinen
6. One more chance to get 35% off! – J. Crew Factory

scarcity subject line

7. Your favorite designs are flying off the shelves.
8. CLEARANCE SALE: There is hardly any stock left. HURRY UP!!
!

‘FOMO’ subject lines

The tick of a clock pumps the heart at a faster pace. Similar is the purpose of a countdown that generates fear – the Fear Of Missing Out, dearly called FOMO.

1. Don’t let these get away..

thirve market

Thrive Market has used this abandoned cart email subject line to convert more visitors into customers. One thing to make sure is that this subject line ‘Ending in Don’t let these get away’ is meant to induce FOMO and it works well.

2. Wait! Get it before its gone!

alamanac

Almanac nails their abandoned cart email with the subject line which is short yet classy and creates a sense of urgency. It conveys that the product in the cart is in high demand, and there is hardly any time left to grab the stuff.

More subject lines for abandoned cart emails to ponder about.

3. Going, going, …almost gone…
4. It is raining orders! We are unable to hold on to your cart…
5. Your time is up!
6. Final call to regain your cart.
7. This is your only chance.
8. Shirts for $39 ENDS MIDNIGHT – Charles Tyrwhitt

charley tyrwhitt

Emails that include the recipient’s first name in their subject line had a higher clickthrough rate than those that don’t. Make Personalized abandoned cart campaigns hassle-free with retainful.

‘Product mention’ subject lines

Forgetfulness is everywhere nowadays. We depend on gadgets to remind us of important things. So, the gadgets in your eCommerce store have the data of what the customer was about to purchase. Utilize that data to the fullest for the abandoned cart emails.

1. Still Deciding? Your Dolce- & Gabbana Three-Button Wool Blazer Is Waiting!

still deciding

It could have been just ‘Still -Deciding?’ To make it short and sweet, like a little nudge. Why should the product name be there?

The answer is this. The RealReal is an online store that sells out clothes and accessories from various brands and designers. So, it is a necessity to let the customer know the product in the abandoned cart. In addition, it also acts as a reminder to entice the customer into completing the checkout.

Some extra cart abandonment email subject lines…

2. Only a few left! Aerie Drapey Hoodie – American Eagle
3. Still Interested In Vista Roller Ball GT? – Pen Factory
4. We’re still holding the Angus Queen Bed Gray for you. Act fast if you want it – Fab
5. A Penny Loafer with a sporty sole – Quoddy
6. Introducing The Elk Ridge Polo Shirt – Ralph Lauren
7. Hey, Your [product name] needs you.
8. It has been so long. Come on and grab your [product name].

‘Being Sweet’ subject lines

Ecommerce stores that decide on such cart abandonment email subject lines must have a very kind heart and be generous with incentives.

People are obsessed with offers and when there is one they never let go. It is estimated that around 60% of people accounted for extra fees as the reason for cart abandonment, and shipping cost tops the chart.

1. Your Cart’s Loaded & Ready To Go – Free Shipping. No Minimum.

under armour

Under Armour has done it right by mentioning ‘Free Shipping’ in the subject line. The point here is that the subject line indicates the reward that the customer gets for proceeding to checkout. This can never go wrong.

Check out the below subject lines used in abandoned cart emails too,

2. Price Drops. – Canopy
3. Free shipping on the way….
4. Here’s free shipping to get what’s in your cart! – Express
5. Now you’re IN THE KNOW! Plus, enjoy Free Shipping – Neiman Marcus
6. Sale Now 50% Off + More Items Added – Gitman Bros
7. Just for you! $25 towards Bike to School Gear – Showers Pass
8. Rikke! Receive a Free Full-Size Advanced Night Repair Eye, with your purchase. – Estée Lauder

‘Getting curious’ subject lines

You have already tapped into your customer’s mind when you get them to think, ‘What can that be?’, ‘What’s in there?’. This is done with subject lines that create a curiosity to open the email.

Now that the door is thrown open, you can barge in with a compelling email copy.

I have compiled some of the best abandoned cart subject lines of the lot.

1. The price dropped for something in your cart

new price alert

Customers go on a shopping spree when the prices hit the lowest mark, be it the bricks and mortar store or online. A price drop, without mentioning the reduction rate, is an excellent way to get customers back into the store.

The 8th largest retailer in the US, Target, uses this tactic to increase the open rates and get people shopping again for what they like.

2. Don’t open this email

dont open this email

The human mind is always inquisitive. It generally tends to take action on when something is opposed to. Some people call that nature reverse psychology, and yes, it does work out with this abandoned cart email by a US clothing brand.

Another fascinating point here is that the tone of the abandoned cart email subject line is in line with the name of the brand, REBEL8. This is a smart marketing strategy to imprint the brand name in the customer’s mind.

Get inspiration from these subject lines used in abandoned cart emails too,

3. What are we about? – Chubbies
4. STOP BUYING US – Chubbies
5. Too busy to read this email? – Bonobos

up and at em

6. Clocking in – Chubbies
7. Your cart has gone for a ride.
8. We want to give you money – Dollar Shave Club

Too many subject lines from Chubbies? That is because they are worth it. They are epic when it comes to crafting email subject lines and body copy.

‘So close’ subject lines

The customer might never know how far he has traveled to get to the checkout. Shopping cart abandonment is something like giving up on your gal when the destination is just around the corner.

It is your duty to make the customer realize ‘You have come a long way. Why not take another step?’

1. Don’t Forget: You’re a Click Away from Making it Yours

bloomingdales

Bloomingdale’s is an online store that deals with clothing, jewelery, and skincare for all people alike. The subject line is a gentle reminder about how close the customer is to the checkout point.

Tracking the journey of the customer while shopping is important in this case. These types of subject lines give the best results when sent within an hour after cart abandonment, i.e., as the first email of the abandoned cart email campaign.

Seven more here.

1. Just one more step…
2. You are ALMOST THERE.
3. You’re nearly there
. – Virgin Atlantic
4. Your cart is at your arm’s length.
5. Here’s a little motivation for you.
– The Home T
6. Spend a minute to own it.
7. You are nearly done. Just a tad bit to confirm it though.

‘Word-play’ subject lines

The inboxes of your customers’ are bombarded with hundreds of emails every day. How will you make yours stand out and noticeable? You play with words. When done, it catches the attention of the user immediately in seconds.

1. AAAAAALLLL JEANS, DRESSES & TEES ARE ON SALE! –

old navy

‘Crazy!’, you might think looking at the subject line. It’s true. You have to think outside the box to get some attention in this competitive world.

Gap is known for enticing people with their subject lines and they win every time.

Other crazy subject lines.

2. Nooooooooo, you CAN’T DO THISSSSSS.
3. ReVeRsIBLe jAcKeTs –Chubbies
4. This is for YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.
5. Dun-dun-dun… Buy one, get one 60% OFF ends today! – Crocs

‘Obey my command’ subject lines

Think twice before you try out these subject lines. It is a word of caution. If you want this to work, you must know your audience inside out.

1. Don’t leave without this

away

Away is a company that sells travel bags and accessories. An apt name I must say.

They decided to use an authoritative tone for their abandoned cart subject lines. It works for them simply because they have built a good rapport with their customer base.

You probably would not listen to anyone whom you despise. No one will. So, when credibility is established this abandoned cart email subject line is a CLEAR winner.

More examples.

2. Complete you order
3. Make your purchase now
4. The TIME is HERE. Proceed to your checkout.
5. This is it. We can’t wait anymore.
6. Open me up and head to your cart.
7. Act now or your cart will be up for sale.
8. Finish your purchase before it sells out!
– Express

‘Emoji’ subject lines

Emoji have replaced words from the time they were designed and the trend has never faded. When used in abandoned cart email subject lines, the emoji demands attention just like the word-play technique.

romancy

In fact, there is nothing much to say here. It was the table emoji that you noticed first right. That is exactly the idea behind it.

Other examples of subject lines used in abandoned cart emails,

2. 300 minutes of free shipping – starts now! ⚡ – Vinomofo
3. Your cart is wondering where you went ❤️
4. Did you forget about me, John? 😱
5. Your cart MADE us send this reminder 🙂

Ufff, that was a long read. Wasn’t it?

How about a quick recap?

Abandoned Cart Subject Line TypeThe Essence of the subject line
‘Generic Type’Ask if your customer has forgotten anything
‘Funny n Friendly’Use your wit and talk like a friend
‘Obey my command’Order your customers. Authoritative tone
‘Personalized’Use customer name
‘We are concerned’Empathize
‘Scarcity’Inform about number of stocks left.
‘FOMO’Ask customer to make a quick move.
‘Product mention’Mention the product that is left behind.
‘Being sweet’Learn to be a giver. Incentives.
‘Getting curious’Give incomplete information in subject lines.
‘So close’Remind about that single step left.
‘Word-play’Portray words in an unusual manner.
‘Emoji’You know this. 🙂

Here is a bonus!

Scheduling of a cart recovery campaign must be given prime importance to get the desired results from it. A campaign must contain at least 3 effective abandoned cart emails set at certain intervals of time. Below given is the suggested time interval between emails.

Email 1: 1 hour after abandonment

Email 2: 3 hours after abandonment

Email 3: 24 hours after abandonment

Go on, think of some striking abandoned cart subject lines and deliver the best of the lot to your customers’ inboxes before time runs out.

Emails that include the recipient’s first name in their subject line had a higher clickthrough rate than those that don’t. Use our pre-built email workflows to launch personalized abandoned cart recovery campaigns.

Conclusion

Subject lines are the first thing recipients see in their inbox, they influence a customer’s decision to open the emails, so it must be perfect.

Abandoned cart emails have the lowest open rates compared to other marketing emails. But on the bright side, almost 50% of customers who opened the emails went to recover their carts.

This is why subject lines are critical as they play a vital role in the success of your cart recovery campaign. Keep it short, use actionable words, avoid fake promises and promotions – these are some of the best subject line practices you saw in this article.

Use these practices and take inspiration from the subject line examples we listed to write compelling email subject lines.

Captivating abandoned cart email subject lines are said to enhance email open rates, which is why you must emphasize on them.

What is the best email subject line?

Best email subject lines are the ones that are short and precise, direct, has emojis, uses humor, elevates curiosity and urges the customer to open their emails.

What subject lines get opened?

Subject lines that use actionable words with a personal touch are the ones that usually get opened.

Does subject line affect the open rate of email?

Yes, 47% of customers say that they opened the email because of the engaging subject line. Subject lines increases curiosity which in turn pushes customers to open the email.

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