How to Set the Perfect Abandoned Cart Email Template for 2020 - A Case Study

Posted by Sharon Thomas on 10 January 2020 in eCommerce


Celebrities are not the only ones who can have a loyal following. A good out-of-the-world abandoned cart email template also deserves it. You want people subscribing just to receive your emails and eventually convert into customers for a lifetime?

Then, it's high time you know how to master the art of designing the perfect abandoned cart email template for 2020.

Before that, start off with some basic information on cart abandonment and the possible reasons.

What is abandoned cart?

A loaded online shopping cart that has not been checked out by the customer is called an abandoned cart. In other words, the payment for the items in the cart are not made for one reason or the other and the cart is just left there as such.

This phenomenon of abandoning carts is termed as cart abandonment. Cart abandonment has always been there right from the starting times of the eCommerce sector and there hasn't been much changes to the cart abandonment rates. It existed, it exists, and it will exist for ages to come.

Overview of cart abandonment rates

According to Statista, the cart abandonment rate for the year 2019 was 69.57%. Way back in 2006, it was 59.8%.

It is very much evident from the graph below that the cart abandonment rates have more or less been the same with minute differences from year to year. As long as the eCommerce industry thrives, cart abandonment is bound to happen.

Reasons for shopping cart abandonment

Numerous reasons can be pointed out for the ever increasing shopping cart abandonment rates. Some fall under the technical category and some are the personal reasons of the customer.

The reasons for shopping cart abandonment include

  • Just browsing / not ready to buy yet
  • No discount offers
  • Credit card declined
  • Mandatory registration process
  • Long and confusing checkout
  • Unexpected extra costs for shipping and delivery
  • Website crash
  • Not mobile-friendly.

How to reduce cart abandonment rate?

Reducing cart abandonment is a really tough call with new problems cropping up every single day with regard to eCommerce shopping.

It doesn't mean that the issue of cart abandonment must be left unattended. Infact, it will worsen if it is not handled the right way. So, what measures must be taken to reduce cart abandonment rate or to bring it under control?

Push notifications, exit-intent popup, and emails are some of the ways that can be opted for. Of course, you can use all of the methods in combination to get results but if you want just one answer, it is emails - send abandoned cart emails.

Why abandoned cart emails?

  • Email is the oldest known method of communication using the internet and so the number of people using email as a medium is massive - around 3.9 billion.
  • The future of email is strong with an expected increase of user base to 4.4 billion by 2023.
  • The communication is saved when compared to other methods like push notifications and exit-intent popups. Hence, the customer can access the email any time.

How to write abandoned cart emails that convert?

Follow these 4 steps

  • Do your research
  • Design an abandoned cart email template
  • Test it out
  • Repeat

Drafting an abandoned cart email is no mean task. It takes immense research and time to set up a killer template that works best for you.

With this read, your work is nearly half-done. This is an analysis of 50+ abandoned cart emails ranging across industries like fashion, furniture, leather goods, cosmetics, food, pharmaceutical, art, and others.

Two new email IDs with the names of Noah and Sam were created to collect the abandoned carts emails. Each and every component of an abandoned cart email is analyzed here, starting from the subject line to the incentives used.

Subject line

After examining 50+ abandoned cart subject lines from the emails collected, some real interesting facts came to light. Read on.

The average length of an abandoned cart email subject line is 4 words.

24% of abandoned cart email subject lines had an average length of 4 words. Check out some of them.

  • You left something behind Kore Organic
  • Your Cart is Waiting SocialFans HQ
  • Let's make a deal The Fit Commandment
  • Noah, can we help? Ghurka

Still on your mind? Boohoo

The sole advantage of having a subject line with 4 words is the higher visibility rate. This is a shot from the inbox where the emails were collected.

It goes without saying that your eyes fell on the shorter subject line with 4 words first. With at least 100+ emails bombing into a person's inbox every single day, use this tactic to stand out and get noticed easily.

22% of abandoned cart emails have subject lines with 7 words.

Right behind the 4-word-subject-lines came in abandoned cart subject lines with 7 words. Here are some of the lines that hit the inbox.

(Almost Complete) and… I'm EXCITED for You! Elevate Living Joy

Noah, Can we help with your order? SkinStore

There's still time to complete your order! Tanner Goods

Distractions happen to the best of us Wolf and Shepherd

Found your cart! Look! It's not deserted! Salt Water Colors

The shortest abandoned cart email subject line has 2 words.

Chubbies Shorts is a favorite to anybody trying to hunt down the best abandoned cart email examples. Yes, it was Chubbies this time with just 2 words as the subject line and it said 'clocking in'. That's it.

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16% of abandoned cart email subject lines are personalized with the customer name.

Adding the customer name to the abandoned cart subject line definitely makes a difference. A sense of personal connection with the brand creeps in which gradually develops into trust.

Here are some abandoned cart subject lines that caught attention due to the presence of a name.

Hi Noah, see something you liked? Mark Cross

Noah, are you still interested? Ghurka

Noah, your cart is about to expire Ghurka

We threw in a little something extra, Noah The Body Shop

3 of the 4 abandoned cart email subject line examples have the customer at the start rather than in the middle or at the end. Using the customer name at the start is always a better option because they hardly spend a few seconds to go through the subject lines.

Emojis are used in 4% of the abandoned cart email subject lines.

Now, that number is very low but that is how it helps. The number of email marketers who use emojis in their subject lines are very few. This means, your subject line catches the eye of the reader instantly when you use one.

Look at the abandoned cart email subject line examples that hit the bulls eye.

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Don't just stand there. ⛵ Your cart! - which means

Don't just stand there. Sail your cart! or Checkout your cart.

The emoji has been used not just for the sake of it but with the intention of sending out a message via the abandoned cart email subject line.

Here is another example.

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You'll thank us later 🍻.

This is from a beverages company based in the UK. The subject line translates to 'You'll thank us later. Cheers'.

It is not about simply throwing in emojis to make the abandoned cart subject line look fancier but it is about using them wisely in relation to your kind of product and brand.

The subject line 'Did you forget something?' is used by 14% of the abandoned cart emails received.

It is presumed that customers might have been distracted during the time of checkout leading to a new abandoned cart. Using the subject line 'Did you forget something?' acts as a gentle reminder to get back to the shopping cart. It is definitely not persuasive yet gets the customer thinking about the abandoned cart.

Email header

First of all, let's clear the air about what an email header is. Most people tend to confuse them with the subject line.

Subject line is what is written in the subject of the email whereas the email header is the opening line of the body copy.

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In this abandoned cart email from Fabletics, 'MAKE THEM YOURS' is the email header. The message is loud and clear that a purchase is expected to be made by the email reader or customer.

Here are the excerpts on reviewing the usage of email headers in the collected abandoned cart emails.

Email headers are used in 70% of the abandoned cart emails.

Nearly three-fourth of the abandoned cart emails use email headers to get the attention of the customer. The tone of the email headers also matter. Let's classify the email headers.

Generic email headers are found in 36% of abandoned cart emails. They mostly talk about the abandoned cart.

These are some examples of generic email headers.

  1. Your cart is waiting for you.
  2. You left an item in your bag.
  3. Forgot something?
  4. You left something behind.

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Innovative email headers are hard to find and yes, this case study did stumble upon a few of them.

What difference does an innovative email header make?

Innovative email header

  • Projects the brand
  • Creates urgency
  • Addresses insecurities
  • Connects with the respective subject line

Take a look at the abandoned cart email header examples.

Bombas is a brand that sells socks. The brand name becomes synonymous with socks with the use of the email header 'No Bombas Left Behind'.

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The above email header does the work of reinforcing the brand image of Bombas for socks as well as nudges to make the buy.

Picky Bars does the email header right by connecting it with the subject line. It is seen as a whole and the subject line is not a stand alone affair.

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You literally get the flow when you read it. Whenever you're ready…(No pressure) - We'll keep this right where ya left it.

That is all about the email headers.

Call-To-Action button

Abandoned cart emails without CTA buttons are a complete turn-off. The purpose of the email itself is lost. Take a look at the CTA statistics derived.

76% of abandoned cart emails have a single Call-To-Action button.

Single CTA button does wonders

  • When the abandoned cart email template is short, devoid of scrolling.
  • When the button is highlighted well, in contrast to the rest of the email.

Here is an example from American Giant.

The bright red color of the CTA button is the only element that strikes the reader just a second into the email.

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Here is another example of a CTA button where the abandoned cart email is short.

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20% of email marketers got creative with the CTA copy in abandoned cart emails.

The copy on a CTA button needs to be effective inorder to retain the customer. Customers are bored of seeing the too common CTA copies like

  • View my cart
  • Return to my cart
  • Complete your purchase
  • Shop now

80% of abandoned cart emails used CTA copies from the above set.

How did the rest of 20% write CTA copies then?

  • Lets hit checkout
  • Get in there
  • Have a look
  • Teleport to your cart
  • Apply discount
  • Grab it now
  • Get my barkbox

Abandoned Cart Contents

Mention of abandoned products is essential to get the customer back into the buying intent. It should not stop with just reminding the product with the name. A picture of good quality must be presented in the abandoned cart email.

80% of the abandoned cart email templates had the product image.

Most online stores are aware that a product picture can make a difference to the abandoned cart email. The downside is that, usually, the picture is of small size and low resolution.

This abandoned cart email example from ASOS is the apt one to look up to.

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The picture speaks for itself and that is where the focus lies. Who wouldn't want to buy it?

Product testimony or personalized message is added along with the cart content in about 4% of abandoned cart emails.

Ghurka does it well this time. You will not take your eyes off the product image.

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Incentives

Customers are always on the lookout for incentives. This is one reason for cart abandonment when they don't find one. It only becomes obvious that incentive is the best way to magnet a customer back.

30% of abandoned cart email templates provide an incentive.

Incentives come in the form of

  • Discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Donations for the kind-hearted

Here is an abandoned cart email from Birchbox with a discount of 10%.

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Social Share button

Social share buttons are present in 54% of abandoned cart emails received.

Social media presence is essential for any eCommerce store in this age of the digital world for better reach. Customer engagement too tends to get purposeful by connecting through social media.

The link to your stores' social media profiles can be provided at the end of every abandoned cart email. The commonly used social platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

More than half of the emails studied have social share buttons. This shows the power of being active in the digital-social world.

How to depict the social share buttons?

An analysis revealed 2 different ways to depict social share buttons.

1. The social logo as such

Of the 54% of abandoned cart emails with social share buttons, 24% of them did not want to experiment much. The social share logos are present in their original color and form. Here is an example.

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2. Modified social share logos

The rest 30% used social share buttons in a form that merges with the overall email template design. Here is one from Boohoo.

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The overall tone of the email is black, including the brand logo. Accordingly, the social share buttons are customized to match the template.

Here is another abandoned cart email example from Mark Cross.

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Marine green is the tone of this email. Hence the social share buttons are also kept the same way. This esthetically pleases the senses and maintains uniformity with the overall design of the abandoned cart email template.

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Best Abandoned Cart Email Template Examples

Now that you know what goes into a perfect abandoned cart email template, here are two examples that stand out.

Wolf & Shepherd designs and sells shoes. Their abandoned cart email templates follow the rule of minimalism.

Highlights of the Wolf & Shepherd abandoned cart email template

  • The navy blue hue of the entire email template that matched the brand logo
  • Just 2 sentences that act as the email header cum body copy
  • Decently sized product image with quantity and price
  • A single CTA that stands out
  • Social share buttons
  • Clutter-free

What could have been added here?

  • An incentive for that extra push

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Here is another abandoned cart email template example from Elevate Living Joy.

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Highlights of Elevate Living Joy abandoned cart email template is that it has all the essential elements in place, including a discount offer and 2 CTAs for the convenience of the reader.

Better icons should have been added for the social share though.


Summary

The best abandoned cart email template is a golden, harmless trap to bring back and retain customers effectively.

An abandoned cart email should

  • Appeal to the senses
  • Create brand awareness
  • Convince the customer
  • Benefit you monetarily and otherwise

Get armed to create the winning abandoned cart email template with a short subject line, creative email header, stunning product image, highlighted CTA, enticing incentive, and social share buttons.

Recover abandoned checkouts in WooCommerce and Shopify stores by sending out abandoned cart emails that make your brand shine.


Author Bio

Sharon Thomas is a content marketer and eCommerce growth hacker with specialization in email marketing, abandoned cart recovery, customer retention, and WooCommerce & Shopify plugins. She also has experience in creating content for education, hospitality, beauty, pregnancy & parenting, and other niches.