How to Use Abandoned Cart Emails to Recapture Lost Sales


One of the most underappreciated marketing tools is the abandoned cart email.

Abandoned carts are an issue that every E-commerce retailer encounters. Over 70% of shopping carts are abandoned before a purchase is made. Somewhere along the line, prospects lose interest and change their mind. The purpose of the abandoned cart email is to change their mind again.

Abandoned cart emails are sent to customers who filled their shopping cart but did not make a purchase. According to this study, almost half of abandonment emails are opened. 13% of those are emails are clicked and over a third of those clicks become purchases. For an E-commerce retailer, this is very good news.

This means that even though someone didn’t buy on the first attempt, you have a good chance at closing them with a follow up email.

Many retailers don’t employ abandonment emails because they don’t how powerful they are. They assume that abandoned carts mean that the customer didn’t want the product. But as the stats demonstrate, that’s not necessarily the case. They may not have wanted to buy at that moment, or they may have been on the fence. Below are some tips to take your abandonment emails to the next level.

The email must list the items that were abandoned

Listing the items that were abandoned with a link to make the purchase will assure the customer that they can easily return to the site to make the purchase. Again, an abandoned cart doesn’t mean that they didn’t want the products. Perhaps their internet went down; maybe they were busy; maybe they didn’t have their credit card in front of them. There are so many different reasons why someone will abandon their cart.

Personalize the email with their name– this will help to make the email more personable and familiar. Many customers will be appreciative of you for sending an email with a list of the items in their cart.

Use great copy

A great email is defined by stellar subject lines, persuasive body text, eye-catching visuals, and strong call-to-actions. Abandonment emails are no different. The subject lines and content are ultimately up to you, but in essence, you want to remind the customer of the abandoned shopping in an attention-grabbing way.

Think of something to the effect of…

  • “Why’d You Leave? (Your Shopping Cart Is Still Waiting)”
  • “Don’t Worry, We’ve Kept Your Cart Warm for You”
  • “There’s Still Time to Grab Your Items”
  • “Thanks for Visiting Us!”
  • “Is There any Way We Can Help With Your Order?”

Those examples will catch the attention of your customers. In the email copy, inform them that their shopping cart is still available for access, and list the items within that cart. Enliven the email with strong visuals. Include a call to action to complete their purchase, and make sure that the link they click on will take them directly to their cart– without forcing them to log in again.

Create an email series

The customer may not buy on the first abandonment email. There are a few reasons why someone would neglect to make the purchase, even if they are interested in the products. Perhaps they’re simply not ready to commit; maybe they don’t have the money yet. Whatever the case may be, do not simply forfeit those customers– some of them will buy eventually. Schedule an automated series of emails over the next 1-2 months.

Offer a discount

Offer a discount for the items within their shopping cart. Many of the reasons why people abandon shopping carts is due to price. This will push some prospects to complete the purchase. Be sure to leave the discount email as a card up your sleeve. Don’t use it too quickly. This is one reason why you should create an automated email series– you don’t want to offer a discount on the first email because a good portion of people didn’t abandon their cart due to price. Send the discount on the 3rd or 4th email. By that time, if someone is interested but still hasn’t bought, there’s a good chance that it’s due to the price being higher than they expected.

Use urgency

Emails that refer to deadlines or limited quantities will compel many on-the-fence prospects to complete their purchase. Think of emails like…

  • “Act fast. The items in your cart will be going out of stock soon…”
  • “Your discount will expire in 2 days”
  • “The prices for the items in your shopping cart will be rising soon. Get in on these great prices before it’s too late”

These types of emails should be sent toward the tail-end of your email series. If you do it too soon, it will be seen as disingenuous.

Where to go from here

Abandonment emails are extremely easy to set up, and can be extremely effective at recapturing lost sales. Incorporate them into your marketing strategy, and increase your sales.

Are you ready to discuss your next eCommerce project with the leader in shopping cart website development and digital marketing? If so, contact Zen Agency today! We are a group of web development experts, specializing in WooCommerce.

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Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on:,,,

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