Abandoned Cart Emails: How to Improve and What to Include?

Abandoned Cart Emails: How to Improve and What to Include?

January 8, 2019

After the rush of the Christmas and New Year holiday period, many e-commerce owners find themselves struggling to pick up sales in January.

People either don’t have the money or because they’re so focused on getting back to work, they don’t have the time to shop.

For you, as an e-commerce business owner, this is frustrating.

You have goals and targets too.

It becomes even more frustrating when people spend January visiting your store, putting items in their basket but failing to actually make a purchase.

It doesn’t have to be this way though, and that’s where abandoned cart emails come in.

In this post, we’re going to look at what abandoned cart emails are, how to write them and how to use them to boost sales in what’s often a very gloomy January in the world of e-commerce.

Let’s go!

What are abandoned cart emails?

It might surprise you that a staggering 70% of shoppers abandon their carts. Cart abandonment is when a potential customer will add things to their basket, seemingly looking to buy, but eventually end up not buying.

There are usually many reasons why this happens:

  1. A shopper might simply plan to come back at a later time
  2. A shopper might not want the items anymore
  3. A shopper might realize the basket total comes to more than they were hoping to spend
  4. A shopper could see the shipping costs and decide against its.

The thing about abandoned users is ysou don’t actually know why they chose to leave their cart without making a purchase.

Because of this, you need to do everything you can to ensure they come back and make a purchase.

That’s the aim of abandoned cart emails.

And according to Salesforce, 60% of shoppers who receive an abandoned cart email return in the first 24 hours to make the purchase.

So as you can see, there really is no greater time to start implementing them into your e-commerce store.

Encourage people to sign up

It goes without saying that if someone (who isn’t signed into your website) fills their basket up and doesn’t make a purchase, you can’t email them.

Simply because you don’t have access to their emails.

It’s therefore super important that you find a way to encourage them to sign up to your list to receive information from you.

If they’re a current customer, this isn’t a problem as the likelihood is you already have their email, but if they’re a new customer, you need to find an incentive.

A new customer who has never shopped with you before is unlikely to just hand over their email address.

After all, until they’ve actually made a purchase with you, they have no need to receive emails from you.

UK clothing retailer, New Look use a number of ways to encourage people to sign up to their site.

One of the most effective ways if their use of the buy now pay later. This is a regime where customers are able to pick the items they want and pay at a later date.

Perfect for when you need that new item, but don’t quite have the money for it at the time.

Because of this method, customers are more likely to purchase and try things they like, knowing they don’t have to pay right there, right then.

And it goes without saying, in order to make use of this method, a customer would need to provide New Look with their email address.

And if you’re unable to capture their email address, you can still remind them of the things they were looking at by using cookies to set retargeting ads.

Use discounts to entice people back

There’s no denying, people love a discount. It’s a great feeling knowing you got an item for less than it should’ve cost.


Using your abandoned cart emails to offer discounts is a great way to recoup costs.

Some store owners are against the idea of offering discounts in abandoned cart emails because they feel as though they lower the amount of profit they receive.

However, as long as you’re not offering that much discount it results in a loss, you’re still generating more revenue than you would if the customer didn’t buy at all.

In the example above, you can see that when a customer leaves the artwork in the basket, the abandoned cart email offers them 10% off.

They also add a sense of urgency to the email letting the customer know that there’s a high-risk of the item selling out.

Offer free shipping to generate more sales

Remember how we said sometimes people abandon their carts because the shipping costs are too high?

Well, one thing some e-commerce stores do is to offer their customers who abandon their cart free shipping to entice them back.

This strategy works well for a number of reasons.

First, if the shipping cost was the reason they chose not to purchase, well now they have no reason not to.

Second, if there was another reason like they simply forgot, or they were unsure whether they actually wanted the items, the free shipping email will act as a gesture of good faith.


In the example above, you can see how they not only include the things in the cart but also include some of the best sellers too.

This is effective because it helps people look at other items as well. If they were on the fence about a particular item, they have the chance to look at others without actually clicking through to the website.

This email would be much less effective if the store had said “click to see popular items” because it adds a layer of friction. What if the customer doesn’t want to click through at that time? You ruin your chance of them browsing.

Personalize your emails to generate more sales

The truth is people don’t like to be sold to.

They know it happens but when it happens too blatantly, they’re not happy about it.

Adding a level of personalization to your abandoned cart emails will help with alleviating the feeling that your potential customers are being sold to.


In the example above you can see the language they use is informal.

They understand that as a brand they’re lighthearted and fun and so their emails reflect that too.

One thing they could’ve done to improve the level of personalization would be to include a name.

This way, it really speaks directly to the customer and the customer feels as though they’re having a conversation with the brand directly.


Because of the range of different reasons why someone might abandon their cart, it’s important to cover all your bases when it comes to abandoned cart emails.

Start by capturing people’s data. This should include their name and email address so that you can personalize the emails you send to them.

Then, think about the different reasons why someone might abandon their cart and tailor your emails to suit those.

If in doubt, there is nothing better than going out and simply talking to your customers.

Ask for feedback, find out why they abandoned their cart and ask what you can do to help.

They’ll appreciate you taking the time to learn from them and in turn, you’ll gain significant insights from actual customers.

Why not start today and update (or create) your abandoned cart emails.

Have you ever sent abandoned cart emails and had positive results? Leave a comment below.


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