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Must-Have Elements of a Great Abandoned Cart Email

14 min read

Convincing someone who has already visited your online store to come back can be a lot easier than attracting a whole new customer. Especially if that person had a serious intention to buy from you but didn’t for some unknown reason.

This is why abandoned cart emails are a great tool to recover lost sales. If a shopper has added items to their online cart but left your store without completing the purchase, you can still win them back with the help of an abandoned cart email.

But what can you write in an abandoned cart email for the best results? We’ve got you covered! Here are eight must-have principles of abandoned cart emails.

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What Is an Abandoned Cart Email?

According to the Baymard Institute, almost 70% of online shoppers have abandoned a cart. Think of all the potential sales that have been lost to the abyss of abandoned shopping carts! Luckily, there is a way to recover some of those lost sales.

An abandoned cart recovery email is a follow-up email that’s sent to a customer who abandoned their online shopping cart. The abandoned cart email is triggered after customers leave your online checkout without finalizing their order. You can send an abandoned cart email manually or automatically.

Abandoned cart emails are designed to encourage customers to come back and complete their purchases. Usually, they feature the item a customer added to the cart and a call-to-action such as “Complete the purchase,” “Buy now,” or “Visit the store.” Optionally, you can add a discount coupon to make the abandoned cart email even more enticing.

An example of an abandoned cart email by Rudy’s

If you sell online with Ecwid by Lightspeed, you can enable automated abandoned cart recovery for your online store in a single click. This way, you won’t need to manually send out abandoned cart emails every time someone exits without buying a product, saving you tons of time.

Ecwid’s abandoned cart email template is designed to fit any business. You can also customize an abandoned cart recovery email template. For example, you can add a discount coupon, edit your company info, add your logo to emails, change the message or email subject, and more.

Here’s how to do that. Make sure to take a look at this guide because it’ll help you follow the best practices below.

An example of an abandoned cart email you can send in Ecwid by Lightspeed

Must-Have Elements of an Abandoned Cart Email

Now that you know what an abandoned cart is, let’s discuss how you can make the most of it. Here are some best practices for making a convincing follow-up email.

Come Up With a Creative Subject Line

A subject line is the first thing potential customers see in their inbox when they receive your abandoned cart email. Make sure it’s irresistible!

Your store’s name and a friendly reminder are a perfect match for a subject line. You can try informal, cheerful phrases like “Look what’s waiting for you” or “Did you forget something?” A classier “You left products in a cart” is also good.

If you offer a discount coupon in your abandoned cart emails, it’s worth mentioning it right in the email subject line to grab customers’ attention at once.

You should also consider testing different subject lines. As long as your subject line idea makes the email stand out and goes well with your brand, it’s worth trying out.

If you offer a discount, highlight it in the subject line

The text after the subject line is your email preview, which also influences your open rate. Ideally, the preview text should enhance your subject line, engaging recipients.

As a bare minimum, make sure the preview and the subject line are not similar.

A default subject line for an abandoned cart email of an Ecwid store is, “You left items in your cart.” You can always edit it to make it more fitting for your business.

Bonus Tip: Check how your subject link displays on smartphones and tablets using this free subject line tester.

Add Your Store’s Logo

Brand logos are one of the most powerful visual elements a business can use. They make your company emails look professional and legitimate. They also help customers know right away who they got the email from, so make sure to include your logo in abandoned cart emails.

Usually brands put logos at the top of the email. It helps to remind customers about the purchase they almost made in the online store.

A default abandoned cart email template for Ecwid stores displays the store logo at the top left corner automatically:

Don’t forget to upload your logo on the Notifications page in your Ecwid admin.

Also: How To Create An Awesome Logo For Your Brand

Differentiate Your Brand With Copy

Let’s be honest, your email will unlikely be the first abandoned cart email in your customers’ lives. So your copy should stand out to increase the chance of customers clicking the call-to-action button.

Start by telling customers why your abandoned cart email is valuable for them. Maybe it’s a friendly reminder that you saved the cart for their convenience. Or you prepared an exclusive offer just for them, like a discount coupon. Create a bit of fear of missing out (FOMO) by clarifying it’s a limited-time offer.

Pipcorn keeps their email fun and lighthearted

Your abandoned cart email copy should be conversational and polite. Speak to a customer like you would in real life. Use simple words and phrases. Those are the general best practices, but if your brand has a unique voice, don’t hesitate to express it in your email.

A default abandoned cart email template for Ecwid stores is written in a friendly yet professional tone. If you want to adjust the copy to your business a bit more, you can easily do it in your Ecwid admin:

More: How to Build a Brand: A Playbook for Small Ecommerce Businesses

Offer a Discount Coupon

Nothing grabs someone’s attention like a great deal. You can offer customers a discount coupon to encourage them to finish their purchase.

Playtronica adds a discount to their abandoned cart email

However, some customers are so used to getting discounts for coming back that they abandon their carts on purpose. They will look forward to a special offer in your abandoned cart email. To prevent losing profits because of too many abandoned cart email discounts, avoid offering Black Friday-like deals. Sometimes as much as 5% off is already a good enough way to incentivize customers to finish the purchase.

Another strategy is to add information about current special offers in your online store instead of offering a discount for the products a customer left in their cart.

Dyson highlights their exclusive products in the abandoned cart email

Adding a free shipping coupon also works great for bringing customers back to your store. You can test different offers for abandoned cart emails to find the one that works best for your business.

In Ecwid, you can create discount coupons and add them to your abandoned cart email in a couple of clicks. Here’s how to do that.

List All the Products in the Cart

A big part of abandoned cart email marketing is showing customers what they almost bought.

Sometimes customers forget what products they were looking for. It won’t hurt to show them which items they added to the cart right in the abandoned cart email. The beautiful product pictures will remind customers how badly they wanted to buy your products. Don’t forget to link each item to its product page in the store.

If you sell online with Ecwid by Lightspeed, your abandoned cart emails will display the list of abandoned products automatically—product images included! You don’t have to do anything manually here.

Add a Strong Call-to-Action

call-to-action button, or CTA, is the culmination of your abandoned cart email. Everything that goes before that should be convincing enough to make people click.

The button itself matters, too. Make it bright and distinctive. Add short and straightforward text. Experiment with different CTAs. All of these can dramatically increase the conversion level. For example, “Complete my purchase,” “Finish checkout,” “Get it now,” etc.

In Ecwid by Lightspeed, the abandoned cart email template already has a distinctive “Complete Order” button. It’s clear, straightforward, and fits all kinds of businesses.

Add Your Contact Info

Imagine a customer is ready to finish the order but isn’t sure whether the order will arrive in time. Or the discount coupon doesn’t work. Or they want to ask a few more questions. You need to have or be someone who can address their problems.

In case your abandoned cart email doesn’t answer a customer’s question, make sure they can contact you quickly. Add a phone number, email address, or any other information to help them get in touch with you and clear any doubts. If they can contact your store, customers will feel more comfortable buying.

You can also add links to your shop’s social media pages or store address to help customers find more information about your business.

In Ecwid by Lightspeed, your abandoned cart email shows the contact information specified on the General Settings page in your Ecwid admin.

Do It Your Way

Your abandoned cart emails should look and sound like they’re coming from your store, not some other online shop. That’s why don’t hesitate to tweak the email as you like to adjust it to your business.

For example, you can design your abandoned cart email in corporate colors and choose a serious brand voice for your message. Or you can send a friendly letter, as if you wrote it on your way to the office or while waiting in traffic—without logos and decorations. Such reminders look more personal and are perfect for small, “cozy” shops.

Peel keeps it simple

Customers will appreciate the service and attention. Even if they don’t complete their order, they can share some valuable feedback if they feel the email was written by a real person. As for big brands, they don’t often send such letters.

With Ecwid by Lightspeed, you have the complete freedom to edit the abandoned cart email as you like. You can easily customize the default template by changing the message or email subject, editing company info, and adding your logo to emails. Usually that’s enough to adjust the default email template to your business. If you need deeper brand customization, such as changing text formatting or color or inserting additional images, you can also edit the HTML template.

Wrap Up

An abandoned cart email helps to recover lost sales by reminding customers of the items they left behind and providing a link to the product pages.

Now you know what you need to create an irresistible abandoned cart email for your online store. Let’s revise:

  • Write an email subject line that stands out in the recipient’s inbox.
  • Include all abandoned products in your email—don’t forget product pictures.
  • Tweak the abandoned cart email copy to better represent your business.
  • Add an incentive such as a coupon code to increase the chances of converting abandoned carts.
  • Include a clear call to action to encourage customers to complete their purchases.
  • Add your store logo and contact info so that customers can trust your business and ask questions if needed.

By following the best practices above, you will definitely increase your abandoned cart recovery rate and drive more sales to your online store. Happy selling!


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About the author

Anna is a content creator at Ecwid. She loves big cities, pasta and Woody Allen's films.

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