June 13, 2024

10 Abandoned Cart Email Examples & Best Practices to Boost Sales

Reading time about 19 min

Abandoned cart emails are a popular part of ecommerce email strategies. But how can you make yours stand out and convert well?

You have an online store and a great product, but your customers keep getting cold feet. It’s not you. About seven out of 10 customers in 2023 abandon their shopping carts online, according to Baymard Institute. 

Enter the abandoned cart email, an effective email campaign to win back potential customers. With marketing automation software, sending cart recovery campaigns can be done in your sleep. 

We’ll walk you through successful abandoned cart email examples and tips, as well as how to create your own abandoned cart email. We have you covered from subject line to call to action (CTA).

What is an abandoned cart email?

The abandoned cart email is an automated email sent to customers after they leave products in their online shopping cart without making a purchase. This follow-up email reminds shoppers about the product and encourages them to finish their transaction.

Common reasons for cart abandonment

Extra fees such as shipping costs are at the root of almost half of all cart abandonment cases. Complicated signup or checkout processes can also put off potential customers.

Along with fixing those issues on your website, running an abandoned cart campaign can recover some of your losses. 

Best abandoned cart email examples

Here are some of the best examples of cart abandonment emails with strong copy and design, and why they work. 

1. QUIP

Abandoned cart email by an electric toothbrush brand, quip.

Quip does a lot of things right:

  • Friendly copy: They don’t pressure shoppers into a purchase. Their brand is calm-fident.
  • Bonus item: They offer an enticing free refill without compromising their prices.
  • Clear CTA button: Their brand color makes the call to action pop.
  • Stylish design: Their visuals are on-brand. 

This abandoned cart email example by Quip gently reminds customers of their unfinished virtual shopping trip and offers a bonus item to boot. In a study by Harris Interactive, free gifts were found to increase brand loyalty by up to 90%. This is an approach that first-time customers will appreciate. 

2. Vans

Abandoned cart email example from Vans, a shoe store.

Vans’ strategic highlight is product recommendations. They show some popular items to rekindle interest. 

  • Punny email copy: Puns don’t fit with every brand’s voice, but they work for Vans. 
  • Clean design: Their layout is bold, easy to follow, and uses a consistent color palette. 
  • Easy-to-find CTA button: It’s right up at the top and almost impossible to miss. A different color could make it more visible.

3. Casper

abandoned cart email by Casper

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Casper’s main highlight in this cart recovery email is a featured customer review. It offers more to read as a secondary call-to-action.

  • Product image and name: Remind shoppers what they fell in love with in the first place. 
  • Easy-to-find CTA button: Brand colors are the to-go options for these elements. They reinforce the brand image and create a nice design.

4. Huckberry

Abandoned cart email for men's underwear brand, Huckberry.

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The tactic Huckberry adopts in its cart abandonment emails is offering free shipping. As it’s an exclusive offer not directly available on their site, it nudges indecisive shoppers to checkout.

  • Addresses concerns: Remember how shipping costs are the top reason for abandoned carts? Huckberry graciously waives those with a coupon code. 
  • Customer support details: A direct contact email and phone number show Huckberry is genuinely there for their customers.

5. LEVI’S

Abandoned cart email example by Levi's

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What LEVI’S does well with this email:

  • Cool and clever copy: It’s in the bag — literally. 
  • Short and sweet: The email doesn’t beat around the bush. 
  • Limited time discount: The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real here. 

Offering limited-time discounts is a solid cart recovery strategy because it creates a sense of urgency without devaluing the product. And it saves you from sending a follow-up email.

6. United By Blue

Abandoned cart email example from united by blue: "finish what you carted"

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What United By Blue does well with this abandoned cart email:

  • Memorable copy: The company uses a clever pun in the headline: “Finish what you carted.” This helps the abandoned cart email stand out.
  • Free shipping: For ecommerce, free shipping is one of the most enticing things you can offer.

7. Haoma

Abandoned cart email from Haoma: "we're here to help"

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What Haoma does well with this abandoned cart email:

  • Proactive support: Haoma encourages potential customers to email them with questions. For conversions, this is a key step in helping them get over any final roadblocks.
  • Clear CTA button: The call-to-action is clear and easy to find.

8. Something Navy

Abandoned cart email example from Something Navy: personalized product recommendations

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What Something Navy does well with this abandoned cart email:

  • Personalized product recommendations: Something Navy goes beyond cart abandonment and suggests related projects. This further encourages the customer to buy.
  • Eye-catching images: This cart abandonment template is clear, with eye-catching photos that showcase the company’s products.

9. Whisky Loot

Abandoned cart email from Whisky Loot: "still thinking about it?"

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What does Whisky Loot well with this abandoned cart email:

  • Humorous copy: This cart abandonment email strikes a humorous tone that resonates with consumers. It’s also authentic to Whisky Loot’s brand.
  • Inspiring suggestions: Whisky Loot gives funny suggestions to get potential customers excited about their subscription.
  • FAQs: The email includes answers to commonly asked questions. This reassures customers and encourages to complete their purchase.

10. Columbia

Abandoned cart email example from Columbia — price drop

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What Columbia does well in this abandoned cart email:

  • Price drop: This cart abandonment email from Columbia re-engages customers with the promise of a price drop.
  • Related products: The company further entices customers by sharing similar products to the one in their online shopping cart.

Abandoned cart email best practices

Those examples look good. But how can you create your own abandoned cart email that converts? Here’s a simple checklist of good practices to follow.

Abandoned cart email design and copy ideas

1. Use email copy that reflects your brand

How do you normally talk to your customers? Are you calm and punny, like Quip? Cool and clever like Levi’s? 

2. Write an attention-grabbing subject line

What will people get if they click? A discount code? Free shipping? Just a simple joke to brighten someone’s day? Abandoned cart email subject lines often mention the offer right off the bat to get that click and bring you one step closer to a completed order. 

3. Use on-brand visuals

Your brand identity should be visible in all your emails. However, it’s even more important for cart abandonment ones as they try to take the user back to a website. They need to look trustworthy and to remind the casual browser that they actually did visit that brand’s website.

4. Show the unsubscribe button

An unsubscribe link is a must-have element as per anti-spam laws. Abandoned cart emails are marketing emails after all, and legally speaking you can only send them to consenting users. 

Abandoned cart email tactics that convert

1. Include product image and details

Jog your customer’s memory with the product name, image, and quantity of the items they left behind.

2. Make a clear call-to-action button

Make it easy for your customers to find and follow through. Keep it casual and friendly. A simple “take another look” will do. Here are some of our timeless CTA best practices

3. Share social proof from happy customers

Include testimonials to show how much others love your product. Or link to your social media to show off your following of loyal fans. 

4. Instill a little fear of missing out (FOMO)

Reminding customers that your stock won’t last forever is fair game.

5. Suggest some product recommendations

To increase your chances for an order, give hesitant shoppers more options to choose from. Simply list a few products from the same category as the abandoned one.  

6. Personalize each cart abandonment email

It’s the name of the game. You can address your customers by name in your emails — as if you’re assisting them personally face-to-face. We’ll go over how to use this feature down below.

7. Offer free shipping

Free shipping is standard practice for many brands. Try it and see if it brings you more sales.

8. Show your return policy

It’s hard to tell how something will fit from an image online. Let customers know they can return their order risk-free. It can be the little push they need.

9. Send a coupon code

Sweeten the deal with a percentage off. Getting a new customer often outweighs a small loss of margin upfront.

The elements of an abandoned cart campaign

Abandoned cart email subject lines

The first objective of an abandoned cart email is to get people to open it. No matter how good your marketing strategy is, it won’t work if nobody sees it. 

Make your email stand out. Write a subject line that will make the recipient want to click. Here are a few ideas:

  • You left something behind… (reminder)
  • Your cart is about to expire. (FOMO)
  • Unload your cart with X% off! (incentive)
  • The price dropped for something in your cart. (incentive)
  • Your new [product] is just clicks away. (personalization)

For more tips and ideas check out our guide to boosting open rates with email subject line testing

Brevo’s built-in AI assistant helps you generate eye-catching email subject lines

Abandoned cart email templates

It’s time to talk about the design of your abandoned cart email.

Most ecommerce marketing software provides ready-to-use templates. Input your copy and place a link leading back to your website — it’s that simple.

If you want to go further and send personalized emails to each individual customer, you’ll need software with personalization features. 

Abandoned cart email free template by Brevo

This is only one example from Brevo’s email template gallery, free to use

Pretty nice-looking email, right? 

Brevo’s email templates are optimized for computers AND phones. They are also fully customizable. You can personalize your emails with customer names, product images of what’s in their cart, even the variant (e.g. color or size), and the total cart value.

Abandoned cart email sequence 

How many abandoned cart emails should you send? Drip campaigns are a popular strategy. They consist of triggered emails based on rules and pre-selected events.

A typical abandoned cart email series looks like this:

  1. The first abandoned cart email should be sent 1-2 hours after cart abandonment is detected. It can be a friendly cart reminder. Simply show the abandoned items in the customer’s cart and invite them back. 
  2. The second email is usually sent 24 hours after the cart is abandoned. Use it as a reminder that items are going fast. 
  3. Finally, a third email can be sent three days after an abandoned shopping cart is detected. Now is the moment to slip in a coupon code or a limited-time discount like Levi’s. 

Advanced abandoned cart email strategy: A/B test 

There are a lot of strategies for creating abandoned cart emails. But which ones are the best? A/B test different fields to understand what resonates with your customers. 

  • One email or a series of emails
  • Personalized subject lines or standard subject lines
  • Humorous or serious copy
  • Limited discounts or casual reminders
  • CTA buttons leading back to the cart or to the site

How to set up an abandoned cart email for your ecommerce store

Monitoring your website traffic and customer behavior is a huge task. That’s why using marketing automation is a must for any ecommerce business. 

Brevo has the marketing tools you need to set up your campaign today in three, easy steps. 

  1. Install the Brevo plugin 
  2. Create your email design 
  3. Automate your workflow 

1. Install the Brevo plugin on your website

Brevo has plugins for the biggest CMS and ecommerce platforms out there (WordPress, Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and more). The plugins track website activity and catch the events needed for an automated cart recovery  workflow:

  • when a cart is created or updated
  • when products are deleted from a cart
  • when a purchase is made

2. Create your email design

It’s really as simple as it looks. Start with our ready template or from scratch and drag and drop the items you want to include in your email as shown below.

abandoned cart email template created in Brevo

Abandoned cart drag-and-drop email editor by Brevo

You’ll be prompted to add essential elements, so don’t worry about forgetting anything. You can also streamline your creation process by uploading your brand elements (logo, colors). This way they are easy to access each time you create an email.

Pro Step: Personalize your email

With the Brevo plugin on your website, you can use customer attributes in your emails. That’s great for sending highly personalized emails for cart recovery featuring the exact items left behind and the person’s name. 

All you need to do to add dynamic personalization is add a placeholder like this: FIRSTNAME in the email body text. It’ll be filled out with the recipient’s actual data when sent.

the step where personalization is added to the email subject line in the process of setting up an abandoned cart email

Email automation workflow preview by Brevo

You can also add placeholders for product detail attributes such as:

  • Product Name
  • Quantity
  • Variant
  • Total cart value
  • Currency

Here’s a more detailed step-by-step how to do it.

dynamic content fields that can be customized in Brevo emails

Email customization fields in Brevo

To create a product image placeholder, just pop in the URL from your website, and voilà. The template will pull it directly from your site. Learn more about dynamic content here.

3. Automate your workflow

The best part is, you can fully automate the abandoned cart email workflow. That means you can enjoy life while marketing automation works its magic.

When creating your workflow, Brevo will ask for:

  1. Entry point (the event that triggers the workflow: an abandoned cart)
  2. Wait time (from entry point to email launch)
  3. Email (the template you created earlier)

Thus set up, the automation will send one recovery email when cart abandonment happens.

Abandoned cart email workflow automation preview by Brevo.

A preview of workflow automation with Brevo 

But wait! What if the customer does something, like update their cart? You can prepare for this turn of events too. 

If you’re using the plugin, you’ll have all website events tracked that can be used in the workflow. They’ll be available in Brevo’s setup prompts so no extra work for you there. Just pick and choose what restarts or puts an end to your automation. For example

  • Contact makes a purchase (exit the workflow)
  • Contact updates their cart (restart the workflow)
  • Contact deletes product from their cart (exit the workflow)

Pro Tip: You can add conditions to your workflow like price targets. Your abandoned cart email will only be sent if the items in the shopping cart are worth more than, let’s say, $10.

Abandoned cart email FAQ

Do abandoned cart emails work?

Abandoned cart emails have an average open rate of 43%. They have a conversion rate of 3-15% depending on the sector. Beyond sales implications, they are an opportunity to develop customer relationships and brand identity.

Are abandoned cart emails legal?

Yes, as long as recipients have agreed to marketing emails. Read the Brevo anti-spam guidelines to ensure you include opt-in requirements on your signup forms. 

Are abandoned cart emails GDPR compliant? 

Explicit consent is needed from customers to send promotional campaigns. Brevo offers GDPR-compliant signup forms for websites.

Send abandoned cart emails that convert

In the world of ecommerce, shopping cart abandonment is common practice. Don’t let this turn into unrequited love — use an abandoned cart email and re-engage your customers.

Start recovering carts with Brevo

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