Journal

5 Abandoned Cart Emails & How to Make Them Work

Surveys show that nearly 70% of your website visitors are abandoning their cart at checkout.

With all of these customers playing with your heart harder than a doe-eyed Ryan Gosling, consider enticing them back with a stand-out abandoned cart email marketing strategy.

Although abandoned cart percentages are staggering, the good news is that nearly 50% of abandoned cart email messages are opened, giving you a super high chance of winning this biz back and healing yourself from rejection after all.

What would your business do with 50% more sales opportunities?

Since nobody appreciates a boring email, we're here to help you whip up a batch of playful ideas for your abandoned cart messaging.

Before we can save the carts left adrift in the world wide web, let’s chat about why they are abandoned in the first place.

According to the Baymard Institute:

Extra costs, complicated check-out processes, and untrustworthy-looking sites. These are just a few of the top reasons why customers leave your site mid-checkout.

Then, there are customers with severe cases of online distraction syndrome who simply abandon ship because they saw a video of a fainting goat on Instagram and fell into a viral black hole. 

We’ve all been there.

Now that we understand a bit about abandoned cart struggles, let’s unpack the ways that some companies are overcoming their abandonment issues; no therapy required!

//[inject:ad-demo]

1. Kate Spade Makes Things Pop with Bold Copy and Colors 

At this point in a consumer’s life, we’ve come to expect emails or marketing SMS to remind us that we’ve left something in our cart that we probably forgot we were looking at. 

And while we expect them, it always helps us convert when the email itself stands out, highlighting the things we need to know — and the stuff we didn’t even know we needed to know. 

This email from Kate Spade does all of this remarkably well. 

What They Did Right:

  • “Heads Up!” When we hear or read those words, most people quickly pay attention since someone is trying to alert them to something important. Using that copy in the bright-colored area is a smart move. 
  • Adding to that, the bright color in the email really pops and makes you focus on those areas. 
  • It provides a pic of the abandoned cart item front and center.

Where Opportunity Was Missed:

  • The CTA to get back to the cart is a bit lost in the overall design. The bright yellow is a good idea, but since that’s where the eye is pulled, they likely should have used that for the CTA instead of at the bottom of the email. 
  • If the goal is to get people back to their cart to purchase, then having a clickable menu bar at the top of the email that can take them back to many other places detracts from that goal. 

How to Make This Work for You:

  • While there is a trend of minimalism going around with abandoned cart emails, a pop of color can do a lot in directing your users’ attention to where you’d like them to look. Add that pop of color to a bold link or CTA to draw the eye to the action. 
  • Use the photo of the item left in the cart. That will help ring a little bell in their head to say, “Oh yeah, I wanted that.”
  • Get a little fun with the subject line and initial headline copy. Words matter, and the right words will get your emails opened and read. Play around with these two areas of copy, A/B test them to see if something works better than another. Just doing what everyone else does probably isn’t doing you any favors anyway.  

2. Whisky Loot List the Benefits of moving forward with a purchase

Whisky Loot knows that nobody needs three new bottles of whisky delivered to their door every month. So, they have compiled an entertaining list of ways that their monthly subscription will benefit your everyday life.

In this abandoned cart message, Whisky Loot is overcoming their most common buyer objections in a way that makes us chuckle. By making their (almost) customers laugh, they are creating a bond and connection.

What They Did Right:

  • Used emoji’s to draw attention to the more playful aspects of their email copy
  • Showed off their great packaging, making the product even more tempting (Also showcases the fact that their packages are gift-worthy!)
  • Added in FAQ’s as another way to overcome common customer objections
  • Crafted a CTA (Treat Yourself) that is right-on with the messaging in the email

Where Opportunity Was Missed:

Whisky Loot could have added another call to action button closer to the top of the email and front and center.

An alternative would be to make some of the options on their list of reasons linked to take the customer back to the website.

How to Make This Work for You:

Step 1: List 10 for-real reasons your customer will miss out if they abandon their cart 

Step 2: List 5-10 lighthearted reasons why they need your product 

Step 3: Compile the lists, add some emojis, and VOILA! You have a compelling (and entertaining) list of why the customer should go back and commit to the checkout.

When creating your lists, think about the most common customer objections you face, the FAQs you receive most often, or the reason you get product returns. Address these concerns head-on in your abandoned cart email copy.

By using this approach, you have successfully answered your potential customers’ internal ‘what if’s,’ making it much easier for them to make a buying decision.


3. Lulu Offers Customers a Double Take at What’s in Their Bag

In general, people as a whole are forgetful folk. That’s why abandoned cart emails work wonders for gaining sales for prospective customers. By giving customers a chance to take a second look at what they left in their cart, you can help things along. 


What They Did Right:

  • The CTA is right near the top of the email and stands out. Even though the colors are black and white, the big black button does draw the eyes into the right area. 
  • Having an image of the item left in their cart is always a good idea. 
  • There are three primary CTAs in the email, which is a nice touch since the goal is to get people to buy what they left in the cart.
  • Give people a chance to reach out for help. They offer a way to call or chat to get help with checking out. 

Where Opportunity Was Missed:

We’ve reviewed this email, and honestly, they’re not a lot to say about missing an opportunity here. 

The only thing that detracts from the primary CTAs is the menu options near the bottom. The only upside to this is that it may lead someone back to the site and purchase something else. 

How to Make This Work for You:

  • Get your CTA above the fold. That is to say, it’s good to have at least one CTA that is shown right when the email is opened, and you don’t need to scroll through the email to view it either. 
  • Have multiple CTAs that all have the same goal: to get them back to their cart. 

4. NARS uses GIFs to grab a contact’s attention 

We’ve all got that one friend that gets a little overzealous with GIFs in emails or your text conversions (#guilty). But when it comes to marketing emails, these tiny moving images can do a lot of good in grabbing attention where they could haven’t just clicked out of it.  


What They Did Right:

  • The GIFs! GIFs are a great hack for getting moving images into your emails. They use these well in this email and have the GIF part of the image show off products and people wearing their products. 
  • The email design is also quite clever. Usually, we like to stay about from being “clever” since it tends to confuse rather than get to the point, but this is well done because it makes you pause and take time to read the words in the design. 

Where Opportunity Was Missed:

Due to all the colors going on, the CTA is downed out a bit. 

This could have been compensated by making the whole email image clickable and taking your back to the cart or toning down the color scheme a bit to help the CTA pop.

How to Make This Work for You:

Don’t shy away from GIFS. As of now, tech makes it a little hard to have playable video in emails even though it can help with getting people to open your emails. GIFs can be created for your products to help catch the eye, and draw in the click that you’re hoping for. 

//[inject:ad-ebook-abandoned-cart]

5. Brooklinen Uses a FOMO Free Shipping Offer

The limited-time-anything approach is a surefire way to weed out the window shoppers from your ideal target customer. Free shipping compels the customer to convert. 

When paired with a limited-time offer, it’s often the proverbial fire in the pants that a customer needs.

What They Did Right:

  • Created FOMO in the consumer by suggesting that items may sell out
  • Adding in a ‘Top Products’ selection to further entice buyers
  • Provided social proof with their ‘As Featured In’ logo carousel
  • Made a ‘Check Availability’ button. Now, it isn’t a matter of whether or not to buy, it’s a matter of beating other shoppers to it

Where Opportunity Was Missed:

The free shipping offer was positioned in a way that it would last until items were sold out. However, Brooklinen could have added in a specific time frame if they wanted to create urgency versus a scarcity mindset in the customer.

Would they run out of product? Maybe, maybe not. BUT would they end the free shipping deal? For sure they would. With a limited-time free shipping approach, they could have added in a countdown timer to increase feelings of urgency.

How to Make This Work for You:

Free shipping is everywhere these days so, just like Brooklinen, it’s a good idea to add a little twist. 

Some ways that you can offer free shipping include:

  • Free shipping, no limitation, or minimums. It’s a free shipping extravaganza
  • Free shipping, at a certain $ threshold. Spend $50 or more, for instance
  • Free shipping for members only. Gather their email address and build your list
  • ‍Free shipping on select items. Create more interest in slower parts of your website‍
  • Free shipping for a limited time. Bring on the countdown timer

Choose which free shipping combo makes the most for your business and swiftly remind the customer of this headache-free offering. 

With so many ways to entice your customers, Sendlane is the perfect solution to turn website visitors into buyers.

A Final Note on Abandoned Carts

It’s easy to craft an abandoned cart template to automatically send your customer within hours of clicking away from your website. It’s essential to A/B test some of these approaches so that you can find what works best for your business. 

Maybe your customers really appreciate free shipping where others are seeking out a discount code.

Once the sales start rolling in, Sendlane can support you with our integrations that help with abandoned cart recovery. 

We offer powerful site-to-site tracking capabilities that make it effortless for you to follow your customers’ journey throughout your store. 

Plus, we will help you to automate your abandoned cart messages to capture more sales and recover lost revenue!

If being off-the-wall, cheeky, funny, or just plain silly works with your brand, we encourage you to have some fun with your abandoned cart messages. 

Whichever approach you choose, be sure to include great imagery, clear calls to action, and headlines that catch the eye.

Aren’t sure how to add an abandoned cart email into your funnel? Sendlane makes it easy with our marketing automation tools. Give us a try for FREE, today!


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