12 Abandoned Cart Email Examples and Tips to Drive Revenue in 2020

CM Commerce Team

In ecommerce, cart abandonment happens all the time. 

It’s not just you: Between 55% and 80% of shoppers—77% on average—will add items to their cart but exit your website without finishing the purchase. 

In this post, we’ll explain what abandoned cart emails are and how they work. We’ll also include a detailed list of tips and abandoned cart email examples for 2020 to inspire you.

What are abandoned cart emails and how do they work?

Let’s start by analyzing the phenomenon of abandoned ecommerce shopping carts. 

First, you’ll want to figure out your brand’s own abandoned cart rate. Looking at your analytics, take the number of shoppers who complete a transaction and divide it by the total number of shoppers who add items to their cart.

Subtract this figure from 1, and you have your abandoned cart rate.

Feeling a little freaked over the results? Don’t worry, it happens to everyone and you can totally fix it.

Before jumping into abandoned cart email examples for 2020, ask yourself why some shoppers aren’t converting. Unexpected costs are—by far—the reason shoppers don’t complete their purchase. Shipping, taxes, and fees can all drive up what a shopper expected to pay.

However, shoppers might also abandon their cart if

  • They have to create a registered account
  • There are too many steps in the checkout process
  • They can’t see the total price clearly from the cart

Once you’ve optimized your checkout process, how can you drop your abandonment rate even further?

Automated emails. 

12 abandoned cart email examples and tactics for 2020 and why they’re awesome

With a gentle nudge, mindful content, and well-timed sends, you can recover plenty of lost sales with these abandoned cart email examples for 2020.

1. Reiterate the benefits.

Go back to basics. Pretend you’re in a brick-and-mortar store. As a customer shoots down your sales pitch, you’d remind them of the benefits of purchasing your product, right?

You can follow the same strategy with your abandoned cart emails. 

Be careful to focus on benefits to the customer rather than features of the product. How does the product improve the lives of your customers? 

In CM Commerce, we have a feature that will include these benefits for you. Learn more about how our clients have used this simple module to increase their return.

Consider the difference in this pre-workout description:

  • Powerful and clean creatine, rhodiola, and caffeine. 
  • Powerful and clean creatine to build muscle, rhodiola for immune support, and caffeine to power your metabolism.

The second description explains why a customer should buy the pre-workout based on how it benefits them specifically.

Whisky Loot does a great job grabbing attention with this quirky list of benefits:

Abandoned cart email examples for 2020: Whisky Loot
Source: Really Good Emails

2. Include reviews in your abandoned cart emails.

Social proof is important for building trust in shoppers. It can make the difference between a successful abandoned cart email and a dud. 

Ninety-seven percent of ecommerce shoppers say reviews factor directly into their buying decisions. Star ratings aren’t enough either—73% of shoppers need to see written reviews if you want to make a lasting impression. 

You can easily add social proof to your abandonment email campaigns. Boost trust and authenticity in your brand and confidence in your shoppers.

3. Send multiple abandoned cart emails.

With CM Commerce, you can send up to four abandonment emails. While you don’t need to feel compelled to use all of them, sending more than one can ensure your campaign gets opened.

For example, you might send a series like:

  • One campaign restating the benefits
  • Another providing social proof
  • A final campaign with a discount code

You can time your emails to go out at different intervals or base them on whether a customer engages with your first one. Ideally, send the first abandonment email as soon as possible while the product is fresh in their minds.

Abandoned cart email examples for 2020: CM Commerce
Source: CM Commerce

4. Give them a time limit to buy.

If you don’t build urgency, shoppers will just keep putting off the checkout process. 

Let shoppers know you’ll keep their cart filled for 48 hours or so. After that, the cart will empty. 

This language will encourage shoppers to click over and finish their purchase ASAP if they want to save the items.

Society6 lets subscribers know they’re keeping the cart filled for 48 hours:

Abandoned cart email examples for 2020: Society6
Source: Really Good Emails

5. Get bold or creative with your subject lines.

Try to strike a balance between clarity and cleverness. 

“Complete your purchase” gets to the point, but it does little to build a rapport with your shoppers. You want to seem human too. 

At the same time, subject lines like “Did you fall asleep at your desk?” are clever but feel condescending. There was a real reason why they didn’t check out. 

These all work a little better for grabbing attention without sounding rude:

“Still thinking it over?” 

“Maybe THIS will change your mind…”

“Your cart is about to expire”

“Don’t forget about me”

6. Include a GIF in your abandoned cart emails.

GIFs work wonders for grabbing attention in a way traditional graphics just can’t match.

It could be as simple as a flashing or dancing t-shirt. You could also promote any coupons in GIF format. And GIFs don’t just look good: They work. In fact, Anna Yeaman at Style Campaign demonstrated how an animated video preview lifted her campaign’s click rate by 26%

7. Give shoppers a discount code.

A nice discount code can make a dramatic difference for shoppers who were turned off by the final price after fees, shipping, and taxes. 

When you include a discount code, make sure to include information about the product as well—specifically, the final price. That’ll help account for any shoppers who abandoned their purchase after seeing the checkout price.

The best way to include a discount code is to offer a personalized, one-off coupon. CM Commerce enables you to create a unique discount code for each individual email by simply adding the module into your template. With a personalized offer, only the customer that received it can use it and your marketing attribution is easy to understand.

Alternatively, you could alert subscribers to price drops, as Pinterest did here:

Abandoned cart email examples for 2020: Pinterest
Source: Really Good Emails

8. Let them know you’re holding the items for them.

Sometimes, when you shop at a mom-and-pop store, they’ll offer to hold any items for you if you can’t buy them right away. 

It makes you feel special and ensures you return to complete the sale out of respect for their kindness.

You can follow the same strategy in your abandoned cart email examples for 2020. Let shoppers know you’re holding onto the items for a day or two, in case they change their minds.

Make it clear, however, that you’ll put the items “back on the shelf” if they don’t come back.

9. Or remind them the items may sell out.

Alternatively, you could let shoppers know that items are selling fast and could be gone by the time they return to buy them. 

You could explain how many of the items you’ve sold over the past week and how many you have in stock. 

This is a solid opportunity to include social proof, as well to push uncertain shoppers over the edge.

10. Add high-quality images to your abandoned cart emails.

Images are essential for reminding shoppers what they’re missing. 

Make sure you include high-quality images of the specific item in their cart—same color, style, size, and everything. This will help shoppers visualize themselves holding the item in their physical possession. 

11. Design your email campaign to look just like the shopping cart.

When you design your abandoned cart emails, don’t use plaintext and a hyperlink. Instead, recreate the shopping cart experience directly inside the email.

Include a photo of the item(s) along with all the details, such as color, size, and quantity. Include a bright button at the bottom for shoppers to checkout via a quick landing page.

Abandoned cart email examples for 2020: Dyson
Source: Really Good Emails

12. Optimize your abandoned cart email examples for mobile shoppers.

Mobile browsers make up 65% of all ecommerce shoppers. Sadly, mobile shoppers also have a much higher average cart abandonment rate: 85.65%.

It’s important to create a completely mobile-optimized experience for your shoppers—especially your abandonment emails. Beyond optimizing the email itself, you should also include a mobile-optimized landing page for a swift checkout process.

Wrap up

Abandoned carts are one of the most frustrating parts of ecommerce marketing. You shouldn’t expect to slash your abandonment rate to zero, but you can recover plenty of lost revenue by sending automated emails. 

Using the above-mentioned abandoned cart email examples for 2020 as inspiration, follow best practices like:

  • Optimizing for mobile shoppers
  • Reminding shoppers of the benefits
  • Building urgency
  • Sending a series of personalized campaigns
  • Including social proof like reviews

Looking for some more tips and abandoned cart email examples for 2020 campaigns? Check out the features you can use with CM Commerce.