Abandoned cart emails are sent to customers who add products to their virtual basket but for whatever reason decide not to check out.

Annually, brands lose around $18 billion due to abandoned carts. Thankfully, abandoned cart emails are super effective at controlling this loss. They have an average open rate of 48% and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on site

The reasons for abandoning a cart can vary from slow loading speeds to casual browsing. Here’s a list of some common reasons from SaleCycle:

To recover this revenue through abandoned carts, send emails that:

  • Remind customers what they’ve abandoned
  • Use compelling copy
  • Add images of abandoned products
  • Offer discounts
  • Nudge, rather than push, people back to your website
  • Are followed up by a final email

If you use these tips for your emails, you will enjoy a higher share of sales. To get you started, we’ve curated a list of 7 abandoned cart emails from brands that do them right. These emails will hopefully give you ideas (what do do and also what not to), and help you design your own highly converting abandoned cart emails.

#1 Away

Away is a travel products company that positions itself as a chic, smart option for travelers. This is one of their abandoned cart emails:

It’s a very to-the-point email with few links and no fluff.  It starts with a simple question, “forgot something?”. 

The next part, the copy, is brilliantly written. The copy reminds you how your cart is like your luggage, a product that they sell, and shouldn’t be left behind. It’s a clever way to remind the customer and also employ their branding.

This email also stands out because it reminds the customer with complete specificity of what they left out in their shopping cart. They give details on the item, color, quantities, the price, and include a product photo as well. This is a good way to remind the customer and to entice them back to your website.

The email signs off with a CTA telling the customer to ‘keep shopping’. This is more suggestive and inviting than a simple ‘complete my order’ or ‘go back to cart’. The fact that there are only three total links in the email also increases the chance of a customer clicking on the CTA.

#2 ThinkGeek

ThinkGeek, now a defunct brand, had a catalog that catered to the geek culture with items like video games, comics, and fantasy toys. This is one of their abandoned cart emails:

With a humorous approach to their copy, they take a playful approach using Lord of the Rings references, which also reinforce their branding. They end their message with a dig at their own selves (Right, enough of that metaphor.) to portray self-awareness. They are actively distilling their personality into their emails which makes their target customers more likely to engage with them.

While they also add other items in their emails from their catalog that a customer may be interested in, they forgot a very important bit in this email. They forgot to add a direct CTA that leads them back to their cart. This can be damaging because if a low-engagement customer does decide to checkout, and doesn’t find a link taking them back to ThinkGeek’s website, they’ll more likely than not decide to not complete their purchase.

Always add a CTA in an abandoned cart email.

#3 Hello Merch

Hello Merch is a company that caters to artists and musicians and allows them to create and sell merchandise. You can also browse through their catalog to find t-shirts of your favorite artists. They’ve taken a slightly unconventional approach (or by some standards, the most conventional approach) to their abandoned cart emails:

Hello Merch has opted for a plain text email, opting to get rid of all graphics, colors, and buttons. Here’s why this can be more effective than some other snazzier abandoned cart emails:

  • A plain text email feels more personal, it feels like someone personally wrote it for you
  • A plain text email is easy to read 
  • A plain text email displays correctly across all email clients and devices
  • You don’t have to think about design too much

So next time if you are pulling your hair out trying to design a super clever abandoned cart email, consider going for the good ol’ plain text email.

#4 Beauty Bay

Beauty Bay has an impressive catalog boasting over 7000 beauty products from multiple brands. Unlike Hello Merch’s email, their abandoned cart reminder stands in stark contrast:

Beauty Bay’s email is bold, unapologetic, and difficult to miss. They use bright colors, bold texts, and eye-catching photos. Even with such an emphatic approach, their email is still quite stripped down and only covers the essentials of a good abandoned cart email.

You have your headline, a product picture along with a description, and a bold yet minimal copy that employs a sense of scarcity by reminding the customer that someone else may bag their desired product, and ends with a call to action inviting the customer to see their shopping bag.

This abandoned cart email serves as a good example of how you can stay true to the boldness of your brand but still create an email that is exactly to the point and serves its intended function.

#5 Vans

Vans is a well-known sneakers brand popular among young people and skateboarders. This is one of their abandoned cart emails:

This email mirrors the look and feel of Vans’ website which makes for a more consistent brand experience for the customer. 

The email starts with a heading, subheading, and then straightaway displays the CTA. While this approach may work for someone who genuinely forgot to checkout, for someone who abandoned their cart, it may be better to add some compelling and witty copy, displaying the product left in the cart, before adding the CTA. The CTA is also black on brown, so the low contrast may make it difficult for some people to spot.

What this email does really well is the ‘similar items’ row it adds at the end. Someone might look at the email and they may decide that they want the Vans Yacht Club Old Skool shoes along with, or instead of the item they had abandoned in their cart.

Giving similar options in an abandoned cart email is a good idea if they are highly related to the product in consideration.

#6 Chubbies

Chubbies is a men’s casual wear brand and positions itself as a friendly, humorous and approachable brand. One of their abandoned cart emails goes like this:

Right off the bat, the email starts by establishing familiarity with their customer by telling them ‘I’m forgetful too’. They add a bit of positivity by employing humor and asking the customer to look at the bright side and buy their shorts so they can ‘turn this party up’. They add a clear advantage to why a customer should buy their shorts.

Their humorous approach continues throughout the email when they ask the customer to allow Chubbies to ‘transport you back to your shopping cart’ and how’d they’d be happy to assist in this task.

They make it even easier for the customer by letting them know they can click on any link in the email and it’ll take them back to Chubbies website. The email then ends on an inspirational note by reminding their customer to enjoy the day and ‘crush it’.

This email wins on the basis of their copy. They employ vernacular and humor that is relatable to their target audience, and the style of copy is very informal yet inviting, which the customer finds disarming, and increases the chance of them completing their checkout.

#7 Whiskey Loot

Whiskey Loot positions itself as a brand that invites people to embark on a whiskey tasting journey. They create product combinations around whiskey to provide their customers with complete drinking experiences. This is their abandoned cart email:

What this email does well is that is challenges the objections a customer may have before signing up for their service. They tackle all these while employing humor, neat little graphics, and a disarming tone to put the customer at ease. They’ve managed to cleverly address a lot of questions by creating columns and writing a bullet point for each objection, along with the benefits of signing up.

At the end of the email, they’ve even added a small FAQ section to put potential customers at further ease. This email wins on the basis of this thoroughness (while still being clutter-free) and thinking ahead about all the hesitations a customer may have. When reading the email, you really feel like you are the center of attention, not the brand, which makes one more likely to consider completing the checkout.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed going through these emails and picked up on a few ideas for your own brand. You must have noticed while reading this article that there is no default formula for what a perfect abandoned cart email looks like. Every brand has incorporated some flavor of their branding into abandoned cart emails to make them feel more personal and relatable for customers.

One common thing to notice across all these abandoned cart emails is that the focus is always on the customer. They are reminded of benefits they can realize from buying or what they might miss out on from not buying a product, yet the tone is always kept suggestive and not pushy. This is truly the most important formula for a successful abandoned cart email.

Rukham Khan
Author

Rukham is the Content Lead at MailMunch. He believes trust should be the basis for all marketing communications.