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Abandoned cart email: How to win back lost customers (2023)

How to win back lost customers with killer abandoned cart email?

Online customers abandon carts more often than you imagine. There are a number of reasons why they do not finish their purchases. Luckily, you can prevent the tragedy without any pain by sending out abandoned cart emails. Here are some tips on structuring an abandoned cart email and winning examples for you.

How often do online customers abandon carts?

According to Baymard Institute, the average abandonment rate of different industries in 2023 is 70.19%, which means more than 7 out of 10 people who have initiated carts end up not making the purchase.


Why don’t people finish their purchases?

Sometimes cart abandonment is inevitable. You cannot expect everyone to buy something before they walk out from a shopping mall so you cannot expect the same thing to happen in the environment of eCommerce. Many users are just browsing, either doing window shopping or comparing prices.

Apart from that, there are more reasons why they abandon carts. Here are some quick data:

49% of respondents say the extra costs from shipping, tax, and fees are too high.

24% of respondents complain about the fact that the site wants them to create an account.

- Baymard Institute

What is an abandoned cart email?

Now it is time to turn things around. You need to reach out to those shoppers who are so close to making their purchases. A remarkably effective tactic is sending abandoned cart emails to remind them what they once dreamed of owning but left behind and to give the little push they need to return and finish the orders.

Winning the moments that matter: Right person, right message, right time, every time

- Think with Google


Credits: Think with Google

Do abandoned cart emails really work? See these numbers.

Promotion and other marketing emails do not work all the time. However, abandoned cart emails are different. Around 45% of abandoned cart emails are opened, which is much higher than normal emails. Among those opened emails, 21% of them receive click-throughs. In the end, half of the recipients who engage with the content of the email complete their purchases. These numbers show that abandoned cart emails do work and can surely drive sales.


(Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)

Are you ready to supplement your abandoned cart email campaign?

How to structure an abandoned cart email?

Here comes the most important part. Top retailers use an array of tactics to try to win the hearts of abandoners and there are proven practices for you to take into account. You do not have to include all of them in one email but it is always good to fill your toolbox with a variety of tactics.

Use scarcity and create urgency

Some people wait forever to finally make the purchase but would they be the same if the products on their wish lists are scarce? Probably not. A time-limited offer is the best conversion weapon. Creating a sense of urgency by keeping their carts for a limited time can push your customers to complete the orders within a time frame. After all, no one wants to see their favorite products being gone for good.

Explore more: 10 Best Email Marketing Services for Businesses

Offer a discount

Remember we say most of the abandoners are not happy with the high extra cost? You can clear the hurdle by offering a discount to them. Abandoned cart discount codes are usually effective as abandoners have already shown their interest by adding your products to their shopping cart. But bear one thing in mind, people may get used to receiving such promo codes and hold off buying items at full price. Therefore it is also a good idea not to offer them too often or too soon.  For example, offer them only in the second abandoned cart email.

Provide support

Sometimes customers experience technical problems during the checkout process. Providing support is another way to directly address the reasons for abandoned carts. You can encourage them to use the live chat to ask anything about the products or seek help from technicians. Phone numbers, emails, or links to help desks also do the job.

Researching before actually buying is one of the ways to prevent impulse purchases. It is possible that your customers are still looking for the best options when they receive your emails so showing an online catalog with related products, they might not have noticed, can be an excellent way to return a missed sales opportunity.

What is the best time to send out an abandoned cart email?

It is crucial to send out an abandoned cart email at the right timing. If you send it too early, it is possible that your customers are still in the middle of comparing different offers available. But if you send it too late, it is also possible that they have already made the purchase at your competitor. 

Statistics show conversion rates for emails sent one hour after the customer’s last interaction on your site are highest. You may start from here and fine-tune it with A/B testing to find the best timing that suits you.

4 winning abandoned cart email examples

Now it is time to take a closer look at the top examples to get inspiration.


The lingerie brand has made good use of the scarcity tactics to call for action. They hold the order for another 24 hours to set a limited time for customers to complete the purchase. At the same time, customers are reminded that stock is limited so that they should hurry.



The abandoned cart email of Levi’s is plain and simple which is good because it highlights the selling point: a 25% off discount expired in 48 hours. It definitely kills two birds with one stone by offering a discount and using FOMO at the same time.


Man Crates

By adding their phone number and email below the call-to-action button, Man Crates can invite people to reach out and assist them. They also manage to keep the cart items as the main focus.



Timberland cleverly upsells customers the item added to the cart and cross-sell based on the product. They also do well on the layout, offering a few similar alternatives while keeping the spotlight on the product people are originally looking at.


2 abandoned cart email mistakes to avoid

Not sending the email at the right time

As we mentioned previously, timing matters when it comes to sending abandoned cart emails. A study published by Barilliance indicates that abandoned cart emails sent within 1 hour have a conversion rate of 20.3%, outperforming emails sent after 24 hours, which have a rate of only 12.2%. It is almost double!

Not sending the right amount of emails

According to Smart Insights, recovery campaigns that send three emails convert 26% higher than campaigns sending one email. Again, timing matters. The same study from Barilliance suggests sending the second email after 24 hours and sending the third one after 72 hours. 

However, do not send more than 1 email if the cart is converted after the first one as flooding email inboxes will only do harm to your conversion rates.

Omni-channel abandoned cart reminder. Email alternative!

Email is not the only way to do magic. In fact, social media has become more and more business-friendly and it works wonders for specific groups and industries! 

See how the education center AfterSchool engages with its students via WhatsApp with SleekFlow. 

To make it happen, you need a social messages CRM platform such as SleekFlow where you can manage Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, WeChat, and more all in one place. 

SleekFlow has just upgraded our Shopify integration. ECommerce merchants can now synchronize their Shopify accounts with the SleekFlow platform. Marketing automation such as abandon cart emails can be set beforehand and triggered once customers have created an abandoned cart. More automation such as message broadcast and birthday promotion can also be done through SleekFlow. 

64% of people across generations said that they prefer messaging to a call or email. (Facebook, 2019)

Source: Hubspot Marketing Statista


Send out abandoned cart messages to remind your customers about the products they’re interested in. The message will automatically include the items left in the cart and you can even include a link for them to click to continue shopping and check out.

Are email marketing campaigns still effective? Head to this article to find out.

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