From Cart Abandonment to Conversion: Automated Email Strategies that Work

Created On
August 30, 2023
email strategies for cart recovery

Imagine this: you're in a busy store, your arms laden with products you can't wait to own. But as you approach the checkout, there’s a long queue or when you finally get to pay for the items, the tax and other charges are too high. What will you do? You will leave. 

This is a very common scenario in ecommerce platforms. Sometimes, there’s not even a problem. The customers simply get distracted. Life happens. The bottom line is high cart abandonment rates. The typical cart abandonment rate for online shopping stands at approximately 70.19%.

This is where abandoned cart emails swoop in to save the day for ecommerce businesses. These emails are the friendly nudge that brings wandering shoppers back to complete their purchases. 

In this article, I am talking about how to create a conversion-boosting email sequence for cart abandoned customers. From friendly reminders to personalized recommendations, I have unveiled the strategies that transform abandoned carts into successful sales. 

Let's dive in.

What is a Card Abandonment Email? Does it Work?

An "abandoned cart" email is an automated email sent to follow up a customer who exits a website without purchasing the products they had in their shopping cart.

Basically, the abandoned cart emails are automated follow-ups reminding customers about their products in the cart. Now, the question is, do they work?

Yes, abandoned cart emails are known to make big bucks both for B2C and B2B companies. 

According to Klaviyo, the average open rate and click-through rates of abandoned cart emails are 41.18% and 9.50%. 

Please note that abandoned cart recovery rate may vary depending on industry type, products, and cart size.  

How to Create an Email Sequence to Convert Abandoned Carts into Sales?

Sending a series of follow-up emails (preferably 3 or 4 emails) is a great way to re-engage customers with abandoned shopping carts. 

Customers often abandon their carts for various reasons, such as distractions or indecision. Follow-up emails provide a gentle reminder, encouraging them to complete their purchase. 

You can use this email sequence to offer a personalized shopping experience to the customers. Not to forget, it's an awesome trick for nurturing customer relationships. 

You can also offer assistance, showcase product value, and even provide incentives like discounts or limited-time offers, all of which can significantly increase the chances of converting abandoned carts into successful transactions.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create such a series:

#Email 1: The Friendly Reminder Email

Subject Line: "Knock! Knock! Did You Forget Something?"

Picture this: a potential customer browses your online store, adds a few items to their cart, and then gets distracted. Life happens. 

Sending a friendly reminder email can be just the nudge they need to complete their purchase. Keep the tone light and helpful in your email. 

Include a list of the items left behind and a clear call-to-action (CTA) button to return to their cart. You can even tempt them with a limited-time discount or free shipping offer. To increase your conversion rate, automate this “reminder email” for every abandoned cart. 

#Email 2: The Social Proof Email

Subject Line: "See What Others Are Loving!"

People are more likely to trust the opinions of their peers. In this email, showcase reviews, ratings, or testimonials related to the products in the abandoned cart. Share stories of satisfied customers who purchased similar items and highlight any unique selling points. 

This cart email strategy not only reminds the potential buyer of their interest but also reassures them that they're making a wise choice by purchasing from your store. This email can do wonders but automate it only after the “reminder email”.

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#Email 3: The Urgency-Driven Email

Subject Line: "Last Chance to Grab Your Favorites!"

Create a sense of urgency by letting customers know that the items in their cart won't be available for long. Use phrases like "Limited Stock" or "Ending Soon" to emphasize scarcity. 

Include a countdown timer or a clear deadline for any discounts or promotions you're offering. Urgency can be a powerful motivator, prompting customers to complete their purchase rather than risk missing out on a great deal.

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#Email 4: The Personalized Recommendation Email

Subject Line: "We Found More Just for You!"

Show your customers that you understand their preferences by recommending additional products based on their abandoned cart items. Use their browsing and purchase history to suggest complementary or similar products. 

Personalization can make the shopping experience feel tailor-made, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Include clear links to these recommended items, making it easy for customers to explore and add them to their cart.

#Email 5: The Feedback and Assistance Email (Optional)

Subject Line: "How Can We Help You Today?"

Sometimes, cart abandonment occurs due to unexpected issues or unanswered questions. Send an email with a friendly tone, offering assistance and support. 

Provide contact information or links to your customer service channels and encourage customers to reach out if they have any concerns or need help with their purchase. This proactive approach not only helps recover potential sales but also demonstrates your commitment to excellent customer service.

Email abandonment cart strategies are essential tools in the e-commerce arsenal. By sending well-timed, personalized, and value-driven emails, you can increase your chances of converting abandoned carts into successful sales. 

Remember to analyze the performance of these strategies, A/B test different approaches, and continuously optimize your emails to maximize your conversion rates. To learn more about email strategies to convert abandoned cart into sales, jump into the next section. 

Effective Email Abandonment Cart Strategies For Max Conversion

Cart abandonment is an all-too-familiar problem for e-commerce businesses. Shoppers load up their carts with products, only to leave them behind, often never to return. The typical recorded rate of cart abandonment during online shopping stands at approximately 70.19%.

Shocking, huh? 

This is where you need automated abandoned cart emails to save the day. Automated email strategies can be your secret weapon in turning these abandoned carts into successful conversions. 

We all know automated follow-ups are the key. Let's see what other effective email abandonment cart strategies can ensure your customers’ return. 

Segmented Email Lists

You can’t send the same email sequence to all the customers. When it comes to bringing abandoned carts, one size doesn’t fit all. 

For effective results, you must segment the email lists into smaller segments based on various criteria, such as shopping behavior or demographics. Then, craft tailored abandonment emails for each segment to make it relevant and engaging.

Wondering how to segment effectively? Keep reading. 

Purchase History

Segment customers based on their past purchase behavior. Identify those who are loyal customers versus those who have made a single purchase or none at all. Repeat buyers may require different incentives to return to their abandoned carts.

Abandonment Frequency

Categorize customers by how often they abandon their carts. Some may be occasional abandoners, while others may frequently leave items without completing a purchase. Tailor your messaging and incentives accordingly.

Cart Value

Segment based on the total value of items left in the cart. High-value cart abandoners might respond better to personalized offers or dedicated customer support, while lower-value abandoners may need more straightforward reminders.

Product Categories

Group customers according to the types of products they've shown interest in or added to their cart. This allows you to send abandonment emails with related product recommendations, increasing the chances of conversion.


Consider demographic factors like age, location, and gender. Certain demographics may respond better to specific messaging or incentives. For example, younger customers might be more enticed by digital discounts, while older customers may prefer free shipping.

Engagement Level

You can also segment based on email engagement level. Those who regularly open and click on your emails may require a different approach than those who rarely engage. Highly engaged customers may appreciate exclusive offers or early access to sales.

Time Since Abandonment

Create segments based on how long it's been since customers abandoned their carts. Send timely reminders to those who recently abandoned, while offering more persuasive incentives to those who left popular items in their carts for an extended period.

You can send tailored abandonment recovery emails segmenting your email list using these criteria. 

Personalized Recommendations

Personalization involves analyzing a customer's browsing and purchase history to suggest products relevant to their interests. This can be based on their previous interactions with your website, such as viewed products or past purchases. 

By tailoring product recommendations in cart abandonment emails, you show customers that you understand their preferences, making it more likely that they'll return to explore these personalized options and complete their purchase. This will definitely increase conversion rates.

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Limited-Time Offers  

Creating a sense of urgency is a powerful motivator. In abandonment emails, you can incorporate limited-time offers or discounts. By emphasizing that these deals won't last long, you prompt customers to act swiftly, fearing they might miss out on significant savings. 

Phrases like "24-hour flash sale" or "last chance for 20% off" work like magic and encourage the customer to return to their cart. You can also provide coupon codes with an expiry in these emails. 

Product Availability Alerts 

Alerting customers to low stock or imminent sell-outs adds a layer of urgency. This cart email strategy taps into the fear of missing out (FOMO). When customers believe that a product they're interested in is running out, they're more likely to return to their online shopping cart to secure it. 

Clearly communicate the limited availability in your abandonment emails, and provide a seamless process for customers to complete their purchase before it's too late. You can do the same using cart messages or alerts. 

User-Generated Content 

Incorporating user-generated content, such as product reviews, testimonials, or images of happy customers, can build trust and credibility. Potential buyers often rely on the experiences of others to inform their decisions. 

Including these elements in your abandonment emails provides social proof, demonstrating that others have successfully used and enjoyed the products in question. This reassurance can persuade customers to return and complete their purchase with confidence.

Cross-Device Compatibility 

I can’t stress enough on cross-device compatibility. Around 81% of email recipients prefer to open emails on their mobile devices while 21% of them open emails on their tablets. 

This is why it’s super important to ensure that both your cart recovery emails and your website are responsive and optimized for various devices—mobile phones, tablets, and desktops. 

Customers often switch between devices during their shopping journey. If they encounter a frustrating experience when switching from email to your website, they may abandon their cart. Cross-device compatibility ensures a seamless transition, making it more likely for customers to return, regardless of the device they're using.

A/B Testing 

A/B testing involves systematically experimenting with different elements of your abandonment cart email campaigns to determine which versions perform best. This includes testing variations in cart email subject lines, email content, visuals, and call-to-action buttons. 

By analyzing the results, you can fine-tune your email strategies based on what resonates most effectively with your audience. Conduct A/B tests regularly to adapt and optimize your email content for maximum impact, eventually increasing the chances of cart recovery and conversions.


Timing is a critical factor in the effectiveness of automated cart abandonment emails. Get it right, and you can significantly increase the chances of converting potential customers. Get it wrong, and your emails might go unnoticed or, worse, annoy your audience.

The key to perfect timing lies in striking a balance. Sending the first abandonment email too soon may come off as pushy, while waiting too long could cause the customer to forget about their cart entirely. Typically, it's best to send the initial email within an hour or two of abandonment. This is when your brand is still fresh in their minds, and they're likely still online and engaged.

Cart recovery emails should be spaced strategically, with the timing dependent on your product and audience. A second email might be sent 24 hours later, offering a reminder and perhaps an additional incentive. Finally, a third email can follow a few days later, gently urging the customer to return. Here’s a quick summary of that. 

Send the first cart recovery email within 1 or 2 hours.
Send the 2nd email on the second day.
Send the 3rd email on the fifth day.
Send the 4th email on the seven day after cart abandonment. 

However, it's important not to disturb the customers with too many emails too quickly. Always consider your audience's preferences and behavior.


The CTA (Call to Action) button in cart abandonment emails is very important because it serves as the bridge between your potential customer and a sale. It provides a clear and direct path for the recipient to return to their shopping cart, making the process effortless and efficient. 

The choice of CTA wording, whether it's a straightforward "Return to Cart" or a more enticing "Get My 30% Off," can greatly influence a customer's decision to re-engage with their abandoned items. 

So, keep the CTA catchy, visually-appealing, and tempting. Keep it with three words max. 

Majors Reasons Behind Cart Abandonment

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Ecommerce customers abandon products in their carts for various reasons, often related to pricing and complex buying processes. Here’s some of the major reasons behind cart abandonment: 

Unexpected Costs

The foremost reason for cart abandonment is encountering unexpected costs during the checkout process. This can include shipping fees, taxes, or hidden charges that weren't initially visible. 

Customers appreciate transparency, and hidden costs can deter them from completing the purchase.

Complex Checkout Process

A convoluted or time-consuming checkout process is a significant factor in cart abandonment. Customers want a smooth and straightforward experience. Having to create an account, enter credit card details, or navigate a complex checkout system can lead to frustration and cart abandonment.

Lack of Pricing Information

Customers expect pricing and promotional information to be upfront and easily accessible. If they can't quickly determine the total cost or potential discounts, they may hesitate to proceed with the purchase.

Shipping Calculations

Forcing customers to add items to their cart before calculating shipping costs can be off-putting. Providing a way to estimate shipping expenses early in the shopping process helps customers make informed decisions.

Final thoughts

Cart abandonment is the biggest challenge for online businesses. However, with the right tools and strategies, you can turn those abandoned carts into successful conversions.

Consider automated cart email sequences as your secret weapon. Subscribe to an email marketing platform for better functionality. Don't forget to A/B test your cart-abandonment campaigns. 

Try to study the customer base who abandon carts. Learn the reasons behind that and optimize your strategies accordingly.

Remember cart abandonment emails are not just a solution; they are the solution to boosting conversions. So, craft those compelling emails, win back those lost shoppers, and watch your business thrive. 

Happy converting!

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Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.


Edited by:

Charu Mitra Dubey


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