Sharon Thomas
Author: Sharon Thomas  |  

Sharon Thomas is a content marketer and eCommerce growth hacker with specialization in email marketing, abandoned cart recovery, customer retention, and WooCommerce & Shopify plugins.

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‘A cart has been abandoned.’ - this message might keep your mobile busy every other minute if you are an eCommerce store owner. Also, you should have asked your abandoned cart recovery plugin to get you notified about it.

There is no end to cart abandonment irrespective of the platform you have your store on - Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, or Bigcommerce.

The only way to tackle this issue is to face it with some great abandoned cart recovery email templates. Read on to master the art of designing abandoned cart recovery emails.

What is an abandoned cart?

An abandoned cart doesn’t need an explanation at all because the phenomenon is so rampant in the eCommerce sector. Every 7 out of 10 online shoppers abandon a cart and that amounts to 70% of cart abandonment rate approximately.

Even so, here is a crisp explanation of an abandoned cart for the amateurs.

“The loaded shopping cart that never makes it beyond the checkout page is an abandoned cart”.

In simpler words, you choose the product, add it to your cart but just leave it there without making payment for some reason or the other. The cart becomes an abandoned one and the act is termed ‘cart abandonment’.

What is abandoned cart recovery?

From the point of view of the eCommerce store, abandoned cart recovery is all about making the customer purchase the abandoned products, thereby bringing back sales that almost slipped out of hand.

For the customer, abandoned cart recovery is owning the items that had once been sidelined due to various reasons like high extra cost, no return policy, no discount code, and so on.

Why is email the preferred medium for abandoned cart recovery?

Abandoned cart recovery statistics by Barilliance say that an average of 18.64% of carts can be recovered by using email. That amounts to a good number.

Other reasons why email is the savior WooCommerce or Shopify abandoned cart recovery process are given below

  • As of 2019, there are 3.9 billion email users worldwide and is set to hit the mark of 4.3 billion by 2023. This data is forecasted by the Radicati group. With this, the chance of a usage slowdown is never ever coming. It is wiser to use email to reach a wider audience base.
  • The investment that needs to be put into abandoned cart recovery using email is way lesser than compared to other forms of recovery.

The Abandoned Cart Recovery Email Template

Templates are all over the web. It is easy to get one downloaded for free or even pay for a better version of the same. Without much thought, you simply use them in your abandoned cart recovery campaign and set it off.  

But do you know what goes into an abandoned cart recovery email template that makes it work? If not, it is high time you start doing it. With this knowledge in hand, the game of fixing template errors gets easier.

Essentials for a winning cart recovery email template

The Subject line

The adage ‘First impression is the best impression’ best suits this scenario. Clients are never going to open up the abandoned cart email and check out the content if the subject line is not enticing.

There is no point in having a well-crafted cart recovery email template with a faulty subject line. The fact that 47% of people open an email based on the subject line makes the point only stronger.  

The types of abandoned cart subject lines can be categorized into as many as 10 or even 20. Irrespective of the number, there are some tactics that work for all types of subject lines. Let’s take a look at them.

The Dos

  • Length - The shorter, the better. The ideal character count range for abandoned cart subject lines is 21 - 50. The benefits are dual in this case - the subject lines get optimized for the mobile and get an open rate of 44%.
  • Personalization - Use the customer’s name in the subject line. This gets the attention immediately.
  • Use numbers and emojis - Relevant emojis do work when placed appropriately in the subject line, preferably at the start.
Holiday Gift email

Numbers also help a subject line stand out amongst the chaos in the inbox and for an abandoned cart subject line, there is no better number to showcase than the discount offer.

The Don'ts

  • Drafting lengthy subject lines
  • Using too many punctuations
  • Misleading information to get the email opened up
  • Relying on authoritative language unless your customers are receptive to it.  

Here are some sample abandoned cart subject lines.

Ryan, your cart is about to expire.

3...2...1Time is running out. Grab your shoes now!

Only a few gift boxes left, Alex. Own yours.

Hey, it’s almost sold out.

Almost there...

The Content

Great copy always wins over the email reader even if the design is crappy. The way the abandoned cart email content is crafted must clearly resonate with the customers. The ultimate aim of the content is to trigger the buying intent in the customer once again and drive him to the abandoned cart. Abandoned cart email copywriting matters.

4 types of content will help you do this

Content that empathizes

With this type of content, it is revealed to the customer that you are genuinely concerned that he dropped the purchase. Here is a way in which empathy can be projected.

Still in a dilemma?                                                                                                         So sorry that you could not hit the ‘proceed to pay’ button last time. Don’t worry, we have your cart saved. Freshen up your senses and do it right away.

This content creates a sense of customer satisfaction turning it into a win-win situation.

Content that offers help

You will never know if your customer is in trouble until you reach out to them. Problems vary - unable to decide on the product, no discount, unclear return policy, and the list goes on. A helping hand at the right time can turn the tables in your favor.

Froggergolf email - here to help email

Content that amuses

Humor is the way here. The extent of it needs to be determined according to how people perceive your brand.

Chubbies Shorts is a fun-loving American brand that makes shopping fun. Who wouldn’t love to read their copy? Here is one of their email contents.

Teleport to your cart - content that amuses

Content that commands

Keep this as the last resort as you must have a good rapport with your audience base to use an authoritative ‘do-it-now’ tone. Not everyone will take it in a lighter vein. The abandoned cart email from Bloomingdale makes it clear-cut that the cart is not reserved and so the purchase needs to be done in no time.

Bloomingdale make it yours - content that commands

Product image

People tend to forget things and your customers are no different. With a plethora of options available in an eCommerce store, it is only natural that the customer might forget what he has abandoned. This is bound to happen if the product has many variants.

Here the need arises to remind the customer about the abandoned product with an image. This really helps to get things back on track in a jiffy from the customer’s end.

Make sure that the product image used in the abandoned cart email is of good quality and that of the original product in stock.  

What else can be added to the image?

The product details.

Check out this abandoned cart email from Away.

Forgot something by Away - product image

The email has a decent product image along with the specific details. This pro-actively clears out any confusion that might occur when only the image is used.  


Call To Action.

How important is this? Extremely.

After all, you want the customer to click on this. It has to be noticeable. Here are some ways to nail it.

  • Avoid using a simple hyper-link as a CTA.
  • Make sure that the CTA button is large enough yet merges in with the email design.
  • Use a button color that is in contrast to that of the abandoned cart email template.
  • Experiment with different CTA copy rather than the usual ‘View My Cart’ and ‘Proceed To Checkout’. Try using ‘Go For It’, ‘Own It’, and ‘Take Me To My Cart’.
  • Use multiple CTAs in the template, especially if your email is a long one. It is fine to use one at the start after the headline and related content and another one after the product mention.  

Here is an email from MADE with 2 Call To Action buttons. This indirectly reinforces the need to get back to the cart and claim the products.

Thanks for picking - 2 call to action buttons


Yes, all the primary elements for an abandoned cart email are ready. Still, there is a long way to go. Have you placed them in the email template in such a way that it appeals?

Finally, everything boils down to the look of the abandoned cart recovery email. No one is ever going to read it if the design fails.

Here is an email which is the best example of how not to design one.

USC you left something - not an ideal email

Everything is faulty with this email starting from the chunk of text to the absence of mention of the abandoned product.

Here is what you should do.

  • Use a white background to make the email look classy
  • Highlight the CTA and include the contents of the abandoned cart
  • Avoid chunks of text. Instead, break it down into smaller, readable pieces
  • Space out all elements. Don’t cram everything into a small email. It is absolutely fine to send long ones

With that done, let’s move on to the types of abandoned cart email templates.

Types of Abandoned Cart Recovery Email Templates

Whether you run an eCommerce store on Shopify or WooCommerce, these templates are the commonly used ones and they do work.

‘Free shipping’ email template

According to a survey by Walker Sands, 79% of US consumers expect free shipping when shopping online. This also means that quite a large number of people may abandon a cart if they don’t find the ‘free shipping’ offer.

Here lies your opportunity.

Make ‘free shipping’ as the focus of your abandonment cart recovery email template like Huckberry.

Huckberry shipping free - free shipping email template

Just a big, bold headline does the job. That’s it. As a reader, only the headline, code, and the CTA is visible. This template can be used when the shipping can be offered for free to everyone who abandons a cart but every eCommerce store cannot do the same.

What if you can offer free shipping only to select people? Use the following sample email template in this case.

Sample abandoned cart email template 1

<Name>, your favorites can be shipped for FREE!    

Did you know that your shopping cart is eligible for free shipping?

Not everyone gets this offer. Lucky you. Simply copy-paste this code XXXXXXXXX and get your package delivered in no time.

<cart details>


Issues? Just ring us at <phone no> or drop an email at <email ID>.

‘Grab the offer’ email template

What consumers love most next to free shipping is discounts. Why not capitalize on it?

Look at the way Saatchi Art has done it.

Saatchi art complete your purchase - grab the offer email template

What more can a consumer ask for? But here is the catch.

$-based discounts perform better with the highest ROI compared to percentage-based discounts, proves Klaviyo.

Sample abandoned cart email template 2

Come back! Claim your $5 off.

Where have you been?

You should have been around. It's raining discounts. Never mind. Better late than never. Your cart awaits you at the checkout with a $5 discount tag on it.

<cart details>


P.S. If the discount coupon doesn’t work, notify us. We will resolve it.

‘The final countdown’ email template

This is the template to be used when there is hardly any time left for the customer to go on with the Shopify or WooCommerce cart abandonment recovery process.

Grammarly 2 days left - the final countdown email template

The email from Grammarly says ‘Only 2 Days Left!’. But will this instill FOMO in a person reading the email? This needs to be pondered about. Here the time is static - a whole number. FOMO strategy works better if the clock ticks in the countdown timer like in the following abandoned cart email.

Farfetch use free shipping - only 2 days left

Seeing the time running out makes the customer spring to action even faster than anticipated. This is the purpose of a final countdown email template.

Sample abandoned cart email template 3

<Name>, It is either now or never.

Did you leave something behind?

Oh yes, you did. A bunch of your favorites that you had wished to own for long. You were almost there the last time.

Now, THIS is YOUR chance. The clock is ticking and we can’t hold them any further. The online rush is just over the top.

<countdown timer>

<cart details>


Don’t miss this opportunity.

‘Check these out’ email template

With the name ‘check these out’, this type of abandoned cart recovery email template is one which has personalized recommendations to make the customer shop for more. The products recommended fall under the category of cross-selling or upselling.

Target new price alert - check these out email template

This abandoned cart recovery email from Target suggests other picks for the customer to make sure that the sale happens.

There are three ways in which products can be recommended:

  • As an alternative to the product in the cart (like in the email above)
  • As a complementary product (cross-sell)
  • As a bundled purchase along with other products (upsell)

Ideally, this particular section of ‘recommended products’ can be added to any other abandoned cart recovery email template design.  

Sample abandoned cart email template 4

Where have you been?

Hi <Name>,

It’s been a while since you left your shopping bag all alone. All his friends have been checked out pretty soon and he stays there, waiting for your return.  

Come back and show him some love. Just a click would do and he is all yours.


<cart details>


Here are some recommendations. Just for you.

<personalized product recommendations>

Facing trouble checking out? Email us at <email ID> or give us a call at <phone number>

‘See what people say’ email template

Reviews and testimonials play a great role in the increase in sales for the eCommerce sector. This is backed by data that 88% of consumers depend on reviews to make a purchase. So, why not include one in an abandoned cart recovery email template to bring back customers and recover the lost sales?

Here is an example from The Old Farmer’s Store.

The Old Farmer's store

Reviews, whether star ratings or testimonials, make an even better impact when they are verified by the eCommerce store. This can be displayed with the help of a badge saying ‘Verified Buyer’.

Sample abandoned cart email template 5

Hey <Name>, we are putting your shopping bag up for sale.

Did that subject line send across jitters?

No worries. We are not so mean to do that to you. The sale is on and catching up faster than ever. Your shopping bag is at risk of getting away from you.  


<cart details>


What do customers think about this product?

<testimonial 1>

<testimonial 2>

Is your wi-fi ok?

Is your wifi okay?

Another idea to consider is asking your abandoned cart shoppers the question, “Is your wi-fi ok?” It’s a question that stands out from the norm and the fact is that internet problems may well have had something to do with your shopper abandoning their cart. Just remember to mention the product they’ve abandoned and use a good incentive and call-to-action to encourage the shopper to convert.  See more abandoned cart strategies.

How many abandoned cart emails must be sent?

Never stop with 1 or go overboard with 5 to 6.

3 abandoned cart recovery emails is the right number and when it is automated, the customer is never annoyed.

Here is a sample series.

Email 1: A simple reminder, 1 hour after abandonment

Email 2: Offer an irresistible discount, 3 hours after abandonment

Email 3: Showcase reviews/social proof, 24 hours after abandonment

Summing Up

Let’s go for a recap.

No abandoned cart recovery email template is complete without the five elements of subject line, engaging content, product image, Call To Action, and a striking layout. All of these go hand-in-hand.

To figure out that one template that works best for you, just keep experimenting and review the performances.

To give you an idea of the types of email templates, we did look into the basic types - templates that contain free shipping, discount offer, countdown timer, product recommendation, and the product review. Don’t forget to use the sample templates in this blog.

Of course, you are at liberty to design new abandoned cart recovery email templates if you wish to. After all, customers need something unique.

With this, consider that your abandoned cart recovery journey is nearly half done.

Moving forward, you must have the best abandoned cart recovery plugin for WooCommerce and Shopify stores to execute this.  

Choose the right plugin wisely and reap the rewards.

Get started right away.


1). What is an abandoned cart?
A loaded shopping cart that never makes it beyond the checkout page is an abandoned cart, and the act is termed ‘cart abandonment’.

2). What is an abandoned cart recovery email?
An abandoned cart recovery email is an email intended to make the customer purchase the abandoned products, thereby bringing back sales that had almost slipped out of hand.

3). What should be the subject line of an abandoned cart recovery email?
A good subject line of an abandoned cart recovery email should be to the point, relatively short (21 - 50 words), personalized, and preferably uses numbers emojis.

4). What are the don’ts of abandoned cart recovery email subject lines?
The following things should be avoided in an abandoned cart recovery email subject line:

  • Drafting lengthy subject lines
  • Using too many punctuations
  • Misleading information to get the email opened up
  • Relying on authoritative language unless your customers are receptive to it.

5). What kind of content should I write in abandoned cart recovery emails?
Some of the content types which have a high chance of driving the reader back to the abandoned cart are content that empathizes, offers help, amuses, and (in rare cases) commands.