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Tips for an Amazing Abandoned Cart Recovery Email

October 12, 2022
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If you’re struggling to get your abandoned cart recovery to work, you’re not alone.  Cart abandonment affects every ecommerce store out there no matter what scale their business is at.

Note: This is a guest post from Recapture.io

We’ve spent the last 6 years learning and mastering the secrets of abandoned cart recovery in order to boost revenue for Shopify stores. 

In fact, we’ve recovered over $200,000,000 and processed well over $2 billion in gross merchant volume, so we’ve learned a thing or two about cart recovery.

In this post, we’ll spill our top 5 insider secrets on how you can make your abandoned cart email campaigns suck less and really bring home the bacon.

Top 5 Tips For Abandoned Cart Recovery Email

Tip #1: Get over your fear of sending too many emails

Based on our observations of thousands of customers on Recapture, we noticed a disturbing trend.  Most merchants hesitate to send more than one email to their abandoned carts.  Which left us wondering:

Why would you not send more emails?

Merchants who only send one follow-up email to their customers may get a little back on their abandoned cart campaigns, but that should be the start, not the end.  Our data shows a very different story across all successful stores in Recapture.

Here’s a screenshot from our demo, which is anonymized data from a real, live store on Recapture.  They’ve been with us since 2017.  And you can quickly see why when you look at their email campaigns:

They send 3 emails and historically, the first email has recovered over $417,000 since they started using it.

Abandoned cart recovery email campaign first email
Don’t be afraid to send emails regarding abandoned carts

Which by itself, would be impressive.  

But they didn’t just send one email campaign, they sent 3. 

The second two emails combined made $721,000 in addition to what the first one made.  

That’s 175% more revenue recovered from the second two emails just because they followed up two more times.

How much revenue will an abandoned cart recovery email campaign recover for you
Merchants who send 3 emails make significantly more revenue in their abandoned cart recovery

This result is not unique or special.  

On average, with Recapture, we’ve found that the merchants who send 3 emails make at least 100% more revenue in their abandoned cart recovery than those merchants who send just one email.

That’s why you send multiple abandoned cart email campaigns every time.  The money is in the follow-up.

Tip #2:  Know your customer’s biggest objections and respond ahead of time

Socrates once quipped, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom,” but in e-commerce, knowing your customers is the beginning of the sale.  

Your abandoned cart campaign should be thinking about your customer’s objections and answering them in advance.  Things like:

  • Do I know this merchant well enough to buy?
  • Do I like what they have to sell?
  • Can I trust them to send me my products on time and in good condition?

This Know-Like-Trust sequence can’t be avoided, but you can help move the customer along more quickly. 

When you have abandoned carts, the customer already likes your product enough to add something to a cart, but maybe they’re having trouble with the trust or the knowing part.

You can help using your abandoned cart emails by adding simple content that you already have!

In your first email, let them know how they can answer any support-related questions.  Provide clear ways to contact your store via email, chat, phone, carrier pigeon (please don’t do this one), or whatever you prefer.  Let them know you’d love to hear from them.

But don’t stop there; you also should proactively answer questions you just know they’re going to have.  If you have a support team, get the top 3 questions they most frequently answer and place the questions/answers right in the email! 

Or, if you have an FAQ page on your site, make sure that is clearly linked in your first and second emails.

Lastly, the best way to ensure new customers trust you more is to show them how previous customers feel about you.  Add reviews and testimonials from happy buyers and quote that directly in your second email.  Link back to the actual review, so they know you’re not making this up.

Tip #3:  Save your discount for the last email

Ever get the same email from a store over and over?  Did it convince you to buy or bore you to death?

That’s the sequence we see all too often at Recapture.  Afraid they’ll lose the customer if they don’t offer a discount right away, merchants send the discount in the first email.  And then just repeat that discount again and again for the next ones (if they send them at all)!

Once a customer receives the discount code, you’re going to lose their interest in your future abandoned cart emails.  You should always save it for the last email of the sequence.

There’s one exception to this rule–and that’s using a Discount Ladder.  If your profit margins support it, and you want to entice your customers a little bit more with each email, you can offer progressively bigger discounts.  For example:

  • Email 1: 10% discount
  • Email 2: 15% discount
  • Email 3: 20% discount (final email)

Customers expect that abandoned cart emails contain discounts, so when you offer it, it should be the best offer you can afford. 

When you use a discount ladder, you can expect that customers who just want the discount will mostly buy after Email 1, but those really on the fence will wait until Email 3, and everyone ends up happy!

Just make sure your profit margin isn’t so thin that these discounts ruin your profitability.

Tip #4:  Pick engaging, unique subject lines

You probably received enough abandoned cart emails to know what subject lines are overused.  Things like

  • “We’ve saved your cart!”
  • “Oops, you forgot something…”
  • Or the ever compelling:  “Your cart is waiting”

Full stop.  Everyone is bored by these.  You have to do better.  You can do better, because you know your audience better than anyone else, right? (RIGHT?)

Find compelling subject lines that your audience would find interesting, funny or relevant.  Here are some examples.

Here’s an example from Adidas, where they assume you lost your WiFi and didn’t finish your purchase:

Subject line:  Sorry to hear about your Wi-Fi

Use interesting and engaging subject lines in your emails
Use interesting and engaging subject lines in your emails

Adidas is making a play on lost connections and your abandoned cart, but in a clever way.  It’s compelling without being cheesy.

Here’s another.  Suppose you sell food/consumables.  You could use something like:

“We don’t want you to go hungry!”

And then remind them about the items in their cart.  You could follow it up with another couple of subject lines like “Should we put this back in the fridge?” or “Can we give that to Lora instead?” to help instill fear of missing out.  All while keeping with a food theme.

Lastly, use every tool available to you–most abandoned cart services (including Recapture) allow you to set the Preview Text of the email. 

According to Email Blaster UK, over 60% of all email opens happen on a mobile device.  And mobile devices also heavily use the Preview Text feature in addition to the subject line. 

If your preview text is empty, you’re missing out on a crucial bit of real estate to help convince customers to open your email and improve your email open rates.  

Don’t skip that important line of text.  It could make the difference between “open” and “ignore” by your customers.

Tip #5:  Use a service that supports abandoned carts and checkouts both

Did you know that there are two types of abandoned carts in a store?  Most merchants don’t!

Abandoned checkouts happen when a customer adds items to their cart, visits your checkout page, and fails to complete their order with payment.

By contrast, an abandoned cart happens when the customer adds something to the cart and then simply leaves your store.  They don’t go to the checkout page at all.

Both types of abandonments happen in your store all the time.  But Shopify’s abandoned cart email only tracks abandoned checkouts.

Abandoned carts represent a substantial number of customers that you could reach out to with email, and Shopify simply ignores all of them.

You need to use a service that tracks BOTH, like Recapture

In fact, one of those most eye-opening moments for merchants is when they use Recapture and visit our Live Cart Feed for the first time.  On that page, you get a live view of all the recent activity on your store. 

It looks like this:

Live cart feed
Live cart feed

Recapture tracks all types of abandonment–carts and checkouts both, and you can watch customer behavior in real-time as they update, change (or even walk away) from the Live Cart Feed page.

Final Thoughts

Cart abandonment is the most important way you can boost revenue on your e-commerce store without selling more, getting more customers, or having to do extra work. 

It’s the most underused and underappreciated email sequence by far.  And one of the most valuable.

If you want the best abandoned cart recovery, Recapture can help you reach your maximum potential today.  Give us a shout, and we’d be happy to help. 

We have a famous 5-minute install and world-class customer support. 

60 5-star reviews can’t be wrong.  Try Recapture today.