Set up an abandoned cart email

Business Benefits

Recover sales lost to abandoned carts.


Open your email platform and navigate to your automation tab.

Select Create new flow/automation and select the pre-built cart abandonment flow. The trigger will automatically be set up.

Most platforms that offer automation have pre-built the major flows like this one. Refer to your specific platform’s automation documentation. Typically, you will need to use a pre-built cart abandonment flow rather than a custom flow, as the trigger relies on integration between the platform and your website.

Modify the time delay to 1-4 hours.

  • If you used a pre-built flow, the time delay block will be automatically created. Click on it to adjust the timing.
  • If you used a custom flow, insert a time delay block.

Click on the first email block after the time delay and create a compelling personalized subject line.

Personalize the subject by inserting a dynamic tag like [Firstname]. Some good examples of abandoned cart subject lines:

  • Don’t forget this, [FIRSTNAME]
  • Whoops! You forgot this, [FIRSTNAME]
  • Heading out without checking out?
  • Looks like you forgot something, [FIRSTNAME] - complete your purchase
  • Ready to buy? Complete your order now
  • You left something behind.
  • Hey! You dropped this

If you used a custom flow, insert an email block.

In the email’s body, write a headline that will encourage your user to complete their purchase or click on the item they previously viewed.

Good headline examples:

  • [FIRSTNAME] WE SAVED THIS ITEM FOR YOU.
  • NEED HELP COMPLETING YOUR PURCHASE?
  • YOU’RE JUST A FEW CLICKS AWAY, [FIRSTNAME]
  • COMPLETE YOUR PURCHASE BEFORE WE SELL OUT
  • YOUR CART HAS SOME AWESOME STUFF IN IT.
  • COMPLETE YOUR PURCHASE BELOW

Insert an engaging call to action below the dynamic content block with the details and image of the abandoned product.

Your email program will automatically insert the abandoned product image and details. Call to action examples:

  • Treat yourself! Buy now
  • Shop now while stocks last
  • Click here for easy ordering
  • Buy now and save 10%
  • Bag this while you can
  • Buy now last chance at this price!

Add another headline under your call to action that highlights other complimentary or bestselling products.

Your user may not like the product they viewed, so include 1-3 other products to try and get them to convert. For example, Not quite what you were looking for? How about these? Alternatively, add text or a button that says Shop bestsellers or See what else we have to offer.

Go back to your flow, insert a 24-48 hour delay block after your first email, and add a second email after the delay.

Give this email a compelling subject line to remind the user they have items in their basket.

Using discounts is a good way to push a user to buy items in their cart. However, be careful with this because you can train users to expect discounts just for putting something in their cart. Follow-up abandoned cart subject lines:

  • [FIRSTNAME] GET 5% OFF ALL ITEMS IN YOUR CART!
  • We will be removing [PRODUCTNAME] from your cart
  • Last chance to complete your purchase, [FIRSTNAME]
  • 5% off your lovely saved items - today only

Create a compelling headline that highlights any discounts or additional offers.

Under the headline insert some last chance copy or details of the bonus offer or discount. If offering a discount add a time pressure like 10% off this item until midnight. If you are not using a discount or additional offers, reiterate they still have items in their cart and this is their last chance before the item is removed.

Add a link to bestsellers or other products under the abandoned product information and image. Ideally, use different products from the first email.

Keep the dynamic content (the product name and image) the same as in the first email.

Test both emails by sending yourself a preview to different email addresses.

Use a service like Litmus to do this automatically across multiple devices and inboxes.