Do Cart Abandonment Emails Work? (Examples, Hacks, & Facts)

December 9, 2021

As stated by a Forrester Research, businesses lose up to $18 billion worth of sales every year because 87% of consumers abandon their carts. You’ve probably heard something similar through research or word of mouth. And since you’ve noticed the same pattern in your eCommerce store, you’re heavily considering trying this out. But before you invest and spend your hard-earned money, you want to find out for certain, “Do cart abandonment emails work in the first place?”

After all, the average open rate for marketing emails is only 16%, and as for conversion, it’s just 10%. Does this type of campaign truly live up to its hype?

At CartStack, we’ve sent more than 50 million abandoned cart emails. Our expertise and experience have taught us that not all of them can be recovered. Some customers are simply not interested anymore or have already purchased from a competitor. But that’s not the case all the time. Think about it. On average, the cart abandonment rate is 88%. This means that even if you just convert a portion of these abandoners, you’ve already struck gold.

More importantly, these shoppers are already interested in your items. It’ll only take a few gentle reminders to convert them. As for those that can’t be converted, what you need to do is find out the root causes of why this happens and come up with both immediate and long-term strategies.

Therefore, it is not really a matter of, “Do cart abandonment emails work?” Instead what you should be asking yourself is “What is the secret to high-converting abandoned cart emails?”

In this post, we’ll provide everything you need to get started such as top-notch examples, up-to-date statistics, and clever hacks. Our customers regularly achieve open rates of more than 50% so rest assured that you’re in good hands.

3 Powerful Abandoned Cart Facts for Entrepreneurs in 2021

To answer the question, “Do cart abandonment emails work?” you need hard facts. In this section, we’ll give you the most updated research in terms of recovery emails. You’ll also learn how this impacts your business and what you can do to create the best campaigns.

#1 Costly Shipping Fees is the Top Reason for Cart Abandonment

According to 2021 data from Statista, 49% of online shoppers in the United States say that expensive shipping costs caused them to abandon their carts.

The other leading causes of cart abandonment are the following:

  • 11% – unsatisfactory return policy
  • 17% – too high calculated upfront costs
  • 12% – technical issues with the website
  • 4% – declined credit card upon purchase
  • 24% – account creation was added hassle
  • 18% – complicated checkout process (ex: forms)
  • 19% – delivery of the product would take too long
  • 7% – their preferred payment method wasn’t offered
  • 17% – worried about safety when entering credit card information

With this data in mind, what you need to do as a business owner is to strategize a solution. On a positive note, the majority of these causes can be easily mitigated, especially ones regarding costs. Here are a couple of quick fixes that you can add to your next cart abandonment campaign:

  • Extend no-charge consultations
  • Offer upgrades for quick delivery
  • Offer exclusive eBooks for no cost
  • Give them free or flat rate shipping
  • Provide access to limited edition products
  • Consider free gifts or buy one get one free deals

The downside, however, is that not all of these problems are solvable through short-term remedies. One example would be including too many forms in your checkout process. This issue can only be worked out by getting in touch with your web designer. If you’re curious about other long-term strategies for cart abandonment, this article will enlighten you.

#2 More shoppers abandon their cart through mobile phones

About 80.6% of potential customers who use their smartphones don’t complete their purchase. As for desktop users, the abandonment rate was only 66.2%. This was discovered in 2021 research with US shoppers.

Mobile cart abandonment is rampant because of the following causes:

  • Shopping experience isn’t as engaging as on a computer
  • Customers browsing through phones are only window shopping and aren’t as serious as desktop users

Moreover, in 2021, 72.9% of all eCommerce transactions are completed through mobile phones. It is absolutely crucial that you implement these solutions if you don’t want to fall behind the times:

  • Improve your site’s mobile user experience: There are a couple of ways you can implement this for your business. First, ensure that your website is optimized for smartphones. You must also create an exciting experience for your shoppers. Another important factor is to be certain that your cart abandonment emails are also mobile adaptive.
  • Offer guest checkout: As an entrepreneur, you would prefer to have your buyers’ information so that you can nurture them well after the purchase has been made. But from a shopper’s point of view, this isn’t ideal. There are customers who are only looking for a one-time purchase and filling out forms is a deal-breaker. You can still offer account creation however you need to be clever about it. Giving incentives is a great way to increase account creation for your eCommerce store.

#3 The automotive industry has the highest cart abandonment rate

Based on a recent study, the automotive industry has a 96.88% cart abandonment rate. Other industries with high abandonment rates include:

  • 84.51% – Retail
  • 79.95% – Travel
  • 87.55% – Hotels
  • 90.91% – Airlines
  • 90.68% – Fashion
  • 83.97% – Groceries
  • 67.92% – Insurance
  • 90.34% – Gardening
  • 92.04% – Car rentals
  • 85.73% – Cosmetics
  • 94.36% – Baby and child
  • 76.98% – Pharmaceuticals
  • 92.61% – Luxury products
  • 89.93% – Mobile providers
  • 89.01% – Department stores
  • 90.13% – Ferry and cruises
  • 84.21% – Sports and outdoor
  • 85.49% – Consumer electronics

If your business belongs to any of these industries, you need to amp up your abandoned cart email game.

The first thing you can do about it is conduct a website audit. Inspect your site and take a look at the factors that impact cart abandonment from the perspective of your shoppers. If you need help identifying the causes of abandonment, we went in-depth on the matter in this article. We also discussed top-notch tips in that post that include back-in-stock notifications, payment option updates, and so much more.

3 Best Examples of Successful Abandonment Emails

As they say, “To be the best, you need the best.” A great way to create effective cart abandonment emails is to learn by example. Here are three of the best abandoned cart email examples you can follow.

#1 Customer Reviews and Testimonials by Casper

include social proof for successful abandonment emails

In 2021, 70% of online shoppers look at one to six reviews before buying. Its powerful influence on purchasing decisions is due to its effectiveness in alleviating customer concerns. When buyers see that people love your product, it assures them and increases their trust.

One of the top consumer concerns is quality. In the example above, Casper’s abandoned cart email does a great job of addressing this. A review was featured below the Return To Cart button. And if the customer wants to see more, they can simply click on Read More Reviews. Other notable aspects of this recovery email are the visible logo and the image of the item left in the cart.

Note that the best reviews and testimonials highlight a product’s unique selling point.

#2 Discount Offer by Birchbox

offer a discount for successful abandonment emails

People love freebies, and Birchbox knows how to take advantage of this. Like we mentioned earlier, many potential customers abandon their carts because of the overall cost of their order. By giving them discounts, you lower the fees and increase the chances that they’ll buy more items from your store.

Because of the pandemic, buyers are on the lookout for good deals more than ever. As disclosed by a new survey, 60% of customers value discounts when shopping online, especially in the emergence of COVID-19.

Discounts are also a good way of gaining loyalty with your customers. More than 62%of respondents shared that pricing was their top reason for brand loyalty. The slashed prices might be the final push they need to complete the order.

Here’s a great idea for an abandoned cart email sequence. For a series of cart recovery emails, you can start with a simple reminder, just to recapture any sales from high-intent customers who would purchase without an incentive. Then, after a day or two, offer a 15% discount, and as a last attempt, you can  increase that to a 20% discount.

If possible, you can also give them a 50% reduction in price. According to a 2021 study, shoppers from the US, UK, France, and Sweden prefer half the price off. It even surpassed receiving a free gift, which was only chosen by 10% of the participants.

#3 Scarcity by Beauty Bay

scarcity for successful abandonment emails

Scarcity is one of the most high-converting eCommerce tactics worldwide. In fact, it can boost your revenue by 2.9% per visitor. Beauty Bay took advantage of this psychological trigger in their cart recovery emails.

Other than just saying “stocks are running low” or “X items left,” you can be as creative as Beauty Bay by saying, “ Shop it now (before somebody else does).” It’s an effective way to say, “many people want it, and you might just lose your chance.”  

It’s subtle yet effective. Plus, it’s strategically placed above the CTA, giving them more reasons to go back to their abandoned carts.

But take note that with scarcity, you have to be genuine. Even if you have plenty of stock left, you can still convey scarcity by playing with words as Beauty Bay does.

There’s a lot more to learn if you want to make highly effective recovery campaigns. If you need more examples this cart abandonment email template article is perfect for you.

3 Abandonment Email Hacks You Can Try Today

#1 Include Social Proof

cart abandonment social proof example

In the first abandoned cart example, we touched on the impact of reviews and testimonials on conversion. This is just one kind of what’s called social proof.

There are several types you can incorporate into your campaigns. These include the following:

  • Media mentions
  • Bestseller items
  • Customer favorites
  • Brand collaborations
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Reviews from happy customers
  • Heartfelt notes from existing customers

Using social proof establishes your credibility, giving your potential customer a reason to purchase from you. People tend to believe what other customers say rather than what you do about the product. Adding this element convinces them more to complete the purchase of the items in the abandoned cart.

#2 Offer Incentives

Incentives are powerful tools to regain lost sales. Offering a discount is one of its most popular forms, as we showed in the second recovery email example.

Other methods include:

  • Free item
  • Extra points
  • Product trial
  • Free samples
  • Free upgrades
  • Next purchase discount
  • Free informational products

If you’re looking for the best incentive, try offering “buy one, get one free” deals. Based on recent data, 70% of consumers from the United States are in favor of this type of discount. 

Another strategy you can implement is sending out a series of cart recovery email discounts in the next couple of days, increasing the discount as you go on until they bite the offer. Sometimes, this will be the motivation they unknowingly need to convert.

You can also offer them additional slashed prices for later purchases by providing them with a unique coupon they can use. Moreover, include a use period for these discount coupons so they’ll be moved to use before it goes stale. 

#3 Pay Attention to your Email Copy

Over 300 billion emails are sent on a daily basis. By 2025, this number is even expected to rise to more than 370 billion. With this in mind, how will your abandoned cart emails stand out from the competition?

The answer lies in your email copy. There are many important elements of this:

  • Body
  • Footer
  • Preheader
  • Subject line
  • Dynamic CTA

Let’s go over these elements one by one starting with the subject line, since it’s the first thing readers see. There are many ways you can craft catchy ones. In a previous article, we discussed over 17 you can utilize for your campaigns. However, you have to ensure that the subject lines you choose are aligned with your branding. Here are a couple of our favorites:

  • Oops, did something go wrong with your order?
  • Stuck with your cart? Maybe some reviews to help you decide?
  • This is just for you, {Name}.
  • You’ll look great with that, don’t forget to checkout
  • You’re almost there! Don’t forget to checkout

Next comes the preheader. It’s the summarized text following the subject line as seen in the inbox. Here’s an example from TJC Marketing:

crat abandon preheader text

It should be as catchy as the subject line, so when the email receiver does a second take on the subject line, the preheader text will prevent the decrease in open rate. 

Don’t forget to create this one, or else your inbox copy will look something like this:

missing preheader text

For the body copy, you should always stick to as few words as possible. Limit yourself to 3 sentences at most. Remember, most potential customers will be reading from a phone screen. You don’t want them to bounce off seeing a wall of text. 

Also, the body copy should be a smaller font than the headline. When they open the email, their eyes should first land on the headline, then the body copy. 

For the footer, you can put the social buttons of your website here. Many potential customers want social proof or people who will prove that the product is worthy enough to buy. Your social accounts are one place they’ll look into, so make it easier for them to see it. 

Lastly, make the CTA dynamic. 

Now that you’ve grabbed the reader’s attention, make the decision to purchase easier for them by telling them the exact thing they should do next. 

The copy for the CTA should be inviting enough to click on so they can finish the checkout process from their abandoned cart. 

Avoid using the cliche and boring “Buy now” or “Get now” CTAs. 

From the examples above, you can use “View your cart”, “Complete your order” or “Checkout Now”. These kinds of CTAs tell them exactly what clicking on the button does for them and carries with it a sense of command. Marketers call them actionable CTA. 

Other things to keep in mind about the CTA:

  • Keep them below 3 words
  • Use bright colors and large text for better visibility
  • Keep the CTA above the fold

You can find more examples in this abandoned cart recovery email template.

Here’s the Bottom Line

We hope that after reading this article, you finally answered the question, “Do cart abandonment emails work?” Keep in mind that although you can’t count on converting all of your abandoned carts, those that can still be recovered are absolutely worth the try.

With CartStack, we guarantee that you’ll earn $1k from your recovery campaigns in just 14 days, or you’ll use our software for free until you do!

If you have any questions about CartStack, feel free to send us a message at or give us a call at 888-363-3647.