For any ecommerce business, a coherent cart abandonment email strategy is the equivalent of a charming sales staff that never sleep. However, if this metaphorical staff are to be convincing at all, the message they communicate to abandoning users must be well framed and appropriately timed. The latter is a whole other article for another time. For now let's focus on what makes a good recovery email.


From the subject line to the 'unsubscribe' button, the copy in a abandoned cart email is critical. Good copy finds the perfect balance between a tone of friendly, helpful customer service and the urgency to push for a purchase. Too nice and a user may never click, too pushy and the user may unsubscribe. The order of these two factors depends on the brand in question.

What cannot be undermined though, is the importance of brevity. An abandoned cart email is sent primarily to serve the brand's needs. As such, the privilege of a user's attention should never be abused. So a good cart abandonment email, will quickly point to the gentle reminder and indicate a time frame beyond which the shopping cart will be emptied.


There are several factors to be borne in mind when it comes to the design of a cart abandonment email. One of the most critical ones is the choice of image used in the messaging. Several studies have been conducted to conclude that users will follow the eyes of a model to see what they are looking at. As such, ensure your model's eyes face your key messaging or call to action.

That being said, we've all received the kind of cart abandonment email where you can't even see the call to action. Users shouldn't have to spend so much as a second searching for where to click in order to leave your cart abandonment email and return to their shopping basket.


There is an ongoing debate about whether or not offers should be used in a cart abandonment email. This might be largely because vendors will jump on any excuse not to give their users an offer or discount, but it also has to do with users trying to see if they can trick the system and get offers all the time.

Therefore, if there is an urgent need to generate conversions in a short period of time, then a 10% discount in every cart abandonment email sent to first time abandoners will go a long way. Again, this is a strategy intrinsically dependent on the brand in question.


While elements of personalization such as the recipient's name should now be common place there are more effective ways to dynamically customize a cart abandonment email. For maximum relevance include all the necessary details of the products that the user left behind, thus instigating your cart abandonment email. This includes the name, size and color.

Furthermore, your cart abandonment email shouldn't be oblivious to the fact that the recipient probably wasn't interested in the product they left behind anyway. As such, include a link to new products, or related products that are relevantly categorized.

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Cart abandonment emails don't end their journey at the user's inbox. They become a ticket back to your conversion funnel so ensure that when a user does click through, they reach a shopping basket that is editable, reveals all the necessary product and pricing information and is easy to progress through.

For the perfect cart abandonment email, it is essential that marketers are fully aware of the experience the user is having. By optimizing each of these elements, and timing the mails appropriately, your customer won't be responding to an annoying sales pitch anymore, they'll be helping themselves to the products they were interested in.

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