5 Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices to Recapture Lost Sales and Revenue

November 1, 2021

The Bolt Team


According to a collection of 41 studies between 2006 and 2018, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. To properly combat this on your ecommerce store, you will need to optimize your cart and checkout process, as well as use cart abandonment recovery email efforts to recapture lost sales.

Regardless of the cart abandonment rate that you are experiencing on your online store, you will want to develop strategies to reduce its impact on your conversions and revenue. One main tactic is to reduce the impact afterwards by recapturing lost sales.

What is shopping cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when customers that have added an item to their virtual shopping cart leave without making a purchase. Shopping cart abandonment differs from checkout abandonment based on where in the process the customer leaves. This impacts revenue and limits conversions on your ecommerce store.

Why customers abandon their shopping cart

The best way to combat cart abandonment on your ecommerce store is to identify why customers are abandoning their shopping cart. Knowing the reasons for cart abandonment will give you an idea of your greatest weaknesses, and help you make meaningful improvements that will lead to increased conversions.

Essential components of every cart abandonment recovery email

When designing cart abandonment recovery emails, there are a few key components that should always be included. Below are the main components that should make up every abandoned cart email to give you the best opportunity to recapture sales.

Remind customers of the items they left

Checkout with abandoned items displayed clearly

The main substance of your recovery email is the items that the customer left behind. That’s what initially got them to create their shopping cart, and it’s what you want them to come back for. Feature the products they left behind, including product details, product images, and all prices. If possible, remind them in a sentence or two about the value of the purchase.

Use an enticing subject line

Example of abandoned cart email with catchy subject line

You’ve already lost the customer’s attention, so you need to be creative and innovative with your subject line to get them interested again. Think outside the box and use something that will convince them to return. Only 45% of customers open cart abandonment recovery emails, so you need to overcome this hurdle before you can get customers to convert.

CTA returning user to their shopping cart

Example of abandoned cart email with call to action buttons highlighted

This is the whole purpose of the email. Direct customers to this call to action by prominently featuring this. Make it clear where they will end up and make it the most obvious clickable link within the recovery email. Be creative, colorful, and whatever else works to get attention and get customers back to your store. Ideally, try not to include any other links to your store in this email. All focus should be on that one call to action.

5 abandoned cart email best practices

Now that you know the main things to include in your cart abandonment emails, you’ll need to learn strategies to optimize and perfect your checkout for the greatest traction. Improve each aspect of your abandoned cart emails, including timing, content, layout, and more. Below are methods to make the most of your recovery emails and recapture lost sales.

1. Perfect the timing of your emails

The timing of your email is extremely important to the success of your recovery. Best practices show that recovery rates are highest for emails sent within an hour of abandonment. As with all metrics, this varies for different industries and products, so test the success by using different strategies. Identify which emails perform best by performing an A/B test, and then use the timing that shows the greatest results. Revisit this later and test again to ensure that you can’t get more conversions by timing the emails differently.

2. Connect customers to support

Example of checkout with button to easily access customer support

There’s a chance that the reason customers abandoned was a lack of support throughout the process. As part of the recovery email, include a link to customer support. If you were able to collect information about why they left, try to link them to the support they need. Even if you weren’t, connect customers to a FAQ page, contact number, email, or other support options.

3. Design unique layouts for each email

Example of a creative abandoned cart recovery email

Each email you send the same customer should be unique. Sending the same email repeatedly is not going to gain any more traction than the last, and is actually likely to bother your customer. Your first email should be a friendly reminder, the next should create urgency, and the final should incentivize the customer. Each of these should have a custom layout and be designed for its specific purpose.

4. Capture attention with convincing text

Example of abandoned cart email with convincing copy text

Text is an inevitable component of any abandoned cart recovery email, and you need to make the most of every word. Use fun, interesting, captivating writing that gets your readers attention and convinces them of the value of returning to make a purchase. Represent your brand well with interesting language and a clear message.

5. Develop loyalty and trust with customers

Example of checkout with secure payment available

The prevalence of fraud on ecommerce sites has led customers to be wary when using online shopping platforms. Consumers will only enter personal and payment details on a trusted service. Include trust seals and badges as necessary, and instill a sense of credibility with your customers through your recovery emails.

Eliminate the impact cart abandonment has on your ecommerce store by using a fast checkout like Bolt, that’s optimized to get customers to the purchase twice as fast as competitors. To help you capture abandoned carts that make it through the cracks, see templates for creating abandoned cart emails.

Bolt also uses a fraud management system that detects, prevents, and protects against chargebacks by identifying many more factors than the competition. Most fraud management tools reject authentic purchases through false fraud detections. Bolt is aware of the great impact this has on ecommerce stores, and offers a product that reduces these falsely rejected fraud cases to approve more valid orders and capture more revenue.

ThinkShop by Bolt does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. Contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.