12 Exceptional Examples of Cart Abandonment Emails

These cases will help you bring your customers right back. Make sure to take notes

Lauren Dowdle
August 08 2018

The sale is so close you can taste it. Your customer has loaded up their cart with all their favorite things, but for one reason or another, they’ve left it behind without completing the purchase. And you’re not alone if this regularly happens to your brand: The average cart abandonment rate in 2017 was 78.65 percent.

The study by Barilliance also breaks down which devices have the highest cart abandonment rate and found that screen size plays a role. The average rates (rounded to the nearest percent) were 73 for desktop, 81 percent for tablet and 86 percent for mobile devices. Any issues are amplified on a smaller screen, so optimize your site to avoid losing revenue on mobile devices.

Who’s losing the most?

SaleCycle offers a glimpse into abandonment rates by industry, with gaming having the lowest at 64 percent and finance having the worst at 84 percent — and nonprofits just a bit behind at 83 percent. They found the global average cart abandonment rate is 76 percent across all sectors. As for why customers don’t commit and click the purchase button, SaleCycle found the top reason (34 percent) is they were just looking or researching, and 23 percent say there were issues with shipping.

Analyze your data to see where you’re losing customers. Do they leave after the shipping costs pop up, when they’re required to fill out a form, forced to sign up for an account or before they ever get to the checkout process? Use your findings to better tailor your message to them. Sending an initial personalized email within three hours of cart abandonment results in a 40-percent average open rate and 20-percent click-through rate.

Want to encourage customers to return to their carts and make the purchase? Here are 12 of our favorite best cart abandonment emails:


Shipping costs can be a huge hurdle for customers and can keep them from purchasing what they’ve put in their carts. If your analytics and customer feedback show that’s a holdup for your audience, offer them a deal to get free shipping if they return to their cart. You can even put an expiration on the deal to create a sense of urgency.


It may seem simple — and that’s because it is — but this email works because it hits home with its customers. Vistaprint allows you to design and print a variety of materials, or you can have their team create your printing materials. They address a possible concern that could interfere with someone making a purchase with this email. That just shows you need to understand the main reason people are leaving their carts empty so you can fix it.


We’ve all heard of people having FOBO, or fear of better options. Anticipate that issue and show customers related items based on what’s in their cart. That gives your email more personalization and allows them to make a more educated purchasing decision. This email also addresses the shipping concern and reminds customers it’s free with a certain purchase amount.

Crate & Barrel

If your customers don’t have FOBO, maybe they have FOMO (fear of missing out). That’s what this email is banking on. They imply your items may be gone if you don’t order them now, so you’re taking a chance you might miss out on getting what you want. And if you’re worried about the checkout not being secure or returns being a hassle, they provide links to ease your fears on both.

Neiman Marcus

This brand takes that FOMO fear a step further and lets you know your items will be gone soon if you don’t take action. If you are serious about the purchase, that will give you a good hard nudge to make your mind up soon. It’s a good method to weed out customers who aren’t actually planning to make a purchase. And to make the email a little sweeter, they tack on a discount.


Who doesn’t love a good song reference from time to time? This email isn’t actually a cart abandonment email (stay with me here), but their approach is worth noting and works for cart issues. They walk you through exactly what you need to do to complete the purchase, while creating a lighthearted vibe that doesn’t come across as salesy.


Again, it’s another fun play on words that gets the point across, without pushing a sale. They also create a little bit of suspense with their header, encouraging you to complete your checkout to see what kind of savings you’ll get with shipping.


This email brings more than just cuteness. They drive the point home that your items are about to be gone, in a different way than the other examples above. But what really makes this one stand out is how they stay true to their brand’s voice throughout all of the content. They also show images of what your pup is going to be missing out on if you don’t make a purchase.


Be purposeful with your images and let them ‘do the talking.’ There are plenty of visual images you can use besides an actual shopping cart or the items in their cart. Some fun ideas could be an elephant (since they never forget), someone scratching his head, a sticky note with a reminder, string around a finger or something like what Starbucks did here.


Speaking of sticky notes, that’s exactly the approach Dunelm takes with their email. They also include information on their different policies — from shipping to returns — at the bottom. One thing that makes their email a little different is that they have two CTAs: one for the cart and another offering some inspiration. That can help you increase your sales if you show them related items they’ll be interested in.


There’s something to be said about a simple design that gets the message across, and that’s what you get with this email. Considering a large percentage of customers leave their carts because they are researching their options, a message like this shows the brand knows what their customers are thinking. They also customize the message to include the items they’re looking at. To address other possible concerns, they don’t just say they have an easy return policy: They spell out their main conditions and also include a link for more FAQs.


When in doubt, get straight to the point like this email. This type of approach is especially useful for brands with business-minded customers who don’t need all of the extras to appreciate the message. But just because it leaves off some of the frills doesn’t mean it can’t be personalized. Consider using photos of the actual images they have in their carts in a cart image to really catch their attention.

Lauren Dowdle

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer and magazine editor based in Nashville, Tenn. Her nearly decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing — plus being interviewed by Jay Leno and winning a backhoe-operating contest. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her spoiling her four furry babies and exploring the city with her husband.

Leave a comment:


Let's Get Acquainted

Chars: 0

Get your free print edition!

Fill out your complete details below

Chars: 0
Chars: 0
Chars: 0
Chars: 0
Chars: 0
Chars: 0
Chars: 0
Chars: 0