How to improve your abandoned cart email copy

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You might not fully realize it, but email is all about persuasion. 

You want people to check out your emails and do something; take some action (ideally buy something) based on what they’ve read. 

So how do you do that?

First, you need your emails to get opened. That means a killer subject line that catches their attention in a crowded inbox.

Then, you need to surprise, delight, or educate your readers. You need to move them through your email in a way that makes taking action a no-brainer. 

That’s the difference between brands who get opens, clicks, and conversions through their emails and those that don’t.

The key?

Your copy. 

The words you write that gets your readers to take action. And when it comes to abandoned cart emails, it’s even more critical. The vast majority of your site’s shoppers are going to abandon their carts, for one reason or another. 

It’s up to you to send them an abandoned cart email that will catch their attention and drive at least some of them back to your site to finish the purchase. Even a small increase in these shoppers can add real dollars to your bottom line. 

So, let’s look at how you can target your abandoned cart email copy and start converting more shoppers. 

Design matters

Before we jump into the copy side of things, there’s one important topic to discuss when it comes to your abandoned cart emails, and that’s your email’s design. 

Great abandoned cart emails need to focus heavily on really good design. Usually, that means featuring eye-catching images. Ideally, since you want to personalize these emails as much as you can, these images should be of the items left in the cart. 

So keep that in mind. Your choice of design and imagery matter here, and your copy is what sells it.

More than meets the eye

The issue that most marketers find when it comes to abandoned cart emails is these should be pretty short, simple, and straightforward. 

And that’s true. But most often these types of emails, those that require less copy, are more difficult to write. So you have to pack a lot into just a few sentences. 


Take a look at this example:

Here’s a great example where the header immediately catches your attention — the word ‘free’ often does that.

So the first nice bonus we see here is that shipping is free. Next, readers will turn to the main ‘body’ of the email. In this case, it’s only about 30 words, including the promo code.

But it says a lot.

Highlighting how sales are limited puts urgency on the cart. It helps launch some of those psychological triggers that make shoppers buy, like fear of missing out.

The next sentence is all about enticing the shopper to finish the purchase. Buy now, and you’ll get free shipping (high shipping costs are often one of the most cited reasons for why people abandon their carts).


Here is another email with a fun headline:

Bet that got your attention.

So right off the bat, they are doing a good job grabbing eyeballs to scan down the rest of the email.

But where this email really stands out is they add some testimonial copy near the bottom. That testimonial that the bed was so good the customer called in sick to work, is powerful. It’s also great social proof that relates to other shoppers too — who doesn’t want a bed so comfy they can’t leave it?


Here’s a fun email that digs into the power of copy promoting a specific product:

This is another abandoned cart email that has a cheeky headline that catches attention from the start. 

From there, the email has copy that’s super personalized, it’s specifically related to the product in the cart. It appeals a bit to the idea of nostalgia and keeping up with the crowd; this shoe is a ‘staple item in your collection,’ you don’t want to be the one without it. 

They also add in a bit more enticement to highlight how you can customize the product, so it fits your perfect specs. The email finishes off with social proof, a bunch of reviews for the same product sitting in the shopper’s cart. 

Don’t ignore your copy

You can see that just a few sentences of solid copy and an eye-catching headline can drive shoppers back to their cart. While you don’t need a lot of text in your abandoned cart emails, you do need to make sure it counts.

Keep some of these winning examples in mind as you work on your next set of abandoned cart emails.

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