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Guide to Shopify Abandoned Cart Emails with Examples

It’s no longer a secret that Shopify abandoned cart emails are effective at increasing conversions. And yet, only a small percentage of businesses are actually using them, even amongst the retail giants. According to Hubspot, only 19% of the top 1,000 ecommerce companies engage in any kind of shopping cart abandonment recovery. 


You might have noticed that your abandoned cart rate is high, but you’re not alone. There are a ton of reasons people abandon their carts- maybe the total price is higher than they were expecting or they hadn’t taken shipping into consideration; they may need to create an account or enter too much information to checkout; they may have experienced technical errors; or the website may have crashed. Or perhaps they were simply doing some virtual window shopping.

Whatever the reason, it's in your best interests to set up an abandoned cart reminder for your Shopify store. They have some of the best statistics when it comes to email, with a 43% open rate, compared to 15% for regular marketing emails. They also have an average conversion rate of 2.9%, according to SaleCycle, which is a great boost to sales which would otherwise have been lost.

The first thing you will need to do before setting up an abandoned cart reminder is to collect the shopper’s email before they checkout. The more information someone has to fill out, the more negative the experience becomes, so this isn’t the time to collect names and birthdays or other marketing information. Another thing you should strongly consider is sending a series of emails over a few days rather than just one. According to Experian, customers who receive multiple emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete their purchase than those who only receive one.

There is no science to constructing the perfect Shopify abandoned cart email, but there are a host of proven elements that you should consider using. These include:

  • Attention grabbing subject line
  • Personalisation 
  • Clear image of the item left behind
  • Direct link to cart
  • Discounts or free shipping
  • Sense of urgency/scarcity value
  • Social proof & trust indicators
  • Offer to help

Even with the most basic abandoned cart email, you’ll be doing better than the majority of your competition. But if you, like us, don't want to settle for basic, take a look at some of our favourite examples of abandoned cart emails.

1. Chubbies: All about the copy

Chubbies have taken a slightly less conventional approach to the abandoned cart email. This example goes to show that you don’t have to be great at design to create a compelling message. Design wise, it can’t get more basic than this. But the copy is what really shines here. It looks and reads like an email from a friend, which is why it sticks out in an inbox full of marketing emails. 

Their tone of voice is incredibly casual, but it fits right in with their brand and target audience (men between 18-30 years old who ‘live for the weekend’). It’s also a very soft nudge to get the customer back to their cart, relating to their procrastination and encouraging them to reach out if they encountered any issues, rather than coming straight out and asking for a sale. The copy includes two natural CTA’s for the customer to go straight back to their cart for a smooth checkout. 


2. Patch Plants: Lighthearted humour and personalisation

Patch caught our attention with the emoji in their sender name and clever subject line, “Don’t leaf me behind.” If your brand tone of voice lends itself to a bit of lighthearted humour, it will definitely help you stand out in a customer’s inbox. The sender name is important to consider too and can be another opportunity to diversify your emails. Replacing your brand name with an individual’s name, such as a customer service representative, can make your message seem much more personal. The sign-off from “Freddie & the Patch team” is also another way of adding this personalisation. You’ll notice that they have included their Trustpilot score to reassure anyone who may have been unsure of ordering from a small business. You can also consider including online payment security credentials for extra reassurance.

3. Califia Farms: Fun copy and a double discount

Califia have clearly had fun with their copy, from the witty subject line (“Your fridge is calling…”) and the opening statement “To fill your fridge you have to finish your order!”. They also generously offer 15% off the order plus free shipping. Discounts are a great incentive to get shoppers to complete their orders, but use them strategically as people may come to expect them if used too regularly, and will avoid purchasing anything at full price. A great option can be saving the discount until the end of your email series. If you don’t want to offer a product discount, free shipping can be another great incentive to encourage a customer to complete their order.


4. Sand & Sky: Unmistakable identity and urgency


Another example of a brand that has really defined their tone of voice and has taken the time to know their target millennial audience with compelling subject lines like “Hurry, perfect skin is just a click away!” The main body of the email is taken up with a large graphic with flashing text that adds to the urgency of the message. They also tap into FOMO with “Don’t miss out on your skin transformation!” They use the colours of the brand throughout so there’s no mistake who this email is from, and by the end of the series of four emails, the shopper has a much stronger brand recognition.

5. Lazy Oaf: Let the product do the talking

Lazy Oaf shows how taking a highly visual approach can work. They let the photos do the talking with a large, high quality photo of the abandoned items, but still add a fun element of personification with their simple copy, “You’ve left me behind :(“. They also include recommended similar items at the end of the email, giving the shopper another incentive to head back to the site and potentially increasing their cart value. 

Of course, you don’t have to include every single one of these elements in your abandoned cart series, but mixing and matching a few that suit your brand and take your customer into consideration will go a long way in capturing those sales which might have otherwise been lost. 




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