If you run an e-commerce store you’ve definitely noticed more than a few abandoned carts, and that can be a bit disheartening. The good news is that it’s possible to win back a lot of those customers with a thoughtful, carefully crafted message or two. Here are six ways to write a good abandoned cart email.

Timing matters

It’s important that the email is sent out relatively soon after the cart is abandoned, or the customer may forget about it and be less likely to respond. Try and send your message out within an hour, but fifteen minutes or less is preferable. You’ll also want to be thinking about the frequency with which you send follow-ups. Your initial message should be followed up with a second one 24 hours later, perhaps with a limited time offer code. If there is no response, send a third reminder after 72 hours. This last message reminds the customer that they still have time to get their cart and discount if they act quickly.


Remind them what they’re missing

A lot of abandoned carts are due simply to website crashes and time outs. It’s highly possible your customer really still wants to make a purchase, but just got frustrated by these kinds of issues. So, it’s important you remind them that their cart is saved and they can easily retrieve it and make that purchase. In your email, show them the items they left in their cart and provide them with a link where they can recover the items.


Optimize your HTML and plain text

You need to optimize both because certain browsers and devices don’t support HTML. It’s a shame to send out a solid email that contains broken images and links because you didn’t optimize for both. “Try not to use heavy images, and have alt text with your images just in case they don’t work properly. Have a clear call to action button. Choose an appropriate background color that doesn’t distract from your images and messaging,” suggests Shawn Burket, content writer at Assignment Help.


Use psychology to your advantage

Create a sense of urgency or scarcity to motivate your customer to come back quickly. Surprise your customer with a discount or special offer, but not on the first email. People may get in the habit of abandoning carts for the purpose of getting that discount so don’t throw it at them right away. Build trust by demonstrating social proof in your email, such as including info about your exchange policies, customer reviews, and ways they can get in touch with you. Make them feel that you’re a person they can trust to be honest.


Online tools can help you write better emails

Your abandoned cart email needs to be well-written in order to be effective. Don’t assume your writing skills are up to the job, use some online writing tools to improve. These resources can help you with your writing:

  1. ViaWriting and WritingPopulist – Grammar is tricky and it’s easy to make a mistake. These grammar resources will ensure your writing is flawless and error-free.
  2. Academized and Assignment Service – Check out these online proofreading tools. They make proofreading your work much easier and BestBritishEssays recommends them.
  3. StateofWriting and SimpleGrad – Read over these blogs and you’ll find plenty of helpful suggestions on how to improve your writing. See what other writers have been learning and use it to improve your emails.
  4. EssayRoo and BoomEssays – Use these editing tools, reviewed in Essayroo review, and see how much easier and painless they can make the editing process.
  5. MyWritingWay and LetsGoandLearn – These writing guides will simplify the writing process for you as you write your emails. You’ll be walked through each step to ensure you’re getting the best out of your writing.

Write great copy

Last, but not least, you should take some time and write great copy. All the tips and tricks in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t write engaging copy to bring the reader in. These emails are a great opportunity for some extra marketing, because often the reader is pleasantly surprised to have an opportunity to conveniently retrieve their cart. Make the most of it. Don’t forget an interesting subject line to hook the reader and prompt them to open.


Nobody likes to see a bunch of abandoned carts, but it’s just part of running an e-commerce store. But there’s no reason to give up on those customers. Often those carts go abandoned because of technical issues, and the customer is still willing to make that purchase. Sometimes they just need a helpful nudge from you. Follow these six tips to write a good abandoned cart email.

Grace Carter is a content manager at OX Essays and Paper Fellows services. She curates marketing content, email subscriptions and improves content strategies.