Tag sales funnels

How to Write Abandoned Cart Emails

Are you ready for Black Friday and beyond with abandoned cart emails that convert? Increase your ROI with the right copywriter.

An abandoned cart email is a follow-up email sent to someone who has added items to their cart and taken some of the steps leading to checkout but (for some reason) left the site without completing an order.

And that email is a nudge.

  1. Don’t Miss Out
  2. Your Items Are Waiting
  3. Act Now

Abandoned carts can cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue each month. An abandoned cart email for Shopify, Etsy or another platform-based/targeted piece is simple to generate. At least 10 percent of abandoned carts can be recovered with the best abandoned cart email. 

An abandoned cart email is the most cost-effective way to regain your customer’s attention. The best abandoned cart email convinces your cooling lead to make their way to the checkout. 

Many consumers need that nudge to resume shopping. They may have been interrupted by their boss, kids or pet. Set up triggers for these targeted nudges to be sent. The first one should come around 20 minutes after the cart has been abandoned. 

The second should be a full 24 hours after their cart has gone cold. And the third one should be sent after three days. Why does timing matter? Customers need structured reminders of what they want to make the sale. 

You are not bothering them; you are reminding them that the possibility of a new life or an enhanced lifestyle awaits in their abandoned cart. 

Miami copywriter shares why carts are abandoned.
How can you decrease this number?

Nudge structure:

  1. Compelling subject line
  2. Action-based preview
  3. Convincing copy
  4. Bold CTA

Compelling subject lines for abandoned cart emails

Deliverability is a concern when sending emails. Your customer may not know they are missing out if you cannot even get your abandoned cart email into their inbox. Do not use the word free, earn or guarantee. Use alert, news and daily instead for greater deliverability. 


  • Savings Alert 
  • Fashionista Alert
  • Icon Alert
  • <Item Name> Alert


  • News on Your <Item/s>
  • Get News on Your <Item/s>
  • We Have Some News for You


  • Daily Deals for <Item/s>
  • Daily Alert for <Item/s>
  • Daily News on <Your Shop’s Name>

The only true rule of subject lines is to make each one count. That means don’t use clickbait to lure them in. This destroys your credibility, meaning a loss in sales. Nothing in the world is more frustrating to a customer than having their time and money wasted. 

To be effective in your abandoned cart email is to get your customer’s attention in the least amount of words possible. Think about what matters to them. It may be happier kids, saving time or money. 

Cater to their pain points without sounding spammy and use their name for an effective human element. 

Action-based previews

A preheader, Johnson Box or preview lets your customer know what the email is about without opening it – a sort of peephole to your intentions. If you already used the customer’s name in the subject line, try to be friendly by using personal pronouns. 

  • Your cart is waiting for you. 
  • Your <insert item name> is waiting for you. 
  • Your incredible deal on <insert item name> won’t last long. 

Some customers prefer statements and others are motivated to open an email based on a question. You can choose which works best for you. 

Your <insert item name> is waiting on you. Or Did you forget about <insert item name> in your cart? 

  • Ready for your <insert item name>? 
  • Want <insert item name> that gives you <insert benefit>? 
  • Do you really want to miss out on <insert item name>? 

Generate a summary of your offer and give customers an action to perform, besides opening the email. Make them want to open the email and complete their purchase. Action should be the priority. 

“[Previews] deliver a seven percent higher open rate, on average. With nearly half of all emails opened on a mobile device, and the average inbox swelling to more than 100+ emails per day, clever pre-headers are a great way to capture your audience’s attention.” 

Convincing copy

Customers don’t always have a ton of time to read your emails. You need to get their attention right away. The best copywriters use the AIDA formula when generating abandoned cart emails. 

A – attention

I – interest

D – desire

A – action

You can always play around with the formula to find out which sequence works best for you. 

Attention-grabbing opening sentences are easy. You can go the basic route and ask a question. Let’s say that you are dropshipping light-up dog balls for stick throwers called Lit Pup. 

  • Does your dog need help finding their ball? 
  • Is playtime Fido’s favorite? 
  • How can you make playtime even better this winter? 
  • Looking for ways to make playtime even better when it is dark outside? 

You are addressing the pet owner’s pain point of wanting to spend quality time with their dog when it grows so dark outside that finding the ball is a challenge for owners. Ask the question that has been on their mind or offer the solution right away. 

  • Playtime just got better with Lit Pup, which lets them see the ball even on the shortest day of the year. 
  • We just solved the problem of your dog not being able to have fun when chasing their ball in the dark. 
  • Fido wants to thank you for making playtime even better this winter. 

Fido would love a little help with finding their ball this winter. Darkness comes too early as we step into fall. If you have been working all day and your little nugget has been patiently waiting for their time at the park, our Lit Dog Balls make their favorite time with you all the better/BEST. With non-toxic neon coating and LED lights, Fido can find their ball even in pitch darkness. Give them the exercise they need so they don’t chew up everything while you are working. 


You have got your customer’s attention and now you have to engage them. Focus on their needs and expectations to keep them reading. This is a critical time in your email, so use a formula within a formula with the Rhetorical Triangle. 

Miami copywriter shares how to incorporate the Rhetorical Triangle into your abandoned cart email for greater conversion.
If it worked for the Greeks, it can work for your shop.

Logos – numbers and/or facts

Pathos – emotions

Ethos – credibility 

According to Statista.com, for every 20 minutes you spend playing with your dog, their boredom rate decreases by 33 percent. 

According to TheBark.com, dogs who have enjoyable play sessions with their humans score higher in obedience attentiveness. 

According to TheBark.com, playing games with your dog decreases low-level separation-related behavior. 

Consumers want to trust you to come up with solutions to their problems. Gain trust with logic that appeals to their emotions. Use numbers and facts (logos) to build your credibility (ethos). Dogs naturally evoke emotions with canine aficionados. 

The trick is to pack the Rhetorical Triangle into a single sentence. 

  • 85 million homes have a dog. 
  • The average number of dollars spent on dog toys every year is 48

According to iii.org, there are more than 85 million dogs at home waiting/begging for their playtime and attention/love from their owners. 

Logos = 85 million 

Pathos = waiting/begging/attention/love

Ethos = iii.org

The average pet owner spends $48 on their pet every year, but if you invest in the $12 toy/ball they’ll love, you both win! 

Logos = $48 

Pathos = invest/love/win

Ethos = iii.org

Bold CTAs

Finish off your abandoned cart email with a call to act that fits in with the tone of your email. Remember that consumers are aware of false marketing tactics. Do not create a faux sense of urgency or push them to act if they are not ready. Here is your new strategy: Charm. Reinforce. Stand out. Sell the idea that they are the kind of person to buy your product. 

Promote the sense that you personally like the customer and want them to be a part of your brand by buying a product. Then, reinforce your brand values. Show that you are passionate about your products. Maybe they are sustainable or right off the catwalk. Perhaps your products are so unique, they aren’t available to the masses. Or, they are so high-quality, they will instantly improve anyone’s life. 

In a crowded inbox, you have to stand out with the right abandoned cart emails. Do this with something other than price. If you can’t think of a unique selling point without cutting cost, you need to re-evaluate your branding. Sometimes people are willing to spend more money for a quality product if they understand why it is so important. 

Examples of bold CTAs: 

See My Cart

Continue Shopping

Get It Now

Let’s Go 

Reclaim My Cart

Keep My Items

I Am Ready

Ready to Save 

Complete Order

Get the Details

Avoid the words buy or pay in your CTA. If your customer isn’t ready, these words will annoy them. Focus on getting them to the next step. 

There is so much that goes into your abandoned cart emails and optimizing your site for Black Friday and beyond. Call 786-208-0451 to set up a free consultation with Miami copywriter and SEO specialist Maureen Castellon.