Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails
Learn how to create an Abandoned Cart Recovery Email Campaign to recover lost sales in your store.
Nowadays, Abandoned Cart Recovery emails have become a must-have tool for any eCommerce business.

What is an Abandoned Cart?

When a customer adds a product to the cart at your online store but doesn't complete the purchase, that cart can be considered as an abandoned cart. Sending automated abandoned cart recovery email reminders is the most effective and hassle-free method for making the customers come back to the store and recover their abandoned carts.

Why Abandoned Cart Emails are Important?

Increased revenue: About 70% of the carts get abandoned for various reasons. That is 7 out of 10 carts gets abandoned. But with a simple email reminder with a small discount is all required to recover the lost sales and get the customers to come back and complete their purchase. This helps increase the revenue for the store.
Our study found out, most of our merchants are able to recover at least 10 to 20% of their abandoned carts with an effective 'Abandoned Carts Recovery' automation workflow.
Customer Engagement: Abandoned Cart Recovery emails have the highest open rates. More than 60% of the customers open the abandoned cart recovery emails, and at least 30% of the customers click the recovery links.
Increased Productivity: Once configured, Abandoned Carts Recovery emails send on their own, automatically. The automation allows you to focus on other tasks and become more productive.

Best practices for Abandoned Cart Recovery

By default, the eCommerce platforms (be it WooCommerce or Shopify) do not offer an effective abandoned cart recovery solution. The single email reminder from Shopify is not effective enough to recover the lost revenue.
1. Number of Emails
According to several studies and our own research of analyzing over 1000+ stores, it has been found that an effective Abandoned Carts Recovery Workflow with at least 3 to 5 email reminders can help recover at least 10 to 20% of the lost sales.
2. Order of Emails
A successful email workflow to recover abandoned carts should have at least 3 to 5 emails, sent at well-timed intervals. Each email in the sequence should focus on different aspects.
Email 1: A Simple Reminder
The purpose of your first email should just serve as a reminder. Just let the customer know what items were left in their cart. It can be sent 30 minutes to 1 hour after the customer has started the checkout.
  • Just make sure you have given your customer service phone number
  • Ask a question. Whether they experience any trouble checking out
  • Do they have any questions about the product(s) before completing the purchase?
Email 2: A motivation to complete the purchase
This email should be sent 12 to 24 hours after the customer has started the checkout.
  • Make sure to include a simple motivation. A 5 to 10% coupon code, or a free shipping offer that encourages their return.
  • You can also consider including a few best-selling or featured products in your store in this email
Email 3: Reminder of the motivation + Brand Value with a social proof
This email should be sent 24 to 48 hours after the customer has started the checkout.
  • It should remind them about the offer in Email #2 but should ask the customer to take quick action to complete the purchase. Example: "Your coupon will expire soon."
  • Include customer reviews or testimonials in this email as this will help build a trust
Email 4: Product Scarcity or A Sense of Urgency
This email should be sent 72 to 120 hours (3 days to 5 days) after the customer has started checkout.
  • Use this email to add a sense of urgency. You can say something like "Stocks won't last for long. Order now"
  • Also, remind them about the brand value with a few more social proof like reviews / testimonials in this email
Email 5: Fear of Missing Out
This email should be sent 5 to 7 days after the customer has started the checkout.
This email is more like a last effort to bring the customer back. You can remind the customer what they will be missing out on if they don't buy. Also, the inclusion of some of the popular products in the store will help a lot.
NOTE: If not 5 emails, please make sure that you have at least 3 emails in the sequence.
3. Content of the Emails
The success of an Abandoned Cart Recovery email vastly depends on the content of the email. An effective email should have an engaging subject line, personalized content, and a single Call-to-Action.
Engaging Subject: The subject line needs to be interesting enough to get the recipient to open the email. Including a promotional offer, some humor, or a question can help capture the customer’s attention and get a click. Avoid lengthy subject lines. A simple one like "Forgot something?" will ensure a better open rate.
Personalization: The email should be tailored to the recipient. For example, include the items that were left in their cart and other personal information, such as their name.
Here is a list of shortcodes that can be used for personalization in your email content:
{{billing_address.first_name}} - The First name of the customer.
{billing_address.last_name}} - The last name of the customer.
{{customer_name}} - The full name of the customer (the first and the last name)
{{abandoned_checkout_url}} - The unique recovery URL for the cart abandoned by the customer. You can use this in any links or buttons in your email copy.
Call-to-Action: The email should encourage customers to complete their purchases. For example, the CTA might be something like "Complete your purchase", or "Return to Cart" or "Resume Your Order."
Compelling Copy: The copy should be concise and persuasive. Pair short action-oriented copy with images and other rich media to keep the customer’s attention on the desired action (e.g., A purchase).
Let's create an Abandoned Cart Recovery workflow on the above example with Retainful automation.

Creating an Abandoned Cart Recovery Campaign

Retainful comes with a pre-built workflow template for abandoned cart recovery, it will come in handy if you don’t have time to create a workflow from the scratch. The pre-built workflow template consists of three emails scheduled to send in good time intervals.
Follow the below steps to configure the Abandoned Cart Recovery workflow:
  1. 1.
    Login to your Retainful dashboard
  2. 2.
    Go to ‘Automation’ -> Create Workflow -> Choose ‘Abandoned Cart Recovery with dynamic coupon’
Select the workflow template
3. Give a ‘Name’ to your abandoned cart recovery workflow and click ‘Continue.'
Give a name to your workflow
Trigger - You can find the ‘Trigger’ on the top of the workflow template. The trigger lets you determine when a customer can enter into the workflow. By default, the trigger is set to allow anyone who starts checkout at your store to enter into the workflow.
If you would like to set up any custom trigger rule for the workflow, you can set it up on the right side. You learn how to configure the trigger here.
Wait - Since the trigger will allow customers to enter into the workflow as soon as they start checkout (entered email address in the checkout page), it’s necessary to have a ‘Wait’ block before the first email block. So, the first email will not be sent to the customers as soon as they started the checkout.
You can set the time delay as 1 Hour in the wait block. (You can change the pre-set time delay if you want.)
For example, if a customer comes to your store, adds an item to the cart, and submits his email address on the checkout page at 10:00 AM. He/She will immediately enter into the workflow and wait for 1 hour.
  • If he completes the purchase within that 1 hour, he will exit from the workflow right away.
  • If he fails to complete the purchase within that 1 hour, the cart will be considered as abandoned and the first abandoned cart recovery will go out to the customer at 11:00 AM.

Email settings

Now, we are at the 1st ‘Email’ block of the workflow. You can click on the ‘Email’ block to customize the email subject line, preview text, and email content.
Email settings
Subject line: Change the subject line if you like (Here is an extensive list of subject lines you can use)
Preview text: You can set up a captivating preview text to motivate the customers to open the email.
Edit Email Content
Click on the "Edit Email Contents" button to edit the contents of the email. This will bring up the visual drag and drop email editor.
Visual Drag and Drap Email Editor
If you would like to change the email template, you can click on the ‘Change template’ button on the left top and select a template of your choice.
Change the Logo: Click on the placeholder logo. On the right side of the panel, you will see the option to change the logo.
Replace the Placeholder Image with Your Logo
Editing the email content: Just "double-click" on any content section to edit the default text on the email. You can use the following shortcodes to personalize the email,
{{billing_address.first_name}} - The First name of the customer.
{billing_address.last_name}} - The last name of the customer.
{{customer_name}} - The full name of the customer (the first and the last name)
{{abandoned_checkout_url}} - The unique recovery URL for the cart abandoned by the customer. You can use this in any links or buttons in your email copy.
Click the "Save" button once you have added the desired content and changed the logo in the email template.
Email Components in Editor
Retainful provides a few special components / blocks in the Email Editor for your cart abandonment emails. Here is the list of components.
Cart Summary Blocks
This block helps you insert the customer's cart contents when sending the email. When this block is present, it will display the products in the customer's cart along with product's title, image, and cost.
There are two styles in the Cart Summary block and you can use any one of them in your email to include the customer's cart.
Horizontal Block will have the cart contents displayed as a table:
Horizontal Cart Summary Block
Cart Summary Block - Vertical will highlight the product image prominently:
Vertical Cart Summary Block
Cart recovery URL
Retainful generates a unique cart recovery URL for each abandoned cart. When the email is sent, customers can click on the "Finish checking out" button to recover their cart and complete the purchase.
The Call-to-Action (CTA) button in the default templates are already linked to the cart recovery URL using the shortcode: {{abandoned_checkout_url}}
Abandoned Cart Recovery URL
However, if you want to use this in a custom button or a link, you can use this shortcode (a.k.a merge tag) as well.
Testing Email
Once you have completed editing the email template, you can test the email.
With an email customized, return to the top of the email editor and click the ‘Send Test Email’ button to make sure all of the content displays as expected in your inbox.
Sending test email
Click the "Save" button once you have added the desired content and changed the logo in the email template.

Sending a coupon code in Abandoned Cart Recovery Email

You can send a percentage discount or fixed amount discount or free shipping coupon code in the abandoned cart recovery emails. The coupon can incentivize the customers to complete the purchase.
For WooCommerce Store
When the coupon block is included in the email, it will display the coupon you have configured for the block.
You can add either of the following coupon block in the email template,
  • Dynamic coupon block {{retainful_dynamic_coupon}} - You can set up a coupon rule, unique coupon codes will be dynamically generated when this coupon block is used in your email template.
  • Legacy coupon block {{retainful_coupon}} - You can create a coupon code in your WooCommerce store and enter the code in the Coupon block configuration on the sidebar to use it in your email.
For Shopify Store
You can use the dynamic coupon block {{retainful_dynamic_coupon}} - Unique coupon codes will be dynamically generated for the shopify stores when the coupon block is used in your email template.
Adding dynamic coupon in the email template:
  1. 1.
    The coupon block can be found on the right-hand side under the Store elements block.
  2. 2.
    Drag the “Dynamic coupon” and drop the indicated block on your mail template's body.
  3. 3.
    Click on the shortcode {{retainful_dynamic_coupon}} on your email template.
  4. 4.
    On the right-side panel, you will see the coupon settings.
Coupon settings
5. Now, select the coupon type, enter the coupon value and expiry in the coupon settings panel.
6. Once when you are done with configuring the coupon, click on the 'Save' button.

Creating a series of emails Abandoned Cart Recovery Campaign

Followed by the 1st Email block, we have the ‘Wait’ block in place to let the customer wait for 1 day before moving forward to the 2nd email.
The 2nd email can go with a dynamic coupon to motivate the customers. You need to customize the email template, change logo, configure the coupon block, edit the email content as per your preference and 'Save' it.
And, before moving forward to the 3rd email block, we have the ‘Wait’ block set for 2 days.
You can customize the 3rd email and 'Save' it.
Here is the how your workflow would look like now:
Abandoned Cart Recovery Workflow

Going Live

When you’re done with configuring the Abandoned Cart Recovery workflow, you can click on the ‘Start Workflow’ on the right top to ‘Set Live’ the workflow.
Setting Live
That’s it. You’ve successfully configured your Abandoned Cart Recovery workflow and set it live.

Testing Your Abandoned Cart Recovery Campaign

You can follow the below steps to test your abandoned cart recovery workflow.
Make sure you have set live the abandoned cart recovery workflow at your Retainful dashboard -> Automation (The status of the workflow should be ‘Live’)
Testing steps
  1. 1.
    Open your store front in a private / incognito window (so that you can browse like a customer)
  2. 2.
    Add an item to the cart, go to checkout... fill-in a valid email address and a first name. (TIP: Use an alternative email of yours instead of the store admin email)
  3. 3.
    Then close the browser window
You should receive the first cart recovery email based on the interval you’ve set.
  • By default, a customer will enter into an abandoned cart recovery email workflow as soon as the checkout process is initiated (Submitted email address on the checkout page)
  • If you've set the 'Wait' condition as 1 hour before sending the first email, then you should receive the first email 1 hour after initiating the checkout process