Abandoned Cart Emails: Examples & Templates

Abandoned Cart Emails in Online Shops
Author: Raimund Graf // 11min

The decision to win back abandoned shoppers with email retargeting is an obvious one: getting customers with pre-existing interest to buy with using an abandoned cart email is cheaper than acquiring new customers via costly marketing campaigns. A reminder email to recover abandoned shopping carts is an efficient way for shop owners to reduce their abandonment rate while building a strong bond with existing customers. But for good reason, many online merchants have unanswered questions about the structure, content and layout of the abandoned cart emails before they get underway.

In addition, the many best practices of abandoned cart emails circulating on the web are sometimes contradictory. However, our many years of experience show that online retailers are far more successful in persuading shopping cart abandoners to complete a purchase with a service-oriented approach than with an advertising-heavy approach.

Examples and abandoned cart email templates

Firstly, we provide you with some examples of successful abandoned cart email retargeting after shopping cart abandonment. For sustained success with cart abandonment mailings, there are three key elements to consider: service orientation, personalisation and simplicity so as to differentiate from promotional emails.

Example 1: Email with telephone assistance


Example of abandoned cart email template with target group avatar

Bernhard Wagner | Age: 70 | Pensioner: Bernhard has been a big fan of comics since his youth. He recently discovered an online shop that sells many of his favourite comics. Without further ado, he signs up, picks out his comics and starts the checkout process. Unfortunately, problems arise during payment that he can’t solve. The problem must be with Bernhard, as other payments in the online shop are working perfectly technically. He leaves his filled shopping cart behind.

Content: The solution lies in a service offer that Bernhard receives via email. In it, he is offered phone assistance with the name of the relevant employee. The WhatsApp service would be inappropriate because Bernhard belongs to the older generation.

Communication: Bernhard is used to being addressed formally and treated cordially. Therefore, in this case, the rule for communication is: address formally and have a cordial tone.

Example 2: Email with voucher code

abandoned cart email example with target group avatar

Noah Laurent | Age: 21 | Student: Noah is searching for picture frames in an online shop and finds something suitable. After some deliberation, however, he decides that the price is a bit too high. He would rather go into the city centre and look for picture frames in physical shops as well, as he’s meeting friends outside anyway.

Content: Since Noah is obviously price-sensitive, the solution in this case is a voucher code that only price-sensitive shopping cart abandoners should receive as an incentive. Noah gets a push notification for each new email he receives. So he will see the abandoned cart email before he leaves.

Communication: As Noah’s young, he would like to be called by his first name. A rather hip form of address is appropriate for him, which appeals to people of his generation.

Example 3: Email with shopping cart reminder

Example of abandoned cart email content and target group avatar

Ela Yildiz | Age: 39 | Working: Ela wants to buy a replacement charging cable for her smartphone. After some research, she finds the right product in an online electronics shop and puts it in her shopping cart. As she is on the move and distracted, she closes the window – thus leaving the shopping cart behind – and puts her smartphone in her jacket pocket.

Content: Since Ela is neither service-minded nor price-sensitive, but simply had to abandon her shopping cart due to a lack of time, the solution lies in a simple shopping cart reminder email. At the appropriate time, she reads the email. This reminds her of her shopping cart abandonment and she resumes the ordering process.

Communication: Like Bernhard, Ela is also addressed formally in the shop and in her everyday life. A more business-like tone is thus recommended when communicating with her.

Abandoned cart email: service before advertising

Shopping cart abandonment always results from problems that a shop visitor is confronted with. These can be technical problems, a poor UX design or else personal motives. An appropriate response to such problems are solution-oriented approaches that address these individual problems and are understood as a service. Advertising-heavy approaches are inappropriate at this stage, because who wants to be inundated with advertising when problems arise?

Read our comprehensive guide and find out everything there is to know about Shopping cart abandoners: Comprehensive guide for online shops.

Infographic says that 45% of respondents would like less advertising and more information in email

Whether it’s transactional emails, promotional emails or abandoned cart emails: customers receive countless emails from online shops. This communication channel is tempting because the opening rates speak for themselves. So it stands to reason that shop operators also make use of this communication channel.

The significant difference between the opening rates for transactional and promotional emails is striking. For abandoned cart emails to successfully bring purchase abandoners back into the purchase process after cart abandonment, they mustn’t create an impression of being promotional emails. The following data makes it clear that transactional emails have a higher acceptance rate and thus result in an increased probability of being opened.

Chart shows open rate and click-to-open rate of transaction and non-transaction emails

What are abandoned cart emails?

Where do you classify abandoned cart emails within email marketing? Are they promotional emails or are they more like transactional emails? To answer this question, let’s first distinguish the various types of email.


Transactional emails

Transactional emails are triggered by an action of the customer. The best-known transactional emails in e-commerce are order and shipping confirmations. These types of emails are met with great interest on the part of the recipient, because the customer can remember the action (e.g. an order) and even expects such a notification. The recipient perceives this email as a kind of service.


Promotional emails

Promotional emails, on the other hand, are not triggered directly by the customer, but only require their one-off consent. The best-known example of this is newsletter emails. This type of email has a clear promotional character and is a popular and at the same time well-performing marketing channel. As a result, the recipient perceives the email as junk mail and subsequently decides for or against consuming the advertising.


Abandoned cart emails

From a purely legal perspective, abandoned cart emails are considered promotional emails. But apart from the legal perspective, they don’t have much in common with promotional emails. It’s true that they serve to persuade purchase abandoners. At the same time, however, they can be shown to be a kind of service through clever design. They are triggered by a customer’s abandonment of their shopping cart and offer the service of dealing with the reason for this individual abandonment in a solution-oriented way.

Functionally, they are a mixture of promotional and transactional emails. Ultimately, it depends on how the recipient regards the email: do they perceive it as junk mail or as a service? This perception determines the success or failure of abandoned cart emails.

You only pay for successful recovery. 100% transparent.

Three key elements for a successful abandoned cart email

It’s therefore best for shop owners to design abandoned cart emails as service emails. In fact, they’re also a service for the cart abandoner. How do online shops design abandoned cart emails so that purchase abandoners perceive them as a service? These three key elements will help!

Infographic shows three key elements for successful mailings to shopping cart abandoners

1. Content: Relevance through service orientation

In the case of shopping cart abandonment, relevance means responding to the individual reason for abandonment and approaching the abandoner in a solution-oriented way. The abandoned cart email’s content changes depending on the reason for abandonment and the customer’s characteristics. In this way, the purchase abandoner re-enters the purchasing process and completes their order without any worries. Algorithms specialised in shopping cart abandonment recognise the reasons for abandonment and subsequently provide solutions.

The great long-term advantage of a service-oriented approach is customer loyalty. The numerous advertising-heavy emails that land in inboxes every day are leading to increasing disenchantment with junk mail. In contrast, the opening rate of transactional emails proves that obviously relevant content is met with great interest.

2. Communication: Personalised instead of impersonal

Another key element for abandoned cart emails is personalised communication. While some customers certainly prefer to be addressed formally, others prefer to be on first name terms. The manner of addressing customers also has a special place in personalised communication in e-commerce: do I communicate in a cordial, matter-of-fact or even hip tone? Here, too, algorithms can help out by using a variety of data sources and influencing factors to calculate the optimal individual tone.

Hitting the right tone in the abandoned cart email means appreciation. As a result, the purchase abandoner feels spoken to. In this way, online shops boost customers’ experience, which in turn significantly increases the likelihood of recovering them.

3. Template: Simplicity so as to differentiate from promotional emails

Promotional emails are often very colourful and graphic-heavy in order to attract attention. Apart from all the benefits, however, there is a decisive disadvantage: as soon as the email is recognised as an advertisement, interest dwindles. Therefore, abandoned cart emails should be distinguishable from promotional emails not only in terms of content, but particularly in terms of appearance. After a shopping cart abandonment, don’t overload your email with graphics that appear promotional. A simple, serious template is appropriate at this juncture.

The recipient then knows immediately that it is a relevant service email. Once they have received the abandoned cart email, they will remember this service in the event of further shopping cart abandonments and subsequent emails. In this way, an online shop not only prevents shopping cart abandonment, but also ensures a customer relationship at eye level.

Answers to 4 important questions


What should the subject line of an abandoned cart email look like?

The subject line gives the first impression of an email. A short, concise and above all honest subject line emphasises its service-oriented character and thus increases the likelihood of it being opened.


At what point do I send an abandoned cart email?

As a basic rule: the earlier the better, because the shop visit is still fresh in customers’ memory. However, at least 45 minutes should elapse, as the shopping cart abandoner may only have had a brief interruption. For high-priced products, on the other hand, the abandoned cart email should appear a little later because of the longer decision-making process.


What legal requirements do I have to observe when sending abandoned cart emails?

Legally, two central principles apply to abandoned cart emails: The Unfair Competition Act (UWG) regulates the conditions for sending them, whereas the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates the collection and processing of personal data. To learn more about the legal aspects, read the blogpost GDPR: What to consider for abandoned cart emails.


What incentives should I use to win over shopping cart abandoners with my abandoned cart email?

There are three incentives specifically for abandoned cart emails: vouchers for price-sensitive abandoners, service offers for abandoners who need service assistance, and a simple reminder for purchase abandoners who abandon their shopping carts due to a lack of time or because they’re distracted.

The individual incentives can be further subdivided: discounts can appear in the form of percentage (e.g. 5%) or fixed discount values (e.g. € 5) and for service offers there’s the possibility of an email, Whatsapp or telephone service offer.



An email after an abandoned shopping cart is considered a service to the customer. Service-oriented, personalised and simple: the uptain® ALGORITHM automates the sending of optimised abandoned cart emails. Its immediate benefit lies in winning back your shopping cart abandoners. The long-term benefit is at least as important: strengthening customer loyalty, the customer experience and communication at eye level.

  • Email Marketing for Online Shops: This is how you increase success!

    Email Marketing is essential for successful online shops today. Used correctly, Email Marketing not only increases customer satisfaction, but also existing customers. The various, cost-effective and sales-increasing possibilities of Email Marketing make it particularly interesting for online merchants.

    To the Blog Post
  • Alpha Industries increase Orders by 10%

    The company is looking for technical solutions that increase sales and establish the online shop stronger among the desired target group. The results: Growth of Newsletter Subscribers through Newsletter Popups by 20% compared to the normal Newsletter Form on the website, Increase in Orders by 10%, Increase in Newsletter Open Rate by 5%, Consistent overall image of the Corporate Identity.

    To the Success Story
  • GDPR: What to consider for Abandoned Cart Emails

    You want to reactivate shopping cart abandoners with the help of emails and are wondering which legal regulations take effects here? Since email addresses fall under personal data, the GDPR also plays a key role in shopping cart abandonment emails. We will show you exactly what GDPR compliant solutions for mailings after shopping cart abandonments look like.

    To the Blog Post
  • Ready to talk to our experts? Get in touch!

    individual webdemo

    free consultation

    without obligation