December 28, 2023

Abandoned Shopping Cart Email Examples That Increase Online Cart Conversions


abandoned shopping cart email examples

If there is one thing all e-commerce retailers have in common it is online cart abandonment. Even the most successful global retailers face high cart abandonment rates, especially from mobile shoppers, who abandon 80% of online carts on average. While many abandoned cart recovery strategies involve optimizing the e-commerce website to prevent cart abandonment before it occurs, abandoned cart emails are one of the most common and effective ways for retailers to recover abandoned carts. Abandoned cart emails achieve an average conversion rate of 4.64% vs. a 0.17% average conversion rate of a promotional newsletter. To better understand what messaging boosts conversions across cart abandonment email campaigns, the Persado Content Intelligence team took a deep dive into abandoned shopping cart email examples with digital messaging generated using the Persado Motivation AI enterprise Generative AI solution. 

Analyzing high-performing abandoned shopping cart email examples  

Like any digital marketing campaign, the ultimate goal isn’t just to drive clicks, likes, or opens. It’s to motivate conversions. These include completed sales, bookings, applications, etc. Abandoned shopping cart email best practices include timeliness, compelling subject lines and copy, clear calls to action (CTAs), and more. While there are many components that go into an effective cart abandonment email campaign, one underused customer motivator is language. When e-commerce retailers speak to their customers using language that engages and motivates, it sparks a human connection that inspires action. You can learn more about Generative AI for email marketing

To demonstrate how language can lead to higher conversions from once-abandoned carts, we analyzed two abandoned shopping cart email examples. One is from a luxury fashion retailer, and the other is from a Fortune 500 fashion retailer. Both used Persado Motivation AI to generate high-performing AI-generated messaging for their cart abandonment campaigns.

Persado is a Generative AI solution that focuses on generating the language most likely to produce the highest conversions. The Persado Motivation AI language model is built on a knowledge base containing over a decade of performance insights from successful Fortune 500 digital marketing campaigns. As a result of capturing insights about what has performed in-market, the Persado AI knows what message elements drive the most conversions. Factors include emotional language, descriptive product-based language, and formatting, among others.

For example, URGENCY language such as “This sale ends soon” can motivate the right audience in the right context to take action. For others, it can have the opposite effect of turning the customer away.  

While the majority of Generative AI solutions for text generation can instantly create on-brand, conversational messaging that “sounds good,” they don’t take conversions into account. They are not optimized to drive more engagement. This is how Persado Motivation AI is different. It understands not only how to create on-brand, conversational messaging, but also understands which words inspire customers to act, driving incremental revenue and ROI. 

Example #1: A luxury fashion retailer drove $169,000 in increased annual revenue from a single cart abandonment email

Luxury brand marketing strategies often center around quality and exclusivity. There are a wider range of emotions in language that can motivate luxury customers, however.

A luxury retailer that wanted to optimize the language in its cart abandonment email worked with Persado to optimize the subject line, sub-header, headline, body copy, CTA, and sub-header (before the product list). The winning variant drove 16% more opens, 38% more engagement, 30% more orders, and 19% more revenue.

Luxury fashion retailer cart abandonment email marketing example using Generative AI

Email insights:

  • In the email body, the headline language and the CTA formatting were the most important factors in driving engagement. 
  • The winning headline, “get this style,” evokes ENCOURAGEMENT, whereas the control featured CURIOSITY. 
  • Enclosing the CTA in a border was more effective than underlining the text. 
  • “View,” an observational CTA, was more effective than “Shop,” an acquisition CTA.
  • In the subject line, “THIS is calling your name,” performed better than alternatives. It features EXCLUSIVITY, emphasis via capitalization, and directional language. Note that the directional language subtly references the product.

Example #2: Fortune 500 fashion retailer drove $404,000 in increased annual revenue by optimizing their abandoned cart email

This Fortune 500 retailer wanted to recover more abandoned carts through better-performing  language. They worked with Persado to optimize the subject line, headline, sub-header, CTA text and formatting, and the sub-header (before the product list). The winning variant drove 15% more engagement, 26% more orders, and $404,000 in incremental revenue

Fortune 500 fashion retailer cart abandonment email marketing AI-generated campaign side by side

Email insights:

  • The CTA was most impactful at driving engagement. Both the language and the formatting (in this case, the addition of a symbol) played an important role.
  • Out of four CTAs tested, “View cart,” an observational CTA, was the most effective. 
  • Actual emails replaced “the item in your cart” with mention of a single item. That approach outperformed variants “this closet essential,” “this,” and “this style.” 
  • Emojis helped drive increased engagement.
  • The first subject line element—“Complete your order”—was critical to the subject line’s performance. Other phrases, such as “Open ASAP” (URGENCY), “Hi” (INTIMACY), and “It’s your lucky day” (LUCK), were not as effective at driving engagement. 

Insights from cart abandonment email examples 

Based on our analysis of these two email examples from real Persado campaigns, we identified some key similarities in what drove performance. Here are some of our observations: 

  • Items in the cart: Copy that called out and drove additional excitement around the items in the cart fared better than a reminder to continue shopping. 
  • CTAs: Observational CTAs in the email body that included the word “View” were the most effective. Acquisition CTAs that instructed customers to shop or complete their order did not perform as well. 
  • Subject lines: Strong subject lines are successful at driving clicks, attention, and engagement, but it’s the language and formatting elements of the CTA button in the email body that contribute most to driving conversions. 
  • Formatting: Language played a pivotal role in what drove engagement and action. However, formatting choices such as capitalizations or borders around the text, helped the messaging stand out which vastly improved its effectiveness. 

Generative AI for cart abandonment emails and other digital marketing campaigns 

Digital marketers can instantly generate the highest-performing marketing messaging for cart abandonment emails along with content for other digital channels (SMS, web, social media, push notifications, etc.) and campaigns by using Persado Essential Motivation. Essential Motivation is the only self-service enterprise Generative AI platform that leverages the Motivation AI knowledge base to generate the highest-converting on-brand copy in real time. It integrates with 20+ ESPs and web platforms, including Klaviyo, to seamlessly push content to market. 

Persado Essential Motivation rewrites email marketing subject lines

Note that the abandoned shopping cart email examples highlighted above utilized Persado in combination with multivariate experiments using experimental design. The Persado Motivation AI has built-in capabilities to run these experiments and measure how real customers respond to various language elements. Brands who take advantage of Persado’s experimental capabilities can be sure they have fielded the highest-performing message possible by testing the impact of each language element present. The results provide marketers with deeper insights in less time than an equivalent number of A/B tests. Experiments are available as an add-on to Persado for customers who want to be sure they are driving the maximum number of conversions and gain in-depth insight. 

Personalization in the online cart 

E-commerce leaders can inspire more shoppers to complete their purchases in the first place by leveraging personalization in the online cart. Persado Dynamic Motivation uses session data and Generative AI to personalize language in the online cart for a given customer based on their purchase history, browsing behavior, and more. Brands can also apply Dynamic Motivation across website and email banners for added multi channel personalization. 

Three different online shoppers get different messages in the online cart

When it comes to recovering abandoned carts or preventing cart abandonment before it happens, every word matters. Some customers abandon their carts due to lack of payment options or technical issues with the website. Others may do so because they don’t feel connected enough to the brand or the purchase to move forward. Delivering the right language to the right person can drive not only a one time conversion, but also longtime customer retention and loyalty. Understanding what messaging inspires customers to take action and why helps brands get most out of their digital marketing campaigns.