It is a typical online shop scenario: a customer leaves the filled shopping cart at the checkout shortly before hitting the final purchase button and thereby aborts the process. Abandoned shopping cart is the name of this phenomenon, which happens to around 70% of all  shopping carts. With so-called shopping cart abandonment emails, you can win back customers who have left the shop in this way. Read here how you can best entice shopping cart abandoners to return to the checkout.

One thing should be revealed in advance: The one perfect incentive that works for every customer and for every shop, i.e. a universal magic formula for cart abandoned mails, does not exist! Every customer, every shopping cart and every online shop is different – and so are cart abandonment emails. However, various strategies can be identified in cart abandonment mails that lead to success again and again. We would like to present these “incentive strategies” to you.

The strategy with emotions: get emotional

In its report, the company dotdigital, looking at the content of the best-performing cart abandonment mails, found that campaigns that play on customers’ emotions work best. For example, many of the cart abandonment mailing campaigns aroused moments of excitement by using exclamation marks and emojis already in the subject lines. Curiosity is already generated by cleverly worded subject lines: Mysterious questions like “Haven’t you forgotten something…?” entice back into the shop. And who would have thought it, creating feelings of guilt also works and appeals to customers: images of lonely shopping baskets and the question “Are you perhaps looking for me?” bring customers back to the checkout.

An example for a shopping cart abandonment email, that plays on customers emotions (

Campaigns that praised abandoners for their good taste and possibly even waived the shipping costs for the abandoned shopping cart generated positive emotions such as pride among users and work very well. If shopping cart abandoner emails describe the advantages of the product left in the shopping cart, then the emails generate FOMO, the fear of missing out on something among the customers – this is also an emotion that encourages many to return to the shop.

Shopping cart abandoners campaigns that strengthen the feeling of trust between customer and brand are particularly successful in winning back shopping cart abandoners. One of the ways you create trust in your shop is through social proof: customer reviews, quality guarantees and service offers to the customer when they purchase the abandoned product. If others also trust your offer, this will also encourage the undecided shopping cart abandoner to do so.

The strategy with the service idea: stay serious and authentic

Trust and the feeling of connection play a decisive role in shopping cart abandonment emails. You also strengthen these emotions of your customers if you remain serious and service-oriented in your communication. Customers abandon the purchase process online for different reasons. Try to understand the needs of your customers when they abandon a shopping basket. It will be easier for you to offer them exactly the service that will make them return to the checkout. At the same time, you show your customers that you take them seriously.

You will convince many of your customers with authentic and serious communication and with a service that is meant seriously, more than with promotional or lurid content in your shopping cart abandonment email. With seriousness and service-orientation you express your appreciation towards your customers, who then tend to trust you. Therefore, do not get too promotional in your emails.

Get personal with shopping cart abandonment emails at the right time

Your customers will especially feel your appreciation if you address them personally: So be sure to make use of personalisation in cart abandonment mails. At best, your mails are not only personalised, but also personal: you know yourself and your customers best and thus also know best how to strike the “right tone”. This is also what makes a personal email. Whether heartfelt, matter-of-fact or witty – try out which tonality makes you authentically emotional, confidence-inspiring and personal.

At the same time, shopping cart abandonment emails should land in customers’ inboxes at the right time. It makes sense to send a shopping basket abandonment reminder email relatively early, because then the memory of your shop and the interest in the items in the basket is still very new. However, allow at least 45 minutes to pass: If something has only briefly come up and the customer receives a reminder after just a few minutes, this can be irritating. If the value of the goods in the cart is higher or filled with high-priced products, it is better to wait a little longer; many people need a little more time to make a decision.


Emotional, trustworthy, authentic, personal: this is what your cart abandonment mails should look like in order to reduce purchase abortions. How the cart abandonment mails are designed in individual cases and whether you link your offer to a discount code or another benefit depends entirely on your customers, your shop and your communication strategy. Since it is not only the discounts that bring cart abandoners back to the checkout, it has been shown that emotions and an authentic service create the right incentives to win back cart abandoners in emails.

Optimization through testing

In Order to continuously improve your communication and to gain further knowledge about the individual target groups, you should test various communication measures.