Laying out your cart abandonment emails

Andrew McDonald

5/22/20233 min read

There are things I love about this cart abandonment email.

First, the subject line creates a sense of urgency. Great!

The body text builds on the idea of losing out if I don’t act fast. Brilliant!

A great start.

If customers feel no need to buy now, they'll often delay. Which is why urgency can turn an abandoned cart into a sale.

Also, this subject line is evergreen. Which is brilliant. What I mean is you can use it whether you've three of an item left in stock or a storeroom full.

Saying things like "only three left" can be powerful. They create a sense of ultra urgency. And if your stock levels are that low, say so. But they can also backfire if you never appear to sell out, because it can make you look untrustworthy. In other words, if you're going to put a number on your remaining stock, tell the truth.

This email creates urgency without being specific. Which means the subject line can always be used. Regardless of stock levels, it's always true. And honesty is important.

The offer to help is good. In fact, I recommend it. But in this email it takes away from the sense of urgency. It’s always best to use ONE IDEA and one idea only in your copy. Having two or more creates confusion. And confused minds don’t buy.

What I would do is, instead of sending one email, send two. Or, better still, three. The offer to help could then be the ONE IDEA in the second email.

The call-to-action is big, clear and simple. Again, great!

It also comes above-the-fold. That's important.

But then we run into another problem. A discount. Which changes the call-to-action. It’s no longer a simple “return to complete order” CTA. Now it’s a money off one. Confusing.

NEVER have more than one CTA. Even if you want to chance your arm with more than one idea (not recommended), never ever do it with a CTA. This is the single thing you want the email reader to do. So don’t overload them!

A confused mind won’t bother working out which action you want them to take. They won’t take any.

It can be a good idea to include more than one CTA button. But only if the CTA itself is the same. For example, if the text is long, you can have a button at the top and another at the bottom. But keep the text the SAME.

Also, the discount is at the bottom. There's a strong chance the customer will miss it. This creates resentment if the customer sees it only after they've paid full price. You don’t want that.

The discount is a great idea, but I would include it in email three.

In other words, email one = urgency, email two = offer to help, email three = discount.

Three cart abandonment emails in a series are more (much more) effective than one. My last blog piece explained why.

This email includes great ideas but has tried to do too much. At least, within the one email.

And one other problem. I received this email AFTER I had returned and bought the products. Don’t do that. It’s irritating and looks needy. You can get software to help avoid this simple error.

Other than that, the email layout is good.

Great subject line. Good body text building on the subject line. Clear call-to-action. Big pictures of the products to encourage the customer to buy. Body and CTA (the first, anyway) are above-the-fold.

I’m confident that if you followed this example, you’d be ahead of most of the competition.

But with a few slight tweaks and three emails instead of one, you could be even further ahead!

As for the products, you now know I suffer from the dreaded pollen monster.

Click to see full size images