Making the Most of a Forgotten Purchase: The Do’s and Don’ts of Abandoned Cart Subject Lines

When you think about generating customers for your eCommerce brand, you might think that a new customer has to be completely new to your brand… but that’s not true.

Sometimes a “new” customer is someone who was almost a customer already — a window shopper who abandoned their cart.

Encouraging a purchase from someone already interested in your brand instead of starting the engagement process from scratch makes targeting abandoned cart shoppers a simple way to bring in revenue.

However, despite the simplicity of abandoned cart emails, there’s one easy way to make sure your triggered email fails: choose subject lines that get your emails ignored, deleted, or marked as spam.

This blog outlines everything you need to know about abandoned cart emails, how to craft subject lines that work, and what it takes to make sure your emails are opened, read, and pushing customers to finish checking out.

What’s an Abandoned Cart Email?

When a customer adds an item to their cart but fails to complete (or abandons) the checkout process, this is considered an abandoned cart.

An abandoned cart email, then, is an automatic email triggered by this process, whether to remind the customer they left something behind or to try and complete the sale (or both).

While eCommerce businesses can hope that these emails aren’t triggered often, the reality is that the average cart abandonment rate is 70%. That’s why a strong abandoned cart email isn’t an option — it’s an absolute must-have.

How to Make the Most of Abandoned Carts

So, how can you make the most of an abandoned cart? An abandoned cart email, of course.

However, just sending an email isn’t enough… it needs to be opened.

You could have award-winning graphic design, incredibly convincing copy, and an out-of-this-world discount, but if your subject lines don’t lead to email opens, then your abandoned cart email is as good as deleted.

If you’re thinking that abandoned cart subject lines suddenly got more complicated than you anticipated, don’t worry.

We’ve compiled our best do’s and don’ts when it comes to abandoned cart subject lines so you can make the most of abandoned carts every single time.

3 DON’Ts of Abandoned Cart Subject Lines

Let’s start with the “don’ts,” or the things you should never do with abandoned cart subject lines.

1. DON’T send a basic reminder as the subject line. “You didn’t complete your order!” isn’t going to excite anyone enough to open the email or go back and finish their purchase. It’s also redundant; they probably remember that they didn’t buy from you.

2. DON’T send clickbait as the subject line. You should never resort to clickbait subject lines. Not only is clickbait spam-like, but making someone feel duped is less likely to make them rush to checkout than it is to make them avoid your brand in the future.

3. DON’T send a totally irrelevant subject line. While you can definitely get creative with your subject lines, they should still indicate to the recipient what’s inside the email they’re about to open. Much like clickbait, these can lead to distrust and bad brand perception.

Your subject lines should be more creative than a basic reminder, but not so “out there” that customers have no idea what they’re about to open… and that’s what our “DO’s” are for.

3 DO’s of Abandoned Cart Subject Lines

Now that you know what you shouldn’t do with your abandoned cart subject lines, here are three things you should do to increase your chances of turning an abandoned cart into a sale.

1. DO use your subject line to stand out in the inbox. The average person receives up to 120 emails every single day. Creating a unique, engaging, and exciting subject line reduces your risk of being lost in your recipient’s oversaturated email inbox.

2. DO use the subject line to connect to your content. Your subject line should reference what’s inside the email and connect with your brand’s content, too. If the email offers news and an abandoned cart discount, make sure your subject line covers both.

3. DO use your subject to stay consistent with your brand. Whether you’re adding your brand’s emojis or using your slogan in the subject line, branding should stay consistent both inside and “outside” the email. It should always be obvious who the email is from!

While an abandoned cart email typically features the abandoned product(s) and a call-to-action to finish the purchase, you still have the ability to be creative in design, copywriting, and customer experience. Subject lines are one way to make your brand stand out, encouraging your customers to return and make the purchase they didn’t the first time around.

Wrap Up

Noticing abandoned carts can be frustrating at first, especially when, as an eCommerce brand, you’re always trying to encourage purchases. However, an abandoned cart doesn’t have to mean a lost sale if you leverage the power of abandoned cart emails with strong, enticing, and engaging subject lines. By implementing our do’s and don’ts with subject lines, you can transform forgotten carts into brand new purchases.