Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines Guide

Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines
Yurii Bitko Yurii Bitko 14 january 2022, 23:06 459
For beginners

Abandoned carts cost eCommerce businesses $18 billion each year, and the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.57%. It can be very frustrating to successfully move a customer through the sales funnel, only to lose them at the point of purchase.

Abandoned cart emails are the most effective way to persuade customers to complete their purchases. However, a new problem appears: a staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day, and yours can get lost in the fray. So you need relevant, irresistible subject lines to get your cart abandonment emails opened.

In this article, you'll learn how to write great abandoned cart subject lines and drive customers back to your checkout page.

Why Are Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines So Important?

Your abandoned cart email subject line may appear insignificant, however it can make or break your open rate — and your ability to convert casual shoppers into customers.

Consider this: You may have gone over every detail, from the copy to the design, but if few people open your email, you’ve just wasted time and money.

Subject lines for abandoned carts draw customers in, pique their interest, and entice them to open the email to learn more.

Here are some figures that show the importance of a clever subject line in your abandoned cart recovery strategy:

  • 47% of email recipients open emails solely based on the subject line
  • Every workday, an average office worker receives around 121 emails, and there's a lot of competition to stand out in shoppers' inboxes
  • In 2021, abandoned cart emails had a 40% open rate on average, indicating that shoppers are more likely to open abandoned cart subject lines than other marketing emails (which receive an average open rate of 12%)

While writing the perfect subject line may seem difficult, the good news is that consumers are interested in what your abandoned cart email says. And it makes sense — by adding a product to their shopping cart, these customers have already expressed an interest in purchasing. You just need to give them a little nudge to complete their purchase.

Reasons Why Customers Abandon Shopping Carts

You can make appropriate changes and prevent customers from leaving your store if you know why they leave. Many cart abandonments are simply a natural result of how customers browse e-commerce websites. Many users do window shopping, price comparison, saving items for later, exploring gift options, and more. So cart and checkout abandonments are generally unavoidable.

In fact, according to Baymard's quantitative study of cart abandonment reasons, 58.6% of US online shoppers abandoned a cart in the previous three months because they were just browsing, i. e. not ready to buy. Most of them will abandon before even starting the checkout process.

But if we focus on the other reasons for abandonment, we get the following:

Reasons for abandonments during checkout

You can resolve many of these issues by altering the procedure and following up with an email.

The other common reasons people abandon online shopping carts in the middle of a transaction are:

  • Unexpected costs on the checkout page
  • They don't want to sign up for a website account
  • The checkout process is too long or complex (find out how long is “too long” in the next section)
  • They don't trust your website
  • They're waiting for prices to fall or a special discount

Best Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines to boost conversions

Here are some abandoned cart subject lines models that you can use when creating your email campaigns:

  • FOMO-based (Fear of Missing Out)
  • Funny
  • Incentivized

Let's discuss each one in detail.

1. FOMO-Inducing Subject Lines

Subject lines that encourage FOMO (The Fear of Missing Out) portray a sense of urgency because they focus on how popular your products are with other customers to pull shoppers back to their carts.

These subject lines tell potential buyers that your products are in high demand by showing them that other people are interested in your products. Use phrases like "Other shoppers are eyeing the items in your cart" or "Figure out what customers love about the item in your cart" and use social proof to close the deal.

FOMO induces a sense of urgency or scarcity in your audience. To encourage opens and sales, include information like product availability or time sensitivity in your subject line.

FOMO Subject Line Example: “it's Still in Stock – but Not for Long”

FOMO-inducing abandoned cart email subject line

This FOMO-inducing abandoned cart email subject line is by American Giant, a sportswear company. It notifies the customer that they've forgotten something and attempts to create a sense of scarcity by reminding them that their items will not remain in the cart for long.

This subject line is also appropriate for two reasons:

  • It's brief and straightforward (less than 40 characters).
  • It's easy to read and view even on small smartphone screens (40 characters is a recommended length). This is important because almost 42 % of emails are now opened on mobile devices.

Please keep your email subject lines between 30 and 40 characters long to optimize them for most smartphone screens.

Another advantage of "It's Still In Stock – But Not For Long" is that it arouses people's interest.

It doesn't mention the items or the deadline, which may force the receiver to open the email to see what's inside and how long the cart will be available. It also implies that the customer's shopping cart will be emptied, encouraging them to act quickly.

More FOMO subject line ideas:

  • Get [Product] while it's still with us.
  • Choose or lose! Your cart expires soon.
  • Your cart is expiring in 10, 9, 8...
  • Say goodbye to [Product].
  • [Days] left: save your shopping cart ASAP
  • Your cart has expired (Products might still be available).
  • Don't waste your free shipping chance (Rudy's).
  • Your cart is about to expire.
  • Get your [Product] before it sells out.
  • [Days] remaining.
  • There are [hours] left.
  • Last Chance.
  • Your shopping cart is about to expire.
  • [Product] is in high demand: Make your purchase right now.
  • We're almost out of stock!
  • Make sure you don't miss out: Only [Product] [Number] remaining.
  • You forgot to remove [Product] from your shopping cart: Only [Number] units remain in stock.
  • Your shopping cart has expired.

2. Funny Email Subject Lines for Abandoned Carts

Many businesses want to appear amusing and approachable in their advertising, and for a good reason: it works. If you use humor correctly, you can accomplish the following:

  • Customers will notice you because these emails stand out from other marketing content.
  • It appeals to the emotions of your customers.
  • These abandoned cart emails are easier to remember because of the humor.
  • They make your brand memorable and relatable to your target audience.

As a result, you can find many funny email subject lines in shopping cart abandonment campaigns to get ideas from. Let's review some of the best.

Chubbies, a men's short shorts retailer, is known for its humorous advertising

Chubbies, a men's short shorts retailer, is known for their humorous advertising, and this is how they approach writing abandoned cart subject lines.

Although this subject line doesn't mention the shopping cart or product, it engages customers by using humor and a friendly brand personality to attract attention.

It's made even better by using the sender address "detective@chubbies.com." Chubbies' fun-loving and positive approach to connecting with their subscribers is reflected in the use of witty language. This attracts attention and ensures that the brand's communication and experience are consistent across all fronts.

This abandoned cart email subject line uses a humorous and playful copy, an excellent way to get customers' attention. Using signs and emojis to spice up a subject line and make it stand out in a crowded inbox could be a smart move. It's a new thing, and a lot of customers like it. They're also great for conserving space, which is essential when creating subject lines for small smartphone screens.

More funny subject line ideas:

  • Your cart is having trouble letting go (Shop Runner).
  • Your cart is calming down (Whisky Loot).
  • Your Lovely Purple Boxes are on their way! (Stuart Weitzman).
  • This reminder was forced to be sent by your cart.
  • Your cart is terribly missing you.

Use humor sparingly in your shopping cart recovery emails. A bad joke delivered at the wrong time can cause more harm than good. Avoid using humor solely for the sake of amusement. If it's in line with your brand's image, go ahead and do it. However, think twice before sending something that receivers might interpret in a way you didn't intend.

3. Incentivized Abandoned Cart Email

Who can say no to a good deal? Adding offers in your subject line can provide the right amount of encouragement for customers to open the email to receive a code and complete their purchase.

Writing incentivized subject lines

Did You Forget Something? Here's a 20% Discount (Bonobos)

This subject line promises 20% off on their first order. When writing incentivized subject lines, the most important thing to remember is to make your proposition clear. Experiment with different percentages of discounts, free shipping, and other incentives to see what works best for your customers.

Free Shipping On Your Huckberry Order (Huckberry)

Example of the incentivized subject line with providing free shipping

Huckberry is trying to entice customers back by providing free shipping. Although there is no universal formula for attracting clicks and opens, many shoppers will consider it a good deal.

91% of customers believe that free shipping will encourage them to shop again. It was even more important to them than free returns and giveaways.

Here are some examples of incentivized subject lines:

  • Get X% off something in your shopping cart.
  • Need X% off on your shopping cart? Yes, of course!
  • Free shipping on all items in your cart!
  • Cold feet? Here's a bonus for your shopping cart items: (this could be a discount or free shipping).
  • Come back and get a deal.
  • Complete your purchase and get X% off.
  • Take X% off your cart before it's gone.

Tips for Writing the Perfect Abandoned Cart Email Subject

Personalize Your Subject Lines

One effective way of engaging your audience is to personalize your emails using profile properties.

Profile properties allow you to directly insert properties into your subject lines, such as a shopper's first name or the product already in their cart. For example, you can use profile properties to ensure that all abandoned cart emails begin with the shopper's first name and a catchy text like "Patrick, you forgot this!".

Personalizing your subject lines can help you attract a shopper's attention, whether you mention their location, use gender targeting, mention a product in their cart, or simply use their name. Customers are 22% more likely to open an email with a personalized subject line than without one.

Consider the Length of Your Subject Lines

The length of your subject lines influences your open rates. While you don't want a lengthy subject line, a subject line that is too short may not provide enough information about the email's content. You'll need to find the ideal solution.

68% of people use their smartphones to read emails. You should think about how to make your subject lines readable on mobile.

To maximize your reach with shoppers, keep your subject lines under six to ten words and less than 43 characters (the cut-off for most mobile inboxes) to optimize your email content's reach.

Use Preview Text to Your Advantage

You need to consider text preview or text that appears in email application after the subject line while drafting clear subject lines. By default the text preview is generated from the first lines of text in your email body.

When you choose your preview text yourself, you have more control over what the readers see. But when the preview uses a copy from the email, it might use the navigation bar or other parts of the email you don't want to show alongside your subject line.

Therefore, choosing a preview text to accompany your subject line helps emphasize the sole message of your subject line. You can also hide the preview text entirely if you want to keep things simple.

Consider the Timing

According to Rejoiner, sending a follow-up email one hour later resulted in a 16% conversion rate. You'll probably see lower conversion rates if you send an email too soon. The outcomes are even worse if you wait too long.

Conversion rates by time after abandonment

Rejoiner also discovered that, while the first email is the most effective, it might not be enough to recover all sales lost by cart abandoners. To generate the most revenue, we suggest using a three-part series:

  • Send the first email one hour after abandonment
  • The second one should come one day later
  • Send the third email three days after abandonment

Add Social Proof

Social proof is one of your most powerful marketing tools. It is the most effective way to earn the trust of cart abandoners and persuade them to complete a purchase. People pause to see what others have to say about your product because of social proof. It convinces them to take a chance on your brand because others have praised it.

Adidas email incorporates social proof into its messaging using reviews

In this Adidas email, they also incorporate social proof into its messaging. Customer reviews allow viewers to see what recent buyers say about the shoes they left behind.

Keep It Simple

Sending emails with excessive use of caps lock, exclamation marks, or emojis in the subject line may appear aggressive and harsh. You don't want to use subject lines or Call-to-actions such as "OPEN THIS RIGHT NOW!" or HEY

There's a thin line between an outstanding email and a confusing text that can risk your customers marking your email as spam, damaging your reputation. Keep your messaging conversational, approachable, and consistent with your brand voice to connect with more customers.

A/B Test

Your audience demographics can also influence your email campaign’s success. For example, one brand's customer demographic may be younger and respond to emojis and acronyms, whereas another brand's customer demographic may be older and irresponsive to the same strategy.

A/B testing your subject lines is the best way to figure out what your audience likes. By adjusting your language and observing which version your recipients respond to the most, you can use the results to iterate and improve your subject line strategy.


We hope these examples will inspire you to write better subject lines for your abandoned cart email campaigns. Remember, the subject line of a shopping cart recovery email is vital for bringing customers back to your website. The content won't matter if the subject fails to attract attention and motivate customers to open your email. Hopefully, this article clarifies your options.

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