How frustrating is it to see that a spike in webshop visitors isn’t resulting in the spike in sales you were expecting?

You dive into your stats, only to be met with a sea of abandoned shopping carts. 

It happens to a lot of webshop owners. In fact, in 2021 nearly 70 percent of digital shopping baskets were abandoned, worth a total of $4 trillion in revenue

It’s safe to say that online shoppers can be quite indecisive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reel them back in.
In this article, we’ll teach you all about the power of retargeting customers who – for whatever reason – didn’t go through with a purchase. We’ll give you no less than 64 examples of abandoned cart subject lines, some winning abandoned cart email examples and some top tips from experts to turn those abandoned carts into opportunities.

Cart Abandonment Rate By Device

Why do people abandon shopping carts?

Let’s play customer for a second. You load up your online shopping cart with all kinds of cool things. Fancy dresses. Homemade candles. All the newest games for your console. You’ve already justified their price: you need this. No, you deserve this.

You go to the checkout and see that there’ll be $3.99 in shipping costs for your $120 order. Now that, you can’t justify. You close the tabs and get on with your day. 

Unexpected costs like shipping fees or taxes can catch enthusiastic shoppers off guard and make them rethink their purchases. For shoppers in the US, it’s the number one reason they don’t hit that ‘Pay Now’ button. 

Top Reasons For Cart Abandonment in the US

For a look at what to do when everything goes right, check out our guide to crafting a small business thank you email

64 subject lines for abandoned cart emails

Cart abandonment is an issue that affects almost every ecommerce business. But every business, big or small, can easily set up retargeting campaigns that can help them recover lost revenue. 

Take some inspiration from these subject line examples and steal the best ones to recover lost sales!

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Classic reminder email subject lines

Let’s start off nice and simple. Your first email doesn’t need to be a Shakespearean work – in many cases, a simple nudge or gentle reminder will be enough to draw customers back in. 

Here are a few examples of simple cart abandonment email subject lines for that very first message:

  1. Order not completed
  2. Your purchase is still pending, [Name]
  3. Items in your cart will disappear soon
  4. Reminder: complete your purchase
  5. Did you forget something?
Classic reminder email subject lines

Offering discounts and deals in your subject line

Offering a discount can act as a powerful incentive for customers to return to their cart and make the purchase they were considering. After all, unexpected costs are the top reason for cart abandonment

Additionally, putting a time limit on the discount and in the abandoned cart subject lines can create a sense of urgency, prompting customers to act quickly before the discount expires. 

Apart from monetary discounts, you can also work in some other promotions, like a free shipping offer or a free gift – just take a look at the reasons people don’t complete their purchase and play into that. 

Here are some click-worthy subject line examples: 

  1. Receive [product] tomorrow: free express shipping on orders completed today! 🚀
  2. Your items are still available! Complete your purchase with a 25% discount
  3. We’re not giving up on you! 25% Discount waiting 
  4. Still thinking about [product]? 15% off awaits 
  5. We’ve saved something special for you – 20% off your order! 🎁
  6. Get 50% off before it’s too late – my boss doesn’t know I’m doing this 👀
  7. Don’t let your indecision cost you – here’s a special discount code to help you out 🙌
  8. You’ve got nothing to lose – except this amazing discount 🔥
  9. Until Sunday: Free express shipping on your order
Offering discounts and deals in your subject line

FOMO subject line examples

Have you ever felt like you missed out on a great deal or popular item? That feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) can be a powerful motivator, and in your ecommerce email marketing you can use it to your advantage in abandoned cart email subject lines. 

By creating a sense of urgency and scarcity, these subject lines are designed to get consumers to act quickly. 

Instantly highlight the potential loss to get customers to act quickly and complete their purchase before someone else snags that great deal or popular item.

These abandoned cart email subject lines should spark a feeling of FOMO: 

  1. Almost gone😱 – complete your order now before it’s sold out
  2. The clock is ticking – don’t let your cart expire ⏳
  3. The price dropped for [Product] for 24H!
  4. Last chance to claim your discount – time is running out ⏳
  5. Don’t let these items slip away – complete your purchase today
  6. The sale ends soon – complete your purchase now and save big
  7. [Product] is selling out quickly. Get yours now!
  8. You’re running out of time, [Name]
  9. We’re giving away free stuff with every purchase, but not for long 🎁
  10. Don’t wait for the prices to go up – complete your order now 💰
  11. Our bestsellers are flying off the shelves – get yours before they’re gone 🛒
FOMO subject line examples

‘Did Something Go Wrong?’ abandoned cart email subject line

Sometimes, a more unconventional approach can be just as effective when it comes to an abandoned cart email subject line. That’s where a subject line like ‘Did something go wrong?’ comes in. 

It can be a powerful way to connect with your customers and show them that you care about their experience. By implying that there may have been a mistake or error, customers are more likely to open the email and find out what went wrong.

Once customers have opened the email, you can use it as an opportunity to remind them about the items they left behind in their cart. Additionally, you can use this approach to gather feedback from customers on their experience and find ways to improve your website and optimize your checkout page

By demonstrating with a friendly subject line that you care about your customers’ experience and want to improve, you can build stronger relationships and increase customer loyalty.

Here are some subject lines that help you find out why customers abandon your awesome products: 

  1. We noticed you didn’t complete your purchase – did something go wrong?
  2. Oops! We think something went wrong with your order – let’s fix it together
  3. Did you experience any issues during checkout?
  4. Problems with your order?
  5. Need assistance with your purchase?
  6. You left something in your cart 
  7. Did we do something to make you change your mind?
  8. We’re here to help you with your order, [Name]
  9. We missed you! Did something happen during checkout?
  10. We’re sorry – can we make things right for you?

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Attention-grabbing copy in your subject line

When it comes to crafting powerful subject lines for your abandoned cart emails, sometimes it pays to get a little creative. Attention-grabbing subject lines can be a powerful way to spark customers’ interest and lure them back in to complete their purchase. By using unexpected language or making an intriguing promise, you can entice customers to open your email and engage with your brand.

The key to creating attention-grabbing subject lines is to be bold and take educated risks. Don’t be afraid to try something new or use language that stands out in overflowing inboxes – as long as it fits your brand. The goal is to make customers take notice and feel compelled to open your email. 

Whether it’s a clever play on words, song lyrics, a personalized subject line, a bold statement, or a surprising fact, an attention-grabbing subject line can be the perfect way to cut through the noise and get customers to pay attention to your abandoned cart email.

These creative subject line examples are different from the emails you receive on a daily basis:

  1. Come back to the cart side – we have cookies (and your items) 🍪
  2. All the cool kids are checking out their carts – just sayin’
  3. We can’t stop thinking about you 🫠
  4. How you do anything is how you do everything (come back and finish this)
  5. We’re holding your products hostage! 🥷
  6. We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed (in your cart being abandoned)
  7. Should we lose hope? (Your products are waiting)
  8. Come on, when was the last time you treated yourself?
  9. Is it really over? 🥀
  10. We noticed you left your dog’s present behind, hooman 🐾
Attention-grabbing copy in your subject line

Personalized cart abandonment subject lines

Personalization is one of the most effective ways to grab the attention of your audience and increase engagement, and abandoned cart email subject lines are no exception. By personalizing your subject lines, you can create a more emotional connection with your customers and make them feel valued and seen. 

Whether it’s using the customer’s name, referencing the product they left in their cart, or mentioning their previous purchase history, personalized subject lines can make your abandoned cart emails feel more relevant and customized to each individual customer. 

“The subject line should be clear enough that the lead knows this is in regards to an item they previously showed interest in. But, use the subject line to make it creative and fun. Push that they need this in their life. Or, push exclusivity so that they feel they are being treated like a VIP customer (i.e. This is just for you, [Name]).”

Kristen Lopez, Digital Marketing Manager, Health IQ

Here are some examples of cart email subject lines that leave room for personalization:

  1. Don’t forget about your [Product Name]! 💡
  2. [Customer Name], we saved your cart for you!
  3. Is there something we can help you with, [Customer Name]?
  4. [Customer Name], your [Product Name] is still waiting for you!
  5. Do it in the name of self-care, [Name] 💕
  6. Wow, you’ve got great taste, [Name] 
  7. You’re the 1 that got away, [Name] 
  8. We know you’re busy, [Customer Name]. We’ll wait
Personalized cart abandonment subject lines

By prominently featuring your brand name or product in the subject line, you can create a sense of familiarity and connection with your customers, reminding them of the products they were interested in and the brand they were considering. 

Additionally, mentioning the product in the subject line can create a sense of urgency, highlighting the fact that the product is still available and waiting for them to complete their purchase. 

By leveraging your brand name and products in your abandoned cart email subject lines, you can not only improve your open and click-through rates but also build stronger brand recognition and customer loyalty. 

Check out these abandoned cart email subject lines that build around brands or products:

  1. Don’t leave without your new CuddleCozy Blanket 🧸
  2. Finish your look with Flare Jeans from Denim Dreams
  3. Complete your home gym with FitnessFusion Equipment 🏋
  4. Get back to your art 🎨 with AcrylicMaster Paint Set
  5. Last chance to score: MiniMate Skincare Bundle
  6. Don’t go for your hike without your TrailBlaze Pack 🗻
  7. Grow that stack 📚 with FantasyRealm’s latest release
  8. Your 😺 wants this from MeowMania
  9. Don’t forget your kids’ favorite treats from Treaty 🍬
  10. Last chance! Get your hands on a GlamGlow’s Skincare Set 
  11. Get back to baking 🧁 with TheMixingBowl’s Essentials Kit
Branded or product-related subject lines

How long should you wait before sending an abandoned cart email?

Nearly thirty percent of clicks on abandoned cart emails lead to a sale — which makes a little nudge all the more worthwhile. But there’s the issue of timing. While it’s important to act quickly, bombarding potential customers with too many emails too soon can have the opposite effect.

Here is a good rule of thumb to follow for timing a cart abandonment email campaign:

  • After 1 hour: Send the first reminder to nudge customers back to their cart.
  • After 24 hours: Send a follow-up email with a discount, welcome ‘gift’ or simply a creative reminder.
  • After 48-72 hours: The final email should contain a hard push, with an offer that customers can’t refuse, such as free shipping.

Our top tips for stellar abandoned cart subject lines

Are those creative juices flowing? Good. Match them with these best practices and you’re ready to get retargeting. 

The email subject line should match your brand

For example, don’t use too many exclamation points to create a sense of urgency – communicate something that’s urgent instead. 

You want to pop out in someone’s inbox, but you also want to make it easy to recognize your brand. If your tone of voice is usually formal and simple, don’t go overboard with hyperboles and emojis. Find the limits of the language you’re comfortable using and play within those. 

Determine the cause of cart abandonment

While a well-crafted subject line is effective, it shouldn’t replace looking into the problem. Dive into your checkout page, see what a price drop does, and test other metrics. 

Find out what blockers customers are running into and try to take them away. Then charm the remaining customers who leave before paying with subject lines that target the reason they abandoned the cart in the first place.

Keep an eye on the character count for an email subject line

You don’t want your awesome pun to be cut off mid-sentence. Make sure you keep your subject lines short enough to be shown completely on mobile screens and email programs. 

Aim for a subject line that is no longer than 50 characters, as shorter subject lines tend to perform better in terms of open rates. And never hit send without testing! 

Work on your aim to personalize subject lines

It’s important that the right email goes to the right person at the right time. Take your time to set up segments and test your triggered email flows thoroughly! This will give you the information you need to write abandoned cart email subject lines that hit the mark, every time. 

“Make sure your triggers and segments are on point so you can write really specific abandoned cart subject lines.”

Spice it up with emojis 🌶️ 

A picture can paint a thousand words. An emoji can do around…five? That might just be enough to keep your subject line short and sweet, but it can also draw more attention to your email. 

It’s important to find a balance between creativity and getting the message across, so use emojis with caution. 

“I see many companies that fall into one extreme or the other – they either aren’t creative enough in their subject lines for their email to stand out against the competition. Or, they are over the top with creativity to the point that it doesn’t relate to the email (resulting in low CTR), or they are overloading on emojis, and they end up in spam inboxes or with soft bounces. There needs to be a happy medium between these two extremes that each business should aim to fall in.”

Kristen Lopez, Digital Marketing Manager, Health IQ

Experiment and test 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different subject lines and see what works best for your audience and email marketing. You can test different subject lines by sending out A/B tests to a portion of your email list and then using the results to refine your approach in the future.

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Is cart abandonment getting you down? Recover lost sales and bring shoppers back to their almost-purchases with creative subject lines and a targeted abandoned cart email campaign to match. 

We can’t write your subject lines for you, but we can help you design impressive, on-brand cart abandonment emails that your customers can’t ignore. We have stunning ready-to-use and customized email templates to get you started. Try them out for free — no credit card details required!

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