Product-Focused vs. Brand-Focused Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned carts are by and large the largest drivers of revenue for our customers. We’ve posted some stats on abandoned carts already, but, to refresh your memory, the average Klaviyo makes $6.50 per abandoned cart email. While the purpose of an abandoned cart may seem straightforward, these emails are more than just a platform to persuade customers to buy products they’ve already indicated interest in. Customers open abandoned carts — we’ve recorded average open rates of 65-70% and click rates of 7-12%, which email marketers will recognize as far above the percentages of an average campaign. So, what content makes up a successful abandoned cart email?

While you should certainly include images and product names, quantities, and maybe brief descriptions, there are two main tones your abandoned cart emails can take: product-focused or brand-focused.

Product-Focused Abandoned Cart

Product-Focused Abandoned Cart

A product-focused abandoned cart email is exactly what it sounds like. The primary focus is on the abandoned items, which should be displayed front-and-center in the email. Include a navigation bar similar or equivalent to the one you use on your main site in case customers would like to browse other products (in the event that they actually did lose interest in their cart), but make sure that the abandoned items are at the top of the email and before the scroll. A strong call to action is also an essential component, since you should make it incredibly easy for your customers continue the checkout process.

Along with images, you should include quantity, color, size, and any other relevant details. Typically, abandoned carts also display individual item and total prices directly in the email, but you may choose to only include the price on the official checkout page. One advantage to displaying prices directly in the email is that you can clearly highlight any potential discounts or deals, like free shipping.

You should view the remainder of the email as an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell related or similar products. Product recommendations are a great way to achieve this. It’s also important to include a contact link, so customers can get in touch with your support team if they have any questions regarding shipping, pricing, or other product details.

Brand-Focused Abandoned Cart

Brand-Focused Abandoned Cart

A brand-focused abandoned cart email is less clearly defined, and can take several different forms. Some don’t even display the items a shopper has left in his or her cart, but instead focus on brand philosophy and simply include a link back to the cart webpage. Others place a primary focus on support, and include a contact link in the forefront of the email and display the abandoned items further down on the page.

Whether or not this approach is appropriate for your business can be somewhat dependent on your industry — if you are selling something that you anticipate your customers might have questions about prior to purchase (a motorcycle, for example), putting a support link at the top of your email will facilitate the sales process.


Depending on how many abandoned cart emails you choose to include in your series, you can send one of each. If you choose to send two, for example, you can make the first one product-focused and the second one brand-focused, with a sense of urgency. You can convey a sense of urgency with a subject line like, “Your cart is about to expire,” or “Only 2 days left for free shipping.” While it may be tempting to incentivize customers with a discount or coupon code, be wary of this technique — repeat customers may wise up and deliberately leave items in their carts to get a discount.

Soon, we will be releasing an ebook that offers a comprehensive guide to abandoned cart best practices, so stay tuned!

Interested in learning more about creating and optimizing abandoned cart automations? Check out these shopping cart abandonment resources.

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