WooCommerce abandoned cart emails: strategies to get shoppers back to your store (plus 9 tips + examples)

Profile photo of author Alexandra McPeak
Email marketing
February 21, 2021
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If you run your business on WooCommerce, you likely have a unique set of concerns:

How can you recover shoppers’ abandoned carts on your website? What WooCommerce abandoned cart plugin can you use to solve this problem?

What are other WooCommerce brands doing for their abandoned cart emails? 

With the right WooCommerce abandoned cart strategy, you’ll be well on your way to winning back lost shoppers and converting new customers.

Why should you have an abandoned cart strategy for your WooCommerce store?

You can create a single abandoned cart email automation to do all the work of recovering lost customers for you—while making more money. 

In fact, research from Klaviyo shows automated abandoned cart emails have an open rate of 41.18 percent, a click rate of 9.5 percent, and a revenue per recipient of $5.81, which is pretty outstanding. 

What’s more, data also shows conversion rates for abandoned cart emails are three times greater than those for other email automations, on average.

You set up your WooCommerce email campaigns after integrating with a platform like Klaviyo. After syncing the data set up abandoned cart emails, or abandoned cart email series, and determine your cart recovery strategy, you can let technology do all the heavy lifting for you and gain new customers while you sleep—or at least while you spend your time on other critical aspects of running your business. 

Abandoned cart email benchmarks for ecommerce

How do WooCommerce abandoned cart emails work?

There are two steps to take before you can retarget your cart abandoners via email. 

First, you need to integrate your email service provider (ESP) with your WooCommerce store. You also need to collect your shoppers’ email addresses with a signup form.  

Both of these steps are fundamental in order to track and collect your shoppers’ activity on your site and retarget them in a highly personalized way with your subsequent marketing communications.

Integrate WooCommerce with Klaviyo

How to collect your shoppers’ email addresses

You can’t retarget your shoppers via email if you don’t have their email addresses. That’s why, if you’re implementing WooCommerce abandoned cart automations, a signup form will be your new best friend.

When it comes to creating signup forms, you have a few different options: You can use a pop-up form, a flyout form (which slides out from the margins of your website), or an embedded form, which stays in on area designated area of your website (typically the header or footer).

You can also use multiple types of forms in order to capture more subscribers. For example, many marketers will use a pop-up form and pair it with an embedded form so that shoppers can still submit their email even if they exit out of the pop-up.

There are plenty of ways to think about collecting shoppers’ email addresses, and other details like copy, imagery, and CTA will all impact a form’s success, as well. But A/B testing your signup forms will give you the best idea of what will be most effective with your customers in terms of submission rate.

Once you collect the email addresses of your shoppers through a form, you can track and collect data surrounding their onsite activity, such as when someone starts a checkout or adds an item to a cart. Then, you can retarget them with email automations—such as an abandoned cart email series—based on those actions.

Top signup form examples from brands for 2022

3 abandoned cart strategies for WooCommerce stores

Now you start thinking more strategically about how you’ll entice shoppers back to your website to complete their purchases.

If you’re ready to set up your abandoned cart emails for your WooCommerce store, or if you’re looking to make the most of the automations you’ve already put in place, here are three strategies you can use to woo shoppers back to your website and recover their abandoned carts.

1 | Snag your shoppers’ attention with a catchy subject line

Your abandoned cart subject line is the key to your email open rate, which means you  may want to consider how you choose to grab the attention of your shopper. 

Consumers’ inboxes can get crowded, so to stand out, consider enticing them immediately with your subject line so they click into the email and, ultimately, convert. 

Whether you decide to ask readers a question, include playful emojis, or keep your reader guessing with a sense of intrigue, your subject line should stop shoppers mid-scroll with the promise of a timely and irresistible offer inside.

Additionally, keep in mind the fact that abandoned cart emails that include a coupon code in the subject line also perform better—data shows they have an above average open rate at 44.37 percent and a click-through rate of 10.85 percent. 

With this in mind, consider teasing a discount offer or an incentive such as free shipping in your subject line to let shoppers know they have something to look forward to if they open the email and complete their purchase.

Abandoned cart email subject line tips and examples

2 | Make it easy for shoppers to checkout

If it’s too difficult for a shopper to get back to the item they originally abandoned, they’re less likely to complete their purchase—that’s why it’s your job to make the experience as frictionless as possible. 

There are a few small ways you can do this through your email content by using images, product details, and descriptions of the items left behind to remind shoppers of the products they were considering. If you’re offering a discount, this is a good place to mention that, as well.

Adding clear and concise CTAs that take people back to your website also makes the experience effortless for even the most distracted shoppers. This way, shoppers know where to click in your email so they can return directly to their cart and complete their purchase. 

3 | Consider the timing of your messages

If you send an abandoned cart email to your customers too quickly, you might not be giving them enough time to complete their purchase before remarketing to them. If you wait too long, they could make a purchase from a different brand, and you could miss out on the sale completely.

At minimum, consider adding a time delay of at least one hour to your WooCommerce abandoned cart automation. Most marketers won’t want the first email to send out as soon as someone adds an item to their cart. 

Generally, I recommend sending the first email to your shopper somewhere between two and four hours after they abandon their cart. For a second abandoned cart email, somewhere between 20 to 48 hours is standard.

Identify the best time to send abandoned cart (or any) emails to customers

WooCommerce abandoned cart email templates and examples

What do other brands’ abandoned cart emails look like? Here are six WooCommerce abandoned cart email templates and examples from top direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, plus a look at why they’re successful.

1 | This email from Bluebird Botanical focuses on their brand to serve as a reminder

Bluebird Botanicals email newsletter for 20% off discount
Subject line: Psst… you forgot something. Extra 20% off your cart.

CBD brand Bluebird Botanicals employs a few exceptional abandoned cart techniques in this email. 

First, it’s no question who this email comes from—Bluebird Botanicals includes their logo and tagline at the top of the email, so the reader immediately knows who it’s from. Plus, the rest of the email design is perfectly on-brand, creating a consistent experience from start to finish.

They also include the basics—a discount, an image of the product, and a CTA to check out—but they spice it up with some social proof at the bottom, including three testimonials from happy customers. 

2 | Pat McGrath reminds users in this email that they were interested in a product

woocommerce abandoned cart pat mcgrath email for complimentary shipping
Woocommerce abandonded cart example from Pat McGrath Labs – an item the customer previously browsed

Subject line: A Message From Your Shopping Bag

From the subject line of beauty brand Pat McGrath Labs’ email, it’s immediately apparent the content inside concerns the shopper’s abandoned cart.

When consumers are working, online shopping, messaging their friends, and scrolling social media—perhaps all at once—from the same device, it’s no wonder they can become distracted and forget to checkout. 

Pat McGrath’s email subject line, plus the content in the email itself that focuses on the abandoned product, serve as a simple reminder to shoppers who may have had the best intentions to eventually complete their purchase. 

3 | S’well sent an email that gave product recommendations

Woocommerce abandoned cart example from Swell
Woocommerce abandonded cart example from Swell – product recommendations

Subject line: Your order status…

This abandoned cart email from stainless steel water bottle brand S’well immediately zones in on the brand’s dedication to sustainability with a banner that reinforces “more ways to use less.” 

For customers who aren’t completely sold on the product they’ve already added to their cart, S’well makes a few other product recommendations by suggesting the reader browse bottles, travelers, or food storage containers.

4 | Alpha Paw uses emotion in their email send

Woocommerce abandoned cart example from Alpha Paw
Woocommerce abandonded cart example from alpha paw – A uses a personal touch

Subject line: 🐶 Forget something, In Your Cart?

This email from pet products brand Alpha Paw stands out before you even open it. This is partly due to the adorable subject line featuring the dog emoji, but also because the email seems to come from a human—“Kelly at Alpha Paw”—rather than just the brand, “Alpha Paw.” I like that this email seems like it was written by and sent from an Alpha Paw team member, even if it’s automated.

Once you open the email, you’re immediately greeted with puppy dog eyes that are hard to resist and a CTA to return to the cart. This email also highlights other value adds the brand offers, such as free shipping, fast delivery, and their 90-day money-back guarantee.

For any shoppers who are still on the fence (or trying to jump over it), a testimonial and raving review from a happy dog parent seals the deal.

5 | Tiny Tags tries a different cart recovery method in their email

Woocommerce abandoned cart tiny tags email
Tiny Tags opts for selling on the brands accolades and trust

Subject line: Your Custom Tiny Tags is Waiting for You

Personalized jewelry brand Tiny Tags showcases the abandoned item in their email, but there’s more to their cart recovery strategy.

They also invite the shopper to learn about Tiny Tags by outlining four reasons to shop with the brand. This section details the fact that Tiny Tags uses laser engravings, highlights their press coverage, and includes multiple ways to get in touch with customer support.

Overall, this email is both thoroughly convincing and creative. It serves as an introduction to the brand, similar to a welcome series, and persuades the reader to complete checkout in order to get their hands on some truly unique custom jewelry.

6 | Luminance Skincare compliments the user in their email

woocommerce abandoned cart email for luminance skincare
If all else fails – why not a little flattery – as in this example from Luminance

Subject line: Forgot something?

Organic beauty brand Luminance Skincare does a few things exceptionally well in their abandoned cart email. 

They save the shopper’s cart, they flatter the reader by saying they have impeccable taste, and they hammer home the brand’s core values: They’re 100 percent organic, vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and sustainably sourced.

Additionally, the fact that the CTA of this email encourages the reader to “get glowing” rather than just saying the ordinary “check out now” or “return to cart” proves that paying attention to the small details can pay off.

Win-back shoppers with a WooCommerce abandoned cart automation

Abandoned cart email automations are relatively simple, straightforward, and easy to set up, and they’ll continue to bring in new business for your brand for years to come.

If you have a WooCommerce store, consider setting up an abandoned cart email as one of your first automations if you want to start seeing immediate results.

Once you define the structure of your WooCommerce abandoned cart email series with elements such as your subject line, content, and timing, shoppers will be enticed by these time-sensitive and highly relevant automations.

Find out how Smart Home Beveiliging is driving a 242 percent revenue increase with WooCommerce and Klaviyo.

Ready to start sending abandoned cart emails with your WooCommerce store?
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Alexandra McPeak
Alexandra McPeak
Content strategist
Alex McPeak is a Content Strategist at Klaviyo. She helps entrepreneurs and small businesses grow. Before joining Klaviyo in 2020, Alex spent several years writing, editing, and podcasting throughout the Boston tech scene. Alex graduated from Emmanuel College. Outside of work, Alex enjoys traveling to warmer places, reading mystery novels, and eating sushi.