cart abandonment emails

Think Beyond Cart Abandonment Emails

Cart abandonment is one of our favorite things to write about here at Zaius. And really, who can blame us? Not only does this approach work to encourage potential customers to complete their purchase, but it also gives brands’ creativity a chance to shine with a clever subject line or creative email copy.

However, as cart abandonment strategies become more and more familiar to customers, online stores just like yours are asking the same question: What’s the next big thing on the ecommerce marketing horizon that’s not cart abandonment that I should try?

We might not have an email marketing crystal ball to peer into to give us all the answers. But we do interact with enough ecommerce marketers to know that a lot of them are thinking beyond the traditional cart abandonment email to expand their outreach—and their creativity.

Of course, you shouldn’t swear off cart abandonment campaigns altogether. But you can supplement those ongoing efforts with other smart, automated campaigns that go beyond offering discounts to woo your customers as they progress through the customer lifecycle.

Have any other ideas beyond what we recommend here? Tweet them at us!

Abandonment-focused campaigns

Browse abandonment

Some of your customers-to-be may have visited one of your product’s pages more than once. They may not have added the product to their shopping carts just yet, but their intent is clear—they’re curious about it! Thanks to browse abandonment campaigns, you can remind them of the exact product they viewed and persuade them to buy it.

Understanding the differences between browse abandonment and cart abandonment is key. While cart abandonment indicates a more deliberate intent to purchase, customers who abandon an item while browsing probably don’t feel the same urgency to buy just yet.

That’s why including more information about the company in your browse abandonment email, as Reiss smartly does here, could be vital to helping them learn more about your product and ultimately drive further engagement.

cart abandonment emails

Product recommendations

Personalized online shopping experiences continue to be all the rage. In fact, 92% of customers expect your brand to adapt and personalize your email marketing to their preferences, including recommending new products they’ll love.

When you provide product recommendations that are tied to your customers’ browsing behavior, it’s a recipe for increasing your conversion rate as well as your average order value. The savviest ecommerce stores use dynamic content to send personalized offers that are tailored to each of their customers automatically.

cart abandonment emails

Better yet, if you have a B2C CRM, you can rely on a product recommendations algorithm to do the heavy lifting. Who wants to go through their site and manually select similar products anyway?

cart abandonment emails

Brand fan

There are fans, and then there are brand fans. Your most loyal, ardent customers fall into the latter category. So if you’re an online retailer that carries multiple brands, why not create a special email campaign that’s catered to visitors who browse multiple products under the same brand name?

All you need is a little help from the magic of customer stitching, and you’ll be able to create a segment of buyers who are fans of your brand. From there, you’ll be on your way to shipping brand fan campaigns that wow your best customers.

Want more details on how to create the perfect brand fan campaign? Head here.

Product-focused campaigns

New arrivals

You wouldn’t keep your newly arrived baby a secret from your best friends. So why wouldn’t you tell your best customers about your brand’s latest and greatest product offerings?

Whether it’s tied to seasonality (a new spring line of makeup from Sephora, for example) or just a one-off email to keep online shoppers in the know, new arrival emails can drum up excitement by letting your customers know what to keep an eye out for.

cart abandonment emails

This type of campaign is particularly powerful if you’re segmenting your email list based on customers’ previous browsing and purchase history.

Low inventory

When your most popular items are almost out of stock, it’s time to summon the superpowers of urgency. With a low inventory campaign, you’re essentially creating a sense of FOMO in your buyers to act before an item is gone, perhaps forever.

One thing to keep in mind about low inventory campaigns? They work best when you have a fairly shallow inventory since this type of email campaign is more difficult to track across many products. On a similar note, apparel brands (including ModCloth) might have a difficult time implementing low inventory campaigns because they have to factor in size-specific products based on the user.

cart abandonment emails

Back in stock

On the flip side of the coin, back in stock campaigns let your customers know that items they had their eye on—whether they signed up to be notified about them or were simply browsing the product page—are now available.

This “get it while you can” message likewise creates a sense of urgency, convincing online shoppers that now is the time to buy before the product runs out again, as Lyst shows here.

cart abandonment emails

Lifecycle-focused campaigns


It’s always smart to follow up with customers after they’ve made a purchase. You could ask for a product review, say a simple thank you, or, provide personalized recommendations similar to this example from Crate & Barrel.

cart abandonment emails

Regardless of which way you go, your end goal is always the same: to use nurturing emails to keep buyers engaged, and hopefully move them along the customer journey until they’ve reached the loyalty stage.


Uh-oh. A customer hasn’t engaged with your brand for a while (typically 30 days). This means they haven’t visited your site, used your mobile app, or opened any of your emails.

But don’t panic just yet! If you can deliver an effective at-risk campaign during the first signs of churn, you’ll be in a better position to capture whatever remaining interest there is before too much time passes and the relationship is gone for good.

You may be tempted to pull out all the stops to get them back, including going to extreme measures to discount your products. But again, you’ve still identified your at-risk customer early on enough that there’s still ample time to win them over.

For more on at-risk campaigns, including an example, read more here.


If a customer isn’t engaging with your brand after a certain amount of times (90 days is usually a pretty good barometer), it’s time to win them back once and for all.

Here’s where things can get a little awkward. There’s probably a reason your customer dropped off from interacting with you. But if you can take a cue from Ann Taylor and directly address that reason in your winback campaign, you have a better chance of understanding how to reengage them.

cart abandonment emails

Thankfully, you already have the advantage of knowing your customer has shopped with you before. And on top of that, you have their purchase and browsing data to fall back on, which can help you personalize your winback campaign even further.

These campaigns are all examples of ways to reengage buyers, drive loyalty, and increase your revenue. If you’re only focusing on abandoned cart emails, it’s time to branch out! Think beyond cart abandonment and try your hand at some of these other types of email marketing campaigns.

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