10 Unique Cart Abandonment Email Subject Lines [Types + Examples]

8 min read


eCommerce businesses are witnessing exponential growth in recent years. The numbers of both sellers and buyers are growing at an exponential rate. With this growth in the base, the losses due to cart abandonments have increased tremendously too. Recovery mechanisms like retargeting ads, chat, call, offers and discounts, and email marketing have become a must-have. In our previous blog, we covered cart abandonment email examples with tips to boost revenue. But there’s a catch, not all emails are opened. There’s a high chance that your email may go unnoticed among the hundreds of emails that your potential customer may receive daily. The answer to this problem is – compelling, highly effective subject lines for abandoned cart emails. In this blog, we’ll cover ten types and examples of cart abandonment email subject lines along with actionable tips to write them. Let’s begin. 

Context Index

nimbbl signup
Sign up on Nimbbl

Importance of cart abandonment emails 

According to Statista, around 70% to 80% of times, depending on the industry, online visitors express some kind of interest in a product but do not complete their purchase. This is known as cart abandonment. Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems in the eCommerce industry. 

Here, abandoned shopping cart emails act as an important tool for the eCommerce store to convert those visitors into customers. It acts as a reminder, a re-engagement, a relationship builder, or the final nudge to get a sale.

Key cart abandonment email statistics

  • The open rate of cart abandonment emails is ~ 43%
  • The average click-through rate (CTR) for cart abandonment emails is ~ 8.76%
  • The average conversion rate for shopping cart abandonment emails is ~ 18.64% 
Image: Barilliance

To put things into perspective, the average global aggregate open rate for emails is ~ 14.5%. 

Abandoned cart email subject lines, coming to the rescue

The email subject line is one of the first things that a receiver sees when you send an email. The content inside the email, no matter how powerful or beautiful, is bound to be missed if the recipient doesn’t open the email after reading the subject line. The road to recovering cart abandonment starts from the subject line! 

Image: Sendinblue

Best performing abandoned cart email subject lines  

As per abandoned cart benchmarks by Klaviyo, here are some of the best-performing subject lines: 

  • Left something behind? tended to perform the best with an open rate of 47.67%, almost 4% higher than the average
  • Emojis, a double-edged sword? While they add your brand personality flavour to the subject lines, they also led to a drop in the open rates 
  • Use of currency symbols $, ₹ or discount % or ‘free’ had lower open rates but higher CTRs
  • Subject lines with a straightforward reference to action like ‘Your cart is about to expire’, and ‘Last call’ were the best performers.  

10 Cart abandonment email subject line types with examples

Simple subject lines, to the point, funny, intriguing, product-focused, and created as per customer’s personas drive conversions for eCommerce businesses. 

In the section, get ideas for subject lines that increase email open rates. Learn about ten abandoned cart email subject line types with examples to help create one that works best for your business. 

Don’t forget to bookmark this blog for future reference 😉

#1 KISS subject line

Keep it short, and simple. The objective of your subject line is to get the email opened. Short subject lines deliver just that, getting the highest open rates, according to a Mailchimp subject line analysis of 40 million marketing emails. 

25-30 characters on a mobile device and about 60 characters on the desktop is the ideal length before the rest of the subject line gets cut off. A short, simple subject line helps the reader to view the entire subject line with one specific message. Less is more and better when it comes to subject lines! 

Examples of short and simple subject lines for abandoned cart emails: 

  1. Cart reserved! 
  2. Take another peek
  3. The best bag ever 
  4. Best [product name] ever 
  5. All best sellers under ₹999
  6. The sale is live. Shop now.  
  7. 10 reasons to buy [product name]
  8. A gift only for you 
  9. Buy it or Regret it! 
  10. Ready to buy now? 

#2 Reminder & Nudge subject line

Sometimes a little reminder is all it takes to get shoppers back to complete the purchase. Taking into consideration the Assumption principle i.e. assuming that the shopper is ready for the purchase and has forgotten to complete the purchase. Issues like costs, shipping, better alternatives, and others are assumed to be non-existent. 

Reminders also work to create a sense of urgency when informing your customers about items soon running out of stock or a discount campaign that is ending soon.

For some businesses, a clear, to-the-point, reminder subject line with the assumptive close technique works perfectly fine. For others, a nudge towards completing the purchase works better. 

Examples of reminder and nudge-based subject lines for abandoned cart emails: 

  1. Ooops, you forgot [Product]
  2. Forgot to checkout? 
  3. You are one step away 
  4. You left something behind
  5. Heading out without checking out?
  6. Ready to buy? Complete the order now
  7. Still thinking over it?
  8. Did you leave something behind?
  9. Psst…You left something behind!
  10. You’re so close
  11. Your [Product name] is just one click away
  12. Complete your checkout in two steps
  13. [Product name] is ready for you to purchase
  14. You are nearly there

#3 Incentivised subject line

Incentives work. Period. Shoppers love incentives or discounts or offers or whatever you want to call them.  

Unexpected higher cost at the checkout page is often a reason for checkout abandonment. A good offer in the subject line can exponentially increase cart recovery email opens and get higher CTRs too.  

They are an effective way to encourage first-time customers in particular. For them, a percentage off on the first purchase or free delivery or a time-based offer with a percentage off works better. 

A word of caution though is to use incentives strategically. You wouldn’t want to incentivise customers who are already willing to buy from you.  

Examples of incentive-based subject lines for abandoned cart emails:

  1. Unload your cart with xx% off
  2. The price dropped for [Product name] in your cart
  3. Complete your checkout with 20% Off 
  4. Only for you: Free Shipping!
  5. Free shipping on your order today
  6. Want 15% off on [Product name]? Buy now!
  7. Something’s just happened to your cart: 20% off
  8. The items in your cart just went on sale!
  9. LAST CHANCE – take 20% off your Cart
  10. Don’t miss, 10% off your entire cart
  11. Enjoy this discount on your next order with Fab!
  12. An item you liked is on sale for one more day. 

#4 Personalised subject line

According to Experian and other reports, emails with personalised subject lines have 12% to 30% higher open rates compared to subject lines without any personalisation. 

You can personalise the subject line using the shopper’s name, location, purchase value or quantity, product name, a particular item from their cart, birthdates, anniversary and more. 

Using “Hey there” works well when you don’t have their names. A “Hey friend!” type of subject line can be too friendly for some shoppers and may be avoided. 

Examples of personalised abandoned cart email subject lines:

  1. [First Name], complete your purchase 
  2. Still thinking it over, [ First Name]?
  3. Hey [Name], complete your purchase in two clicks
  4. [Name], do you remember me?
  5. [Name], 20% discount on your cart
  6. [Name], a special selection only for you  
  7. Happy Birthday [Name] – Surprise for you!

#5 FOMO & Time-based subject line

Urgency and fear of missing out (FOMO) are powerful psychological tricks to get a potential customer over the line. These triggers, when used smartly, improve email open rates exponentially. 

Popular ways to use urgency in subject lines include urgency around carts, specific products, and incentives. 

Overusing and faking this technique can reduce the overall value and effectiveness of your email campaigns. 

Examples of FOMO and time-based abandoned cart email subject lines: 

  1. You left [Product name] in your cart: [Number] left in stock
  2. [Product name ] is selling fast: Complete your order now
  3. Free Shipping Today: Complete your [Product] purchase
  4. Don’t miss out: Only [Number] [Product] left in stock
  5. 15% Discount on Items in Your Cart Today
  6. Buy [Product] now to receive free shipping
  7. Your [Product name] is reserved for the next 2 hours  
  8. Get it before it’s gone…
  9. Just a couple left…
  10. We’ve held your cart for the next 3 hours
  11. Items in your cart are selling fast! Checkout now 

#6 Curious subject line 

Driving interest, instead of providing the information upfront, these email subject lines aim to make your potential customers curious about the email.  

A question, a promise, a reveal inside the email, or a reminder are a few ways to drive curiosity in the subject lines. 

Examples of curiosity-based abandoned cart email subject lines: 

  1. Found something that caught your eye?
  2. Looks like you forget something
  3. We saved this only for you
  4. We’re ready when you are ready
  5. You know you want them badly 
  6. A Gift for You 
  7. Continue shopping with a bumper discount 
  8. Don’t Open This Email
  9. Can I call you tomorrow? 
  10. Should we reserve this for you? 

# 7 Product & Brand subject line 

Customers may be window shopping digitally from multiple brands at the same time. Product-based subject lines help to reinforce and recall what they had in mind when they added the product to the cart. 

These are to the point, product centred and connecting with the value it provides and ties back to the brand.  

These subject lines for cart abandonment help you remind shoppers what they wanted to buy and why from you specifically. 

Examples of product and brand-based abandoned cart email subject lines:  

  1. Complete your [Product name] purchase
  2. Your [Product name] is waiting
  3. Complete your [Brand name] purchase
  4. Your [Brand name] items are in your basket
  5. Did you still want some [Brand name] [Product name]?
  6. Items in your basket at [Brand name.com]
  7. Finish Your Order at [Brand name]
  8. Your [Product name] is waiting in the [Brand name] store
  9. Your [Brand name] items are in your shopping basket

# 8 Pain point subject line

Understanding your customer’s needs and their pain points, and addressing them with a solution in the subject line gets you higher open rates. 

The ideal way to go about creating these email subject lines is by segmenting your user base and addressing one pain point at a time.

Examples of pain point-based subject lines from leading brands:  

  1. Pizza Hut – Feed your guests without breaking your bank
  2. IKEA – Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes
  3. HP – Stop wasting your money on ink 
  4. Evernote – Stop wasting time on mindless work techniques 
  5. Duolingo – Learn a language within 5 minutes per day
  6. J.Crew – Your summer outfit difficulties solved
  7. Terrain – Your all-weather dining solution

# 9 Creative subject line

Your brand’s personality can be added to your emails too. Depending on the product, buyer persona or your industry, you can use snappy copywriting to produce creative subject lines. 

Be careful not to overdo this, as it may leave a bad taste. Knowing your customers better is the key along with experimentation and a/b tests. 

Examples of creative subject lines for abandoned cart emails: 

  1. You left your stuff with us  
  2. You’ve got this one in the bag (literally)
  3. Bags crying for help
  4. [Name] we’d look good together
  5. Go for it. Trust your instincts
  6. You’ve Got a Great Choice, Don’t Leave It In Your Basket!
  7. Products the celebs are wearing too 
  8. Don’t wear last year’s stocks

# 10 Help subject line

Cart abandonment can happen due to genuine issues customers may encounter during their checkout process. Knowing the reason, and addressing it is the key to growing your sales. 

Customer support-based subject lines try to understand the concerns and reasons why they may have left items in the cart, reaching out to them via a simple question. 

Examples of help-based subject lines for abandoned cart emails:  

  1. Trouble Checking Out?
  2. Can We Help?
  3. Was There a Problem with Your Order?
  4. Can I help you?
  5. Reach out for any help 
  6. Need help completing your order? 
nimbbl signup
Sign up on Nimbbl

Quick tips for cart abandonment subject line  

  1. Optimise for device 
  2. Small is more 
  3. Address concerns and offer help 
  4. Use incentives 
  5. Incorporate your brand and product 
  6. Create urgency and FOMO
  7. Remind and nudge 
  8. Take creative liberty 
  9. Make it visual with emojis 
  10. Experiment and a/b test 


Checkout abandonment is a bitter reality in the eCommerce world. Cart abandonment emails play an important role in salving some of the lost sales opportunities. But writing a subject line that gets you a higher open rate is not an easy task. Understanding the types of subject lines that you can use in your abandoned cart emails can help you to test, and refine your subject line messaging effectively. 

We hope the above type and examples inspire you to write subject lines that get you higher open rates and ultimately drive up conversions for you. 


What is the ideal length of the abandoned cart email subject line?

The ideal length of the cart abandonment email subject line may vary depending on the device of the recipient. The shorter the better should be taken as a guiding principle. 

Does including offers in the subject line of cart recovery emails work?

As per a Klaviyo study, adding offers, currency symbols $, ₹ or discount % or ‘free’ had lower open rates but higher CTRs. 

How many emails should be sent to one customer?

Sending a series of emails is more beneficial than sending one email. You can a/b test to figure out the ideal number of emails to be sent to your customers. 

After how much time do I need to send the abandoned cart email?

The time gap may vary according to the industry. For high-value purchases waiting around sixty minutes is the optimal time before sending the first abandoned cart email. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.