How to Send WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails and Recover Lost Sales

Illustration by Camille Portales A man flying through space with flames coming out of his feet

Did you know 76.9% of shoppers abandon their carts at checkout? That’s a huge cart abandonment rate, people browsing your WooCommerce site, adding items to their cart, reaching the final step in the checkout process, and then… closing the browser tab 🤯. Fortunately, there’s a way you can bring shoppers back to your site to complete their purchase: WooCommerce abandoned cart emails.

Even better — now you can use MailPoet to send cart abandonment emails for your WooCommerce site 🎉 It’s free for stores with 1,000 customers or less.

We’ve added a new Abandoned Shopping Cart feature to MailPoet for Premium users, which you can start using right now with your WooCommerce site. Simply upgrade to the latest version of MailPoet and you’ll find it in MailPoet > Emails and then click “Add New”.

Abandoned Cart email in MailPoet

In this post, we’ll take a look at what cart abandonment emails are and how to set up them up with MailPoet.

Already all set up? You might prefer to read our post on abandoned cart email best practices instead, where we share our advice on how to use coupon codes, set up a cart recovery email schedule, and content tweaks to help you recover abandoned carts.

What are WooCommerce abandoned cart emails?

An abandoned cart email, aka cart abandonment email or cart recovery email, is an email notification sent automatically whenever a shopper visits your online store and adds an item to their cart, but doesn’t buy the item.

These messages can also be triggered when a shopper abandons any stage in your WooCommerce site’s checkout flow, typically with a WooCommerce plugin.

To send cart recovery emails, you’ll need to have the shopper’s email address. This means you’ll need to ask shoppers for their email at the start of the checkout process. (You’ll also need to ask them for consent to join your email list — a requirement since the introduction of GDPR.)

Alternatively, the shopper might already be on your list or have purchased from your WooCommerce site in the past.

Abandoned cart recovery emails can be a one-off email or a series of emails, but the goal is always the same: to recover abandoned cart sales.

The stats around shopping cart abandonment emails are remarkable:

  • Abandoned cart emails have an average open rate of 46.1%, 13.3% click inside the emails, and of those clicks, more than 35% end up buying something (SalesCycle)
  • The global conversion rate for cart abandonment emails is 18%, with some retailers achieving conversion rates as high as 40% (Barilliance)
  • Abandoned cart emails sent within an hour achieve a 20.3% conversion rate compared to notification emails sent after 24 hours, which only convert 12.2% of the time (Barilliance)

If they’re not already, abandoned cart emails should be a part of your eCommerce store’s email marketing strategy.

Why do shoppers abandon carts?

People leave their carts for all sorts of reasons, though a large portion is simply a natural consequence of how people tend to shop online — browsing with no intention of buying (i.e. virtual window shopping), comparing prices, saving items for later in a wishlist, searching for gift options, etc.

These reasons are largely unavoidable — a certain number of shoppers will always abandon carts. After all, you see people in real life walking in and out of stores without buying anything for the exact same reasons.

However, there are some reasons that might be within your control to fix, so it’s important to gain some insight into the specific reasons why they abandoned their cart so you can target these reasons in your follow up emails.

For instance, according to Salescycle’s Remarketing Reports, which have shared insights from over 1 billion tracked cart abandonments over the past four years, the most common reasons for abandoned orders are:

  • 34% were ‘just looking’ or researching
  • 23% had an issue with shipping
  • 18% thought the price was too high
  • 15% decided to buy in-store instead
  • 6% experienced payment issues
  • 4% experienced a technical issue
Graph showing reasons for cart abandonment.

While “just looking” is the number one reason for cart abandonment, customers cite a number of other reasons why they leave — issues with shipping, payment and completing the checkout page. Generally speaking, customers have problems with the purchasing process, with these issues collectively making up 33% of the reasons why shoppers abandon carts.

So it makes sense to make these reasons the focus of your cart abandonment email: ask customers what happened during the checkout and how you can help.

How to set up WooCommerce abandoned cart emails with MailPoet

With our new Abandoned Shopping Cart features, you can set up cart recovery emails that will automatically integrate with your WooCommerce store. That means you don’t need to buy unnecessary WooCommerce extensions or third-party WordPress plugins — MailPoet is fully compatible with WooCommerce and will take care of sending your marketing emails for you!

Before we dive into how to set it up, there are a few things worth highlighting with this feature:

  • Email templates – You get access to MailPoet’s beautiful collection of email templates (no need to mess around with WooCommerce templates!).
  • Send multiple recovery emails – Set up as many abandoned cart emails as you like with different delays. If a customer makes a purchase after the first or second email, subsequent emails will be cancelled (we recommend setting up a series of 3 email reminders, read why in this post).
  • Completely automated – If the customer returns to their cart to complete their purchase while any of your notification emails are set up, those emails will be automatically disabled. This ensures customers won’t inadvertently receive a cart recovery email from you when they’ve already made a purchase.
  • Recover sales from guest carts – Send recovery emails to guest users who are also subscribers on your email list, even if they’re not logged into your site. As long as they’re subscribed to one of your lists and have clicked on a link in one of your previous campaigns, they’ll receive an abandoned cart email!

Please note, abandoned cart emails won’t work if you’ve disabled open/click tracking in MailPoet.

To get started, make sure you’ve upgraded to the latest version of MailPoet. Then, in the WordPress dashboard, go to MailPoet > Add New. Click “Set Up” in the WooCommerce section, and on the next screen, the first section will be Abandoned Shopping Cart. Click “Set Up.”

WooCommerce email options in MailPoet

On the next screen, you’ll set your conditions for when you want to send your abandoned cart emails. There are four different options:

  • 30 minutes after the shopper last loaded a page in your store
  • X hour/s later
  • X day/s later
  • X week/s later

Choose the option that best suits you and click “Next.”

Abandoned Cart frequence in MailPoet

And that’s all you need to know to get started with WooCommerce abandoned cart emails with MailPoet!

The following screens will ask you to choose a template and then you can add your content using the email designer, just as you would when creating a newsletter.

Now that you’re all set up, check out our tips on best practices for abandoned cart emails. We’ve covered everything you need to know about creating cart recovery emails that’ll convert into sales; from subject lines to the perfect schedule.

Ready to get started? Recover abandoned carts with MailPoet

We’re really excited to launch this new feature to help WooCommerce store owners recover lost sales. Email is a really important marketing channel, and when it comes to eCommerce, abandoned cart plugins can help you close the gap on the 76.9% of customers who abandon carts.

Set up your first abandoned cart email today. If you’re a MailPoet Premium user, update to the latest version now to set up your first recovery email.

If you’re using the free version of MailPoet, upgrade today and start boosting your WooCommerce site’s sales.

If you have any questions about this new abandoned cart feature in MailPoet, let us know in the comments below!