How to Send WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails in MailPoet + Best Practices

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

The average cart abandonment rate is just over 75% across all industries. That means you could be losing as many as seven out of every ten users who put items in their shopping cart. After all of the work it took to get them there in the first place, this is a massive loss. And it’s also an unnecessary one. Learning how to create WooCommerce abandoned cart emails can help you save hundreds or even thousands of sales every year.

In this guide, I’ll explore the benefits of abandoned cart emails, how to send WooCommerce abandoned cart emails with MailPoet, and best practices for creating abandoned cart emails.

Let’s dive in!

What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are automated emails sent to users who leave items in their online shopping carts. These emails remind customers about the items they were interested in and encourage them to make a purchase. A great example of an abandoned cart email is the Headspace email pictured below:

Headspace abandoned cart email
(Image from

Abandoned cart emails are a great opportunity to remind people about your products, further demonstrate the value of what you’re selling, and encourage people to take action. But you don’t need to take my word for it. There are some fascinating stats to back me up:

  • Abandoned cart emails have an average open rate of over 40%
  • People click on the links in more than 21% of these emails
  • 50% of those clicks resulted in purchases

In short, abandoned cart emails can significantly increase your number of successful sales and help you retain customers. Remember, it’s always easier to keep an old customer than to find a new one.

How to create WooCommerce abandoned cart emails in MailPoet

MailPoet offers direct integration with WooCommerce, making it easy to set up WooCommerce abandoned cart emails (and other WooCommerce emails). This feature also offers several benefits:

  • GDPR compliance. MailPoet will only send WooCommerce abandoned cart emails to people who are already on your list, ensuring that you stay compliant with the law.
  • Ability to create multiple emails. You can create an entire series of abandoned cart emails. In fact, we recommend it!
  • Access to email templates. MailPoet offers several templates specifically for abandoned cart emails.
  • Complete automation. Once you’ve created your emails, MailPoet will automatically send them any time a cart is abandoned in your WooCommerce store. You don’t have to worry about a thing!

To get started, go to the “Emails” area of MailPoet and click the “Add New” near the top of the screen. This will take you to a page where you can choose the type of email you want to create.

Scroll down the page until you see the WooCommerce email options, then select “Abandoned Shopping Cart”.

WooCommerce email options in MailPoet

This will open a page where you can configure exactly when your email will be sent. You can specify a number of hours, days, or weeks that need to pass between the cart being abandoned and the email being sent.

How to send WooCommerce abandoned cart emails: scheduling

Once you’ve specified a time to send your abandoned cart email, you’ll be directed to the templates area of MailPoet. You can select and edit a template as you normally would.

MailPoet abandoned cart email templates

When you’re satisfied with the design and copy of the email, click “Next”. This will direct you to a page where you can customize the email’s settings. This includes an opportunity to change when the email is sent out and to rename the Google Analytics campaign associated with this email.

How to send WooCommerce abandoned cart emails in MailPoet: confirm sending details

When you’re satisfied with all of these settings, you can click “Activate”. MailPoet will then automatically send this email out any time someone abandons their cart in your WooCommerce store.

If you’re setting up more than one abandoned cart email (and you totally should – we cover why further down!), simply repeat the process and adjust the time lapsed after a shopper has abandoned their cart. If your abandoned cart email is successful in recovering the purchase, MailPoet will automatically stop the series for that customer for you.

Best practices for WooCommerce abandoned cart emails

Knowing the technical details of how to send WooCommerce abandoned cart emails isn’t enough to guarantee conversions. You’ll also want to follow some best practices in writing, designing, and scheduling these emails. 

We’ve got an in-depth guide to abandoned cart email best practices, so I’ll stick to covering the most important things here.

1. Understand why people abandon shopping carts

Online marketing agencies have collected an enormous amount of data about shopping cart abandonment. We know that 34% of shoppers abandon their carts when a site forces them to make an account, 23% abandon their carts because of issues with shipping, and 18%  of shoppers abandoned shopping carts so they could compare prices with other retailers.

You can use this data in a couple of ways. First, you can assess the shopping experience on your site for leak points, reducing the number of people who abandon their carts in the first place. For example, you might decide to remove the need for customers to create an account. Or you can make the idea of creating an account more appealing to encourage people to follow through.

Second, you can address some of these issues in your abandoned cart emails. For example, if you do want users to create an account before making a purchase, you can use your abandoned cart emails to emphasize how signing up benefits the customer. You can also offer a discount that can help defray shipping costs. 

2. Create a series of WooCommerce abandoned cart emails

A single abandoned cart email is a great start, but you can recover even more sales by creating a series of emails. In fact, we recommend sending three emails:

  • Immediate email. This email is sent 30 minutes after someone abandons their cart, while your products/services are still fresh in their mind. This email should be a quick, simple reminder about your products. You can also include contact information for customer service.
  • Second email. This email should be sent 24 hours after a cart is abandoned. If your first email isn’t opened, it’s time to switch up your tactics. Share your reviews and testimonials and remind customers how your products/services will help them.
  • Third email. You want to send this email 72 hours after a shopping cart is abandoned. This is the time when you offer customers a discount. Just remember to make sure that you’re still going to make a profit after the discount. 

This structured series gives potential customers more opportunities to interact with your brand. And if they purchase your product/service after the first email, MailPoet will automatically unsubscribe them from the email series.

3. Use a persuasive subject line

Your subject line should make the purpose of your email clear in as few words as possible. Remember, mobile email clients only display 25 – 30 characters. You need to catch your audience’s interest that quickly.

Many subject lines for abandoned cart emails use some variation of “Don’t forget your stuff”, but there are several tactics you can use to create a subject line:

  • Ask a question. For example, if you sell running gear, you might ask “Don’t you want to run in comfort?”
  • Offer a discount. If you’re offering a discount, make it clear with a subject line like “Save 10% on your stuff”. 
  • Use time sensitive language to create a sense of urgency. This works particularly well when combined with a discount. For example, you might say “Come back today for 10% off”. 
  • Use action words. Tell your customer what you want them to do. Phrases like “Complete your order” offer powerful, clear direction.
  • Personalize where possible. Something as simple as using your customer’s email address can make a big difference. You can find the appropriate shortcodes in the MailPoet knowledge base.

If you need some inspiration, check out our list of 12 of the best email subject lines we’ve seen.

4. Remind people about the products they were going to buy

You want to remind people about what they planned to purchase by emphasizing high quality images of your products/services.

Beardbrand does a great job of this in the email displayed below:

BeardBread abandoned cart email
Email from

If you sell products like clothes or shoes, you may also want to include information about things like color and size.

How to send WooCommerce abandoned cart emails: Jack Wills example
Image from

You can also add things like product descriptions and reviews/testimonials.

This can easily be done in MailPoet by using the Abandoned Cart Content Widget

5. Make your call to action clear

A successful call to action has two main characteristics:

  • Specificity. When someone sees the call to action, they should know exactly what you want them to do. In abandoned cart emails, you might stick with “View Cart” or “View Item” as your primary call to action.
  • Visibility. Your call to action should have prominent placement. You can also use things like buttons and contrasting colors to make the call to action more visible.

You also want to make sure that the call to action is repeated. The easiest way to do this is to place a button at both the beginning and the end of your email.

Final advice on how to create WooCommerce abandoned cart emails

If you’re not using WooCommerce abandoned cart emails, you’re potentially losing hundreds or even thousands of sales every year. 

Luckily, MailPoet makes it easy to create fully automated abandoned cart emails for your WooCommerce store. Advanced tools like the Abandoned Cart Content Widget and personalization shortcodes allow you to optimize these emails for the highest possible conversion rate. 

So what are you waiting for? Start creating WooCommerce abandoned cart emails today!