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BlogFunnel optimizationAbandoned Cart Email Subject Lines To Refresh your Recovery Campaigns

Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines To Refresh your Recovery Campaigns

14 min read
VP of Marketing @Ongage

Like an ecommerce cart abandoned before checkout, an unopened email is an opportunity lost. Are you seizing every opportunity with abandoned cart email subject lines that successfully convert viewers into openers? Get more clicks with these examples of subject lines and preview texts to enliven your abandoned cart campaigns. 

According to Baymard Institute, 70% of online carts worth billions in potential revenue are abandoned annually. 

Retargeting these shoppers with the right message at the right time (and on the right channels) can win them back and increase your revenue significantly. Ads, SMS and emails are among the common channels for retargeting campaigns. 

Abandoned cart campaigns capture revenue by using automated emails to convert near misses into sales. These campaigns work by reengaging potential purchasers who selected items and placed them in their virtual carts but didn’t checkout while they are still considering (or can be convinced to reconsider) making a purchase. 

But before these cart recovery messages can work their magic, your abandoned cart email subject lines have to win your target’s attention in the inbox and convince them to take the next step–opening and reading your message. 


Your abandoned cart emails subject lines and preview texts may be subtle or direct, offer incentives or assistance, employ humor or urgency. 

The best abandoned cart subject lines are compelling works of copywriting that elicit emotion and spur action–all while fitting in your recipient’s inbox display pane’s limited space. 

No problem, right? 

Creating interesting abandoned cart email subject lines won’t be a problem for you once you’ve finished reading this article. In it, you’ll find a collection of compelling cart recovery subject lines that convince recipients to keep reading.  

Start capturing those near misses and converting them into revenue for your business with this selection of can’t miss abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts. 

Want to jump ahead?

How crafting catchy abandoned cart subject lines can increase your revenue How long should your abandoned cart subject lines be? 130 Examples of attention-grabbing email subject lines to use for your 2023 abandoned cart campaigns Abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts reminders and gentle nudges
Abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts that offer an incentive to complete a purchase
Funny abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts
Examples of abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts that elicit feelings of FOMO
Cart recovery subject lines and preview texts that offer help and overcome objections
Subject lines that entice a return to checkout without saying, “Come back”
Build lasting relationships across your buyer’s journey with the right messages at the right time

How crafting catchy abandoned cart subject lines can increase your revenue

Getting your targeted email recipient to open your abandoned cart messages can yield substantial returns. In 2022, ecommerce abandoned cart emails open rates reached at 49.5%, and 8.38% of these opened messages resulted in a purchase. 

Abandoned cart email subject lines increase brands’ revenue by setting the sales recovery process into motion. 

Just how important is an email’s subject line to the success of your email campaign? 

With limited information available in their inbox pane, the subject line along with the From name and preview text determines whether someone opens your message. While reports vary, between 34% and 64% of email recipients credit the subject line as the reason for their decision to click

Beyond earning that essential open, your abandoned cart email subject lines also set the tone for your email’s message. A great subject line should nudge the reader toward the email’s ultimate conversion event. 

A humorous subject line may put your audience in a receptive mood and more open to your offer. A subject line presenting your product’s benefits can incline them toward making a purchase. Of course, urgency, scarcity and other FOMO content in your subject line and preview text can induce your recipients to want to act fast. 

Finally, even if your recipient doesn’t open each of the emails in your cart recovery flow, these messages’ subject lines still communicate part of your message. The discount offer or urgency inducing content in your subject line gets delivered as your customer scans their inbox content.

For all these reasons, you should apply your best copywriting skills to craft these mini-messages. 

Coordinate the subject lines across each abandoned cart workflow to tell shoppers a story that makes them want to return to your site and complete their purchase. Present incentives, overcome objections, elicit emotion and offer advice through your abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts. 

How long should your abandoned cart subject lines be?

How long an email subject line should be is an often asked question. Unfortunately, there’s no single answer that is correct in every circumstance. So you’ll need to do some testing. 

As a starting point, your subject line can be up to 256 characters, but most inbox displays will only show 60 or fewer of those characters. Similarly, if your preview text goes on and on, your recipients won’t see the ending. 

👀 We share details and tips for formatting your preview text to look its best in Email Preview Text Examples and Tactics to Get More Opens

Next, consider the purpose of each of the abandoned cart emails in your series. For instance, many cart recovery drips begin with a simple reminder, “you left something in your cart.” A reminder nudge like this doesn’t require a lot of copy to convey. 

Keeping your cart reminder subject line short may help it stand out in the inbox (by being one of two extremes) and makes it a quick read for your recipient. Other emails in your recovery series may require more details. For example, a humorous subject line and preview text combo might require a longer set up. 

📨 This inbox display pictured below illustrates the visual impact of differing subject lines and preview texts when viewed in a desktop mailbox. 

Personalizing an abandoned cart subject line with the shopper’s name or details about the items in their cart is an excellent device to encourage opens. 

Include a dynamic content or merge field when inputting your email template’s subject line or preview text during set up to automatically include customized content in your abandoned cart inbox copy.

Dynamic content’s character count can be unpredictable, though. 

If you plan to personalize your recovery subject lines, limit your non-dynamic content’s length so that your subject line doesn’t get cut off for recipients with long names. 

📨 The senders displayed in the inbox image below use a mix of personalization techniques to add interest to their subject lines and preview texts.

In this selection of inbox content, two of the senders use the recipient’s name to capture their attention and earn a click and conversion. The other brands reference specific products or product categories. 

These subject line and preview text combinations also illustrate how your inbox copy can tell a story using just a few words. 

Kathryn from CMSWire taps into FOMO and fame with a message warning that “master classes are filling up” and saving a spot means the recipient will get to “rub elbows” with some pretty interesting people. 

Wayfair approaches cart recovery two ways. One message is direct. It is sent using the Sender name “Your Wayfair Cart” and mentions the specific product that the recipient has abandoned in a subject line that says, “The Ramiro Round Tablecloth is just WOW.”

A separate email is from the sender, “Wayfair | SALE.” This one is an attempt to recover a recipient who was shopping for hardware to hang a sliding door by mentioning the product category, “Barn Door Hardware” and a seventy percent off sale. 

Accessory brand Ekster employs a message of urgency in its customized abandoned cart appeal. 

A subject line saying, “Get it before it’s gone,” is paired with dynamic reminder copy in the preview text, “Don’t forget about the Parliament Wallet you viewed.” 

The dynamic subject line and preview text in Tablecloth Factory’s message assumes a tone of friendly concern, saying “{{First_Name}}, We Temporarily Saved This For You- We don’t want you to miss out!” 

Finally, whether your subject lines and preview text include static or dynamic content, make sure the most important information appears at the front of each field. You don’t want to lose critical parts of your message to the dreaded “…”

Up next, lots of examples of abandoned cart email subject lines to inspire your own.

130 Examples of attention-grabbing email subject lines to use for your 2023 abandoned cart campaigns

Most abandoned cart campaigns use more than one email message and more than one tactic to recover buyer’s who have wandered off the path to purchase. A lot of times, these messages will combine multiple tactics in one message and even one inbox display! 

Use the content below as is or mix and match your favorites to create the perfect subject line and preview text combinations for your audience. Also, remember to switch things up now and then. Your repeat cart abandoners might get bored seeing the same old recovery lines. A quick way to change your inbox information is to swap your subject lines and preview texts or exchange your email’s header copy with part of your inbox copy.

Don’t forget to A/B test your selections and continue to refine your choices to optimize your results! 

Abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts reminders and gentle nudges

This category of inbox copy aims to encourage absent shoppers to return to your website with simple reminders and light nudges. There’s no pressure in these messages. These emails can recall customers who became distracted while shopping or planned to return and complete their transactions later but forgot. 

Common themes for reminders and nudges are flattery, memory refreshes, and encouragement to “take another look.” 

  1. {{First_Name}}, you have great taste! – Ready to check out?
  2. Cart reserved! – Your order is waiting for you.
  3. Did you forget about these great finds?
  4. Did you forget?
  5. Don’t leave a good thing behind – Go ahead and take a second look 👀 (Credit: Licorice)
  6. Great news! That gear you liked? It’s price just dropped! (Credit: Columbia Sportswear)
  7. Hey, see something you like? 
  8. Hey, we missed you! – Your cart is waiting. 🛒
  9. Just a few clicks and it’s yours, {{First_Name}}
  10. Psst… we saved your cart 
  11. Reminder: Your cart is waiting
  12. Still thinking about it? Heirloom leather is waiting inside! (Credit: Latico Leathers)
  13. Still want your picks? – Don’t worry we’ve got you. Revisit your cart today.
  14. Stop imagining what it would be like to own [product] – Complete your order and make it real
  15. Sustainable stuff wants to go home with you (Credit: United by Blue)
  16. Take another look 
  17. Thanks for visiting our store – Ready to checkout? 
  18. We hate to bug you 🐞- But you left these great picks in your cart
  19. We heard you haven’t check out yet
  20. We noticed you left without these 👀- So we saved them for you!
  21. We’re saving this for you, {{First_Name}} – Complete your order
  22. Where’d you go? – Still want these amazing picks?
  23. Wrap it up? – We’d love to send something special your way
  24. You could be enjoying this now – Why keep waiting? Receive order in 24 hours with express shipping.
  25. You’re cart’s ready to go – Can we hit send? 
  26. You’re so close! – Check out now and bring home your favorites!
  27. Your items are waiting for you – you have chosen wisely (Credit: Five Below)
  28. Your order is almost complete – We know you’re busy, so we saved your cart (Credit: Bricktown)
  29. Your order isn’t complete – Login now to complete your purchase and lock in your savings
  30. Your order wasn’t completed – Did you want to add something else to your cart before checkout?
  31. Your shopping cart is waiting – We’re still saving this for you (Credit: Atkins)

Abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts that offer an incentive to complete a purchase

Some of your indecisive shoppers can be won over with the right incentive. If your recovery email offers a deal, say so in the subject line or preview text. Make it easy for email recipients to say yes to that item they already know they want. 

Should you offer an incentive to close the deal? 

A common practice is to begin your abandoned cart drip campaigns with a reminder before reducing your margins with an incentive to purchase. Test different sequences to identify the combination of appeals and offers that delivers the best ROI across your abandoned cart series. 

Are you losing sales by waiting too long to offer a deal or losing money by offering too many deals too soon? 

Also, you don’t have to offer the same incentive to everyone. Save your best deals for your high-value targets. 

Many of your regular sales subject lines can perform double duty as targeted abandoned cart subject lines. Pair them with a customized preview text for added impact. 

  1. [incentive] expires in 24 hours – Check out now and save on your faves
  2. 👁️‍🗨️We noticed you left something in your cart – Checkout now and receive [incentive]
  3. 20% off your order! – Empty your cart and fill your closet
  4. 30% off sale starts now! – Get the {{product}} you’ve been wishing for and save 
  5. A gift for you – Complete your order before {{date}} and receive [gift item] free! 🎁
  6. Check out now and get [$ or %] off
  7. Complete your checkout and save
  8. Double reward points! – Complete your order and double your rewards
  9. Double your rewards when you buy now
  10. Free [shipping/gift] when you complete your checkout now
  11. Hmm… changed your mind? – Check out now and get [incentive]
  12. How does an extra [%] off sound? – Revisit your cart and grab this deal. 
  13. Let us help you knock shopping off your to-do list – Finish your order and get [incentive] 
  14. Ready to order? – You may qualify for free shipping!  🚚
  15. Still thinking about [service/product]? – [Book/Schedule/Buy] now and [Save/Beat the rush/Get a free gift] 
  16. We know you’ll love it 💜- Complete your order with [brand] today and enjoy our 30-day money-back guarantee
  17. Would this help? – Order now and receive [incentive]
  18. You left this behind 😔- Here’s 10% off new [product type]! (Credit: Latico Leathers)

Funny abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts 

Humor comes in many forms and your take on what makes a subject line funny may be different than mine. But give witty wordplay, self-deprecation or outlandish statements a try. Just make sure your content remains appropriate for your brand and audience. 

  1. 🍇You have grape taste – Ready to finish your order? 
  2. 👋 Hey you. Forgot this? – Your cart’s got stuff in it.
  3. All you have to do is say yes – Actually, just click that buy now button. Your cart’s waiting for you. 
  4. Are we being weird? – So, we totes know you checked us out… 😳 (Credit: Snarky Tea)
  5. Are you coming back for your stuff? – Because you’re really gonna’ like it. 
  6. Awaiting your orders, {{First_Name}} – Shall we commence packaging and sending? 
  7. Baby, come back – All your stuff is right where you left it (in your cart)
  8. Can shopping carts cry? (Credit: Uncommon Goods)
  9. Come and get it! – We got your stuff right here in your cart. 
  10. Don’t leave 🍁 these behind – Complete your fall wardrobe and rake in the savings
  11. Don’t call it a comeback – I mean, unless you want to. Finish checking out now.
  12. Go ahead, treat yourself – We won’t tell anyone. 🤐 Your cart is waiting.
  13. Hey, I think you dropped this – We found it in your cart
  14. Hey, wait a sec… – You loved, then left (Credit: Uncommon Goods)
  15. If you want it, here it – Come and get it, but you’d better hurry ‘cause they’re selling fast.
  16. Is it something we said? – Let us make it up to you with 10% off!
  17. It seems like only yesterday… – when you put these great finds in your cart! Come back. 
  18. Should we hit send or delete? – You left these items in your cart
  19. So…. about that cart 😬 – Don’t worry, we saved it for ya! 
  20. Stop salivating. Start eating. 😋(Credit: Mr. Tortilla)
  21. Sure, yeah, we’ll just hold these for you – Your cart’s still waiting. Are you coming back? 
  22. Tap, tap, tap… is this thing on? – Oh, ahem, will the person who left stuff in their cart please come to the checkout page?
  23. Wait, come back, don’t go… – Seriously, you left something in your cart. 
  24. We already picked out your box  😟 – Are you coming back to finish your order? 
  25. We’re feeling a little abandoned🥺 – Get these items to their forever home.
  26. Woah, what happened? – You forget to buy your stuff! 
  27. Wow! You have great taste! – Amazing eye, unbelievable style, we could go on… but are you ready to checkout? 
  28. You know we love you – But we can’t keep holding onto your stuff forever. 
  29. Your cart texted – It wants to know why you left it on read

Examples of abandoned cart subject lines and preview texts that elicit feelings of FOMO

Employing persuasive appeals that prompt bad feelings can be risky. But these techniques remain in use for a reason–when done correctly, they work. 

Include messages of scarcity, fear of missing out, urgency and similar themes in your subject lines and preview text that also offer a solution. If your email recipient completes their purchase, they can avoid this bad outcome! 

We tell you all about it in 12 Last Chance Email Examples and Best Practices to Follow. You’ll also find a collection of words and phrases to include in your FOMO-themed abandoned cart subject lines in the article, too.

Now, here’s a collection of action-inducing subject lines and preview texts all put together and ready for you to use. 

  1. {{First_Name}}, We Temporarily Saved This For You – We don’t want you to miss out! (Credit: Tablecloths Factory)
  2. Almost gone! – We can’t keep these in stock. Finish your checkout before it’s too late. 
  3. Complete your checkout with no worries – We offer free shipping and returns
  4. Do you still want this? – These items are selling out fast. Don’t miss your chance to grab yours.
  5. Don’t miss out! – Your cart is waiting for you…
  6. Don’t be left holding the (empty) bag – Complete your order before it’s too late!
  7. Don’t forget to order your [product] – Place your order in time for [occasion] delivery
  8. Don’t let your getaway get away (Credit: travel brand, Vacasa)
  9. Don’t wait too long – 💨These items won’t last! 
  10. Get it before it’s gone – Don’t forget about the [product] you viewed (Credit: Ekster)
  11. Items in your cart are selling fast – 🚨Get yours before it’s gone.🚨
  12. Limited time: we dropped prices on items in your cart – Save on your favorites now! (Credit: Macy’s)
  13. Quick! Before it’s too late!
  14. The {{product}} is just WOW  – Free Shipping Over $35 & Financing Available (Credit: Wayfair)
  15. This deal won’t last – Checkout now to get the best price 
  16. This fan favorite is still available (for now) – It’s in your cart, now bring it home
  17. Time is running out ⏰- On this amazing offer! Complete your order and save.
  18. We noticed you left something in your cart – Checkout now for delivery by [occasion]
  19. We saved your cart – But these items are hot 🔥 Get yours before they’re gone! 
  20. We saved your picks – Don’t forget, 2 free gifts on orders $25+ (Credit: elf Cosmetics)
  21. We’ve never seen prices this low! – What are you waiting for? Complete your checkout now.
  22. Where’d ya go? – This merchandise isn’t going to order itself! 
  23. You picked it out – How about taking it home? 
  24. Your cart expires in {{unit of time}} – Get your favorite {{product type}} before they’re gone
  25. Your cart is about to expire ⌛ – Complete your order soon!

Cart recovery subject lines and preview texts that offer help and overcome objections

Offers of assistance abandoned cart subject lines move your contacts forward on their path to purchase by reminding them that they had embarked on that journey and attempting to overcome the obstacles they’ve encountered. 

These messages position your brand as a friend and helper, increasing customers’ trust. Proactively offering help can also overcome consumer inertia. Maybe your shopper was almost ready to checkout but had a question and didn’t feel like trying to find the answer. Maybe they weren’t fully confident they had made the right choice. 

Messages offering assistance, as well as other types of content that overcomes objections such as reviews and testimonials, can get your customer back on track.

  1. {{First_Name}}, can we help? – Get your questions answered 
  2. {{First_Name}}, still deciding? – Ask our experts for advice
  3. Can’t decide? – Maybe these reviews will help ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Can’t decide? – Our team of experts is standing by to help you choose.
  5. Did something go wrong? – We saved your cart for you
  6. Got questions? – We have answers. Tell us how we can help.
  7. Interested in {{product or category}} – Check out what other customers had to say
  8. Let’s talk about those items in your cart – We’re here to answer your questions
  9. Need help to complete your order?💁 – We’re here for you. 
  10. People are talking – You have great taste. Find out what others think of {{product}}
  11. Purchase worry free – Get free shipping and free returns on everything at [brand]
  12. Still deciding? Let us help you. 
  13. Want a better look? – Take these shades for a spin risk free (Credit: Warby Parker)
  14. What can we do for you today – to help you complete your order? 
  15. Would you like us to continue to hold your order? – We’re holding your order here in the shipping barn. (Credit: Amish Baskets)
  16. You left these items in your cart – Can we help you finish your purchase?
  17. You won’t regret it – Not sure about your picks? 

Subject lines that entice a return to checkout without saying, “Come back”

Not every abandoned cart message in your sequence needs to reference your shopper’s cart. Subtle or indirect messages that remind people of what they were shopping for or put the right incentive in front of them at the right moment can achieve your recovery objectives, too. 

Customize your regular promotional subject lines and preview texts to highlight the items or product categories and add them to your abandoned cart sequences. 

Personalized product recommendation emails built using dynamic blocks are an especially excellent choice for use with this strategy. 

  1. {{product category}} are trending now – Find your new favorites 
  2. 50% off Selected Items–Just for Members – Shop our members’ only collection.
  3. Can you believe these deals? – Find the perfect {{product}} and save big during our [name of sale]
  4. Get 20% off today only! – Come see our latest {{product category}}
  5. Need new {{product category}}- Check out our new merchandise arriving daily
  6. What A Match! – Our Top Picks + Your Great Taste Makes an Unbeatable Combination 
  7. Take a break – Book a relaxing getaway now.
  8. Yay! These Ship FREE! 
  9. You’ll have to pay more tomorrow – Our Fall preview sale is going away.
  10. Your style guide for perfect summer getaways – Find the styles you want and save.

Build lasting relationships across your buyer’s journey with the right messages at the right time

Cart recovery emails are just one of the many types of emails that help businesses nurture customer relationships, fuel growth and increase revenue. Use subscription sign-up forms and opt-ins at checkout to convert your website visitors and customers to list members so you can stay in touch. 

Then follow the tips in these resources to build lasting customer connections:

🚀 How Lifecycle Marketing Connects You With Customers

🚀 40+ Email Newsletter Best Practices and Tips for 2023

VP of Marketing @Ongage
Melissa brings years of company building, startup launching, SaaS to positive ARR, and email marketing experience. In Ongage, she is leading the marketing team while planning and launching the strategic implementation of the operation. Melissa firmly believes that brand awareness and adoption happens by answering burning needs and education. She's been developing the Ongage brand to reflect the company's DNA and values, taking it along the way to the stars.

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