As we’ve discussed before, a huge number (up to 4 out of 5) of online store visitors leave their shopping carts abandoned. That’s why communication that is triggered by this “action” is so important – and abandoned cart emails are proven to be extremely effective in that regard, reclaiming around 8% of such lost sales on average (Fresh Relevance, June 2014).

Cart abandonment emails should be customized towards the individual customer, as well as being straightforward and focused on getting the shopper back to your store to complete their order.

So how do you design one? Here’s a guide and some examples to help you.

A good abandonment email must be easily recognizable in the in-box, so recipients will open it – this means they are branded and their purpose is clear in the subject line, containing a call to action (e.g. Did you forget to purchase? or Your shopping basket is waiting) – and customized to include one or more of the abandoned products as well as some related products, to make the customer think again about what they may have missed. Make sure that the customer can complete the checkout process by simply clicking a link in the email.

The call to action should not be only in the subject, but also at the crux of the email, paired with the product being displayed and, if possible, a relevant testimonial or review. The good practices mentioned regarding the Welcome Email and other trigger emails are of course applicable here, like using the customer’ first name to personalize the email.

Also, timing of the email is of crucial importance. Research has shown that proper timing can greatly increase success in recovering sales. Emails sent within 20 minutes achieved on average a 5.2 per cent conversion rate, while those sent within 24 hours achieved on average 2.6 percent conversion rate.

Our favorite example of a well-crafter abandonment email come from Mango: it’s simple and elegant, reminds the customer about every detail of the abandoned purchase.

A similar, slightly more visually enticing example with superb copy comes from DoggyLoot.

Finally, for a no-nonsense practical approach, you can’t do much better than AliExpress.com, which simply lists the order and entices with a “you have a new message” call to action, choosing clarity over creativity and sending the email instantly after the cart was abandoned with a specific date and time of abandonment.