Abandoned carts are a frustrating reality for ecommerce businesses. All shoppers abandon the occasional cart. You may be just about to check out of your online cart when you get pulled away. Or you suddenly discover that shipping will cost as much as the items you want to buy. Whatever the reason, 71% of carts across the Americas are abandoned before purchase, and retailers lose a corresponding amount of revenue between $111 billion and $136 billion

That’s what makes your abandoned cart email so important — and well-crafted abandoned cart email subject lines are the first step in reuniting wayward shoppers with their purchases.

Why writing effective abandoned cart email subject lines is important

If you want to recover your share of potential sales, you need to follow all the abandoned cart email best practices — starting with using one of the best abandoned cart email subject lines.

Abandoned cart emails are sent automatically when someone abandons their shopping cart, and they can be highly effective if done right. In fact, these emails have an incredibly high open rate of 48%. And those opened emails lead 21% of recipients to click through to their shopping cart.

These statistics mean you have an excellent opportunity to retrieve otherwise lost sales. But unless your recipients open their abandoned cart emails, there’s no chance of winning them back. You need to put them in the right mood to read — and buy — from your brand with a strong opening.

Remember: These shoppers have already indicated an interest in your product. They’re the best lead you have. Recapture their interest before they’ve turned to a competitor.

Types of abandoned cart email subject lines

Creating good abandoned cart subject lines can be a tricky business. A compelling message should attract customers and entice them to revisit their carts. 

In addition to following the rules for creating a good email subject line, you want to strike the right tone to inspire action. Good abandoned cart email subject lines come in a variety of shapes. Below are ten approaches that work well.

1. Simple: Don’t overthink it. Assume that your customers just need to be reminded about their abandoned carts and alert them with a simple subject line.

2. Urgent: Urgent abandoned cart email subject lines encourage quick action and create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). They use phrases like “last chance” and “time is running out.”

3. Intriguing: These email subject lines hint rather than declare their messages outright. Let readers know something’s out there waiting for them, making them curious enough to click. 

4. Personalized: Personalize subject lines and address readers directly with their names. They’ll feel special and experience a stronger connection to your email — and the items left in their cart. 

5. Helpful: Try adding an element of customer service to your abandoned cart subject lines. Set a positive tone and promise the reader useful content that will help them decide if they haven’t already. 

6. Enticing: Maybe your shoppers just need a little something extra to make a purchase. Incentivize them with additional discounts or other offers if they check out now. If you can’t make things cheaper for your customers, see if you can increase ease or efficiency. You can also use your abandoned cart subject lines to answer some of the common pain points that lead to abandoned carts:

  • High additional costs
  • The need to create an account
  • Slow delivery
  • Reluctance to give out credit card information
  • Too-complicated checkout process

7. Breezy: It can be just as valuable to turn the pressure down as it is to turn it up. A friendly, breezy vibe characterizes many of the best abandoned cart email subject lines. It endears customers to your brand and may put them in the mood to shop. 

8. Product-focused: These kinds of subject lines draw customers’ attention by highlighting specific would-be purchases. Remind customers what they wanted to buy. You might also create urgency if there’s a limited supply. Using a Shopify integration with your email service, you can include those products directly in the email’s body.

9. Seasonal: Seasonal email subjects always feel relevant, and your abandoned cart emails are no exception. Tie the recipient’s cart to an upcoming occasion or weather-specific needs.

10. Funny: Humorous subject lines can be an effective tool for abandoned cart emails. They can make customers laugh, which encourages them to open the email. Additionally, they establish your brand personality, making it stand out from generic subject lines in their inboxes.

Examples of the best abandoned cart email subject lines

These real-world brands nail the approaches outlined above. Use these abandoned cart email subject line examples as inspiration for your campaigns. 

The simple subject line: 7 For All Mankind

“Your bag is full, get your favorites!”

No need to belabor the point. This fashion label assumes customers want the pieces they placed in their carts. While the email does contain an extra incentive (a discount), 7 For All Mankind keeps the subject line straightforward and clutter-free. Sometimes, less is more.

this abandoned cart email subject line is straight forward
This abandoned cart email from 7 For All Mankind reminds customers they have items waiting to be checked out.

The urgent subject line: Nomad

“Nomad Gear is Selling Out Quick”

Sometimes people don’t feel any urgency to buy when they’re just browsing. They might poke around a few stores, load up a few carts, and intend to return at a later date.

Create a deadline for your customers by following Nomad’s example. Warn them of vanishing stock and deals set to expire. Trigger their FOMO, and get them to pounce.

a FOMO inducing abandoned cart email subject line
Nomad’s abandoned cart email makes interested shoppers anxious about a limited supply.

The intriguing subject line: Rakuten

“Looks like you forgot something”

This email appeared in my inbox and effectively inspired my curiosity. It comes from Rakuten, a third-party deal aggregator, so I honestly didn’t know what was inside.

I may not have purchased the advertised Blue Plate plan, but I did open up the email, which is an essential first step.

This subject line makes recipients wonder what it is they forgot
Blue Plate and Rakuten tempt me into opening this email by leaving out some crucial information.

The personalized subject line: Infostack

“[Name], why did you abandon me?”

Talk about grabbing the reader’s attention! The combination of a personalized address with a plaintive plea makes for email copy that’s hard to ignore.

Infostack makes good use of automated personalization. The playful approach also works for the brand. The overall effect is charming rather than overly aggressive.

This abandoned cart email subject line is playful yet sad
Infostack’s abandoned cart email calls out its recipient and offers them a playful challenge.

The helpful subject line: Haoma

“Any questions?”

Another simple approach, but with a difference. Haoma redirects the reader from sales to customer service. Follow its lead by brainstorming useful information or offers that might persuade your customers to complete their purchases.

This email subject line offers help, rather than sales
Haoma doesn’t demand something. It gives. This abandoned cart email offers to open up a dialogue with the customer.

The enticing subject line: United By Blue

“Looking for a sign? Free shipping.”

This email from United By Blue identifies a potential pain point for its customers and resolves it — all in the few well-chosen words in the subject line. It chooses its lure well — free delivery is the number-one incentive driving online purchases.

What else can you offer your customers? Deeper discounts, bonus gifts, expedited processing? Use that something extra to entice them back to their cart.

This subject line puts the incentive right up front
United By Blue sends an abandoned cart email that sweetens the deal with free shipping.

The breezy subject line: Pulp & Press

“We noticed you checking us out…”

Pulp & Press uses tongue-in-cheek wordplay and a casual, friendly tone. They win even if the recipient doesn’t return and check out their cart. It’s the kind of brand interaction that endears an audience and makes them more likely to purchase in the future.

Good abandoned cart subject lines help set your brand up for long-term customer relationships. What impression do you want to leave?

A teasing and somewhat flirty abandoned cart email subject line
Pulp & Press masters a breezy style in this subject line.

The product-focused subject line: Perigold

“The Kitchen Canister is in your cart”

Why is this ultra-simple email subject line effective? Because Perigold’s primary keyword is the object of desire rather than a shopping tool (a cart). 

Highlight the reason why your customers initially shopped with you by referring to the specific items in their cart. 

a subject line that puts the product first
Perigold creates one of the best abandoned cart email subject lines by reminding customers of the actual goods in their cart.

The seasonal subject line: GoPro

“‘Bout to melt — $150 Bonus Value”

GoPro uses the snowy season to warn customers that their deals are about to expire. Try integrating holiday deadlines or seasonal changes to convey immediate relevance or even urgency.

a subject line that sticks to the season
GoPro incorporates seasonality into its subject line to warn buyers of an impending deadline to finish up their purchases.

The funny subject line: Whiskey Loot

“Your cart is sobering up”

“Funny” can be a risk for brands. Some humor doesn’t come across well in text, and you don’t want to alienate or antagonize potential customers. 

But it’s hard to beat the humorous approach when done well, as in this Whiskey Loot example. I’d argue that the most memorable — if not necessarily the best — abandoned cart email subject lines are all funny.

Give it a try. What kind of humor matches your brand’s personality? How could you craft an email subject line in that tone?

a fun and brand appropriate abandoned cart email subject line
Whiskey Loot warns customers that their cart is sobering up — the alcohol (and its effects) will soon be gone. It carries this humorous approach throughout the email with some absurd suggestions on what customers might do with their purchases.

100 Abandoned cart email subject line ideas

Need more ideas and examples of the best abandoned cart email subject lines? These lines range from straightforward to absolutely ridiculous.

To keep them short (the recommended character limit is 40) — and visible on mobile device screens — I’ve divided many of these subject line ideas into parts. The bolded material belongs in the subject line. 

The plain text would go in the email’s preheader, the preview text that’s displayed to the right of the subject line in an inbox. Many email applications automatically show the first lines of text if the preheader section is left blank, but you can craft designated preheaders to expand upon longer subject-line messages.

And yes, I did have fun coming up with the crazy ones at the end.

Simple subject lines

  1. We’ve held your cart for a limited time.
  2. You left something in your cart.
  3. Check out as a guest at [STORE]. No need to create an account. 
  4. Complete your order now.
  5. Our best deals are waiting in your cart.
  6. You’re almost there! Finish checking out.
  7. You left items in your cart. And they’re calling you back!
  8. Got a minute? Finish shopping and grab yourself a deal!
  9. Don’t forget about your cart.
  10. Time to finalize that purchase. Complete checking out now!
  11. We couldn’t complete your purchase. Let’s get you checked out. 
  12. Your cart is waiting patiently for you!
  13. Where did you go? Come back and finish shopping!
  14. We’re holding your purchase for you. Come back soon.

Urgent subject lines

  1. Tick, tick, tick… There’s no way this explosive deal will last. Check out your cart now.
  2. Almost sold out. Grab yours before it’s gone.
  3. Strike while the iron is hot. Complete checkout now!
  4. Time’s running out on the deals you want.
  5. Grab your [PRODUCT] before it’s too late.
  6. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Check out now!
  7. Last chance! Hurry up and lock in your savings!
  8. Your order won’t be around forever… Hurry up and check out! 
  9. Don’t miss out on [PRODUCTS]! They’re selling out fast.

Intriguing subject lines

  1. Why wait for your birthday? 
  2. Don’t you deserve the best? 
  3. Psst…
  4. Where’s the follow-through? 
  5. It looks like something is missing…
  6. Uh, oh… 
  7. [NAME], I think you left something behind.
  8. Did you really want to leave? Let’s finish what we started.
  9. It’s like it was made for you…

Personalized subject lines

  1. [NAME], don’t miss out; your items await.
  2. Hey, [NAME], — still need your cart?
  3. Don’t abandon your cart just yet! It’s waiting for you, [NAME].
  4. [NAME], come get the [PRODUCT] you deserve.
  5. Tired of leaving empty-handed, [NAME]?
  6. Time to take action, [NAME]!
  7. Thinking about you, [NAME]… Go on and finish that order!
  8. [NAME], you have unfinished business. 

Helpful subject lines

  1. Have questions about [PRODUCT]? We’re here to help.
  2. Everybody loves [PRODUCT]. Just look at these reviews.
  3. Wonder if [PRODUCT] can improve your life? Here are some ideas.
  4. Still considering [PRODUCT]? What’s holding you back?
  5. Don’t miss out on these great savings. How can we help?
  6. We know you’re busy… So we’ve brought your cart to you.
  7. Come back soon. Pick up where you left off and complete checkout quickly & easily.

Enticing subject lines

  1. The price of [PRODUCT] just dropped. Check it out.
  2. Have you left something behind? Get XX% off when you finish checking out!
  3. Claim your exclusive discount! Complete checkout now!
  4. Don’t let this opportunity slip away. Complete your order now and get an extra discount of XX%!
  5. Hurry and enjoy this special offer. Get XX% off when you complete checkout today!
  6. We’ve got the perfect reward just for you. Check out your cart now to get XX% off!
  7. Your cart is waiting… And so is your XX% off! 
  8. Want to save even more money? Finish checking out now to receive a XX% discount on your purchase!
  9. Complete your shopping now for extra loot.
  10. Ready, set, buy — and claim rewards!

Breezy subject lines

  1. Is your shopping cart half-empty…? Or maybe half-full? We can’t decide.
  2. Sweating over your long-lost cart? It’s cool. We’ve kept an eye on it for you.
  3. You didn’t check out — we’re checking in. How’s life?
  4. Hey, did you forget something? Complete the checkout process and get the item(s) you want today.
  5. Didn’t get a chance to finish shopping? No problem. Click here.
  6. Hi, stranger. Long time no see. Did you miss me?
  7. Not done shopping yet? Here’s your chance to complete checkout.
  8. You’ve got great taste. We admit it — we peeked in your shopping cart. 

Product-focused subject lines

  1. Act quickly to secure your [PRODUCT] deal.
  2. We set your [PRODUCT] aside for you. But we can’t hold it forever.
  3. Start checkout & claim extra rewards! Now, your [PRODUCT] gains you X reward points!
  4. Wow, check out your new [PRODUCT]! No, really. Check it out. It’s still in your cart.
  5. Still like that [PRODUCT]? I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.
  6. Let [PRODUCT] earn you X reward points.

Seasonal subject lines

  1. Still, need a Valentine’s Day gift? Or do you need a hug instead?
  2. Pick up your shopping where you left off. You must have recovered from St. Patty’s by now.
  3. Jedi mind tricks don’t work for shopping. But May the Fourth be with you!
  4. Check out your cart now. The savings are hot, but summer can’t last forever. 
  5. Trick or Treat? Check out your items before they go up in smoke.
  6. BOO! We’re sorry to scare you, but we only have XX [PRODUCTS] left.
  7. Don’t count on there being leftovers. Check out your cart before the feast is over.
  8. Come on, Pumpkin, check out. It’s easy as pie.
  9. It’s cold, but we’ve kept your cart warm.
  10. ‘Tis the season for big savings. Claim an exclusive discount of XX% when you complete checkout now!
  11. Santa’s getting away! Quick — we’ll distract him while you check out.
  12. Finish checking out now. You need to get that present in the mail.
  13. Last chance for gifts to arrive in time. Check out your cart before midnight to have presents arrive by Christmas.

Funny subject lines

  1. You’re hot, then you’re cold… I can’t take any more of these mind games.
  2. Your shopping cart needs CPR! Come revive it now!
  3. Don’t forget. I’m just a cart… standing in front of a boy/girl, asking him/her to love me.
  4. The ghost of lost shopping carts says… Learn from your past mistakes. 
  5. You didn’t mean to abandon your cart. We still love you. We just won’t ask you to pet sit.
  6. A message from Ye Olde Shopping Cart: Don’t be a mooncalf. Buy ye [PRODUCT] before it’s gone.
  7. Ahoy! Other pirates are eying your booty… Pull up the anchor and check out now!
  8. Your shopping cart wants to know… If it says it misses you, will it come off as needy?
  9. You know it’s a steal, so let’s do this! You check out, and I’ll drive the getaway car.
  10. Uh, oh. Your cart is starting to rust. Giddy up, slowpoke! 
  11. Honey, I shrunk the prices in your cart. Finish purchasing, or we’ll never find them again.
  12. People think carts don’t have feelings. And they’re right, but you should check out anyway.
  13. Waiting for an engraved invitation? We cordially invite you to check out your shopping cart.
  14. Special Agent [NAME]… Why did you abort your shopping mission early?
  15. Check out these adorable cat images! “Cart,” we meant “cart.” Our bad.
  16. For a short time only, get [PRODUCT] &… A free picture of a llama wearing a bathing suit.*

*Don’t have a picture of a llama in a bathing suit? No problem. Here you go.

Here is a picture of a llama in a bathing suit for you to offer your customers…because sometimes sheer absurdity works

How should you choose your abandoned cart email subject lines?

It’s an embarrassment of riches. With 100 abandoned cart email subject lines, how can you narrow your options down to the best one? 

Start by asking which approaches best fit your brand and customers. Will recipients respond better to a friendly “hello” or a dramatic warning that the clock is ticking? Maybe you’re known for your quirkiness or your no-frills professionalism. 

At this point, you might narrow it down to two strong contenders and then let your customers decide. Run an A/B test to see which subject line draws a higher open rate. 

Or pick for them. The most important thing is to get those abandoned cart emails rolling out. People are forgetting to buy your products — don’t let them.