Cart Abandon

Recover high-intent shoppers who added an item to their cart, but didn't complete the purchase.
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Cart Abandon Email Flow Diagram

What is a Cart Abandon flow?

If you’ve ever shopped online and added items to your cart, then left without completing your purchase, you’ve likely been the recipient of a cart abandonment flow.

This table stakes marketing flow is triggered when a visitor adds an item to their shopping cart but does not complete their purchase. This could be because:

  • They were browsing but not ready to buy
  • They got distracted and forgot about their cart
  • They were comparing prices with other stores
  • They weren’t happy with the shipping costs and/or thought delivery would take too long
  • They were worried about security and didn't want to enter their credit card information

Why do I need this flow?

Cart abandonment is a big problem in ecommerce. In fact, it’s estimated that 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned globally. This number grows to 85% when you look at mobile shopping.

The good news? Cart abandonment flows offer a surefire way to recover some of those abandoned sales.

Setting up your flow

The goal of this flow is to remind your web visitors about the items they left behind and encourage them to complete their purchase.

Email sequence

  • Email 1: send the first email shortly after the user leaves your website, while their shopping experience is fresh in their mind. We recommend sending 30-120 min after their session ends.
  • Email 2: Maintain the urgency—send a reminder to anyone who hasn’t purchased. We recommend sending 24 hours after Email 1.
  • Email 3: This is your final email. If your visitor still hasn’t converted, try incentivizing them with a discount code or free shipping. Send this email 2-3 days after Email 2.

Relevant information to include in your emails:

  • An attention-grabbing subject line
  • Your brand name and logo
  • A list of items in your user’s cart
  • A strong CTA that links the user straight back to their cart

Technical details

Your ESP likely has integrations with most ecommerce platforms, in which case you will have access to their out-of-the-box triggers (such as Started Checkout). This makes setup extra easy.

If you’ve built a custom checkout, you may need to create a custom event for Started Checkout or Added to Cart, depending on the trigger you want to use.


Once your flow is live, be sure to track campaign performance and make adjustments based on the data. Some metrics to monitor:

  • Open rate: percent of people who open your email
  • Click-through-rate (CTR): percent of people who click a link in your email
  • Conversion rate: percent of people who complete a purchase after receiving your email (within a specific time period)

Don’t forget to segment your audience—this helps you learn which messaging performs best for each cohort and tailor your emails accordingly. Example segments:

  • First-time vs. repeat customers
  • First-time vs. repeat website visitors (non-customers)
  • Anyone who abandoned their cart within the last 24 hours
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