An effective abandoned shopping cart email must do two things:

  1. Get delivered to the customer’s inbox (deliverability).
  2. Get opened.

Traditionally, open rate has been the key metric for evaluating the success of abandoned cart email subject lines.

It seems obvious. The purpose of the email subject line is to entice the customer to open the email, thus getting the ball rolling on winning back that abandoned cart sale.

Therefore, a high open rate is good.

However, the ultimate goal of the abandoned cart email is to convert the abandoned cart into a sale. So, measuring how your abandoned cart email subject lines affect conversion rates is wise.

Data driven marketing is incredibly effective. So, in this post we’ll outline the best abandoned cart email subject lines based on open rate and conversion rate, and show you how to run these as A/B tests inside Rejoiner to increase the amount of revenue your abandoned cart campaigns generate.

The Top Five Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines

The graph below reveals:

  • Five different subject lines used by Rejoiner customers in their abandoned cart email campaigns
  • The open rate each email achieves
  • The conversion rate to sale

subject line open and conversion rate data

Now let’s take a deeper look into each subject line and its performance.

Abandoned Cart Subject Line 1: “Your Buy Fencing Direct Basket”

  • Open rate: 52.14%
  • Conversion Rate: 32.73%
  • When is this email sent: 1 day post abandonment

Buy Fencing Direct is an online lawn, gardening, and fencing retailer who sells mostly to consumer-end homeowners, and gets outstanding results from this subject line in their abandoned cart email campaign.

Buy Fencing Direct has been able to convert almost a third of their abandoned carts to sales with this subject line. The conversion rate here is incredibly high (32.73%) and this subject line gets opened over half (52.14%) of the time.

The smart thing about this subject line is that it’s clear about who’s emailing them, and provides a friendly reminder that they were shopping on that company’s site recently.

This subject line helps trigger that lightbulb moment, reminding the customer the to come back to the site and finish up their shopping.

How to Run This as an A/B Test inside Rejoiner:

While we won’t guarantee you’ll get the same results, you can run this test, knowing that it performed quite well, and see how it goes with your customers:

1 – Open your current abandoned cart campaign in “Automations” and click ‘A/B Test’

A/B test inside Rejoiner

2 – Click the 50/50 Split option to test two campaigns against one another

A/B test settings inside Rejoiner

3 – Select how many customers should be included in the test (sample size)

segment sample size setting

4 – Select the winning criteria for the test (in this case, conversion rate)

winner criteria conversion rate

5 – Replace, “Buy Fencing Direct” with your [Company Name] in the subject line

from email details basket subject line

Then save the email, launch the test, and let Rejoiner do its thing.

Abandoned Cart Email Subject Line 2: “You Left Something In Your Basket – Can We Help?”

  • Open rate: 54.34%
  • Conversion Rate: 15.95%
  • When is this email sent: 1 hour post abandonment

One of our clients in the cosmetics industry has turned over fifteen percent of their abandoned carts into sales with this one.

This subject line takes a customer service approach, which boosts the open rate and avoids the hard-sell tone.

Additionally, this subject line sets up a great customer service opportunity because you can follow through on your offer to help by asking the prospect to reply to your email, or by providing a link to leave feedback on why they abandoned their cart.

How to Run This as an A/B Test inside Rejoiner:

One thing that makes this subject line useful is its versatility. You can run an A/B test with this one in your abandoned cart email campaign by just plugging it in like so…

abandoned cart email subject line basket

Abandoned Cart Email Subject Line 3: “Tickets Are Still Available!”

  • Open rate: 46.58%
  • Conversion Rate: 13.95%
  • When is this email sent: 30 minutes post abandonment

This subject line works best for businesses that sell products in limited quantities. In fact, one of our clients that sells tickets to live events gets almost fourteen percent of their abandoned carts back using this subject line.

We found that this subject line was especially effective for our client because it leverages the organic scarcity and urgency of the product to increase open rates, and get more conversions.

How to Run This as an A/B Test inside Rejoiner:

1 – Replace “Tickets” with the product from your customer’s cart, into the subject line

abandoned cart email subject line product

Run this test against your current abandoned cart email subject line to see if it will increase your conversion rate.

Abandoned Cart Email Subject Line 4: “Oops, Did Something Go Wrong?”

  • Open rate: 66.28%
  • Conversion Rate: 13.26%
  • When is this email sent: 20 minutes post abandonment

For Pad and Quill, a leather accessories retailer, this subject line has gotten an incredibly high open rate, and brings back just over thirteen percent of their cart abandoners.

This also goes to show you that a high open rate does not always mean a high conversion rate or more sales.

The question in this subject line exploits curiosity and uses a softer tone to get a high open rate.

This subject line treats the customer as if:

  1. They didn’t mean to abandon their cart
  2. There was just a technical issue
  3. Or they forgot

This is a great way to give your company a customer-centric persona, and give yourself a great customer service opportunity.

How to Run This as an A/B Test inside Rejoiner:

This is another easy-to-test subject line. Simply create an A/B test inside Rejoiner (as outline earlier in the post) and add in this subject line like so…

abandoned cart email subject line oops

Abandoned Cart Email Subject Line 5: “Your Rental Quote.”

  • Open rate: 65.34%
  • Conversion Rate: 12.76%
  • When is this email sent: 30 minutes post abandonment

Vehicle Rent, a company that provides comprehensive car rental quotes, has experienced one of our highest email open rates using this subject line.

The strength of this abandoned cart email subject line is the simplicity. This one is obviously a shoe-in for companies that provide quotable services, or give price quotes as their service.

Our client sends this email 30 minutes after cart abandonment because the car rental buying cycle is very short, so it’s important that the email gets to the customer’s inbox as quickly as possible.

Keep the inherent urgency of your product in mind when determining when to trigger your campaign.

How to Run This as an A/B Test inside Rejoiner:

1 – Replace “Rental” in the subject line with your quotable service

Screen Shot 2017 12 13 at 2.03.33 pm

2 – Trigger the email within 30 minutes after they abandoned their cart

Conclusion

Based on our data, it’s clear that a higher open rate doesn’t always equal higher conversion rates.

In fact, four of the five top-performing subject lines actually experience a lower conversion rate as the open rate increases.

In evaluating abandoned cart email subject lines, a lot of emphasis is put on increasing open rates. However, we’ve found this focus to be a bit short-sighted, since the ultimate goal of any marketing email is to get conversions.

Therefore, a better metric for measuring the success of your abandoned cart emails is the conversion rate.

So, try these different subject lines, and search for ways to increase conversions (dollars off, free shipping, etc.) to find your highest converting combination.

What to do now

  1. Subscribe to our blog for more posts like this one.
  2. Learn more about our abandoned cart email best practices.
  3. A/B test your email campaigns with Rejoiner.
Author       
James
James Miller is a content writer at Rejoiner. He's responsible for engaging with customers through the Rejoiner blog. He researches and writes articles that are useful for customers and subscribers. James is a ski nerd and book writer.