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Automatic Email Cart Flow
(discover the importance of email cart flows in your online marketing strategy)

Automatic Email Flows

Automatic email flows can generate up to 45% of your total billing: it is a very important and valuable part of your marketing strategy and, above all, the only one that does not require constant work.

In fact, unlike email campaigns, which you have to prepare every time and depending on the type of list you decide to deliver them to, flows are only prepared once and then work forever. Exactly! If we look at it this way, from the point of view of time invested and financial return, it is without doubt the most economically profitable medium at our disposal.

If this information alone is not enough for you (that would be rather strange), I will add one more thing: it is incredibly easy to set up and requires very little initial work. Clearly, and as we always repeat in our courses, it is important to monitor the results every month to see if improvements can be made to increase the return, but only that and nothing more.

When we talk about automatic flows, we have four different families:

  • Pre-sale

  • Abandoned checkout and navigation

  • Up-selling

  • Cross-selling



Automated abandoned cart flows are flows that, under certain conditions, can generate up to 5-10% of the total billing.

This is the final flow of our automated flow cycle and is our last chance to convert a potential customer into a real customer.

According to Sendcloud data, more than 80 per cent of people abandon the shopping cart before completing the purchase, which gives us another measure of how important it can be in some cases to prepare an automated email to try to convert these people who were one step away from finalising the purchase process.

The first thing is to realise that if a person has gone so far as to add the products to the cart and start the payment (i.e. they are already on the checkout page and have added their email, or they have registered in our lists and left before the end of the checkout) it means that they are genuinely interested in buying them, but anything could have happened:

  • He may have had a last-second mishap

  • She might not have a card on hand to complete the purchase

  • She may have realised that she wants more products

  • She may have decided to wait for better economic times (it is the end of the month and she does not want to spend any more)


These are reasonable reasons, but they are not something negative. Because one of the things described above can happen to anyone, and there are certainly many more.

So our task here is simply to remind the person who has a shopping cart open with us, that we are here to resolve any doubts and guide them through the purchase process and, finally, that we can even offer an incentive to complete the purchase now rather than in the future (we will see how).

For the flow to be complete and more effective, we will schedule 4 emails (as for the pre-sales flow), because as we have already explained on other occasions each email can generate sales (and even if it's just one more, better to have it, because the most likely thing is that a person who receives the 4 emails and doesn't buy, will never buy again, unless there are particularly attractive offers such as Black Friday) (clearly, like the pre-sales flows, in this case also the first emails convert more than the last ones, but this depends very much on the type of product and the promotion offered).

Emails should be scheduled as follows:

  • EMAIL 1: after 4 hours: we remind him/her that we still have his/her cart ready so that he/she does not lose any products and that we only keep them for him/her

  • EMAIL 2: after 20 hours: we start rushing him/her by telling him/her that for many of our products we have limited availability and we can only keep them for about another 24 hours; also, we try to tell him/her something about the brand that will increase his/her empathy towards our brand and something about our 30-day free return policy (basically we have to remove any resistance the customer may have without even knowing it)

  • EMAIL 3: After another 24 hours: We start with the discount, telling him that he only has 24 hours to use it and that we give it to him because we prefer him to be satisfied now rather than having to wait longer. As for the discount, it must be the same percentage as the pre-sale discount, so as not to generate conflict, although the code must have a different name (because in this way it will be easier to track the results on our site and because the customer will perceive it as a different promotion)

  • EMAIL 4: after another 18 hours: let's say it's the last 6 hours and it's all over. We show him the positive reviews from our customers and remind him of our 30-day free returns policy.

We will now see what the abandoned trolley flow should look like in Klaviyo:

Regarding the first condition, a clarification needs to be made:

In addition to introducing as an initial condition when someone has initiated the checkout, we also have to tell them that they have not received any emails in the last 7 days, where the subject line of the email is the same as the subject line you entered in the first automated pre-sale flow email.

This is very important, because this way you ensure that the abandoned checkout email only reaches people who can no longer use the discount code for their first purchase. Otherwise, they would conflict and you would mix promotions.

We will now show you the flow directly both in its technical aspects (so that it works properly) and the most important part concerning the emails that you will have to customise, although in reality you can do this by replicating 90% of the emails, so you will just have to modify some information to better suit your business and the conditions that you have (such as the return policy and some exclusive aspects of your brand, such as the fact that you create the products by hand or that they are made in Italy or 100% organic or something like that).

In any case, our recommendation when creating the flow is to use Klaviyo's abandoned cart format (it already has one preconfigured) and make sure you have the conditions we will now describe. The reason for this is simple: if you use Klaviyo's pre-configured flow, you will already have ready the emails with the product cart that each potential customer has left (because it links directly to your website), so you will save yourself the trouble of having to do this yourself; therefore it is better to use this format and then proceed to correct the flow conditions and subsequently the text of the emails.


As you can see, all emails have a similar configuration. We will now propose some example emails of an abandoned shopping cart from our demo company, remembering the points described above and that each shop changes depending on the product sold.


EMAIL 1:  

Subject: A surprise for you...

Button text: Back to your cart

Email text:

The surprise is your shopping cart, which did not want to be left alone.

We saved it for you as a thank you for visiting our site.

[shopping cart product from your web platform].

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But we can't keep it forever, because there are also other people who want it and it wouldn't be fair. So complete your purchase as soon as possible and remember that with us you can always count on:

[add exclusive brand elements such as free returns policy, product quality, customer reviews, free shipping, etc.].

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And in case of any doubts, remember that you can contact us via [add contact details]. 


EMAIL 2:  

Subject: 24 hours left

Button text: Complete your purchase

Email text:

We waited as long as we could, but we can't take it any longer.

Other people want the same product and we cannot keep it locked forever because we have limited availability, so in 24 hours it will disappear along with your shopping cart.

[product in your shopping cart on your web platform].

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So don't waste time and buy it before someone else does before you.

You might not find it afterwards...

P.S.: look at the comments left by the people before you; you can see what's in store for you...

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Subject: Surely you didn't know...

Button text: I want my 10% discount

Email text:

10% discount code to complete your order, just for you.

You may not know it, but our mission is to... [talk about your values and the origin of your brand]. To make it a reality, we want you to be one of us, and to show you how much we care, we are leaving you an exclusive 10% discount code that you can use to complete your order. The code is: [discount code name].

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[product in your shopping cart on your web platform].

Remember that our products have limited availability, and when they run out you will have to wait months to find them again. So what are you waiting for?

Complete your purchase now that you have this 10% discount code.

P.S. The discount expires in 24 hours. Be quick about it.

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Subject: The last 6 hours will be decisive

Button text: Buy with 10%

Email text:

[review images].

CTA button

Have you ever seen so many stars?

Honestly, we gasp every time we see them....

The truth is, with customers like this, we don't need publicity.

The decision is yours and we know it's not easy, but you already know what you'll be missing out on if you don't do it (and it's not just us saying this...)

Don't waste time, your 10% discount code expires in 6 hours. Use it: 

[discount code name].

[product in your web platform shopping cart].

6 hours left and you will no longer have your product blocked. The final decision is yours

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EXTRA TRUCK*: You can try to create a very similar alternative flow for those people who have already purchased once (your customers) and who put a product in their shopping cart and then leave your ecommerce. In this case you simply clone the Checkout Abandoned flow and change the start condition of the trigger (as soon as we press the Clone Flow button, a screen will appear where we have to write the name of the flow and choose the trigger: this is where instead of Started Checkout we will put Added To Cart - as in the first image), and also in the filter part, we will add an AND condition to the one we already have: this condition is that someone has purchased at least once (second image).



As for the e-mails, we will leave them all as they are and only slightly modify the text of the first e-mail by telling the customer that he already knows the quality of our products and knows that they are all in limited stock and that it is convenient for him to complete his purchase now. We will also put a different subject: "A surprise for you who know us..."

All the rest of the flow (days between emails) and the 2-3-4-5 emails remain the same.

It is a different approach that could bring positive surprises, because the person receiving it will identify more with this type of email.

Now, you have to remember that if you decide to also use this variation of the flow, you will have to change the filter of the normal abandoned cart flow (the previous one), because you will have to tell it not to send any emails to your customers; to do this you only have to change this part:



EXTRA TRUCK**: once you have the stream active for at least a month (so you have data to look at), one possibility would be to reduce the waiting time for the stream to send the first email from 4 hours to 1 hour. Studies show that depending on the type of business, abandoned cart emails sent within the first hour end up converting more, so what we always suggest is to test, watch the results for the first month and then test another month by reducing the waiting time of just the first email and check the results (so you know which option to choose). At the end of this document (after the abandoned navigation flow), we will leave you an example of the analysis we did with our demo site, so you can fully understand the type of testing to find out which case applies best to yours.


EXTRA TRUCK***: You can also add a fifth email that is sent a week after the fourth email (this is the same principle used for the fifth extra email in the automatic presales flow, i.e. although it is true that normally these flows work more in the first few days, it is also true that many times some potential customers might thank us for a last 'reminder' after an extra 7 days, as they might have been busy earlier (maybe they were on holiday). The idea would always be to justify that email with a possible 'technical glitch' and that we are not sure if the person received our last email: once this is said, we can offer them the same discount without further ado. It is a last resort, but as we always tell our customers, even if only one more sale comes out of this email, it will have been worth it, so there is no reason not to.

To create this last part of the flow, we will need to set the condition to wait 7 days from the last email, and copy the conditional splits from the rest of the flow (0 orders placed since the start of the flow). And all that remains is to add the email, written looking at the fourth email, but with a few minor adjustments.

First, let's look at the flow that needs to be added:


Regarding this fifth email, an example could be as follows:


Subject: You won't believe it

Button text: Discount code [code name]

Email text:


I don't know if it happened to you too, but last week some emails were not sent correctly due to a technical fault, so we are writing to you again because we feel it is unfair that you lose a discount because of us.

So, without further ado, remember that FOR 24 HOURS ONLY you have a 10% discount code at your disposal to complete your shopping cart order!

[product from your shopping cart on your web platform].

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P.S. Trust us and our free return policy, as thousands of customers have already left us 5 stars

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By the way, on the subject of this fifth abandoned checkout email, we leave you with a somewhat unusual and somewhat risky strategy, which is only suitable for a limited number of brands, but which could give you great satisfaction in the end. We could say that it is an alternative type of fifth email and that is why we describe it here, even though it is present in the VARIOUS TIPS of our modules.

To go fully into the strategy, it is based on sending a free product to all those people who enter our site, start the checkout (by adding the shipping data) and then abandon the navigation and who do not respond to the prepared email streams.

The effectiveness of this strategy is based on eliminating resistance to purchase, i.e. at first many people do not complete their first purchase because they do not trust a product 100 per cent, but clearly by receiving a free product, they will realise our quality and it is very likely that after this gift they will continue to buy from our shop and become loyal customers. It would be even better to leave a letter from the brand manager himself saying clearly that because they are so confident in their products, they want to give that gift so that the person can touch the quality first hand.

Now that we know how this works, we can also easily understand the conditions for implementing this strategy and know when it is worth doing so; the conditions are the following:

  • that the person who abandoned the checkout has never purchased from our online shop (because if not, the email streams would be sufficient, since they have no resistance to purchase, but perhaps simply have no money or time to buy at that time, but will do so later)

  • that we have a way to have his shipping information available (we could also solve this by slightly modifying the last email of the previously prepared abandoned cart stream; i.e. instead of offering a discount, we propose to give us his email address to send him a gift product); This way we can also be sure that it is real potential customers who read our emails and not people who came in by mistake or tried to checkout without real interest.

  • that our average ticket is relatively high compared to the total cost of the 'gift' (product cost + shipping cost).

  • that the LTV of our customers is high: if a customer of our brand usually buys several times in a year, then the value of that same customer will not be equal to the average ticket of our shop, but to the value of the average ticket multiplied by the number of times you buy in a year or in your whole life (this clearly changes everything, because if a customer instead of spending 50 euros a year, spends 300 euros a year, then it means that we can spend more to acquire him the first time and convince him to be our customer). This is why it is a particularly recommended strategy for brands that sell food or consumer products, because they are likely to buy several times in our shop within the same year, increasing the value of the customer for us.

  • that the costs of acquiring a new customer are higher than the total costs of the 'gift': for example, if we calculate that with paid advertisements we have to invest €40 to convince a new customer to buy, whereas the costs of a gift are €20 but we also know that later on that customer would buy from us again (because he has a higher LTV), we could safely consider adding these €20 costs to acquire that customer.



Before we close the topic of this type of automatic flow, we would also like to propose the idea of an abandoned navigation flow, i.e. when the user has not even added the product to the shopping cart, but has viewed it and therefore exited the navigation.

In this case, an email reminder of what will be missed could be useful. It is true that this is not something you hear often, but precisely for this reason it could be something that differentiates you from your competitors. Now, the important thing is not to send out emails to people who may have been browsing our site by some fatality but are not actually interested, so it might be important to put in a few extra filters, so that this type of email only reaches people who already know us (e.g. who have already entered our site at least once, or who have spent more than two minutes browsing, because it is clear that if they stay that long then they are interested).

Once these two alternative conditions have been set (i.e. in Klaviyo, with the OR command and not AND), we can prepare an email similar to the abandoned cart email, but emphasising the differentiating elements that our brand has: for example, FREE shipping, the 60-day guarantee, our social proof and our discount code. In this case it will only be one email, but it might be enough to make up for a sale; moreover, on average the open rate of this type of email is over 60%, which can also help us with our authority for Google. By the way, remember to leave a very obvious CTA, and as a landing page, put the top sold or news page, to increase your chances.

Let us see in detail how to create this flow with Klaviyo: select Flows and then Create Flow. In the same tips select BROWSE ABBANDONMENT and again click on create flow.



Once inside the flow we will have to give the Trigger (Viewed Product) and then the Flow Filters.


We have to put together 3 conditions (with AND): that the user has never started the checkout, has never completed a purchase, and has never been in the same stream in the last 15 days. Now we click Save (below we have an image to see these conditions in Klaviyo).

We just have to write the text of the email following the instructions explained above. You can start by saying that usually half or more of those who discover your products end up buying and that you want this person to be part of that percentage too.

And add that you offer a discount on the first purchase, that you have free shipping, free returns up to X days and that your reviews are positive. And end it all by saying goodbye.


When you have finished the email always remember to save the stream and activate it by putting it in LIVE. Let's see an example of an email:


Subject: Have you seen something interesting?

Button text: Buy it now


Really, what are you waiting for?

We know you were looking at that product, and we can tell you one thing for sure: since it is a product with limited availability, you risk having it stolen out from under your nose before you make a decision.

[product selected in your web platform].

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If you cannot make up your mind, think of others who have already bought the same product before you and were satisfied with it. Also, remember that you can always return it for FREE within 60 days. So what are you worried about?

Don't waste any more time and buy it before someone else does.



Now, as we promised you at the beginning of the document, we will show you a test we did to find out the most suitable waiting times for our pilot site, for abandoned shopping carts and abandoned navigation flows (zoom in if you don't see the numbers correctly).


As you can see, it was very simple:

  • First, we copied the data of the last 30 days from the first email of each stream (which you can find in klaviyo by simply clicking on the email of the stream - it appears on the left-hand side) [in the image above would be all the tables at the top].

  • Secondly, we waited 30 days and did the same thing, putting the results at the bottom of the image.

  • Finally, we just have to look at the important values (in this case the open rate and the click-through rate) to see for each flow, which of the waiting time options gives the best results.

  • In our example, for the classic abandoned cart flow, the email sent after 1 hour gave better results because, in addition to having a slightly higher open rate, it also saw a much higher click-through rate. On the other hand, for the abandoned customer cart flow, the results are better if they wait 4 hours before sending the first email. For the abandoned shopping cart flow the results are more uniform, so it would not hurt to do more tests, but as a rule of thumb, between open rate and click rate, for flows it would be better to prioritise the open rate, so the email sent after 4 hours had better results (it also had a higher order rate).

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