Ultimate Guide to Browse Abandonment Emails: Definitions, Tactics, and Examples

1 Sep
Ultimate Guide to Browse Abandonment Emails: Definitions, Tactics, and Examples

The main goal of an online store is not only to have people visit it, but to make sure they buy something before they leave. 

The harsh reality for vendors is the percentage of people who buy something is small. Over 80% of customers browsing on your site will never buy anything or even put a product in their cart. 

But you can use one under-appreciated strategy to target these visitors—browse abandonment emails. A window shopper receives these emails to remind them of what they were looking at and encourage them to return to your website.

In this article, you'll learn how browse abandonment emails help claw back customers to your site and boost your store's revenue. 

What Is Browse Abandonment? 

Browse abandonment is when a visitor receives an automated message after leaving your website without buying something. 

Browse abandonment messages are a great bridge to target customers who have already entered your marketing funnel but aren't ready to buy and need more time to research your brand. The tactic fills a gap in marketing strategies when visitors don't put items in their cart or fill out a form. The only data you'll have on these visitors is they looked at a specific pricing or product page. 

Browse abandonment emails use this information to create messages and campaigns to entice visitors back to your site. 

With 53% of shoppers doing their own research before making a purchase, browse abandonment messages are the perfect tool to nudge them down your funnel and help them along their buying journey. 

What Are Browse Abandonment Emails? 

A browse abandonment email is a message sent when a visitor on a website views a specific page but bounces before putting anything into their shopping cart. 

Browse abandonment emails are commonly used for visitors who: 

  • Browsed pages but never showed interest in particular products
  • Viewed specific product or pricing pages but didn't add anything to their carts
  • Searched for products or services without going further down their buying journey
  • Landed on a page via an advertisement or Google search but bounced without searching further

Browse abandonment emails are used to broadly reach out to a visitor and build some trust with visitors who are starting their buying journey. 

example of browse abandonment email
An example of a simple browse abandonment email from Haoma. Despite not being added to a shopping cart, the landing page targets the shoes the visitor was viewing and includes a direct link to the Haoma store so they can purchase them.

Browse abandonment emails are also very effective. Fresh Relevance revealed one eCommerce operator used browse abandonment messages (combined with cart abandonment emails) to earn $156K in extra sales. The strategy earned 24% more than if the operator had used cart abandonment emails alone.

Why send browse abandonment emails? 

Browse abandonment emails can become a marketer's secret weapon. 

Marketers spend (a lot of) time making sure shoppers land on their site and check out their products. But the reality is over 80% of people globally leave an eCommerce site without adding items to their cart. In the US, that number is even higher:

graph depicting browse abandonment percentage

Browse abandonment emails help merchants target these shoppers and give them the best chance to convert them into paying customers 

When SaleCycle studied browse abandonment email effectiveness, the results suggested they were more successful than regular outreach campaigns. Browse abandonment emails had an 80% higher open rate and a 50% higher CTR. The report found that 10% of customers who received a browse abandonment email in their inbox purchased something. 

Browse abandonment emails vs cart abandonment emails 

Cart abandonment emails are sent to visitors near the end of their buying journey. They've added products to their shopping carts but abandoned them before completing their purchase. While abandoned cart emails can boost sales (sending three can increase orders by 69%), most visitors never add a single item to their shopping baskets. 

Browse abandonment emails help marketers bridge that gap. They are a great complement for cart abandonment sequences as they recognize shoppers in the early-to-mid stages of their buying journey that just need a little extra nudge.

They're triggered when a visitor clicks on products pages but doesn't go any further. The visitor isn't as far along in their buying journey and needs more nurturing. Browse abandonment emails do just that with product recommendations and exclusive offers.

Note: Visitors will need to be already opted- in to your marketing messages in order to track browse behavior.

Who To Target With Browse Abandonment Emails 

Target 1: Shoppers who've only purchased from you once

Browse abandonment emails can target customers who've only bought from your site once. 

Simply look at the customer's previous purchase to get an idea of what products they're interested in. This will help refine any product recommendations or messaging to use in the email and build a relationship with the new customers. 

Remember to use these carefully, so you don't spook your new customer. If they've just purchased something, don't send browse abandonment emails immediately after they revisit your site. Wait a couple of weeks until you have something exciting to talk about (like an upcoming sale) or something to offer (like an exclusive discount).  

Then, use emails to build a relationship with them and turn them from a one-time shopper into a loyal customer.

Target 2: Customers who have landed on your site, but never purchased from you

92% of first-time visitors to your site won't buy anything. Browse abandonment emails can at least give you a shot at winning them over. 

Target these visitors differently to customers who've already purchased something from you. Since they are in the early stages of their buying journey, send them a discount code or welcome offer to entice them back to your page. 

Target 3: Visitors who love niche products on your site 

Shoppers love researching before they buy, and they'll be checking out specific products on your site and comparing them to your competitors. 

Dig through your analytics and segment visitors who have clicked on product pages and spent time on them looking at specific items. The time they've spent looking at a product will determine their level of interest in a specific item. Use this data to create targeted browse abandonment emails with more product information or stories of current customers using (and loving) the specific item.  

Target 4: Loyal customers who already trust your brand

Don't forget loyal customers who frequent your website but only buy once in a while.

You should have a treasure trove of data on these customers, from the products they love to their purchasing habits. Loyal customers won't need much persuasion to head back to your store as you've already built up trust, so don't be afraid to test our browse abandonment email ideas with them, like different messaging and personalization. 

7 Browse Abandonment Email Tactics (With Examples)

Browse abandonment emails should be used differently depending on who you're targeting and what you want them to do. 

If a visitor has spent a lot of time on the same product page, an exclusive discount can help get them to the checkout. If it's their first time on your site, an email with product recommendations may do the trick. 

Here are 4 browse abandonment email examples you should use in your next campaign 👇

1. Promote similar products 

Recommending products is a common email marketing tactic, but browse abandonment recommendations need a little imagination. 

You won't have the data you need to recommend a specific product to your visitor—all you know is they were looking at a certain product page or article. Suggest products similar to the items the customer was looking at to start with in case they want a different color or style. 

For example, if a store sells casual sneakers, browse abandonment emails using the product catalog's dynamic variables can be an effective tool. As long as products are tagged and categorized correctly, the email can be filled with recommendations automatically based on similar items. 

Here's how Asos recommends similar items to visitors: 

email promoting similar products

The visitor was clearly looking for a black dress but—for whatever reason—left without buying or even adding one to their cart. Several black dresses are offered in this browse abandonment email, but with variations in style and cut to entice the visitor back to their site.

2. Highlight new or popular products 

First-time visitors won't know every popular product you sell, especially if you've just launched a new one. 

Highlighting new products alongside your most popular items is the perfect way to entice shoppers to try them. Just look at this browse abandonment campaign from Dollar Shave Club

email promoting popular products

A visitor checked out Dollar Shave Club's subscription packages—and then they bounced. Dollar Shave Club responds by offering three-tiered razor products: the Humble Twin, the 4X and the Executive. 

We love this email because it uses limited data about the customer very well. Dollar Shave Club won't know enough about the visitor to personalize the email to their budget or needs, so it covers several personas in one hit. If the visitor wants an inexpensive razor or one at the high end of Dollar Shave Club's range, they need only click on the CTA in the email to revisit the store. 

3. Offer exclusive discounts 

Sending exclusive discounts and offers to visitors is one of the best ways to encourage them to return to your site.

New visitors are hard to convert—they don't know your brand, and you haven't built loyalty with them yet. Their first purchase on your site is crucial. It'll open the door to more personalized marketing that can create trust and turn them into a long-time customer. 

We love this exclusive discount browse abandonment email from Uniqlo

offer exclusive discount in browse abandonment email

The email highlights the item the visitor was looking at and offers it at a lower price. We love the copy Uniqlo uses here (Good news! Lucky you!) to make the discount really stand out. The email also recommends items the visitor may like to lure them back to the checkout. 

4. Create a sense of urgency 

Give your visitors a reason to purchase now—not later. 

Browse abandonment emails help trigger a visitor's memory about why they were on your site in the first place. Capitalize on that by creating a sense of urgency and reminding visitors that they could miss out if they don't buy it now. 

Here's how On does just that: 

example of using urgency in browse abandonment email

This is two browse abandonment emails wrapped up into one. 

At the top of the fold, On creates a sense of urgency with bold, stand-out copy—Your viewed items are selling out fast. The email combines all of the recently viewed products underneath and includes a CTA so the visitor can add items straight to their shopping cart. This small step cuts friction for the visitor and makes it super easy for them to complete their purchase. 

5. Leverage social proof

Include testimonials, reviews, or ratings of the products or services that the user was browsing. This can help build trust and credibility, and encourage the user to complete their purchase.

Using social proof in browse abandonment emails can be effective in instilling confidence in the recipient, addressing any potential doubts or concerns they may have, and nudging them towards making a purchase. 

It shows that others have found value in your products or services, and can create a sense of trust and credibility, ultimately increasing the likelihood of conversion.


6. Offer personalized recommendations

Use browsing data to recommend similar or complementary products based on the user's interests and preferences. This can help re-engage the user and provide them with relevant options.

Offering personalized recommendations in browse abandonment emails can help to capture the recipient's attention, provide them with relevant options, and increase the chances of them returning to your website and making a purchase.

7. Provide helpful content

 Use browsing data to recommend similar or complementary products based on the user's interests and preferences. This can help re-engage the user and provide them with relevant options. 

Including helpful content in browse abandonment emails can provide additional value to the recipient beyond just trying to make a sale. 

It shows that you genuinely care about their needs and interests, and are willing to provide them with valuable resources even if they don't make an immediate purchase. 


Turn window shoppers into loyal customers with browse abandonment emails

Online retailers know that only a small percentage of visitors will buy the first time around. 

Turning online window shoppers into loyal customers is about getting them to make their first purchase.

With browse abandonment emails, you'll get the chance to keep engaging with them and offering products even if they haven't added an item to their cart or purchased from you in the past.

An eCommerce tool like Sendlane can help you differentiate between buyers and browsers to send more effective browse abandonment emails. Our site tracking and deep-data tools make it easy to create targeted, automated browse email campaigns to recommend products, engage visitors and entice them back to your site. 

Are you ready to start winning over more visitors? Chat to our Sendlane team about browse abandonment email targeting today. 

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