Product Recommendations Email Best Practices & Examples

26 Jun
Product Recommendations Email Best Practices & Examples

Why Use Personalized Products Recommendations?

When marketers hear that they should try something new, they usually ask why they should do it. But what we’re all asking is, “show me the data proving why I should do this.”

We’re data nerds.

It’s only natural.

There’s plenty of data to back up using personalized product recommendations.

For instance, campaigns that contain product recommendations but don’t get any clicks have an AOV of $44.41. However, that revenue increases by 369% when someone engages with the recommendations listed.

Yes, you read that correctly!

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; email product recommendations average 31% for eCommerce online store annual revenue.

That’s huge!

Imagine the revenue opportunity you’re missing out on if you’re not leveraging these in your emails or not utilizing them correctly. There are plenty of ways you can add personalized product recommendations to your email marketing.

Below we’ll cover some brands that do it well, what you can learn from them, and some suggestions for how to expand your use of product recommendations.

In this article, we will cover: 

  • How two eCommerce brands use product recommendations 
  • Why the retailer’s email templates were effective 
  • How to incorporate product recommendations into your email marketing strategy (and how to do it in Sendlane)
  • Product recommendation email design and placement 

eCommerce Product Recommendation Examples to Add to Your Email Campaigns


It doesn’t matter how big or how small your brand is.

Personalization matters for everyone. It matters so much that even large brands like Adidas make sure they capitalize on its effectiveness.

What we love about how Adidas uses product recommendations is how they incorporate them into various emails. While you could add a simple product recommendation to a welcome email drip, there are ways to include recommendations in nearly all the emails you send.

Adidas is an excellent example of using personalized recommendations shaped by shopper's interests to increase conversion rates.

What We Love About Their Emails

The email above is from their abandoned cart automation. Cart abandonment emails are good examples of simple personalized product recommendations because you’re recommending the items they already have sitting in their shopping cart.

Here’s what we love about this particular email:

  1. The image is the exact shoe the person left sitting in their cart.
  2. The call to action is above the fold, so when the email is opened, the CTA is easily seen front and center on desktop or a mobile device.
  3. They’ve included social proof of the product along with photos of the shoe in action.

It’s a fantastic way to get more out of an abandoned cart email and promote click-throughs! But this isn’t the only place you’ll find personalized product recommendations.

They’ve also created “Stock Alert” emails. You’re likely familiar with these, and may even have them set up for your store.

What’s great about what Adidas does with their stock alert emails is they use them to increase conversions even when the item the person is interested in is still out of stock.

When you look at the image above, the messaging is clear. They plainly state the product the person liked isn’t in stock yet. But then go on to recommend different products instead.

What about this is personalized?

Well, the item the person liked was a fashionable soccer shoe for men. The recommendations listed are relevant products or similar products to the original shoe.

Takeaways For You:
  • Look at your current email marketing campaigns to find areas to add product recommendations. You can easily add an email to your marketing automations like Welcome drips, Abandoned Carts, a new subscriber sequence, Stock Alerts (like Adidas), Birthday emails, the “it’s been a year since you signed up” anniversary emails, Loyalty Program emails, and so on. The areas of opportunities are endless but start with what you have and work out from there.
  • Use product recommendations and reviews together in your email. People like to see what others have to say and it influences their purchases. Take your best reviews and use them in tandem with recommendations. Alternatively, you could use this as a prime cross-selling opportunity or a chance to feature your best sellers!

Blue Apron

Chances are you’re not in the meal delivery service like Blue Apron. But the brand still provides some great lessons for eCommerce stores in terms of personalized product recommendations.

The biggest lesson you’ll learn from them is that if you want to offer personalized product recommendations, you need to start with your segmentation strategy.

A properly segmented list makes sending personalized offerings so much easier! Blue Apron has a highly segmented list, which you’ll notice if you study their emails.

When you go to sign up, there are three main options. Each one gives indicators as to how many people will be eating and the dietary preference. From there, you give info and dive into choosing your meals.

After that, you’re added into their segmented list, and that’s where the magic starts to show.

What We Love About These Emails

Depending on the menu option they sign up for, customers and subscribers will be sent personalized emails based on the menu options they chose.

Someone who chooses the Vegetarian menu will get emails about the menu for next week that only feature vegetarian recipes.

Another person who chooses another meal plan will be emailed options available that appeal to their palate.

But what about people who don’t convert right away?  


Those who abandon their cart will get personalized offers based on the menu option they picked initially and is aimed at converting the interested person into a customer.  

Blue Apron being able to send the right message to the right person is all thanks to segmentation. That’s a big deal and something you should dig your feet into if you want to send personalized emails that equal better ROI.

Takeaways For You:
  • Segment your list to make personalized product offerings easier. But it's easier said than done. It requires looking at all your email opt-ins across the intranet, mapping those back to your email marketing platform, and then tagging and segmenting your lists according to interest and browsing behavior. With an ESP like Sendlane, tracking browsing behavior and setting up segments is easy (more on that in a bit).
  • Here are some segmentations strategies to get you started: location, product purchased, average order value, product category, etc.

You can get creative with the specific products offered for each segment and having those segments in place will make it easier to send the right offer to the right person.\


How To Add Personalized Product Recommendations To Your Emails

Every email marketing tool has its way of letting you add product recommendations. With Sendlane, we have a pre-built product recommendation automation that works like a charm with Shopify stores. Or, if you’d like, you can build one from scratch.

Another way to add these recommendations to your email is to set up event tracking on your product pages that then trigger a product recommendation email to send. 

This is a great automation to set up because it tracks the behavior of someone viewing your site and then sends an email based on what they view — not based on if they abandoned their cart or not.  

In Sendlane, you would do this by creating a tracking event with our tracking pixel, Beacon. Then create a new automation that is triggered by the event you just created. Finally, you’d wrap it up with setting a Goal, typically of purchase.

In this image above, the goal was that the shopper visited the product and generated revenue over $50. It’s a little technical but easier than you’d think.

Now, let’s talk for a second about design a bit, shall we?

What these emails look like and where you place these product recommendations in your emails tends to be a topic of debate, but brands try out various layouts to find what works for them.

ASOS has highly designed emails that display recommendations based on customer browsing behavior.

Recommend as few or as many that make sense for your brand. You can even do a multivariate test to test the number of recommendations to see if one works better than another.

Want More Revenue? Try Adding Product Recommendations

Generating revenue from your email marketing can be challenging but testing out fresh and new tactics can help get you closer to making your emails work harder and faster for you.

As we’ve seen, product recommendations have a substantial impact on revenue and increase engagement on your eCommerce site.

Ready to jump in? Take Sendlane for a spin, free for 60 days!

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