Browse Abandonment Emails: 11 Tips (Plus Examples) to Turn Browsers into Buyers

browse abandonment email header

I’m a big fan of leisurely browsing. Whether I’m sorting through produce at the grocery store, peering into shop windows, or shoe hunting online, browsing through items is a relaxing way to take stock of all the choices in front of me. 

But my idea of a good time could be the stuff of nightmares for a business owner. 

Just imagine—a potential customer spends part of their day looking at your products, but then moves on without making a purchase. Gah! I can hear the resounding face-palm of marketers and store owners everywhere.

It’s devastating to watch the expressed interest of your audience just float on by, past your checkout page and past the opportunity for you to make a sale. But that’s precisely why browse abandonment emails are such a useful gadget in your email marketing toolbox. 

They can help remind your subscribers of their early interest and potentially bring them back to your online store, softening the sting of your initial disappointment that they didn’t buy on their first visit. 

Keep reading to discover: 

What are browse abandonment emails?

Think about the last time you looked at products online. Maybe you were exploring a new brand that was recommended to you by a friend, or you were shopping for the perfect gift for a wedding. Perhaps your favorite jewelry brand just launched a new collection and you were scoping out the latest pieces.  

Whatever the reason behind your search was, I’d wager that you probably didn’t buy a product on your first go-around. And you wouldn’t be alone. 53 percent of shoppers say they always do research before making a purchase to ensure they’re making the best choice, according to a study conducted by Google.

But the more products you see online, the easier it is to lose track of all your choices. That’s precisely where browse abandonment emails enter the chat. 

Browse abandonment emails are messages you send to your subscribers who viewed a product or page on your website, which remind shoppers of their initial interest. They’re also a form of remarketing, which uses your owned channels to communicate with past-purchasers or people who have subscribed to your brand’s content to help re-engage a sale. 

Browse abandonment emails are automations or flows that a shopper triggers by taking specific actions on your site—which makes them a highly personalized means of communication. 

Imagine you sell handmade home goods, like blankets, throw pillows, and specialty candles. If a shopper visited your website, looked at a few of your blankets, and then left your site, you could send a follow up browse abandonment email with content relevant to the blankets they viewed and increase the likelihood of potentially bringing them back to your online store.    

Browse abandonment emails vs cart abandonment emails

Browse abandonment and cart abandonment emails can understandably get mixed up, especially given that an abandonment or stopping of a particular action triggers both email automations to send.

But there’s one major distinction that sets browse abandonment emails apart from cart abandonment emails: Placing an item in a cart. 

If a shopper receives a cart abandonment email, that means they expressed significant interest in an item or a handful of items and placed those products in their online cart, which indicates that there was an intent to make a purchase, even if that intent was fleeting. 

To receive a browse abandonment email, all your subscriber has to do is view a page or product on your website, which doesn’t demonstrate quite the same level of intent to make a purchase as adding an item to a shopping cart.  

Regardless of their differences, both email automations play an essential role in your email marketing strategy and can engage your subscribers (both potential customers and existing customers alike) at different stages of their buying journey. 

The goal of browse abandonment emails 

Browse abandonment emails are not always the first email automation marketers are champing at the bit to set up. Typically, abandoned cart emails or welcome emails are the first email automations marketers build out. 

That’s because, in terms of revenue-per-recipient (RPR) generated by email automations, cart abandonment and welcome emails see some of the highest return. But browse abandonment emails are a close third.

browse abandonment data

The portion of your audience who receive browse abandonment emails is made up of shoppers who are in the early stages of making a purchase. They haven’t committed to any one brand or any one product yet, so browse abandonment emails can serve as the timely message that helps keep your brand top of mind. 

The goal of browse abandonment emails is two-fold: To remind a shopper of a particular product or products they viewed and to drive them back to your website. 

This is because the action or behavior of simply viewing a product doesn’t provide you enough context behind a site visitor’s intent—whether they were considering buying the product they viewed or not. So it’s important to strike a balance between those two objectives in your browse abandonment series.

For example, in addition to including an image of the product that was viewed in your browse abandonment email, consider adding an easily accessible navigation bar that directs your subscribers back to your homepage, a category page, or another area of your site. 

Or beneath the image of the viewed product, try including alternative products that might also spark your shopper’s interest. There are several routes you can take when choosing which products to display—you could include trending or best-selling products, personalized product recommendations for repeat buyers, or you could choose to only display products from a particular category (the same category as the viewed product, for instance). 

If you can creatively find ways to re-engage your audience through browse abandonment emails, shoppers are more likely to return to your online store and spend their dollars with your brand.     

5 audiences to target with browse abandonment emails

Browse abandonment emails are an effective way to foster interest in your brand and your products by remarketing to shoppers who have previously viewed the products you sell on your website.  

But it’s important to remember that shoppers are people, and people differ from one another—they have different interests, behaviors, and preferences. So sending variations of your browse abandonment emails that cater to these inherent differences can help improve just how effective your email series is. 

Here are five audience segments you can target and tips on how you can tailor your browse abandonment messages to resonate with each one:

1 | Shoppers who’ve never made a purchase

Collecting email addresses is just one piece of the customer acquisition puzzle—you want to encourage these new contacts to purchase, too. 

There are several ways you can incentivize new subscribers to make their first purchase, which can include offering them something of value. This may come in the form of a coupon code or discount, like ten dollars off their first purchase.

Try filtering your browse abandonment emails based on whether a shopper has purchased, and then send your non-purchasers an incentive. 

Since browse abandonment emails are part of the early stages of a customer’s journey—a shopper hasn’t attempted to make a purchase yet—it could be worthwhile to include an expiration date on the discount to create a sense of urgency

2 | One-time purchasers

For customers who have only purchased from your brand once, try to pay attention to the recency of their purchase. 

For example, if a customer just placed an order from your store, hold off on sending them browse abandonment emails for a month or two. But if a customer who views a product on your site hasn’t made a purchase in a while, you may want to incentivize them to purchase again. Like with non-purchasers, you can try to offer a coupon code, discount, or highlight newly released products that were similar to their original purchase.

3 | Loyal customers

Customers who purchase from you frequently probably don’t need to receive a plethora of browse abandonment emails. They already have an established track record of placing an order, so if they view a product on your site there’s a favorable chance they’ll return and buy the items they were browsing.

Instead, you can use the amount of time between their orders to determine when it would be appropriate to send them browse abandonment emails. If someone hasn’t purchased in six months, for instance, then it might make sense to send them an browse abandonment email. 

These customers also present an excellent opportunity to experiment with the content of your emails—try testing out various levels of personalization to see what builds the most brand loyalty.

4 | Shoppers who’ve viewed a particular product

If you’re hoping to advertise a particular product to your audience, sending browse abandonment emails to those who have viewed this product could be an effective means of promotion. 

For example, if you just released a new product and want to build customer interest, you can try sending browse abandonment emails to all shoppers who viewed this product on your site.

Similarly, if you’re having a sale and trying to clear out a portion of your inventory, you can use browse abandonment emails as a tool to drive awareness about the sale (if your subscriber viewed an item that was part of it).

5 | Shoppers who show repeated interested in the same product

The number of times a website visitor views the same product is valuable information to have. If a shopper views the same product five times, for example, this indicates a higher level of interest than if they simply viewed it once. 

And if someone is highly interested in a product, then sending a browse abandonment email with a sense of urgency—saying either there are only a few items left or the discount you’re offering on that item is about to expire—might tempt them to return to your online store and place an order. 

Browse abandonment email examples

Knowing who to send your browse abandonment emails to is one thing, but knowing what to send in your emails is another matter entirely. 

To help you envision creative ways to design the content of your own emails, here are six unique examples of persuasive browse abandonment emails:   

1 | Charlotte Stone

Subject line: We noticed you noticing us…

charlotte stone browse abandonment email

charlotte stone browse abandonment email

From the subject line to the call-to-action (CTA), Charlotte Stone nails the browse abandonment email game. 

I genuinely smiled when I read their subject line in my inbox. It’s flirty and evokes that giddy feeling of when your crush walks up to you and acknowledges a mutual interest. 

The copy in the email is complimentary to the reader and commends them on their excellent taste in shoes. And the CTA drives shoppers right back to the product page, so they can seamlessly pick up where they left off. 

Charlotte Stone closes out their browse abandonment email with other related product recommendations for the reader, providing multiple opportunities for them to return to their site.   

2 | Neptune Blanket

Subject line: Are you comfy in bed? PILLOWS like a cloud. ☁️

neptune blanket browse abandonment email

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Neptune Blanket’s browse abandonment email goes a step further beyond just showing subscribers an image of the product they were looking at on their site.

They explain the technology behind their memory foam pillow and provide specifics on the quality of materials, features of the product, and the comfort that could be theirs if they were to buy. 

The more product information you can share with your audience upfront, the easier you can make their decision to make a purchase later down the line.   

3 | cadence

Subject line: introducing the ocean collection 🔵 🔵 🔵

cadence browse abandonment email

The brand cadence opted for a slightly different take on their browse abandonment email automation. Instead of including an image of the product that was viewed by a website visitor, cadence used their browse abandonment email as an opportunity to highlight a new product line. 

The new line is still relevant to their shopper’s experience and sharing a new collection is a creative way to re-engage their subscribers’ interest. Maybe they didn’t add the item to the cart before because it didn’t come in the color they wanted, but hues of blue could’ve been just what they were looking for.        

4 | Girlfriend Collective 

Subject line: Take another look + 30% off

girlfriend browse abandonment email

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The focus of your browse abandonment email doesn’t necessarily need to be on a specific product—an enticing discount can be just as effective in rekindling interest in your brand and bringing shoppers back to your store. 

Activewear brand, Girlfriend Collective understands the power of hefty savings and places a 30 percent discount in the header section of their browse abandonment email, so it’s hard to miss. 

In the lower section of the email, they display product recommendations that are similar to the initial product of interest, which readers might apply the offered discount to.    

5 | Credo Beauty 

Subject line: Get it before it’s gone

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Remember earlier when I mentioned that including a sense of urgency in your browse abandonment emails could help encourage shoppers to return and make a purchase? 

Credo Beauty exemplifies how to expertly apply this tactic in their own email automation. They include an image of the product a site visitor was browsing with the headline, “Going Fast” to suggest that if a reader doesn’t return to their site and place an order soon, they could miss out on the product entirely. 

Another clever move of the clean beauty brand was to include resources for personalized help in the bottom of the email. If unanswered questions are holding Credo Beauty’s subscribers back from making a purchase, then the simple link to “chat with an expert” removes that roadblock.    

6 | Sivana

Subject line: Your item is going fast!

sivana browse abandonment email

Sivana also plays into a consumer’s fear of missing out on an item they may be interested in. Their browse abandonment email touts that the specific product has limited availability. 

Similar to the browse abandonment email from Credo Beauty, this email creates a sense of urgency for the reader. If they don’t return to the site and make a purchase, then they might not have an opportunity to do so in the future. As Ben Franklin advised hundreds of years ago, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”   

Use browse abandonment emails to turn casual shoppers into intentional buyers 

Browsing is fun for consumers, I get it. It’s a low-pressure activity that you can do on your own schedule. But for marketers trying to generate leads and business owners trying to bring in sales, merely browsing with no follow up action is less than ideal.

Browse abandonment emails are a valuable tool you can use to help your subscribers, website site visitors, and existing customers circle back to your brand after their initial look about. They’re a friendly little nudge to coax your audience back to your online store and potentially recharge their relationship with your brand. 

Purchasing involves committing to a decision, whereas browsing is a much more laid-back activity. Because not all consumers can make such a definitive commitment the first time around, it’s crucial to nurture your audience with valuable and relevant content at every stage of their buying journey—even the early ones. 

If you take care to personalize your browse abandonment emails and cultivate an enjoyable customer experience, you can begin to translate the action of perusing into purchasing. 

Can’t get enough of browse abandonment emails? Check out the five do’s and don’ts of this invaluable email automation.

Ready to personalize your customers’ experience?  

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