A Guide to the Perfect Browse Abandonment Email + 7 Examples

An e-commerce website with browse abandonment email examples.


Karolina Petraškienė

Content Marketing Manager

Reading Time: 7 minutes

There’s no disputing the value of cart abandonment emails, however, most potential customers (89.1% of them – to be precise) never make it as far as placing items in their carts.

Automated browse abandonment emails can help you re-engage with that large pool of window shoppers, take them back to your store, and recapture those lost conversions.

62% of consumers expect emails to be personalized based on what they looked at on a website.

Fluent Report, 2016

This guide covers some browse abandonment best practices, content ideas, and email and SMS strategies that can nurture your leads toward a sale. We’ll also share email and browse abandonment SMS examples and some of the best subject lines we’ve seen recently.

What is Browse Abandonment Email, and Why is it so Effective?

Browse abandonment emails are automated messages sent to email subscribers who were viewing products on your website but never placed an item in their shopping cart. Sending such emails, or text messages, is an opportunity for marketers to capitalize on shopper intent.

Knowing that a subscriber is on your site and viewing products indicates some level of intent, but the reasons they abandon aren’t always clear. They could include things like indecisiveness, price, speed or cost of shipping, distraction, or a combination of them all.

As a retailer, how do you persuade these customers to come back to your store? Most often, it is done one of three ways:

  • Paid search retargeting
  • Paid social retargeting
  • Generic, batch-and-blast emails

These first two come with a cost. The third, while possessing a much lower cost, doesn’t necessarily provide value for the recipient—and the messaging could be completely irrelevant.

This is where automated browse abandonment messaging goes to work for you.

Retailers can automate relevant messages to these window shoppers reminding them of their initial interest in their products. And since these messages are sent to email subscribers, they can utilize customer data to further personalize the messages, such as with product recommendations or incentives, based on purchase history.

Browse abandonment messages are perfect for engaging customers in the middle of their customer purchase journey—and they work. Imagine how a simple yet friendly email message saying: “Hey! Do a double-take. This iconic apparel won’t stick around forever!” can re-engage an abandoned shopper—and save on paid retargeting costs.

Browse abandonment messages are often some of the most profitable messages sent from retailers’ email marketing programs.

One fashion & apparel retailer sending browse abandonment messages through Omnisend finds them to be the most successful messages of their email program. The retailer enjoys a 124% increase in open rates and a 3,536% increase in RPE compared to their promotional campaigns. They generate 26% of their yearly email revenue, even though they account for less than 3% of their annual email sends.

Cart Abandonment vs. Browse Abandonment vs. Product Abandonment

Although these three messages sound similar they each work a bit differently. Let’s take a closer look at each and figure out how they’re different.

Cart abandonment emails: Sent to shoppers who place items in their shopping carts but leave without completing their purchase.

Browse abandonment emails: Messages that are triggered when a visitor lands on any page or product category on your site.

Product abandonment: A form of browse abandonment where messages are triggered when a visitor lands on a specific product page.

Cart abandonment messages are some of the best converting messages retailers’ send from their email programs. After all, they target shoppers who couldn’t come any closer to making a purchase. Even though the average add-to-cart rate is only 10.9%, meaning your pool of shoppers eligible to receive abandoned cart emails is only one-tenth of your site traffic (even less if you don’t have their email addresses), the messages generate high revenue because the recipients’ purchase intent is high—making these essential messages for any retailer.

Now, with browse abandonment messages, the rule remains the same—you can approach only those visitors you identify as email subscribers. But because they don’t need to place any items in their cart, the pool of eligible people you’re able to target with browse abandonment emails is much larger. Although the messages won’t be quite as targeted as with cart abandonment emails, the content will be based on what the visitor viewed on your website. Sending these segmented messages to a larger audience will help increase sales.

With product abandonment, messages are triggered when the visitor lands on the product page only, meaning the customer has shown interest in a specific product. This allows you to send more targeted messages than you would with a general browse abandonment strategy. And even though you may send fewer messages because of it, they are more targeted and more likely to convert.

To get a better understanding of the size of the audience and how each perform, see an example of an Omnisend client who recently launched all three workflows on the same day:

As you can see, because browse abandonment and product abandonment messages are targeted and timely, they are relevant for the audience. So they worked well in converting window shoppers into actual customers. By waiting until visitors place something into the cart, you’re leaving money on the table.

Now that we’ve identified the value of browse abandonment messaging, how do we make one that appeals to customers.

The Blueprint of Browse Abandonment Messaging

A browse abandonment workflow doesn’t have to be a multiple-message series. Shoppers who just browsed your store may or may not have a high intention to buy. Sending them one or two kind reminders should be, in most cases, enough to spur a follow-up action.

Retailers who set up browse and product abandonment automation often use a combination of one email and one SMS. Some even send only a single SMS message, which might look like this:

However, we recommend utilizing both email and SMS together. In the email, you can highlight your perks and abandoned products and better target your customer groups according to their previous shopping and on-site behavior. It might be worth segmenting and tailoring different messages to loyal customers and shoppers who have never purchased.

Another idea for browse abandonment messages is to send them only for high-priced products. In these cases, you might highlight customer support options, such as live chat, to assist with any questions, and to extend the workflow due to a longer decision-making window.

Here’s an example of what this workflow might look like.

When designing your browse/product abandonment workflow, you might want to consider a few best practices:

  • Use short and sweet copywriting and apply directly to their intention. Something like, “Hey, do a double-take,” or “Did something catch your eye?” Remember, it’s a friendly reminder, not a “buy or die” campaign.
  • In your email, include products that were actually abandoned.
  • Include your best sellers. If these products are so popular, they are worth being highlighted.
  • Don’t miss your opportunity to highlight your perks: free shipping, easy returns, loyalty rewards, etc.
  • Don’t feel obligated to offer discounts. Save them, if needed, when their purchase intent becomes more pronounced.

Product/Browse Abandonment Email Examples

Since we have already discussed the blueprint of these emails, let’s see a few examples in action.

Note that they all contain a short copy, include the abandoned products, and link to popular products on their sites.

1. Asos

2. Silver Street Jewellers

3. Famous Footwear

4. Debenhams

5. Gorsuch

6. Target

7. Ashley Homestore

Browse Abandonment Email Subject Lines

These ten browse abandonment specific subject lines that caught our eye and might be worth testing with your audience:

  1. Did something catch your eye? 👀
  2. Did you want it?
  3. ✨Picked Only For You ✨
  4. 👀 Take a Second Look! 👀
  5. Did you have your eye on these?
  6. [Customer name]– you have great taste!
  7. We must say you have good taste 👌
  8. Do a double-take 👀
  9. Is this your next [product name]?
  10. Were you checking us out? 🔍

No matter whether it’s these or other subject lines that you choose, don’t forget to make them short and compelling. This way, recipients will be intrigued to open and check out what’s inside.

Boost Your Open Rates!

Analyze and improve your subject lines with our free tester before sending out your next campaign.

Try It Now!

Creating browse abandonment automation might seem like a daunting task for marketers, but with the tools available, it’s never been easier. There’s plenty that can be done to tackle it, and understanding the differences between them and how to best send these targeted browse/product abandonment messages is a great start. Learn how one retailer moved online and how browse abandonment helped them drive $100K in only three months.

Automated, behavior-based messages sent via email and SMS is the definition of sending the right message, to the right consumer, via the right channel, at the right time—and the numbers prove it.

Get a personal 1-on-1 demo and see how Omnisend can supercharge your marketing!

Get My Demo

This article originally appeared in the Omnisend blog and has been published here with permission.

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