How To Create Revenue Boosting Browse Abandonment Emails (+ Examples)

Written by: Chris Donald
Chris is Managing Partner at InboxArmy and has more than 25 years of experience in email marketing

Many companies think that browse abandonment emails are just like abandoned cart emails and that the same rules apply.

But the psychology of a shopper who abandons while browsing vs. a shopper who abandons a cart is significantly different. The latter is farther down the funnel than the former and has demonstrated more interest in your product(s).

In other words, getting browser-abandoners to make a purchase requires more convincing.

While they usually generate much less revenue than cart abandonment emails, they still provide a great opportunity that most companies miss out on.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The different types of it, including the two most important ones to focus on.
  • The 3 critical keys to successful browse abandonment emails.
  • 4 additional tactics for successful browse abandonment emails.

browse abandonment cta banner

What are Browse Abandonment Emails?

Browse abandonment emails are automated emails that get sent to site visitors who browse your products but never add products to their cart or make a purchase. They are similar to abandoned cart emails in that you are attempting to reclaim lost sales.

Browse abandonment emails can boost business revenue by automating 

What is a Browse Abandonment Flow?

A browse abandonment flow is a series of emails that are sent over a period of time in order to get browse-abandoners to make a purchase. A sample browse abandonment flow might include a 3-email sequence, such as:

  • The first email sent 2 hours after browse abandonment.
  • The second email sent 24 hours later.
  • The third email sent 24 hours after email two.

Why do Brands Need Browse Abandonment Automation?

It was a typical Monday morning. You had just finished your coffee and were ready to tackle the day. You pulled out your laptop and checked out some of the latest products online. After all, it never hurts to window shop. After scrolling through a few websites, you found a few items that caught your eye: the latest tech gadget, trendy new clothes, or even an item your friend had recommended.

But despite all this temptation, something held you back. You knew you should wait before making any purchases – more research must be done first. So with a sigh of resignation, you closed the laptop and moved on with your day – but not before taking note of those potential items for future reference!

Customers religiously shop online today. And be it the latest technology, fashion trends, or an item recommended by a friend, it is no mystery that they tend to check for products online before they actually think of purchasing them. Consider the last time you looked at products online. Chances are that you didn’t buy anything.

Now, this is what we call “Browse Abandonment.”

According to a Google study, 53% of consumers said they always perform research to make sure they’re selecting the right product for themselves. However, the more things you see online, the more easily you can lose track of all your options. Emails about abandoned searches come into the picture here, and they can be highly effective in bringing customers back to complete their purchases.

Suppose you have a variety of shoes in stock – from Athletic shoes to High heels, Ballet flats to Flip flops. Then, if a customer visits your website and looks at certain pairs before leaving, you could send them an email campaign tailored to the shoes they were interested in – upping the odds that they will come back.

In such cases and more, Browse Abandonment emails help brands to:

  • Bring back customers who have abandoned their carts.
  • Increase sales and conversions by reminding customers about the products they looked at earlier.
  • Collect data and insights to help improve their customer service.
  • Re-engage customers who had shown interest in the product earlier.

Browse Abandonment Email Vs. Cart Abandonment Emails

It is understandable that browse and cart abandonment might be muddled together when it comes to automated emails because they are both activated in response to particular events.

The main difference between browse and cart abandonment emails lies in placing items in a cart.

When a customer gets a cart abandonment email, it is clear that they have demonstrated an interest in particular products. By adding them to their shopping cart, the customer has indicated that they intended to buy, regardless of if it was only a momentary decision.

On the other hand, visiting a page or product on your website can trigger a browse abandonment email, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the same level of purchase intent as putting something in the shopping cart. However, by visiting a certain page, it is clear that the customer was interested in the product.

Why Browse Abandonment Emails Are So Important

Browse Abandonment Automation is a powerful tool for brands to immediately reach out and re-engage with customers who have shown interest in their products.

Apart from being an excellent customer service tool, here are the reasons why browse abandonment emails work so well:

1. High Number of SKUs: If your website offers a limited selection of products, it will be easier for customers to decide and go through the checkout process more quickly. While some companies use both, if your website features many SKUs and product categories, you may want to prioritize setting up browse abandonment automation over abandoned cart automation as customers may not find the right product in one visit.

2. High Average Order Value (AOV): Customers interested in purchasing items from your website with a high average order value may take more time researching the product before making their purchase. An effective way to re-engage customers and encourage them to return is to send out browse abandonment emails, which can help persuade customers that the items you offer are worth the cost.

3. Products That Need Education: If your primary product is something that not many people have heard of yet, it makes sense to use a browse abandonment email to educate potential customers. This communication can convince them of the product’s features and capabilities along with the problems it can solve.

4. Lowered Purchase Intent: With browse abandonment automation, you are capitalizing on the fact that some customers have merely taken simple steps to understand their options more. Such customers might not have intended to directly buy the product on the first visit itself, which is why browse abandonment automation can be beneficial.

5. Re-engage Loyal Customers: If you are trying to reach out to customers who have made multiple purchases in the past, browse abandonment automation can be a great way to remind them that you are still there and they should come back. Such customers are likely to have already formed an opinion about your brand and its products, so a browse abandonment email might be the factor that converts them into repeat customers.

Both Browse Abandonment Emails and Cart Abandonment Emails are essential for achieving success with your email marketing campaigns. They allow you to connect with subscribers at various stages of the buying cycle, allowing you to understand both new and returning customers better.

It doesn’t have to be an either/or decision when it comes to Browse Abandonment Emails and Cart Abandonment Emails. You can take advantage of both strategies by carefully segmenting users who receive both emails in the same session. For example, browse abandonment emails can target those who don’t finish the checkout process, while cart abandonment emails can engage customers who reach the end of the purchasing journey. Learn how to do email segmentation here.

The Goal of Browse Abandonment Emails

Email automation campaigns for browse abandonment are not often the first ones marketers set up. Instead, welcome emails or abandoned cart emails are typically the first email automation marketers design. This is because welcome and cart abandonment emails produce some of the best returns in terms of revenue per recipient (RPR) generated by email automation.

Browse abandonment emails have the third-highest RPR. This is because these emails are mainly sent to consumers who are just beginning to purchase and have not yet committed to a specific brand or product. By sending browse abandonment emails, businesses can reinforce their presence in the consumer’s mind and increase their exposure by providing quick reminders, which may encourage them to make a purchase.

Browse abandonment emails have two goals:

  1. They remind customers of a certain product or category of products they previously viewed.
  2. They bring the customers back to your website, encouraging them to visit and purchase.

Therefore, it’s crucial to balance these two goals in your browse abandonment sequence.

Here are some additional things to take into consideration:

  • Ensure you include a visible navigation bar directing your readers to your website’s main page, the desired category, or any other place.
  • Think about adding alternative items related to the product being viewed beneath the image to spark your customer’s interest.
  • To utilize cross-selling, you can choose to display items from a particular category (e.g., the same as the product being viewed), trending items, popular products, or personalized product recommendations for returning customers.

Begin At The Beginning: How To Collect Emails

The first hurdle with them is collecting emails from shoppers. With regard to collecting emails for browse abandonment campaigns, there are three key points to understand:

1) Focus on your current subscribers/customers

The majority of your browse-abandonment revenue will come from your current subscribers and customers.

They’ve already gone through your sales funnel and demonstrated an interest in your products. They’ve also used your products and, if they’re returning to your website, they’re likely satisfied with their experience.

So don’t worry if you don’t collect a ton of emails from first-time shoppers. The shoppers who are hesitant to give up their emails are less likely to convert anyway.

2) Exit Intent Pop-Ups That Ask For Sign-Up

Exit Intent Pop-Ups are boxes that pop up and ask visitors to sign up for your email list when they attempt to navigate away from your website. They’re a great way to collect emails from browse abandoners.

Your Exit Intent Pop-Up should do two things:

Use Soft, Customer-Focused Language: Position the request in terms of how it benefits the customer. For example, tell them you want their email so you can save their browsing history in order to make their shopping experience easier/better when they return.

Offer An Incentive: You can get more sign-ups if you give customers a reason to sign up. Offer a 10% discount on their first purchase, notifications of new products, or some other attractive incentive.

Exit Intent Pop-Ups

3)Handle objections to get more sign-ups:

Shoppers today are inundated with emails and requests to sign up for email lists. They’re more protective of their personal information and don’t want to crowd their inboxes. For whatever strategy you use to collect emails, you should include copy that handles these objections by telling shoppers that:

  • You won’t flood their inbox with emails.
  • You won’t sell their info to 3rd parties.
  • They can unsubscribe any time.

Hydro flask

The Two Most Important Browse Abandonment Emails

Though there are four different types of it but, we recommend you focus on the two that, in our experience, generate the most revenue:

1) Product-Page Abandonment Emails
Product-Page Abandonment Emails

Product-Page Abandonment Emails are considered as one of the most important browse abandonment emails.

The reason is simple: shoppers who visit a product page are more interested in your products than any other browse abandoner. Therefore, they’re more likely to convert than other browsers.

We’ve seen more conversions from these emails than any other. And data from Smartmail shows that these abandoned browse emails have been shown to generate an average of $3.42 per email sent – the highest of any other type.

Some of these shoppers may have simply gotten distracted before they could make their purchase. Others may want the product but don’t have the money right now and/or don’t want to make a decision right away.

In any case, these emails remind shoppers of the product they were interested in. And by including incentives and other tactics (that we’ll discuss later), you can sweeten the deal and convince these shoppers to pull the trigger now.

2) Search Abandonment Emails
Search Abandonment Emails

These emails are sent when a shopper searches for a product on your site but doesn’t actually click through to any product pages. These emails generate an average of $2.85 per email sent.

Customers who search for products on your site have demonstrated interest in a particular category of product. This means that they have a specific need/problem that the products in that category can help with.

And, while they didn’t see any products that attracted them enough to click through to the product page, there’s a chance that:

  • They didn’t see all of the products you have to offer in that category.
  • They overlooked some products while browsing.
  • Since they never clicked through to the product page, they didn’t get the full pitch for any of the products they saw.

Whatever the case, you may be able to convert some of these shoppers by reminding them of their need/pain point and how your products can help.

Two Other Types Of Browse Abandonment Emails

The other two types of them are:

  • Homepage Abandonment (when a shopper visits your homepage only before abandoning)
  • Product Category Abandonment (when a shopper visits a product category page only before abandoning)

As we’ve discussed, they already suffer from a major hindrance: shoppers haven’t shown much interest in your products (as compared to abandoned cart emails), making them less likely to be persuaded by your emails.

But if someone didn’t even make it past your homepage, they’re just not that interested in what you have to offer (at least, not at the current moment). Your emails are more likely than not to annoy them.

While Product Category abandoners have also shown an interest in a type of product you offer (and/or have a problem that your products can solve), they weren’t interested enough in any of the products you have to offer.

Again, our experience shows that these emails don’t convert nearly as well. And Smartmail’s data shows that they generate an average of only $0.61 and $1.71 per email sent respectively.

Bottom line: While you can experiment with them to see if you get better results, we don’t recommend them. So at the very least, start with Search & Product Abandonment emails, then incorporate the other two later.

As as email marketing company we at Inbox Army create revenue-boosting browse abandonment emails for our clients. If you want to discuss how we can create an effective browse abandonment email template for you (and help you achieve all your other email marketing goals), contact our team.

3 Keys To Successful Browse Abandonment Emails

While we’ll discuss more tactics later, the three primary tactics for creating successful browse abandonment emails include:

1) Focus On The Pain Point
Focus On The Pain Point

Your emails should hone in on the pain point(s) associated with the product(s) the shopper was browsing. For example, if the shopper was browsing memory foam mattresses, the browse abandonment email could focus on the difficulty of getting a good night’s sleep, back pain, insomnia, etc.

By focusing on the pain point and how your product solves it, you can remind shoppers why they were browsing in the first place and potentially convince them to convert.

Here is a browse abandonment email example from Hydro Flask which promotes insulated water bottle. It focuses on the pain point by:

  • Using copy that addresses the pain point — i.e. “Let us help you quench your thirst.”
  • Including a logo for their Tempshield Innovation, which keeps the liquid within hot or cold.

2) Offer An Incentive
Offer An Incentive

If you’ve read abandoned cart emails you’ll recall that we usually don’t offer a discount until the 2nd email in the series. That way, we can convert buyers who’re more interested without sacrificing revenue.

But since browse-abandoners have displayed less interest in your product, you need to sweeten the pot immediately.

Some browse abandoners may be super interested in your product, but something is holding them back from buying right now. Perhaps they don’t have enough money, or don’t want to spend the money right now.

Incentives change that calculus and force the shopper to weigh their objections against the temporary benefit. In other words, if they buy now they can save money, but if they wait they’ll have to spend more money. They now stand to lose more money by waiting than by acting immediately.

You can offer these magnets in your browse abandonment email:

  • A discount coupon
  • Free shipping
  • A BOGO deal of some sort

3) Handle Objections
Handle Objections

Other concerns may be holding shoppers back, and you should address them in your emails.

Perhaps they’re concerned with buyer’s remorse – i.e they worry that they’ll spend money on your product and, ultimately, be unhappy with their purchase. You can handle this objective by sharing your Return Policy.

Or they may be unaware of your shipping policy and be concerned that they’ll have to spend even more money on shipping. Handle that objection by sharing your free shipping policy.

In either case, you can increase conversions by addressing those objections in your email copy.

The above browse abandonment email example from Danner multiple objections by:

  • Telling shoppers they get free shipping.
  • Telling shoppers they get free returns and free return shipping.
  • Inviting shoppers to talk with a DOnner expert to help them find something they want.

More Browse Abandonment Email Tactics & Content

To really make your browse abandonment emails successful, you should implement these tactics that are proven to boost conversions.

Add Urgency

Again, since shoppers have displayed less interest in your product, you’ll need to push them a little harder to get conversions.

By creating urgency, you can capitalize on the shopper’s fear of missing out on a great product or deal.

The two ways to create urgency include:

  • Telling shoppers your products sell out fast.
  • Giving shoppers a limited time to take advantage of their discount.
    Charlotte Stone

The above browse abandonment email example from Charlotte Stone are: 

Email Copy

Pain Points & Benefits

Some businesses may not be able to do this, but we strongly recommend it if you can.

Create dynamic copy specific to each product that displays in the email.

The copy should target the pain points your product solves, and make a case for why it’s the best solution to their problems.

If you have many products, start by creating dynamic copy for your bestsellers only. Then work your way down.

Soften Your Approach

Since there’s a greater chance that customers may become annoyed by your emails, you need to soften your approach a bit (especially if you create urgency). If you sell too hard, customers will see you as greedy or pushy – as if you view them as just a source of revenue.

You can soften this by adding copy that positions your email as a convenience (rather than a hard pitch) and/or adding humor and levity.
Shinesty

The above browse abandonment email example from Shinesty softens their pitch by adding a humorous reference to the painting icon Bob Ross.

Share Bestsellers And/Or Related Product
bliss

While (especially Product-Page Abandonment Emails) should primarily focus on pitching one product in order to maximize conversions, you can also share bestsellers and related products at the bottom of your email.

Related products include products that complement the one the shopper was interested in (i.e. if they browsed a bed, you can share pillows and linens) or products that similar shoppers have also browsed. Based on their shopping behavior, the browse abandoner is likely to be interested in these products. And, since they’re popular with your other shoppers, bestsellers are also likely to grab their interest.

The point is, by sharing bestsellers and related products, you can:

  • Generate conversions for shoppers who aren’t interested in the main product.
  • Increase the order value by getting the shopper to buy more stuff.

Content Hierarchy

Content hierarchy describes several design tactics that are used to control an email recipient’s attention and make them focus on the most important parts of an email.

You should use content hierarchy tactics, first and foremost, to draw the recipient’s attention to the product you want them to buy — i.e. make the product bigger than everything else and put it in a dominant position.

Then use the other tactics to draw the readers focus towards other important elements, such as objection handlers, urgency-generating copy, incentives, etc.

There are many tactics you can use, but the most important are:

Size:

Make the most important content large enough to notice. In the Aerosoles email below, attention is immediately drawn to the text that says “they’re on sale” and the objection handler “free shipping on orders of $75 or more.”
Aerosoles

Position:

Put important content first or in the center of your email. In this Mavi email, the main product is bigger than everything else in the email and centrally positioned. Also notice how the the free shipping policy is placed at the top where it is sure to get noticed.
Mavi

Color:

Use contrasting colors in areas you want recipient’s to notice. The Kina & Tam email below uses contrast to draw attention to the “Take It Home” CTA box and the “Always Free Shipping” objection handler.
Kina & Tam

Separation:

Use whitespace, shapes, and other tactics to separate important content from the rest of the email. The Loeffler Randall email below leaves plenty of white space between the main product and the recommended products to ensure recipients notice it first and foremost. It also uses colored circles around each of the recommended products to help them stand out.
Loeffler Randall

When To Send Browse Abandonment Emails

Best to keep your browse abandonment sequence short, as the shopper has displayed less interest in your product than cart-abandoners. So you don’t want to annoy them.

Worse yet, you might push them to unsubscribe or discourage them from browsing your website for fear of the emails that will come.

Send the first email 1 hour after abandonment. This attempts to capitalize on the buy state. Catch them while they’re still hot.

Second a 2nd email 1-day after browse abandonment. Send exactly 24 hours after abandonment

If a shopper was browsing your website at 12pm, that likely means they generally have free time around then. Perhaps they were browsing during lunch.

By sending emails at that same time, you’re more likely to catch them when they have free time and are in a shopping mood. This results in more opens and conversions.

Do’s and Dont’s of Browse Abandonment Email

Before beginning, a great starting point is to try to view things from your customer’s perspectives and use empathy to determine what could be harmful or helpful for them. Of course, it can be tricky to set up universal rules that work for every business, but attempting to see the world from their perspective will make it much easier to craft an experience that customers enjoy.

It also has the added benefit of allowing businesses to connect with their buyers in an environment where they feel respected and acknowledged.

Things to refrain from:

1. Sending Too Many Mails

Email marketing can be a great way to engage customers and increase their loyalty. However, if you bombard them with too many emails, it could have the opposite effect.

For example, sending out several browse abandonment emails after a customer visits 20 products may annoy customers to the point of unsubscribing from your list. To accurately gauge the performance of your tactics and understand the consequences of excessive emails, simply count the number of unsubscriptions against the sum total of emails sent out.

To prevent customers from unsubscribing, consider implementing triggers and rules based on their browsing activity. For example, if a customer has perused an item five times, send them a browse abandonment email with exclusive discounts on that product. This will motivate them to take another look at the item and make a purchase.

2. Boring Emails

Spice up your emails to grab the attention of your audience. Utilize catchphrases, trending hashtags, and emoticons to convey your message in a fun and engaging way. Emojis in email subject lines could be the extra edge you need – a recent study shows that they increase open rates by 10 – 15%. Why not try something as simple as:

  • “We saw you checking us out 👀”
  • “Don’t miss out on this chance to get what you want! 🔥”
  • “We see you searching; let us help you find it! 🔍”
  • “Don’t forget to check us out again! 🤗”
  • “We have something special just for you! 🎁”

3. Using Alarming OR Hyper-Specific Language

Remind customers of the product they have been browsing subtly and effortlessly. Don’t give off the impression that you are trying too hard to “push” it on them. Using a light tone and catchy phrases can attract customers and encourage them to take another look, sparking the possibility of a sale. On the other hand, be tactful with your messages; no one likes feeling like they’re being aggressively marketed to!

For example, instead of:

“Don’t leave without buying this item!”

Try something like:

“We noticed you were checking out this product and thought you may find it useful!”

4. No Means of Communication For The Customers

Emailing customers shouldn’t be a quick process. It’s essential to craft an engaging message that builds trust and credibility with the customer. One way to do this is to include the contact info for your support team in your browse abandon emails.

Ask if the customer needs assistance deciding, and remind them that they can call or email with any questions. This type of customer assistance will help create a relationship of trust and reassure potential buyers that their inquiries aren’t going unanswered.

Things To Indulge In:

1. Timing the Emails Well

Allow your customers ample time to choose the right product – don’t rush it. Wait a couple of hours after their session ends before sending your first browse abandonment email. This gives them time to think and make a decision.

Then, wait one day before sending your second browse abandonment email, giving them adequate time to open and respond to the first email. This way, they won’t feel like you are being too pushy on the sale.

2. Casually Include A Discount In An Email’s Body.

Show your customers that their first purchase matters – give them something of value. For example, sort your browse abandonment emails and offer discounts or coupons to those who haven’t purchased yet. This could be the little push they need to make their first purchase from your website.

Whenever you send browse abandonment emails, don’t forget to include an expiry date for any discounts you offer. This will create a sense of urgency and prompt customers to purchase soon.

3. Address In Simple And Clear English

Make sure your message comes through loud and clear! A scannable, conversational email that is well-structured and easy to read goes a long way in connecting with your customers. Make sure to include brief sections of text alongside photos and product suggestions.

Your customers will thank you for sending out an email that reminds them what they were looking for – it’s a great way to show initiative and provide excellent customer service. A whopping 25% of customers love being reminded about their desired products!

4. Make The Email’s Purpose Apparent

Ensure you grab your customers’ attention with an abandoned cart email that includes a snapshot of the items they browsed and the prices. Make sure to include concise product descriptions – this will make it easier for customers to understand why they need this item and what sets it apart from similar offerings. Focus on highlighting the price, quality, and even social ideals your business is known for.

And don’t forget to emphasize important selling points like payment plans or various payment options – these can help remind customers of what they may have forgotten!

5. Add A Crystal-Clear CTA

Not only the contents of the mail but the CTA’s placement in the email, size, button design, color, and other factors all play a role in determining whether or not there will be a conversion. That’s why making your CTA stand out is essential, so shoppers don’t miss it.

Ideally, you should place the CTA at the top or bottom of the email, so customers can find it quickly and take action. Additionally, you should create a sense of urgency with your CTA by including phrases like “Shop Now,” “Get It Now,” or “Order Today.” These will remind customers that the offer is only available for a limited time.

6. Draft Innovative Templates

Don’t let your marketing efforts go to waste! Stop relying on the same templates for everyone, as they can’t guarantee a high conversion rate. Your potential customers are also very aware of messaging patterns – so why not take some time to craft content that will really grab their attention?

Think outside the box and come up with something unique. Interesting headlines and compelling content will urge people to engage with your offering. Ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to maximize your conversions!

7. Customize Your Emails Well

Make sure your browse abandoned cart emails are tailored to each customer. Whether addressing them by first name or customizing follow-up messages based on past behavior, personalization will make a huge difference!

Include relevant content and product recommendations that pique the customer’s interest – doing this increases the chance of a purchase. Ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to bring your customers closer to conversion!

Make sure your personalization efforts don’t cross the line! Too much can come off as overwhelming or even akin to stalking – and that’s definitely not what you want.

Watch for potential complaints, and ensure you always strive to create a positive customer experience. Find the right balance between directness and approachability in your language, which will help boost purchase intent. Be careful not to take it too far!

8. Include Social Proof

Reviews and images can be powerful proof that encourages first-time shoppers to complete a purchase. Show off your authority and build trust with specific endorsements in your emails. Reviewing the product they visited will boost the customer’s confidence in you.

And don’t forget to highlight user-generated content from social media – it often leads to conversions! Create a positive customer experience by focusing on convincing proof, which will help to foster purchasing intention.

Reclaim Lost Revenue With Browse Abandonment Emails

You now know what types of brows emails you need to create and how to optimize them so they generate maximal revenue. It’s time to put your email automation into action.

Start by identifying which of your products generate the most revenue. Then use the tactics above to create and test for them. At Inbox Army, we create revenue-boosting browse emails for our clients. If you want to discuss how we can create an effective browse abandonment email template for you (and help you achieve all your other email marketing goals), contact our team

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies. For more information follow him on linkedin

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