It never feels good when someone visits your site and then leaves before making a purchase, especially when they’ve been viewing some of your products. Stings a little, doesn't it? They obviously have some level of interest in your products, especially if they have visited and viewed items multiple times.
These potential customers are like digital window shoppers since they never added an item to their cart. Luckily, there’s an automated marketing campaign you can use to lure them back to your site — and we’ve got plenty of browse abandonment examples to give you ideas on how to create yours, don't worry.
While cart abandonment normally gets marketers' attention, there’s a lot you can (and should) do to win back shoppers who have looked at your products. Even though they haven’t added anything to their cart, there’s obviously some interest if they are looking at the items.
Sure, there’s going to be a lower conversion rate for browse abandonment visitors compared to cart abandonment visitors, considering they are a step behind those users. However, the pool of browse abandonment is much larger because more people view your products, compared to the smaller number who actually add items to their cart. And you don’t want to miss out on any of them.
With the right tools, you can track which pages they viewed so you can send them automated emails specifically tailored to the types of product categories they are most interested in.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What are browse abandonment emails?
- Why send browse abandonment emails?
- Browse abandonment best practices
- Browse abandonment examples (with photos)
- How to collect anonymous email addresses
Ready to round out your retention marketing strategy and start bringing back your lost potential customers? Then let’s jump right in!
What are browse abandonment emails?
Simply put, browse abandonment is when:
- Someone visits your website, views a product or category, and leaves without adding any items to their cart.
That’s why, so often, this practice is referred to as window shopping. However, don’t confuse browse abandonment with cart abandonment, since those are two different stages.
Whereas cart abandonment is as close as someone can get to making a purchase without actually doing so, browse abandonment is a step behind that. However, it’s just as important to engage these site visitors because they have some level of interest in what you’re offering.
Why send browse abandonment emails?
This type of marketing campaign checks off several email best practices: It provides targeted content at just the right time to an audience that has shown interest in your products or services (when done correctly, that is).
You aren’t sending out a bulk email about your products, hoping one of your subscribers is interested in something in the campaign. No, you’re sending a personalized message based on an action they made at just the right moment (preferably within 30 minutes to an hour of when they visited your site). Those are the ingredients for an engaging campaign that can bring you serious ROI. Do we have your attention now?
These emails help keep your visitors involved with the product and tempt them to go back to your site to see more (or revisit what they already looked at).
We’ve shared these statistics before, but just consider this:
- 97 percent of first-time users leave an e-commerce store without making a purchase
- 85 percent of those users never add anything to their cart
- 42 percent of revenue is generated from browse abandonment campaigns
The numbers don’t lie. So, if you aren’t already implementing browse abandonment emails into your email marketing strategy, now is the time to start.
Browse abandonment best practices
There are a few ways to structure your browse abandonment emails, so we suggest testing them out to see which ones bring you the best results:
- Include the exact product(s) they viewed
- Recommend the top products in the category they looked at (ex. “If you liked that, you’ll like this”)
- Suggest “frequently purchased together” items
Or if you want to really go for it, combine a variety of these methods into one email campaign.
Helping you get that message across are these different email marketing components and browse abandonment examples.
Crafting the perfect subject line
Before they open your email for the main messaging, you first need to catch their attention with the subject line. Here are a few browse abandonment subject line examples to use:
- We saw you checking us out
- Recommended just for you
- Take a second look
- Did you see something you liked?
- We saw you peeping…
You can personalize the subject line to stand out even more, like including their name and/or the product:
- [NAME], your [PRODUCT] is waiting!
Get them back to your site
Once they are inside your email, everything (from the content to the CTA) needs to be about getting them back to your site to check out your products. So, make sure your browse abandonment emails:
- Remind them about the category they were looking at on your site so you can get them back into purchasing mode.
- Make it easy for them to find the most popular products on your site.
Since they didn’t add the item to their cart, they might not have been sold on the items they were looking at. Showing them other options — especially ones you know other customers like — helps them see what else is available.
Browse abandonment emails aren’t too different from the ones you’d send when someone abandons their cart. Instead of letting the shopper know they left something in their cart, you can say things like “we saw you looking,” “we noticed you browsing our site,” or “we thought you’d enjoy this.” That lets them know why you’re emailing them and also that this message is targeted specifically for them.
When to suppress
Just like you would suppress your email lists in Retention.com to keep from paying for contacts you already have, you’ll also want to use suppression with your browse abandonment campaigns. For example, if someone views 20 different product categories, you don’t want to hit them with 20 different email campaigns at once. No one cares that much about your products.
Use your autoresponder campaign and suppression to:
- Block them from receiving too many campaigns.
- Stop them from getting a browse abandonment email for that item if they later convert.
- Don’t send a browse abandonment campaign to someone who has engaged (opened or clicked) with a previous campaign.
For example, if they’ve opened a browse abandonment campaign in the past 60 days, don’t send them another one. Or, if they’ve made a purchase in the past month, you can suppress their email address, too.
Your campaigns are trying to reach people who looked and left, not ones who have already engaged or converted recently. And you can use suppression to keep from sending those people too many messages.
11 browse abandonment examples
Need a little inspiration for your next campaign but not sure where to start? We’ve put together 11 browse abandonment examples to get those creative marketing juices flowing. See how different brands handle their browse abandonment emails, from their subject lines down to their content and images.
1. American Giant
- Subject line: Did you see something you liked?
Simple and straight to the point is a great tactic for browse abandonment emails, which is exactly what American Giant did with this email campaign. It features the product they viewed with a brief paragraph of text.
We like how they say, “You haven’t checked out yet,” even though the item was never in their cart. It’s also clear why the person is receiving this email, another plus.
2. Public Rec
- Subject line: You forgot something
Do you know what the No. 1 hurdle is for shoppers and what keeps them from making a purchase? Shipping costs. That’s why this browse abandonment example from Public Rec perfectly addresses a pain point that just might get the shopper back to their site. After reminding them to take another look, their email says, “Enjoy free shipping and free returns on all orders.”
That’s followed by an image, price, and CTA for the product they viewed. If the reason they left before making a purchase had to do with shipping costs, you’ve just won them back over.
- Subject line: Did you forget something?
In the bottom part of this email, MCM used the technique of showing similar products within the same category as the item the visitors viewed. They titled this section, “You may also enjoy,” followed by three products with links to view each item.
Three is a popular choice for how many products to show. It’s enough to give them some variety, but it doesn’t overwhelm them with options.
We like how they include photos of different products with individual links. However, we’d like to see prices for the different items included. The more information, the better.
- Subject line: [NAME], the journey to London Kings Cross won’t be the same without you
If your site requires users to search for specifics — like with travel sites — do them a favor and save their searches, like London North Eastern Railways. And then send them a browse abandonment email letting them know you saved them.
Just like shipping costs can be a major roadblock for e-commerce sites, having to look up (and remember) dates, routes, and other information can keep people from going back to your site to complete their purchase. Anytime you can make the buying process easier, do it.
- Subject line: Open to see the new price
What better way to get a shopper to open your email than by using a subject line that tells them of a specific payoff they’ll receive? That’s exactly what UNIQLO does in this campaign. Not only does this email example remind them of an item they viewed, but it also gives the shopper an added incentive to go back because now that item is available at a lower price. Everyone loves a discount!
- Subject line: Your DNA kit is waiting for you
This email from 23andMe gets right to the point from the minute they see the subject line (because isn’t that the point?). They put the product name in the email subject line so the shopper knows exactly what the email is about and what they browsed.
In the email body, the company explains why the person needs the kit and gives them a simple CTA to click to go back to the product.
- Subject line: Don’t get left in the dust
We’re getting some serious FOMO vibes from this ASICS subject line. Once viewers open the email, they’re shown the main product they viewed, along with other popular options they might be interested in. It’s a classic approach that works, which is why so many brands use it.
You’ll notice that in addition to showing other shoes, the brand also includes a pair of shorts. Those might not be in the same category as shoes, but they go together and could be a great up-sell item. So, see which products and categories pair well together to determine if there are ways to incorporate this tactic in your emails.
- Subject line: Take another look
We like the use of the text on the images in this Worx email, along with the header, “Take another look.” It’s simple, eye-catching, and gets the job done.
In addition to the product the shopper viewed, the email also includes “we think you’ll like these” products, too. As you can probably tell, showing related products is a popular technique with browse abandonment emails.
- Subject line: We want you back
Also popular for re-engagement campaigns, this subject line works for browse abandonment examples, as well. PacSun’s email goes with a simple email header — “Still interested?” — followed by showing the product image, description, original price, the markdown price, and a CTA to “Buy now.”
The email also includes a menu bar if the subscriber wants to check out any of their other products or categories.
- Subject line: Everything cool with your transaction?
Who said email marketing had to be boring? (Not us, that’s for sure!) Bonobos gives their shoppers something to smile at to get them back to their website. I mean, who doesn’t love seeing someone in a chicken costume?
Getting distracted is a major cause of both cart and browse abandonment, so use that in your campaign. The reader might think, “Oh yea, I did forget about that product. I’ll go check it out now.”
You aren’t confined to only including product photos in these emails, so get creative!
11. Dot & Bo
- Subject line: Psst...You left something behind!
Create some urgency with your campaign, like in this browse abandonment example from Dot & Bo. This email has it all. From telling them the item is still available and showing the markdown to giving them other recommended products, it’s a shopper’s dream come true. OK, that might be taking it a bit far, but this example does give the consumer plenty of reasons to head back to their site — and that’s what you’re after.
Below all of that marketing goodness, the email also includes the brand’s most recent sale collections. Sure, that category might not be related to the one they originally viewed. However, it’s timely and shows them how they can find discounted items. We haven’t seen this type of approach in many browse abandonment emails, but we love it.
Start engaging browse abandonment visitors
Before you create and send automated emails to these delinquents — uh, I mean browse abandonment visitors — you need to first know who they are and what products or categories they’ve viewed. That’s where Retention.com can help.
We identify up to 35 percent of your anonymous traffic, so you’re able to collect email addresses for people who aren’t on your lists. Using our integrations with dozens of ESPs, those emails will trigger your automated browse abandonment email campaign. Pretty sweet email-based retargeting, eh?
Once you create your email campaigns, automation journey, and how you’re going to collect their email addresses and pages viewed, you’re off to the races to bring back those browse abandonment visitors. See how you can incorporate the ideas from these browse abandonment examples into your next campaign!
Ready to learn more?