Anytime you can re-engage an online shopper that’s already interacted with your site is a win because you know they have at least some interest in your products. No cold calls there. One great way to re-engage them is by creating and sending browse abandonment templates.
A browse abandonment email can remind them of all of the amazing products on your site that they have already viewed and how they’re missing out if they don’t click through to go back. You don’t want to miss out on this online segment of browse abandonment shoppers because it’s quite large — and can bring you some serious ROI if you properly engage them. Just consider these stats:
- 97 percent of first-time users leave an ecommerce 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 (that’s the most exciting one!)
Ready to bring these browsers back to your site so they can convert? That’s what we’re here to help you with. In this guide, we’ll explain:
- What browse abandonment is
- The difference between browse abandonment and cart abandonment
- Browse abandonment email best practices
- Browse abandonment templates
- How to start collecting browse abandonment contacts
Let’s jump right into what browse abandonment is (and isn’t).
What is browse abandonment?
Before you can try to re-engage these online shoppers, you need to understand exactly what we mean by browse abandonment:
- Browse abandonment is when a visitor lands on your website, views a product or category, and leaves without adding any items to their cart (and thus, not making a purchase either).
They may have viewed one product, several items in a specific product category, or their views could be all over the place. Their behavior and views will dictate the type of campaign you send them, along with any other data you have on them (ex. past purchase history). But to make sure you really understand browse abandonment, we’ll explain how it’s different from cart abandonment since these two can often be confused.
Browse abandonment vs. abandoned cart
It’s easy to confuse browse and cart abandonments since they both involve online shoppers leaving before they make a purchase. However, the difference between the two is that:
- Someone who commits browse abandonment never adds the items they viewed to their cart.
- Whereas, a cart abandonment is when a shopper adds items to their cart and leaves before making a purchase.
So, someone who abandons their cart is one step closer to making a purchase compared to someone who browsed your site and left. Your cart abandonment email strategy would be focused on getting them back to their cart and the specific products they left behind, while a browse abandonment email is more about reminding them of what they viewed.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to engage these browsers just the same, even though there are no items currently in their cart. You just need to use a different approach with your messaging and focus so you can get them to add those items.
These browsing online shoppers obviously have some level of interest in your products and brands, so they are way more than a cold lead. You want to make the most of their interest by engaging them right away. And how can you do that, you ask?
- You send them a browse abandonment email, of course.
Browse abandonment best practices
The goal of your browse abandonment email templates is to catch the shopper’s attention and make them want to go back to your site and purchase the items they viewed. In addition to the normal email marketing best practices, here are a few techniques specific to browse abandonment that you’ll want to follow.
Email subject lines
The subject line is the first thing they’re going to see, so make sure it engages them and earns your email the open. There are a variety of approaches you can use with browse abandonment subject lines, but here are a few popular ones to take with your next email:
- Tell them you saw them looking at your products: “We saw you checking us out” or “We noticed you noticing something pretty great”
- Share a recommendation: “Recommended just for you” or “We know you’ll like this”
- Get really specific: “[FNAME], your [PRODUCT] is waiting!”
These can be similar to cart abandonment email subject lines, but of course, you wouldn’t say they left something in their cart or anything like that. You would use words more like “viewed,” “saw,” or “looked.”
Here are more tips on crafting the perfect subject line for all of your email marketing:
From your subject lines to the header text in your email, you want to create a sense of urgency to get the shopper back to your site. Because if they don’t see any reason to head back to your site right away, they most likely won’t remember to later. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.
You can create urgency by offering them a discount on the product that only lasts for a few days, or let them know there’s a limited supply. Some sites will even tell the shopper how many people have the product in their cart or have viewed it recently. You’ll see that a lot on travel sites, especially.
You want the shopper to know you’re emailing them because they browsed your site. If you don’t tell them why you’re emailing them, you’re simply sending a promotional email. Or, they could think it’s spam if it doesn’t specifically apply to them.
Remind them by keeping the focus on the product they viewed, and give them a clear CTA that will take them back to it.
Simple really is the name of the game when it comes to browse abandonment templates. If your design is too cluttered, your audience will probably hit delete and move on to one of the dozens of other messages in their inbox. You have a limited amount of time (and space) to make an impression, so make it a good one.
A good technique is to make the product they viewed the main attraction, placing the image, description, and CTA to get back to it near the top of the email below your logo or related header image. If there’s more than one product they viewed, use the one that they spent the most time on — or pick one as the main image and include the others at the bottom.
The idea behind showcasing the product is that if they were once interested in it, they are more likely to return to see it again, compared to a random promotional product.
Like we mentioned, showing the shopper recommended products is another good tactic for luring them back to your site. The idea behind this technique is that the customer browsed your site but didn’t want the specific item they viewed.
So, you’re offering them products that are similar or related to the browsed item, in case they would prefer a different look, style, feature, or price point. It still provides value, even though it isn’t the exact item they originally looked at.
To pull off this method, you’ll need to make sure all of your products are correctly categorized and tagged so your automated emails are able to pull from the correct batch of items when addressing customers. Yes, this does take more work on the back end, but it can be really successful when done right.
The “recommended” approach only works if the items are actually something they would be interested in and closely related to the original item. You wouldn’t send them information on a men’s jacket if they originally viewed dog treats. (Unless it’s some really large dog that’s into wearing human clothes or something. We won’t judge.)
Check before sending
Did the online shopper spend a minute on the product page, or did they view it for two seconds? The answer will determine whether or not you email them. Sometimes visitors accidentally click a link when they meant to view another product. So, if they only spend a second or two on the page, there’s no reason to email them about it. Chances are, they won’t even recognize the product anyway.
If they received a browse abandonment email last week for a different product, it’s probably too soon to send them another one for the latest item they viewed. Sending too often can make your email marketing campaigns look like sales materials (not a good thing), and they could start ignoring your messages. Or worse, they could send them to the dreaded spam folder.
Browse abandonment email templates
Now comes what you’ve been waiting for: the list of browse abandoned email templates. These emails are ones brands have sent out, but they give you an idea of what works.
Of course, you’ll want to create a template that fits your branding and voice, but these five browse abandonment email templates can give you ideas to get you started.
Minimal text and images do the trick in this J.Crew browse abandonment email template. The header text, “Like it? (We had a hunch.),” is to the point and engaging — the definition of short and sweet.
Instead of featuring one product, they include a CTA to the product category, “Knits & Tees,” along with a related photo. In case they aren’t that interested in the original category, J.Crew also includes links to three other categories: pants, shirts & tops, jewelry.
The U.K. brand Debenhams leads with header text that will make you want to sing: “Is it me you’re looking for?” They follow that with text that tells the reader exactly why they are receiving this email: “We noticed you’ve been looking at these items recently and don’t want you to miss out. Here they are again so you can add them to your shopping bag.”
We like how they include the product photo, description, and “View now” CTA that will take them straight back to that product. There are links to the brand’s different departments at the top of the message, as well, in case they would rather check out one of those.
This email also addresses common questions or pain points that could have kept them from completing a purchase initially:
- “We now deliver 7 days a week”
- “Free next day click & collect”
- “Plus fuss-free returns”
If shipping or returns were a concern, now this shopper knows the brand’s policies and can move forward with a purchase.
Another U.K.-based company, ASOS does a great job with this browse abandonment email template. The header text, “Oh hello again,” gives the shopper a glimpse into why they’re receiving this email, and the body text fills in the gaps: “Sure, first impressions count, but second impressions are what really matter. Take another look at the styles you were checking out earlier.”
They then include the product photos, descriptions, and prices below so they can click whichever one they’re most interested in. And if all of those options aren’t enough, they can also click the CTA, “See what’s trending,” to see what else the brand has to offer. At the bottom of the email, they also include that they offer free delivery.
Not only does Hot Chocolat mention that the shopper viewed products on their page in this email — “We noticed you recently viewed our website” — but they also phrase the wording like they are doing them a favor by letting them know — “Here is a reminder of what you liked.” We love that approach because it’s not too pushy, and it provides value for the shopper.
Though the main header image isn’t the product they viewed, it does a good job of representing the brand. Then, the browsed product is just below with a photo, description, and price, which we always like to see used in browse abandonment templates.
This email example is longer than the other ones we’ve featured so far, showcasing holiday products, things they might like, and social media photos.
Although, we feel like they could have played off of their products a little more with something like, “Did you smell something sweet?” We do love a good pun.
Who could say no to this adorable pup on VetRXDirect’s browse abandonment email? Definite cute points for this one. They follow that image with, “At your bark and call,” which is a perfect complement to the dog photo. Then, they get to the point, “We heard you dropped by but didn’t stay.”
The brand also puts a way for the shopper to contact their team if they have any questions, which can be a great way to win them back if the reason they didn’t purchase was because of an issue or question.
From there, they include the products they viewed, and they use a clever CTA:
- “Add to cart”
That makes the shopper’s job easier and gets them even closer to converting. We also like how they tell their shipping policy and include a customer review on the company. And of course, we love the furry friends at the bottom, too.
To build customer trust with the brand, they show their verification information at the bottom of the email, as well. This email is a great example of staying true to your brand and voice, while also getting to the point that the shopper left the site before making a purchase.
How do you identify site browsers?
You’ve designed the perfect browse abandonment template, so now you need to know who to send it to. Using cookies to identify and track your current subscribers is a great option. But, what about the anonymous traffic that visits your site but never converts? That’s where Retention.com can help.
You place our snippet script on the pages you want to collect contacts, and we can identify up to 35 percent of your anonymous traffic you would otherwise lose out on. And yes, Retention.com is compliant with the U.S.’s CAN-SPAM Act.
Want to learn more? Check out this video for more details on what Retention.com can do for your email lists:
Building a browse abandonment email template
Depending on the ESP you use for email marketing, there may be templates already designed that are meant for browse abandonment emails (or you can tweak a cart abandonment email). You can also build an email with your ESP’s design tools.
However you create the email, make sure the message:
- Tells the shopper why you’re emailing them (because they browsed and left)
- Lets them know what products they viewed so they can go back and check them out again (and hopefully make the purchase this time).
If you make that the focus of your browse abandonment template, you’ll have a solid foundation for re-engaging the shopper.