How to Boost Sales with Browse Abandonment Emails

What is Browse Abandonment?

Browse abandonment emails are used to retarget consumers who navigate through your site but leave before putting anything in their carts.

Browse abandonment is a powerful tool that tracks real-time customer behavior in order to gauge the intent of each visitor. If a customer demonstrates enough interest, a subsequent reminder/offer can help bring them back into the fold.

When viewers navigate through certain category or product pages, browse abandonment autonomously deploys personalized email messages specially designed to drive them further down the funnel towards the ultimate goal – a sale.

However, in order to successfully deploy a browse abandonment campaign, it must be implemented the right way. Improper timing, frequency, and types of messaging can easily have the opposite effect and turn off potential buyers altogether.

How Does Browse Abandonment Work?

When a person visits your website, a range of factors (typically best determined through the use of Predictive Marketing Automation) – including dwell time and the number of times a product or category was viewed – are used to identify the items with the highest rate of intent to buy.

All of this data is compiled to generate an email displaying an image and description of the viewed product(s), along with a Call To Action (CTA) link to the product or category landing page. From there, all the recipient has to do is click the button and be one step away from checking out and making their purchase.

What are the Benefits of Using Browse Abandonment?

Although browse abandonment campaigns tend to have lower conversion rates than cart abandonment campaigns, they offer the opportunity to reach much larger groups of people at once.

They also help you focus more closely on what is going on higher up in your marketing funnel, giving you a better understanding of the behavioral tendencies of your overall customer base. The knowledge you gain from here can help inform your strategies and messaging tactics at all levels.

Plus, even if your recipients don’t actually wind up making the intended purchase, it’s still a great way to entice them to come back to your site. The longer they stay online, the greater the odds that they will wind up buying – just like in physical stores.

When is the Best Time to Send Browse Abandonment Emails?

Setting the right time and cadence for browse abandonment emails is crucial to the success of any campaign.

Certain standards that qualify customers for this type of messaging should also be firmly established. Namely, set the criteria for what constitutes true signals of purchase intent. These include:

  • Checking out a single item multiple times.
  • Viewing assorted items in one category.
  • Using your site’s search engine to jump to a specified product or category.
  • Clicking on a product suggestion from another email or message.

Browse abandonment emails should not be sent too long after someone leaves your website. Typically, your first email should be sent within an hour or two after they leave your site, with 24 hours afterward being the maximum.

How Often Do I Send Browse Abandonment Emails?

Aligning the level of interest to email frequency can literally make or break the success of any campaign.

The goal is to reach your subscribers without barraging them with superfluous messaging or trying to accomplish too much. Keep in mind that they only browsed a product, and are still higher up in the funnel than someone who actually put an item in their cart.

No customer should receive more than one (possibly two, but be careful) browse abandonment emails within a 48 hour period. Even if they browsed 5 different categories, it would be excessive to flood their inbox and send reminders for each one.

In turn, establish triggers and a set of firm standards for both the timing and cadence of your messaging. Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience, but you also don’t want to miss their purchase windows.

Browse Abandonment Email Examples

Design, Tone, & Subject Matter

Since just browsing for an item alone is not a substantial indicator of intent to purchase, maintain close awareness of your tone when addressing each browser. Just like a store employee asking if you need help finding anything, keep the dialogue light, unassuming, and informal.

The example above checks off a number of key content rules to follow. It has a clear, image-dominant layout with an accessible call to action that plainly states your objective without being overpowering.

In addition, be sure to include a personalized header with the customer’s name and an image of the product (or type of product) they were viewing.

We also highly recommend A/B testing different subject lines and forms of messaging to determine what works best for your target audience.

Product Recommendations

There is a wide range of possible reasons why people stop browsing. While some weren’t ready to buy in the first place, others may not have actually found the right item they were looking for.

If the browser is still thinking of buying the original item they were viewing, they still have that option. However, a browse abandonment email is also a great opportunity to showcase alternative (or additional – known as cross-selling) personalized recommendations within the same product category.

We also suggest adding star ratings next to recommended products. Most shoppers take ratings into high consideration when contemplating purchases, so feel free to showcase when other customers were satisfied with their own purchases. This is known as “social proof,” which can be incredibly powerful.

Discount Offers

An appropriate, well-placed discount can be the determining factor that convinces a browser to take the next step and actually buy.

When you offer free shipping and returns, shoppers are more inclined to give the product a try. Even if the price did not initially play a role in their decision to bounce off your page, a markdown can incentivize certain customer segments and increase their odds of buying.

Don’t be afraid to add a sense of urgency as well. For instance, you can make a popular discount expire within the next 24 hours, or highlight certain items that are running low in stock.


Browse abandonment can play a key role in any conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy, leading to greater sales, customer engagement, and revenue.

The more you analyze and understand your audience’s behaviors, the better you will get at knowing when and how to guide them further down your marketing funnel.

Whether it’s a subscriber you want to help make their first purchase, a one-time buyer you want to push towards the second sale, or a high value buyer who has visited your site but has not bought in an extended time period, browse abandonment emails can maximize the value of each customer while keeping them engaged with your brand.