How many times per week do you click around a brand’s website and then leave without making a purchase or even putting anything into your cart? How many times do you think, “I’ll come back to this later,” and then forget to return?


Marketers call this “browse abandonment,” and it happens quite often. It also offers a major opportunity for online retailers. According to Salesforce's 2016 State of Marketing report: 

  • 79% of marketers who use email say that it directly drives ROI, and 80% agree it is a core part of their business.

  • Additionally, 75% of marketers rate browse retargeting email campaigns as effective or very effective.


These marketers and businesses have discovered that targeting, re-engaging, and enticing these visitors with email holds a wealth of untapped potential. If you’re holding out on including browse retargeting in your email strategy, then you could be missing out on key opportunities to boost conversions.

First, though, what is browse abandonment?


Browse abandonment refers to a consumer on your site who views products then leaves. It’s similar to shopping cart abandonment (when a consumer places an item in their digital shopping cart, then leaves before making a purchase) except that it happens even earlier in the shopper experience.


So, what is a browse abandonment email, then?


Most people who visit your website are going to leave without putting anything in their cart, much less making a purchase. In addition to retargeting ads, browse abandonment emails are aimed at bringing these consumers back to your website and re-engaging them with your brand.


How do you build a browse abandonment email?


1. Take advantage of email personalization...

Don't forget the basics of email marketing. For example, address the email to the sender by name. Also, and importantly, include a snapshot of the products they viewed the most frequently or for the longest amount of time.


2. …but not too much personalization

While most consumers are willing to share some of their personal information in exchange for a personalized experience, most do not like to be reminded of it. For example, a subject line that says, “Shopping for birdbaths? Check out these.” is helpful. Something like, “We see you’re shopping for a birdbath? Do you still like this one?” is unsettling for many consumers.


3. Be an inspiration

A major reason for browse abandonment is that consumers haven’t found what they’re looking for. In addition to showing them one or two products you know they’ve already looked at, include a handful of similar or complementary product recommendations.


4. Strike the right tone

One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning a browse abandonment email is that the goal is never to make an immediate sale. It is to guide consumers back to your website. So don’t be too pushy or overly sales-y.


An effective browse abandonment email will remind your customer why they were shopping on your site in the first place and encourage them to return and continue their search while engaging with your brand. Find out how Email Studio can help you build personalized email journeys for your customers, and discover more email design tips and best practices with the Email Design Toolkit.