How to Transform Your E-commerce Business with This Type of Email

Did you know that more than 95% of visitors leave your website without making a purchase?

According to Oracle’s whitepaper, 4 Steps to Convert the Online Window Shopper, the global e-commerce conversion rate is only 2.59%.

Even so, many retailers resist the automation of browse recovery emails (emails that retarget people who’ve browsed your site but didn’t put anything in their cart) because they worry about the following 4 things:

  1. How will consumers react to emails created from an online shopping session?
  2. Will consumers view these emails as intrusive?
  3. Will they increase unsubscribe rates?
  4. Do automated browse recovery emails even work?

In answer to these questions, check out the following statistics from Fresh Relevance:

  • For every $1 million in turnover, $150k was recovered by people doing cart abandonment, browse abandonment and personalization emails
  • $33K of that $150K was recovered through browse abandonment emails

Read on to see more reasons why you should use browse abandonment recovery emails and how you can use them to transform your e-commerce business:

Why You Should Use Browse Abandonment Emails

Many businesses use retargeting ads on Facebook, and other social media channels, hoping to bring customers back to complete their purchases.

But while retargeting advertising certainly holds an important position in the marketing mix, using browse abandonment emails is a far more cost-effective strategy that is being neglected.

These emails feature the category or products that shoppers looked at and are sent shortly after they leave a site. They are specifically aimed at getting the recipient to take another look and nudge them to buy. Although similar to abandoned cart emails, browse recovery emails reach a far larger audience. Plus, they can be sent at the very beginning of the customer journey to turn casual browsing into buying.

Another great thing is that through behavioral targeting technology, you can track what shoppers have browsed for or clicked on, then recapture their attention and interest with a timely message featuring the very products they’ve just looked at.

This way, you’re helping consumers with the research phase of their buyer journey and moving them closer to a purchase.

Be Choosy Who You Send Browse Abandonment Emails To

Don’t send browse abandonment emails out to everyone, every time. To avoid bombarding and annoying recipients, be sure to retarget the people who are most likely to move on from browsing to buying.

These people might:

  • Visit your site multiple times
  • Log a certain length of time on your site
  • Browse several products in a specific category
  • Spend a longer amount of time on a specific product page
  • Look for products on your website using your on-site search tool
  • Be high-value consumers likely to buy again

Alternatively, you might choose your own set of criteria–rules you think would reasonably justify triggering a browse abandonment email.

When to Send Out Your Browse Abandonment Emails

Sooner than later is generally best since people’s interest will dwindle over time. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that they’ll start looking elsewhere…maybe even checking out your competitors!

Make a habit of contacting browsers within 24 hours of them leaving your site. You might consider sending them 20 minutes after, at lunchtime, or in the evening, when there’s a better chance that they’ll be online. Create more than one email and run simple A/B tests to see which one gets the most engagement.

Browse abandonment emails can be used as an ongoing email campaign. Feel free to send a follow-up if you don’t get a response, but take care not to pester people. If they don’t show interest after the follow-up email, it’s time to move on to more promising browsers.

There’s no need to restrict the browse abandonment content to one campaign. You can actually feature their recent browsing history in newsletters or on a personalized homepage, suggests Pure 360. When you include relevant suggestions based on their recent browsing behavior, it will help you boost conversions.

Content to Include in Your Browse Abandonment Campaigns

Your browse recovery emails should feature the products people looked at and clicked on in order to recapture their interest. The more relevant your browse abandonment emails are, the more effective they will be.

Don’t include everything they’ve browsed—you don’t want to overwhelm them. Instead, focus on what they looked at most recently or the products and/or categories they spent the longest on.

Image Source: Pure 360

Other options include prioritizing products that have a high conversion rate—like bestsellers—or sending an email when stock levels are running low. You could also highlight recently browsed items that were out of stock but are now available again.

These emails can be sent to people you have email addresses for and permission to market to. They are easily executed through behavioral targeting technology. Once you’ve set your browse abandonment campaign up, the emails will be automatically sent without you having to manage them on a regular basis.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t improvements you can always be making. For example, it’s a good idea to check the performance of your browse abandonment campaigns through A/B testing. That way, you’ll be able to better understand what methods are the most effective.


Through behavioral targeting technology, you can personalize browse abandonment emails and bring casual “window shoppers” back to your e-commerce site before they lose interest or move on to competitor websites.

“Abandonment emails are a timely, relevant and engaging way of connecting with potential customers instantly,” says Pure 360. “And by doing so you can start pushing them gently down the path-to-purchase.”

Browse recovery emails are an effective way to make your site stickier, helping to generate more traffic and build relationships with browsers.

Find out how retailers like you are saving time and making money with the Rain POS system. POS, E-commerce, and Marketing all in one.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.