When considering all of the different pieces of the eCommerce marketing stack, an abandoned cart campaign is an absolute necessity for online retailers. However, it only allows you to remarket to the 10% of shoppers that actually add something to the shopping cart.

But what about the other 90% that didn’t actually click the “Add to Cart” button, but might still want to purchase from you?

A browse abandonment email campaign might just be the thing that turns that window shopper into a new customer for life. You can give your shoppers a friendly reminder of the items they were looking at, show them other items they may be interested in, send them an incentive to return, or just drop a note to say “Thanks for stopping by!” (and not be creepy about it).

Browse abandonment email campaigns can get a bad wrap through, thanks to the retailers out there that don’t quite abide by the “Don’t Be Creepy” laws of email remarketing. So, before we get into why they’re awesome, let’s bust a few browse abandonment myths:

Myth #1: Browse Abandonment emails will upset my customers and keep them from returning

Let’s be honest…. No one likes finding out they’ve been “watched”. If you went grocery shopping at Walmart, decided not to check out, and then got a phone call from Walmart when you got home saying “Hey, I noticed you looked at cereal, potato chips, beer & edamame hummus dip.” you would be a little freaked out.

The fact is that, while this myth isn’t always a myth (thanks a lot to the “browse abusers” out there), it’s not even close to true when you use the strategies we’ll discuss in this article.

Myth #2: Browse Abandonment Email Campaigns won’t work for me, since my customers don’t enter an email address until the cart page

If you’re using a basic abandoned cart tool or plugin, this may be true for you. However, if you are marketing like it’s 2017 (and not 2012), you know that there are tools that allow you to capture email addresses anywhere on your site to send remarketing emails. More on this to come…

Myth #3: I’m worried about the legality of browse abandonment emails

Don’t be. Browse abandonment email falls under a category that is not strictly controlled by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. This is because the contents are specific to one transaction (the abandoned site visit) or a previously formed relationship between the company and shopper.


So now that we’ve got those out of the way, let’s look at 9 ways for you to maximize your browse abandonment email results.

1. Use popups, forms & livechat to capture emails site-wide

Unlike an abandoned cart campaign, you won’t be capturing any browse abandonment email addresses from the checkout page. So it’s important to be creative when deciding the best way to generate leads from window shoppers.

Be sure to choose a provider that doesn’t require a shopper to be logged into their account to send remarketing emails, and also one that can capture emails anywhere on your site (not just the checkout page) in real-time.

Once you have an email provider that monitors your entire site for emails, tools like Sumo (which integrates with LemonStand directly) & Optin Monster will be your new best friend. You can set anything from a newsletter subscription popup to an exit intent popup that is triggered once your shoppers start to leave the site.

Popup Browse Abandonment

If you can make these popups & offers enticing enough to get an email address, you’ll start to generate leads that you can use in both your browse abandonment email campaigns, and even continue to follow up with in the future (for those shoppers that aren’t ready to buy now, but might be in a few months).

Live chat tools offer you a way to increase your initial conversion on page by giving your visitors a way to ask the questions that could be keeping them from making a purchase. But you can also use this tool to capture emails for your browse & cart abandonment campaigns as well.

According to Inc.com, 44% of online consumers say that having access to a live person during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. Since this feature is so highly valued and used, it’s safe to say that you’ll not only increase your site conversion and reduce abandonment, but you’ll also capture a substantial number of leads for your browse abandonment email campaigns.

2. Include product & category information in the reminder email

While you don’t want to necessarily show your shoppers every single item they viewed while on your site, you do want to remind them of the products they spent the most time viewing, and even the categories they viewed.

PacSun Browse Abandonment Email

Be sure to include information on your products as well. Since these shoppers don’t have quite as high of an intent to purchase as cart abandoners, reminding them of  different options, color, size, quantity, inventory & anything other pertinent information will often be the thing that gets them back to your site to continue shopping.

3. Be timely, polite & offer assistance

Time: Typically, the first email in a browse abandonment email sequence is the one that will get you the best results, and it’s for one main reason: Timing. It’s important to reach your shoppers quickly after they’ve left your site, while your products and brand and still fresh on their mind.

Typically, an email set to go out between 15 – 30 minutes from the time the shopper abandons will do the trick.

Tone: Again, it is important to remember that, since these customers don’t all have the same intent as someone that abandons a cart, sending an email that says “Don’t forget to complete your purchase!” doesn’t only not make sense, but a presumptuous tone like this can be offputting to your shoppers.

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Use phrases like “Thank you for visiting {Company}!” and “Please give us a call if you have any questions” to reassure your shoppers that you aren’t being pushy, and you’re only trying to help.

4. Give them a reason to return to your site

It can be a little more difficult to understand why shoppers are bouncing from your site when they don’t make it to the cart. For this reason, it’s a good idea to try out several different tactics to see which one(s) your audience will respond to the best.


Using coupon & discount codes can be very effective with browse abandonment email campaigns since, much of the time, price was the reason your shoppers didn’t add anything to the cart in the first place.

A small discount, a free shipping coupon or even a “Free X when you purchase X” offer can go a long way in getting your shoppers reengaged with your brand.

Levis Browse Abandonment Email

Scarcity & Urgency

Although you don’t want to presume that your site abandoners were ready to purchase when they left your site, you should still work some scarcity into your email copy to encourage them to click back & continue shopping. Try this:

Thanks for visiting [Company Name]!

The items you viewed are still available, but only for a limited time. If you have any questions, just reply to this email, or call us at [Phone Number] and we’ll be happy to help!

Here’s another good example:

PacSun Browse Abandonment Email 2

Offer Other Ways to Pay

There are many companies out there that offer eCommerce businesses a way to give their customers multiple payment options.

There’s the obvious options, like Paypal, that give your shoppers a way to pay for their items in installments, but there are plenty of other ways to get creative with how you accept payment. LemonStand users can also connect to services like Amazon Pay, Bitpay, and many more.

Since, most of the time, your users wouldn’t see these payment options until they got to the shopping cart, including them in your browse abandonment email campaign makes it possible for shoppers to see these options, which may draw them back.

5. Show Them Other Products They May Like

One thing you can be sure about with most of your abandoning visitors is that they at least have some sort of basic interest in the product you sell. So why not give them a catered selection of other products they may be interested in, but didn’t see?

Giggle Browse Abandonment Email

Making intelligent product recommendations isn’t a simple task though, when setup manually. Be sure to use a provider that offers a machine-learning based product recommendation engine. This will gather information on your shoppers automatically and present them with items they’ll be most likely to purchase, right in your reminder email.

6. Try Sending Them to a Blog Post or Other Content

It’s important to remember that, even though the ultimate goal of a browse abandonment email campaign is to get the sale, a lot of the reason your shoppers are bouncing without making it to the cart is because they simply aren’t ready to buy.

For this segment of visitors, the goal is actually very simple: Reengagement. And since you don’t know exactly how many of your shoppers are bouncing because they’re not ready, try sending them to a blog post, success stories, product reviews & other content.

Fitz Browse Abandonment Email

This can be a great way to stay top-of-mind with your shoppers and keep them engaged with your brand. However, there are a couple of best practices you’ll want to follow when adding value via a browse abandonment email campaign:

  1.     Value-driven browse abandonment email campaigns typically work better as a third (or later) followup to re-engage your prospects once you’re sure they’re not going to buy yet.
  2.     Regardless of how soon you set these emails to send, be sure to A/B split test this tactic against a transactional email, just to make sure you couldn’t be generating sales sooner (and that you’re not shooting yourself in the foot).

7. Don’t Be Creepy

When there’s a fresh new technology that allows you to market to your prospects in a new way, you can be sure that there are going to be some companies out there that will abuse it. Thanks to these companies, browse abandonment email campaigns can get a bad rap.

It’s important to reassure your customers that you’re only trying to help, and not trying to hound them until they purchase from you. Just because you know every product & category page they visited doesn’t mean you have to show them.

Instead, remind them of the one or two products or categories they spent the most time looking at. And be sure to watch your tone. Presumptuous statements like “Come back and complete your purchase” with no offer of assistance or help are off putting, and could hurt you more than help you.

Bonus Tip:

Be sure to segment your cart abandoners out of your browse abandonment campaigns. Bombarding the same customer with both cart & browse abandonment email campaigns is a surefire way to ensure you recover very little revenue.


Many eCommerce businesses tend to think that if they haven’t found success with an abandoned cart campaign, it will be the same for browse. But when you start to understand that these are two very different types of shoppers, with a completely unique intent to purchase, you’ll also begin to understand the best ways to tailor messaging and content for browse abandoners that will result in the highest re-engagement & best addition to your bottom line.