Email Marketing

8 Reasons why your browse abandonment emails suck (and how to fix them)

We know it sucks when customers leave without buying. And we know why it happens. Here are 8 reasons why your browse abandonment emails suck (and how to fix them). Check it out.

8 Reasons why your browse abandonment emails suck (and how to fix them)

As an eCommerce store founder, we know what you want - customers come to your site, add products to the cart, and head straight to checkout - Every time.

But the reality is different. 

97% of the visitors leave the website without buying anything and 85% of them don’t even add anything to the cart.

Most eComm owners try to win them back with a browse abandonment email campaign but it doesn’t hit the mark. 


That’s what this article answers. 

8 reasons why your browse abandonment emails don’t work and how to fix them. 

1) Creeping them out with too much personalization

Yes there is such a thing. 

Too much personalization may creep your potential audience. Many ecommerce stores send such emails, trying too hard to make it personalized, including way more than their name. 

By trying to find out too much, you also make an error that can piss off your customers. A popular example was an email sent by Pinterest

email sent by pinterest that was incorrect

What can you do differently?

Keep your messaging simple and subtle. The real personalization should be in the form of segmentation with different target audiences as mentioned above.

2) Bombarding their inbox with too many emails

There could be different kinds of email strategies where your customers could be looped in. Whether it’s for cart abandonment, newsletter, post-purchase, etc., you may be targeting the same visitors in these brackets too. 

But there are many ecommerce stores that take this information and send out way more emails than they should. For instance, If a customer has visited twenty products, many send them multiple browse abandonment emails, which can annoy customers and they might unsubscribe from your email.

Bombarding their inbox with too many emails

What can you do differently?

You can set triggers and precedents depending on the number of times a customer has seen your product. 

For example: if they have browsed a product five times, you can trigger a browse abandonment email campaign right after that offering them discounts on the viewed product. This will compel them to check out the product again and purchase it this time around.

3) Addresses only viewed products

While a customer has expressed an interest in a few products, you shouldn’t limit your email strategy to just those few. Unfortunately, most store owners do - limiting their potential sale value.

What can you do differently?

These browse abandonment emails are a great real estate to upsell or cross sell

So, offer them matching or related products based on their shopping behavior and preferences (in case of visitors who have viewed many products but never made it to the cart to reroute them back to the website.

example of product recommendation

4) Not starting with the products they left behind

There are multiple reasons why a customer leaves your site after browsing. You need to put the bait in front of their eyes again so they get reminded of the product.

But a common mistake made is when these emails talk about how customers left something behind and pitch their brand but don't remind them about the product itself. 

What can you do differently?

Use an image that the customer viewed so they know what exactly you’re talking about. Make it your center piece in your email strategy so it triggers a buying impulse immediately.

example of an browse abandonment email that reminds users of where they left off

5) Not letting them know that they can reach you 

A primal mistake made when sending such emails is that you jump straight to the message, pitch your idea, add a CTA and that's it. 

What’s missing is the sense of trust that needs to be built with the customer. There are many ways to do this but ecommerce stores forget the most important thing - customer support. 

What can you do differently?

In your marketing emails, make sure to include the contact of your support team. This allows customers to get an answer to their query in case there’s anything that’s holding them back from making the purchase. 

At the bottom, make sure to highlight your email address and contact number, so the customers can reach you whenever they want to.

6) Social proof done too subtly

Sometimes knowing from other customers about your products can give the final nudge to the first-time buyers to purchase.

That’s where reviews and photos come in. But many emails instead contain blank statements like “customers love it” or just add in a rating without highlighting more compelling details. 

What can you do differently?

Including individual reviews and testimonials in your emails can build a sense of trust among new visitors and can compel them to purchase from you.

You can also include reviews of the products they visited so the users feel more secure about buying a specific product from you.

And finally, user generated content never fails to convert. Tap into your customer’s social media posts about your product and highlight them in your emails. 

dollar shave club example of social proof

7) Tracking just the basics

While tracking open rates and click through rates are good to begin with, many marketers and founders make the mistake of just trusting these basic metrics. 

The result - they fail to understand where they’re going wrong and lose out on potential improvements. 

What can you do differently?

Here are a list of other metrics to look at:  

  • Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of users who have unsubscribed to your emails.  How to calculate: Total number of unsubscribers/ Number of emails delivered 
  • Compliant rate: This is the number of users who have marked your email as spam. How to calculate: Total number of complaints/Total number of emails delivered
  • Conversion rate: This is the ideal stage you want to reach with your visitors. Conversion rate is the percentage of users who finally bought your product. How to calculate: Total number of conversions/ Number of emails delivered 
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails sent which weren’t delivered to your recipient’s inbox. How to calculate: Total number of bounces/ Number of emails sent
  • Forward rate: The percentage of users who forwarded your email to friends or shared the email by clicking the link inside the email. How to calculate: Total number of forwards/ Number of emails delivered
  • Campaign ROI: The return on the investment for your email campaigns. How to calculate: ($ Sales - $ Invested) / $ Invested
  • List growth rate: The percentage at which your email list has grown over time. How to calculate: New Subscribers - New Unsubscribers + Email/Spam Complaints / Number of Subscribers x 100

8) Using the same template everywhere

Templates aren’t bad - but using the same template for everyone and for every situation isn’t going to drive you high conversions. And that’s what most marketers do. 

Apart from low conversion rates, your potential customers will identify the mismatch in your messaging. 

What can you do differently?

When it comes to email strategy, A/B tests come in handy to know what’s working and what’s not. 

Here are some areas you should focus upon:

1) Subject Lines: This is one of the most crucial aspects of a message — which is also subjective as any other aspect of content. What you think can work might not work in reality, so it’s important to A/B test your subject lines, as they determine the open rate for your emails.  If you have the ability, run several subject lines at the same time to see what is working and what is not.

2) Tone & Phrasing Matters: If you have been sending browse abandonment emails with generic open statements such as, “Don’t forget about your recent visit”, and not seeing any results, then you should change the tone and phrasing of the sentence.

Saying something like:

Was it something we did?

You’ve got great taste.

We saw you checking us out.

Don’t break up with us already!

….may catch people’s attention and lead them to click on the email.

3) Embrace Emojis: A recent study from Litmus showed the subject lines with emoji can increase the open rate to 10-15%. But you also need to make sure they work for the brand. So, in case you decide to use the emojis in your subject line, we suggest doing an A/B test with a subject line with emojis vs a subject line without emojis. This will help you understand if your audience is liking the emoji play and whether you should use them further in your subject lines. 

4) Master the art of personalization: You may want to tread the waters carefully here. Too much personalization can come across as creepy and stalker-ish. So, as the best practice, make sure the browse abandonment emails only have the first name of the user. This will make the message personalized without being intruding

5) Mix up your product recommendations: While you’re sending browse abandonment emails to users for the products they browsed, you should also include more recommendations that match their browsing patterns. In other cases, you can mix it up and show them some of your bestsellers, products that are trending at your store, or any other personalized items that you would like to promote.  

You never know what a customer might like from the recommendations you show them and hop back on the site.

7) Keep your content scannable: People read from their minds — not eyes. Your content needs to be scannable, conversational, and packed in an easy-to-digest format, so a customer quickly knows what you’re trying to say.

Run an A/B test between a short and sweet email and one that is packed with text, images, and product recommendations. This will help you to understand what works best with your audience. 

8) Experiment with CTAs: A good CTA is essentially what converts a user. CTA is not only limited to text, but also the placement in the email, size, button style, color, etc.— to ultimately decide if there will be a conversion.

When you’re running an A/B test, focus on one or two variables instead of all of them together. This will give you a clear picture of what is working and what you should tweak or eliminate. 

In Conclusion

Browse abandonment campaigns can make your sales fly once you learn how to master and create the best campaigns that can make your customers take action and purchase from your store.

All the best!

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