Browse Abandonment Emails: Create Value for Shoppers
As Manager of Copywriting and Content Strategy for our Professional Services department, I've created, received, and reviewed many (many) emails throughout my career, for brands in and out of the eComm realm. I’ve formed some pretty strong opinions by melding my personal take-aways with the research that other email industry leaders have conducted, and I’ll share my recommendations with you and answer your questions. Without further ado...
How to create a compelling browse abandonment campaign
Sending your customers emails about products they've abandoned isn't a new concept -- targeting people you know are actively shopping is a no-brainer. Every eCommerce company worth their salt has a cart abandonment campaign these days (and if you don't, you should probably hop on that – you can learn more about it in our latest research report), and browse abandonment campaigns are newest arrivals to the party.
For those who are unfamiliar...
If your site is hooked-up to gather this data, you'll be able to track the browsing behavior of every site visitor for whom you have an email address. So if someone signs up for your emails or has shopped with you before, you'll be able to see what they're looking at and send them follow-up emails if they leave your site without purchasing.
I always feel like somebody's watching me...
Sending someone an email about a product they recently browsed can go one of two ways: you can nail it spot-on with an email that speaks to the visitor without being too pushy, or you can go the online stalker route and totally creep them out. Let's not do that.
The best way to address someone who browsed your site and then bailed is to use automated product recommendations. That way you can present them with what they recently looked at plus associated items they may have missed. Not only does this expand the opportunity for them to buy, it gives you the opportunity to disguise the fact that you were watching what they were doing on your site. You can take this route and be subtle about your voyeuristic tendencies, or you can be flat-out honest about it. I recommend testing this for your customers -- see which tactic works best for them.
Design-wise, keep these messages as fun as your brand will allow. If you're too serious, you're just upping the creepy stalker factor. Having a sense of humor will disarm the visitor and show that while you're trying to make a sale, your brand has a personality, too.
Here are a few examples of great browse abandonment campaigns. These brands took different strategies (some blunt and honest, some more subtle), but all four messages work really well. It's up to you to know what will work best for your customers.
And in the last example, the email states, “What you (and customers like you) are browsing, shopping, loving...right now.”
And both examples show product recommendations based on the shopper's browse behavior. The inclusion of trending and top-rated products is useful as it removes the stalker factor while helping shoppers discover new products.