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    Steal These Emails: 8 Product Recommendation Emails That Convert

    18 minute read
    by: Ashley R. Cummings
    Steal These Emails: 8 Product Recommendation Emails That Convert

    If you want to build customer loyalty, nailing your product recommendation emails is crucial. This means getting a little more creative than the conventional “Products Recommended for You” email copy. 

    Product recommendation emails allow you to connect with customers on a deeper level by showing that you’re paying attention to their likes and shopping behaviors.  

    Here are the benefits of creating excellent product recommendation emails, including eight simple templates with examples you can “steal” for quick conversions.

    The Benefits of Product Recommendation Emails

    One of the most powerful tools on the internet is Amazon Personalize, the company’s product recommendation engine that utilizes generative artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create hyper-personalized user recommendations. 

    It’s so successful because product recommendations speak to warm leads. Essentially, you’re recommending a product to someone who’s already either purchased something similar or expressed intent to buy. 

    savvy product recommendation email marketing message is a helpful nudge to push the browser over the conversion finish line. 

    Personalized recommendations lead to improved conversion rates, natural cross-sells, and higher lifetime values (LVs) for every customer.

    How To Write an Effective Product Recommendation Email

    As Robert Collier, a famous copywriter, advised: Enter the conversation already taking place in your customer’s mind. 

    When writing product recommendation emails, address your customer in their current spot in the sales journey with a direct, simple, and personalized message.

    To give you a better idea of what this looks like, here are eight types of effective product recommendation email examples with instructions on when to use them, subject line and body copy templates, and real-life examples.

    Use any of these templates in your next campaign and watch your conversion rates skyrocket.

    8 Examples of Effective Product Recommendation Email Examples You Can Use

    1. Past Behavior Recommendations

    When To Use This Template: Use this type of email when personalizing a message based on a specific consumer behavior like a past purchase or website activity. 

    Subject Line Template: We saw you [CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR]! Check out these [PRODUCTS].

    Body Copy Template: Still looking for [PRODUCT CATEGORY]? We like where your head’s at. Browse the top recommendations for new products based on your unique browser history.

    Example: Here’s a great example of a recommendation email from Tarte based on consumer behaviors.Tarte Cosmetics email with a surprise offer for an eyeshadow palette and a lip oil

    Image SourceTarte Cosmetics 

    Tarte knows what this customer typically looks for on its website and what they often order. Based on this information, Tarte offers recommendations that will capture this individual consumer’s attention. In this instance, it’s the Hannah Meloche x sugar rush palette and maracuja glossy lip oil.

    2. Abandoned Cart Reminder

    When To Use This Template: When a customer adds an item to their cart but fails to complete the purchase.

    Subject Line Template: Hey there! We noticed [ABANDONED CART ITEM] is still in your cart. Did you mean to leave it there?

    Body Copy Template: Hello again! [ABANDONED CART ITEM] was in your cart, but you didn’t click ‘buy.’ Ready to make it yours with just one click?

    Example: Puzzle company Le Puzz has a good example of what a killer abandoned cart email should look like. It’s simple and only asks, “We found a lost puzzle. Could it be yours?”

    Le Puzz abandoned cart email promoting a puzzle

    Image Source: Le Puzz

    Le Puzz shows exactly what the customer added to their cart and allows them to complete their purchase.

    3. Suggest a Complementary Product

    When To Use This Template: Suggest complementary products that will enhance the customer’s initial purchase.

    Subject Line Template: [NAME], we found something that would go great with your [PRODUCT].

    Body Copy Template: Like [PRODUCT]? So do we. That’s why we thought you’d like to see a perfect pairing for your most recent purchase.”

    Example: In this type of product recommendation email, send a new recommendation that complements either a previous purchase or something that’s currently in the customer’s cart.

    Here’s a good example from the clothing brand Madewell. Madewell follow-up email for men’s clothing product suggestionsImage Source: Madewell

    This style of email takes the shoppers’ previous behaviors into account and offers other product recommendations that they would love.

    4. Re-Engage a “Zombie Contact”

    When To Use This Template: A “zombie contact” is an old customer who hasn’t taken any action in a while. They’ve expressed interest in your brand at one point, but they could use a wake-up call.

    Subject Line Template: [NAME], we’ve missed you, and we have something we think you’ll like.

    Body Copy Template: Welcome back. Dive back in and check out the latest offerings we've tailored just for you.

    Example: The point of this email is to transition from the reason you’re emailing (low activity) to the product recommendation. 

    For example, DonorsChoose opens their email to zombie contacts with: “Holiday shopping brain freeze?” This is a polite and fun way of saying: “Hey, are you stuck right now? Are you ready to come back and make a purchase? We’ll help you!”

    DonorsChoose offers an opportunity to fund a teacher’s project Image SourceDonorsChoose

    Speak directly to what your customer is going through, address the reason they might not be buying, and give them a way out of their zombie funk.

    5. Replenishment Reminders

    When To Use This Template: Repeat products make repeat customers — and a product recommendation for replenishment is an organic way to slip some other pitches into an email.

    Subject Line Template: Hey, [NAME]! It’s time to restock up on [PRODUCT CATEGORY PERSONALIZATION].

    Body Copy Template: Ready for some more [PRODUCT CATEGORY]? It’s about that time. Plus, if you want to throw in some other treats for yourself, we’ve got a few product recommendations based on your most frequently purchased items.

    Example: For consumable products or those with a known lifespan (like contact lenses or beauty products), you can send emails reminding customers it's time to reorder. These emails are also an opportunity to increase average order value (AOV) with additional product recommendations. 

    Shaving supply subscription company Dollar Shave Club nails this approach:Dollar Shave Club email reminder to replenish productsImage SourceDollar Shave Club

    Dollar Shave Club is about to send this customer their next subscription box and is allowing the customer to add additional products to their next box. This is the perfect example of how to increase AOV by offering perfect product recommendations.

    6. New Arrivals / Unique Opportunities

    When To Use This Template: Use this template to inform loyal customers about your new products or limited-time offers that align with their known preferences.

    Subject Line Template: “[GREETING]: Meet the latest product from your favorite brands.”

    Body Copy Template: “Hey there, [PERSONALIZATION]! Thought you might be interested in what’s been going on here with our newest arrivals because we’ve got some special offers for you.”

    Example: Start with a fun greeting or conversation starter, along with a tag that introduces a new product your customers will love. Both elements establish the connection and the reason for the recommendation. 

    Sephora does this perfectly: “Hey, Good Lookin’” (the greeting) and “Meet this season’s freshest new arrivals from some top brands” (introduction to the newest products).Sephora offers a personalized message

    Image SourceSephora

    For new arrivals, you can also build in some anticipation in the subject line by explaining there’s something to see, but not showing it until after they’ve opened the email.

    7. Social Proof

    When To Use This Template: Anytime a product meets a milestone — like becoming best-in-category for sales — you’ll want to hype up how many other people are buying it. This helps you build urgency into your copy.

    Subject Line Template: “Best-selling in [PRODUCT CATEGORY]: Get one before they’re all gone!”

    Body Copy Template: “Our [PRODUCT] recently passed [X-SALES NUMBERr] — and inventory is drying up fast. Want to see what people like you have fallen in love with? Here are a few recommendations.”

    Example: It’s part of human nature to follow social trends. When something is popular, we all want it. So, If you have a product that's a best-seller or your company is drawing in a host of subscribers, email your customers and let them in on the secret.

    The New York Times does this very well. The New York Times offers social proof as a marketing tactic Image SourceThe New York Times

    There’s power in social proof. So, email your audience with recommendations of your best-selling products, your growing community subscriber numbers, and product testimonials and reviews.

    8. Browse Abandonment

    When To Use This Template: When a customer views a product or explores a category on your website without making a purchase, remind them to revisit your site.

    Subject Line Template: “Didn’t find what you wanted? A few recommendations for you.”

    Body Copy Template: “Forget something? We saw you browsing, but maybe nothing quite tickled your fancy. Come back to the shop to look at what customers like you are buying.”

    Example: Not every product recommendation email has to be based on previous orders. You can also email those who’ve been browsing your site, or who have signed up, but have yet to order. 

    Here’s a great example of a browse abandonment recommendation email from the wild-grown product brand Church California.

    Church California's reminder email

    Image SourceChurch California

    Effective Product Recommendations Should Feel Like Re-Introductions

    Sending product recommendation emails is a surefire way to engage customers and drive more sales.

    However, it can be challenging to come up with new campaign ideas and copy for each campaign. Instead of scratching your head, consider using the proven templates above. 

    Above all, remember personalization is the name of the game for effective product recommendation emails.

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    GUIDE: Essential Steps for Building an Ecommerce Personalization Strategy

    Customers don’t just expect personalization — they demand it. Here’s how to build a strategy that will meet all of their needs and expectations.


    Written by: Ashley R. Cummings

    Ashley R. Cummings (she/her) is a freelance writer specializing in ecommerce software as a service (SaaS). Her words appear across the web in places like Insider, LinkedIn, ShopifyPlus, and Hashtagpaid.

    GUIDE: Essential Steps for Building an Ecommerce Personalization Strategy Customers don’t just expect personalization — they demand it. Here’s how to build a strategy that will meet all of their needs and expectations. DOWNLOAD GUIDE