by Elastic Email Mar 20, 2024

Generating sales is one of the toughest challenges in today’s competitive business environment. While attracting prospects is easy, the challenge lies in converting their interest in your brand into sales. 

Often, visitors leave a site without completing a purchase, much to the disappointment of online business owners.  According to SalesCycle, the average cart abandonment rate is 81.08%, with industries such as fashion and travel posting a higher average at 84.43% and 87.08% respectively.

Rather than letting these potential customers leave without taking action, you can drive them back to your site and convert them using email retargeting campaigns. 

By using the information you have about such prospects, you can re-engage them with highly targeted emails and give them a second chance to convert. 

This article will teach you everything you need to know about how to use email retargeting campaigns to boost conversions. 

Let’s get started!

What Is Email Retargeting?

Email retargeting is all about re-engaging users who have interacted with your website but left without completing the desired action. 

Email retargeting campaigns are ideal for:

  • Brands with a high cart abandonment rate
  • Ecommerce stores with many “window shoppers” who don’t buy anything
  • Brands with plenty of opportunities to upsell and cross-sell products to their existing customers
  • Marketers who want to run personalized promotional campaigns

The tactic works by leveraging the information you have about your customers and using it to create targeted and highly relevant email campaigns that address their needs. 

And how do you collect specific information about your audience members? By using website cookies which are stored on a visitor’s browser to monitor how they engage with your brand. 

They collect information such as how visitors navigate through your website and what they click on. For example, when a customer visits certain pages in your store, you will know the exact pages they visited and the products they checked out. 

With this information, you can use cold email personalization to send relevant messages to the customer to nudge them back to the store to buy the products they checked out. You can even spice things up with a discount code to get them to act fast. 

To measure the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns, you can use email tracking software to see if a recipient has engaged with the email. The software allows you to see the open rate, CTR, and other important email metrics. You can consider some of the best email tracking software listed in this post by Attrock to streamline your re-engagement efforts. 

Email Retargeting Best Practices

But before you get started with email retargeting, take note of the following best practices to ensure the success of your campaigns:

  • Use Segmentation: Segment your subscribers into highly targeted lists to make it easy for you to send relevant emails. Segmentation will also prevent you from sending the wrong emails to your users, such as sending upselling emails to subscribers who haven't made a purchase.
  • Move Fast: Take advantage of the customer’s momentum and send the retargeting email right after they’ve left your website. The sooner you get into their inbox, the higher the chances you can convince customers to act on the call to action of your sales email.  
  • Maintain Frequency: Don’t spam subscribers with your email retargeting campaigns, as this could cause them to opt out of your email list. Find the best time to re-engage your subscribers without being too spammy. 
  • Leverage Social Proof: Remind customers of your brand’s value proposition by adding the top reviews from previous customers in your retargeting emails. Most shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, and adding these trust signals could be what’s needed to get them to act. 
  • Personalize Your Emails: Ensure your retargeting emails are as relevant as possible by pinpointing what the customer is looking for. It will save your customers a lot of time and simplify the checkout process. 

Different Types of Email Retargeting Campaigns

Many brands outsource email marketing because they don’t know how to use email retargeting campaigns to engage prospects. But as long as you have a deeper understanding of your audience and their onsite behavior, you can use that information to target them effectively. 

Below are some of the instances when you can use email retargeting.

Activate “Window Shoppers”

Some customers visit your website, check out some products, and leave without adding them to a cart. They may read the top product reviews and visit your FAQ page to learn more about your shipping policy, but that's it. 

Rather than letting these shoppers leave, you can retarget them with personalized emails to nudge them back to your store. 

The fact that they’ve read the reviews and examined your shipping policy shows they are truly interested in the product. To give such shoppers an extra boost:

  • Remind them about the products they've viewed in your store
  • Show them the top reviews of that product
  • Offer a discount to drive them back into your store

In the example below, Rael sends a retargeting email to a visitor who viewed a product without adding it to the cart. The email includes the particular product and an offer of free shipping for orders above $50. 

Recover Abandoned Carts

One of the top reasons marketers learn how to use email retargeting campaigns is to recover abandoned carts. We’ve already seen that more than 80% of online shopping carts are abandoned. 

While there are many reasons why shoppers abandon their carts at this stage, don’t let such customers go without a fight. 

By retargeting them with highly relevant messages, you can drive them back to your store and recover lost sales. 

To increase your chances of success with these campaigns, optimize your abandoned cart emails in the following ways:

  • Remind customers about the products in their cart
  • Earn the customer’s trust by showcasing the top reviews for the product they’re interested in
  • Create a sense of urgency with time-limited offers

To recover an abandoned cart, Adidas retargeted the shopper with an email with the product they had added to the cart and some of its top reviews. 

Upsell or Cross-Sell Customers After a Purchase

When customers shop from your store, chances are high that they haven't explored all the products you have to offer. As such, they may miss out on some amazing products and services. 

And here is where the beauty of email retargeting campaigns comes in. After a customer completes a purchase, you can reach out to them immediately and recommend other products they may be interested in. 

These can be items that complement the purchased product. For example, when someone buys a smartphone from your store, you can recommend they get a matching phone case. 

Alternatively, you can recommend a product that offers more value than the one they’ve bought. For instance, when a customer registers for your product’s free plan, you can upsell them the benefits of upgrading to a paid plan. 

When upselling or cross-selling your customers, adhere to the following best practices to ensure success:

  • When cross-selling, only recommend products that complement the ones the customer has bought
  • Offer discounts and other perks in your upsell emails to skyrocket sales
  • Allow customers to add products to their current order at no cost
  • Remind customers of your brand promise and value proposition

The example below shows Dollar Shave Club’s upselling strategy where they encourage shoppers to add more products to their cart before shipping.

Inform Customers You Have Updated Your Stock

Sometimes, shoppers leave your website without completing an action because the product they want is out of stock. Instead of treating such cases as a lost cause, take note of the out-of-stock products customers are eyeing and notify them as soon as they are back in stock. 

Customers will be glad to know that the products they are interested in are now available, and this could motivate them to log back into your site to complete the purchase. 

To succeed with your back-in-stock retargeting campaigns, be sure to do the following:

  • Use email personalization to highlight the exact product that the customer was initially interested in
  • Share the top customer reviews of the product
  • Promote other products that are frequently bought together with the particular item

In the example below, Bouche informs a subscriber that a particular t-shirt is back in store. They also go on to promote other products in the email. 

Re-Engage Inactive Subscribers

Lastly, retargeting campaigns also come in handy when you need to re-engage inactive subscribers. When you notice an email subscriber hasn’t interacted with your emails for some time, reach out to find out what’s going on.

It could be the subscriber forgot about your brand amidst all the emails they receive, or they lost interest in what you have to offer. Their response to the re-engagement email will let you know if you should retain or remove them from your email list. 

When building a campaign to re-engage inactive subscribers, pay attention to the following to guarantee a positive outcome. 

  • Restate your value proposition
  • Promote products the subscriber may be interested in based on their past activity
  • Add a button subscribers can use to confirm their interest in remaining in your email list

Framebridge uses this strategy to target inactive subscribers. In the email, they restate their value proposition and have a button subscribers can use to indicate that they still want to receive emails from the brand. 

Final Thoughts

Customers don't always convert the first time they land on your website. To get them to perform the desired action, you may have to engage them several times. 

By learning how to use email retargeting campaigns, you’ll be able to re-engage your subscribers with relevant messaging and convince them to complete the action that brought them to your site. 

You can use email retargeting campaigns to activate website visitors, recover abandoned carts, recommend alternative products, announce a product is back in stock, and re-engage inactive subscribers. 

All these actions have a positive impact on your bottom line and bring you closer to achieving your marketing goals.

About the author

Reena is Director of Operations and Sales at Attrock, a result-driven digital marketing company. With 10+ years of sales and operations experience in the field of e-commerce and digital marketing, she is quite an industry expert. She is a people person and considers the human resources as the most valuable asset of a company. In her free time, you would find her spending quality time with her brilliant, almost teenage daughter and watching her grow in this digital, fast-paced era.

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