What can you do to get more customers if you’re running a retail store or an e-commerce store? Many potential customers make short visits and then disappear forever. But, what if you could capitalize on more of such lost opportunities and get more revenue. This blog post will show how and when to use email retargeting to improve sales by retaining and attracting more customers.

You may already know how important abandoned cart emails can be for you if you sell online. They are one of the best ways to reconnect with customers who add stuff to their shopping carts but leave without purchasing.

Just 5% of customers who visits your website, actually add items to their cart, so how can you account for all the customers who don’t click the “add to cart” button?

These customers may be at an earlier stage of the customer journey, but they’re no less valuable to your bottom line or your business.

That’s where retargeting emails can help to capitalize on those lost opportunities.

Retargeting emails are automated emails that send to your customers that view your recently added or top-selling items but leave your website site without adding anything to their cart. You can add other content blocks, personalize them just as you would with any email campaigns you create, and they will remind customers about the item they were looking at, suggest other items, and finally drive them back to your website.

Retargeting emails generate 90x more order per customer that normal bulk campaigns, making it a good compliment to your abandoned cart emails. Retargeting emails help you reach a much bigger audience of customers who are interested in your products and also increases your chances of making a sale.

In this blog post, we’ll share some valuable tips to create effective retargeting emails that drive customers back to your website.

What is Email Retargeting?

Generally speaking, using the information you already have about your customers to refine the information you send them by email is called email retargeting.

You can easily get that information via a browser cookie that is a small file dropped in your browser whenever you visit a website. It’s the same type of file that’s used to keep items in your cart when you leave and come back to Amazon website.

Retargeting enables you to:

  • Target up-sells to customers who are already interested in particular products.
  • Make offers to customers who have previously bought something from your store.
  • Show personalized pop-ups based on where customers are in the sales process.

We’re going to look in detail at these use cases, explaining to you when and how to leverage email retargeting effectively, and also sharing an example for inspiration and implementation.

Tips to create retargeting emails

Following are valuable tips to create effective retargeting emails that drive customers back to your website.

Write for your goal and your audience

The goal of your retargeting emails is to remind your customers about all the interesting items they saw on your website, encourage them to come back, and, hopefully, offer them the extra push they may need to purchase. It is not only important to keep things relevant, concise, and on-brand, as you’re writing copy for the email, but you also want to instill a sense of urgency, especially if you have a limited number of your best sellers or newest items in stock.

Include product recommendations

Apart from the content block that shows information about the new, last, or best-selling items a customer was viewing on your website, you’ll have the option to add a product recommendation block as well. The items that your customers have been looking at may not be something they actually want to purchase, but your personalized product recommendations will give them more options to choose from and may help them find a different item that they have got to have.

Timing is everything

When you build retargeting emails, you’ll also have the option to determine the timing of the emails as well. Generally, you get three-time delay options to choose from- 24, 48, and 72 hours after the customer views the item on your website. Since you can always adjust the timing afterward, so experiment with different send times to know which produces higher engagement from your shoppers- and is much more lucrative for your business.

Benefits of Email Retargeting

The best thing about email retargeting is that it works effectively with shoppers who have already shown an interest in your company or offerings, so the total potential benefits are massive.

That’s not hype.

According to Moz, compared to a normal e-commerce conversion rate between 2% and 4%, email retargeting conversion rate can be as much as 14%.

ConversionXL says that Busted Tees received 390% ROI on their email retargeting campaign that showed ads to recent customers and encouraged them to shop again.

DealDoktor used retargeting to increase conversions by 2100%.

Email retargeting can help marketers to do the following:

  • Get past shoppers interested again by reminding them of the value you offer.
  • According to Moz, you can make 4X the usual revenue
  • Improve organic search ranking by driving visitors to a particular web-page.
  • Drive offline action by showing ads that encourage people to visit your online store.

Overall, email retargeting helps you reach more shoppers through a multi-channel approach that transcends their inbox.

When to Use Email Retargeting

There are some scenarios where email retargeting can have a huge impact:

  • When your shopping cart abandonment rate is high.
  • When you want to attract shoppers who have visited your website without taking action.
  • When you want to tailor your promotions to shoppers who have already downloaded your lead magnet.

It’s important to use email retargeting because research from Custora suggests email users are more valuable, bringing in more than 11% increased revenue. So, you’re missing out on potential business if you’re not following up on shoppers who aren’t fully engaged.

Now, let’s discuss those email retargeting scenarios in detail.

Tailoring messages to visitor behavior

Amazon uses on-site retargeting to recommend products related to what their customers are looking at and to let them know when there’s a better price on a product in their shopping cart. But you don’t have to as big as Amazon to effectively use on-site retargeting.

There are many tools available in the market, which you can use to create on-site messaging that differs based on whether a shopper has purchased something from you earlier. Or you could use an exit-intent pop-up to make shoppers an offer they won’t want to deny only as they’re about to leave your website.

The following are some on-site email retargeting examples;

  • Asking visitors to click through for a free quote.
  • Offering a free gift when visitors are about to leave your website.
  • Reminding visitors they’ve got something in the cart and offering a discount if they buy now.
  • Directing website visitors to the area they’re most interested in.

Basically, anything that keeps visitors on your website and engaged.

Shopping cart abandonment

According to the latest aggregated results from the Baymard Institute, close to 69% of customers abandon their carts. This may occur because they’re still comparing products, prices and are not ready to purchase, or because the price of the item doesn’t match their expectations.

According to BI Intelligence, whatever may be the reason, shopping cart abandonment leads to $4 trillion in revenue loss annually.

Meanwhile, savvy retailers and e-commerce owners can recover some of that with email retargeting. According to BI Intelligence, emails sent within three hours after a customer abandons their shopping cart has a 40% open rate and a 20 click-through rate (CTR) that means there’s another opportunity to make the sale.

Example, Allie LeFevre sent the following email to a visitor who’d almost opted into her program, trying to get the visitor to take a second look at her offer.

Getting inactive visitors’ attention

When it comes down to getting shopper’s attention, email retargeting can help you to focus mainly on two audiences:

  • Shoppers, who have visited your website without taking any action.
  • Shoppers, who have purchased something, signed up for your email list or downloaded your lead generation magnet.

In many scenarios, e-commerce owners and retailers use email retargeting in addition to a Facebook pixel to show ads for your offerings to shoppers who have already visited your website.

And if you’re following that route, a guide to optimizing your Facebook ads will help a lot. But, the cost of advertising on social media channels can soon add up, so try doing on-site email retargeting instead.

Email retargeting best practices

But before you begin your on-site retargeting strategy, there are some best practices for email retargeting to keep in mind.

Tailor your campaigns: Check your email service provider (ESP) system to see who’s inactive, active, or unsubscribed, so you can build different retargeting email campaigns for each of those segments.

Target your opt-ins properly: Your campaign could have the opposite effect to the one you intend if you don’t target your opt-ins properly. Showing an offer that is meant for the shoppers who haven’t decided yet to those who are already signed-up will be a turn-off.

Exclude existing subscribers: You should exclude your existing subscribers from your campaigns. Instead, focus more on those subscribers who look like they’re about to purchase and offer a simple incentive.

Use CRM system: CRM system will help you to improve your email retargeting campaigns.

Send retargeting emails fast: It’s better to send your retargeting email within an hour of a customer abandoning your website if you’re using on-site retargeting to trigger your email campaign. This way, your customers don’t have time to forget their visit to your website.

Be personal and precise: Personalization is important for e-commerce and marketing success; as a result, the best retargeting emails are triggered automatically and offer the subscribers a precise action to complete. Example, a retargeting email could remind a customer that there’s an item in their shopping cart and include a link that lets them purchase that item directly.

Target off-site ads: If you are using off-site ads, make them even more effective by targeting your audiences by demographics, location, and more.

Don’t forget about your other channels

For some of your shoppers, a visit to your website and a retargeting email may be exactly what they need before they purchase.

However, other shoppers may need some more convincing. In addition to retargeting emails, try using other channels as well- like social media ads, Google remarketing ads, and abandoned cart emails. Example, to keep your business on top of your customer’s mind and encourage engagement from them.

A real-world example

Sullen Art Collective reconnects with their subscribers who browse the best-selling items on their website by using retargeting emails.

The following are 3 things they’re doing right:

  • By noting that their items sell out quickly, they’ve instilled a sense of urgency in their customers
  • They’ve added product recommendations to showcase other relevant products
  • The branding of their retargeting email matches the look and feel of their website

And, Sullen Art Collective retargeting emails has proven to be quite successful, they have received an email open rate of 41.6% and generated more than $1,190 in revenue.

Retargeting emails are a useful tool for marketers and a better way to bridge the gap between paying customers and website visitors. And since ESPs does most of the heavy lifting for you, all you’ll need to do is to switch it on, include any personalization or design flourishes you’d like, and then watch your window shoppers find their way back to your website.


As you can clearly see, email retargeting is a valuable tool for increasing sales, and the best practices and examples shown in this blog post will help you with your email retargeting strategy.


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