A Beginner’s Guide to Email Re-targeting

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Did you know that fewer than a mere 4% of visitors browsing an e-commerce site end up buying something? This leaves a colossal amount of site visitors leaving empty handed, meaning you’re potentially missing out on huge customer opportunities without even realizing.

There’s a multitude of reasons why a potential customer may choose not to buy anything from you. Whether it’s unexpected shipping costs, distraction or something as simple as changing their mind at the last minute, customers will have many of their own reasons for not clicking that ‘add to cart’ button.

But, whilst you have no direct control over a customer’s choice whether to make a purchase or not, what you can control is your follow-up strategy.

In this short guide you’ll discover all you need to know about email re-targeting, giving you the power to re-spark the interest of your site visitors. Not only will this significantly increase the chance of driving customers back to your site, they’ll also be a lot more likely to make that all-important purchase.


So, what is email re-targeting?

In simple terms, email retargeting involves a series of automated emails sent to people who’ve visited your site, viewed specific items, yet left without adding anything to their cart.

The sole purpose of these emails is to reignite interest in the items they were looking at, as well as introduce them to new related items too. If successful, these emails will prompt your list to re-visit your site and not only purchase the original items they were interested in, but also take advantage of any new products you’ve introduced them to.

To discover precisely how to create a successful email retargeting campaign, read on…

1. Experiment with Timing

Whilst many other email retargeting guides will stress the importance of a ‘the sooner the better’ attitude to sending your emails, we’re here to tell you this is perhaps not the most effective method.

Testing is key with the vast majority of marketing techniques, and email retargeting is no exception. Start off with sending your emails within 24 hours of the subscriber originally viewing your site, then compare engagement rates with emails sent 48 and 72 hours after the site visit instead.

This way, you’re guaranteeing the most effective timing for your email list – and all you have to do is invest a little time into testing. Whilst some subscribers may respond well to emails sent within a few hours of their site visit, some may find this a little too pushy and will be much more likely to click-through from emails sent 72 hours after their visit.

Trial and error is key here, and establishing the most effective timing for your re-targeting emails is guaranteed to improve success rates in the long-run.

2. Create Urgency

Effective for a wide variety of email campaigns, creating a sense of urgency is a very important tool to use within email retargeting.

Especially successful when relating to the specific products the subscriber was originally looking at on your site, instilling urgency and reinforcing a ‘limited time’ message is almost guaranteed to increase the chance of the reader going ahead with a purchase.

After all, fear of missing out is very effective when it comes to encouraging a particular action from someone. And, by giving your list a limited amount of time to purchase the products they showed interest in, you’re immediately creating this fear within them.

A successful yet extremely simple method of doing this is using a NiftyImages countdown timer. Allowing personalization and guaranteed to be eye-catching, just one of these countdown timers is guaranteed to instil the sense of urgency necessary to generate action.


Recommend New Products

As briefly mentioned earlier, recommending new products you feel confident the subscriber will like is a sure-fire method of boosting the chances of them making a purchase.

Take a look at the specific products they were browsing on your site, and select a few new products accordingly. As long as they’re relevant and relate to the original items, this is certain to generate brand-new levels of interest for the reader—especially if the reason they didn’t make a purchase in the first place was because they simply changed their mind about the product they were looking at.

Better still, if you add personalization to these recommendation emails, you’ll make the subscriber feel like you’ve specifically taken the time to individually choose products you think they’ll like. Not only will this make them feel special, but will also improve their view of you as a brand.


And there you have it: all the key strategies needed to create an email retargeting campaign with the best possible chance of success.

Certain to work brilliantly alongside a cart abandonment campaign too, email re-targeting is sure to transform lost sales opportunities into multiple purchases—and repeat customers!