Mail Conversion Guide, Part 3: Retargeting

Retargeting with email can encompass a number of approaches. All include a follow-up to a prior message or action. Retargeting can create one of the greatest conversions from email marketing.

This is the last installment of my three-part email conversion manual, after”Part 1: Database Cleanup” and”Part 2: Creating the Template.” In this post, I will explore how brands can drive traffic from email retargeting.

Conversion Funnel

Email marketing funnels direct consumers from exposure to buy. Done properly, a conversion funnel weeds out unlikely prospects and targets people who have shown interest.

An email conversion funnel concentrates on recipients who have shown interest via clicks, opens, and site visits.

Consumers drop out at every point in the email conversion funnel, however. Recapture them with innovative retargeting and messaging based on clicks, opens, and site visits.

1. For those who don’t open, create more attention-grabbing subject lines:

  • Discuss in layman’s terms. Avoid industry jargon and detailed specifications which mean little to consumers. Consider, for example, the subject lines below from Samsung and Apple. Apple’s are a lot more engaging.

Samsung: 7,500 mAh battery
Apple: Up to 10+ hours of battery life

Samsung: 2000×1200 resolution IPS screen
Apple: Amazing retina screen

Samsung: 8-megapixel front-facing camera
Apple: Front-facing camera to FaceTime with your Family and Friends

Samsung: IP68 Certified
Apple: Stronger than ever so that you don’t have to be worried about drops or spills

  • Test distinct sending instances. Try drastic deployment changes, such as Saturday at 4:00 p.m. versus Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.

2. For people who open but do not click, attempt to understand why. Possible reasons include (I) the subject line doesn’t signify the body text, (ii) poor formatting, not mobile responsive, or no apparent call to action, and (iii) incorrect or missing links.

  • Test major changes from the body copy, the deal, or general merchandising.
  • Assess where the clicks are happening in your email. An email heat map may show the hot spots in addition to the areas that require improvement.

3. For people who click but do not convert, create triggered mails to target individuals who abandon browses and shopping carts.

  • Abandon browses. Following a visitor leaves your site, send an email highlighting the advantages of the products viewed.
  • Abandon carts. The conventional abandon cart email remains a powerful converter. For the best performance, deploy these mails carefully following the jealousy and then a few additional reminders in days and hours afterward.

In my experience, triggered mails are crucial to re-engaging visitors who might have left a website unintentionally or stay in the research period. Moreover, many consumers won’t recall the sites they have visited.

Social Media

Finally, while it is a potent retargeting tool, email can be even more effective when coupled with retargeting on Facebook and other social media. The more times a shopper sees your brand and message, the more likely she will complete a purchase.


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