Have you experimented with email retargeting?
If not, it’s time to get started.
In this post, I’ll cover the in’s and out’s of email retargeting, how it works, and why businesses should be using it.
What We’ll Cover:
- What it is
- Why it’s important in this strategy
- How to use it in your ad strategy
- How to set it up in Google Ads
- How to set it up in Facebook
- Best practices
We all know (and hopefully, love) email marketing.
It is, after all, one of the most dominant communication channels and is expected to reach 90.9% of those online by 2019.
That’s easy math right there. Almost everyone is – or will be – using email. So whoever your target audience is, it’s a pretty sure bet you can reach them via email.
Not to mention email continues to generate the highest ROI for marketers.
In short, it’s a super powerful way to connect with your customers.
But combine it with another powerful marketing tactic, and you’ve got a slam dunk strategy.
I’m talking, of course, about email remarketing.
What is Email Retargeting?
There are two ways you can use email retargeting (also called email remarketing).
The first is by using the information you already have about your customers to send them more targeted, relevant emails.
The second is using subscriber data to show ads across multiple platforms, based on the emails they’ve opened.
We’ll touch on the first one momentarily, but the second one is what we really want to focus on.
Now, as you may have noticed, I haven’t exactly been shy about my love of remarketing.
It’s a strategy designed to send more targeted ads and emails to those who have already shown interest in your brand.
You do that by dropping a cookie in their browser when they visit a specific page. That way, you can track them around the web and show them specific ads related to the pages they’ve visited.
So, what is it exactly? It’s the digital marketing tactic that focuses on sending relevant emails to people who are already somewhat familiar with your brand.
Using Email Retargeting For Sending Targeted Emails
Email is an excellent channel to retarget existing (or soon to be) customers.
But at its core, remarketing through email is essentially just good email marketing.
See, these days, a successful email campaign is built on segmentation and personalization.
And by using on-site behavior to segment your email lists, you can craft emails to:
- Send offers to people who have already purchased something from you
- Re-engage inactive customers
- Send abandoned cart emails
- Target upsells to people already interested in specific products
And while traditional remarketing relies on ads – often through Google and social networks – studies show that 66% of online consumers made a purchase as the result of email marketing, while only 20% made a purchase as a result of a Facebook promotion.
This means you want to use the data you collect regarding on-site behavior should be used to further target your email campaigns – as well as fuel your ad strategy and targeting.
For more on how to use this data to send relevant emails, read my articles on how to generate email ROI and the must-have templates in your email retargeting repertoire.
Overall, incorporating email retargeting in your strategy can do the following:
- Boost revenue
- Remind past customers how valuable your products/services are
- Encourage online visitors to stop by your physical store
- Drive up web traffic
- Improve organic search rank
Using Email Retargeting in Your Ad Strategy
Here’s the really cool part.
All that information above – you know, about retargeting to people who purchased from you, are currently inactive, or could use an upsell – can also be applied to your ad strategy.
Using Customer Match (Google), Custom Audiences (Facebook), and Tailored Audiences (Twitter), you can target your email subscribers directly through the biggest ad networks available.
Once you upload your list to Google, Facebook, or Twitter, the network will match the emails to users on the network.
So, if someone has an email login for Google or Facebook and also happens to be on your email list, they can run ads to that person.
And this kind of retargeting comes with a lot of potential.
These are people who have not just visited your website, as with traditional remarketing, but actually submitted their email.
That signals real engagement with your brand, which means they come highly qualified.
And when it comes to your ad dollars, wouldn’t you rather spend them on highly qualified leads?
Yeah, I thought so.
Not only that, but it allows you to access real user data and interactions with a brand, outside of just browsing behavior, allows for much more precise targeting.
Not surprisingly, this method works.
Moz says that compared with a normal eCommerce conversion rate of between 2% and 4%, the rate for email retargeting conversions can be as much as 41%.
And according to ConversionXL, Busted Tees got 390% ROI on an email retargeting campaign which showed ads to recent shoppers and encouraged them to buy again.
But, as with your usual email marketing, your success lies in how well you segment your audience.
You don’t want to show the same ad to all users on the list.
Instead, you want to segment your list into clear groups. For example:
- Past customers and the products they’ve purchased
- Inactive subscribers you want to re-engage
- Indicated interests
- Email engagement
- Behavior on site (time spent on page, pages visited)
Most email marketing software will track activity and segment your lists. You just need to set the parameters.
How to Set Up Email Retargeting in Google Ads
To target your email subscribers across the search or Display Network, you’ll need to create a Customer Match list.
Remember, you’ll first need to download the list segment you want to use from your email software. Most will give you this in CSV form, which you can then upload to Google.
You can read up on formatting guidelines here.
With that on hand, log into Google and click the tool icon in the top right of the screen.
Locate Shared Library and click “Audience Manager.” Then, from Page Menu on the left click “Audience Lists,” and the + button to create a new list.
Select the “Customer List” option and choose the file you want to upload.
You’ll have to check a box ensuring that all data you’re uploading complies with Google’s policies – which basically states that all information you’ve collected must come from your website, apps, etc. and freely given by the customer or subscriber.
If they’re on your email list and you’re following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Check the box, and upload your list.
Note that the upload process can take up to 48 hours.
How to Set Up Email Retargeting in Facebook
Doing this in Facebook is fairly straightforward.
Similar to Google Ads uploads, before creating your Facebook Custom Audience you’ll need to make sure your list adheres to Facebook’s Guidelines.
Luckily, they’re pretty much the same as Google, so you shouldn’t have any trouble.
To create the audience, log into your Ads Manager and click the dropdown at the top left. Select “Audiences.”
If you have existing audiences, Click Create Audience > Custom Audience.
If you don’t, you’ll see an audience list. Choose Custom Audience (at the top of the list).
Then, click Customer File > Add from your own file.
You’ll be prompted to upload your list and edit any errors. Now you can start doing it in Facebook.
Email Retargeting Ad Strategies
As mentioned above, the email segment you choose to retarget will inform the copy and objective of your ad campaign.
Here are some best practices to reach specific members of your audience.
Re-engage Inactive Customers
We all know that acquiring a new customer is far more expensive than keeping an existing one, right?
In fact, 41% of overall revenue for eCommerce sites in the US are from repeat shoppers.
And that’s not even the crazy part. According to Adobe, repeat buyers are likely to spend 5x more than first time shoppers.
The problem is that, eventually, those customers are bound to lose interest.
As new customers are added to your list, older ones will likely abandon ship – or at least stop clicking on and engaging with your emails.
Which means they never even saw that perfectly curated email or new products or special discount code.
The problem with email is that users can’t see past the headline. So even if there’s something you know they don’t want to miss inside, chances are, they’ll miss it anyways.
But social and display ads don’t have that problem. Which makes it a great avenue for product photos and bold discounts – especially when the people you’re advertising to have a history with your brand.
Here’s a great example from clothing brand ModCloth.
It’s pretty clear that they’re targeting a past customer.
But what’s cool about it is that by acknowledging that person’s history as a customer, they’re making the ad personal.
And, after all, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience.
A few considerations:
- Make sure the inactive users on this list have purchased from you in the past
- Consider adding a discount or special promo
- Include images relevant to what they’ve purchased in the past
Email Retargeting: Upsell and Cross-Sell Customers
Another best practice is using it to upsell existing customers.
An upsell is when you encourage customers to purchase additional services or a more expensive model.
A cross-sell, on the other hand, is when you encourage them to purchase something that compliments an existing purchase. , You can use existing customer data you’ve collected to accomplish both.
But you’ll want to pay special attention to your list here.
You can’t just have a list of past customers and expect to send them the same ad. You need to narrow down by product.
For example, if someone recently bought a new bed from you, you don’t want to advertise more beds. You would, however, want to advertise sheets, pillows, duvets, etc.
Or, if your products have a shorter shelf-life, you would want to segment down by date. So if someone bought a product that usually lasts 3 months, you could start adverting to them at the 2.5 month mark.
Target by Stage in the Sales Funnel
By keeping track of your subscribers engagement on your site, you can gain some insight into where they may be in the sales funnel.
For example, a tool like BeamPulse will help you keep track of scrolling behavior, time on page, menus visited, etc.
Similarly, you can use email opens and click-through rates to determine which members of your subscriber base are the most engaged.
These are the ones with continuous interaction, and are likely closest to making a purchase.
Using that list, you can craft ads with targeted offers and promotions related to the pages they’ve visited the most.
Even if they’re lower in the funnel, you can still use your list to show them ads to push them further down the funnel.
Assuming you had a killer email opt-in that included a field for interests, industry, etc., you can use what you know to create ads geared toward their indicated interest.
So if you’re a B2B that offers marketing services and one segment is dedicated solely to social media, you can advertise your latest social media posts, ebooks, webinars, etc.
Email Retargeting: Abandoned Carts
One of the most effective strategies that you need to incorporate into your online business is the abandoned cart list.
There are many reasons why a consumer would add items to their shopping cart and abandon it before completing the checkout process. The goal is to send a followup (or reminder) email asking them to reconsider finishing their purchase.
Here are a few stats to show why abandoned carts are so important:
- 10% of visitors put items in their shopping cart
- 3% of those visitors actually go through with the purchase
- Abandoned cart retargeting emails have a 40% open rate
- These retargeting emails also have a 20% click-through-rate
That means that you have a fairly good chance at getting a portion of the remaining 7% to reconsider the items they left behind.
You can reel them back in by offering a discount code or free shipping.
- 60% of online shoppers abandon their carts because of high shipping costs.
- 54% of those shoppers will return to complete the purchase if the items are offered at a lower price.
Email Retargeting Best Practices
A few things to keep in mind as you create your email segments and email retargeting campaigns:
- Send complimentary remarketing emails to boost your retargeting ad. The two methods should work together.
- Cap the frequency of your campaign. Whether it’s an existing customer or a new prospect, showing them too many ads can lead to overexposure and decrease the likelihood that they’ll be buying from you in the future.
- Layer your email remarketing list with additional targeting features like demographics, location, interests, etc., and create tailored ads for these groups.
- Have a well-developed strategy for how and why you’re using email retargeting. For example, don’t remarket to someone mid-funnel if you don’t have a dedicated landing page or next step.
- Always test your ads (and the adjoining emails). If the product you’re trying to upsell isn’t working, replace it with a cross-sell.
Wrapping Up Email Retargeting
Bottom line: your email lists hold a boatload of information about your customers.
So use that information to create unique, highly-targeted ad campaigns.