Email Is One of the Best Retargeting Tools Around—Here’s Why

Despite what you may think, email marketing is still one of the most effective online advertising tools available today. That’s the case for a number of reasons, but arguably, the biggest advantage it offers is the chance to share messages on a one-to-one basis.

Email gives you the ability to connect with individual customers and build a personal relationship with them. It allows you to send them the types of offers, information, products, or services they’re interested in. That level of outreach helps cultivate brand loyalty, which ultimately generates more sales.

However, despite the many benefits that email marketing can provide, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do it successfully. It’s important for marketers to understand it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get into users’ inboxes, and in order to do so, there are a number of best practices they need to follow.

77% of consumers still prefer email messages

Email providers industry-wide have improved their spam-fighting techniques and reworked their algorithms. Many of them, like Gmail, have even added folders to users’ inboxes to keep unwanted promotional, social media, and spam messages out of their primary inboxes. But even with the heightened challenges of deliverability, 77% of consumers still prefer email messages for direct marketing communications, making it a strategy that deserves your attention.

Of course, a regular company newsletter is a great way to stay in contact with your customers and keep them up to date on your brand, but if you really want to get the most out of your email marketing, you should use it for retargeting.

Email retargeting is simple and effective, and can take your display ad campaign to the next level. In fact, according to one study, email marketing combined with display ads outperform email on its own, and also helps generate a significant increase in website and landing page traffic, as well. Simply put, email retargeting is an easy and effective way to supplement your display campaigns and will help establish brand loyalty and generate more traffic for your site.

So now that you know the benefits of email retargeting, it’s time to take a more in-depth look at some use cases and how you can implement email retargeting into your marketing strategy to improve your ROI.


Existing Customers

Existing CustomerAt the core of any email marketing campaign is a subscriber list. Regardless of how big or small it is, you should do your best to segment it into groups to effectively target specific customers and drive better results.

From returning customers to one-time buyers, to those who opted-in as part of a promotion or an event, you’ve probably got a variety of customers on your list and it’s important that you communicate with them based on their relationship with your brand. Email retargeting makes it easy for marketers to do this by allowing them to serve custom-made creatives to a highly targeted audience. This provides a great opportunity for marketers to keep upsell-focused messaging in front of existing customers and to keep them engaged with your brand.

A great example of upselling is using purchase history to send customers messages about related or complementary products that they might find useful or interesting. By using email retargeting, you can continue to build a positive relationship with your customers by offering them deals and also boosting the CTR and conversion rates of your overall marketing campaigns.


Special Offers

Special OffersEmail marketing also enables marketers to offer special deals and exclusive offers, which incentivizes and engages customers. It’s a proven method for driving more traffic, clicks, and sales. According to one comScore report, 58% of online shoppers want free or discounted shipping from brands—something that can be easily offered via exclusive email deals. When using email retargeting to re-engage your customers, you can offer customers free shipping for a specific period of time, or even give the option of buying a second item at a discount with free shipping, as well. These types of exclusive and limited-time email offers make it worthwhile for your customers to subscribe to your list, and when combined with display ads and regular email campaigns, will encourage them to engage with your brand and convert.


Abandoned Shopping Carts

Abandoned Shopping CartsEvery online retailer has to face abandoned shopping carts, but with email retargeting, they can make up for it. There are a number of reasons customers abandon their carts, but most of the time it’s an indication that some part of the process was too difficult, annoying, or undesirable. It could be that your checkout process involves to many steps, or that the price of your product is too high. Or maybe they just got distracted along the way. With email retargeting, you can recapture their attention and remind them that they were interested in your product and hopefully encourage them to make a final checkout.

In order to do this effectively, you need to make it easy for them to make the purchase, or give them some other incentive such as a discounted price, free shipping, or some type of exclusive package. Ultimately, you should use email retargeting to address your customers’ concerns and reduce friction, and if you’re able to do this effectively, you can turn an abandoned cart into a conversion.


Offline Sales

Offline SalesMost marketers spend the majority of their time focusing on online strategies and digital campaigns and neglect the offline aspect of their brand. However, online display ads and email retargeting can be just as influential and important to your offline business as it is to your online business. In fact, more than 20% of the searches conducted on Google are related to a specific location, and a large percentage of these searches will result in an action within a day. Moreover, it’s been proven that display ads and email retargeting often contribute to offline sales, making these tactics especially useful for retailers with brick and mortar locations.

As a result, marketers need to understand the importance of email retargeting as a way to drive offline actions and use it to build relationships with customers. Too often, marketers work with blinders on, focusing entirely on online matters without giving a thought to customers’ offline habits. With email retargeting, you can help facilitate personal relationships with every customer and build brand loyalty online and off.

In 2014, effective marketing is an incredibly multi-faceted endeavor. There are countless channels, best practices and strategies that must be carefully considered, developed, implemented, and measured in order to generate the highest possible ROI. However, even with the arrival of social media and mobile marketing, email marketing continues to be a highly successful channel, even more so when it’s used in combination with display ads as a means for retargeting.

When used effectively, branded email messages can help marketers turn abandoned shopping carts into sales, build individual relationships with specific customers, offer unbeatable discounts and special offers, and even encourage offline action at brick-and-mortar locations. With such an array of uses and proven effectiveness, email retargeting should become an important part of any digital marketing strategy.

Originally posted on Jun 3, 2014.

About the Author

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands has been in the digital marketing industry for 14 years, providing invaluable advice on starting and cultivating online marketing strategies. He specializes in social media marketing, content marketing and email marketing and is a founding member of the San Francisco Blog Club.

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