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The 3 steps of email retargeting

Neil Rosen
The 3 steps of email retargeting Neil Rosen

Media is the major expense B2C marketers face when acquiring new customers and building email lists. For most, much of that media investment is wasted when they take the low-hanging fruit -- aka immediate conversions -- without properly retargeting the "rest of the media" until it converts.

In short: you've made the media buy and converted a few leads to customers, but the ROI is shaky. That changes when you retarget with email.

Brands should be taking advantage of the most powerful and cost-effective method for retargeting -- email. Using email, profitable conversions occur for a year or more after the media is purchased, and these converters often become top-performing customers. Email retargeting optimizes the ROI of your media budget, generating new converters at two-thirds of the cost using display retargeting, and doubling the number of unique conversions you get from your media spend in six months.

So how do marketers get started?

Start with high-quality leads

The most crucial step of every successful customer acquisition program is starting with high-quality leads. Make sure you are driving traffic to your landing page from lead sources that perform well over time, have few to no complaints, and strong conversions.

Integrate email opt-in to the initial process

Next, integrate an email opt-in during the initial conversion process. This opt-in can be presented in either a light box or a two-page form, but should not interrupt the conversation flow. In addition, it should include key wording of exactly what to expect when people opt-in. Many consumers want your product or service, which is why they clicked in the first place. Trickery to get more email addresses only hurts the overall program.

A benchmark for this step should be that more than 30 percent of the visitors who don't convert, do opt-in for email. Proper nurturing to these email addresses will generate an overall increase in your media conversion rate of 15 percent within the first 10 days of retargeting.

Optimize email flow

There are four main components to optimize email flow in your email retargeting program:

Matching the consumers' expectations
Every component of an email needs to match the consumers' expectations based on the action they took. For example, if a consumer clicked on a banner that advertised your product X, they should not be receiving information on your product Y that provides a different value.

Confirming the consumers' interest
The content and tone of the initial email sequence should always be one to confirm interest, allowing a consumer to opt-out if they are not interested.

Paralleling frequency with the consumers' intent to buy
Similar to the idea of matching the consumers' expectations, emails should be segmented for frequency based on "intent to buy" to parallel the consumers' interest levels. An individual who visited your website, clicked on a banner, and opened an email should receive more frequent nurturing emails through the first 30 days than one who clicked on a banner but took no subsequent actions.

Optimizing send times
Optimizing send times on emails is critical to the success of your email retargeting program. Using technology that can trigger emails when you know the recipient is online, and/or deploy emails based on the last action the consumer took will greatly increase the likelihood that the consumer will take a desired action and convert.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a very long tail on media. When done properly, email retargeting can deliver results for as long as a year or more -- a powerful metric for every B2C marketer looking to convert more consumers and grow its customer base.

Neil Rosen is president and CEO at CertainSource

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