How to Use Email Remarketing to Boost Your Sales

by Trevor


You’ve got a great product. You’ve built a website to showcase your product. And you’ve even paid for ads to build awareness for your product on Facebook and Google.

However, you have two major problems:

  1. Your product isn’t selling.
  2. Most consumers don’t buy immediately.

But don’t let that get you down because you’re about to use the powerful tool of email remarketing to change your luck.

Email remarketing improves sales. And it works for a wide variety of consumers — from cart abandoners to just browsers. Use email remarketing to convert the uncommitted.

Ready to learn what it is and how it works? Let’s get started.

What Is Email Remarketing?


Email remarketing is the strategy of using email to target prospects and get them to buy. You’re probably familiar with it, even if you didn’t know it by name.

Have you ever looked at a product and even added it to your online shopping cart with intentions to buy it? But then you hesitate. You think, Maybe I can find this at a better price somewhere else. Or, Maybe I don’t need this product after all — what if it doesn’t work for me? So, you close the tab and move on. But then, as if by magic, an email pop-ups in your inbox: It says “Hey! You left something in your cart” or “Here’s why you should purchase this product now”.

Sound familiar? That’s an example of email remarketing.

Email remarketing is all about nurturing prospects and motivating them from interest to purchase.

But, although they may sound alike, email remarketing is not the same as email marketing.

In email marketing, you initiate contact. You send automated emails based on your desired schedule. Examples of email marketing include:

  • Weekly scheduled newsletters
  • A pop-up or flash sale
  • Blog post update

In email remarketing, your prospect’s behavior initiates, or triggers, contact. Examples of behavioral triggers include:

  • Cart abandonment (the prospect leaves your website before they can finalize payment)
  • Anniversary (the customer signed up / made a purchase one year ago, and you’re celebrating that milestone)
  • Upcoming renewal needed (your product needs to be renewed)
  • Subscriber hasn’t opened emails in the last 30 days

As you can see, behavioral triggers include both action and inaction.

By sending emails based on the prospect’s behavior, you can create a more compelling invitation to engage. People are more likely to respond when you send out a personalized email based on their activity than if you send out a generic one. For example, sending out an email that says, “hey, you looked at this product, now there’s a sale for it” is much more effective than sending out a generic “hey, we’re having a sale” email.

Email remarketing is wildly effective, but it’s also wildly underused. Only 1 in 5 email marketers use behavioral triggers email remarketing. And that’s why it’s going to be so effective in your marketing efforts.

5 Ways to Use Email Remarketing

Let’s take a closer look at how to use email to remarket to all those otherwise lost sales.

1. Convert Just Browsers

As I mentioned earlier, most people who come to your site won’t buy at first. That’s the bad news. The good news is you can start nurturing those people so that they will eventually buy from you.

The very first step is to get their email. Once you get their email and permission to market to them, you can put them in your nurturing funnel. And not just for generic marketing (i.e. newsletters), you can also use it for super-targeted marketing (we’ll discuss more in the Google section below).

But how do you get their email? Ask, of course, but with an offer that they can’t refuse. One of my favorite suggestions is to offer an instantly delivered promo or coupon code that they can use immediately (not within 24-48 hours).

Once they’ve signed up for your mailing list to get the coupon, automatically enroll them on a nurturing track.

Play up urgency. (Offer a juicy, high value coupon that expires within a few hours.)

Build trust. (This is where traditional email marketing comes in. Use email to share case studies and testimonials to show social proof.)

Here are 10 ways to get a site visitor’s email address.

2. Rescue Cart Abandoners


By some estimates, cart abandonment is as high as 70%. That means that 7 out of 10 prospects have made it all the way to payment but then decided to leave without completing the purchase. Ouch.

There are a lot of reasons why people abandon carts. Among them are:

  • Unexpected costs (shipping, handling, etc.)
  • Just browsing (window shopping)
  • Technical error (browser, computer crash)
  • Long, complicated checkout process (too many questions)
  • Limited payment options (preferred payment method not available)

But another big reason people abandon carts is to get coupon codes. Some savvy shoppers know that cart abandonment triggers an automated coupon offer.

Why not give the people what they want? And most everyone wants a discount. If you can rescue sales by discounting the price, why not do so? If you discount by 25% to rescue the sale, you’ll at least get 75%. And that’s a whole lot better than 100% of zero.

Use email to remarket to cart abandoners. Send out an email immediately (within the first 60 minutes of a suspected abandonment) that woos the prospect back to complete the sale. Test the offers. Don’t default to 50% if you’ve tested and 25% works just as well.

3. Use Google

Google has a cool feature called Adwords Customer Match. It allows you to target ads to people on your email list. This is how it works:

Upload your subscriber email list. Then, Google will match the email addresses against their user database. If the email you have matches one of their users, you can then set up a campaign to market to them.

But, you’ll need at least 1000 email address matches to start a campaign. That means, if you have 1000 email addresses, but only 800 of them match a Google user, you won’t be able to start the campaign. This is done for privacy concerns.

If you’re able to use this marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to segment your list for the most effective remarketing. I like the idea of segmenting based on who’s already purchased your products. To those who’ve purchased, you can show them ads with a targeted upgrade to boost your sales. And for those who’ve browsed but not purchased, you can show them ads for a free webinar or product demo.

4. Get Them to Open Emails

Email marketing is sending out emails. Email remarketing is sending out those emails again, but this time with more of an incentive for the subscriber to actually read it.

When you send out emails again, you won’t be sending it to your entire list. You’ll only send it out to those who didn’t open the email the first time. Their inaction is a behavioral trigger. But of course, when you send out this time, you want to opt for a different subject line to pique their interest.

Then, there are those who open your emails but didn’t click on the call to action within the email. Target those people, too. Use a different call to action. Make the benefits of clicking obvious. Improve the incentive to click.

As a note, I’d recommend this type of email remarketing when you’re trying to sell a product, but it can also work for promoting your blog posts, webinars, and other causes, too. Just keep in mind that the more you saturate your audience, the less effective it becomes. So, use this technique sparingly for max benefit.

5. Upsell

We can’t talk about boosting sales without talking about upselling. Upselling helps you to make more from a transaction.

When a customer makes a purchase, send out an email offering a complementary or upgraded product at a reduced fee. Explain how this product can benefit the customer, but be careful not to downplay the product that they’ve already purchased from you. If you decide not to upgrade, you don’t want them to feel bad about what they’ve actually purchased.

Best Practices for Email Remarketing

Make sure to do the following when remarketing to your prospects through email:

Do it sooner rather than later.

Send your emails (or ads) as soon as possible in response to the trigger. For example, don’t wait days before you attempt to rescue an abandoned cart. The sooner you respond, the better your results.

Personalize your email (or ad) as much as possible.

If you know their first name, use it. If you know what product they were interested in, include it. Tailor your content to their behavior.

Incentivize action.

Use a promo code where applicable to motivate them to complete the call to action.

Make the call to action obvious.

Your prospect should know exactly what to do next.

Commit to A/B testing.

A/B testing helps you figure out what’s working and what’s not working in your remarketing efforts.

Get an Invite

Before you go, be sure to get an invite to Retained. With Retained, you’ll get special insight into your customers. We’ll identify your most successful customers, and predict those who are likely to churn so you can rescue them in time. Get your invitation here.

Don’t forget to download this list of 10 ways to get your site visitor’s email address.

Kill your churn. Keep more of your customers. Get an invite to Retained.

Comment on this post