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Top Retargeting Email Examples For E-commerce Customers

When someone visits an online store, they often browse, click on various products, and maybe even add a few to their cart.

But guess what? Only some people end up buying. Life happens – maybe they got distracted or decided to think it over. They might even forget about those cool items they were eyeing earlier. 

But as a savvy e-commerce business owner, you have a powerful tool up your sleeve: retargeting emails. These are special emails sent to remind shoppers about the products they once liked. 

In this post, we'll show you five examples of the emails you can use for retargeting your e-commerce customers. 

What is a Retargeting Email?

A retargeting email is a type of email marketing message sent explicitly to individuals who have previously interacted with a website, product, or service but still need to complete a desired action (like making a purchase). These emails aim to re-engage the potential customer by reminding them of their initial interest and motivating them to return and take the desired action.

Imagine Sarah is browsing an online clothing store. She selects a hat and adds it to her cart, but then gets distracted and needs to complete the purchase. A few hours or days later, she receives an email with the subject, “Forgot something in your cart?”. The email showcases the exact hat she was interested in, offering a small discount or emphasizing limited stock to encourage her to finalize the purchase.

The digital world is a whole of distractions. Potential customers often show interest in a product but must complete the purchase due to various reasons (distractions, second thoughts, waiting for a paycheck, etc.). This doesn't mean they're not interested; sometimes, they need a reminder or a little nudge.

Retargeting emails serve this purpose. They tap into the initial interest of the potential buyer, reminding them of what caught their attention. This personalized approach, referencing specific products or services the customer interacts with, often leads to higher engagement and conversion rates than generic promotional emails. It's a strategic way for businesses to maximize their chances of converting interested browsers into actual buyers.

5 Retargeting Email Examples 

1. Gazelles retargeting email

Why we liked this:

“IS YOUR WI-FI OKAY?” This headline is clever and immediately captures attention. Instead of the standard “You left something in your cart,” it offers a humorous spin, suggesting that perhaps a technical glitch prevented the purchase. Such an approach not only re-engages the user but also does so in a light-hearted manner, increasing the chances of the reader continuing with the content and ultimately revisiting the product.

“WHAT'S THE WORD?” followed by a positive review provides social proof, which is a powerful motivator in consumer decisions. When potential customers see that others have had a positive experience with a product, they're more likely to feel confident in their purchase decision. This review section assures the potential buyer that others have found value in the development, nudging them towards completing the purchase.

2. Uniqlo retargeting email

Why we liked this:

  • Attention-grabbing Headline: “LUCKY YOU” immediately conveys positivity, creating a sense of luck for the recipient.
  • Clear Value Proposition: Highlighting that an item's price has been reduced targets potential price-sensitive customers and reinforces the idea of obtaining a deal.
  • High-Quality Product Imagery: The central image showcases the product's design and quality, making it visually appealing and reminding the user of their initial interest.
  • Direct CTA: The “SHOP NOW” button is prominently displayed, providing a straightforward next step for the recipient.
  • Upselling Opportunity: The “YOU MAY ALSO LIKE…” section introduces the potential for additional sales by suggesting complementary items or alternatives.

3. Food52 retargeting email

Why we liked this:

  • Elegant Visuals: The high-quality imagery emphasizes product aesthetics, evoking a sense of luxury and refinement.
  • Personalized Touch: “Your Cart Called” is a clever and engaging way to remind users of their abandoned items, making the communication more direct.
  • Sense of Urgency: The phrase “they won't be forever” subtly pushes the user to act quickly, capitalizing on the potential fear of missing out.
  • Clear CTA: “VISIT YOUR CART” stands out, providing an unambiguous action path for recipients.
  • Product Highlight: The “YOUR LIL' SOMETHINGS” section showcases a specific product, personalizing the email and reinforcing the recipient's initial interest.

4. Judy retargeting email

Why we liked this:

  • Bold Visual Design: The vibrant orange immediately grabs attention, emphasizing the brand and product.
  • Engaging Header: “WE SAW YOU LOOKING…” creates curiosity, prompting users to continue reading.
  • Complimentary Approach: Complimenting users with “kudos” and praising their foresight establishes a positive connection.
  • Reinforcement: Stating that the product viewed was a “great choice” builds on the user's initial interest, making a purchase more likely.
  • Clear CTA: “Get prepared” is direct, motivating, and relevant, steering users towards the intended action.

5. H&M retargeting email

Why we liked this:

  • Clean Layout: Minimalistic design focuses on the product and message.
  • Clear Messaging: “You left this behind” directly addresses the user's previous interaction.
  • Urgency Element: Mentioning items go fast instills FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in readers.
  • Visible Price: Displaying the price provides clarity and can prompt immediate purchase decisions.
  • Direct CTA: “GO TO CHECKOUT” is straightforward, urging users to finalize their purchase.

Retargeting Email Best Practices

Segmentation and Personalization

One size doesn’t fit all in the email world. When crafting retargeting emails, it's essential to segment your audience based on their interactions. For instance, a visitor who abandoned a cart might need a different message than someone who browsed a product page. Personalize these messages by using the recipient's name and referencing specific products they showed interest in. 

This makes your emails relevant and shows your potential customers that you're paying attention to their preferences, increasing the chances of re-engagement. Personalization is essential when sending important emails, such as looking to source proprietary pe deals or finding funding for your startup.

Timing is Everything

The digital realm moves quickly, and consumer interests are constantly evolving. Within this environment, timing becomes a pivotal factor. I'm sending a retargeting email after an interaction, so you're still fresh in the potential buyer's mind. The principle is similar to following up on a conversation while the topic is still relevant. 

By reaching out within 24 hours, you're capitalizing on their initial interest. On the other hand, if you delay the follow-up, other distractions or competitors might occupy their attention. It's about seizing the moment and ensuring your brand and product remain at the forefront of their consideration. Every hour ticks by without a gentle reminder reduces the chance of that coveted conversion.

Clear and Compelling Call-to-Action (CTA)

CTAs are the bridges between passive reading and active engagement. A well-crafted CTA isn't just a button or a line of text; it's a compelling directive. It should evoke a sense of need, urgency, or curiosity. 

While clarity ensures that the recipient knows exactly what action to take, the compelling nature of a CTA arouses a desire to take that action. It's crucial to strike the right balance between being assertive and inviting. By making the CTA stand out, whether through color, design, or positioning, you're guiding the recipient's journey, making it intuitive and straightforward, ultimately enhancing conversion rates.

Offer Incentives

Incentives are powerful motivators in consumer behavior. They provide that little extra value or benefit that can tip the scales in favor of a purchase. However, like any tool, they need to be used wisely. Continual discounts can erode brand value and set an expectation that can be hard to undo. 

While offering a price reduction is tempting, consider other value-added incentives like exclusive content, early access to sales, or loyalty points. The aim is to provide genuine value that aligns with your brand's ethos and appeals to the specific interests of the target audience, ensuring they feel rewarded rather than just baited.

Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design

The prevalence of mobile browsing and shopping cannot be overstated. We live in an age where convenience is king, and mobile devices are the conduits of this convenience. A retargeting email not optimized for mobile is akin to having a brick-and-mortar store that's not wheelchair accessible; you're shutting out a significant portion of potential customers.

Responsive design ensures that, irrespective of the device's screen size, the email's content is aesthetically pleasing and functional. This involves resizing and reformatting elements to make the email navigable and ensuring images and CTAs are visible and usable. The goal is a seamless experience that doesn't deter the recipient but encourages more profound engagement.

Avoid Being Too Pushy

There's a fine line between reminding and nagging. If a potential customer receives too many retargeting emails quickly or finds the content too aggressive, they might get annoyed and opt out of your email list. It's crucial to find a balance. 

Consider frequency caps (like sending only one retargeting email every three days) and ensure your content is helpful and engaging, not just sales.

Monitor and Adjust

Like any other marketing strategy, retargeting requires ongoing assessment. Track key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. 

Could you look over what's working and what's not? One segment may respond well to discount offers, while another prefers product recommendations. Use this data to refine your strategy, adjust your content, and continuously improve your retargeting efforts.

Engaging Subject Lines

The subject line is often the first thing a recipient sees, and it plays a pivotal role in whether they decide to open the email. For retargeting emails, the subject line should be enticing relevant, and create a sense of urgency or curiosity. 

However, it should also be genuine and not clickbaity. For example, “Your cart misses you!” or “Did you forget about these?” can prompt recipients to revisit their cart or the products they viewed. The key is to capture their attention and give them a reason to open and engage with your email.

Moreover, personalization can significantly elevate the impact of the subject line. Using the recipient's name or referencing their previous interactions with your brand fosters a personal connection. Subject lines like “John, a special offer just for you!” or “Anna, we thought you'd love these new arrivals” resonate more than generic ones.

Use High-Quality Images and Design

Visual appeal can significantly impact the effectiveness of your retargeting email. Leveraging a free AI image generator to create clear, high-quality images of the products the user showed interest in can reignite their initial attraction. Moreover, an aesthetically pleasing and well-structured email design ensures that the message is visually engaging and easy to navigate. 

For instance, if you're retargeting someone who browsed a specific pair of shoes, showcasing a sharp image of those shoes can instantly remind them of their interest and drive them back to your website.

A/B Testing

Continuous improvement is vital for any marketing strategy, and retargeting emails are no exception. A/B testing, or split testing, involves sending two slightly different versions of an email to see which one performs better. This could mean testing other subject lines, images, CTAs, or even the timing of when the email is sent. 

By gathering data on which version resonates more with recipients, businesses can refine their retargeting emails to be more effective and drive higher conversions. Over time, these minor tweaks and improvements, informed by real user data, can significantly boost the performance of retargeting campaigns.

Integrating these practices into your retargeting email strategy can further optimize your engagement with potential customers and increase the likelihood of conversions.

Wrapping up

Retargeting emails are pivotal in reconnecting with potential e-commerce customers and guiding them back to finalizing purchases. As showcased in our examples, compelling retargeting emails balance aesthetics, clarity, and persuasive elements. Now that you're equipped with these top-notch examples, it's time to craft or refine your retargeting strategy. Reflect on the aspects that resonated most with you and consider how they can be adapted to fit your brand's voice and audience. Follow the best practices for email marketing that we've listed above. 

Remember, the ultimate goal is to provide value and address the needs or hesitations of your customers. As a next step, consider A/B testing different approaches to discern which tactics yield the highest conversion for your brand. Use the power of retargeting and watch your e-commerce success revenue go up.

Author bio:

Trevor Trevor Hatfield is the CEO of SendX, a powerful email marketing software for sending campaigns, building your list, and automating your marketing. SendX is a product of SendWorks, a software product suite with tools that help send emails that hit the inbox.

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