No one can deny how powerful email is when it comes to marketing.
Similarly, remarketing is an incredibly powerful strategy in its own right.
Put the two together? And you have an incredible way to engage a highly targeted, relevant audience.
In this article, Ignite’s Head of Email Marketing Dustin Baly goes over six strategies that will help you make the most of email remarketing.
We’re all familiar with the remarketing scenario: you visit a website – just once – and all of a sudden ads for that site are filling your browser and newsfeeds.
But what if those products started showing up in your inbox instead?
Chances are, you’d be more apt to click on it.
Because while we know that remarketing is an incredibly effective way to stay relevant to your audience, we also know that as avid internet users, most of your audience is pretty attuned to seeing – and tuning out – the advertisements around them.
But their inbox is a different story.
People spend an incredible amount of time checking their email, and if you can hit them with an ad that hardly even resembles an ad, the odds are in your favor that you’ll at least get a look.
But Gmail remarketing isn’t just about ads. In fact, there are plenty of ways to use Gmail remarketing to target the right users.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Gmail Remarketing Strategy #1: New Email Subscribers Who Have Not Yet Purchased
Think of this one as the classic scenario.
Because when we think of remarketing, we generally think of targeting people who have visited our page but haven’t made a purchase.
Same thing here, only it targets specifically those users who have submitted their email addresses.
And because they’ve done that, these users are more likely to convert.
Think about it: if someone gives you their email address, it generally means they want something you have to offer, whether it’s a white paper, download, or subscription to your blog.
Either way, they’ve already shown interest in your service or product, which makes them an ideal user to target with relevant offers and content.
This could work in many scenarios.
For example, if you run an e-commerce store and someone doesn’t purchase initially but does enter their email in exchange for a 10% off coupon, you can send them remarketing emails reminding them of their discount (and that the clock is ticking until it expires!)
Or, if someone downloads an ebook from you about the Top 10 Keyword Research Hacks, you’ll know to send them emails that cover any of your ongoing content about SEO – and link to your service pages.
To set this up, you’ll need an email software provider that allows you to collect emails and segment your list.
Gmail Remarketing Strategy #2: Email Subscribers Who Have Not Opened an Email in the Last 3 Months
This one happens to the best of us. Despite our best efforts, it’s inevitable that over time, some subscribers will simply stop reading your emails.
The good news is, if they haven’t unsubscribed completely, you still have a chance to re-engage them through Gmail remarketing.
The key here lies in proper list segmentation and personalization.
I’ve talked before about the importance of proper segmentation in email marketing (simply put, you’re throwing conversions out the door if you don’t do it).
Depending on your goals, the way you segment can depend on a variety of factors, such as demographics, location, past purchases, website behavior, etc.
For our purposes here, we want to segment based on email engagement. Again, you’ll need the help of a solid email software (think MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) to do this.
In that software, you’ll have the option to create lists based on how users are interacting with your emails: by clicks, click-through’s, and lack thereof. You’ll want to create a list based on those users who have not interacted with your emails for three months.
Why? Because they showed interest in your product or service, and they’re still inside a time window where re-engagement is realistic.
The thing to keep in mind here is this: these are people who aren’t reading your emails. Which means if you want them to read this one, you need an extra-catchy headline and content they can’t refuse.
The best way to get their attention? Humor and emotion.
Keep it short, and try present something unexpected. It doesn’t have to be a crazy good offer or discount, but it does need to grab their attention and make them smile, laugh, or feel something.
You could do it like Lowe’s, who uses its re-engagement email to invoke curiosity and highlight new store improvements.
Or, approach it like Grammarly with a little quick humor.
Gmail Remarketing Strategy #3: Past Customers Who Have Unsubscribed From Email But May Repurchase
Customer retention is key in any marketing strategy.
In fact, stats show that acquiring a new customer can cost 5x more than retaining an existing one, and the success rate of selling to those existing customers is 60-70%, while that of a new customer is just 5-20%.
Those are numbers you don’t want your brand missing out on, and Gmail remarketing is a great way to continue to engage those existing customers – even after they’ve unsubscribed to your email lists.
When it comes to email, remarketing offers a way to get around the unsubscribe.
Instead of being limited to just an inbox, marketers can use email remarketing list to target ads to users across Google and Facebook.
Just like the strategies above, you can use an email software to collect information on past customers and unsubscribes.
Then, you can upload that list to Google and/or Facebook to Custom Audiences and Customer Match lists.
Because these lists are based on your past customers, you can craft ads specific to what they’ve purchased in the past.
For example, you can serve them ads aimed at cross-selling related products, like Best Buy does here. If someone’s previously bought an iPhone, they may not be the in the smartphone market anymore, but chances are they’ll need a case to go with it.
Gmail Remarketing Strategy #4: Re-engage Recent Website Visitors Who Have Not Provided Their Email Address
One of the really cool things about Gmail retargeting is that you don’t even need an email address to do it.
All you need is a remarketing list.
If someone visits your website, you can track that user and add them to your remarketing list. Then, you can use that list to create a Gmail ad.
Just like it sounds, that’s an ad that comes in the form of an email – and lands right at the top of user’s inboxes.
Gmail offers most of the same targeting capabilities as the Display Network, and one of those is remarketing to past website visitors.
As long as the user who visited your site has a registered Google email address, you can deliver ads to their inbox (note: your list must have a minimum of 1,000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days).
All usual remarketing best practices apply here: make sure your ad is personalized to each user and relevant to the content they viewed on your site.
Gmail Remarketing Strategy #5: Reach New, Targeted Audiences That are Modeled After Your Best Customer
Remarketing lists are great, but you can take your targeting one step further with Similar Audiences.
As noted by Google, combining Similar Audiences with Gmail ads can “expand your reach by 2x to users who are most likely to click on your ads.”
Similar Audiences are audiences based on your existing remarketing and customer lists. Instead of targeting just the people on that list, it targets people with shared interests and behaviors to those on the list.
So if your existing list includes 100 people, creating a Similar Audience based on it can expand its reach tenfold (or more).
Even better, you can create these lists based on past converters, or those specifically who have made purchases.
Because the users who end up in your Similar Audience have search or purchase behavior similar to your customers, you’re targeting a highly qualified audience.
Gmail Remarketing Strategy #6: Engage In-Market Prospects in Their Inbox Who Have Not Visited Your Site
If your objective is to push sales, you need to be experimenting with in-market audiences.
These are built on users who Google has determined to be in-market, meaning they’ve been researching products and are actively considering buying a service or product like yours.
This is particularly useful when there is a significant purchase decision period, and you can nurture the decision by aiding the decision cycle with helpful information.
Essentially, it’s a way to augment your reach beyond the top search terms to engage with prospects who have expressed interest in what you provide.
Think of major purchases like cars or engagement rings. Generally, these are the type of things people research extensively before making a final decision.
And these are exactly the kind of people you would want to target with continuous, relevant content related to your brand. Because Google knows how long and how extensively they’be been searching, they can judge how close they are to a purchase decision.
With that information, you have the opportunity to target them at the exact right time – and in a place they won’t expect: their email.
Remember, Google’s ad network extends beyond Search and Display. And if you’re not using Gmail, you’re missing out on its 1.5 billion monthly users.
Wrapping Up Gmail Remarketing
Email is one of the most powerful ways to connect with customers.
Combine it with remarketing, and you’re likely to see some major improvements in your number of new and returning customers.