There are a lot of potential sales that go to waste during a normal transaction, particularly for most stores that rely on volume. For example, out of 100 people who visit an online store by chance (usually through random search engine strings or through random banner ads,) there is a big chance that only 10 people will actually buy. The remaining 90 will not only go away, there’s a big chance that they won’t bookmark the site and will not return even when they are in the mood for buying. Without retargeting, those 90 people and the potential sales they could bring are wasted.
What is Retargetting?
Retargetting, as the name implies, is basically a way to get those non-converting customers to come back when they’re ready to buy, or at least to remind them that your services and products are available when they are ready to buy. There are a number of ways to retarget lost customers but one of the most effective ones is a newsletter.
Why Newsletters are Better for Retargetting
First thing you need to do in order to take advantage of newsletters as a retargeting tool is to set up a sign up form or an opt-in page at the early part of your sales funnel. Technically, you can employ a user registration function. Not an enforced one – mind you. You should let customers browse around without locking out the contents of your page. But you should provide a good reason or an incentive to register an account. This is one of the key principles: motivate and incentivize, but don’t mandate anything.
A good way to get people to register is to offer extra features to registered users. Reasons that make sense, such as giving them the ability to bookmark or mark interesting items, use shopping carts that retain settings, and other user-customizable features. With this in place, users are now expecting their activity and preferences to be tracked – the only difference is that they are aware of the fact that you are doing it for the purpose of giving them a better user experience. Do try to remind them of this during the sign up procedure.
The things that you can track using cookies will be enough, but what makes this even more powerful is that you can also build a database of your user’s preferences by including a few short, yet relevant questions during the sign up process. As long as they’re not too time-consuming to answer, users will be willing to provide extra information. Now, notify them that they will also be included in your mailing list, but give them the ability to opt-out (otherwise you’re basically spamming.)
With the above in place, you’re all set. Using the cookies or simply the activity logs, you can check which users have not logged in for quite some time or has not made a purchase. Then, based on their activity and the answers to your initial survey, you can find out what they are interested in and target them in the next newsletter with content that is relevant to their interests, along with offers and promos on products they might be interested in. Additionally, you can also “remind” them of your products and services on special occasions, particularly during their birthdays.
Basically, the ability to retarget inactive or lost customers using your newsletter hinges on two things: setting up a non-invasive way to track their initial online behavior and keep a database of their preferences, and use the data gathered from there to send out personalized emails at times when the content will be valuable to them.