Someone visits your website once, browses a little, but doesn’t engage or come back. Why does this happen? There are a number of possibilities, such as poor site design, the visitor being outside of the target audience, or a mismatch between what you offer and what the potential customer needs. 

More often than not though, the reason they leave is that people simply aren’t ready to make a decision. Instead, they are in the discovery phase; evaluating multiple options before making a commitment. Out of fear they will make a bad decision, people want to evaluate multiple options before making a decision. 

How do you get these website visitors to convert to customers? Email retargeting. 

  • For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of up to $42.
  • Emails with personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates. 
  • Approximately 59% of consumers say that email marketing influences their purchasing decisions.

What is Email Retargeting?

Email retargeting uses the information you’ve already gathered about customers and potential customers to create and send more specific, targeted emails to those people based on their behavior, interests and other data you’ve compiled. This type of advertising is a better way to help convert website visitors into customers, as the emails being sent in a retargeting campaign are more relevant to that website visitor.

Types of Email Retargeting

  • Emailing a specific website visitor after the website visit  
  • Retargeting an audience with display ads based on an email they have read from the advertiser

How Can Email Retargeting Benefit You?

  • Increases the odds of visitors coming back to your website
  • Allows you to continue to advertise to potential customers in a nonaggressive way
  • Increases the odds of visitors becoming customers

Five Email Retargeting Best Practices

1. Present people with personalized information

Visitors should be contacted with information or an offer that is valuable to them, which helps increase the percentage of engagement on emails.

2. Give customers a specific action to take

A “call-to-action” is one of the most important components of an email marketing campaign. A call-to-action encourages the reader to take a specific action, such as filling out a contact form or booking an appointment.

3. Pay attention to ad frequency

If a person is constantly bombarded with emails, they will unsubscribe. Overexposure can lead to people ignoring your ads due to annoyance. 54% of people will unsubscribe from emails because they receive too many of them.

4. Stop the campaign immediately after a customer performs the desired action

If a customer is continuously followed up with an email marketing campaign about an action they already took, this can ruin your relationship with that person.

5. Stop the campaign immediately after a customer performs the desired action

If you are using display ads to retarget your email audience, be sure your ads are only appearing on reputable sites. It can hurt your reputation if your ads are seen on unprofessional or inappropriate sites.



  1. Mohsin, M: 10 Email Marketing Stats You Need to Know in 2020, Oberlo, June 1, 2020 
  2. Wolff, A: 30 Email Marketing Stats You Need to Know for Your 2020 Strategy, Benchmark One, accessed August 6, 2020. 3. 
  3. Forsey, C: The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Stats for 2020, HubSpot, July 23, 2020.
  4. Stratovich, D: Email Marketing Frequency: 2020 Best Practices, SendPulse Blog, last updated 06.06.2019. 

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This document was last updated on July 24, 2014