Retargeting Spurs Email Renaissance: Winterberry Group
By Ken Magill
Email marketing is experiencing a new renaissance as a result of marketers increasingly using it in retargeting efforts, according to a recent report by strategic consultancy the Winterberry Group.
“Historically used for digital customer retention messaging, email is now seeing new life as a vehicle for retargeting,” the company’s Quarterly Business Review, created for the Direct Marketing Association, said. “Practitioners, in turn, are committing larger budgets to the practice.
“On a 1-to-5 scale (with 5 indicating investment increased ‘significantly’), survey respondents pegged their email spending at 3.50—the highest growth rate reported for any channel in a full year,” the report continued.
In display advertising, retargeting, also called behaviorally based advertising, is where ads are served based on people’s previous Internet actions.
According to the Winterberry Group, marketers are increasingly discovering the power of retargeting when used with email. Think of it like abandoned-shopping-cart emails without the shopping carts.
“Retargeting is the deployment of targeted messages to consumers once they have raised their hand and shown interest in a product or brand and then abandoned their effort,” said Jonathan C. Margulies, managing director, Winterberry Group. “We’re seeing a lot of that across email now, as well.”
According to Margulies, the vast majority of retargeted email is sent on a permission basis.
“The vast majority, certainly among reputable marketers, is that someone has logged in, we know the email address associated with that activity and we know they abandoned the search, so now is the time to send them an email,” he said.
Added Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president, CRM/member engagement, DMA: “It’s similar to abandoned cart but what it’s doing is looking at where people abandon pages before they get to the cart.”
“It’s another means at attempting to create a robust customer experience,” said Margulies. “And data is allowing marketers to increasingly understand more about intent along the conversion funnel. At one point we knew intent was there only when you were through to the shopping cart and abandoned it. Now we can understand better as you’re at different stages in that process.”
Margulies said he could not quantify the percentage of marketers using email retargeting.
“Anecdotally, it is growing proportionally, particularly among retailers,” he said.
Added O’Keefe: “People are looking at what they’re doing with display ads and making the connection [with email]. This is obviously a very relevant concept because the customer was on a specific page and showed interest in that specific page. It’s an opportunity for the marketer to increase email contact, but by doing it in a very relevant way. These messages are head-and-shoulders above generic weekly blasts.”