The modern consumer’s journey to purchase is rarely linear. It may take days, weeks — or even months — for a customer to research, consider, and finally purchase your products. Often this process will take place across multiple devices.

Without marketing intervention, the decision to purchase may never come. Customers may get tempted by other brands. Or simply lose interest in buying the product they originally wanted.

Retargeting is a powerful way to keep your customer on track. It helps to keep your brand and products top of mind, easing your customer along in their decision to buy.

When marketers think of retargeting, paid banner or social advertising often comes to mind. But retargeting is not just a tactic for display advertising. Email retargeting is a cheaper option that often delivers more conversions.

Display advertising may serve as an unwelcome interruption to your customer’s online activities. Arguably, email is far less irritating. It allows you to jump directly into your customer’s inbox, a place they intentionally check. A place where your message is more likely to resonate.

In this blog post, we identify online behaviours you can use as triggers for your email retargeting. Then, we discuss nine essential email retargeting campaigns your brand should be using.

Behavioural triggers for email retargeting

Retargeting emails are triggered by pre-defined online behaviours shown by individuals.

The benefit of this form of email marketing is that it ensures your message is contextually relevant. Behavioural triggered emails respond to an action by delivering the right message, in an appropriate forum. They help shape what the customer does next.

Think of email retargeting as a two-way conversation between your customer and your brand. In contrast, display advertising is like your brand shouting for attention in spaces where your customer isn’t expecting company.

Email retargeting is an effective way to respond to the following behavioural triggers:

  • people who abandon a cart before completing a purchase
  • people who left after spent a long time looking at a particular type of product or category
  • people who have visited the same page multiple times over a longer period without buying
  • existing customers who haven’t visited your website in a long time
  • existing customers who are due for a renewal or replenishment

Examples of email retargeting campaigns

So, which email retargeting campaigns should you be sending? Here are nine campaigns every brand can benefit from:

1. Abandoned cart

Cart abandonment emails are an effective way to retarget customers who have abandoned items in their shopping cart.

Use them to entice customers back to complete their purchase. Including product names in the subject line will help you grab your customer’s attention.

To create a sense of urgency, try adding a countdown timer. Let the customer know their cart will expire when the time is up.

2. Low stock

Low stock alerts are another way to retarget customers. You can set these up to get sent out when a customer has been browsing a product that is low in stock.

This form of email retargeting activates a customer’s fear of missing out (FOMO), creating an urgency to buy.

3. Back in stock


If lack of stock meant a customer missed out, back in stock alerts are the perfect way to retarget them.

These get triggered when items that were out of stock when the customer browsed them, come back into stock.

4. Cross-sell

Did your customer stop browsing because they didn’t find quite the right thing? If so, cross-selling emails are a nifty way to retarget them.

These recommend alternative products based on items recently browsed — a innovative way to tempt your customer back to your website.

5. Upsell

If your customer recently made a purchase, upselling emails are a great way to retarget them.

Recommend related products and crowdsource products others bought next, to get them back to browse.

Further reading: How to Cross-sell and Upsell in eCommerce

6. Renewal reminder

Does your business offer a subscription service? If so, renewal reminder emails should be your new best friend.

This form of email retargeting prompts a customer to renew their subscription as the expiry date approaches.

7. Replenishment

Replenishment emails are a form of retargeting that gets sent when a replenishable product your customer bought is about to run out. They prompt the customer to buy the product again.

A useful way to increase repeat purchases, replenishment emails make buying again from you easier than straying to a competitor.

8. Re-engagement

Re-engagement emails are a good way to win-back lapsed or unengaged subscribers.


Use this form of retargeting to sell the benefits of your brand. Remind customer what they are missing and what they will gain from re-engaging.

9. Customer support

Did your customer run into issues when using your website? Technical troubles may be the reason your customer stopped browsing, particularly if your products take time to research.

Sending customer support emails when customers abandon browsing is a helpful way to get customers back on track.


Behavioural triggered emails are an effective way to drive purchases. This form of email retargeting delivers contextually relevant messages direct to your customer’s inbox — where they’re likely to resonate.

This blog post has explored a number of behaviours you can use to trigger email retargeting. We’ve also outlined nine email retargeting campaigns you should be sending.

Before you start sending, make sure you have a measurement plan in place. Measuring and analysing your success will allow you to tweak your retargeting campaigns and improve results.

Now you’re equipped an understand of email retargeting, all you need is the right technology to implement it. To see our email marketing platform in action, book a demo via the button below.

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