by Kieran O’Brien Kern
Ninety-eight percent of first-time visitors leave a website without converting. How do companies close the deal?
“A user who has spent significant time on a marketer’s site is in-market to buy their products,” explains Traverse Data CEO Craig Swerdloff. “If the user leaves without making a purchase, it often requires a slight nudge to get them to come back and complete their purchase.” Retargeting is one of the most effective nudges advertising can serve to assure conversion.
Swerdloff, along with Thomas Barnhart (VP of Business Development, Brightwave) and Jack Hogan (VP of Technology Strategy at Pure Storage), will present “Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression with Email Retargeting” at this year’s LeadsCon Las Vegas.
Less than ten percent of site traffic comes from known visitors. Marketers recognize these users via a first-party cookie, meaning they are someone who logs-in, registers, or makes a purchase. Unknown visitors are those without a first-party cookie. These visitors account for 90 percent or more of a marketer’s website traffic and do not provide an email address or convert. Not pursuing them is a significant lost opportunity.
“Known site visitor” is a method of serving an ad or offer to people for whom you recognize their digital identity. These visitors have been to your website or engaged with your brand in the past, and remarketing to them encourages them to re-engage with you.
Retargeting in display and social channels drives click-thru rates (CTR) of less than 0.1 percent. The average CTR for email retargeting campaigns is greater than 1 percent. “Email is simply a more effective channel for delivering your retargeting message and getting the customer to convert,” Swerdloff explains.
Traverse Data focuses on the unknown visitors and finding ways for marketers to send email to this audience. “Our proprietary data and technology allow us to resolve the identity of these visitors,” Swerdloff says. “We then work with a network of trusted publishers to send an email on behalf of the marketer.”
The pre-existing opt-in relationship between the trusted publisher and subscriber gives the user context as to why they are receiving the email. Swerdloff explains, “People get it. They’re used to being retargeted on the web and social media, and email is a natural extension of that.”
Retargeting emails are an opportunity to reinforce brand personality and messaging from the website. These messages should have a strong call-to-action without training consumers to wait for a big email discount offer. Regarding content, Swerdloff urges marketers to be authentic to their brands. “Give these prospects a reason to trust you but also a decent offer to nudge them to come back and become a customer.”
He shares that a sequence of emails is both helpful and effective. It’s important for mail to be sent soon after they leave. “We’re starting to see good results sending the first email 30 minutes after someone leaves the site,” Swerdloff shares. He also suggests following up with emails 24 and 72 hours later: The longer the delay, the more likely someone is to have bought the product elsewhere.
Traverse Data has had success with retargeting emails in several categories, including health and beauty, retail, travel and entertainment. They conducted a campaign for an online ticket marketplace where people buy and sell live entertainment tickets. The campaign was designed to bring anonymous site visitors who browse specific events but leave without completing a transaction back to the site a second time. After being live for a couple of months, the campaign is already delivering performance both in terms of CTR on the emails and conversions. “We're testing several values for the creative and subject line, and we expect the campaign to continue to improve its effectiveness over time.”
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