how to write email remarketing copy

Best Practices for Email Remarketing: Email Copy

Subject Line

47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line & 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line (Invesp).

With so many companies and advertisers trying to get consumers’ attention, your email’s subject line is key to getting opened and read. It’s your first impression, and the first piece of copy that is guaranteed to be read, or at least be scanned by your abandoning customers as they check their mailbox and decide what email to read or not.

Subject lines should be operational and descriptive of the content of your email. Whether you choose to use something straight-forward “You left something in your cart”, create urgency “Your cart is about to expire”, or use some humor “Your cart is collecting dust”, make sure the reader knows exactly what the benefit of opening the email is.

As a rule go for sense over sensational:

  • Keep it short and clear. As your prospective customers scan through their emails and decide which ones to keep or delete, they need to immediately be able to understand what the email is about and what is its value: “Come back to X now”, “A reminder from X”, “Hurry back for 10% off”…
  • Don’t scream at the consumer by using caps or a lot of exclamation points. Your email will immediately come across as spammy or even worst scammy and will end up in the trash folder.
  • Don’t try to “trick” them either with overly catchy subject lines… as it might well be sent straight to the spam folder. Red flag words include: “Free”, “Spam”, “Cash”, “$”, “Amazing”, congratulations” “don’t delete” etc…
  • However, this doesn’t mean your subject line should be boring. You can use humor and try to pique your customer’s interest by creating urgency for example.


Your headline needs to be clear and catchy as it sets the tone for the rest of the email and is your second and last touchpoints to convince your customer to read your email, so be sure to get your point across.

  • This is not quite yet the time for a joke or an overly clever comment. Use your headline to make it immediately clear to your abandoning customers what is the point of the email. “Complete your reservation”, “Thanks for visiting X, Save 10% Today!” etc…
  • Try using this key part of your email to create urgency, fear of missing out or mention a discount or promotion when available. “Complete your transaction today and get $15 off”, “Last chance before we delete your cart”, “We have reserved your cart for the next X hours”

Email Copy: Helpful, Informational Tone

I know we are building an email remarketing solution to bring back abandoning customers to your site and get conversions, but by going for a hard sell tone in your email copy, you risk alienating your customers.

Instead, use more of a helpful tone by highlighting how you’re trying to help your customers and improve their experience. In fact, to comply with CAN SPAM regulations all reengagement emails must be “transactional” in nature, or in other words, operational emails, coming to inform the customer about something and improving the experience. So, it’s important to not come across as selling something or your email might be flagged as commercial, and thus as Spam.

So, when writing your email, go for clear, to the point and informational, with short sharp sentences.

email copy example

This will make your email more engaging and drive more conversions.

The content of your email should also be personalized and segmented based on your abandoning customers’ interests and onsite behavior. We will cover this aspect in our following blog post, on how to personalize your solution.

Product feed

Any good Email Remarketing campaign should include a product feed capture, showing in the body of the email  the products the customer had in his cart on abandonment. A picture of the product, its name, quantity and price should be included in this feed, making it easier for customers to pick up where they left off, especially if their cart is no longer populated with the items they had put in it.

This really should be part of any Email remarketing campaign as Product Feed campaigns have higher click and conversion rates than generic emails and provide a more targeted & personalized experience.

And If you use a product feed, make sure that you can rebuild more than one item when your abandoning customer’s cart contains multiple ones.

Thomas Lafarge
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