How It Works

Find out how our solution helps you turn browsers into buyers.


From Shopify to Klaviyo, explore over 80 integrations.


Access guides, troubleshooting, and expert assistance.

About Us

Hear our origin story and meet our team.


Become an official Partner.

Affiliate Program

Learn more about our Affiliate Program.


Explore career opportunities with


See upcoming events we’re hosting or attending.


Got a referral? Let us know here.

How to test Email Based Retargeting for Ecommerce

December 4, 2019

5 Steps to Properly Test works for most e-commerce businesses, but it’s important that appropriate expectations are in place going into the test, and that the test is executed properly for success.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you are testing for your brand.

1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) generally comes in close to Facebook

Under our current setup, we’ve generally seen people achieve $20 to $40 CAC with Email-Based Retargeting.

While that’s not a Christmas Miracle (I’m writing this in December), it’s another high-quality source of traffic that you can monetize at a comparable price to your other channels.

2. Give it 60 days; this is COLD traffic

Unlike the rest of your e-commerce email marketing list,’s email addresses didn’t purchase from you or raise their hand to be contacted. They are further up the funnel than your current list members are, so you’ll need to warm them up before they will buy.

The rules of marketing and sales funnels apply.

Once you’ve installed, take your first day’s volume and multiply it by 20. That should give you an approximate monthly estimate for your lead count.

This will help you determine which plan is best for your brand. Put yourself on that plan and run the test.

3. Put them in an e-commerce welcome series IMMEDIATELY

From what we’ve observed so far, sending to these recipients as quickly as possible is the goal. Most e-comm brands add their leads into an existing welcome series, which seems to work just fine.

The only problems we’ve seen are when people wait to email these contacts — over a week or so — then blast them with a normal newsletter.

Based on our years running an ESP (Robly), we believe that the current state of email is shifting. For the most part, if someone hits a website and then receives an email from that business, it’s not weird, infuriating, or altogether unexpected — as long as the brand is recognized by the person.

What is infuriating is when you receive email from a brand that you do not recognize whatsoever.

Email them quickly. Then once the welcome flow has finished, drop them into your regular emailing program.

We give you the landing page they hit, so you can get as sophisticated as you want in terms of targeting. We don’t think that’s necessary though. Just hit them quickly, with something.

4. When real-time collection comes, use it

We don’t have a real-time collection feature yet, but in 2020 we will be able to deliver you the records immediately as they come in.

Since we don’t have the feature yet, we can’t tell you how much it will benefit your e-commerce business. But with marketing and advertising in general, the sooner you can contact someone who’s visited your website or reached out in some way, the better. So intuitively, real-time collection will be beneficial, so you should plan to do it.

We’ll also be lowering the price of a lead to a starting cost of 15¢ (vs 25¢ now) if you don’t need a postal record.

That will lower CAC, and should make Email-Based Retargeting more efficient for you.

5. Tag the email addresses “,” and evaluate after 60 days

The last thing you need to make sure you do is label the addresses inside your ESP.

You’ll be able to look back over 60 days and see whether Email-Based Retargeting was profitable for you or not.

Feel free to email me any time about your test at adam[at]retention[dot]com.

We launched a month ago, so we’re still in learning mode. Any intel from you really helps.

Share this content with your friends!

Share on: