How to Increase CTR in Your Email Strategy Using Nosto’s Email Widgets

Learn how to apply 1:1 personalization to a standard email marketing flow using Nosto’s Email Widgets and increase click-through rate and value in your email efforts.

Most of us who work with marketing – especially email marketing – know that content is king; but how can you ensure you’re getting the most out of every single email you send? And what are the most effective ways of capturing the interest of every unique recipient?

Nosto’s Email Widgets turn an otherwise unengaging email experience into one that attracts indecisive and loyal customers alike with the products they’re most likely to purchase. The range of products you show to customers depends on the type of email you’re sending, and with so many possibilities to communicate with your customers via email, all it takes is a few expert tips to turn your email marketing into a major conversion driver.

From transactional to conversational, let’s explore some of the most frequently used email campaigns in ecommerce and how you can optimize and personalize these emails one step further using Nosto’s email widgets.

What makes email widgets so beneficial to your email strategy?

Email Widgets are one of the many integral parts of a winning product recommendation strategy. One of the perks of Nosto’s email widgets is that they are dynamic, which means that the product recommendations shown to each email recipient will change automatically every time a widget is loaded as a part of an email.

For instance, if a product is available when an email is created and sent, but sold out or removed by the time a recipient opens up an email featuring the Nosto widget, that unavailable product won’t appear on an email and is replaced with another product. Technically, Nosto’s widgets are driven by browser sessions.

Let’s look at some of the most popular email use cases and where email widgets yield the most impact for CTR.

1. The abandoned cart email

Abandoned cart emails are the gentle nudge that every shopper needs when they’re still in purchase limbo. These automated emails target prospects who’ve added an item to their cart but haven’t completed the purchase and help remind them of what they’ve left behind.

Abandoned cart emails are a helpful way of keeping browsed products top of mind and offering relevant communication at a time when shoppers are likely distracted or being bombarded with other email offers.

Expert tip: We recommend excluding product recommendations from abandoned cart emails. This email should be used as a clear call-to-action to get the shopper back to your store for a quick and easy checkout, with the focus mainly on the abandoned items in the shopper’s cart.

2. The ‘Back in Stock’ email

The purpose of a ‘back in stock’ email is to re-engage customers with products that are in high demand and encourage them to revisit your store to complete an order. This email helps build trust and loyalty between brand and customer, showing shoppers that they’ve not gone forgotten.

Expert tip: To boost the customer experience, use a cross-selling recommendation to display products that are related to the ones(s) that the visitor is viewing, such as “Customers Who Viewed This Also Viewed.” Cross-selling and up-selling has inclusion and exclusion rules which allow you to filter which type of products are displayed in a recommendation.

If you think you have room in your ‘back in stock’ email for a second widget, take the opportunity to use personalized recommendations to strengthen their engagement by also displaying previous product considerations.

This means that you’ll be able to display other previously viewed products that the shopper also showed interest in during their last session – all in a smart, weighted order.

3. Transactional emails

Transactional emails serve as some of the most open correspondence between brand and customer: from order verification messages down to post-purchase confirmations. They are a prime location to promote your range of interesting items to drive traffic to your store.

The most effective recommendation tactic depends on the type of transactional email you’re sending. Here are some examples of transactional emails and expert tips on how to execute Email Widgets in each one:

  • Order verification (e.g. “We have received your order”)
    • Expert tip: Use Order Related recommendations to display matching or complementary products.
  • Shipment confirmation (e.g. “Your order has been shipped”)
    • Expert tip: Use cross-selling recommendations and display products that like-minded shoppers have also purchased (“Others who bought this item also bought/browsed these items”).
  • Shipment tracking (e.g. “Track your order using this code”)
    • Expert tip: Use personalized recommendations to remind the customer what they have browsed but not yet purchased.
  • Order delivery (e.g. “Your order has been delivered”)
    • Expert tip: Use a Browsing History Related recommendation (e.g. a recommendation filtered by “new since last visit” and promoted as “handpicked” products for the shopper) to pique your customers’s interest.

4. The browser abandonment email

Similar to an abandoned cart email, a browser abandonment email is meant to re-engage visitors who spend time browsing your store but never added anything to their cart or checked out within a specified length of time. So we want to show them more products we think match their preferences and that they haven’t been able to find during their last session.

Expert tip: Deploy Browsing History Related recommendations to showcase relevant products that your shopper is more likely to engage with/purchase based on past browsing data. In addition, you can add a personalized recommendation to remind the customer of what they previously viewed in your store. These recommendations would depend on the length of time between the email send date and the shopper’s last session onsite.

To top things off, sprinkle some social validation in the form of headlines such as “Others also viewed” or “ Other also bought” to give shoppers an extra nudge towards checkout. Social validation is a form of ecommerce FOMO (‘fear of missing out’) that plays on a consumer’s trust in the decisions of their peers.

5. The winback email

The purpose of a winback email is just that – to rebuild the recipient’s interest in your store and win back their business. Also known as the “we miss you” email, these are usually reserved for customers who haven’t browsed or shopped from your store in some time. It’s a subtle way to remind them of all the great products they’ve missed since their last visit. Email Widgets help beef up your “regular” email content with recommendations of new or previously browsed products that the shopper will most likely want to engage with.

Expert tip: Use a Browsing History Related recommendation filtered by “new since last visit” to display the most relevant new items for each user.

6. The sign-up confirmation email

If someone has signed up for your newsletter or joined a customer loyalty program, a personal welcome from your brand is just the thing to foster trust and loyalty. You might give away discounts or extra loyalty points just for signing up, so take this opportunity to use these gifts straight away!

Expert tip: Showcase a personalized recommendation with hand picked items for each user using a Browsing History Related recommendation that gets the inspiration flowing and drives a first purchase.

7. Campaign promotions and newsletters

Widgets don’t always have to be tied to indecisive shoppers or post-purchase communication. They can also serve as a way to spice up your wider campaign promotions where the same content is typically used for a larger and somewhat unengaged group of users. This can range from holiday campaigns (like Black Friday marketing campaigns and your Christmas ecommerce setup), to seasonal sales and even ongoing newsletters. Adding an element of personalization to these emails can actually help engage more users to click on the product you’ve recommended instead of receiving (and potentially ignoring) a generic email message.

Expert tip: Use a Best Seller recommendation based on category filtering to showcase the top products for that specific campaign or new release. A second widget can add personalized recommendations to inspire the shopper with additional products or remind them of what they viewed during their last session.

Working with limited behavioral data? Keep calm and ‘fallback’ on

Personalized commerce experiences like the use cases we’ve covered are typically driven previous shopping or browsing behavior. But what happens when there’s just not much data (if any) to go off of? This includes scenarios such as brand new site visitors, users who have cleared their cookies or those who have asked to be removed from your database.

Expert tip: In these cases, you can still create an engaging experience using fallback recommendations. In the case of Email Widgets, these fallbacks can be configured in the same way as Nosto’s onsite recommendations – either by promoting your store’s bestsellers, new and/or high-converting, products, or a specific category. These options are available in Nosto’s Widget configuration. Fallbacks can be applied to any generic email to guarantee that Widgets are always populated with products.

Have a question about how to implement Nosto’s Email Widgets in your email marketing strategy? Contact our team to build a strategy that works best for your business goals.

Already deploying Personalized Emails and want to ramp up your 2021 strategy? Reach out to your CSM for the latest insights, trends and best practices to get your store ready for the new year.

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