Email strategy teardown: Target

Great marketing is successful because it treats users as individuals.

Why Target?

A successful email marketing strategy treats your subscribers as people rather than as email addresses on a master list. It uses what you know about your subscribers to send relevant, timely emails that drive sales

I decided to break down the email strategy of Target — the second-largest discount store retailer in the United States.

I signed up for emails with Target. Took a few actions.

Then watched to see how the experience unfolded.

We wanted to see if a brand this huge has crafted an email marketing strategy as big and successful as their name, and if there’s anything that could be done better.

The backstory of Target

Target was founded in 1827 and has 1,828 stores around the world. They sell everything from beauty and health products to electronics to food — pretty much everything — and are good at it.

Here's what happened...

action 1

We signed up for email newsletter and received a welcome series and email newsletters.

action 2

We abandoned a cart and received robust abandon cart auto responders.

action 3

We purchased after the abandoned cart and received order confirmation and shipping emails.

Email deep dive

Let’s look at their three week email strategy.

1. Sign up for their emails

2. One week later abandoned a cart

3. Make a purchase a week later

Target emails

target welcome email
target welcome email
target welcome email
target welcome email
target abandoned cart
target abandoned cart
target order confirmation
target order confirmation
target weekly ad
target weekly ad

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Email strategy deep dive

Let’s look at their three week email strategy.

1. Sign up for their emails

2. One week later abandoned a cart

3. Make a purchase a week later

Daily email strategy

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Subscribed to emails

Abandoned cart

Purchase

Welcome

Welcome 2

Weekly ad

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Order confirmation

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Weekly ad

Promo

Promo

Promo

Promo

Weekly ad

Abandoned cart

Abandoned cart 2

Order shipped

Order delivered

The good, the bad, the ugly

positive review

Customer experience

They provide a great customer experience throughout the purchasing process. Everything from “good to know” post-purchase info to status updates on delivery.

positive review

Abandoned cart reminders

Ecommerce customers who received multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one follow up email. (Source: Experian, 2016). Target sent two abandoned cart reminders and incorporated my abandoned product into their weekly updates and daily promotions.

negative review

Overwhelming

The weekly ads and promotion emails had too much going on. Focus on one promotion paired with a clear call to action

negative review

Mix it up

The second abandoned cart email was identical to the first. Adding a discount to the second email might help increase recovery rates.

In conclusion


Target provided a great customer experience throughout the buying process and added a cool spin to their newsletters by incorporating abandoned products. They can work on cleaning up their emails by making them a little less cluttered and overwhelming.

target product shelf

Email strategy teardown: Target from Klaviyo

 

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