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Unlocking Hidden Revenue: The Inbox Retargeting Methodology



Unlocking Hidden Revenue: The Inbox Retargeting Methodology

Page conversion rates have ALWAYS been a problem. The simple fact is most people don’t convert even on the most optimized pages. 

What’s why traditional retargeting on ad networks has been so dang powerful. While retargeted leads come cheap, they still aren’t free. Worse, you’re back competing against your competition in the ol’ ad auction system.

For the last 6 years, I’ve been using a tactic called Inbox Retargeting to identify who lands on my key pages and directly reach out to them in their inbox.

No more ads. No more auctions. Just a targeted contact that showed they were interested, but didn’t quite take the leap yet.

Before I dive into the “What’s” and “How’s”, this tactic can only be used in the good ol’ US of A. If you aren’t in the states or don’t have clients in the states, you’re out of luck. Sorry!

How It Works

Inbox retargeting doesn’t take a lot of heavy lifting. I’ll share the strategy next but I wanted to start with some of the logistics.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer or coder, so keep that in mind if technical or legal questions pop up.

If you have a website, you have tracking scripts, e.g.,  GA4, the Facebook Pixel, Heatmap software, etc…

To get started with Inbox retargeting, you just need to be able to copy and paste two scripts on your site:

  • A collection script: This fires and tries to identify the visitor

A suppression script: You’d fire this on your conversion confirmation pages, you don’t want people who converted to land in your Inbox Retargeting campaigns.

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The tech works off of a database of contacts in the United States that are eligible for emails, so it’s completely above board with your ESP. However, you’ll want to do a few things before you start treating them like a regular member of your email list.

We initially tested this on one of our paid media campaigns. We already had a really strong campaign that we wanted to squeeze more leads out of…and boy did we.

We were driving traffic from Meta (Facebook for the OGs) to this landing page:

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This page converts at 58%. Yeah, that’s a humble brag…deal with it.

Even with a 58% conversion rate, we’re still missing out on 42% of the traffic we’ve already paid for. That’s kind of a bummer.

After we added the collection script to the page, they were able to capture a lot more leads. The conversion rate jumped from 58% to a very sweet 87% – that’s a 50% increase!

That was the impact on a single page, that’s when we knew it was time to go bigger.

The Strategy

Most of the tools out there, whether it’s or, are going to charge based on the number of contacts. So it can get pretty easy to burn through contact credits if you run the script on every page you manage, your site and your clients’ sites included.

That’s why you’ll want to make sure to select pages that capture intent versus targeting all of your traffic.

ID Key Pages

Here are some of the pages you should consider adding the collection script:

  1. Campaign Landing Pages – If you’re paying to send someone to a page, the referring source piqued their interest. If they didn’t convert, you’d definitely want to follow up.
  2. Product Pages – If someone is viewing this page they’re evaluating a particular product they were interested in.
  3. High Intent/Value Content Pages – This could be your pillar content on your blog pages, podcast pages, or your top level service pages.
  4. Registration Pages – This is a subset of a landing page, but if someone got all the way to a registration or sigh up page, they’re a prime candidate for outreach.
  5. Cart Pages – People abandon carts all the time. If you weren’t able to catch their details during checkout, this is an ideal opportunity.

Effectively it’s any page where you’re pushing a specific action. While the above pages are the pages to choose from, a homepage is acceptable but will require a little more finesse when you follow up.

Map to Email Campaigns

Now that you’ve identified where you’re going to identify leads, you’ll need to map it to your automation tool.

Unlocking Hidden Revenue The Inbox Retargeting MethodologyUnlocking Hidden Revenue The Inbox Retargeting Methodology

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Most tools have a direct integration with your email service provider, but worst case scenario you may have to pass the data through a no code integration tool like Zapier.

Once you’ve worked out the digital plumbing, you’ll want to follow up based on the page the contact was collected on. Here’s how you should approach follow up:

  1. For Campaign Landing Pages – Give them the specific asset. They were interested in it, you’ve got their contact information, just hand over the goods. This builds good will at the start of the relationship.
  2. Product Pages – Send over the details of the product or product category they were viewing. This could be as simple as a reminder or you could build goodwill with a special offer or coupon.
  3. High Intent/Value Content Pages – Send over some of your best content or freebies that move people to the next phase of the Customer Value Journey.
  4. Registration Pages – Treat these like an “abandoned cart” type of email and get them to take that next step.
  5. Cart Pages – Same as “Registration Pages” but it’s, you know, an actual abandoned cart reminder. Similar to the product pages you could entice them to come back with a deal or coupon.
  6. Homepages – If you do run these on the homepage, you’ll need to do more of a reintroduction then transition to showcasing your best stuff.

Email Structure

The initial message you send needs to have a very specific flow. There are four critical things that need to happen when they open up your Inbox Retargeting message.

First, remind them about who you are and how they know you. This can be as simple as a, “Hey, thanks for stopping by…” message. Have some fun with it.

Next, you need to provide highly specific value based on their browsing intent. If you get this wrong, they’re just going to file your message under SPAM.

After that, you’ve got to set expectations with what they’re getting and now you’ll be communicating with them moving forward.

And Finally, you need to give them an EASY OUT. These campaigns have our highest unsubscribe rate, but that’s because we outright ask people to unsubscribe if they don’t want any additional contact.

Once you’e gone through this, you treat them like one of your regular subscribers with all your fancy ascension automations, content emails, and promotional emails.

Here are the email stats from one of our PPC Campaigns:

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With an average open rate of 53.87%, we know there’s a base line interest in the deliverable. The click rate is DANG good for messaging visitors who didn’t convert.

Sure the unsubscribe rate is a little high for this campaign, but that is intentional. We push them to opt-out in the first email so we don’t get dinged later with complaints.

The Payoff: An Additional 109k Last Year

I mean, who doesn’t want another cool 100 grand for adding a script to your website and writing a couple of emails? Here’s how the numbers work out:

Last year, we identified 3,714 leads using this method. IMPORTANT: When I was pulling these numbers, I realized we installed the code wrong on some pages and missed out on about another 2k leads…oops!

Our average lead cost was ~$7, so the leads themself were a $26,000 additional value. This alone would be a reason to use the tech.

BUT JUSTIN, did they convert?!


We closed $36,000 in IPPC business from this lead source. For what we spent on those leads we’re looking at a 750% ROAS. Not too shabby.

The rest of the money we made was by selling this service to our clients. Since we run paid ads for clients, this method is a complete no brainer. We ran a pilot program and only offered this to a handful of clients last year, we averaged about 4k/month in sales.

We sold clients the leads at ~$2/lead for some of the niches we work in, that’s a steal. 

If you decide to sell this you need to make sure the client knows these are lower intent leads and will require longer term nurtures. If you follow the email strategy I shared above, you’ll be good to go!

Protip: Charge for building the follow up sequence! 

So that’s it! If you’re running your own business or are an agency owner, you’ve got to consider Inbox Retargeting. Though, I do have some bad news…

Not to be “Chicken Little” but this is starting to get way more attention, there are services popping out of the woodwork so this will become a table stakes method. So get ahead of this today.

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The Future of Content Success Is Social



The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book



7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.


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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime



Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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