The concept of retargeting or remarketing started trending in the spring of 2007, and seven years later is still considered a hot topic for digital marketers. Back then few were the ones who understood it, fewer those who used it, and not much seems to have changed since. If you’re not yet using retargeting, perhaps you should seriously consider including it in your digital marketing activities to boost your overall performance with minimum effort.
What is retargeting
In essence, retargeting is an efficient tool that helps you re-engage with your potential audience. Under 10% of the visitors to your website will convert into buyers; the remaining ones you can bring back using this technique.
Benefits of retargeting
There are plenty of reasons why remarketing campaigns are gradually becoming mainstream, and they all derive from a wealth of positive outcomes:
- Ease of implementation,
- The possibility to get back in contact with lost visitors,
- Increased conversions from returning visitors and higher ROI,
- Increase brand recall and brand recognition,
- Construct a permanent flow of relevant prospects,
- Higher engagement on site,
- Targeting precision based on expressed interests and intentions.
How does retargeting work
In practice, it is a cookie-based technology that allows you to trail your audience online.
The process begins with a piece of code, also referred to as a pixel, which is inserted into your website. When a user visits a certain page or the site, a cookie is dropped into the user’s browser, allowing you to serve ads to them as they surf other sites on the web.
Types of retargeting
By using the technique described above, site retargeting helps you direct your ads to the relevant people, when they are online. It will offer them a reminder of your brand and the opportunity to revisit your website.
Is based on the user’s online behaviour and does not require a previous visit to the advertiser’s website. Display banners ads are served according to search queries entered in a search engine. These are regarded as declarations of intent, increasing the likelihood of an ad being relevant, performing better and even returning higher ROI compared to search engine marketing.
Is also a part of site retargeting, but you can retarget your website visitors by showing your ads when they use Facebook. It is available through their Custom Audiences feature, allowing advertisers to target visitors to a whole website or a specific page only, by building a highly relevant pool of prospective customers.
Email marketing uses a cookie-based technology similar to site remarketing. When the email is opened, a cookie is dropped into the opener’s browser, allowing you to later serve them ads when online, as an alternative to sending more emails to attract them to your site.
Using this remarketing option, you can re-engage with subscribers by accompanying your email campaign with display advertising.
A recent research from Forrester warns that brands run the risk of driving prospects away if they encounter message inconsistencies across devices. With the average UK person having access to 5.4 portable devices, the risk of consistency slippage can be quite high. Also, it is increasingly difficult for marketers to attribute a conversion to a single device (67% purchase on a different device than the one they use to research), generating the need for cross-device tracking.
This practice gives advertisers the chance to use the browsing history from one device onto other screens, displaying personalised ads at the right time in the conversion process. Brand Republic even suggest that if more than 3 devices are involved, conversion rates increase by up to 18% compared to other remarketing models.
How should you use retargeting?
Begin by establishing the number of unique visitors your website receives per month. The higher the number the more reach you can get from your remarketing campaign. That said, retargeting can also be done on sites with low monthly traffic but it is usually advisable to build a sufficient pool of visitors to get the most out of your campaign.
Search and email retargeting on the other hand do not depend on people reaching your website prior to your campaign. They can be used by any brand, regardless of its number of website visitors.
Make sure you’re using all available options to get a second chance at reaching your prospects, so don’t be afraid to mix and match these strategies.
If the idea of retargeting sounds appealing but you’re not ready to start a campaign just yet, perhaps it’s a good idea to identify and preselect a vendor so you can at least get a pixel set up on your site asap. That way you can start the campaign at any time in the future as soon as your audience pool is sufficiently large.
Ad creative for your retargeting campaign
Needless to say, your ads will be the main drive for people to (re)visit your website.
It’s key to use strong, clear and attractive calls-to-action and bring them to the relevant website pages onto your website.
It is common practice to remind your visitors of the content they have shown interest in on your website (or email), by personalising the creative element of your display ads. Also known as dynamic ads, these act as a personal reminder of the interaction they had with your brand or your products. They replace the static creative with automatically generated ads targeted at the individual visitor, with the potential to double the click-through rates.
When it comes to ad capping, the general advice is not to bombard your prospects with ads. You should find the right balance between keeping top-of-mind and over-exhibiting your offer. If a user still hasn’t clicked your ad after seeing it 8-12 times in a month, it’s an obvious sign they are not (or no longer) interested in the product.
- The best solution to re-engaging with website visitors who have not yet converted;
- Easy to implement;
- Great conversion rates and higher ROI;
- Several models available;
- Marketing personalisation for each prospect.
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