Retargeting – the Ultimate Follow-Up

Posted by | October 22, 2015 | Retargeting | No Comments

Retargeting is a powerful element of marketing, with over 90% of marketers saying that retargeted ads are as good as or better than search ads.  When done well, there is huge value in it, allowing the precision targeting of consumers already interested in your brand.  Retargeting is all about building brand awareness, which accounts for 42% of usage, customer relations, social engagement and, of course, driving sales.  Retargeted ads can be multi-channel, reaching consumers on static computers and across all mobile platforms.  Social media is a popular medium for retargeted ads with 67% of marketers using Facebook and 38% using Twitter.

With retargeting, ads are aimed at individuals who have already visited your website or engaged in a specific action, such as adding an item to a shopping cart.  72% of online shoppers are likely to abandon their carts before checking out.  Without retargeting, only 8% of those customers return to complete their transaction.  By visiting your website, a consumer has expressed some interest, so by following the best practices for retargeting, below, potential customers can be reminded of your brand and encouraged to return.  First, let’s have a look at the 3 key reasons for implementing retargeted ads:

  1. Increase Conversion Rates

There are many reasons a website visitor may leave a site, ranging from loss of interest to having to answer the phone or getting distracted by YouTube videos!  By giving such visitors a compelling reason to come back, marketers can raise conversion rates by as much as 147%.

  1. Skyrocket Brand Awareness

A well-executed retargeting campaign results in a massive boost in brand recall.  With consumers remembering your name, your organisation could benefit from an increase in branded search in excess of 1000%.

  1. Boost Engagement

By implementing retargeting, you’ll be able to reconnect in a more meaningful way with people who cared enough to visit your site in the first place.  Give these consumers more of what they want to draw them to your site and keep them there for longer.

Avoid the Pitfalls

It’s clear that there are significant benefits to be gained from retargeting.  However, there are some minor hurdles to consider.  The good news is, these potential pitfalls can easily be avoided!  Arguably the most important is that consumers sometimes view retargeting as creepy.  Ads need to be highly relevant and timely so as to avoid this pitfall.  The creative must be strong and engaging, otherwise it could be considered odd or an invasion of privacy, and subsequently result in a negative view of the brand.  For similar reasons, there should always be a cap on the number of times a consumer is served the ad.  Ad blockers can pose a threat to the success of retargeting, but if marketers follow the below guidelines for best practice, consumers should not feel so pestered by advertising that they install such software.

Best Practices

We’ve delved into the benefits of retargeting and explored the possible hurdles that could be encountered.  Bearing all this in mind, let’s examine the best practices that will help you reap the full potential of retargeted ads:

Consumer Knowledge

It’s important for marketers to understand the consumer’s path to purchase across all channels, both online and offline.  Track shopping behaviour to determine which impressions are more effective than others and further refine and optimise how you target your various customer segments.  Understanding the consumer journey enables the creation of more personalised ads that are relevant and valuable to individual consumers.

Ad Design

Whether you decide to tell a story or add value by offering discounts or other incentives, ensure copy is concise yet engaging with a clear call-to-action.  Use bold colours and clear branding to attract consumers, and never overload them.  Make ads useful and memorable to your target audience.  Remember that you will need different campaigns for different types of viewer.  For example, initial retargeting may offer introductory discounts, whereas converts might be retargeted with complimentary products.  It’s easy to separate your converted customers by using a burn pixel.  A burn pixel is a snippet of code placed in your post-transaction page that will “untag” any users who have made a purchase.

Positive Brand Identity

It is imperative that retargeted ads are not considered by consumers to be intrusive.  Create ads that are useful, interactive and dynamic, and that are tailored to your different audience segments.  Rotate ads for variety and implement frequency caps to limit the number of times a tagged user will see your ads.  This eliminates the risk of overexposure and subsequent negative brand association.  Pay close attention to timing and launch campaigns during the optimum period of time following an initial website visit.  ‘The cut-off point of effectiveness varies from brand to brand.  It could be 48 hours for a credit card offer and up to 60 days for a car, it depends on the consideration cycle for the purchase.

Equipped with these tips, you’ll be able to maximise the value of all your website visits.  As investment in retargeting continues to rise, it’s a great time to harness the benefits, increasing your conversion rates, raising brand awareness and boosting engagement.


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