New Year, New You, New Retargeting Campaigns

Written by Tim Edmundson

It’s a brand new year! 2018 has come and gone, and 2019 is here in all its glory. This year, things will be different — you’re going to break those old bad habits with some solid new year’s resolutions. Trips to the gyms, healthy eating, financial planning — you’re going to do it all. New year, new you, right? Now’s the time for self improvement! And since you’re in the mood for fresh starts, why not extend that to your retargeting campaigns?

Retargeting campaigns thrive when they’re built on solid foundations, and that starts with getting the basics of your targeting right. Just like something as simple as pushups and a jog can make a big impact on your health, so too can these basics of campaign planning. So let’s take a look at what can help your campaigns be as fit as possible, and start the new year off right.

Target Users Who Are Actually Valuable

It’s a terrible thing when ads are served to users who couldn’t care less. Avoid that wasted effort by ensuring you’re targeting the right segments. When you’re running retargeting campaigns, you need to identify valuable site visitors and make the most of them. That means finding users who have shown interest in your offering, and avoiding the ones who didn’t. Don’t bother retargeting users who spent just a few seconds on your site — they clearly aren’t interested and serving them ads is a waste of budget. Instead, make the most of your site visitors that matter. Here are a few examples of segments that are worth targeting:

  • Just in Market | These are people who browsed your site but are still learning about your products and brands. They’ve visited your site just once and browsed through a few pages, but not too many.
  • Reluctant Shoppers | These shoppers are similar to the “Just in Market” types, but they’ve clicked around a bit more, and visited more pages but failed to add anything to their cart.
  • Highly Engaged | Users who have viewed a specific product page more than twice, which means they’re in-market and interested in what you’ve got but may need some convincing to convert.
  • Cart Abandoners | These users took the time to browse your site, load up their shopping carts, but failed to convert. All they could need is a little nudge to finish their transaction.
  • Lingering Prospects | They’ve shown enough interest to take a look around your site with 2+ site visits, which means they’re more likely to convert than those who visit briefly and leave.
  • Brand Loyalists | These are users who are no stranger to your brand, and have converted multiple times in the past. They also tend to be loyal to a particular type of product, so consider breaking these shoppers into segments based on types of items purchased.
  • Unengaged Customers | These were once loyal customers, but they haven’t visited your site in a while.

Get Your Messaging and Elements Right

Once you’ve established the right segments, now it’s all about engaging them in the best way. It’s a no brainer to create messaging that will appeal to the users who see it. Often it’s a good idea to adjust your messaging, or ad elements included in your creative, based on where a user is in the purchasing journey. Let’s use the examples above, break them into where they are in the journey, and how you would adjust your creative to best cater to them.

Consideration Phase | These are shoppers who are just dipping their toes into the water when it comes to making a purchase. They’re getting a sense of what’s out there, which brands offer what, and are considering when or if they want to make a purchase. Messaging that targets these kinds of shoppers should work to pique their interest — here’s how to approach these segments.

  • Just in Market | Show them what you’ve got with a product carousel that showcases your best selling items. This approach is particularly useful for visitors who didn’t click around a lot on your website to see everything you have to offer.
  • Reluctant Shoppers | They’ve shown they’re hesitant, so give them a reason to convert. Present them with a modest offer, free shipping or a discount, to up the value you offer.

Conversion Phase | Shoppers who are in the conversion phase are close to making a purchase and are now working out who to buy from. It’s your job to ensure that it’s from you.

  • Highly Engaged | Serve them ads that feature the product they’ve repeatedly viewed. It’s clear they’re interested in it, so give them a reminder that you have what they need, and keep your brand top of mind.
  • Cart Abandoners | They’re so close to converting! Serve them ads that feature the items in their cart, and pair it with an aggressive offer to ensure they pull the trigger.
  • Lingering Prospects | These folks are in-market and interested, so offer an aggressive incentive to convince them to stop looking and start converting.

Loyalty Phase | These are past shoppers who have shown they are worth pursuing thanks to multiple conversions or heavy interactions in the past, even if they haven’t visited your site in some time.

  • Brand Loyalists | Take advantage of the product-specific segments you built earlier, and serve them ads featuring products they’ve purchased in the past, or products that complement their past purchases.
  • Unengaged Customers | Keep your messaging a bit broad to reintroduce your brand to these folks, and pair it with products they’ve shown interest in or converted with in the past.

Get Your Campaigns Fit with Better Targeting

Building strong user segments and tailoring your messaging to them will go a long way in producing strong retargeting campaigns. Sloppy targeting can result in wasted budgets, so trim the fat when it comes to users who won’t provide value, and focus on the ones that do.

And one important thing to remember — once you’ve built your segments, keep an eye on their performance and make adjustments as your campaigns progress. Once campaign data starts rolling in, you’ll have a better idea of who is converting and who isn’t, and you should optimize accordingly. That will go a long way in making it a happy new year.