Prospecting, Retargeting

Why Retargeting Alone Isn’t Enough

Written by Tim Edmundson

Mar 30, 2015

steelhouse creativeRetargeting is one of the most common methods of online advertising, and it’s no surprise. Marketers spend a hefty penny on this marketing channel because it makes online advertising more intelligent and efficient, and that means much better returns for advertisers.

Businesses that utilize retargeting often see a noticeable increase in click-through rates, and often times, conversion rates. But many marketers are jumping too quickly on the bandwagon before learning all of the ins and outs of retargeting. The result – poor return on marketing spend and a lot of easily correctable mistakes. Whether you are new to retargeting or a seasoned pro, there are a few important tools you should be aware of in order to best optimize your results and ROI.

Segment your audience. Segmentation allows you to group your visitors based on where they went on your site or what actions they performed while on your site. Once you’ve outlined the segments of shoppers you’d like to target, you can deliver hyper-relevant ad content to your visitors after they’ve left your site, offering product specific promotions and keeping your brand on their minds. Let’s say you sell different lines of clothing for men and women. You can segment each based on which URL was visited, and market more specifically to that demographic. In fact, the more segments you create, the more likely you are to get results.

Utilize frequency caps. The whole purpose of retargeting is to compel potential customers to come back and buy from you. That being said, if you’re not careful and you overdo it with ad placement, you could actually end up doing just the opposite and turn your prospects off completely. By setting frequency caps on how often your ads appear, you can avoid this and make your campaigns much more effective. For example, try placing a default limit of two ads per day to start and see how that performs. Better yet, play around with different segments, setting one at 1 ad per day and another at 4 ads per day. Measure performance and adjust accordingly to see which brings you the best ROI.

Serve product-specific ads. Retargeting gives you the unique opportunity of being able to see exactly which products your visitors have shown an interest in. Take advantage of this by creating dynamic product-specific ads to draw them back in and close the deal. A “window shopper” is much more likely to come back and buy from you if they are shown ads and promotions for the very products they are interested in while they interact on the web. In addition, retargeting has been shown to perform at least two times better on a CTR (click- through rate) basis than traditional display, so also bear this in mind.

Reinforce your retargeting messages onsite. Now that you know more about the visitors who are clicking on your retargeted ads, you can create specific landing pages or use onsite offers to carry the scent of your retargeting ad by reinforcing the same look, feel and messaging of your offsite ads. Adding customized messages, such as “Welcome back” or “Glad to see you again”, gives visitors a more personal feel.

Consider your campaign prioritization. Segments are a great way to show specific messaging to shoppers with specific shopping behavior. But what do you do when you have several segmented campaigns with overlapping shoppers? Shoppers could be seeing multiple messages and may feel confused. Use prioritization to prioritize higher value campaigns so shoppers see consistent messaging.

Sequence your campaigns. In retargeting, one message is delivered across one channel, but this is simply not enough to drive sales. Retargeting may draw site traffic, but does not always guarantee a conversion. To get the most out of your marketing spend, you must focus on sequenced, multi-channel campaigns. By launching a string of sequenced campaigns – offsite, onsite, mobile, or even via email – you reinforce your content and open up a direct path to conversion.

Don’t ignore view-throughs. Monetize them. Marketers rely on clicks as a key metric because they’re easy to measure, but the vast majority of users never click on an ad – and most do so accidentally. Smart marketers look to other types of measurements, such as view-throughs, which track users who convert after viewing display ads they never clicked on. This isn’t to say that 100% of view-through attribution is the right measurement. It’s not, but many marketers usually give view-through attribution a 65% allocation within a reasonable window of 14 days, which makes much more sense than the industry standard of 30 days.

If you’re planning on launching your own marketing campaigns, or have already added these techniques to your existing online marketing strategy, be sure you’re utilizing all the tools available, such as those listed above, to best optimize your plan and ensure you’re achieving maximum results. Retargeting, when applied correctly and used in conjunction with the right sequence of campaigns, can be a highly effective technique that can do wonders for your bottom line and also help to build your brand.