Five Tips for Smarter Retargeting

Retargeting is a powerful digital marketing technique when campaigns are run effectively. Paul Goad’s guide to best retargeting practices will help you encourage high conversion rates and seamlessly integrate retargeting into your overall campaign.

1. Beautifully dynamic and optimised creative

Retargeting only works if the display ads you use are impactful, memorable, personalised and well-branded, so that even if a user doesn’t click your ad, it sticks in their memory. Many dynamic creative providers still produce unattractive ads, so make sure you choose one with the right creative and technical skills and, most of all, make sure it’s created in HTML5 so that potential customers see it at its best on all screens, including tablets and smartphones.

2. Segment your audience

Audience segmentation allows you to tailor ad messages to site visitors by placing different retargeting pixels on different pages of your site and then tailoring your dynamic creative based on the depth of engagement of each user, how close they are to conversion and the content they have viewed.

For example, when a visitor arrives at your homepage, you can target them with creative that communicates greater brand awareness. If they looked at a product page, serve them with more specific ads around your product offerings and if they add to basket but don’t complete the checkout, send them loyalty offers or similar persuasive incentives.

Consider what creative messaging should be retargeted to those visitors who have been on your website many times but never bought, those who head straight to the store-finder sites or who browse your product pages. Not all visitors are equal, so separate retargeting strategies and budget priorities should be developed for each group.

3. Change the message once people have purchased

We’ve all made an online purchase only to find that we’re still being inundated with display ads for that company or product. By continuing to serve ads to converted customers, brands are not only wasting money, they’re potentially damaging the advocacy and loyalty of these new customers by annoying them through repeatedly showing the same, irrelevant ads.

The solution is to use an exclusion pixel on the checkout confirmation page, which will ensure they stop receiving retargeting ads.

Converted customers should still remain part of your retargeting campaign, just don’t ask them to take the same action twice. Use their positive buying experience on your website to up-sell, cross-sell, bring them back with loyalty offers, inform them about promotions or incentivise them to refer a friend.

4. Measure customer value and propensity to purchase

Don’t treat all site visitors the same. Retargeting provides an ideal opportunity to analyse visitor value and propensity to purchase based on demographic information such as age or gender, content preferences or geographical data.

When you prioritise retargeting based on the measured results of demographic, geographic and contextual variables, you won’t waste valuable impressions on people less likely to convert.

Your goal is to place the right ads in front of the right people so that you attract the maximum new business and give loyal customers a good reason to return to your website. That way, conversion rates increase and you get a better ROI.

5. Don’t spam users – consider frequency

High frequency delivery may look good from an ROI perspective as a user may buy eventually, but it really just allows the retargeting company to spend more of the budget.

Overexposure as a result of high frequency delivery quickly results in decreased campaign performance and leads to audience annoyance or banner blindness, where users just stop noticing your ads. A frequency cap is therefore important and will limit the number of times a visitor will see your retargeting ads.

Take into consideration at which point on the conversion path the user who visited your website is at, and if users browse your product pages and return several times, your retargeting provider may recommend a higher number of ads per user per month compared with users who regularly visit your site’s store locator for example. Be strategic and determine what makes the most sense for your campaign in terms of both budget and objectives.

This article first appeared in PerformanceIN