9 Strategies To Make The Most Of Your Retargeting

by George Konetes | Sep 23, 2014 | Digital

Pretend for a moment that you manage a brick-and-mortar retail store.  Who do you think are the most likely people to buy something from your store?  Your first thought is people who like your product, and your second thought probably points to a specific type of person.

The better answer is the people who are in your store.

This simple idea holds true online as well.  The people who are most likely to engage with your website are the people who visit it.

Digital Window Shoppers

When it comes to advertising, you are either trying to get new people into the store, or get previous users back into the store.  In digital advertising, most of the effort goes into finding new users and building the breadth of your audience.  While this is important, people rarely buy, donate, or enroll on their first visit to a website.  They engage with organizations that they are familiar with and have confidence in.  You need to pursue them after they leave your store to begin building that relationship.

There are big picture re-engagement strategies to get users back to your site, but the simplest and easiest to execute is retargeting.  This involves dropping a tracking cookie into a visitor’s browser that enables you to target them with ads across the Internet after they leave your site.  You have undoubtedly noticed ads for shoes, cars, airline flights, and just about everything else following you across the Internet after you do some window shopping.

Making the Most of the 99%

The truth is, internet users are at different places in the buying cycle when they come to your site.  Some are thinking about buying, a handful are looking to buy, but most have no intention of purchasing or donating anything today, as usually less than 1% of traffic will convert to sales or donations.  However, by virtue of the fact that they have actually visited your website, caught a glimpse of your organization, and felt the warmth of your brand, they are now more highly qualified prospects.

These are users that you want to focus some resources on.  Do whatever you can to engage them on your site, make it sticky, and find ways to appeal to people who have different frames of mind. Get them to follow you on social media, subscribe to a newsletter, or download a resource. Once they leave your site…retarget them.  Build that relationship!

Outside-of-the Box Advertising

When it comes to retargeting, you want to consider your ads and message closely.  If people come and look at a pair of running shoes on your site, go ahead and make that pair of shoes follows them across the web.  But every organization is different.

Retargeting should not be a series of inescapable solicitations.  There is a lot you can do here to build your brand and your relationships.  Here are a few creative ideas to change up your retargeting strategy:

  1. Offers, sales, and deals.  Entice them to come back and shop.
  2. Testimonials and endorsements. Tell them what people are saying about you or your work.
  3. Brand promises. Tell them about who you are.
  4. Information. Tell them about what you do.
  5. News and announcements. Let them know what is going on.
  6. Encouraging thoughts and quotes. Show them you care.
  7. Resources and education. Give them value and build trust.
  8. Use different messages for mobile and desktop. Understand what they are more apt to do on each medium and only give them messages that are a good fit for each.
  9. Ask Questions.  Use these ads to start a conversation, enable them to share their thoughts on the other end with no strings or with optional strings.

Consider just rotating through a number of these ideas. Go with two-week runs of each, or put together multiple ad groups representing each idea and change things up more regularly. There is a lot you can communicate.

Leveraging Your Budget

One of the benefits of retargeting is you can reach a definitive saturation point which depends on your total regular site visitors and the finite impressions that can reach them.  This gives you a hard ceiling for your maximum budget so you know what it takes to reach all of your visitors with the optimal number of ad impressions.  This enables you to test these nine strategies using cost effective approaches that you control.

If you think of retargeting as a way to build a dynamic relationship, then you can use advertising in a powerful new way.

George Konetes

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