Remarketing and Retargeting seems to be the popular online marketing topic of the moment, despite the fact this advertising method has actually been useable and in place for a while now, but it would now appear that more and more companies and businesses feel comfortable with getting in front of their existing visitors, when they are not actually on their website.
Although this might sound a bit dodgy, magical and potentially scary, in reality, it is happening now and has happened for ages, which any user of Gmail will probably understand, as although you might think its pure magic that you just emailed your wife about car insurance and now all your adverts are related to car insurance on the web, it really is not, although is pretty cool no?
Whether you think it’s cool or slightly scary, wrong and not ethical, it really doesn’t matter, you may as well make the most of it and start using remarketing to get extra sales, as extra sales means who cares what people think, let’s make some money!
What Is Remarketing
In a nutshell, or more realistically a few words, remarketing is getting your paid adverts in front of people who have previous visited your website elsewhere on the Internet. So although Visitor A did not purchase from you on Monday, you can get an advert in front of them on someone else’s website on Wednesday, which will mean not only do they probably remember visiting you, it might push them back to you and into a sale.
Using various display networks, you can get your advert in front of people that have already visited your site, which increases brand awareness and in theory, sales. Google Adwords is the most well-known I would guess, but Facebook, Twitter and Perfect Audience are some of the other platforms you can do this on as well.
So, let’s look at how to make sure your remarketing campaign is hitting the right people and earning the best ROI for your business.
Conversion Tracking – To get success you have to know what works, and the amount of business I go and see that have no idea about where their online sales are coming from still amazes me to be perfectly honest. Conversion tracking is so critical I cannot stress it enough, as the chances are you are ploughing money into something that isn’t working and not investing enough in stuff that is working. Without conversion tracking you simply have no idea about where those sales are coming from, so how can you know which campaign or remarketing list is really working, or more important, which is not?
For any campaign, Adwords, Bing, Facebook, Twitter or whatever, if they offer conversion tracking code then you should be implementing this, because only when you know where your sales come from can you really plan an effective marketing strategy. When it comes to Adwords, you can see which keyword converted, Ad Group, Placement etc …. The list really goes on, so why would you want to miss out on such vital information?
If you have been putting it off, do it now, you will never ever regret it, because within a month you will have more data than you can shake a tree at, let alone a stick.
Specific Targeting Lists – Another common and pretty common mistake is grouping all of your visitors into one remarketing list and just serving the same adverts. If you only have one service, then this is acceptable, but if you offer a lot of things then you are making a really bad error here. For example, if you sell jewellery, then you should have separate remarketing lists for Rings, Watches, Necklaces etc and if you can, go as specific as you dare.
Someone who has visited your site and looked at a watch is a pretty safe bet that they are going to be looking to buy a watch, so you need to make sure that you serve those visitors adverts about … watches! Serving them generic adverts that just feature the word jewellery is a missed opportunity and potential waste, so make sure that you set up your targeting lists as specifically as you can. If you are able to, try to make sure you get as close to the final produce as possible. This might be manufacturer, type or make, but the time you spend getting as many lists running as you can the more effective your campaigns will be.
Frequency Capping – Assuming you are pretty normal, then the thought of having someone that you do not really know follow you around the street and into your home is one that is probably not going to sit very well with you. The same for your visitors if you are flashing your adverts up at them everywhere they go throughout their Internet day. Frequency capping is often an overlooked but crucial tool that allows you to only show your advert to the visitor a select amount of times. For example, you can set each Advert, Ad Group or Campaign to have capping on, so this means that your advert will only display a certain amount of times to that user, per day, week or month.
This means that you are not going to be accused of stalking your visitors and on top of this, will make your campaign far more effective as people like to be reminded about you, just not EVERYWHERE they go on the web!
Too much of a good thing you know?
List Member Duration – It is usually acceptable to go with the standard list duration, but sometimes this really depends on your product. In case you do not know, the list duration is how long someone will stay in your target list, most common is 30 days, which means after those 30 days the user will no longer see your remarketing ads unless they come back to your site and set the cycle off again. For many businesses, as I say, the 30 day window is ok, but if you are selling a yearly product, like insurance for example, you might want to stretch the list much longer than this to make sure you stay in the mind of the user come renewal time.
Campaign Exclusions – Often overlooked but quite a useful aspect is the exclusion aspects of a remarketing campaign. You can exclude certain keywords and sites, and with the sites (placements) you can exclude by niche or even exclude the specific site. Say you saw a load of clicks throughs coming from one site, but no conversions, then it might be worth excluding this site from your campaigns. If you set up Shared Library exclusions then you can make sure that you can exclude any poorly performing aspects from all of your campaigns, which cuts down your time immensely when managing multiple areas.
If your product is male specific or age related, you can actually exclude specific types and ages as well, although this is only really as good as the Google data they hold on their users, which is nowhere near as effective as say Facebook for example. But, if you do find your campaigns are not converting, then maybe it is time to start trying some things out, as within a couple of days you will know what works and what does not, which is a worthwhile investment of your time going forward.
Specific Ads For Specific People – Your visitor has just landed on your car insurance page and yet you are then showing them adverts for life insurance a day later. Although you might have a chance of getting the life insurance sale and potentially protecting the future of their loved ones, the chances of getting them to buy car insurance is much greater because they have already shown an interest in this specific niche. It is vital that your adverts match your specific lists, else once again, you are just wasting time and money as the more specifically targeted your advert is, the better it is going to perform. Would you advertise ready meal chicken dinners in a magazine for vegetarians? Kind of hoping you say no here, but the principle is the same, make sure your advert is specific to the part of your site, service or product that they visited!
Speak To The Converted? – With remarketing lists, you can choose to EXCLUDE and as well as INCLUDE, so you might want to exclude anyone that has already purchased from you if the chances of them needing the same or similar product from you again in a short space of time is slim. Going back to the car insurance theme, if you have a list of people that have purchased car insurance from you, it might be worth excluding them from your car insurance remarketing, but getting other adverts in front of them, because they are not really going to want the same car insurance policy again from you in the space of a year. As I say, you can often be more effective with really targeted lists rather than massive volume ones, which is why excluding people you really do not want to see your advert is a very effective remarketing tactic.
Of course, if they are likely or have potential to be repeat customers, this does not make sense, so it really does come down to getting your lists really specific and then choosing to include or exclude to make your campaigns the most effective they can be.