What is retargeting and how do you make it work for you?

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When delving into online marketing strategies, you will probably have noticed the term ‘retargeting’. This tactic has the power to make a huge difference to your sales.

If you have been wondering about what retargeting is and how to use it to benefit your business, here’s what you need to know:

What is retargeting?

Also known as remarketing, retargeting is an advertiser’s way of saying “Don’t forget about me!”

You may have already noticed it in action: you visit a website to look at shoes, swimwear or gardening equipment, browse through a few items but decide not to make a purchase. The next time you jump online and start surfing the web, wonder of wonders! You start seeing ads for the exact products you were looking at a few days ago.

These ads pop up as banners at the top and bottom of pages or in the ‘LREC’ ad spots on the right hand side of the page. You’ll notice them in your email (depending on the provider you use) or when you visit content portals that display ads.

Flight Centre

[Were you thinking Thailand? Flight Centre won’t let you forget in a hurry]

What you’re seeing is Google AdWords Retargeting in action. Usually these types of ads are straightforward, with a basic design that showcases the exact product or products you were looking at.

Brands and businesses can also put retargeting into play on Facebook and Twitter.

The beauty of retargeting is you are advertising to people who have already considered making a purchase from your website. This method is also cost effective, allowing you to set a daily budget and clearly track your results.

Style Tread

[Shoe website StyleTread retargets shoppers when they visit website news.com.au]

How it works
Without getting too technical, here’s how retargeting works:

When a user visits your website, a code on the back-end of your website drops a cookie on the user’s browser. This happens without the user noticing.

When the user comes back to visit the web, the browser cookie remembers the site they visited last. It searches for ad spaces on the page and bids to display your ads. If your site is the highest bidder, the advertisements are displayed when the page loads.

It is important to note that the cookies used in retargeting don’t store any identifying information like names, addresses or website login details. Any information they keep allows the user to remain anonymous.

Retargeted is automated: you don’t have to sit there and make constant requests for websites to show your ads. Once you have set it up, you can get on with your day and focus your attention on other things.

Once you get the hang of basic retargeting, you can create segments and target different users in different ways: for example if someone has filled a basket but not check out, they may see a different ad to someone who has only been browsing. You can also create special offers to entice users back to complete their purchases.

Why use retargeting
Consider how many ads you see when you go online. It makes sense for those ads to be for things you like or want, right? This is why retargeting is such an effective strategy. You are directly exposing your product to people who have already considered buying it.

According to website retargeter.com, only 2 percent of people make a purchase the first time you visit their website. Virtually following them can convert at least some of the other 98 percent into something more than window shoppers.

Stats shared by cmo.com should be more than enough to convince you that retargeting is a good strategy. These include:

Retargeting can boost ad response up to 400 percent.
The average click-through rate for display ads is 0.07 percent, and the average click-through for retargeted ads is about 0.7 percent.
Web site visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70 percent more likely to convert on your Web site.
Nearly three out of five U.S. online buyers said they notice ads for products they looked up on other sites.
Remarketing is your low-cost follow up phone call. It reminders customers to come back to you without being too pushy. It can be an extremely cost effective way of improving your website traffic and your sales.

When done correctly, you should be able to achieve an ROI of 200%, or $2 for every $1 you spend. Now, this won’t happen straight away, but once you have worked out the ‘secret sauce’ for retargeting your product you will notice a big difference to your traffic and sales.

Who should use retargeting?
Got something to sell? Got a website? Then retargeting could work for you. You don’t have to be a B2C company to reap the benefits. Some examples of businesses that could use retargeting include:

Catering companies
Retail businesses
Educational facilities
Professional service providers (lawyers, accountants etc)
Financial institutions
Weight loss brands
Specialty stores
Real estate agencies
Hotels and other accommodation

As you can see, retargeting can apply to any business.
As with any marketing strategy, what is important is to test this type of advertising and see how well it works.

How to set up retargeting
You can set up retargeting on your own, ask your digital marketing support team to do it for you or use a tool like Retargeter or PerfectAudience to take care of online and social media retargeting for you.

The first thing you need is a set of creative ad templates that includes your logo, your product and a call to action. These will feature your ads on the web. Retailers need a design template that can share different products, while other businesses may be able to get away with a more static graphic.
The dimensions you need include the following:

LREC: 300 x 250 px
Banner Ad: 728 x 90 px
Half page: 300 x 600 px
Mobile banner: 320 x 100p px
Facebook: 1200 × 628 pixels

Next, you need to set up your Google, Facebook and Twitter accounts (if you haven’t already) and start preparing your ads.
The instructions shared by Google walk you through the steps to make it easy:
Click to view Google AdWords Remarketing Instructions

Google AdWords

[Setting up retargeting on Google AdWords]
Social media platforms have similar instruction pages. Check out information about facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/facebook-ads-pixel

Social Media Examiner shares step by step instructions for retargeting on Twitter. Check them out here: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-remarketing-ads/

If you’re not the tech-type, get someone who understands this stuff to help you out. It is worth the investment to hit the ground running with stylish ads that target the right customers.

Where to use retargeting / how much to spend
Retargeting works on the most visited sites around the web, including major websites and social media channels.

The good thing about this advertising method is you can test your ads using only small amounts of money and start any time.
Give retargeting a try on Google AdWords and Facebook to begin with. Retargeting business Adroll recommends the following spends for an advertiser doing a test campaign:

10,000 – 25,000 unique visitors – $375 – $750 per week
25,000 – 50,000 unique visitors – $750 – $1,500 per week
50,000 – 100,000 unique visitors – $1,500 – $3,000 per week

If you have a smaller audience, you can start with as little as a few dollars a day and keep an eye on the results.

How to make retageting work
They key to remarketing is not to go with a one-size-fits-all approach. When setting up your ads, you will also need to create segments. This will allow you to target users who have taken specific actions, for example visiting your page on specific dates or viewing more than one page.

You can also look into targeting users in a certain country or city.

And – test, test, test! Upload more than one type of creative and choose a couple of calls to action for testing. Keep close track of your views, your clicks and your conversions and scrap the ads that are not effective.

When putting together a retargeting strategy, it is also important not to go overboard. Frequency cap the retargeting to one or two displays after the user has visited your website.
Retargeting examples
Thousands of brands around the world use retargeting. Some get very creative, others keep it simple.
One example is Amazon, which keeps it simple by displaying the products you have recently viewed in image carousels.


You can also try a special offer to entice your users back to make a purchase, as travel site Expedia has done here on Facebook:


Another clever example is tech store Best Buy. Once someone has bought something, their ads point to products which support that purchase, for example a phone cover:

Best Buy

Finally, as shared on conversionxl’s blog, this US Health Insurance company used a timer to remind their audience to take action quickly, in an ad that double click through and conversion rates:

Click Rate Conversion

As you can see, retargeting is popular because it is affordable and it works! To get to know more about leveraging this marketing strategy for your business, get in touch today.

Tim Hyde

Tim Hyde

Tim is an Infusionsoft certified partner, fixer and seasoned business growth strategist with real world business experience. Tim works with coaches, consultants and small business owners to help them get more time money and freedom from their business by optimising and automating the customer lifecycle.

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