Your first thought may have been, “Wow! They must have tons to spend on marketing… they’re advertising everywhere!”.
In actual fact, however, they are more likely taking advantage of AdWords Remarketing.
Also known as Retargeting, remarketing allows businesses to show ads to people who have already visited their site.
By adding a piece of code to each page on your site, site visitors will be added to your ‘remarketing lists’. At a later point, you can then choose to have ads shown to these visitors while they visit other sites on the Google Display Network.
The Benefits of Retargeting
You’ve worked hard to get a prospect to visit your site and check out your products and services. You’ve paid a lot of money on marketing to reach out to them. But they don’t buy on their first visit. Now what?
Most people just leave it at that and never make multiple attempts to get the prospect back.
They say in marketing, a prospect needs to hear about you multiple times before they make a purchasing decision. This could be via a billboard, radio/television ad, newspapers, search engines, social media, or just your brand mentioned in a conversation with their friends and family.
However, if you don’t make an effort to get in front of your warm prospects again after they leave your website: you’ve probably lost them for good. Unless they’ve bookmarked your site, subscribed to your feed, or signed up for your email list, the only way they’re likely to find you again is if you show up in a subsequent Google search.
With retargeting, however, you have the opportunity to, in a sense, ‘follow’ them around the web. Because they’ve already expressed an interest in what you have to offer (they visited your site once already, after all), you are able to remind them what they’re missing and invite them to return to your site.
Not only can you target general website visitors, you can target people based on several different actions they performed (or didn’t perform) whilst on your site. These actions may include:
|1||Abandoning a shopping cart|
|2||Visiting without converting|
|3||Visiting and then converting|
|4||Signing up for a newsletter|
|5||Getting part way through signing up for a newsletter (this will only work if you have a multi-page signup process)|
Remarketing based on specific actions (or inactions) allows you to very specifically match your message to your audience. This can mean an overall improved shopping experience for your customers, not to mention increased conversions for you.
Another key advantage of retargeting is that it gives the appearance of being bigger: having a bigger marketing budget and a bigger online presence. And what often follows from this is the sense that because your ads are so pervasive, you must be more successful and therefore more trustworthy.
This can’t be bad for business!
Retargeting and Privacy Laws
There have been some concerns raised over the fact that website visitors are being ‘tracked’ without their knowledge or consent.
While many people don’t mind – and may even appreciate – the highly customized advertising retargeting generates, it can leave some with an uneasy feeling of being ‘watched’.
The description must also include a link to Google’s policy on cookies, which explains how users may opt-out of the service.
3 Retargeting Strategies You Can Use to Increase Conversions
There are a number of ways you can use AdWords retargeting to get visitors back to your site and to increase your conversions. Here are just a few.
1. Remarket to visitors who have abandoned their shopping cart.
One of the smartest ways to use retargeting is to have your ads shown to visitors who have gone through the trouble of adding products to their cart, but who have abandoned them before completing the checkout process.
We live in a busy world, and people can abandon a cart due to many reasons. Sometimes, it is just because they have multiple windows/tabs open at the same time, and forgot about the window with your website open. Other times, it is due to an interruption e.g. a call from a loved one, which led them to leave the computer and/or close their browsers before having the opportunity to complete the transaction. Some people leave just because they want to see and compare your prices, shipping etc. with other competing websites before making a decision.
These visitors are far more likely to convert, so will be more valuable to you than general site visitors.
In order to target this group, you’ll need to target those who have started into your conversion funnel, but who have not reached the final conversion page (such as the thank you page customers are directed to after completing their purchase). If you simply target all visitors who have added items to a cart, you’ll be targeting both converted customers and those who have abandoned their carts.
Your ads to this group may include incentives for completing their purchase, such as free shipping or a coupon code, or simply a reminder that their items are still waiting in their cart. When going with the coupon code route, you can further strengthen the effectiveness of the strategy by giving a deadline for the coupon code. Scarcity is a big influence factor online and offline.
2. Remarket to customers who have already converted.
By specifying that you’d like your ads shown to visitors who have completed the purchase process (for example, who have visited yoursite.com/thank-you.htm), you can potentially continue to build your relationship with your satisfied customers.
The ads you show to those who have already converted could offer discounts on future purchases, suggestions for complimentary products, a promotion to your loyalty program or perhaps even an ‘upgraded’ version of the product they already bought (nothing wrong with putting a little bug in their ear for future!).
For example: Let’s say you run an online electronics store and one of the biggest sellers in your store is a certain brand of SLR camera. It’s not a stretch to surmise that after customers have had a chance to try out the camera for a little while, they may be finding they’re in need of some accessories, like a camera mount, a camera bag, or a tripod.
You could choose to show ads for these accessories to those who have recently purchased a camera, provided you have a way to track this group of customers (like a unique ‘thank you page’ for this product category).
3. Remarket to visitors after a set period of time.
If your products or services tend to have a high price point, you may find that visitors are unlikely to convert in the first few weeks following a visit to your site. They may need time to do some research, visit other sites, and track down the best deals.
In these cases you may want to try setting your cookie duration for up to 180 days, meaning your ads will continue showing to them during this entire time period.
This method of retargeting can also work really well if you offer a time-limited free trial for your products or services. For instance, if you offer a 30 day trial membership, set cookies to last for 60 days and have your ad shown frequently during the month following the free trial.
ReTargeting Case Study
But does retargeting actually lead to increased conversions? Let’s take a look.
Yankee Candle Company, a longtime online advertiser, made the decision to incorporate AdWords retargeting into their online marketing strategy.
Using Google remarketing tags, the company began showing ads to the approximately 41,000 visitors who had placed items in their cart, but who had not completed the purchase process. Using both text and image ads, the campaign offered discounts to these visitors, encouraging them to come back and complete their order.
To optimize their campaign even further, they decided to raise their bids to increase the number of times their ads would be shown across the Google Display Network.
The overall result?
Around 10% of visitors who had previously abandoned their cart returned to the site, resulting in a 600% higher than average conversion rate for these visitors. In addition, the cost-per-conversion was approximately 50% that of the average account.
A Final Experiment: Retargeting in Action
Another great example of a company that’s using retargeting is Clearly Contacts.
To see their remarketing strategy in action, I’d encourage you to go to their site and add something to your cart. You’ll notice that over the course of the next 30 days or so, you’ll see many (many!) ads for glasses and contacts as you browse the web, including ads that specifically show both the glasses you left in your cart, and other glasses you’ve viewed.
(Although this has nothing to do with AdWords, you may even receive an email in the next few days offering you free shipping or an additional discount if you complete your purchase).
Once you’ve tried this, be sure to come back and let me know about your experience: Were the ads appropriately targeted and customized? Did they include an incentive for you to complete your purchase? If you didn’t know you were being remarketed to, would you feel uneasy about the ads? Let me know in the comments below!
P,.S. The fact that you are here reading this means that you will likely see a lot of our ads around the web and even on your facebook feeds (using facebook retargeting) in the coming days. This is Remarketing in action as we do what we preach.
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