Retargeting is a way to remind prospects about your products after they leave your site. Here’s how and why it works for small businesses.
Statistics from Episerver show that only about 8 percent of first time visitors to a website make a purchase. Some small businesses will tell you that even fewer of their visitors make a purchase. While those statistics aren’t encouraging, there is a way to get the people who leave to come back and make a purchase from you. It’s called remarketing (or sometimes, retargeting), and with a strong remarketing campaign you can get some of those lost site visitors to return and become loyal customers.
What is remarketing?
Remarketing (or retargeting) is a means for reaching out to people who have previously visited your site and showing them displays ads for your brand while they browse other sites. (The remarketing ads only show on sites that allow and get paid for remarketing ads to be displayed.) The way it works is that you put a snippet of code on your site. That code inserts a cookie into visitors’ browsers. The cookie gathers information about which pages they view while they’re on your site, delivers that information to the remarketing platform you’re using, and they, in turn, deploy relevant ads based on the specifics of your campaign.
Benefits of Targeted Ads
Unlike traditional advertising or SEO, retargeting gives you a way to target very specific segments of your audience. Ads are displayed based on what pages or products people looked at while on your site, effectively creating a campaign based on individual shopping behaviors. Thus if you sell beauty products, and a customer visited your site and viewed lipsticks, and then left. Next they went to their Facebook feed. If you were retargeting them, you could display your lipstick ads to them. Retargeting in this manner results in a click-through rate that’s as much as 10 times higher than that of regular display ads.
Placing ads on other sites that your customers frequently visit keeps your brand visible at all times. Consistent exposure to a brand image is what builds trust and loyalty, so this visibility is of vital importance to the success of your business. Targeted ads display across platforms to a much wider, more interested audience than you could ever hope to reach through other marketing methods.
Creating a Remarketing Budget
Remarketing ads can be more cost effective than other paid advertising because the audience you’re trying to reach has already expressed interest in your products and services. Rather than trying to snag a few potential customers from among a broad pool of general Web users, you’re reminding previous visitors of something that they might still be thinking about buying.
Services that handle targeted ads set rates for them in one of three ways:
- Cost-per-click charges you when someone clicks on an ad.
- Cost-per-mille requires payment for every 1,000 impressions.
- Cost-per-acquisition only charges for actual conversions.
Generally, you set your target budget for a specific time period and the service delivers a certain number of ads depending on that cap. Some services claim that you can make as much as $10 for every $1 spent on this type of advertising, but it’s better to start small and work your way up based on the actual returns you get from your campaign.
Begin with a “test budget” based on your average number of monthly visitors, the bounce rate for your site and any special circumstances that might influence incoming traffic, such as current promotions or the time of year. Decide how much you want to spend versus how much you could make by bringing back a percentage of lost traffic. Keep a careful eye on ad performance to determine whether you need to increase your budget or drop it down.
Building a Successful Remarketing Campaign
Follow these best practices to make remarketing work for you:
- Segment your audience according to their behavior on your site.
- Create ads specifically for each unique segment.
- Include a clear call to action in all ads.
- Deploy ads across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and mobile.
- Use frequency capping to limit the amount of times ads are displayed.
- Remember to exclude visitors who have already converted.
Top Remarketing Services for Small Businesses
When you’re ready to launch your new marketing campaign, team up with a reputable service. Choose a company staffed by skilled experts with the knowledge to build a campaign that meets the specific needs of your business. Look for a user-friendly platform with solid customer service, and research the success rate of the company to estimate how much they can increase your ROI. These services are commonly used by remarketers to reach a wider audience:
- Facebook – Facebook has over 2.45 billion monthly active users, which means there’s a good chance people who have visited your website may also visit Facebook. Once you put a Facebook pixel on your site, you’ll be able to build display ads to people on Facebook who have visited your site in the past. You can target specific ads to people who have visited specific pages on your site, if you wish.
- Google Ads– The retargeting functions of Google Ads allows you to tailor how often you serve ads to specific audience segments. Targeted ad tagging and flexible pricing helps you maximize each campaign.
- LinkedIn Marketing Solutions – if your target customers are business people, you’ll want to look into LinkedIn’s retargeting options. Like Facebook, it lets you retarget specific audiences with specific ads.
- AdRoll– Adroll offers a display ad service that works across multiple devices and platforms, AdRoll collects a range of customer “signals” to help you create a more targeted campaign that includes dynamic creative.
- ReTargeter– With easy campaign management tools and access to multiple different ad types, you can use ReTargeter to narrow down where and how to serve ads to bounced traffic. Work with an account manager to get started and learn how to interpret analytics reports.
- Perfect Audience– With support for multiple channels, Perfect Audience puts dynamic ads where your customers spend the majority of their time. You can also partner with other companies to retarget each other’s customers, thereby expanding your reach.
Retargeting can be an effective tool for bringing bounced traffic back to your site and increasing conversions. Work with a reputable company to design a comprehensive campaign that caters to specific segments of your target audience, and you’ll boost your ROI without blowing through your small business budget.