Contrary to popular Web marketing belief, first impressions are not always everything. Just ask any marketer who has successfully utilized the strategy of retargeting
Retargeting is a powerful marketing tactic that identifies consumers based on their previous actions in which their activity did not result in a sale or conversion on a website. If used correctly, retargeting or behavioral targeting can be a very effective strategy. For example, retargeting company Fetchback revealed that one clothing retailer obtained a significant conversion lift after implementing a site retargeting strategy, resulting in a $25.32 return per dollar invested. To obtain this level of success, marketers must understand the intricacies of the playing field, be familiar with the best practices and know of a few reputable platforms to aid in the launch of a successful campaign.
What is it? Retargeting is actually not a single tactic. In fact, according to search retargeting firm Chango's chief revenue officer Dax Hamman, there are no less than seven different forms of retargeting, including those for both email and social media.
Let's focus on the two that are most well-known - site and search retargeting - for the purposes of improved prospecting and increasing conversions. Site retargeting is by far the most popular method. By tagging and tracking individual website visitors, marketers can show these users ads pertaining to the products and services they previously interacted with on a marketer's website.
The fastest growing method of retargeting, however, is search retargeting. This involves consumers who are searching for terms that may be relevant to a specific marketer's campaign, are tagged without even visiting a site, and are then ultimately shown the marketer's ads as they continue to surf the Web.
Although both of these types of retargeting are effective when used on their own, Hamman claims that they are even more effective when used together.
"Used in combination, retargeting can add significant value to a marketer's program," he says. "A tactic like search retargeting will bring in new customers while site retargeting will keep you front-of-mind until they convert."
Where do I begin? While an understanding of retargeting proves useful, the next step is to learn the best practices involved and implement them within a campaign so that a good second, third or fourth impression on your customers can be made.
Perhaps the most important rule of retargeting is to avoid stalking your prospects online. You want your brand to make a lasting impression, not an annoying or potentially damaging one. Marketers should look at the buying cycle of their products or services, and then set a maximum period of time in which they will conduct retargeting efforts on individual prospects. In most cases, a time limit of no more than seven days - except for special circumstances - is the ideal.
"If you are offering mortgages, then it makes sense to show ads for a few weeks to the same individual because it takes them time to do their research and make up their mind," says Hamman. "However, if you are selling shoes, then chances are that showing ads for the same period would be a waste, as the decision has often been made within a day or two."
Marketers should also remember that even though they can tag an entire website to track visitors, it does not mean that they should. Relevant sections of the site such as the shopping cart and product pages should be the focus when it comes to site tagging.
Visitors should also be segmented based on their interests and how far along they are in the purchase funnel. This will save money and also target those more likely to become actual customers rather than those individuals who may just have been interested in a website's "Careers" section.
Who can help? Make no mistake; retargeting is a complicated strategy. Fortunately, there are many reliable vendors with large distribution networks from which to choose. When it comes to site retargeting, platforms such as AdRoll, Fetchback and Retargeter are all worthy considerations. Marketers that are more interested in search retargeting have fewer, but equally reliable, vendor options such as Chango and Simpli.fi. In addition to search retargeting, both of these companies offer other solutions including site and contextual retargeting, which provides marketers with the option to launch more aggressive campaigns.
Before making up your mind about which platform best fits your marketing plans, find out exactly what each solution offers and with which industries each company is most familiar. This will provide insights as to how successful they will be in helping your business retarget the right audience.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.