It’s not often someone gets married after a first date, and the same analogy can be made about your website. Top of the funnel prospects aren’t typically going to buy from you immediately. In fact, they will probably look you over and then see if they can find someone better (your competitor) and see how you stack up.

But how do you stay top of mind to people who have visited your website after they have left?

Life happens and chances are that they might never come back to your site. Your previous efforts (SEO, social media, etc) brought them to your site, but for whatever reason you were not able to close the deal on the initial visit.

Lately, you may have noticed that certain companies are following you around with their advertisements across websites that you visit. Not only are these advertisements for a site you previously visited, in some cases the ad you see is for a specific product you searched for.

This is what is called remarketing, also known as retargeting.

Remarketing allows businesses like yours to advertise/engage with visitors who have been to your website through ad placements on other websites within the remarketing network. Not only can you target everyone who has been to your site, you can be specific on who you want to target and repeat your efforts until they take action. This means that you will be spending your advertising dollars more efficiently.

While remarketing may come across as “creepy” or something along the lines of what you would expect “Big Brother” to do, it is something your business should really consider implementing.

Remarketing is rather straight forward to setup and typically requires a script to be installed on your website. Once setup, you can begin to create remarketing campaigns that get results.

1. Know Who You Want to Remarket To

Knowing who you want to remarket to is one of the basic steps you need to implement in order to lay a solid foundation for your remarketing campaign. Sure, you could target EVERYONE who visited your site, but honestly you could be wasting your money.

Instead, why not target users who abandoned your checkout process?

For example, retarget users who added an item to your cart but did not actually purchase. Essentially target people who abandon their carts. Chances are that they were interested in buying since they exhibited action of adding an item to their cart.

Why not remarket to them with an ad containing a discount code to complete their purchase. Seeing a discount for something they were wanting to buy is surely going to push these potential customers into paying customers.

What if your site does not sell a product, but rather a service?

When most people are exploring options for choosing a service provider, they do not “buy” immediately. Especially if you sell a high end service in the B2B industry.

Instead, they see what you have to offer and then visit your competitors to assess the benefits of each company they are considering.

But how can your company not get lost in the mix of other businesses being compared?

Yep, remarketing will allow you to specifically target users who visited a specific page (or pages) on your website. Therefore, you can create targeted ads for these audiences and show them these ads as they visit various websites.

2. Be Consistent With the Offer & The Landing Page

One of the most often missed opportunity of paid advertising is not connecting the offer of your ad to the messaging that is presented on the landing page. If your remarketing ad has messaging around a discount and when clicked and the user is taken to your website homepage, chances are they will quickly click the back button.

Being misled, a user will feel lied to and you will have just spent money on a click that never had a chance to convert. However, if your ad offers a discount when clicked on and the user is taken to a page that applies the discount or at a minimum provides an explanation on how to use the discount, chances are they will be engaged and proceed further down the conversion funnel.

This approach holds true in standard pay per click marketing (PPC) and definitely applies to remarketing.

3. Stop Remarketing on Low Performing Websites

On most remarketing platforms you can exclude websites from displaying your remarketing ad. Once your campaign has been running enough to show a good amount of data, you can look at which websites are providing the highest converting traffic for your campaigns.

While knowing which ones are working well, it is equally as important to know which ones are not performing. Armed with this data you can reduce or even eliminate your ad from showing on these sites. Why spend money on a website that is not helping your bottom line?

Instead, you can take the money you were spending on a lower performing website and then apply it towards a higher performing website.

4. Quit Showing Ads to Buyers

Once someone has completed a conversion (whether a sale, form submission, etc), it might make sense to stop showing these users your remarketing ads.

This is a relatively easy process and usually requires the implementation of a tracking pixel to be installed on the conversion page. Once a user has reached the conversion page, they will be removed from your remarketing campaign.

However, depending on the nature of your business, you may want to start remarketing to converted users at a later date. For example, if the product you sell runs out or expires after a certain timeframe, you could create a remarketing group for users who reached the conversion page to see ads 30 or even 60 days later.

Again, this is something we could discuss when implementing a remarketing campaign for your business.

5. Don’t Be Creepy With Remarketing

As I previously noted, there are some who rightfully think that remarketing is creepy. The last thing you want to do is upset a potential customer by being to aggressive with your retargeting campaign.

Therefore, it is important that you limit the frequency that your ads are shown to your remarketing audience. This can be done in most platforms that handle remarketing campaigns.

By limiting the impressions of your ad for each member of your audience, you will reduce the likelihood of coming across as aggressive or even worse, creepy.

6. Test, Test, and Test Again

As with nearly everything digital, it is important to test. Testing allows your business to see what does or doesn’t work. If you aren’t testing, your business could be losing out not only on money spent on ads, but ultimately new customers.

With your retargeting ads, you should be testing different creatives, calls to actions, and even landing pages.

By improving your ads click through rate, you will ultimately get better results out of your marketing spend. Sometimes better click through rates are a results of better imagery or a more intriguing call to action.

Once the user has clicked your ad, you will want to test landing pages to see which one converts better. Having a higher converting landing page ensures your business is getting the most out of its remarketing campaigns.

Use Remarketing To Increase Sales

Remarketing, when used effectively is a low cost initiative that could have huge impacts on your business’ bottom line. You have worked hard to drive visitors to your website through initiatives like email marketing, paid advertising, and social media; why not capitalize on these efforts with remarketing?

If you want to learn more about how remarketing can help you and your small business, ask us how we can help.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk