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Recycling website visitors with retarget marketing strategies

by | Dec 8, 2017 | Analysis, Public Relations

According to a recent Forrester report, 96 percent of website visitors leave before completing a single desired action—which means only a very meager percentage of your site’s visits will result in a conversion. This sobering figure means the vast majority of visitors simply aren’t interacting with your website in a meaningful way. Luckily, these visitors aren’t lost forever. By retargeting them, you can get them more exposed to your brand, back to your site and, ideally, convince them that your product or service is worth their time and money.

Hooking a customer in with a link is only half the battle. It’s a very important part of your marketing efforts and, presumably, a hefty chunk of your budget is dedicated to it. In many ways, leading users to your website is the most labor-intensive and cash-consuming task of all. But, it’s well worth the resources invested if (and only if) you use the lead wisely.

By retargeting, you can harness the user’s information and direct personalized advertisements that encourage them to revisit your site. This is the essence of retargeting. You gather a pool of individuals who have shown minimal interest in your site and pump tailored copy their way until they end up at your site again. Rinse and repeat until a conversion is made. You save an incredible amount of money doing this, since, as opposed to blindly throwing up advertisements and hoping they’ll land on a potential customer, you’re spending your advertising dollars on recapturing the interest of people who have already encountered your site.

How does retargeting work exactly?

How do you find the individuals who have happened upon your site and magically fill their browsers with banner ads featuring your logo? While it can be a bit technical, there is certainly no magic to it. Typically, there are one of two ways to go about it: pixel-based or list-based retargeting.

Pixel-based retargeting allows for any anonymous user who visits your site to be captured immediately. This is implemented by applying a small slice of JavaScript, which is referred to as a “pixel,” to your website that attaches to a visitor’s browser. Using their browser’s cookies, you can follow them as they traverse the web. Retargeting platforms use the cookies, which give them information such as which pages they happened to visit, and doles out specific advertisements based on this information. Your outbound marketing is therefore personalized to the user’s actions.

List-based retargeting, although less common, is another way to recycle web visitors

In list-based retargeting, you use a list (hence the name) of contacts you’ve already collected. It’s a more manual way of customizing your ads aimed at recapturing visitors. On the plus side, you’ll be able to base your retargeting efforts on more than a user’s browser information. By the same token, however, you’ll have to be vigilant about monitoring and updating your lists.

Pixel-based retargeting is more common because of its automation and its ability to immediately collate groupings of individuals and serve ads to them based on their behavior on your website. Unfortunately, implementing the cookie-based technology will most likely necessitate a JavaScript developer. With list-based retargeting, there is a chance of increasing precision (as you can put ad groupings together yourself) and you may be able to eliminate the need to hire developers. Regardless of whether you choose either automation (pixel-based) or customization (list-based), you will need to dedicate time into creating copy that entices your customer to return and cleverly employ smart marketing tactics to ensure that your advertisements speak to your target consumer.

You’ve chosen a retargeting format and created incredible copy. How do you wield the tools you’ve acquired to turn curious window shoppers into happy customers?

First, you will need to refer to the handy marketing funnel. Retargeting efforts first concern themselves with the top of the funnel, awareness. Think of it this way: you’re trying to get a potential customer exposed to your brand over time so they come to recognize your brand immediately. The ads you serve to them grow their awareness of your product or service. They’ll encounter your banner ads as they surf their favorite sites. They may click on your ad, browse a few of your products, then leave again. From there, you can begin serving ads based on the products they viewed, further tailoring their experience as they encounter your ads. This is where you’ll move from heightening their awareness to cultivating their interest. Just as a funnel narrows, so will your ads as you hone in on your target consumer.

As you track their behavior, you can serve ads that answer their questions about certain products they’ve viewed. They will serve to help them evaluate your product’s usefulness. Then, you’ll assist them in committing to your product by proving its superiority to others, reassuring them with customer feedback or displaying special discounts or promotions. Your retargeting ads will guide them down the funnel until finally they make a transaction.

Guiding potential customers is a delicate balance

You’ll want to avoid overexposing them with your ads, as this can lead to a negative perception of your brand. You’ll have to consider your audience as well. Are they open to receiving retargeting emails on a regular basis? Or will they respond better to less invasive newsletters? While your retargeting ads will most likely be more expensive than your regular banner ads, you’ll want to cut out ineffective techniques as quickly as possible. You may want to discontinue targeting geographic locations that simply aren’t converting or create copy with softer language, for example. Continue to test, experiment and refine your approach to retargeting returning visitors. If you carefully analyze the results of your efforts you could see massive increases in customer engagement and get the conversions you need.

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Ellie Martin
Ellie Martin is co-founder of Takanta. Her works have been featured on Yahoo! , Wisebread, AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel. You may connect with her on Twitter.

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