In fishing and business, there will always be “the one that got away”. With fishing, your failure becomes a good story to tell your friends. In business, you’ll find yourself growing increasingly frustrated with a lack of (or loss of) leads, or “conversions”. That is to say, while people may know about your business, many of those people may never interact with it or generate revenue.
So, how can you reduce the risk of your leads being the ones that get away? How can you ensure that when someone finds you they actually convert into a customer? One solution to that challenge is through retargeting. By retargeting, you communicate with or market to individuals who have shown express interest in your product/service. Digital retargeting, once set up, is an automated marketing solution.
How Does Digital Retargeting Work?
Bear with me through one more fishing metaphor! What if you could entice a fish with a lure you knew was attractive to almost all of the fish in the vicinity? Then, once you have their attention, you’re able to offer one or more opportunities to really hook them. I think you’d find yourself to be a very successful angler.
In the world of marketing, that kind of scenario isn’t a pipedream; it’s a clever way of communicating with current and potential customers and we call it digital retargeting. Using this tactic, you send a communication to a potential customer (via direct mail, email, social media, and whatever your channel of choice might be). From there, they visit your website and, once they leave, you have valuable tracking data for them. This tracking data is commonplace and used by marketers across nearly all industries.
Because your analytics and tracking data knows what products a visitor showed interest in, you can now serve them specialized ads on their social media or through their mobile or desktop internet browser. Suddenly, they’re reminded of that t-shirt they looked at the next time they scroll through Instagram. This scenario is one of many that can be employed using digital retargeting technology.
The Benefits of Using Digital Retargeting
According to AdRoll.com, only 2% of your web traffic converts on its first visit. That means unless you’re engaging, reminding, engaging, and reminding your customer base on a rotating basis your marketing funnel is more than likely leaking customers. It stands to reason that digital retargeting can be a primary method of keeping your brand in the minds of a wide margin of that 98% that would otherwise move on and forget they even visited your site. However, there are many other benefits to digital retargeting, some of which you might not expect.
- You hone in on an interested audience – when you participate in digital retargeting you know that the demographic you’re advertising to has already shown interest in your brand. Depending on the sophistication of your online tools, you can even gain insight into what they looked at, for how long, and begin building a customer profile from there.
- Retargeting has a built-in ROI – along those same lines, digital retargeting is seen as an incredibly safe way to advertise when it comes down to the money you invest in the campaign versus the revenue you intend to generate based on that investment. When you know that you already have a foot in the door you start your campaign understanding that you’re already working with a higher chance of audience conversion.
- You can leverage intent – people have written books about the psychology of the shopper. While you could get into the weeds about that philosophy, you could also just look at the hard facts. Through a digital retargeting campaign, you can collect usage data, pair that with customer data (geography, demography, etc.) and begin creating audience profiles, which you can then target specifically based on what works.
- Your advertising isn’t limited to one page or one device – the beauty of digital retargeting is in its complete flexibility. If your customer visits your landing page via Safari on their MacBook, they’ll still receive targeted ads on their mobile Instagram or through their mobile browser. Digital retargeting effortlessly crosses device thresholds, ensuring your message is seen no matter how your visitors use their devices.
Cold, Warm, Warmest: When and How to Retarget
In advertising, leads are often categorized into three different groups, all of which can be retargeted. We break them down as cold, warm, and warmest. Yes, it’s just like that childhood game you played with friends—the warmer you are, the closer you are to the prize. Even though cold might seem like it’s not worth the effort, it’s still rife with the opportunity to retarget and potentially convert a lead.
These are people who have no idea who you are but have stumbled upon your website through sheer chance. Perhaps your blog or organic social posts have caught their eye. While your first impulse might be to not put a lot of hope into converting them, you might be surprised to know that retargeting is still possible.
Retargeting idea: Build a robust blog section on your website with a very clear “About Us” section. Show yourself as a thought leader and offer something for free in exchange (we call it a “lead magnet“) for an email address (perhaps an eBook you’ve written on your subject of choice). Deliver retargeting ads to those visitors, leading them to your free resource. If they convert, further market to them via email or additional retargeting campaigns. If you’re emailing them, be sure to comply with email marketing laws and email marketing best practices. With their email address in hand, you can generate a custom audience for Google or Facebook campaigns.
Visitors that we categorize as “warm” are showing clear interest in your brand. At this stage, they’re probably itching to buy something but aren’t quite sure what or from whom. While they might still be on the fence one foot is over.
Retargeting idea: If you are an ecommerce retailer, using cookie tracking, project a list of the products they’ve looked at on your website (or even added to their cart) and serve that as a Facebook ad. You can even serve something called a “Facebook Ad Carousel”, which will show them a slideshow of your products they’ve viewed.
For service providers, you may consider offering a demo, strategy session, or webinar depending on what is the best fit for your services. The ultimate goal here is to increase buy-in and connection to your company in order to develop your customer relationships.
You might be wondering what, if any, inhibition someone at this stage might have since it’s the final stage of their journey. Luckily, the biggest question at this point is simply, “how?”. As in, how do I buy this? Or, “How do I justify this purchase?”.
Retargeting idea: Answer your customers’ how questions as quickly as possible. Urgency is the key in this stage. Serve them a mobile or social media ad with a call to action gives them easy access to checking out or scheduling a meeting. Furthermore, offer a time-sensitive discount or offer if they click that “buy” button right now.
Digital Retargeting Removes the Friction from the Marketing Funnel
The “marketing funnel” is just that—an ever-narrowing funnel of shopper interest that ends in a sale. Through digital retargeting, you can polish the interior of that tunnel (so to speak) to the point where there’s little friction to get caught in.
When your customers slide right through their journey through clever and thoughtful marketing, you’ll find that your revenue increases along with your brand awareness. Don’t discount digital retargeting, as it’s one of the most potent tools for making their journey an effortless one.
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