How to Do Retargeting Right the First Time

how_to_do_retargeting_right-3Numerous studies indicate that well over 95 percent of the people who visit your site will not immediately purchase a product or service, which means they’ve visited your site, seen what you offer and may have even intended on buying something–just not right now.

This can be for a number of reasons: They may have had every intention of making a purchase, but something along the way interrupted the buying process (the baby started crying, they spilled their coffee, the boss just walked in, etc.). Or they may want to comparison shop or do some more research before settling on buying from you. Regardless, retargeting can help you recapture the interest of those visitors who didn’t complete a purchase the first time around.

While retargeting is an awesome tool, using this it doesn’t guarantee success; in fact, many advertisers actually waste money on retargeting by committing basic campaign optimization mistakes. Below are some simple retargeting best practices that will help you avoid the pitfalls that often ensnare unwary advertisers, so you can know how to do retargeting right the first time. 

1. Segmentation is Key

Virtually all retargeting platforms allow you to do some type of audience segmentation. Which type of segmentation will be based on the type of site you have, as well as your overall business goals.

  • If you have an ecommerce site, it would be a good idea to target your potential buyers based on the types of products they’ve previously viewed.
  • If your site’s mainly focused on lead generation, you can segment your audience based on the various stages they may have reached within your conversion funnel.
  • If you have visitors that have actually made a purchase before, you can target those same people for repeat or related purchases – if it makes sense for the kind of product that you offer.

2. Show Visitors Similar Products, Not the Exact Same Products

So a visitor shows up on your site and looks at blue product X, green product X and yellow product X, and then leaves without making a purchase. If you set up a retargeting campaign to show them ads containing those exact same products, you don’t stand a very good chance of making a sale.

Just put yourself in their shoes: Even as a user, you know how aggravating it can be to leave a site, only to see the exact same products you just viewed an hour ago popping up on ad space all over the Internet. If you weren’t interested in buying it an hour ago, what makes an advertiser think that you’re going to miraculously change your mind 60 minutes later?

A better approach would be to show the user some products that are complementary to the ones they’ve already viewed. This could mean showing them orange or red product X instead of the colors they’ve already seen, or maybe a “Product X 2.0” that is similar to the one they viewed, but with a few enhancements or slightly different features. If you don’t have that much flexibility in terms of product variation, try offering them a discount on their first purchase. Offering your former visitor something new but similar to their previous interests, or some other type of value proposition, will give them a reason to come back to your site. 

3. Watch Your Frequency Caps and Duration Times

Nobody wants to see the same advertisement over and over again, no matter which site they visit, for days on end. You want your ads to entice people and pique their interest, not stalk them to the point of uneasiness.

Pay close attention to your campaign duration times, as well as the frequency with which your ads are displayed. Be sure to consider the average length of your sales cycle when determining frequency and duration times; if your sales cycle is rather lengthy, you should space out your frequency a little more and establish a longer duration, but if your sales cycle is relatively short, you can step up the frequency while keeping the overall campaign duration short. Another way to prevent audience fatigue or familiarity blindness is to serve a variety of ads with varying graphics in different sizes and formats, or even consider using dynamic or video ads just to mix it up a little.

If you’ve heard some horror stories regarding lost or wasted money on retargeting campaigns, realize that it doesn’t have to be that way if you know what you’re doing. Just keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have retargeting campaigns that capture your visitors’ interest, and are beneficial to your bottom line.

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