A retargeting campaign must account for consumers as people - and not just data points.
It's no secret that there's a stigma attached to retargeting, and we've all heard someone complain about an obnoxious ad that follows them around the web wherever they go. However, when a retargeting campaign can account for consumers as people instead of just data points or percentages, it can then be a welcome and useful way to remind people about things they were (and may still be) interested in learning about or purchasing.
The challenge with retargeting is in finding a vendor that takes into account people's expectations as well as those things that might annoy them or create a negative feeling toward your brand.
When searching for a retargeting vendor for your company's needs, don't forget to ask about their technology capabilities. When you choose to deploy a retargeting campaign you'll want to ensure that you're able to maintain control and personalize four important aspects of how the campaign will run.
1. Be discreet. Don't always show the exact items people were viewing on your site in the ad itself. Instead, use the ad space to showcase something similar in the same product category, feature new products, or highlight sale items.
No one likes the feeling of being stalked or watched. Your display ad shouldn't be a glaring reminder to your shopper that they're being tracked. It should be a gentle reminder that feels like a helpful suggestion.
2. Use a clear call to action. When writing copy for the ad, ensure to use action verbs that elicit a direct response from the viewer. Create a sense of urgency by imposing a time constraint or revealing a scarcity in product supply. In a recent infographic that overviews retailer data gathered by my colleagues it was revealed that the three most popular call-to-action phrases used on retargeting ads are: Save Now, Shop Now, and Learn More. Make these buttons work for you too.
3. Apply a frequency cap. Consider using a frequency cap feature to control the number of times an ad will be served to a particular user. Don't be a pest, and know when enough is enough. Consider how many times it would be reasonable to show an ad before you start to annoy your prospect.
One or two times might not be enough to garner their attention, but showing an ad 15 times might be too much. In retargeting, the quality of the ad's placement and the message's relevancy factor can be much more valuable to earning conversions than the sheer number of times you can serve the ad.
4. Employ negative retargeting. Exclude converted customers from your retargeting pool by embedding a negative pixel (used in conjunction with the retargeting pixel) into the code of the confirmation or "thank you" page that a user sees when they complete a purchase.
Consumers have high expectations when they buy from you, and it betrays a lack of knowledge if you continue advertising a product to someone who's already completed a purchase from your site. In addition, it's a waste of your marketing budget.
Why would you waste precious dollars showing an ad to someone who's already purchased the product advertised in the ad? Why not use the money you would've wasted on advertising to someone after the fact and apply it instead to earning new business?
There are many ways you can improve or enhance your company's retargeting efforts, and a great first step is to begin considering the situation from your prospect's point of view. What do you personally like to see when you're shopping online? What types of ads are you drawn to, and which ones garner a response from you?
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Aubrey is the marketing communications manager at Salted Stone, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Southern California. She specializes in inbound marketing and brand strategy, working mostly with emerging tech companies and start-ups to identify their voice and create revenue-driving content plans.
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