How to remarket your way to a better ROI

The secret to increasing ROI isn’t really all that secret. Just get the right ad, to the right user, at the right time.

But actually achieving that state of advertising nirvana has always been easier said than done, until now.

With remarketing, advertisers have another venue and another chance to reach valuable customers. And as the critical holiday shopping season approaches, it’s a tool that can deliver immediate results.

Why remarket?

When your customers search for products and services online, they rarely convert on their first visit.

According to the report Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment by Forrester Research, an astonishing 96 percent leave your website without converting.

A full 70 percent of customers who put items in their shopping carts abandon them. So getting as many of those customers back to your site has obvious advantages.

With remarketing, you can stay top-of-mind and even upsell or cross-sell to those customers. The result? Substantial gains in click-through and conversion rates, along with lower cost per acquisition.

How does remarketing work?

In standard search campaigns, bids, ads, and keywords are the same for every searcher.

Remarketing lets you bid higher, show on a broader set of keywords, and/or target different ads to different audiences based on their past actions on your website.


Find your audience

In order for remarketing to be effective, you’ll need to define and create audience segments. For example, instead of targeting by time of day or device, you’re targeting customers based on their behavior. Maybe they visited your homepage or a category page, or maybe they abandoned a shopping cart.

How you segment your audience depends on your business and your website, but a good rule of thumb is to look at each stage of a customer’s journey on your website – from visiting your homepage to making a purchase.

Whatever your business or vertical, there are six groups and strategies that represent a clear upside for your ROI:

1. Window shoppers


Window shoppers are general visitors to your site who don’t buy or convert. Starting with a broad audience can be quite helpful, especially in the beginning, as you’re building your remarketing lists.

This group can be further segmented based on product categories based on where they window shopped on your site.

2. Cart abandoners

Cart abandoners are searchers made it all the way to the shopping cart or lead form, but didn’t ultimately convert.

They’re already engaged – you just need to bring them back to close the sale. Know that this segment has the highest likelihood of converting, so they’re worth investing in.

3. Engaged visitors

Engaged visitors are prospective customers have interacted with your site, from watching a video, to spending two or more minutes browsing, to viewing at least three pages or key pages you have defined.

4. Recent converters

Recent converters are your valued customers. If you they liked you enough to buy in the first place, they’ll likely be interested in future purchases.

And thanking them for their business, or soliciting their feedback will go a long way to boosting brand loyalty.

5. Offline to online users

These users makeup the traffic from offline channels such as TV or social media. They’re already motivated; they just need to be converted.

6. The audiences of others

This audience is vast, so why let the boundaries of your own site restrict you? Thinking beyond your own site can drastically expand your remarketing pool and potential.

Engage, engage, engage!

Once you’ve created your remarketing lists, you can re-engage with them using a variety of tactics.

1. Re-engaging the window shopper

In the case of the window shopper, you want to engage them with expanded keyword lists, increased bids, and edited ad copy.

Remember that they’ve already discovered your site, making it much easier to get them back.

2. Re-engaging with cart abandoners

Cart abandoners might just need a subtle brand reminder or to see your return policy. Maybe free shipping or a special deal would entice them.

If you suspect they’re still scoping out the competition, you can bid on competitive terms to catch them before they make that purchase.

3. Retargeting to already engaged visitors


Fill in the blanks for engaged visitors by serving up case studies through sitelink extensions or special offers. Also, we know that the phone has higher conversion rates, so consider testing click-to-call to capture these prospects.

4. Retargeting to recent converters

You should upsell or cross-sell to recent converters by providing exclusive discounts, promotions, or purchase incentives like gifts with purchase.

5. Retargeting with offline to online users

Retarget offline to online visitors simply by adding your Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag to the custom URLs for your TV, print, or social media campaigns. Then you can reinforce your message, while adding urgency with limited-time offers.

5. Engaging with others’ audiences

To engage with the vast, untapped market of others’ audiences, just tag related or complementary websites.

Bid on broad keywords and be bold with your bids. Serve up special offers and, of course, make friends, form partnerships, and find mutually beneficial ways to cooperate with businesses related to your own.

In conclusion

Remarketing truly puts data to your advantage. By properly understanding and segmenting your audience, you can meet them wherever they are.

More importantly, you can tap into new opportunities to attract, convert, upsell, and retain your customers for the long-term.

Article and homepage images via Flickr. 

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