Even without knowing what retargeting is, you already experienced it. Remember when you were casually looking through the internet for something to buy. You maybe even added a few things in your cart, but for some reason didn’t go through with the purchase. The following hours, you see ads on all the websites you visit promoting the very same products you were gushing about. This is what retargeting is all about.
While using simple lines of code on your website, you are able to collect data through cookies. This way, whenever this visitor browses your website, the cookie tracks analytics and behaviours to display ads depending on said behaviour. The code, also called a pixel, is unnoticeable to your site visitors and won’t affect your site’s performance. A pixel can track several pages of a website as well as a diverse range of analytics.
Different types of retargeting
We can differentiate two main types of retargeting : pixel-based and list-based.
Pixel-based retargeting is a way to re-display to any anonymous site visitor. Once the visitor leaves, retargeting platforms receive the cookie attached to them. They will then display ads on certain websites and at certain times. It is mostly used because it is really fast to set up, usually ads start to appear right after the visitor leaves the website. They are also behaviour-based, for a more detailed prospects segmentation.
List-based retargeting works once you have collected the prospects’ contact information. Once you have a list of prospects ready, you can upload it to a retargeting campaign plan, usually on social media. The network will identify users who match these email addresses and retarget to them. List-based retargeting makes you have more control over who you can send the ads to.
Other types of retargeting exist as well, such as search retargeting which relies on the user’s search history to show them appropriate ads.
Best practices and what to avoid
What’s important when thinking about retargeting is to segment the audience who visits the site. Different behaviours ask for different types of advertising, to better guide the prospect towards the end result you want.
It’s also important to manage the frequency of the ads. Of course, if the ads end up annoying the customers, there is no point in doing this. One recommends sending many ads throughout the first few weeks after a prospect exits the website, and lessen them after a while. You should also diversify the way the prospect will see your ad, in order to keep it fresh in your prospect’s mind. This way, you avoid them just ignoring or getting used to seeing your ad. You can also pair retargeting techniques with other marketing techniques, such as offering a limited time discount to increase their efficiency.
Retargeting strategies have to suit the platforms you retarget to, whether websites or social media and the people you want to reach. There is not one best way, and you shouldn’t hesitate to test and adapt your strategies as the first results come in.
Overall efficiency and impact on ROI
Retargeting serves two main goals : increasing awareness of your brand and galvanise sales.
The former goal is to help people who already engaged with your brand, learn more about products, features, or announcements. The downside is that you cannot reach the people who’ve never been on your website. Awareness campaigns are a prelude to conversions. Conversions oriented campaigns motivate people to click on the ad and complete the buying process. They can be involved in any part of the said process in order to bring the prospect further down completion.
This marketing technique is effective because it focuses your advertising on people who already know your brand and have already demonstrated interest. Therefore, people using retargeting see a higher ROI than from most other digital advertisements proposals. The first advantage is to get visitors who left your site back on it. You can also use retargeting as a launch strategy. Indeed, you can push your new launch to customers who already know your brand or even those who bought a product already.