Has a Girl Scout ever knocked on your door and politely asked you to buy Girl Scout cookies? If you’re familiar with this social scenario, you understand the gut-wrenching feeling associated with even considering denying the little girl the sale, not to mention denying your stomach the cookies. You tell her, “Not this time, but I will definitely buy next year.” Maybe you know it, maybe you don’t, but you have just entered this Girl Scout’s sales funnel with your response. Your foot is in the door and forget next year, she will be at your door again within six months.
The same basic process happens with countless other marketing channels such as sales centres, marketing calls or contest giveaways. If a home buyer says maybe or leaves their information, like it or not they have entered the sales funnel. We are all familiar with this as these decisions are more or less consciously made. Now let’s imagine that this little girl instead of returning to your house in six months to sell cookies has now followed you around asking you to buy her cookies anywhere and everywhere you went. In the grocery store you see an image of Girl Scout cookies, at a ball game you see them again, and finally that billboard you see every day on your way to work is a picture of her offering you those delicious cookies yet again!
This is kind of how website retargeting works. Although it might make some privacy advocates squirm, with retargeting you only target users that have visited your site independently and have already had an interaction with your brand or properties. You can choose to target users that went to a specific part of your site, or open it up to your whole site, but either way you are guaranteeing that you only spend ad dollars on people who have previously shown interest in your project or development. This is in stark contrast to normal media buys which tend to target users in the first stages of the buying funnel and often doesn’t make sense if you have a niche target audience.
Summary - Why You Should Be Retargeting Your Website Visitors
1) Continue to engage a target audience that didn’t register online or leave their contact information. Continue to engage with this lead and get them into your formal sales funnel.
2) Market across the web on the sites that are of interest to them. No more guessing games.
3) The right messages to the right audience – further filter your audience of viewers by geography and tailor the appropriate ads to them.
4) Better click through rates and higher conversion ratios, which we always welcome!
4 Tips For Getting Started
1) Start with Google Adwords - Now there are other retargeting platforms that have access to the vast amount of ad placement space on the Google and Yahoo display networks, but if you’re just getting started and experimenting, the Google Adwords display remarketing platform is a great place to get a sense of how retargeting works and see if this is an area that you want to invest further in.
2) Build your audience early – Even if you are not ready to begin spending money on retargeting, you should still set up your website now so that you begin building your audience ( the people who will see your retargeted ads) as early as possible for your development projects. By doing this you will have a good size audience to begin your marketing campaign with when you are ready to do so. The larger the group of past qualified visitors the better. To get started, have your webmaster or digital marketing agency place your Google retargeting tag (code), provided by Google Adwords, on the desired pages of your site. This allows you to drop a cookie on the browsers of visitors to that page and anonymously adds them to your audience in the Google Adwords platform. You can also check the growth of your audience in the Google Adwords Dashboard.
3) Too much retargeting can work against you - Retargeting specialists believe that having a user see 8 to 10 of your ads in the course of a 30-day period is ideal, but seeing the same ad every time, or seeing it more than that can have a negative effect. Be Careful. Don’t learn the hard way. Some potential buyers may want to see less of you on their favorite sites. There is a fine balance between targeting users, and bombarding them, so tread lightly.
4) Retargeting is a commitment - I already mentioned that it requires a great deal of attention, but retargeting is also most effective after it is up and running for some time. First off, your audience grows larger as your project marketing continues, which only works to your benefit. Secondly, retargeting specialists agree that three months of seeing about a dozen ad impressions is more effective than just one month which is a cornerstone of the touch point marketing strategy I often refer to. There is a lot of power in keeping your property top of mind. So for those of you excited about retargeting possibilities, just remember it could take a few months to find your retargeting groove.