What is Retargeting?

I like this definition from SmarterRemarketer.com:

Retargeting (v) –The process of reengaging a visitor/customer based on a recent interaction with your brand, often in an automated fashion.

Retargeting addresses an age old issue on the web… distractions. People visiting your website may be lured away by a better price, a phone call, a cat video, you name it!

Retargeting reminds them why they visited your website in the first place. More than that, it entices them to return.

Retargeting, as a term, is nothing new. But, the latest Retargeting trends are really groundbreaking in that they can drastically improve your website conversion numbers.

How Does Retargeting Work?

To need Retargeting means you’ve already done a few things right? The reason is in the word itself – retargeting = target again.

The average website only converts (sale, call, inquiry) about 5% or less of it’s visitors (traffic). If fact, 5% is considered a great conversion rate. But, you can do better.

Retargeting means you’re engaging with someone again. They’ve visited your website, but did not convert or take action. Or, maybe they did.

To need retargeting means that your website already has some traffic. So, if you’re looking for traffic, you’re in the wrong place. Try this instead.

Retargeting is a process of:

  • identifying through analytics where visitors are leaving your website
  • crafting messages or offers that might lure them back
  • implementing and tracking the results
  • salt to taste

eCommerce Retargeting

It’s a no-brainer for ecommerce websites. Cart abandonment is a big problem. Someone has gone through the entire process, has the product in their cart, and then poof, they’re gone!

The reasons could be many. Want a good list of possible reasons why someone left their cart? Go to Amazon, order something, anything. And then cancel your order.

Here what you’ll see…

Amazon-Order-Cancellation

There are some great ideas in here for retargeting campaigns:

  • Price too high – run a discount ad
  • Shipping cost too high – offer free shipping
  • Found cheaper somewhere else – offer an incentive the competition can’t offer

Of course, this isn’t the same as cart abandonment but I think this still gives you a good list of possibilities to work from. Sometimes they have the items in their cart and just leave before ordering.

They were on your ecommerce site, they wanted something, but at the last minute they got cold feet. Retargeting is a way to bring them back.

B2B Remarketing

Remarketing for B2B is a little different. The conversion on a B2B site is not usually an order. B2B conversions might be one of the following:

  • Signing up for a service
  • Completing an inquiry form
  • Joining an email newsletter

Let’s look at the inquiry form for B2B retargeting purposes. Say you have an inquiry form with a set of options. Each of those options could be a customer segment to target in your retargeting campaign.

Using a retargeting service, you can create segment specific ads for each segment you’re targeting. To be successful with this, you need to know your audience.

  • What do they need from you?
  • What are their pain points throughout your sales cycle?
  • How can you stay top of mind with them during this sales cycle?
  • Would an ad during the buying process reinforce your brand with them?
  • Or would it annoy them?

I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself. You visit a B2B website interested in a service they offer. Speek, the online conference solution from Northern VA, is a great example of this.

I use the free version of their software for quick and easy online calls. So, for the purposes of this post, I did a test call. Then, I searched for videos on YouTube immediately after the call and saw this…

Speek-Remarketing

On YouTube, you can see their ad in the upper right hand corner. This appeared because I was just on their site using their service.

While this isn’t an example of segment targeting, it is a good use of retargeting for Speek. Here’s how this breaks down (in theory, I don’t have direct access to their system)…

  1. I visited and used the free version of the Speek service on their website.
  2. They added a cookie to my browser to track my time on their website.
  3. I did not, during my time, sign up for the Pro service.
  4. They show me ads on sites like Facebook and YouTube via their remarketing campaign.

I’m considering upgrading to the pro version and this ad helps to keep me thinking about them so I do upgrade.

Your Website is Part of Your Sales Team

Think of retargeting as your online sales follow up. A typical salesperson gets a lead, does the dance, maybe provides a proposal and then follows up after a certain amount of time.

Your website is your virtual sales team. It needs a way to follow up with potential clients.

Retargeting is a trackable way to do this without annoying people. It’s trackable in that you can see specific numbers telling you how the ads perform.

It can be highly focused using segmentation. And with creative ads using well written copy you can align the ads with user intent based on their recent actions on your website.

What do you think about retargeting? Great marketing tool or just another annoying ad platform?

Jon-Mikel Bailey - Before co-founding Wood Street in 2002, Jon worked in sales, marketing and business development for technology and marketing firms. A popular speaker, he gives seminars on marketing, internet marketing, branding and web design to chambers of commerce, trade associations and colleges. He has a BFA in Photography from Frostburg State University and still shoots photos for Wood Street clients.