The first time you discover a brand or product, are you ready to pull out the credit card and commit? Probably not.
When customers first visit your website, they likely aren’t ready to make a purchase.
A recent study found that an enormous 92% of website visitors might only be there for comparison shopping or preliminary information. That’s not exactly super close to the purchase stage in the digital sales funnel.
Even if your products are the best in the industry, you likely won’t convert at first sight.
Customers need to see those items multiple times before they make the decision to buy. Unfortunately, unless they have a reason to revisit your site, your website visitors can easily move on and forget about you.
That’s where retargeting comes in.
What Is Retargeting?
Retargeting is the practice of showing ad content to users who are already familiar with your brand or have taken a set action on or offline.
On Facebook Ads, you can use a number of different custom audiences to reach out to users who have interacted with your brand or content in a set way.
In many cases, retargeting campaigns are run based on actions users take on the business’s website.
After you’ve installed the appropriate tracking pixels on your site (like Facebook’s tracking pixel), you can have ad platforms show ad content to users who have visited specific pages, viewed certain products, or taken exact actions.
Almost all major PPC display ad platforms allow for retargeting, including Facebook and Instagram Ads and Google AdSense. With Facebook Ads, you even have the option of creating dynamic ads that show users the exact product they’ve viewed with a CTA to encourage purchasing.
Let’s look at an example. I’m about to buy a house and have justifiably been stalking Realtor.com for several months now. It’s no surprise that I’m getting hit with retargeting ad after retargeting ad like the one below on both Facebook and AdSense tempting me back to the site.
Why You Need Retargeting
Reaching out and connecting to new audiences is important, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. That being said, cold audiences aren’t typically the ones that businesses forget about.
Customers who have already visited your website or interacted with your brand or content in some way are already warm audiences. They’re familiar with your brand, which means they’re more likely to trust you and pay attention to your ads.
They’re definitely a heck of a lot more likely to click and purchase.
Despite this, a lot of businesses focus more on growing their customer base instead of nurturing the one they have. While I understand the instinct, this play leaves a lot of money on the table.
Retargeting campaigns can help you to:
- Nudge leads closer towards conversion by showing them products they’re interested in along with new offers or discounts
- Continue to show customers specific products they’ve recently viewed on your site, increasing the odds of purchasing
- Encourage repeat purchases from existing customers by showing them ads of new products that are similar to what they’ve purchased in the past
- Upsell to existing customers by showing them new and more expensive products than they’ve purchased in the past; existing customers are willing to spend more on a business than new customers in most cases, so this is a solid way to increase purchase value.
- Run re-engaement campaigns on customers who haven’t purchased in a while
The very nature of retargeting campaigns also provides another distinct benefit.
Not only are these customers familiar with you, you’re familiar with them. You have some information about them on hand, including the basics of their relationship with your brand or products.
This allows you to create more relevant, targeted ads that are perfect for the audience you’re showing them to.
Between these two advantages, it’s not a surprise that retargeting campaigns have significantly higher CTR and conversion rates, along with lower CPC costs.
And big ROI with lots of sales, after all, is what it’s all about.
Simply put, if you aren’t using retargeting, you’re missing out on some of the biggest ROI you can get from PPC advertising. No business can afford to do that.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Retargeting Campaigns
Believe it or not, just showing a set of retargeting ads to users who have already interacted with your brand once before isn’t enough on its own to convince users to start clicking away. Instead, there needs to be a solid strategy behind it. They didn’t, after all, convert recently or you possibly wouldn’t be targeting them.
Fortunately, I’ve got a few solid strategies under my belt I use to get the most out of my retargeting campaigns on both Facebook Ads and Google AdSense.
1. Get Really, Really Specific
While we can target people based on what type of restaurants they eat at and we can create buyer personas out the wazoo, we still will never know more about the users we’re targeting than when we’re running retargeting campaigns. This is an incredible opportunity to write highly specialized ad copy and offers that are designed to appeal to this exact target audience.
Customers are, after all, expecting more personalization in marketing– retargeting is a great way to give it to them on ad platforms.
Here’re a few examples:
- You’d offer a first-time discount and low-risk perks like free shipping and returns to customers who have visited your site but haven’t purchased. They’re likely still in the consideration stage, and purchasing from a new brand is risky. Because of this, lower the risk of buying with you and give them an offer they can’t refuse. Freebies are most beneficial here.
- You re-engage a long-lost customer with copy like “We’ve missed you!” along with an image of products they’re likely to love and a discount tempting them back.
- You offer loyalty discounts to regular customers or upsell them with products you know they’re likely to love based on their past purchase history. Use email custom audiences for this, as you can run campaigns based on past purchase history.
2. Act Fast
With re-engagement campaigns being the exception, you really want to strike while the iron is hot. And traditionally, that iron may only be nice and sizzling hot for about two to three weeks.
Run retargeting campaigns frequently, especially when you’re running campaigns based on users actions on your website, because you won’t have a whole lot of time where they’re right in the sweet spot to get them to convert.
3. Test Out New Tools
There are a lot of great tools out there that make retargeting just a little bit easier.
AdEspresso’s own Pixel Caffeine plugin is one. Our plugin will help you quickly install Facebook’s tracking pixel if you haven’t yet, and it makes it easier than ever to create and target any number of custom audiences.
Since more custom audiences means better retargeting capabilities, this is a huge plus.
RetargetLinks is another big solution that I’m personally really excited about. They’re using a new, original retargeting technology that allows you to utilize content your audience will love to draw your audience to you.
You’ll first find a piece of content that your audience is bound to love, even if it didn’t come from you, and then using RetargetLinks to shrink the address into a trackable URL. You can share that URL on any of your channels or even promote it via Adwords. Then, once users click on it, you can follow up with a retargeting campaign showing them your own product within two weeks.
Their example video explains this thoroughly, but it basically works by attracting your target audience in with content they’d love, and using that click to retarget to them.
Retargeting allows you to nurture relationships with people who are already familiar with your brand.
They may only have clicked on your site once, or they may be a long-time customer who hasn’t purchased in a while.
Either way, retargeting ads allow
s you to re-connect with an audience you’re also familiar with, making it easier for you to create content that will re-engage them and optimize your clicks, conversions, and ROI in the process.
Combining this with the decrease in ad costs and increased purchase value that comes with many retargeting campaigns, I know my business can’t afford not to be using retargeting ads.
What do you think? How do you increase the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns? What retargeting strategies work best for your business? Share your thoughts and knowledge in the comments below!