How to Effectively Use Retargeting

Whether it’s PPC, email, or social, you’re missing out on serious profit potential if you’re not running retargeting across your campaigns. Not sure how to get started with retargeting, or want to know how to take your performance to the next level? You’re in the right place.

So, first question: what is retargeting?

In short, retargeting is all about reaching out to customers who’ve previously seen your content. When effectively operated, retargeting campaigns almost always deliver significantly higher conversion rates and lower costs, supercharging your ROI.

That shouldn’t be surprising – you’ve already primed your target audience with your sales messages, so reengaging them is a remarkably useful sales driver. 

However, that high ROI can be a double-edged sword: if you’re looking at the headline figures, you might miss out on potential optimizations for your retargeting campaigns.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to maximize your retargeting results wherever you are right now. If you’re already running retargeting across every channel you want to cover, you might want to skip the next section and get started with in-depth retargeting optimization.

Setting Up Retargeting Campaigns

Whatever kind of retargeting campaign you want to run, the first step is ensuring that you’ve got the necessary tags set up and working on your site. 

The exact tag setup you need will vary hugely depending on the marketing medium and your specific site structure, but they all mostly operate in the same way. 

By recording information about visitor activity on your websites, then transmitting that info to a marketing platform, retargeting tags add an extra level to your campaigns. They enable you to target those who’ve taken a particular action, whether generic (a visit to your website) or far more detailed (those who’ve added specific products to their cart without buying).

If you’re starting with retargeting through PPC or social channels, the setup is usually simple. Your marketing platform will provide you with a tag that you’ll have to add to the <head> tag of every page you want to track. 

Make sure your tags are set up according to your platform’s instructions, check that they’re sending data through, and you’re ready to start building campaigns!

The tags for email marketing work in more or less the same way, but with one added complication. To send out retargeting emails, you’ll need to get the visitor’s email address – not necessarily as hard as it sounds, if you’re effectively utilizing contact incentives and signup forms.

Improving your Retargeting Results

So, you’re starting to see some results from your retargeting campaigns. However, even if they’re by far your most profitable campaigns, there may be some significant room for improvement

On a basic level, your retargeting campaigns require every bit as much testing and experimentation as the other campaigns you run – and the potential rewards are vastly higher. In some cases, you’ll make a significant difference with standard marketing tests like copy variants, bid adjustments, and similar.

However, retargeting is a special kind of campaign, and the unique optimization opportunities it offers can be almost unbelievably useful for improving your profitability. There are many options out there – here are three effective ways to optimize your retargeting campaigns:

1: Target Smaller Events

Most businesses using retargeting never really move past the generics. They’ll run campaigns targeting anyone who’s been on their website, with action-based targeting only being pulled out for abandoned cart emails.

You’ve got to understand how visitors interact with your site. Someone who’s visited multiple times without buying is almost definitely just waiting for a push – try targeting them with a discount-led campaign. 

If you’re selling a wide range of products, some of your potential buyers are likely only interested in certain parts of your range. There’s no point in targeting them with generic ads – focus on the category they’ve browsed! 

In short, specificity helps make a difference – don’t miss out.

2: Cut Off Buyers

You’ve almost definitely seen this happening. After you’ve brought a product online, you keep seeing ads for it over and over again. This is retargeting done wrong – the company runs generic ads, without accounting for purchases. It’s a complete waste of money, and it’s very easy to resolve.

Your retargeting tags should be running on your checkout page, letting you identify buyers. If you’re not focused on multiple conversions, it’s time to examine whether it’s profitable to include converters in your retargeting campaigns.

The same principle applies if your business plan involves multiple conversions per customer – there’s no point showing them ads for the first step. Make sure that your retargeting ads for past converters take account of what action they’ve reached.

3: Understand Your Placements

If you’re running display retargeting campaigns (and you almost definitely should be), you’ve absolutely got to understand where your ads are shown, even more so than with a standard display campaign. 

Having your ads appear on an almost unrelated website may be sufficient for a standard display campaign, but it’s often quite off-putting in a retargeting context. This sort of situation is one of the biggest complaints about digital marketing – no one wants to feel like they’re being followed around the internet by your ads. Try reigning your placements in, and you might see an improved return.

Want more in-depth advice on what your current retargeting strategy is missing out? You’re in the right place – get in touch with our team for a free 15-minute consultation!

Author: Richard Parkin

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