Once upon a time, digital marketers had to mimic traditional advertising techniques. They paid to place banner ads on popular websites, using the same methods that had worked for TV and newspaper ads. As the internet matured, these banners slowly lost their value.
The best companies saw this trend well ahead of time. Knowing that traditional ads were doomed, they struck out to discover a profitable new form of digital advertising. This led to the concept of remarketing.
The underlying technology behind remarketing is the cookie. Whenever somebody visits your website, uses your app, or searches for a relevant search term on Google, they collect a digital “cookie” that sits in their browser’s cache. The cookie acts as an opt-in public record of that user’s browsing history.
Remarketing simply uses this cookie info to serve the right ads to the right people. This is considerably more effective than untargeted advertising.
How to Use Remarketing
Remarketing is a deep subject. The better you get at it, the more you have to learn.
The most common entry-level remarketing tactic is to target people who visit your website. All you have to do is design an ad specifically for the people who visit once and do not return. Your ad could say “We miss you already! Come back to our shop for 20% off.”
When you create market segments, you can use remarkably specific ads. For example, ads for people with abandoned shopping carts could say “Your items are still here, ready to buy?” For visitors who read the blog but never purchase your products, you could say “Love the blog? You’ll dig our shop too. 10% for first-time shoppers when you visit today.”
You may not have a large enough team to automate too many different situations, but you can do better than a one-size-fits all approach. Start small and build it up over time.
Below is round-up of the most common remarketing strategies a savvy marketer will encounter. Each of these five ideas has the potential to take your marketing to the next level.
1. Target Users from Other Walled Gardens
The phrase “walled garden” refers to a closed-off digital ecosystem owned by one company. You may be selling an app on the Apple Store, giving away a podcast download via iTunes, or self-publishing an e-book on Amazon. In all of these cases, you don’t own the interaction.
You can remarket to people who engage with you inside of a walled garden. For example, you can serve Facebook ads that only target users of your app. The ad could say “Enjoy the app? You’ll love our online shop!”
2. Target People Based on Traffic Funnel
You may have multiple traffic funnels sending people to your website. Some people will come from organic search traffic, others from your email funnel, and still others through social media links or the QR code on your receipt.
The visitor’s funnel is valuable information that can enhance your ability to close the sale. Don’t treat all of your visitors the same way. Develop the perfect advertising strategy based on each funnel for a better marketing ROI.
3. Target People Based on Search Terms
You can infer a lot from a user’s search engine keywords. A company that sells winter coats would love to market to people who use the keyword “winter coat,” right? With remarketing, you would get many opportunities to serve ads to that audience.
There are other ways to use this information. For example, you can use search-based remarketing to intercept consumers just before they’re ready to buy. Even better, target people who search for your competition’s customer support number. Creativity is the name of the game for this form of remarketing.
4. Target People Based on Website Actions
When a user is on your website, you need to pay particular attention to what they do. Are they scrolling through your blog for an hour? Clicking onto your home page and bouncing immediately? Shopping and abandoning the cart?
You can remarket to people in each scenario, using A/B tests to develop your sales pitch. This method is powerful for websites with a lot of traffic.
Be careful. It’s not worth setting up the automation for situations that only a few people are going to experience. Focus on market segments of 250 or more people per month to keep it worthwhile.
5. Target People Who Read Your Email Newsletter
Do you have members of your mailing list who won’t convert to an actual sale? Do they enjoy your free content but never venture beyond the inbox?
Remarketing can be just the trick that gets these window-shoppers to start paying up. By serving ads that reach them outside of the email environment, you can create a new context for your relationship.
Your ad copy should encourage this idea. “Move beyond email with this 20% off coupon code — good for today only.” With the right incentive and a sense of urgency, you can turn email newsletter subscribers into paying customers.
A Word Of Caution
The aforementioned advanced remarketing tactics are time-consuming to execute. To use a common idiom, you should only bite off as much as you can chew.
With enough effort, anybody can do it. Be patient and have faith that your early successes will lead to bigger and more exciting campaigns later on. These remarketing strategies have the power to earn your business a lot of money.