How To Create Remarketing That Converts

How To Create Remarketing That Converts
Written by Rees Calder
on

Tips to help you craft a compelling experience for your tagged visitors

There’s a lot to love about remarketing – after all, it’s a second chance to convert after a visitor leaves your website. Now, thanks to the power of data and the sophistication of display, social and search networks, you can handpick an approach for different audiences using detailed information about their behaviours and preferences on and off your website.

These days, thanks to the advent of GDPR, the ability to remarket to an individual depends on getting their opt-in permission when they visit your site. So, first things first – make sure you’re set up to request that all-important cookie consent in a clear and positive way.

We’ve been thinking about the role of remarketing in 2018, and how you can maximise your chances of success using content and layout tailored to your different visitor audiences. Here are 6 tips for smart remarketing that will benefit your business, short - and long - term.

1. Segment visitors based on your goals – and theirs

When you start a remarketing campaign, your first step is to understand who your visiting audiences are and develop a different remarketing approach for each one. As a basic example, you’d probably want to take a different approach with visitors who were just browsing vs those who actually added something to their cart.

How you segment depends on your business type and goals. Consider segmenting by number of visits, visit duration, number of pages visited, or by content viewed. Display networks typically make this really easy to do by automating a lot of the tagging processes for you, so you just need to specify who you want to serve with which ad content.

It’s also critical to think about your visitor’s goals and whereabouts they are in the customer journey. Are they browsers who are researching a product category generally, or are they comparing different products prior to a purchase, or even a previous customer checking in to see what’s new?

Urgency cues, such as countdowns to the end of a discount or ‘only X left in stock’ messaging, could be appropriate for visitors who have added items to a basket or made frequent visits. A softer nudge, such as social proof (‘X people added this to cart’ or ‘our best seller of 2018’) can be used to tempt more casual visitors.

2. Diversify your ad formats

When you’re working with a display network, there’s a whole menu of ad formats available to you, from classic top-of-the-screen banners to right-hand in-line squares, half-page displays or skyscraper-style vertical ads.

When picking between ad layouts, it’s crucial to understand how they interact with one another on the finished page. Ads of the same format compete for a user’s attention, whereas messages served in different formats don’t clash in the same way. For this reason, it’s a good idea to spread your bets and choose a range of formats to maximise your chances of success. Following that you can you alter your strategy based on what formats perform well with different audiences.

3. Be smart with your dynamic remarketing

A classic approach is dynamic remarketing, where you show your tagged visitors things they had been looking at on your website, such as a product or product range. But there are pitfalls in this approach – for example, accidentally retargeting someone who has already made a purchase, or worse, showing someone an item they’ve rejected in favour of a competitor brand, so that their negative evaluation of your offering is reinforced.  

A variant on this method is to show your tagged audience editorial content related to the product categories they were looking at, rather than the products themselves. For example, someone who was browsing perfumes on your e-commerce site could be served a link to an article on how to find your perfect signature scent. It’s a less conversion-driven approach, but one that offers brand-building and authority value. In the long-term, it could spark a more meaningful connection with your brand than a simple purchase would.

4. Adjust frequency and duration to avoid the creepiness factor

Different audiences need different approaches, from overtly sales-led to more nurturing. Nobody enjoys being stalked by the same pair of shoes for weeks on end after a one-off browse, but if you’re too subtle you could miss out on a conversion opportunity.

The golden rule is to keep your remarketing efforts commensurate with the level of interest the visitor has voluntarily shown in you. Think of it in human relationship terms. If you’ve only really ‘met’ them once, heavy-handed remarketing is the equivalent of proposing marriage when all you should really be doing is saying ‘hey fancy catching up again some time?’.

You can choose the audience membership duration for your retargeted visitors, so there’s automatically an ‘expiry date’ for those targeted ads. Adjusting this depending on a visitor’s familiarity with your site can help you keep things friendly rather than stalky.  

5. Go for brand exposure

Another way to dial down the risk of creepiness is to remarket on a brand basis rather than calling back to a specific visitor’s activities on your website. Rather than showing them items they’ve been browsing, you can lead on your logo, brand colours, taglines or generic campaigns. Use distinctive imagery, typefaces, colours and copy to promote recognition on a visual and verbal level.

If this sounds like a missed opportunity, it shouldn’t. The power of repeated brand exposure is easily underestimated – but in fact, thanks to the Mere Exposure effect, you can measurably increase an individual’s preference for your brand simply by making them more familiar with it. 

6. Tap into the power of the remarketing email

Remember to remarket on your own website as well as within a network. Use on-site overlays or banners to invite occasional site visitors to sign up to your email marketing in return for a discount. This way you can shift them over from voluntarily visiting you to being passively exposed to your brand and marketing materials in their inbox over the long term. This approach is surprisingly powerful for such a small investment – after all, even unopened emails have branding benefits

And the abandoned cart remarketing email is still going strong in 2018 – metrics from SaleCycle show that those ‘hey you left something in your basket’ messages enjoy more than twice the open rates of standard newsletter emails, and nearly 2/3 more click-throughs.

Here at the tree, we’ve got extensive experience in fine-tuning marketing and re-marketing strategies that keep our clients front-and-centre of customers’ minds. Why not drop us a line to find out how we could help you keep your website visitors coming back for more?

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