A Marketer’s Guide to Retargeting – Part 1

In this Blog series we’ve titled “A Marketer’s Guide to Retargeting”, we want to provide the fundamentals in understanding retargeting, how it works, what the key benchmarks and challenges are, as well as the best practices for cross-channel success.

Our following few Blog entries will talk in more depth about retargeting, and how Digital Fuel can help grow your business through retargeting. In this particular Blog entry, before we get down to the nuts and bolts of the topic, let’s take a quick look at what retargeting is, and how it works.

What is Retargeting and How Does it Work?

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that helps to keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they have exited your website. It’s the practice of serving ads based on a consumer’s prior engagement.

The statistics are not pretty. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts to a sale or sign-up on the first visit. Retargeting is an effective tool designed to help keep your brand in front of the 98% of web traffic that leaves your website without converting right away.

The most frequently used form of this technology is site-based retargeting. Other forms include search retargeting, email retargeting, and CRM retargeting.

Site-based retargeting serves ads to people who visit your website after they leave. These ads appear on a variety of other sites around the web, while your previous visitor is still browsing the Web. Effectively, this keeps your brand in front of your bounced site visitor in an attempt to draw them back for another look, and hopefully toconvert them into a paying customer or subscriber.Retargeting_Image 1

How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses a simple Javascript code to anonymously follow your audience (those that have been exposed to your Website at least once) all over the Web.

Here’s how it works:

Place a small piece of code, sometimes referred to as a pixel, on your website. The code or pixel is undetectable to your site visitors, and won’t impact your site’s performance in any way. Each time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let you or your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, making sure that your ads are served only to those who have previously visited your site. Retargeting is effective because it funnels your advertising spend to people who have already shown some interest in your brand by visiting your site. Most marketers who use retargeting see a much higher ROI than from many other digital channels, and this is largely attributable to the visitor’s pre-exposure to and curiosity with your brand.

Who Can Benefit from Retargeting?

Let’s use an example to demonstrate retargeting: You visit Asos.com, look at a pair of shoes, and leave the site without buying. Then you see Asos ads popping up all over the web while you continue to browse other sites on the Web. This is retargeting in action.

The process is simple and effective. But it’s not just e-commerce companies that can benefit from retargeting to combat shopping cart abandonment. It can also help B2B companies stay in front of leads. Schools, particularly higher education institutions, can use retargeting to increase enrollment and donations. Recruiters can use retargeting to promote themselves to qualified applicants and increase application completion rates. Events or entertainment brands can use retargeting to improve ticket or merchandise sales.

These are just a few examples, but basically any website that does not enjoy 100% conversion rates is a great candidate to use retargeting.

When Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting can be a powerful branding and conversion optimisation tool, but it works best as part of a larger digital marketing strategy.

Use retargeting in conjunction with inbound and outbound marketing or demand generation. Strategies involving content marketing, Adwords, and targeted display are great for driving traffic, but they won’t necessarily contribute a lot towards conversions. In contrast, retargeting can help to increase conversions, but it can’t drive people to your site. So, it makes sense that your marketing efforts stand the best chance of success if you use one or more tools to drive traffic, and then add retargeting into the mix to benefit the most out of that traffic.

Getting Started

It might sound simple to set up and launch a retargeting campaign, but it is also easy to make mistakes, which could end up harming your business more than helping it. Be sure to educate yourself on best practices, or work with a full-service provider, such as our team at Digital Fuel, who are highly skilled in retargeting technology, and can manage your campaign for you.

Interested in getting started? Contact us.

Author: Digital Fuel

Words by the Digital Fuel team members