If you do One Thing this month, to improve your online marketing efforts, setup a retargeting pixel on your site. retargeting is one of those marketing efforts that can help almost everyone. If it were my choice, all of my clients would use retargeting to increase their leads and decrease their cost per acquisition.
To help you understand remarketing (retargeting- it’s really the same thing) I’ve interviewed a trusted PPC partner, Lee Price from TreeHaus Marketing. I think you’ll find his explanation- and suggestions- very helpful.
David: Lee, what is remarketing and why would a business owner care to know about this?
Lee: At the very highest level remarketing is a method to put your message in front of people who have been to your site in the past. When someone came to your site, that user is tagged, and then as they browse other websites and web properties it gives you the ability to put your messages back in front of those people.
Why it is useful to advertisers? There’s the old adage that it takes seven-plus contacts to convert a visitor. While today that number may not be as many, there is still a lot of truth that it takes more than one contact before a visitor becomes a customer. So with this type of marketing medium you’re able to convert those visitors in a much more efficient way.
David: So how would a typical business owner use this system?
Lee: One of the most important parts to using remarketing effectively is your segmentation plan. You segment all of your visitors and you’re able to develop messages and ads that are specifically customized to these people.
One thing, though, to keep in mind is that because this is impression-based. Your click-through rates are not 2-3% as you would see in search because it’s more of a push type messaging, rather than pull from user search. So keeping click-through rates in mind, there is a critical mass to be attained. You don’t want to segment so small that you have 20 or 30 users per month in a particular bucket because you’re not going to get volume. And the time it takes to create messages specifically to those people will never pan out for you. So it’s a balancing act between being as segmented as possible, but not overly segmented.
David: Different services require a minimum number of users to even use the system.
Lee: Exactly. Google’s is quite small. And with Google, you can sign up and use it all you want. It’s just whether or not ads will actually serve based on your volume. You’ve got some platforms, like Criteo for instance, which have a minimum monthly website visit threshold before they’ll even accept you on board as a client. AdRoll is another platform, which is a good entry-level platform. The benefit of AdRoll is that it gets you on to Facebook, whereas if you’re just using Google, you can’t remarket on Facebook.
David: Let’s say I’m a lead gen business. How would I segment out my website visitors to use remarketing, to get more out of my lead generation strategy?
Lee: Think of your typical sales funnel, and you divide the sales funnel in to different sections. At the very top are those researching, dipping their toe in the water, if you will. Then as they come down the funnel, obviously they’re more engaged; they’re more likely to convert, etc. So segment, first by your sales funnel level, for lack of a better term.
Your second segment should be by time. Recency is a huge indicator of how your prospects will interact with your ads. So the more recent you get those ads in front of the prospect, obviously your brand is going to be more top of mind. But your message should change based on how long it’s been since the last contact.
So you might have a one-day remarketing funnel for the best chance at recency, though keep in mind of course if you only have 20 visits a day to a segment, you’re not going to get anything out of that one day. So you might also consider opening that first recency bucket up further to where you obtain necessary critical mass. If you can’t get enough visitors in one day, try something like two to five days. If that doesn’t work try five to fourteen or fourteen to thirty days. Anything beyond 30 days I think might be a waste of money.
You can also use conversion points on your website. So if someone has filled out a contact form, for instance, and that person moves from the website portion of the web prospecting funnel now to the sales people, it may not make sense to keep serving that person ads. So you can use contact form confirmation pages as an audience definition, and use that audience as a negative qualifier for all of your ads, so you stop serving ads to all those people as well.
David: So it sounds like the key to understanding and using remarketing effectively is understanding the sales funnel and how people interact with your content and market to people according to that funnel.
David: So, for instance, if I have a blog on my lead gen website, those are people who are very, very high in the sales funnel. They’re coming to look for an answer that may or may not directly relate to a product or a service. So that’s one type of group of segment. And then in maybe a second, more qualified level of engagement would be I sign up for the email newsletter off the blog. So they’re a little bit more interested in me. And then the third level would be those who visit a landing page about a service that I offer. And then the fourth is they’ve actually converted.
So if we simplify a sales funnel to say blog is the biggest group, and we retarget the message to them saying, “Go sign up for our email list…” When they’ve signed up for the email list we’re pushing them to a landing page. And then from that landing page they become…they sign up a lead gen form and we take them out of the funnel at that point because we don’t want to keep serving them up ads because they’ve done what we wanted, which is become the lead.
Lee: Yes, it might make sense to remove them from remarketing process altogether at that point and let the sales people take over. However, that’s not always the case. Another business might say, “Hey, let’s use ads to help the sales people sell,” and have a coordinated message that you know your sales team is pushing to these individuals, on the web as they browse industry articles or continue their decision making process.
David: So maybe where some businesses think a white paper is the soft lead that’s trying to get them to become a contact, other businesses might consider a white paper as part of the sales process and remarket even after they’ve contacted your company. They remarket a prospect the white paper, to again reinforce that they should talk to their sales person some more.
As you’ve coached people through remarketing campaigns, what are some pitfalls or suggestions that you’ve encountered? Mistakes people have made, things to avoid?
Lee: One of the mistakes, for instance, we touched on a little is once they’ve done whatever you want them to do, whether they’ve signed up for more information from the sales people or they’ve made a purchase, a lot of people, quickly assume that the remarketing process is no longer needed. And while that can be true, like I said before, don’t forget that you can still creatively use it throughout the entire funnel, even after the website conversion. I’ve also seen companies use it as a branding tool after the sale, just to help keep their business top of mind, because acquiring a customer is the expensive part. To keep a customer, you can use remarketing and defend your turf, by keeping your customers updated to new products, or industry awards. Basically brag on yourself.
David: Or maybe upsell your customer to a greater service; “Oh, by the way, we offer this, too.”
Lee: Exactly. On a final note regarding remarketing, there is a newer service, of which I see a lot of people not taking advantage. You can now use Bing or AdWords remarketing for search.
With traditional remarketing, you tag the user and you serve them ads on the display network, or web properties that are not search-based. So they’re just browsing a random website and an up pops and ad. Remarketing lists for search is a method you can use to either bid modify your existing search campaigns, or can create unique campaigns specifically tailored to people who have been to your website. The general idea and advantage being, that, once they come to your website, they’re likely going to continue to search and do research on a search engine. Since they’re tagged as having visited your website before, you can actually bid up in your search campaigns to those people who are continuing to search for your services. Sort of a, “Hey, you’ve already been to our website once, so I want to make sure that we are top of the page, very high, very visible to try to get you back to our website once again.”
Oftentimes, because that initial contact has been already made, the cost of being in that number one position is justified by better conversion rates, since they’re already somewhat familiar with you.
Have you ever used remarketing on your website? What was your experience? Tell us about it, in the comments, below.