Remarketing is Bigger than Chasing the Ones that Got Away
September 13, 2019
Editor’s Note: This guest post was contributed by Barry Feldman, Owner of Feldman Creative.
I visit a lot of websites, because I seek answers, ideas, and products. After these visits, the websites seek me.
That’s called remarketing or retargeting, terms that I will use interchangeably in this post. (Note that Search Engine Journal says there are slight differences between the two terms: defining retargeting as display ads targeted to people who have visited your website and remarketing as reengaging via email customers who, for example, have abandoned an online shopping cart).
Whether you’re familiar with the terms or not, you’re familiar with the tactic. Retargeting creates digital ads that serve follow-up messages to visitors around after they leave a website.
Remarketing and retargeting have caught on, grown up, spread, proven itself and become a more versatile beast than they once were. As I write in the headline, this practice has become bigger than chasing the ones that got away. However, chasing the one that got away was the original idea, so let’s kick this off with a remarketing 101.
Remarketing: A review of the basics
Remarketing is a pay-per-click (PPC) ad method. You’re charged only when the ad is clicked (which makes an unclicked view completely free).
The general consensus is remarketing campaigns are usually profitable and reduce cost per acquisition when compared to display and search ads. Ad fees can be lower than standard PPC on search.
Remarketing tracks user behavior via browser cookies, mobile advertiser ID and user ID. However, on some platforms you can also target people by email address, phone number, mailing address and social username.
Popular remarketing ad networks include Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. (LinkedIn supports website retargeting, email targeting and account or company name retargeting).
Most advertisers use self-serve tools to manage remarketing campaigns, however a number of third-party platforms enable you to set up an account to target multiple networks.
Retargeting ads are easily A/B tested to help you optimize your outcomes.
LinkedIn offers a great overview of website retargeting here—including a 54-second video.
Remarketing messaging tips
Here, courtesy of GrowthBadger, are a handy set of messaging tips proven effective for retargeting:
Overcome common objections.
Demonstrate social proof with reviews, customer testimonials or press quotes.
Reinforce your value proposition by highlighting benefits users may not have seen on your site.
Focus on an “easier sell” such as a free trial or valuable guide.
Offer greater value, lower price or free bonus.
Now for remarketing 201: retargeting customers
So… what about the ones that didn’t get away, prospects who not only visited your website but became customers? Yes, remarketing can reap rewards beyond customer acquisition and lead nurturing. Remarketing ads can also boost customer retention and increase customer lifetime value.
Here’s some powerful proof from the world of app marketing based on research by AppsFlyer, providers of a platform for attribution and marketing analytics in the mobile space.
AppsFlyer analyzed 4.5 billion retargeting conversions and found retargeting by apps companies—for the purpose of re-engagement of existing and lapsed customers—dramatically helps improve lifetime value and profitability. According to AppsFlyer, the cost to acquire a user is 5-10x more expensive than the cost to re-engage a user resulting in a growing trend to prioritize retargeting over user acquisition.
VentureHarbour claims remarketing techniques not only increases conversions from PPC traffic but also improves email marketing results, reduces cart abandonment rates and increases customer retention. They offer a list of great insights for targeting existing customers to produce loyal customers:
Cross-sell—Advertise related products relevant to a customer’s first purchase.
Upsell—Encourage upgrades from the free version to a paid version of your platform, product or service.
Promote renewals—Target buyers of subscription-based products/services when the initial contract period is set to expire.
Promote rebuying—Encourage customers to purchase again at the end of the product’s lifecycle.
Re-engage—Reach out to previous customers who stopped buying.
Promote loyalty programs—Run campaigns featuring rewards to build stronger relationships.
Noah Kagan (a.k.a. OkDork), founder of AppSumo and Sumo, claims though it’s uncommonly done, his companies have experienced strong results by retargeting current customers.
“In my experience, it’s much easier to sell to a current customer who knows my brand than try to convince a new customer who I am,” he writes. “If I’m trying to pitch a new product or article to an already-existing customer, the cost per click (CPC) is very low, which saves me money and has strong results.” Kagan adds that he doesn’t pitch to all existing customers, avoiding his most loyal customers so as to not annoy them.