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Poorly executed remarketing campaigns look sloppy and can reflect negatively on your brand. Oversaturation, irrelevant messaging and showing ads on inappropriate sites can turn off your prospects and jeopardize your customer acquisition efforts.
Remarketing can be a highly effective tool when done properly. To effectively leverage remarketing, it's important to follow best practices for maximizing performance without turning your audience off by over-saturating them with your ads.
Remarketing is an effective way to stay top of mind with anyone who has already visited your website or engaged with your content at some point. There are a number of different types of retargeting. Here are few of the more common forms:
- Site Retargeting: One of the most common forms of remarketing, site retargeting serves ads to people after they have visited your website. Target visitors with different messaging based on which page they visited, what they have (or have not) downloaded, or whether they have made a purchase or not.
- Search Retargeting: Target individuals on search engines who have typed in keywords that are relevant to your business. Unlike site retargeting, people don’t need to visit your website in order to be served with your remarketing ads. They must only search on a keyword that you are bidding on in your Adwords or Bing Ads account.
- Database/CRM Retargeting: Email address retargeting is a great way to stay top of mind with users in your internal marketing database or CRM. Many retargeting platforms can serve ads to users online using nothing more than their email address. While the technology behind this form of retargeting is sophisticated, the process for setting it up is not - simply upload a list of email addresses, some ads and voila!
There are other forms of remarketing you can leverage, and I encourage you to learn about them, test them, and decide if they are right for your business. However, the scope of this article is to talk about what you shouldn’t do when it comes to remarketing, regardless of what type you are doing.
Common Remarketing Mistakes
When used responsibly, remarketing can be a powerful way to increase conversions, recover revenue from shopping cart abandonment and boost brand awareness. Many times, however, companies anger and alienate their target audiences by making the following common mistakes:
- Ignoring the potential for ‘ad fatigue’: When a user is first introduced to a product or service, there is a window of time where remarketing can be effective. In most cases, this window closes after about 30 days, but that is not a hard and fast rule - the longer the customer journey and sales cycle, the longer the window for retargeting can be effective. But if a company continues to pummel the user with continued advertising long beyond the point of relevance, they are likely to produce little more than negative sentiment about their brand.Ad fatigue can result from an overextended retargeting window - i.e. 90 days when 30 days is sufficient - as well as excessive ad frequency. Even if you are using the appropriate retargeting window, if you are inundating your audience with ads on every site they visit, you are going to turn them off. Save money (and face) by capping your ad frequency.
- Ignoring the customer journey: There is nothing more amateur than showing a retargeting ad for a product that a consumer has already purchased. Or an ad for a whitepaper they have already downloaded. Redundant CTAs like this will not produce results and will likely make you look bad.Retargeting allows for you to present prospective consumers with the right messaging at the right time, depending on where they are in the customer journey. Take advantage of this sophisticated functionality for best results. For users that visit your site but don’t download your case study, remarket an ad for that case study. For users that have abandoned your shopping cart, remarket with added incentives for them to return to your site and make a purchase.
- Showing ads on inappropriate sites: Remarketing is a form of display advertising and, if you know anything about display advertising, there is always a risk of showing up on sites that don’t align well with your brand. These could be sites that promote violent or sexual content. Or it could simply be a site that creates dissonance with your key message. For instance, a luxury brand will likely not want to show up on a site that sells cheap knock offs of their products. To avoid negative associations, it's important to set up category-based exclusions, including profane, sexually suggestive and crime-related sites.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when setting up an effective remarketing strategy. Not only do you have to take several steps to optimize your conversion rate, you have to be wary of mistakes that can turn consumers off and create negative sentiment about your brand.