June 3, 2015

On the Brink: The Right (and Wrong) Way to Retarget

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The is the latest installment of our Delucchi Plus blog feature, On The Brink, in which our Digital Analyst Manager and resident Batman expert Jonathan Brinksman breaks down the latest and greatest trends in digital marketing. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or total newbie, Jonathan will be offering expert, accessible insight into the ever-changing digital world.

It’s a big week for me, you guys. After literally months of unending research and serious soul-searching, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a new sofa:

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Thank you, I agree completely; it IS a very classy shade of blue and absolutely fits with my personal aesthetic! Call me crazy, but I’m partial to mid-century modern.

So why am I telling you this? Because, dear readers, I noticed something pretty terrifying while browsing the Internet this week. Even though I’ve already made a purchase, I’m still getting display ads retargeted to me. GASP! It’s actually beginning to get obnoxious. These ads are everywhere.

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Retargeting ads (also sometimes called remarketing) are a great way for increasing your online conversion rate. It makes sense: You already know that if a user has been to your website, the chances are very good that they’re qualified.

But if that traffic is so qualified, why didn’t they convert in the first place? A lot of reasons, probably. In my case, I didn’t convert initially because I was doing research (obsessively — I’ve ordered so many swatches you have no idea) and wanted to compare my options with other shops. In other cases, it could be that the price was too high, or maybe the exact item they wanted was out of stock. It’s also possible that this particular user was just unqualified traffic — yes, all websites get at least some unqualified traffic, not just yours.

It all leads to the same question, though: How do you make sure that you’re spending your retargeting dollars as wisely as possible? Don’t worry — I wouldn’t leave you hanging. Here are some handy tips for setting up and running your remarketing campaigns:

 Stop targeting people who have already converted

  • No matter which network you (or your marketing managers) are using for your retargeting campaigns, there is always a way to set up ad delivery exceptions. If you have a clear, direct conversion on your website (as is the case with ecommerce websites like the one I used to buy my couch), then you should set it to no longer target users who have visited the thank you or confirmation pages. People who have already converted — especially for larger purchases like furniture — are unlikely to convert again in a time period relevant to your advertising.

 Set limitations on your ad delivery

  • You don’t just want to throw ads at every user who visits your website. At some point, you stop increasing your conversion rate, and start getting on peoples’ nerves. By setting limitations to the number of times you will deliver ads to users, as well as by limiting the length of time (it’s rare for there to be a conversion window beyond 30 days), you’re limiting your unqualified impressions and maximizing your ROI.

 Exclusive offers work the best

  • Typically, if you want a user who has already passed on your product/offering/whatever it is you want them to do, it’s best to try to entice them further before letting them get away. An offer exclusively for users seeing your retargeted ad (EG, “$10 off!” or “Commemorative Christmas Ornament with Purchase!”) is the best way to maximize your retargeting campaign’s conversion rate.

 Look at what your traffic is doing

  • Look at that, a data analyst is recommending that you look at and analyze your website data. Shocker. It’s true, though — ultimately the traffic is all that you should care about. Is the traffic from this channel doing what you want it to do? If not, it’s either time to make tweaks and refinements to your marketing campaign, or to fire your marketing team (and give Delucchi Plus a call).

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Long story short, retargeting campaigns can be really helpful, and are an integral part of pretty much any online marketing strategy. However, it’s easy to make a lot of little mistakes that can hurt your bottom line and ROI without even realizing it. Until marketers get savvier (I’m talking Delucchi Plus levels of savvy), campaigns like this will all-too-often fall short of their full potential. Also, I guess I’m just going to have to keep looking at ads for custom, contemporary furniture that has a classic, timeless feel.

BRB, this chaise lounge would be PERFECT for my receiving room.