How to Recapture Website Visitors with Remarketing

July 1, 2016

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing (also known as retargeting) is the process of re-engaging visitors to your website with custom ads based on their activity on your website.

Imagine you are a retail company and you have a remarketing campaign built around users visiting your women's shoes pages. Once a person lands on the women's shoes page, they will be served ads relating to those shoes in either a static or dynamic ad formats around the web.

Statistics show that remarketing can increase conversions on your site by 4-6% and potentially even more if you have a good strategy. This article aims to give you  the remarketing basics to help you launch and maintain a killer remarketing strategy.

How to set up your remarketing campaign

You can choose between several different platforms to launch your remarketing campaigns such as Google Adwords or a third party remarketing tool. Each platform has a slightly different setup process but there are some generic things to think about in terms of how your create your campaigns.

Split up your remarketing campaigns

It is important that you do not treat all your website visitors the same. Use audience segmentation within your remarketing campaigns so you can customize your message to each of your customers based on a selection of variables. Here are some examples of what the variables might be:

  • Demographic: Break out your segments based on age and gender
  • Geographic: Organise your targeting based on the location of your audience
  • Behavioural: Select segments based on the product pages or content pages your audience has viewed
  • Device-based: Target users based on the device they are using - mobile, desktop or tablet.

These metrics will help you to provide your audience with a targeted message appropriate to their needs which will increase their engagement with your brand. Organise these audience segments into different ad groups within your retargeting campaign and develop unique creative for each target audience with a unique call to action (please see below).

Create multiple ad sizes

We know that visitors to your site could be coming from all sorts of different screen sizes and resolutions so it is important to create several different network ad sizes. This will ensure your ads will show on every network site and placement you bid on. We recommend you start with these popular ads sizes (300x250, 160x600, 728x90, 300x600) and then grow from there based on data and feedback.

Each audience segment you create will likely have a unique call to action (CTA) with click-through links to the most relevant page for them on your website. It is important to consider this as you are building your ad creative and we recommend using UTM parameters so you can track the success of each campaign in Google Analytics.

Don't forget to exclude your converted visitors

No person enjoys being remarketed with an ad for something they have bought, downloaded or engaged with already and this looks sloppy. Make sure you set a parameter within each campaign that excludes users who have converted for up to a certain amount of time - this will depend on the industry but typically retail is shorter, as retail companies want to start driving conversions again as soon as possible.

Use additional remarketing tools to gain further audience reach

Remarketing comes with an array of additional tools that you can use to recapture your audience, everything from shopping cart abandonment tools (where you send users their abandoned shopping basket and attempt to entice them back to purchase) and hyperlocal targeting (where you can target users on a mobile phone in a fenced geographic area). It is important to choose the right remarketing tools for your brand. If you don't like to see more than 5 or 6 of your ads all on one page, you need to set frequency caps on ad delivery to match your brand's style (aka not pushy). You can also adjust member duration, which determines how long your remarketing campaign will target a user. Finally, there are opportunities to A/B test your remarketing ads to see which ad, overall, performs better than another. This can help you to optimize the ads with the highest performance.

Have you ran a remarketing campaign before? Tell us more over on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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