What is remarketing?
Remarketing is a way to reconnect with potential customers who have visited your website. Whether you realize it or not you have probably been remarketed to before. Have you ever been to a website and then started seeing their banners everywhere? That’s remarketing.
Previous to your visit, the company that owned that website set up remarketing tag that allowed you to be tracked. (A step-by-step remarketing guide is here.) When you left their site, you were shown banners from other sites. These sites collect a small fee every time you click on a remarketing banner.
Now here’s the point — you want to be there with a banner ad when the customer is ready to make a purchase decision. Remarketing is a really effective way to spend marketing dollars because it reconnects previously interested customers with your website to encourage them to make a purchase they weren’t ready to make during their first visit.
Why does remarketing work?
If you’ve got the whole wide world to market your company to, why not start with the people who have already shown interest in your product? In terms of your return on effort, you have already spent time and money on acquiring these customers. With remarketing you can be very specific about who you target as well. For example, you can only show banners to people who have been to your site but haven’t signed up yet.
How do I make remarketing work for my business?
Knowing what remarketing is and how to implement a campaign isn’t enough. You need to understand how your business model affects the way you message to your customers and how to measure success. You need to know if you are making money. There are a lot of businesses out there that could benefit from remarketing. In order to cover most businesses without having the write a dissertation, I am going to group them into three of the most popular businesses: SaaS, eCommerce, and Services.
Software as a service, or SaaS, sell their software on a month-to-month or annual basis through the website or mobile interface. If you’re a SaaS company, you may just need a simple banner with your name on it to keep yourself top of mind as a business owner goes through their day. You could also include a conditional discount to your audience that takes them to a discount page that can only be found by clicking on the remarketing banner. You could also present additional information on the subject matter related to the software you provide. For example, if you are offering accounting software, you advertise a whitepaper download on how they could be saving more in taxes.
Because SaaS companies charge a subscription, you could spend remarketing dollars on getting users to sign up for a free trial and make your money back when some of them convert to payment. If you know that the average payer sticks around for 2 years, you can back that out to see how much you can afford to pay for each remarketing click. The period of time you allow for payback determines how aggressive you can be with your cost per acquisition. You may be looking for a 3, 6 or 12-month break even point on your spend. If you know that most customers renew, you can afford to lose money up front.
If you’re selling a physical product online, keep you remarketing banners very image heavy. You want to show the product they were looking at on your site. If you sell a lot of different products, this means a lot of work up front. It might make sense to start with the most highly trafficked product pages to start and maybe only to people who abandoned a shopping cart. Once you start to see it working you can scale your effort to other products with less traffic. Be agile in the sense that you implement a little, test a little, implement some more and test some more.
Because you are selling a physical product, you need to consider your margins when marketing a product. Still, a remarketing customer is the lowest hanging fruit out there. If budget dollars are tight, make sure to spend money here first. Since you went to the trouble to setup the remarketing by product, you will now reap the benefits of that hard work by being able to figure out what kind of products have the highest ROI.
If you are a brick and mortar company offering a service, some visitors might not have been ready to call when they were at your website. However, if you follow them around with your name and number, you are more likely to present your information at decision-making time and get a call. I recommend have a separate remarketing number for attribution purposes. You will want to know what business came from remarketing banners so you can compare the jobs you get from those banners compared to how much they cost you.
Most service customers do research before they make a purchase decision. Your potential customer will be impressed by the fact that you are “all over the internet”. Another thing to remember is that you only have to pay for banners that get clicked on. By leaving the phone number on the banner, there is a chance that you will get some freebies. I really like banner advertising because you can bid higher on clicks to get more exposure (a lot of people may never click, but just call you right from the ad).
People calling on the phone almost always end up having a person come out to give them a bid. Driving more phone calls is a win-win situation for your business and marketing budget. You will want to make sure that you add the call extension to all your remarketing text ads. It makes it simple for them to make a call right from the ad on their phone.
You can control how many times a visitor sees your remarketing ads every day. I prefer to set the total impression count to 5 per day. You want to remind people to come back but you don’t want to annoy them. You dive into more details on Adwords remarketing from Google here.
After bailing on a PhD program in Economics almost a decade ago, Brad Hanks has worked as a digital marketer in every capacity. After playing a key role in the growth at Lucid Software, Brad has ventured out on his own to help start ZipBooks, a free accounting software program for small businesses. Brad is passionate about helping small businesses be successful by giving them the tools and advice that they need to help themselves. You can get get more small business tips at ZipBooks’ blog. Brad is the proud father of three lovely daughters who love math and science!