C’mon back! How retargeting helps customers get back to buying.

Doe-Anderson in Advertising
0 min read

It’s a bitter fact that most website visitors drop the ball when heading down a website’s marketing funnel. Whether they’re not ready to buy, they think they can get a better deal elsewhere or they just plain got distracted, almost 70% of customers abandon the shopping process along the way. But with ad retargeting, we can coax these primed visitors back into the buying process.

No matter what the goal, we can use some type of retargeting to get a much higher conversion rate.

Retargeting is a fairly new digital display ad strategy. It does a great job of getting these past visitors back to the site. It uses first-party data to identify and target specific people. Retargeting lets us deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time. For example, if consumers have already visited the homepage or a certain product page, we could show them our ad for the pair of shoes they put in their shopping carts but never bought. With the first-party data we have at our fingertips, we can now instantly pinpoint our customers and shape a specific message aimed directly at them. There are several first-party data points we can use, including browsing history, tracking pixels, geolocation and device IDs from users who downloaded mobile apps.

If we want to sell more “Brand X” phones, then we retarget our message to users who have already viewed that product page. If we need to get people into a store, we retarget a message to people who are within a half-mile from the location. No matter what the goal, we can use some type of retargeting to get a much higher conversion rate.

How does all this work?

In a nutshell, we insert a droplet of code onto a specific webpage, email or other digital media. When a visitor visits that page, a cookie is added to their browser. When the visitor browses other websites with advertising, that cookie lets ad platforms know to deliver the retargeted ad.

There are a lot of moving pieces that make the whole process happen in milliseconds. Most of the time, a real-time bidding process takes place in an instant. Data management platforms (DMPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs), ad servers and publishers converge to sell and buy ad space, process the data and then choose and deliver a specific digital ad. DMPs help gather data. DSPs and SSPs pull together the ad space where we want to share our message. And ad servers and publishers deliver the targeted messages. We work with these different digital marketing partners to create more effective campaigns.

Build it and they will come.

In 2017, we created a display campaign for a client for a buy-one-get-one of its products. For the sixth-straight month, the overall click-through rate (CTR) was higher for retargeting ads (almost double). Seventeen of the 24 conversions (71%) were results of retargeting ads, which is notable since retargeting impressions made up over 23% of the total campaign impressions.

Month after month, retargeting has delivered a better CTR, a better conversion rate and a much better Sale vs. Impression ratio. If the goal is to get people back to the site and ultimately down the sales funnel, retargeting is a must. Know your goal, know your audience and act by running a retargeting campaign.

If you build it, they will come.

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