Retargeting: convert Internet window shoppers into buyers!


The Internet has forever changed the way people shop and look for services, but it has also drastically shrunk the attention spans of us all. With infinite information just a click away, we bounce from site to site like mountain goats, always seeking better deals, more trustworthy dealers or simply more interesting offers.

Such surfing habits impact on every company with an Internet Presence. In fact, only 2% of visitors to your site will take action or make a purchase on a first visit. The other 98% will click ever onwards, and with so much competition out there, your shiny site may be forgotten – even if you’re offering the best deals in town!

You need to find a way to bring such people back. And this is where retargeting comes in!

Retargeting? What now?

Retargeting (sometimes referred to as remarketing) is a clever little advertising tool that gives you a second bite at the apple by ensuring your brand, in the form of banners ads, is front and center as your potential customer continues to surf the web even if they’re looking at websites that have nothing to do with your company, services or products. As they surf, your ads, replete with brand and logo will appear before their eyes, keeping you in mind and encouraging a return visit.

And how does it work?

As with so many other Internet mysteries, the secret is in cookies. A simple JavaScript or similar code is inserted into your site. This works as a tracking tag, placing a cookie on the computers of everyone who stops on your site – as long as they have enabled cookies in their browsers. These potential customers are then tracked all over the web. So, when they are looking at another page, your ads can be seen front and center using retargeting tools such as AdRoll or ReTargeter.

Because your brand is always in sight, it’s always kept in mind. And you’re only targeting people whom you know have already looked at your site and who have demonstrated interest in your brand. In short, people who are likely to come back and convert! Look at the statistics.

Research shows that most online banner ads can boast at best, a click-through-rate (CTR) of 0.1%. (Here’s a list of things more likely to happen than clicking on a banner ad.) But because retargeting reaches out to people who’ve already expressed interest in your site, ads are clicked up to 400% more often.

And surely targeting people seeking your services is a more effective use of your advertising budget. Retargeting redirects window shoppers and converts them into buyers through brand recognition and repeated exposure.

When does retargeting work best?

While retargeting has a proven track record as a branding and conversion tool with a much higher return on investment than other digital marketing methods, it’s not a magic wand. It is best used as part of a larger campaign. After all, retargeting only brings people back to your site, it can’t get them there in the first place. You still needs other tools such as inbound or outbound marketing, social media and good SEO in place.

And for Retargeting to be effective you have to fine-tune how you use it. For example, it is possible to control which sites show your ads and banners. If certain sites are not working for you, or go against the ethos of your brand, you can cut them from the list.

You can also decide on the size of your audience by deciding at what point cookies are delivered to visitors. You may decide only to send a cookie the customers that clicked on the “contact us” page of your site, or who went as far as the “book a consultation” page, and not track those who simply looked at your home page.

This is because retargeting works most effectively when you are trying to capture the attention of certain prospects and groups of people, not every single person who happened upon your site. After all, if you are too mercenary and put your banners on every single site your potential customer visits, you could drive them away.

So consider the people who are looking on your site. If, for example, you run a gym you may just want to target the clients who just seemed interested in personal training rather than general fitness, or if you own an IT repair company, you’ll want to retarget people looking for emergency backups more quickly than a casual browser who was simply seeking a software upgrade.

So if you are getting frustrated about the low number of conversions you’re getting on your website, retargeting is something well worth considering. And it’s one of the few times in life that you get a second chance to make a first impression.

Great! What’s next?

As we pointed out above, for retargeting to really have an impact, you need to first invest in marketing channels that will bring new traffic to your site. It is only when you have a steady stream of hits that a retargeting campaign becomes a step worth taking. Here at Pronto we recommend using channels such as SEO, AdWords, email marketing or even offline marketing to help spread awareness of your brand, and bring people to your site in the first place.

When you’re being found online, it’s time to take a closer look at the retargeting tools offered by AdRoll and ReTargeter. Be warned though, it can take a lot of work initially: you first need to decide how to segment your visitors, then decide what kind of message they should receive from you, as they move around the web. You then need some design talent to create a range of banners to fit the various dimensions required by the sites in each ad network.

It can be a lot for one person to manage which is why Pronto is planning on launching a retargeting service in the coming months. Stay tuned for more details!


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