Retargeting Your Existing Customer Base

Raise your hand if you’ve had this experience:

You’re on Amazon shopping for something – let’s say toilet paper. You compare a couple of different brands and variants (Do you want the super soft or the super strong? Double roll or mega roll?), maybe you’re even doing this on your phone from your local grocery store to see which is cheaper. Anyway, the whole thing makes your head spin and you decide to punt the decision to another day.

Cut to later that night, you’re scrolling mindlessly through your Facebook feed, when WHAM! It hits you. An ad for the exact toilet paper you were looking at earlier.

What Is This Witchcraft?

No, this isn’t a magic trick. Amazon doesn’t have spies looking over your shoulder at every turn, and you aren’t being haunted by the ghost of toilet-paper-purchases past. This is called “retargeting”. It’s an advertising strategy that is becoming increasingly popular. And frankly, it’s kind of brilliant.

Traditionally, display advertisements (such as Facebook ads or banner ads on the web) have been limited to reaching out to new customers in the places where you think you are most likely to find them. But with retargeting, you can re-engage with either existing or “warm” customers who have either made a purchase or worked with your business before, or those who have visited your site and considered making a purchase, but haven’t yet decided to pull the trigger. Retargeting has huge potential upside for encouraging repeat business, as well as closing the deal on converting customers who are on the fence.

How To Do This Voodoo

Here’s how it works: on your website (either on a specific page or across the whole of the site) you place a tiny, harmless bit of JavaScript code called a pixel. The pixel feeds a little anonymous browser cookie to your site’s visitors the first time they come. Then later, while that visitor is roaming about the web and they come across a site where you are running a retargeting ad, your retargeting provider detects the cookie, and serves up an ad to your visitors. This way, you are only serving ads to visitors who have been to your site, and you can encourage them to come back to either complete a previous purchase, or perhaps for some kind of special promotion directed at them. You can even set a time range for your cookies to expire so your visitors don’t get annoyed by your ads (or only have limited access to that excellent promotion).

Retargeting providers, such as AdRoll, Rubicon Project or Google AdWords Retargeting, allow you to track various metrics to measure the success of your retargeting campaign. The most important ones you’ll want to pay attention to, though, are click-through conversions and view-through conversions. Click-through is what it sounds like – the number of people that click on a retargeted ad which leads them back to your site, and they then complete a sale. View-through conversions are people who have viewed the ad, but not clicked on it, yet still made their way back to your site and then purchased or signed up for services.

Retargeting has been exploding in popularity, and has totally changed the game in terms of customer re-engagement, and giving businesses the ability to reach out directly to their existing audience and customer-base at the sites they already visit on the web. Many retargeting providers even allow you to run campaigns on Facebook. More traditional banner ads are still a great tool for attracting new customers, but when it comes to the customers you already have, retargeting takes the guesswork and finger-crossing out of drawing those visitors back to your site for additional business.

Need help implementing retargeting techniques into your marketing strategy? Contact the team at 10twelve today to discuss how we can help your business grow!