6 Retargeting Mistakes That Can Spell Disaster for Your Campaigns
There was a time when marketers had almost written off display advertising as a white elephant. It cost a lot, its impact was difficult to measure, and in comparison to its much cooler counterpart — search marketing — display marketing just did not seem sustainable as a marketing tool for the long term.
However, all of that changed with the entry of display retargeting. Display ads went from being blind, bulk media buys to being scientifically targeted ninja ads that produced results that put other forms of digital marketing to shame. Retargeted display ads push up website conversion rates by as much as 70 percent. AdRoll’s research discovered that 92 percent of marketers believed that retargeting was equally or more effective than search, email and other forms of display marketing:
So, while retargeting is the flavor of the season, you want to make sure you’re dressed for the ball. Too many things that we take for granted in other forms of marketing can mean the difference between smash hit success and ignominious failure for your retargeting campaigns. Here’s my round up of the top no-nos for your next retargeting campaign.
1. Everybody’s Not Your Audience
Yes, retargeted ads are meant to reach out to users who have already been exposed to your messaging at least once before. However, all of those people do not form one large undifferentiated mass of humanity. With retargeting, you have a very effective and precise tool in your hands. Use it wisely.
Segment your target audience based on parameters that resonate with your business. Those who’ve bought vs. those who haven’t. Those who are close to your stores vs. those who buy online only. Those who are coupon buyers vs. those who pay regular prices. Whatever be the factors that set one set of customers apart from the rest for your business, figure them out and build audience segments around those specific factors.
2. No Customized Ad Design
When your audiences are segmented, they need ads that speak to them in their own language. A Christmas campaign with a Santa that goes ho-ho-ho, might be a wonderful idea inside your store, but cannot be the ad creative for all the segments that your retargeted campaigns address. That doesn’t mean you need to precisely understand all your users’ preferences — a simple peek at the items they browsed coupled with a name call will do:
The whole idea of retargeting is to get as relevant to your users as possible. Invest in developing dynamic ads that intelligently display messaging and images that make sense to each individual user. If creating dynamic display ads sounds like too much work, design multiple ad versions for a single campaign, each targeting a different customer segment and set them up manually for each segment.
3. Not Factoring for Boredom
User fatigue is a real thing when it comes to retargeting. A smart marketer will make it a point to switch ad creatives on a regular basis to retain freshness in the campaign messaging. If your campaign is going to be a long one, ensure that your ads are switched regularly during the campaign period. Exposing your audience to the same ad for extended periods of time causes ad blindness and is essentially a waste of your retargeting dollars.
Another big faux pas is reusing the same ad across multiple campaigns. Not only does this bore your audience, it will also skew any data that you might be measuring due to the lower impact of the same ad in different campaigns.
4. Forgetting About Social and Email Retargeting
Social retargeting allows marketers to fine tune their audience segments and reach out almost down to each individual who would be a perfect match for their brand’s messaging. Demographic and behavioral aspects that cannot be factored into regular retargeting campaigns are available for the taking.
The results are there for all to see. Research shows that retargeting campaigns on Facebook get twice the number of clicks that regular retargeting campaigns get. On Twitter too, retargeting can be made as simple as adding a "Buy" button to your product tweets:
Email retargeting is another extremely effective, yet oft overlooked form of retargeting. Specific actions taken by a user can be triggers for email campaigns that help nurture the user and guide him into a path culminating in conversion. Email provider Epsilon estimates that triggered emails receive 152 percent higher clickthrough rates than regular email newsletters.
5. Getting ‘Salesy’ on Social
People go on social media to look up their friends and find out what’s cooking in the lives of people they know. No one logs on to learn how awesome the product you’re selling is. On other websites like a news portal or an op-ed blog, your retargeted ad can sell to the customer in a straight forward manner.
However, the rules of engagement on social media are different. Post like a person and not a business that’s trying to sell stuff. This means, your retargeted ads on social media are better off sounding like a post from a friend than the pitch of a used car salesman.
6. Landing Page Woes
Anyone can set up a new website these days. Setting up and optimizing landing pages is even easier. But all the greatest tools in the world will be no good when your landing page does not check of the fundamentals to capture and successfully convert leads. Landing pages are to retargeting campaigns what fingers are to mittens.
Some of the key factors that determine the success of a landing page include:
- Set up tracking code from the retargeting campaign on your landing page to identify visitors that came in and track campaign performance.
- A landing page must match your ad’s messaging. One that speaks a different language than your ad is only going to confuse your users and waste a perfectly qualified lead (who has taken the time and made the effort to check you out again).
- Keep your lead form short and sweet. Ask for the bare minimum details — you might already have a few because this isn’t your first interaction. Once the customer gets going down the conversion funnel, you can always solicit additional information at a later date.
Until the advent of retargeting, marketing was a hit or miss affair. If a user missed your ad, there was no other way of identifying the same user and exposing them to the ad again. Retargeting has solved that problem for you. Armed with a tool that helps your marketing become more cost efficient, it’s up to you to set up the campaigns in such a way that maximizes returns while minimizing the cracks that leads can slip through.
Rohan Ayyar is the regional marketing manager for India at SEMrush. His blog, The Marketing Mashup, covers digital marketing from the perspective of B2B, B2C, lead generation, mobile marketing, SEO, social media, content marketing, database marketing including predictive analytics, and conversion rate optimization. In addition, he'll look at emerging marketing technology and how marketers can use it. Reach Ayyar at email@example.com.