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Written by:

Amanda DiSilvestro

Mar 30, 2012

Retargeting: Does Bothering Your Customers Really Work?


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Bothering your customers is tempting. People always seem to think “maybe they didn’t get the message,” and “maybe I should talk with them just one more time,” and then another time, and another, and another. It can be hard for someone to accept that they have lost a client or customer, so they want to make triple sure that there is no getting that customer back. The easiest way for a company to give customers a second and third chance to come back is through a marketing method called retargeting.

Unfortunately for the consumer, this can sometimes come off as very annoying. To give you a little background information: Retargeting is essentially a way to target users who have already visited your website. Some have called this the “stalking” form of marketing because a user just cannot get away. For example, if I were to visit a web hosting company website, then no matter where I went on the Internet for the next 30 or so days I would be seeing banner and pop-up ads for this company. Companies can create a retargeting campaign by dropping a “cookie,” or a text string that is stored by your browser on all of website visitors. This allows the retargeting campaign to follow a user on the Internet and advertise wherever the user goes.

When Retargeting Works and When It Is Nothing but Annoying

This method of advertising can work for both potential customers and businesses, so for many this tactic is very popular. Consider some of the reasons someone might benefit from retargeting:

  • Sometimes shoppers really do need the reminder. If someone has visited a lot of websites on the Internet, it’s easy to forget where he/she has been.

  • Retargeting is great for companies because they know that their ads are being seen by people who were, at one point, interested. This allows for a very targeted audience.

  • People look for things online all the time. There is a good chance they got sidetracked or decided against a purchase. Retargeting is that “are you sure you want to walk away?” remind that so many need.

  • According to AdRoll, 2 percent of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store, and retargeting brings back the other 98 percent.”

It can often seem that retargeting is the right thing to do because of all of these benefits. However, there are plenty of reasons that retargeting won’t work. In fact, some companies find that retargeting does more harm than good. Consider some of the reasons retargeting might not work for a company or a consumer:

  • You have no control over where your ads show up, so consumers could see them in odd places, which will only add to the annoyance.

  • It is not uncommon for someone to completely boycott a company that simply won’t leave them alone, and retargeting is a sure-fire way to not leave someone alone.

  • You have no idea whether or not the customer has already made a purchase with another company. This means that you could be targeting someone who has absolutely no intent on becoming a customer.

Just as with any marketing tactic, retargeting is a risk. Although there is no way a company can create a perfect retargeting campaign, there are things that can be done to help eliminate the cons and maximize the pros.

How to Create a Successful Retargeting Campaign

There are three ways you can strike the right balance between being too pushy and being too passive when it comes to retargeting:

1. Segmenting Your Audience Matters

It’s a great idea to segment your audience so that you can create custom messages for certain groups of visitors. Most companies segment their audience in terms of the webpages each visited. For example, if your company has a webpage that discusses different phone systems and another page that discusses workers compensation, you will want to segment these two audiences. This will help make sure that your past visitors are less annoyed and more interested in your company.

2.    Remove Visitors from the Campaign after 30 Days

You have the ability to remove certain members of those you are targeting from the campaign. You will want to make sure that you do not continue to send messages to those that have already made a purchase with your company, and you do not want to send messages to those that have not made a purchase within 30 days. If someone continually sees your ads for 30 days and still doesn’t make a purchase, chances are they are not interested. This is known as “burning” your audience, and is another great way to cut down on the annoyance factor.

3.    Make Sure You Do Not Overwhelm Your Audience With Ads

The number of ads that you put into this campaign does matter. Most people will not mind one ad per day, but many more will get annoying. You want to make sure you only have about 20 ads per visitor for the entire month.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that retargeting does not have to feel like stalking. It can be helpful if done in the right way, so don’t count out this marketing technique. Chances are if you have heard horror stories about retargeting, the company was doing it wrong. You can visit Firepole Marketing to learn more about how to get started creating a retargeting campaign.

Photo Credit: webpronews.com

Topics: Sales Lead Generation

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