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DR Conversion Toolbox:
Advanced Remarketing Strategies

By Pippa Nutt, Senior Vice President, Online & Canadian Media

Day in, day out, marketers are faced with the same core challenges: How do we market more effectively – to the right people, at the right time, with the right offer that will guarantee response?

Imagine how hyper-focused your efforts could be if you could skip the step of identifying who is interested in what you have to offer. Enter remarketing, the opportunistic Golden Goose of online marketing. But anyone can tag visitors. It's the strategies behind how you use that information that make or break a campaign.

If you have never heard of remarketing, here's the skinny to get you up to speed: remarketing (also referred to as "retargeting") essentially allows you to remarket your ads to users who have previously visited your website. The value therein is pretty transparent. It's easier to sell something to someone who has identified a need or interest vs. trying to build that need from the ground up. Simply put, remarketing is a powerful tool that is proven to increase conversions and overall campaign efficiencies, and offers a secondary benefit of increased brand awareness.

Here are five tips to supercharge your remarketing efforts:


1. Aim high – and wide

The power of remarketing is limited only by two core factors: reach and expertise. Assuming you have assigned the right people to your campaign, they will most likely recommend investing in a demand-side platform that has access to all of the major ad exchanges. The rationale is simple: anyone can tag visitors, but that's as far as you'll get if you can't follow them elsewhere. Otherwise, there are no opportunities for your ads to appear. And while there are several players (even publishers are now pitching a remarketing layer), the search engines own a big piece of the pie in this respect. The Google Display Network reaches approximately 80% of internet users in North America, and remarketing on a cost-per-click basis (CPC) is very low-risk given you only pay on a CPC basis.

Similarly, an often overlooked aspect of remarketing strategies is that a remarketing tag can be used across different sites to widen your audience pool. Look for cross-segmentation opportunities that can boost sales in this respect.


2. Start tagging visitors ASAP

If you are in the same boat as most marketers, more than 90% of all of your web traffic likely leaves before doing what you want them to do. There are hundreds of reasons why a visitor may abandon ship, but that doesn't mean they're not interested. Coworkers, children, Fido, Grey's Anatomy, text messages – the list of distractions are endless. Don't give up. Attention spans are dwindling, but it is possible to break through the clutter with the right message and offer.


3. Target visitors by content viewed

Remarketing is the polar opposite of "one size fits all"; ads, therefore, need to be designed differently. A great opportunity is to target visitors by the content they viewed or their stage in the buying cycle. A personal pet peeve of mine (let's face it, I have a lot of them), is when I notice a remarketing campaign in action but with a completely flawed strategy. If I've been browsing running shoes, why show me a promo for sporting equipment? It's really not that hard: you have the capability of identifying my interest category – build from that.

Targeting visitors by the content they viewed or their stage in the buying cycle allows you to display custom messaging and promote new offers. Think inside the box. What is the customer's buying history? How can you use that information to promote complementary products in your creative? The data exists – you just have to figure out how to mine it.


4. Negative audience opportunities

As much as I am a fan, I too recognize that remarketing can be incredibly annoying in inexperienced hands. Case in point: I land, I seek, I like, I buy. Then, while I'm out surfing, I get an offer for free shipping – after I've already purchased. Now I'm just really irritated. Equally important is to examine negative audience opportunities. Continually remarketing to the same people who have already done what you want them to do is a complete waste of everyone's time. Add your converting visitors as a negative audience so you're not remarketing to the same people repeatedly unless you have a compelling cross-sell opportunity.

Side bar: If you have a log-in off your home page, pick a page further along in the funnel that an existing customer likely would not traffic to.


5. Frequency caps and cookie timeframes

Frequency and cookie timeframes really go hand in hand. Both offer another optimization layer to ensure you target your ads to the segment that is most likely to respond. If you've been serving me an ad for 30 days and I still haven't clicked on it, chances are I'm no longer interested. Get over it and move on – or risk annoying your audience.


Good to great

Remarketing works well for multiple clients across a wide variety of industries to drive increased conversion activity and lower cost per leads. With the help of these advanced strategies, you can take your next campaign from good to great.