From Here and Back Again
How much exposure to a potential lead will you need to close a sale? While countless articles have been written on the subject, the number of “touches” or interactions your brand will need to make with a prospective customer to close the deal will vary depending on your company and clientele. Hubspot claims 5-7 touches is the average, while Salesforce puts the number at 6-8.
While no one can agree on a single magic figure for the number of touches required to close a lead, they all agree that the more touches you have with a prospect, the higher the probability you will have of closing that deal. So how do you continue maintaining contact with a prospective client after that initial interaction? The answer lies in retargeting.
Retargeting: What Is It?
Have you ever visited an online retailer, briefly shopped around their site for a few minutes, and continued to get ads on that item for weeks afterward? If so, you have been caught in the crosshairs of a retargeting campaign.
Retargeting is a form of online advertising that continues to feed content and promotions to a prospect once they have completed an action or visited a certain landing page.
Embedded in each page is a piece of code called a pixel. These pixels collect information regarding the visitor, embedding a tracking cookie on their computer that allows you to target them through third party websites. Google and Facebook are the two most common retargeting ad platforms, but many other app developers are embracing this technology as well.
Quite often when we launch a new ad campaign, change an audience, or refresh existing advertisements, it can take a month or two before we see a boost in ad conversions. This ties back into the increase of likelihood in closing a sale through repeated touches (as mentioned above).
Retargeting Marketing Channels
Retargeting Display Ads
The most well-known retargeting advertising tactic involves the delivery of the display ads described above. You visit a website, shop for an item, and are fed a steady stream of ads over an extended period of time.
These ads come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Whether they’re popping up in your search results, displaying product information off to the side of your feed, or being delivered through your Gmail inbox, there are a ton of creative ways to drive ads to previous site visitors.
A good marketer will deliver retargeting ads, but an excellent marketer will tailor those ads to meet the unique needs of a repeat visitor. Rather than delivering the same general branding message, the advertiser can now provide a more targeted “second date” message with a deliberate call to action based on the visitor’s past interaction.
A good example of these retargeting ads would involve a theoretical campaign run by Toyota. When you go to the Toyota website and select a model, you are walked through a series of questions and add-on package options. For example, if I select a Toyota Tacoma and pick the Off-Road package through its vehicle builder tool, Toyota will likely feed me retargeting ads with an off-road theme (tied to relevant search terms and third party websites).
Commonly known as “Drip Marketing,” retargeted email marketing campaigns can engage visitors who may have left an abandoned shopping cart, purchased a certain product type, or visited a particular landing page. Any one of these actions can trigger an automated chain of messages designed to guide them toward the completion of a transaction, upsell to a higher-margin product or service, or encourage future purchases of accessories and add-ons.
Large eCommerce retailers like eBay or Amazon will often have very complicated drip marketing programs. If you add a product to your cart and leave the site without purchasing it, this action will kick off an automated drip campaign designed to encourage you to make your purchase.
The first email you may get is a reminder that your product was left in your cart. Perhaps the retailer will offer you an additional promotion to sweeten the deal (free shipping on your purchase if you buy now). Maybe they’ll recommend a selection of similar products based on your subsequent search queries. If you wind up purchasing the product, they may follow up two weeks later to ask for a review on that product.
Another email newsletter may be generated a month later, including a series of products that are often purchased after buying the first product (if you purchased a gaming console, the next e-blast you may receive will detail a number of games and accessories designed for that particular console). These emails haven’t been sent out on a large-scale basis, but are automatically tailored to account for the activities and habits of each individual user.
If you’ve ever signed up for a rewards card and shop exclusively through a certain chain of stores for the perks and discounts offered through their loyalty program, you’ll have an intimate familiarity with this type of retargeting. I’ve personally fallen victim to The Chocolate Factory, Kwik-Trip, and Cousins Subs loyalty programs at some point or another over the past few years.
While these Wisconsin-based brands put this concept to good use, the most effective examples of leveraging loyalty retargeting programs can be tied to the famous casinos of the Las Vegas Strip. Everyone has a friend or two who get discounted flights, free rooms, and complimentary dinners at their favorite casino destination. How do casinos make money off of these offers? That same rewards card you use to earn freebies at the hotel also tracks your spending at the slot machines, bars, and table games. If the juice is worth the squeeze for the casino promotions team, they’ll be sure to offer discounts for your next trip too!
It’s easy to forget we’re all carrying around a small tracking device in our pocket. Your cell phone not only transmits location data to your cell phone provider, but it also sends your location information to the various third-party applications you have running in the background.
While the concept of someone tracking your location through third-party applications might be a bit off-putting, a savvy marketing agency will leverage geofencing capabilities to allow them to retarget visitors of different retail stores (including those of your competitors), events, and locations frequented by shoppers with similar demographics.
Do you own a fishing lure company and want to make a splash with the local bass fishing community? Set up a geofence around the Milwaukee Journal Sports Show! Do you run an auto parts business that caters to mechanics and hobbyists? The Milwaukee Mile Speedway might be your targeted location of choice!
Just because someone visited your website and didn’t make a purchase doesn’t mean you need to give up on them. Leverage those retargeting channels to bring them back time after time!