Author: Dinetix | Reading time:

Here’s a sad truth in digital marketing: The majority of visitors that land on your site won’t make a purchase.

In fact, a massive 96% of visitors aren’t ready to convert. And just 2% make a purchase on the first visit. 

To put it another way, the vast majority of potential customers on your website are window-shoppers. They might look around, even click through to your product pages, but ultimately, they take off without buying never to be heard from again.


Gone, But Not Forgotten…

This potential churn might be cause for alarm. You’re missing out on a huge potential audience if you’re not converting first-time visitors.

Yet, there’s one tactic that can help you turn these abandoners into lasting customers. It’s called remarketing, and it represents a massive opportunity for businesses.

Visitors who don’t make a purchase have already shown that they’re interested in your brand. Sure, they might not stick around and hit the buy button. But these customers represent incredible leads.

By sending marketing messages directly to this audience, you can supercharge your advertising campaigns.


What Is Remarketing and How Does It Work? And Why Is It So Valuable?

Remarketing – which is often called retargeting – means engaging customers who have already visited your website. This includes existing customers, first-time visitors, and cart abandoners.

And through remarketing, you send them display ads and messaging after they’ve left your site.

Chances are, in fact, that you’ve probably been retargeted online. If you’ve ever shopped for a pair of sneakers, and then seen those sneakers advertised on another website… well, that’s remarketing. (And chances are you thought about buying those sneakers again!)

OK, so how does it all work? 

Today, almost anyone can retarget website visitors thanks to helpful technology. And the idea is fairly simple. You add tracking cookies (or bits of backend code) to your website. This allows your advertising networks to see which customers have been to your website.

When visitors leave and read a blog, check email, or browse social media, this allows you to remind them of your brand – and how incredible your products or services are – and to entice them to come back!

Sounds pretty cool, right? But you might be wondering if remarketing really is effective, and if it’s worth your advertising dollars.

Well, just on the surface level, remarketing is a powerful tool. It empowers your brand to stay top-of-mind for potential customers. And in terms of messaging, you can use retargeting to really show what makes your products unique and worthy of a purchase.

Yet, in terms of statistics, studies have shown that effective remarketing results in a 60% lift in sales. So yes! Remarketing does work and it has a super compelling ROI.

Of course, remarketing is a balancing act. The wrong strategy can come off a bit creepy. You don’t want to stalk your customers online. BUT when you send the right audience, the right message at the right time, you can amplify sales.

OK, so how do you do it? Start by asking yourself these questions.


Who Should I Retarget?

Any businessperson knows that not all leads are created equal! Some show tons of interest in your brand, while others might just be causally stopping by. Successful remarketing is all about focusing on the high-quality leads and providing them with dynamic messaging.

In marketing speak, this is called “segmenting.” And essentially, it means breaking down all of your website’s traffic into specific audiences. Some quality audiences you should try to retarget include:

  • Cart Abandoners – The dreaded cart abandoner! These potential customers have shown tons of interest in your products! They took the time to shop on your site. And they’re a key retargeting audience for brands. The right messaging can help them press the buy button.
  • First-Time Visitors – How do most online shoppers make a purchase? With research… tons and tons of research. First-time visitors tend to be customers that are checking out all their options. Catching them with a promotion or reminding them of your brand can help turn them into customers.
  • Customers – Former customers make a great remarketing audience. They’ve already shown they like your products or services. But maybe they haven’t made a purchase in a while. With remarketing, you can show them your latest and greatest.


When Should I Retarget?

With retargeting, timing is everything. Wait too long and a customer may have gone with a competitor. Or they might not be ready to make a purchase if you go too soon.

Ultimately, the timing depends on the audience segment. For example, you might want to try sooner with that cart abandoner, or later with a first-time visitor. Here are a few timing strategies for remarketing campaigns:

  • Immediately: Many audiences – cart abandoners, or customers who visited a product page, for example – can be retargeted quickly. This allows your brand to help them decide, and ensure they don’t forget about your awesome products.
  • For Events/Occasions: You can attract and re-engage existing customers around specific events with retargeting. Say you’re having a spring sale. With retargeting you can let your customers know. There are many great events/occasions to market, including holidays, product launches, tradeshows, or seasons.
  • When It’s Time to Buy: Is your product something customers need to buy again and again? Or maybe customers are reaching the end of a free promotional period. Retargeting enables your brand to remind customers to reorder, while keeping your products/services top-of-mind.

No matter what timing you choose, remember that you don’t want to come off as a creep. Retargeting can feel invasive if you don’t use the right strategy. How do you do that?

Many ad networks allow you to set careful parameters. You can use frequency caps, for example, which set how often and for how long audience segments see your advertisements. Similarly, you adjust settings to stop showing ads to people who have converted. Whatever you choose, be respectful!


What Types of Messages Should I Send?

If you’re targeting the right customers at the right time, you just have one step to go! But it’s also the hardest. The right message is super important. This is your chance to really engage and entice customers. If you giving them a reason to buy, well, all of your efforts will be for naught.

So, what makes a great retargeting message? From the design, to your offer, there are several keys to successful messaging. They include:

  • Branding A successful remarketing ad should be branded. It should match your website and be recognizable. Splashy photos, a prominent logo, and your brand’s colors can all help you stand out.
  • Speak to Them – Great retargeting ads entice. Lots of times that’s through pictures. But the words you use can also be an effective tool. Create a compelling call to action. Use your USPs, and be sure your selling benefits (not features!).
  • Promotion – What does the audience want to see? This is important. With cart abandoners or product viewers, you probably want the products they looked at or put in their carts. With new customers, a special promotion helps – like a discount or introductory offer.
  • Landing Page: All too often we see remarketing campaigns that send traffic to their homepages. This is a BIG no-no! Make your customer’s lives easier. Link directly to the pages they viewed, or create landing pages for specific audience segments.

As you segment your audience, be aware of demographics. This can help you tailor your messaging. For example, you might sell B2B and B2C. You wouldn’t use the same messaging for both. Each of these audiences has different needs. So, be sure you understand each segment well and know what they’re looking for. 


Now You’re a Remarketing Ninja

Your website doesn’t have to keep draining customers. Remarketing allows you to put a plug the drain and bring them back. And it’s proven to work.

Just remember the keys: Right audience, right time and right message. If you can deliver on that, you’ll be well on your way to turning abandoners and casual visitors into long-term customers.