Have you ever browsed something online and then been treated to ads for it upon visiting other sites? That’s remarketing in action! For marketers, remarketing is a perfect solution for audiences who aren’t quite ready to take action. For consumers, it provides that subtle (or not so subtle) reminder of their previous browsing experiences. Explore what makes remarketing important for today’s marketers.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing, alternately referred to as ecommerce remarketing or behavioral retargeting, is  aimed at driving consumers back to your site for subsequent conversion. This form of online marketing enables you to show ads to users who previously visited your website upon moving onto other sites. So, when a visitor leaves your site, remarketing serves up ads for your offerings on sites that they visit. This additional exposure increases brand impressions and customer loyalty, while enticing your target audience to click and convert back on your site. Indeed, SeeWhy‘s research suggests that 26% of customers will return to a site through retargeting. A key component of conversion marketing, remarketing assists in overcoming shopping cart and form abandonment, by redirecting users back to your site from targeted display ads.

Why is remarketing so important?

Consider that 96% of visitors come to your website not ready to make a purchase, as reported by HubSpot.  Compounding the challenge for online marketers, 98% of all web traffic leaves a site without conversion, according to ReTargeter. Given that staggering number, how do marketers increase the chances of a conversion upon a return visit? Well, that’s where remarketing, also known as retargeting, comes into play. Positively, CMO.com suggests that retargeting can boost user advertising response by 400%. It’s no wonder, then, that Chango cites that 56% of surveyed companies use retargeting to gain customers. So, we see that remarketing is a vital technique to draw users back to an advertiser’s site for conversion.

How does remarketing work?

From a technical standpoint, retargeting tags your site visitor’s device with a pixel or cookie and then serves up display ads to them these visitors. These activities can range from visiting a product page to partially filling out a form. Customizing an ad automatically, personalized retargeting generates a display ad based on a user’s specific browsing behavior, featuring products or services unique to the visitor’s specific site activities. Integrating with a powerful CMS, remarketing is made possible through third-party platforms, such as AdRoll, Chango, ReTargeter and Google AdWords, which mark the visitor, measure their behavior and serve up your ads through a display network.

How is remarketing different than typical display ads?

While traditional display ads are shown on sites based on profiling, remarketed ads are served up based on a certain level of personalization. Relying on an interest graph of buyer attributes, standard display ads are shown based on the site visitor’s age, gender, interests and other attainable characteristics. However, remarketing triggers online ads that correspond to the user’s prior web history. The ads feel more tailored to the user’s interests through remarketing, because they are based on previous site activities.

Where does remarketing happen?

Remarketing isn’t limited to just websites and display networks. Similar to site remarketing, social media remarketing promotes targeted ads on social networks after visiting your site. Along the same lines, remarketing via pay-per-click advertising triggers sponsored ads based on specific queries of your keywords. Building the case for search remarketing, 46% of search engine marketing professionals believe retargeting is the most underused online marketing technology, as indicated by AdReady. Email marketing is another major player in ad retargeting, whereas contextual ads appear within the email client, aligned to content opened in previous emails. Site, search, social media and email remarketing are all effective forms of retargeting to drive your consumers back along the sales funnel.

Why is remarketing so effective?

An extremely efficient digital tactic, advertisers reap the many rewards of remarketing. With careful planning and deliberate use of the display network, strategists and media buyers can take advantage of affordable and purposeful ad placements. Even if consumers do not click through to your site, multiple exposures to your brand through the ads lead to valuable memorability. And, because you’re targeting consumers who have already shown some interest in your wares, remarketing results in lower cost per impression and higher conversion rates. Given the economical ad spend and prequalified audience, remarketing typically yields an improved ROI over standalone online ad campaigns.

How to segment remarketing?

Remarketing platforms give advertisers a number of unique ways to segment target audiences. You can retarget anyone who visits your site or get more specific by pinpointing visitors who click on a particular product or service offering. According to the Baynard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 68%. Therefore, remarketing again to these users is a shrewd way to close the deal upon a return visit to your site. You can also show ads to folks who converted on your site before, turning them into repeat customers with remarketing.

What are some remarketing campaigns?

While the most direct approach to remarketing is to show ads for products and services that the consumer visited previously on your site, there are other campaigns that you can run using retargeting technology. Marketers can rely on a product push, categorizing offerings and segmenting audiences accordingly. Additionally, cross-selling products to consumers through remarketing shows ads for similar or complementary items. Another strategy is to focus on cart or form abandonment, leveraging email remarketing to remind and persuade customers to come back to your site to complete the action through a series of electronic messages. Integrating with your existing content marketing plan, remarketing is a versatile technique for creating a customized user experience for your consumers.

What are some success metrics for remarketing?

Combining the analytics from the retargeting platform, online ad publications, email client and your website, remarketing makes it easy for marketers to report on key performance indicators (KPI). Click-through-rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) are two basic indicators of how the display ad is performing. Digging a little deeper, marketers can measure the effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM) and effective cost per acquisition (eCPA), which delve into the into the cost-effectiveness of the ad in terms of spend vs. earnings and conversions. Most importantly is your return on investment (ROI) from remarketing. Determining how much money you’re generating from your ad spend, ROI is your gain from investment, minus your cost of investment, divided by cost of investment. The analytics native to each platform involved in remarketing must align to your overall business goals in order to show the true value of the tactic.

How do consumers react to remarketing?

While web surfers may have initially found remarketing to seem a little creepy with its introduction several years ago, online audiences are becoming more used to ads appearing for previously seen items. A presentation by Wishpond Technologies reveals that 59% of people have a neutral reaction to retargeted ads, while 25% of online buyers have a positive reaction, because they remind them of what they were looking at previously. Marketers should take heed to use remarketing deliberately and judiciously, so to add value to the customer journey with strategic placement of relevant retargeted ads.

For digital marketers to properly implement remarketing campaigns, core competencies of strategy, design, technology and marketing are involved in the planning, producing, placing, managing and reporting of retargeted ads. When executed successfully, remarketing is a cost-effective tactic for increasing brand awareness and site conversions, retargeting consumers with ads for products and services that they’ve already seen.