Enhancing Retargeting: Optimal Personalization and Customization Strategies

Why Should You Use Retargeting?

Retargeting boosts conversion rates by re-engaging interested users and reinforcing brand awareness, making it a cost-effective and targeted advertising strategy that complements other marketing efforts.

Retargeting, a familiar concept to marketers and internet users alike, is a potent online advertising approach directed at individuals who have previously visited your website or are listed in your contact database. This targeted audience comprises individuals already acquainted with your brand, distinguishing retargeting from other marketing tactics.

This article delves into the merits of incorporating retargeting into your marketing arsenal to bolster sales. It offers insights into optimizing retargeted ads using established methods and tactics, along with showcasing exemplary ad campaigns to inspire your creative endeavors.

Let’s explore the intricacies of remarketing to maximize the efficacy of this strategy without delay.

Why Should You Use Retargeting?

For those uncertain about retargeting, the rationale is clear: it delivers results! Retargeting stands as a proven and effective strategy, with retargeted emails boasting a click-through rate ten times higher than standard display ads. Moreover, according to a Comscore study, retargeting yields the most significant increase in search queries compared to alternative display media placement tactics.

The advantages of retargeting are abundant. Here are the top three:

1. Retargeting significantly increases your conversions

Remarketing undeniably boosts your site’s ROI and demonstrates efficacy, yet it’s crucial not to anticipate it solely for attracting new visitors. Rather, remarketing serves as a channel for retaining existing visitors rather than acquiring fresh ones.

2. Retargeting increases your brand awareness

Utilizing remarketing can significantly bolster your brand’s strength and recognition among both current and potential clients. The underlying principle is straightforward: the more users encounter a brand’s ads, the more prominent it becomes. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to recognize and adhere to boundaries. Overly aggressive advertising can potentially damage your reputation, a topic I’ll delve into in greater depth shortly.

3. Retargeting improves user engagement

Crafting multiple customized campaigns targeted towards specific user groups can notably enhance your site’s engagement rates. Achieving this is feasible through well-crafted banners tailored to users’ interests.

Now armed with compelling reasons to explore remarketing as an additional advertising channel, it’s essential to grasp several nuances before launching your inaugural campaign. Primarily, there are two types of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based.

To discern the core disparity between pixel-based and list-based retargeting, let’s delve into a detailed comparison of both methodologies.

What is Pixel-Based Retargeting?

Pixel-based retargeting enables you to display ads to users who have previously visited your website. This method involves placing a specific piece of code (pixel) on your site. As users navigate your pages, this pixel automatically installs cookies on their browsers, allowing you to showcase ads on other websites.

To initiate retargeting campaigns and engage with your website’s visitors, the first step is selecting an appropriate third-party platform. Numerous platforms are available, necessitating some research to identify the most suitable one for your requirements.

Retargeting platforms manage the technical aspects of your campaign, particularly cookies. These tools facilitate the creation of a user-friendly environment, enabling you to conduct multiple experiments to determine the effectiveness of various channels for your business.

Moreover, as you gain proficiency, you can opt to manually adjust your campaign if you’re dissatisfied with your ads’ performance.

What is List-Based Retargeting?

List-based retargeting relies on having a database of email addresses or cell phone numbers. This approach enables you to showcase ad banners to social media users across platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. When launching a campaign, simply upload your list of email addresses, and the platform automatically matches registered user profiles with these addresses to display your ads. Additionally, you can run retargeting campaigns on Facebook and Twitter using cellphone numbers from your list.

Both list-based and pixel-based retargeting options present various strengths and weaknesses.

Pixel-based retargeting campaigns ensure a broader audience reach, particularly beneficial for websites with substantial traffic. However, personalization in pixel-based campaigns is challenging, potentially resulting in irrelevant ad displays to visitors.

In contrast, list-based retargeting campaigns offer customization options, empowering you to manually set targeting parameters for each banner. Yet, achieving laser-targeted ad messages requires augmenting your email list with additional user data, such as interests, which can be time-consuming but worthwhile for finely tuned campaigns.

Nonetheless, personalized targeting has its drawbacks. It’s crucial to exclude users who have previously exhibited negative sentiments towards your products or services to avoid user irritation and safeguard your brand’s reputation.

Another pitfall of list-based campaigns is the potential loss of leads if contacts use different email addresses than those registered, rendering them unidentifiable by the platform.

Navigating these nuances is essential for optimizing the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns and mitigating potential pitfalls.

How to Promote Your Retargeting Campaign

Now that we understand the fundamental principles of list- and pixel-based retargeting, the next step is to effectively promote your retargeting campaign. Drawing from personal experience and lessons learned along the way, here’s some valuable advice to enhance your strategy!

Rule 1: The more you can personalize your ads, the better you can convert them.

As we delve deeper into retargeting methods, it’s evident that list-based retargeting offers a higher level of customization. By compiling lists using subscriber email addresses or phone numbers, you gain valuable insights into their demographics, occupations, and interests. This enables tailored ad campaigns that resonate with specific user groups.

Furthermore, leveraging tools like Google Analytics provides insights into user browsing behavior and visited pages. Armed with this data, you can refine ad messaging to ensure relevance, avoiding the display of irrelevant banners to users. For example, targeting users who have shown interest in a particular product or service with related offers.

While this targeted approach demands more time and effort, the payoff in improved response and conversion rates is undeniable. Personalizing the user experience correlates directly with higher conversion rates, emphasizing the importance of segmentation and tailored messaging.

On the other hand, pixel-based retargeting operates on anonymous user data gathered from onsite behavior. While it allows for ad segmentation based on behavior, it lacks the personalized touch of list-based retargeting. For instance, releasing a new product may not guarantee relevance to every user.

To bridge this gap, utilizing tools like FullContact is recommended. These tools provide insights into prospects beyond anonymous behavior data, offering details such as social profiles and company affiliations. This additional information enriches user profiles, enabling more targeted and effective retargeting efforts.

Rule 2: Use Google Customer Match

When compared to Twitter’s Tailored Audiences and Facebook’s Custom Audiences, this tool boasts the highest email match rate.

The Google Customer Match tool enables you to target your ads towards users who log in to Google, YouTube, and Gmail using their email addresses. This powerful feature allows you to reach potential customers who have previously searched for products similar to what you offer. What makes Google Customer Match particularly appealing is its impressive conversion rate, typically exceeding 1.5 percent.

Rule 3: Don’t be aggressive; control your ads! 

It’s undeniable that retargeting can sometimes be a double-edged sword, as it has the potential to irritate users if not executed properly.

Allow me to share a personal anecdote: Last summer, I was searching for a vacation rental and encountered retargeting ads on Facebook nudging me to complete my booking. Initially, these reminders were helpful, but as time passed, the persistent appearance of these ads on various platforms became increasingly annoying, especially after I had to cancel my holiday plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Despite canceling my booking, I continued to be bombarded with ads for beachside hotels, which only added to my frustration.

This experience highlights how improper retargeting can quickly turn a loyal customer into a detractor. Moreover, many of us have encountered situations where we research a product online, only to make the purchase offline, yet continue to be targeted by ads for the same product post-purchase.

Platforms like Facebook offer features to mitigate irrelevant ads, such as the option to hide ads and provide feedback on why they are not of interest. However, there’s a missing component in these features – the ability to indicate that a user has already made a purchase, which would significantly improve ad relevance.

Fine-tuning retargeting campaigns is not as straightforward as it may seem. It requires careful consideration of exclusion criteria and diligent tracking of user interactions to ensure effectiveness. Anne Hunter from comScore emphasizes the importance of responsible retargeting, noting that marketers must prioritize consumer comfort to sustain the benefits of this strategy.

In essence, while retargeting can be a powerful tool for engaging potential customers, it must be wielded responsibly to avoid alienating users and maintain its efficacy.

Rule 4. Using Email Retargeting

Email is commonly regarded as the third most effective source of customer acquisition.

Email retargeting is notably potent, particularly when targeting customers who have previously made a purchase, enticing them to engage in repeat transactions.

To initiate email retargeting, you must possess a subscriber list. Within your email template, incorporate a unique code that activates cookies upon email opening. This approach is favored by companies with a substantial pool of registered users, including those who have yet to convert into paying customers.

Rule 5. Think outside the box!

Launching successful retargeting campaigns requires more than just following conventional tips and rules. To achieve outstanding results, you must embrace creativity and explore innovative ideas.

Retargeting, along with online advertising in general, offers ample room for creativity. To uncover untapped opportunities, start by asking yourself, or your team, some straightforward questions:

  • Where are your banner ads currently being displayed?
  • How frequently do you update this list?
  • Have you considered expanding your ad placements?
  • Have you ever contemplated showcasing your banners on adult sites?

While the idea may seem unconventional, it’s worth noting the success story of Eat24, who achieved remarkable results by advertising their food delivery services on adult websites. Despite the initial skepticism, Eat24 found that porn sites attract a significant amount of web traffic, constituting up to 30 percent of all online activity.

Furthermore, advertising costs on adult sites are surprisingly low compared to platforms like Google, Facebook, or Twitter. Eat24 discovered that these sites present a lucrative advertising opportunity, as the majority of ads on porn sites promote similar content. Thus, by creating attention-grabbing banners, they were able to stand out amidst the sea of adult-oriented advertisements.

While this case is not new, it serves as a compelling example of thinking outside the box and daring to test unconventional ideas. It underscores the importance of innovation and fearlessness in the pursuit of exceptional campaign results.

Unexpected Opportunities

Absolutely, retargeting presents numerous unexpected opportunities for businesses, proving to be a highly effective channel when executed properly and avoiding common pitfalls. Even those new to the concept can harness its potential with the aid of appropriate tools.

Here are some practical tips based on my experience:

  1. Personalize Your Ad Campaigns: Don’t confine yourself to conventional methods. Craft personalized banners, explore new channels, and be bold in experimenting with novel approaches.
  2. Utilize Email Retargeting: With customer acquisition via email witnessing significant growth in recent years, leveraging email retargeting can yield impressive results and boost your conversion rates. This channel offers immense potential that shouldn’t be overlooked.
  3. Leverage Google Customer Match: Take advantage of Google Customer Match, which boasts a high percentage of email matches. This tool allows you to extend your reach by targeting users who have shown interest in products or services similar to yours through their search history.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can maximize the effectiveness of their retargeting campaigns and capitalize on the diverse opportunities it offers for driving conversions and achieving success.