Alongside any PPC effort, it is worth setting up a companion remarketing campaign.
Too often, campaigns target all users with the same ads and the same bids – users who are seeing your ads for the first time and those who have seen them before, or those who have already visited your site through another channel.
However, segmenting an effort into net new users and a remarketing audience will drive better results through a more granular approach.
However, as you do so, be mindful of these six considerations to avoid common pitfalls.
1. Seek Scale
Don’t assume that there is a large retargetable audience.
Use your site analytics data from other channels to gauge how many monthly repeat visitors exist overall and by business unit or product to allow forecasting available remarketable traffic by your paid search campaigns.
As with any marketing initiative, scale is key.
In some cases, you may find that remarketing volume is actually small.
Thus, if within the typical 30-day window the audience size is small, consider going further out to 60 or even 90 days.
While 1,000 users have been the minimum list size in Google Ads, based on your typical click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CVR) you may need a higher threshold.
For example, if you typically see a 5% CTR and a 2% CVR, 1,000 impressions will, unfortunately, produce just 0.5 conversions.
A million impressions are needed for this situation to gather 10 conversions, a level when things still aren’t that impactful but can get interesting.
2. Don’t Just Sell – Cross-Sell & Upsell
A common assumption is that someone who did not transact may need an extra incentive in the form of repeated and/or more compelling messaging. That may be so.
However, in many cases, they really did gather all the details and decided they did not need what they thought they did.
Many users in their discovery phase are not only researching potential solutions but also reconfirming that the problem they are looking to solve is indeed the right problem to be solving.
When setting up remarketing, test both a sell message and a cross-sell or upsell message.
Give users more reasons to keep you in mind, particularly if your site offers products that are common supplements or complements.
The sell message entails saying the same thing users heard before in a different way: with a more direct call to action and/or an exclusive, one-time offer.
A cross-sell would promote related offerings, while upsell can encourage users to consider a more elaborate offering. They may not end up purchasing this higher-end alternative, but the latter can indirectly highlight the value of the initial option that was considered.
3. Think To Exclude
Sounds obvious? Users who just purchased your product or service would not want to do so again right away. Then again, we have all seen companies retarget us with something we just bought.
Generally, for most B2C campaigns, converters from the last seven to 14 days can be safely excluded from all campaigns except for those with cross-sell goals.
For the best experience, consider the consumption time of your service. The delay before transacting again will vary by product category.
Aspects like seasonality, location of the target, and target ROI will further affect desired frequency for targeting repeat users.
For example, someone booking a summer vacation may not purchase again from you until many months later. One could argue that a person’s planning and consideration will begin sooner.
However, media bought too early on may result in lots of incremental costs reducing your target ROI.
With that, if aiming to motivate past converters to buy more of the same from you, it often makes sense to wait a while before retargeting them.
Cross-selling, on the other hand, can be done immediately after a transaction is made, but also needs careful management to not go on for too long.
Establish a cut-off threshold particularly when a product’s usage makes add-ons irrelevant.
For instance, upselling a traveler on a car rental or room upgrade makes little sense after a vacation has begun. A month or so into a cell phone plan purchase, a converter is unlikely to want upgrades to more extensive plans.
4. Go Long
Remarketing is often thought of as a short-term tactic for shopping cart abandoners or recent site visitors.
However, it is possible to remarket to users who have last visited the site as long as a year ago.
In the drive for new customer acquisition, loyalty nurturing is often overlooked.
Consider consumption patterns and seasonality as you do that.
If someone booked a spring break getaway with you, when is the next time they will start planning one? What is the renewal cycle of the software you provide?
5. Synergies With Other Channels
Remarketing on search, by default, will remarket all users who have been to your site.
In other words, you will target people who have been to your site through other channels – after seeing display ads, interacting on social media, coming from email blasts, etc. – as well as organic search and direct visits.
Consider what messages people have seen and build on them.
If you are feeling particularly advanced (and scale supports it), create remarketing campaigns by channel or sets of channels.
6. Extra Budget Not Required
This will make many CMOs happy. At the start, you won’t need an extra budget for remarketing.
Remember, this is all about targeting people already captured by your current campaigns. Just isolating those repeat searchers and creating new experiences for them.
However, these are the same users you have already been targeting.
Of course, you would want to seek out these users more aggressively and send bid modifiers for these audiences.
That said, unless your remarketing audiences are large and/or you expect CTR to substantially grow, the budget should not need to jump.
An extra budget for remarketing is nice, but in the short run, it is not a requirement. Definitely not to set up some initial tests.
With the looming cookie deprecation, there has been a growing emphasis on first-party data, and remarketing efforts align well with this new direction.
Remarketing solutions align well with supporting first-party data initiatives.
Whether it is using emails to build an audience or using forms to capture user details on the landing page at the start of the conversion journey, structure your remarketing efforts to win twice: First, strive to improve your conversion, then drive synergy with efforts to capture first-party data.
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