Remarketing (sometimes called retargeting) banners put your message in front of users who leave your site and/or cart. So, a customer goes to your site, looks around, puts stuff in her cart (or starts to fill out your lead form) and then exits for whatever reason. A couple days later, she signs into her Yahoo mail account and sees your banner displayed at the top of her mailbox. That afternoon, she sees your banner again on her favorite gossip site. You are “following” her around. (Usability shows us that this is what users often think.)
Are these type of retargeting banners effective? Yes. If you design your program correctly, they can be one of the strongest tools in your conversion arsenal.
Here are 10 proven tips to help you develop a successful retargeting program without breaking the bank.
Creative is key. I can’t emphasize this enough. Banners are highly dependent on good copy and art. You need to have solid visuals, a good branding element, a provocative line of copy and an aggressive action directive. A lot of folks design banners that get attention but then they don’t ask the user to click. If you want your program to work, you need to get the click. Period.
How do you get people to click? Use BIG action directives. Click here now, buy now, return to cart now, whatever it takes to get the user back to the cart or lead form, if you’re not an ecommerce business. Don’t be afraid to make your buttons bold and IN-YOUR-FACE smacky.
Have lots of different ad sizes available. A lot of companies, especially traditional direct marketers and mail order businesses, tend to offer their partners one ad size. This often limits some of the smaller plays (especially blogs or Google Content Network properties) which may be the best performers for you. Start your program out with 4-5 various sizes.
Test lots of different creative and sizes. Most likely you’ll find that a banner that works great for one property bombs for the next. Does that mean you need to have a new banner for each property? Absolutely not. With that said, you’ll probably want to design specific banners for your best performing properties in the same way you’d design special ads for your best performing magazines.
Don’t believe anything the networks tell you. The numbers are inflated. Period. End of story. What you need to know is the profitably of the program. Does it work for you or not? How profitable is it? Are there better ways for you to spend this money? The last question is important because if you have a really aggressive abandoned cart/lead trigger email/telemarketing/pop-up program, you may not need the banners. Or, you may want to start them a little bit later (for example, after you’ve sent out your first five trigger e-mails.)
Test putting the picture of the product the user abandoned in the banner. Yes, this is very Big Brother. Yes, this can work like gangbusters if you position it properly. Should you put the entire cart contents in the banner? Probably not. Less than 5% (technically it’s about 3%) of companies can make featuring all the abandoned items work. Why if you can make one picture of an abandoned item work can’t you make lots of items work? Nobody really knows for sure but it’s likely because banners are very dependent on creative (see above) and lots of various and sundry items looks uglier than a dog’s breakfast. If you want to test it, be sure that you can make one abandoned item per banner work first.
If you can’t put the abandoned items in the banner, at least choose your banner visuals wisely. Imagine you’re an apparel company that sells both men’s and women’s clothing. When a male abandons a tie on your site and then sees a banner for your company at his favorite news site with a bunch of women’s clothing, is he going to think of you? Yeah. Not. So. Much.
Test your offers. One of the best things about retargeting banners is that they’re super easy to test. Try different offers – free shipping versus a percentage off versus a discount versus no offer at all.
Make sure your logo (or primary site visual if that’s more important to your user) is prominent. The connect from the banner to your site is important and not to be underestimated.
Work your landing pages. Most companies forget about this and then blame their lack of remarketing success on the networks. When the user clicks on your banner and lands on your site, you need to show them instantaneously that they’re in the right place. How do you do that? Take them right to the view page of the cart. Offer a perpetual basket. Show large checkout now buttons. Place a recently viewed items box in the righthand column of your site. Welcome them back with a personalized message. Bring them to the page of the product they abandoned. Do any/all of the items listed.
Try several different networks. Every network has different properties and/or relationships with their properties. Test 3 or 4 at once to see which one(s) work best for you. The companies who are most successful with their marketing often use several different networks.
Have a retargeting tip or a question you’d like to ask? Add it to the comments below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.