What is Remarketing?

Chapter 3

How Do You Gather Data for Remarketing Campaigns?

To run your campaigns smoothly you need to gather data about who your remarketing audience is. And to do that, there are two primary ways to collect an audience list:

1. Pixel-Based Remarketing: This is the most common form of audience collection. It works with the help of a JavaScript code (a pixel) that gets placed on your website or post-click landing page. After the pixel is attached, every time a visitor comes to your website or post-click landing page, the pixel drops an anonymous browser cookie in the visitor’s browser. When the visitor exits your page and browses other websites, the pixel lets your provider (whether you’re using Google retargeting or a social network like Facebook) know that these visitors need to start seeing your ads.

Pixel-based remarketing guarantees that your ads get seen by people who’ve either looked through your website or clicked through to your post-click landing page. Another advantage with pixel-based remarketing is that it’s timely, visitors can immediately begin seeing ads that can convince them to back to your offer.

2. List-Based Remarketing: List-based remarketing involves using lists of your existing customers or visitors who have provided you with their email address, of which you can retarget specific ads to them. For example, maybe you want your blog subscribers to download an ebook whose pop-up ad they’ve been ignoring on your blog, or you want free trial users to upgrade to a paid plan. Both examples could be executed with list-based remarketing.

To get started with list-based remarketing, simply upload the list of email contacts you have into your remarketing platform, and your audience will start seeing your ads as they browse through web. You can also send your audience personalized emails that call them back to your brand.

Now that we’ve covered how remarketing works, let’s look into the goals you need to set for remarketing campaigns.

There are two basic goals for remarketing campaigns:

  • Awareness: You can use awareness campaigns to retarget visitors about your product features and other announcements. This is a less targeted goal because it’s directed at visitors who haven’t interacted a lot with your business. You can run your awareness campaigns as a precursor for your conversion campaigns.
  • Conversion: For conversion campaigns, you want visitors to recognize what your brand does. Beyond that, you want them to click on the ad, direct them to a post-click landing page, and convince them to convert on a form.

Whether the goal of your remarketing campaign is awareness or conversion, the ads and the pages used must be optimized since you want them to re-engage with your brand.

The key to creating optimized and personalized remarketing ads and post-click landing pages lies in proper audience segmentation.

Audience segmentation is the process of dividing an audience of potential customers into groups or segments, based on different characteristics such as demographics and interests. Segmentation helps you run your marketing campaigns smoothly because it enables you to create specific groups for audiences. Then, create laser targeted ads and post-click landing pages that have the power to convince these groups to convert.

For remarketing campaigns it’s best to segment your audience based on these three characteristics:

  1. Remarketing segmentation by behaviour
  2. Remarketing segmentation by time
  3. Remarketing segmentation of existing customers

Remarketing Segmentation by Behavior

There are essentially two types of behaviors a visitor can showcase when they’re on your website:

  1. Not Interested (these visitors spend less than a few seconds on your website, don’t navigate to any other page on your site, and immediately exit)
  2. Interested (these visitors browse through the website content, maybe even look through to other pages — for example the blog, pricing page or the about us section).

The “Not Interested” segment have very low intent, so serving them remarketing ads will only add to your spend and not really favor your ROI. The “Interested” visitors, on the other hand, have high intent and a much higher probability of returning to your brand and actually buying something if they are served with the right ad messaging.

You can create further segments in the “Interested” audience segment and customize remarketing ads for people based on the exact behavior they demonstrated on your website.

You can use soft-sell remarketing ads (ads that ask visitors to opt-in to an email list in exchange for a free ebook or newsletter, etc.) for visitors who have read your blog, about us, or resources section. For those who have visited your product page and reviewed your pricing plan, you can move go for the hard-sell and show ads that convince them to come back and purchase your product.

Remarketing Segmentation by Time

This segmentation strategy refers to three things:

  1. The time duration between a person’s visit to your website and when they see the first ad.
  2. The frequency with which your visitors see particular ads.
  3. The time duration between a person’s first visit to your website and the time when they stop seeing your remarketing ads.

For both Google AdWords and Facebook, the default time duration for when a visitor is added to your remarketing list and when they are bumped off the list is set to 30-days. Of course, the 30-day cycle is reset if they revisit the website within the first 30 days. You have the option to increase this limit depending on your campaign.

Be careful with any remarketing campaign, though. It doesn’t bode well for your brand if you show your ads too soon, especially with visitors who only spend a few seconds on your webpages.

Another thing to monitor is the frequency with which visitors see your ads. Showing the same ad more than once on a single website is not efficient because it comes across as spammy.

For example, in the image below, Hotjar shows two remarketing ads in very close proximity on Facebook:

Rotating personalized ads for the time duration you’ve set for your campaigns is the best approach you can take with your remarketing campaigns. This helps the audience explore new information about your brand and makes them more familiar with your messaging. Which can then persuade them to click through to your post-click landing page and convert on the call-to-action button.

Remarketing Segmentation of Existing Customers

Not to be left alone, this audience segment has the highest chance of clicking through to your post-click landing page and converting for your newest offer as they are already familiar with your brand and know your product well. In addition to display ads, personalized remarketing emails also work for this audience.

You can launch remarketing campaigns for existing customers when you release a new product feature; this works especially well for customers who aren’t very active on your platform. Any new feature update can convince them to become more active. Existing customers are also a great audience for remarketing campaigns to push upgrades to a higher pricing plan.

Properly segmenting your remarketing audience can be the deciding factor between the success and failure of your remarketing campaigns. Now that you know which audience segments work for your remarketing campaigns, it’s time to discuss how you can set up your remarketing campaigns on the three biggest advertising networks — Google AdWords, Facebook, and Bing Ads. Click through to chapter 4 for more details.

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