Major Mistakes Which Are Killing Your Retargeting Campaign
Sometimes ago, I was asked of the first thing I would do if I wanted to launch a new ecommerce business.
My answer was that, I would invest in local Facebook ads and then keep on retargeting. This then leads us to the inevitable question.
How will this be achieved?
Just like other kinds of marketing efforts, the recipe for success is not a sexy, breakthrough tactics. This is because you are not one counterintuitive “grow hack” away from 100x ROI.
Lots of people usually focus mainly on creating their marketing campaigns and placing them in retargeting pixels, they will then assume they can set and forget. Do not make this kind of mistake because you can get yourself injured by creating a wrong strategy.
But from what I have gotten from experience, I observed that careful management, analysis as well as optimization are the major secret to effective management.
It is quite challenging but there are some steps which can be followed so as to prevent the difficulties frequently faced by marketers.
But before anything can be done, we have to understand retargeting.
What is retargeting?
Retargeting is a form of cookies-based technology which displays custom advertisements to individuals who have previously visited an online store and left without purchasing or performing another desired action.
There are some third-party ad networks like Google and Facebook Display Network which ensures the display of ads across the web, so that customers would be reminded of the products which they added to cart or viewed.
Now that it has been well defined, it’s time to look into the common mistakes which most people make so that you will know the appropriate thing to do before starting your retargeting efforts.
First Mistake: Segmentation
Various customers visit a site for different purpose, they also visit different pages and the pages they visited represent different intents.
Combining all these customers into a single group is a very big mistake. You will be lacking segmentation if all the customers are treated like one demographic.
Second Mistake: Recency
All sites do not have a stereotypical 30-day buyer path. The conversion path of each depends on the website, type of product as well as industry.
Whenever the default 30-day cookie window is used, you are either:
- Wasting your budget by providing too much ads to customers with a little conversion path, or
- Limiting your opportunity to buyers with a high conversion rate
This method can be likened to throwing fish back into the pond.
Third Mistake: Frequency
Another mistake people make is that they do not have ad frequency limit.
InSkin Media studied U.S consumer emotion association with retargeting and observed that the ad frequency had a negative impact on the buyer emotions.
Ad frequency which is heavy changes the outlook of the buyer from positive to negative. This can be very annoying, intrusive and may likewise cause customers to become angry with your own brand.
As you can observe, the more the interaction between a customer and a particular ad, the less likelihood they are to buy the product which is featured in the ad.
If you don’t have ad frequency limit, this implies you are saying goodbye to your brand logo on its customer faces, this would blow an airhorn in their ear, and also tie their shoes together. One or two well-placed billboards along their morning commute would be enough.
Fourth Mistake: Creative
The use of the same boring creative assets across the board
If for instance, you have a static ad displayed across all channels where you have induced “banner blindness” especially if you do not have a frequency limit in place. This will simply result to saturation because your ads will be shown too much and people would suddenly stop seeing the ads.
Customers would likewise ignore your ad the same way they do to the speed limit signs which are found on the home street. This is because you already know what the sign says, has always said, and would presume to know what it will always say. Do not bury your ads in plain sight.
According to the survey which was conducted by Infolinks study, about 86% of U.S. consumers suffer from “banner blindness.”
This number has put the ad blocker in an entirely separate territory than your usual internet trend. This is not a colored browsing tabs but WordPress all over again. Those services are being used by a significant portion of the entire internet, and that would be intensifies as time goes on.
Fifth Mistake: Magic Bullets
You spend lots of time searching for a “Magic bullet” in marketing podcasts, webinars, blogs as well as courses rather than putting your head down, and ensuring proven ideas are executed.
It is very certain that you will never get it right the first time but ensure you do not get discouraged by this. Practice makes perfect, when things are done repeatedly, you will master it. Everyone would have opted for the magic bullet if it were that easy.
There is no magic bullet tactic which can or will make your business successful. Am very certain about it and I have a saying which goes thus:
“Magic Bullets are for losers. Execution is the key.”
Marketing involves developing a clear strategy, and then executing it in a systematic way.
This will require you to do the hard work yourself because you will have to test, learn and also test again until you know the right thing to offer to your market.
Peep Laja from CoversionXL agrees that:
“Everyone wants to win, but no one wants to do the hard work which is required for proper conversion research, and figuring out what is required and developing a systematic approach.”
You are really making a big mistake if what you are looking for is a breakthrough in your first attempt.
So, what does this imply? A Note on Granular Ad Campaigns
So we have taken a look at some mistakes which makes your ads to be too general, too frequent, or too annoying. You might not be sure of the exact place where things went wrong.
Majority of U.S. consumer wants brands to be useful and they likewise wants a personalized experience.
In fact, the data which was gotten from MyBuys’ 7th Annual Personalization Report shows that consumers mostly prefer to buy from retailers who:
- Suggest products based on their buying or browsing behavior (53%)
- Personalize online ads which promote offers as well as products from websites they have visited (49%)
- Shows personalized ads in social media feeds (33%)
It is widely observed that consumers purchase and also engage more whenever they receive a personalized shopping experience in a consistent and coordinated fashion.
There is need for you to know the following so they you will be able to personalize your customer’s shopping experience:
- The way buyers use your website
- What their pain points are
- How the pain points can be addressed
Once these things are known, you can become granular and will be able to personalize your ad experience based on your store.
There is need for you to note that when you go granular and start growing your campaign, things can get messy. The tactics as well as the platform would change, in such situation, don’t panic because all you need to do is to be consistent.
So, how can you be consistent?
The framework of your company is the major determinant of consistency, it would help you adapt to the approach of any industry in a systematic way.
The Retargeting Matrix Framework
The Retargeting Matrix framework has been covered in blogs, podcasts as well as presentations. The framework would assist you in planning, implementing and scaling your retargeting campaigns.
This would likewise force you to approach your campaign strategically and would also present the plan in an easy format which can be understood easily.
The Retargeting Matrix represents 4 levers which include:
- Buyer Segments
- Recency Segments
Here is how it can be applied to your campaigns.
First Lever: Buyer Segments
Everything starts with Buyer Segments.
Segmentation is an old trick which is still popular in the marketing world because it contributes strongly to the campaign ROI. Direct Marketing Association attributes 77% of ROI to segmented, targeted, as well as triggered campaigns.
In the context of retargeting, segments refers to the URLs your buyers visit. Why does this matter? It matters because people that visit various URL have different intent.
The behavior of each segment differs, and this would require different marketing. Your retargeting Matrix will have a tab with details on each Buyer Segment. You’ll have a clear picture of what each segment is, their main objectives and you will know how you can market to buyers in each of the chosen segments.
How Buyers Segments Can Be Created
The first step involves defining the intended buyer path on your website and this step is very critical.
Then you name the buyer segment based on the intent. The complexity of the website would determine the number of segments which can be captured.
You can think about a simplified version of the buyer’s journey as it applies to those visiting your website:
There are various kinds of buyer segments:
- Home page visitors
- Product page visitors
- Abandoned cart visitors
- Recent customers
The nest thing involves grouping the website URLs into different Buyer Segments. The buyers would identify the segment they belong to themselves based on the pages they visit.
The thirst step involves understanding the minimum segment granularity by adding up the 30 day traffic for URLs in each of the Buyer Segment. The landing page report can be gotten from Google Analytics by navigating to Behavior -> Site Content -> landing Pages.
This is very essential!
Each and every retargeting channel has a minimal size of audience which will directly affect how granular you can get. If the segment created does not meet the minimum requirements, your ads would not be served. The only alternative which you have is to get more traffic to the various buyer segments.
The final step involves setting an objective and an interest action for each Buyer Segment. The easiest way by which this can be done is to segment, define what the users are doing on your site, and then add what you want them to do i.e. your goals.
Second Lever: Recency Segments
Your customers have different urgency which depends on their recency, this is due to the fact that buyers intent progresses over time, as users make their way through your funnel. This will make your user to go from 0 to 100 quickly, but by and large, there is a getting to know you process.
The next step involves breaking down your Buyers Segments into Recency Segments. Each Buyer Segment will then be broken down into smaller segment based on their last visit to that particular segment.
How Recency Segments can be created
The first thing here involves defining segment depth, how deep and granular you can get, and this depends on two different things:
- Your traffic over duration of 30 day period in the segment
- The length of your customer’s journey
Let’s take an in-depth look at the customer journey because it is very relevant to this topic.
Customer journey differs by industry, business type as well as size. The Google’s customer journey mapping tool can be used to map the customer journey for medium-sized businesses in the shopping industry.
Notice that you require about 5 touch points before you can influence a buyer to purchase:
You should use the Path Length report in Google Analytic to determine the customer journey for your own store. This is because it would clearly show you the number of interaction your buyers take before converting.
In the example given, about 69% of first-time interaction result to conversions, and 25% of customers needed between two and four interactions. This would give you an opportunity to retarget intelligently.
Let’s now move to recency, The Time Lag Report in Google Analytic shows the number of days your buyer takes to convert. This report can be likened to the Path Length report but it is rather measured in days.
This example clearly shows that the conversion window on the site is fairly short; this is because about 86% of visitors convert the same day they make their initial visit. If you are viewing data in this manner, it implies that you do not need granular audiences which require months of retargeting.
You then define your Recency Segments, when the depth of your customer journey and traffic is known; you’ll be able to know how to break up your Buyer Segments into more granular Recency Segments.
The main reason why everything is broken down by time is urgency. Urgency goes down with time, and your objective is to adjust your ads based on recency.
Some of your buyers will migrate from one Buyer Segment to another thereby progressing very closer towards a purchase. Some will likewise remain in the same segment for a longer duration. Everyone is different and make different choices.
Recency Segment would assist in moving the buyers from their initial segment into the next one. You will also be able to create ads which are meant for individual intent rather than Buyer Segments only, but Recency Segments, too.
Third Lever: Hooks
Once you have successfully figured out the Buyer and Recency Segments, you can then perform customer research. With this, you will be able to discover a segment’s intent, and would also help you to develop the appropriate hooks for each segment.
Hook was defined by Jay Conrad Levinson as:
“a tease, a sample, and a mental appetizer. The hook should give your prospects just enough taste to leave them wanting more.”
How You Can Create Hooks
Firstly, there is need for you to understand the pain points of your buyers and this cannot be accomplished without customer research.
The research you carry out about your customer will fuel your hooks for each segment whenever you are creating retargeting campaigns.
How can you determine what your customers want?
It is highly recommended that you start with four methods and tools:
- Method 1: Customer Review Sites
- Method 2: Live Chat and Help Desk Logs
- Method 3: Customer Survey
- Method 4: On-Page Surveys
You can then develop a hook for various segments. Different buyers have different frames of mind and to have an effective retargeting, you need to know the exact thing which they want, and you must communicate it to them in their own words.
You likewise need to think the decision process as well as the major points of each segment which might be revealed by your research.
That information can be used to develop a hook to engage with each audience and address their main points. Your objective remains the same, you only need to be proactive and also help customers through the process with a gentle nudges.
Various things can affect a shopper’s online experience. Even taking for granted how popular and widespread online shopping has become, it clearly shows that we behave in a different way when making our purchases. If we didn’t, there will be nothing like a remarketing campaign.
Different things push or pull us in different directions whenever we are shopping online and those things easily influence our decisions. Although there are still numerous mysteries to solve, we know several things about these factors to make actionable decisions.
The factor which carry the most influence over shopping behavior include the order fulfillment, speed of delivery, brand reputation as well as shipping costs.
Ensure you look at some other deciding factors which influence shoppers:
If the research you carry out showed that your customers were worried about returning items, your hook could be “Free Returns for 90 days.”
Fourth Lever: Retargeting Channels
Once you have the Buyer Segments, Recency Segments as well as Hooks ironed out, you can then implement your knowledge.
At this stage, you should have a nice document with a framework which can be implemented easily on the retargeting platform; such platform can be AdWords, Google, Facebook Ads, AdRoll, or a combination of platforms.
In order to implement your framework, there is need for you to firstly map the Buyer and Recency Segment as well as their respective hooks across the retargeting channels.
Your message would be the same across the board and you need to consider the following questions when making decisions:
- Which platforms will get across to the most users in your target audience?
- Which platforms are most appropriate for the size of your audience?
- Which platform will reach a unique audience and also cannibalize your existing efforts?
Second Step – Develop audiences in the respective retargeting platforms; this would include both the audience which you want to target as well as those whom you want to exclude. With the Retargeting Marketing Framework, you will be able to visualize the structure of the audience.
Third Step – Develop campaign and ad group structure based on the matrix. Use Buyer Segments as Campaigns, and Recency Segments as Ad Group or Ad Sets. This structure would help in evaluating performance, which allows you to make tweaks where necessary.
Fourth Step – Develop your ad copy as well as creative. Use the Retargeting Marketing Framework as a spec sheet for your creative team. You would have the audience, objectives, and hooks.
Fifth Step – hit launch, and monitor.
Final Thoughts on Retargeting
Let’s stop for a moment and lets everything sinks in so that we can have a good understanding.
You can manage Retargeting effectively, remember it’s just about going back to basis and knowing how your website is being used by your buyers, their pain points, and then executing on a campaign which would help to make an informed decision.
Once all these have been done, you can start with the really fun stuff like mobile retargeting but do not rush everything together. You have all the tools needed and the frameworks which can be used to plan, develop, and scale retargeting campaigns just like a professional.
It’s now time to work and execute on your retargeting strategy. Do let us know the first thing you will do about your retargeting campaigns when you get to work tomorrow.