It’s amazing to think that only 2% of shoppers typically convert when they first visit an online store. This means that the remaining 98% are lost through the cracks. Maybe these prospects move on to a competitor of yours or decide not to make a purchase at all. Perhaps they continue to do research and remain undecided. For this latter group, retargeting is helpful.

Retargeting gives you a range of tools that allow you to focus on those 98% of people who left your site. Some may convert right away; others may take a bit longer. What’s important is that you get the chance to reconnect with people who have a use for your product and know about your brand. These are some of the quickest conversions!

Basics of Retargeting

Let’s start with a quick refresher on how retargeting works.

When a prospect visits your site but doesn’t convert, they are shown targeted ads on social media, search or other websites. This reminds them of the company and keeps it front and center. The hope is that the prospect will convert.

Some prospects need a bit of a nudge in the form of a promotion or discount while others will convert immediately. Some won’t convert at all. You win some, you lose some. The concept behind retargeting – beyond increasing sales – is to help you stay connected to your audience and increase brand recall.

Pixel-Based vs List-Based Retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting is the most common form of retargeting and should be familiar to you if you’ve used Google’s Display Network. It’s also available through Facebook and Twitter. The reason why pixel-based retargeting is most popular is because there’s no need to have a large list of email addresses.

The other type of retargeting is called list-based retargeting and it’s ideal for ads that rely on existing contacts. With this form of remarketing, you can upload your list to a retargeting campaign platform, which will identify users for you. Unlike pixel-based retargeting that is open to anyone, list-based only reaches those on your subscriber list.

Tips for Smarter Retargeting

Now that we’ve discussed the two forms of retargeting, let’s move on to the various ways that you can use the marketing technique smartly and effectively.

Promote Your Best Content

Retargeted ads are most common for promoting products, but there are plenty of other ways to use them. For instance, you can use the ads to push your best content. By doing this, you drive more traffic to your blog and generate fresh leads.

You might also want to try contextual targeting, which allows you to feature ads that are relevant to the content. If the ad is not relevant, it won’t be shown. This is a good way to build trust.

To identify the best content to promote, use analytics to determine which pieces are most popular. You might define popular by number of shares or conversion rate, but the key is to select content that gets people talking.

Move People Through the Funnel

By setting up retargeted ads on Facebook, Twitter or Google, you can pull people through the funnel more easily. If a prospect visits a page on your website but doesn’t convert, they are still at the top of the funnel. Try reaching them with a retargeted ad for additional blog content on the topic they were interested in. If this doesn’t work, offer a downloadable ebook, free trial or free consultation.

Many marketers focus on the top or bottom of the funnel rather than actually pulling people through. With targeted ads, you can connect with people who have visited your site and move them through the customer journey.

Capitalize on Events

Think about seasons and events that you can capitalize on. If your company sells toys, the holiday season is a great time to push these products. If you sell flowers, think Mother’s Day.

It helps to retarget people on these days because it lowers your cost per acquisition. People know your brand, they are familiar with your products and now they might have an even greater need for them.

Exclude Low Quality Leads

You don’t need to show your ads to everyone who has dropped by your website. Those who immediately bounced off your site or spent less than 10 seconds on it can be excluded. These people are unlikely to be interested in your product, so there’s no reason to waste money on them.

The time parameter you want to use is up to you. We suggested 10 seconds because that’s enough time for people to take a quick look and decide if the product is right for them or not.

If you are running through your budget but seeing decent results, you may want to lower your parameter. If you are not seeing results, increase the parameter. You can also exclude those who bounced off your page  because they, too, probably aren’t interested in what you have to offer.

Target People Who Open Your Emails

People who are interested enough to open your emails likely have a genuine interest in your product. Drop your retargeted pixel into the signature of your email and target people who open up your messages.

Email retargeting is also helpful when reminding people of items that were left in their shopping carts. Shopping cart abandonment remains a major problem, so it’s helpful to know that are ways to reduce the incidence.

Feature a Name or Face

If you have a sales representative who has been talking with some prospects, it can help to retarget these people with an ad that features the salesperson’s name and/or face. Pictures of your employees humanize your brand and instill trust. When someone sees a face and puts it together with the person they’ve been talking to, they feel more compelled to reach back out.

Reward Top Customers

Loyal customers deserve to be recognized. They are the ones who bring sales to your company and promote your product to their friends and family. Reward them with a renewal discount, repeat purchase or special items. This builds stronger connections between your brand and customers while also giving incentive to others.

Cross-Sell and Upsell

A final method for smarter retargeting that we wanted to touch on is cross-selling and upselling. Maybe you offer several different packages, and you can push a prospect to go with the higher package because they get more for their money. Or perhaps your products have a lot of neat accessories that can make them more useful or enjoyable.

Whatever the case may be, continually look for opportunities to cross-sell and upsell your products. When a customer makes the purchase, you can use the retargeted ads to get them to upgrade or buy more.

Retargeting helps you make more of the interactions you have with your audience and get down to the heart of selling.