Are you just being paranoid or is it possible that ads follow you around the internet like Charlie follows around the waitress in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Not only is it possible that the ads follow you, it is likely to continue until you either submit a form or make a purchase on the advertiser’s site. If this situation sounds familiar you are on the receiving end of retargeted advertising. By placing a pixel on their website an advertiser is able to follow you around the internet and continue to present their ads to you. There is no escape. As a lead generation business owner, you want to utilize this retargeting technology.  These ads are devastating effective because they essentially wear a consumer down and keep your brand top of mind. Think about this statistic: according to CMO.com the average website conversion rate is 2%, which that means that vast majority of visitors that view your website the first time do not convert. (Nerd Note: In online marketing jargon a conversion is a specific business action a visitor completes on your site such as filling out a form or requesting a demo.) These initial visitors do not fill out your forms, do not take the actions you want, and do not convert. If they leave your site without converting, you need to go get them! Retargeting is the tactic to capture the visitors and bring them back to your site to move them along the sales funnel. Retargeting for lead generation is a must in this day and age, and here is what you need to know….

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Image courtesy of David Englert

So you don’t have a paid search retargeting campaign and you are a lead generation company? It is time to change that! In most business verticals a retargeted campaign is a tactic to receive necessary leads at a low cost-per-lead. You already completed the hard job of creating awareness and getting consumers to your site the first time. Once consumers visit your site you are over the initial hurdle, the next step is to retarget them and move them down the sales funnel. When we say you need to retarget them, the proof is in the data – according to B2B Marketing Mentor, web site visitors who receive retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. Here are the top benefits of retargeting campaigns:

  1. You (re)target an audience you know is interested in your business. The users already express an interest just by visiting your site.  This audience raises their hands and says, “Please tell me more about your business”. Retargeting allows you to continue the conversation with your visitors. It is safe to assume that these visitors are at the minimum a warm lead.
  2. You can segment easily and effectively. You can send different ads to users who view different pages on your site. Let’s say you provide lead generation for a large housing community. In this scenario, you show users who visit the penthouse page an ad featuring the penthouse, and show visitors who view the clubhouse page ads that prominently feature the clubhouse.
  3. You can stop showing the ads once a customer converts. One of our favorite features about retargeting is once a customer converts, we stop showing the ads and do not have to continue to pay for this customer. Stopping the ads saves you the expense, and stops your customer from getting annoyed when they see ads for a product or service they have already converted on.

Users on the internet move very quickly. According to the Nielson Norman group, users typically stay on a page 10 – 20 seconds. This is often not enough time to convince them to convert – especially on mobile. A user may be on your page and then remember they want to check the score of lasts nights game, or see that Justin Bieber deposition video and suddenly you have lost your lead. Unless you have retargeting!

Clients ask us where this tactic fits into their sales funnel. Retargeting is middle of funnel or bottom of funnel. The user is already aware of both the need for your product as well as the fact that your product exists so they are out of the top. If you segment correctly, the user is shown different ads depending on their stage in the funnel. In fact you can even have your ads trigger based on events. Let’s say a user begins to fill out a form and doesn’t complete it. You can have event trigger a retargeting ad that targets that user with the a specific message such.

Now that you understand why retargeting is important, let’s look at some best practices.

Retargeting best practices:

1. Don’t creep your users out

You want your potential consumers to have positive feeling regarding your company, rather than creep them out by constantly following them around to the point they feel like they just heard Hannibal Lector say, “Hello Clarice“. Just because you have the ability to relentlessly follow your users around the internet, doesn’t mean that you should. There is a fine line between staying top of mind with customers and being Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984. The best way to stay on the consumers good side is to utilize impression capping. Impression capping limits the number of times your potential customer sees your ad per day. You know your customers, so think about what they will find creepy vs. what helps your business stay top of mind.

2. Don’t forget about mobile

We are huge proponents of mobile advertising – if for no other reason that everyone is on their phone all the time! According to Digital Buzz Blog  users spend more time on their mobile device than their desktop or even TV! Anytime there is a moment of delay, whether a person waits for a train or stands in line at Starbucks you can see them immediately take our and begin using their mobile phones. With these types of mobile usage numbers, it is important to utilize retargeting on mobile devices. The basic premise of retargeting to mobile users is the same, but you do want to provide a mobile experience for the user that is well thought out. Consumers use mobile devices differently than they use desktop devices. From experience we find that mobile users convert less often, and we believe it is due to:

  • Typing on a mobile device is more difficult than a desktop.
  • Consumers use the phone to just kill time rather than actively searching the web.

3. Exclude

One of the best features about retargeting is the ability to exclude. You do not want to show advertisements to consumers who already converted or have only viewed non-business related page such as Careers or Repairs. Excluding visitors from those pages keeps your overall costs lower and lowers your cost-per-lead.

How do you use retargeting? What are the best practices that you have found for your lead generation business?