A good remarketing strategy will involve determining what goals you hope to accomplish, and how much you’re willing to spend to get there.

But when used right, remarketing provides an amazing opportunity for marketers to offer a superior shopping experience to their website visitors, while also increasing their own sales.

I’ve compiled a list of 9 strategies for making sure your next AdWords remarketing campaign helps you accomplish exactly what it is you’re setting out to do.

1. Advertise to website visitors who abandoned their shopping carts.

Visitors who have loaded up a cart but haven’t completed the purchase are prime candidates for remarketing. Whatever the reason for abandoning their cart, a gentle nudge in the form of remarketing might be just what they need to complete their purchase.

To have your ads shown to this group, you’ll want to target customers who have added a product to a cart, but who haven’t yet completed the purchase process.

This will involve creating 2 lists: one for customers who have reached the shopping cart page (eg. cart.asp), and one for those who have reached the order confirmation page (eg. thank-you.asp). Using a customer combination list, you can then have your ads shown only to those visitors who have visited cart.asp but not thank-you.asp.

Example: Visitors to surfboards.com.au frequently add a board to their cart and then leave the site without completing the purchase. The owners of the site wonder if this is because the shipping costs are only displayed once a visitor actually adds an item to their cart.

Remarketing to these visitors would involve targeting those who have reached cart.asp but not thank-you.asp. Offering a discount on shipping could be just what’s needed to encourage visitors to complete the sale.

2. Advertise to website visitors who have visited the contact form or inquiry page.

The strategy we just went over is also effective for service-based businesses that focus on contact forms or telephone inquiries. The key is to isolate visitors who have begun the process of ordering, inquiring, or filling in a form, but who haven’t reached the confirmation page (often thank-you.asp or purchase.asp).

Example: Visitors sometimes come to EazyPlumbing.com.au and work their way through several pages of the site before ending up on the ‘request a quote’ page (quote.asp). Often, these visitors don’t complete the process of submitting the contact form, which would trigger the confirmation page (thank-you.asp).

A remarketing campaign could be set up to target visitors who have visited quote.asp but not thank-you.asp. This would be simple using a custom combination list.

3. Advertise complementary products or services to customers who converted.

Remarketing isn’t just for customers who haven’t completed their purchase. Many times, remarketing is even more effective with visitors who have actually completed a purchase.

Remarketing works well for up-selling, or offering complementary products or services to customers who have already converted. In order to use this strategy, you would have to make sure you have a unique confirmation page for each product class or category.

Example: A camera and photography accessory company finds that often customers will buy just a camera, but will come back 30-60 days later to purchase accessories. One month after purchase, the company remarkets to this group, promoting camera bags, tripods, and other accessories.

4. Use member duration targeting.

Member duration targeting is great for businesses where purchasing tends to happen at set periods. This could be a membership site, a service that requires a monthly signup, or a product-based business where customers tend to run out of product at set periods.

As AdWords tracks duration using cookies stores on your visitor’s computers, you can choose to have your ads shown to them at specific periods following their visit to your site (up to 540 days for Display Network).

Example: You run a car dealership and use remarketing to remind customers to get their regularly scheduled servicing every 6 months.

5. Move sites from automatic placement to managed placement as soon as you know which ones are working.

By default, Google will show your ads on sites it feels are relevant. This setting is known as ‘automatic placement’. Oftentimes, marketers will continue to leave this task up to Google assuming that ‘Google knows best’.

Once your ads have been running a while however, you’ll want to navigate to the Placements tab in AdWords to see which sites your ads are being displayed on, and how well they’re performing.

Managed placements will allow you to have your ads shown on sites that are working well for you, and to exclude sites that aren’t.

Example: Ken’s electronics remarkets to customers who have purchased iPods and iPhones through their website. They find that in terms of remarketing, there are a handful of sites on the Display Network that result in the lion’s share of conversions for them.

By moving these sites from automatic to managed placement and removing the sites that aren’t converting, they are spending less on clicks and are receiving higher conversion rates.

6. Use frequency capping so your ads don’t get annoying.

What would you think if you saw the exact same ad over and over again, at every single website you visited? You’d probably feel a little creeped-out.

Be sure to set your frequency capping to a set number of times per day in order to avoid overwhelming or annoying your visitors and customers. This number will vary from business to business, but generally speaking, showing your ad 3-5x per day is a good number.

7. Use seasonal remarketing.

If you sell seasonal products or services like Valentine’s chocolates, Halloween costumes, or Mother’s Day cards, setting up a membership duration of one year plus a few days will help you reach customers at the exact same time next year.

Example: You sell gift baskets, candy and flowers, and your most profitable time of year is Feb 1-13. By setting up a remarketing list of visitors who convert during this time period, you can have your ads shown to this group the following year during the same two week period.

8. Entice visitors who didn’t convert.

We’ve already talked about remarketing to visitors who abandoned shopping cars, and those who made purchases, but what about the rest of your website visitors?

A large percentage of your visitors will likely browse one or two pages on your site and then leave. However there will also be a segment that shows significant interest in the content of your site, but then doesn’t make any move toward making a purchase or inquiry.

To remarket to this group, set up a list of visitors who have visited a minimum of 4 pages on your site, but who haven’t converted. This will isolate only visitors who showed an obvious interest in your products or services.

Example: You have found that a high percentage of visitors who browse more than 5 pages on your site eventually convert. Remarketing to this group and offering a 20% discount seems to be just the trick that’s needed to encourage them to make a purchase.

9. Use custom combinations to target more specific groups of visitors.

We’ve already talked a little bit about using custom combinations to mix and match your remarketing lists to target those who have visited (or not visited) certain pages on your site.

But another way to use customer combinations is to combine pages visited with specific interest categories. For instance, you can choose to have your ads shown to visitors who have visited a particular product page on your site, and who are interested in a particular topic.

Example: Through your past remarketing campaigns, you’ve discovered that visitors who view your platinum pens and who are interested in business are 30% more likely to make a purchase. By remarketing to those who have visited your platinum-pens.htm page and who are interested in business, your campaigns are far more likely to result in sales.

Remarketing can offer marketers unprecedented opportunities to reach potential customers who have already exhibited signs of interest in their products or services.

When used right, marketers can lower their advertising costs while increasing conversions, and offer a superior shopping experience for their customers.

Have you used remarketing? What strategies have worked best for you? Let me know in the comments below!

By Philip Shaw

Learn about our Adwords Training & Management Solutions.


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