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Vincent Corneille
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Data-hungry digital-marketer.
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Harnessing the Power of Remarketing

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What is remarketing?

Have you ever visited a website then later been shown ads for that company on various websites or Facebook? It’s not a coincidence, it’s remarketing – a powerful and highly-targeted tool in our online marketing arsenal. Remarketing is available on the Google Display Network and also through Facebook Ads. Once set up, remarketing can be used to accomplish a large number of goals, including improved sales, lead generation and branding objectives.

Some characteristics of remarketing campaigns

Remarketing uses a simple philosophy: users who have visited your website are likely to be interested in your product or service. When compared to regular display advertising, remarketing campaigns will often result in a greater ROI as the ad-spend is being directed towards people who have already demonstrated interest in the business. Typical characteristics of a well-managed remarketing campaign include a greater CTR (click-through rate), higher conversion rate and an overall lower CPA (cost per acquisition).

So let’s jump in and see how remarketing can work in practice across the web.

Example 1: Facebook remarketing

Jane runs a business selling dresses and the majority of her sales are generated through Facebook. Last week, one of her dresses was featured in a popular magazine and she received a ton of new traffic to her website. Good work, Jane! But most of her business comes from her loyal Facebook fans and she didn’t see a significant increase in her number of followers. Luckily though, Jane has remarketing set up and for the next week, people who visited her website are being shown ads featuring Jane’s dresses on their Facebook feed. Jane starts seeing an increase in her Facebook followers and many more sales.

Most commonly, remarketing tags will be set up on the main website, usually in the header or footer, capturing all visitors to the page. Although, we can set up many different tags on the website, such as individual products/services, and at different stages in the sales funnel such as the shopping cart page giving us increased control over who we want to advertise to.

Example 2: shopping cart abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment rates for e-commerce currently stand at 68%, That is, 68% of shoppers add items to their cart and then fail to proceed to the payment page. There are many different reasons for this but factors such as shipping costs, undeclared taxes, slow-loading pages, long website registration forms and plain forgetfulness have been identified as the major players. By using remarketing we can reduce shopping cart abandonment rates by enticing customers to return to their cart and complete checkout. Take the following example:

Joe is looking to buy some new shoes and finds a great pair for sale on exampleshoestore.com. When he reaches the checkout he notices that shipping is going to cost $20. He thinks about it for a while, and then decides he will wait and buy the shoes in a store next week to avoid paying for shipping.

However, exampleshoestore.com has remarketing set up and is about to win back their customer. Later that evening when Joe is surfing the web he sees a specific ad from exampleshoestore.com with copy saying “great new shoes, enter coupon code: XXX for free shipping”. When Joe clicks on the ad he is taken back to his cart, enters the coupon code receives free shipping and completes the purchase. Happy customer, happy business and great new shoes.

How does it work?

Both Google and Facebook remarketing involve inserting special lines of tracking code into your website. On Google, this is called a remarketing tag. On Facebook they refer to it as a custom audience pixel. Once set up, users who visit your page will receive a cookie in their browser, which is then used by Google or Facebook to deliver the ads to these specific people. Remarketing can also be used in conjunction with other targeting methods such as demographic or location, allowing you even more precision to deliver your message.

In addition to creating remarketing lists containing website visitors, Facebook also allows users to upload lists from other sources including mailing lists and app installations.

Example 3: Mailing list remarketing

Billy has 10,000 people on his MailChimp mailing list and emails them weekly about special deals. He is getting pretty good results, but thinks his conversion rates could be higher. On Facebook, he sets up a custom audience containing his MailChimp mailing list. Now in addition to sending his weekly email he can show ads specifically to his mailing list while they are browsing Facebook to make sure they are not missing out on these great deals. Great job, Billy!

There you have it. With such a diverse and powerful tool we are only limited by our imagination in how we use remarketing to achieve our goals.

Written by Vincent Corneille – Performance Media Specialist at WME

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By Vincent Corneille


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