How To Boost Sales With Remarketing14 min read


We’ve all found ourselves browsing through a website, stopping on particular products, absent-mindedly adding them to our baskets and then forgetting about them.

We’ve also all found that the very next day, by some piece of divine intervention, that the very product is being advertised to us for half the price.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is remarketing, and we’re about to find out just how this shady marketing technique is so effective.

In short, remarketing allows you to track website visitors, so that any customer who buys a product from you, views a product, or goes through to a check-out page without buying, can tempted back by your adverts.

You can reel back customers with tasty deals and offers, and the best thing is that you know that they have some interest in.

Pretty neat, right?

“Statistics show time and time again that the likelihood of an individual purchasing of your item is significantly increased through these kinds of techniques.”

After all, if you find a watch that you absolutely love online, but can’t quite afford it, wouldn’t you be tempted when the very same watch flashed up on your daily Facebook binge AND is 25% off?!

One of the reasons remarketing is so effective is because you can discern which pages your prospective customers visited, as well as the actions they took on your site. They are further down the sales funnel, and therefore more likely to buy.

how to increase sales with retargeting

This means you can  target people who went to a certain stage of the buying process.

For example, you might want to re-market those who went to check-out more aggressively than those who simply viewed a product.

What kind of platforms allow this capability?

Well, Google and Facebook are two of the big ones. Their remarketing capabilities are astonishingly powerful and accurate. This is music to the ears of any digital marketer.

Now, for simplicity, I will use Google to explain remarketing.

How does it work?

When a user visits your website or app, a tracking code places a cookie on their browsers that allows Google to serve your ads to them.

When any user with a relevant cookie later uses Google Search or visits a site on Google Display Network, they meet the criteria to see your remarketing ads if you win the ad auction.

Who is your audience?

One of the most impressive things about re-marketing isn’t just that it provides you with an audience interested in your brand, but that it also allows you to see the extent to which each individual user is interested

When someone visits your site, they are added to a remarketing list, based on the actions they performed on your site.

Through their actions, you can accurately determine things like what they were interested in, how close they were to purchasing, and where in the buying cycle they ended up.

All of this means that you can tailor your ad content at exactly the level they require.

Allow me to exemplify this. Let’s say you own an online clothing store. You can define rules that will determine which remarketing list any user is added to!

Here are some nifty examples:

List 1 – Men’s shirt awareness

John browses your men’s shirts page. After less than a minute, he navigates off your site.

What can we deduce from John’s actions?

A shirt might’ve tickled his fancy. Maybe he saw an ad that made him click onto your website, maybe he simply searched you up. Either way, we can safely say there was some level of interest.

The short interaction with the website says that he is in the awareness stage of his buying cycle.

Why did he leave after such a brief visit? Maybe…

  • Your prices are too high
  • There’s insufficient information on the landing page
  • The descriptions weren’t compelling enough
  • Your page design wasn’t user-friendly

Let’s add John into List 1, which consists of people who’ve browsed your men’s shirts page and left after a brief interaction.

Later that week, John goes back on to Google and continues his search for shirts. While his doing his research, he receives an ad from your site.

All the ad does is invite John to read a blogpost on the latest fashion trends for men. This ad is designed specifically for people like John who are in the awareness stage of the buying cycle.

You know that someone in this stage does not want to be pressured. The subtle approach works best, and this is exactly what you will give them.

List 2 – Women’s trousers conversion

Gabriella browses your women’s trousers page. She clicks on the description for more information about a few different pairs of trousers.

What can we deduce from her actions?

She’s probably in the consideration stage as she selected a few articles of clothing and completed the CTAs by clicking their description buttons.

Let’s add Sarah to list 2 – Women’s trousers conversion

People in this category are primed to become leads. I would use a lead magnet in the form of a 10% discount. She would need to leave her email to access the code.

Once she leaves her details, she’ll become part of your email marketing campaign as well. You’ll now have the opportunity to build a long-lasting relationship with her and keep offering her amazing products in future.

Lead magnets are incredibly powerful marketing tools, facilitating the journey from stranger to customer. Become an expert in the customer journey experience with our How to Create a Lead Magnet blueprint.

List 3 – Incomplete purchase

Gabriella, returns to your site, selects the tweed pants, adds it to basket, but leaves the site before completing the purchase.

This is clearly someone who is far along the buying cycle. As usual, we have to ask the question, “Why?”.

Here are a few things you might consider:

If this remarketing audience list starts growing rapidly, it may allude to a problem on your site. For example:

  • There may be an issue with your checkout process,
  • A recent software update may have caused something in the payment process to stop working. You should run through the purchase process yourself to make sure everything works as it should.
  • It could be a late introduction of a cost, like a delivery charge, that the customer was unaware of until they were ready to checkout.
  • Or, of courses, they could have gotten cold feet right at the crucial moment.

We will add her to list 3 – Incomplete purchase.

People in the final stage of the buying cycle often just need a little coaxing to close the deal.

You might want to offer them a discount if they complete the purchase within a week. The limited period adds some urgency and most of us know what that feels like.

retargeting audience example

List 4 – Paying customers

Gabriella finally completed her purchase of the tweed trousers and we all celebrate. We are also well aware that she’s a happy customer and therefore may want to make further purchases.

We’ll add her to list 4 which consists of paying customers.

Sarah may be interested in buying other items of clothing especially if she qualifies for the 15% discount available to all new customers.

Of course, your aim is to make your customers enticed by offers and deals to complete the purchase of your product, so as well as creating inviting adverts and making tempting offers, you need to ensure your landing page is user friendly and relevant.

Your product page must be slick and easy to use, or you’ll lose your customer and will be unlikely to see them back, be certain that you have a superior product page to your competitors.

List 5 – Custom Combination List

I want to mention this audience list because it differs from the ones already discussed and it enhances your targeting capabilities quite significantly.

In Google AdWords, you can build Custom Combination Lists which allows you to build a list from two or more other lists.

Let’s say you have an audience list containing visitors to your men’s jackets page and another list of visitors to your men’s trousers page. You might want to find those individuals who did both, who browsed your trousers page and your jackets page.

For this, you’ll create a custom combination list which creates a list containing visitors who exist in both individual lists. Now that you have the list, you’ll probably want to advertise your suits at discount prices to this group.

With remarketing, your efforts can zone in on very specific subsets of your target audience.

how to use retargeting

Here’s something to keep in mind when drawing up your remarketing strategy

A list consisting of everyone engaging with your site could result in many adverts being served.

The problem with this is that it becomes expensive and is less targeted than say a list consisting of visitors to a specific product page. Also, if you provide free shipping, then mention this. The word ‘FREE’ works wonders so use it.

Now that we have the gist of remarketing and what it allows you to do, we can get into a little more detail. I’ll start with Google AdWords and then follow with Facebook remarketing.

Google AdWords Remarketing

Remarketing in Google AdWords consists of static and animated images, text ads, responsive ads and video displayed on Google Display and Google Search Network.

how to do remarketing with google adwords

Your remarketing efforts will see your ads displayed as:

Search Ads – These are ads that appear next to Google search results on desktop, smartphones and tablets etc.

Display ads – These are visual banners that are displayed in the following three formats:

  1. Responsive ads consisting of text only or a mix of images and text.
  2. Display banners that are either static images or animated banners.
  3. Third-party ads (html) uploaded by the Google team.

Formats 1 and 2 can be uploaded directly into a campaign.

Display banners will be served across Google’s network that includes Gmail, 2 million websites and nearly 700,000 apps. This is highly effective for finding your audience. They are displayed as text, in Gmail, as banners, in app categories or as in-app ads.

retargeting website visitors example

Selecting your audiences

You can compile your audience list based on whichever URL you choose to monitor.

The previous section gives you an idea around what to consider when deciding which remarketing lists to compile.

So, select the URLs whose visitors you want to add to a list. A thank you page or a landing page, for example, will confirm that a certain action was completed. This is a good way to track successful conversions.

Google Analytics

It’s possible to create a remarketing audience in Analytics which you can add to at least one of your ad groups.

This gives you the capability to include more dimensions to the audience criteria such as location, how long they were on the page, whether a goal was completed, and much more. It means you can fine-tune your targeting with Google Analytics.

retargeting on social media

Facebook Remarketing

Facebook remarketing, which is also called retargeting, works in much the same way as Google’s remarketing.

When people visit your website and don’t complete a purchase, a cookie is placed on their browsers.

This allows you to track these visitors as they navigate to other sites and display ads to these individuals.

You require your Facebook Pixel to be installed on your website to enable you to track your site’s traffic and events, like purchases. This information will be used to build your audiences for your Facebook ad campaigns.

Facebook’s dynamic ads work by tracking when users have clicked on an ad, completed a subscription, or viewed various product pages.

The Facebook Pixel keeps track of each users’ movements with a section of code, dictating what ads will be targeted at certain users on their feeds.

Facebook can also collate these interested users into audiences, and provide you with information about what people your product is attracting.

Facebook remarketing works well where:

increase sales with remarketing
  • People hesitate to purchase! This will be evident from the pages they visit. They may spend a lot of time browsing your site or visit pages like FAQs, pricing pages and Terms and Conditions.
  • For people who aren’t ready to buy. These people need to be nurtured through the buying process and having them subscribe to your mailing list is a great way to do this. Basically, you can then start ‘warming them up’ to potentially purchase something, and in this way, you begin to take them on a journey.

You can develop a more personalised interaction with these individuals and offer them all the information they would need to eventually commit to a purchase. For this, you could use Facebook lead ads which asks visitors to complete a form to subscribe to your mailing list.

It relates to people’s purchasing habits over mobile phones.

According to Statista, “smartphone conversions was at 1.62% compared to 4.76% for desktop in the US in 2017. It is often the case that people visit websites on mobile phones, but only complete transactions some time later on a desktop.

In between visiting your site and finally making the purchase, they may have forgotten which sites they had visited.

With Facebook pixel, you can find these individuals and serve your ads based on their actions on your website. This allows you to be at the forefront of their mind on their journey along their buying cycle.

It’s no surprise that remarketing receives a higher click-through-rate (CTR) than other forms of online marketing.

are retargeting campaigns better

This is because the people receiving your ads have already expressed an interest by visiting your website.

Not only this, but the actions they had taken provides further valuable information.

This can be the specific product they are interested in, whether they added an item to their basket and failed to complete their purchase, or whether their interaction with your site was brief before navigating away.

This information allows you to really tailor your advertising approach to meet the specific requirements of each audience.

So, do you feel up for taking your marketing to the next level and remarketing to your target audience? It’s such an important element of marketing that is being used immensely, you just simply cannot afford to not give it a try!

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