Doing Remarketing the Right Way

Retargeting (otherwise referred to as Remarketing) has been a very popular topic among Bluetent’s clients lately, and I was happy to see the same interest in the industry as a whole at the PPC Hero Conference (the largest Digital Advertising Conference in the world ), which I recently attended in Los Angeles.


First things first, what is the difference between Retargeting and Remarketing? If you ask an expert in the field, there is a difference and it pertains to the channel that is used to follow your prospect past first interaction with the brand. Since most people use the naming convention interchangeably I’d rather not bore you with this topic. Feel free to use whichever one appeals to you – we’ll understand what you mean.


Now onto the point of this blog – How To Do Retargeting Right? Here are a few rules of thumb to abide by:


Choose Your Audience Right

Building Audience Lists – Before using Remarketing, you will have to identify the audiences you’d like to reach and build the lists. You can do that in Google Analytics (GA) the moment you launch your new website or in any moment afterwards. You can also do it with a pixel from AdWords/Facebook/etc. if creating audiences in GA is not your forte.


Another approach for offline data is to upload a static list from an Excel spreadsheet or even  from your Email platform. (Maybe you have customers purchasing via phone who you’d like to serve certain messages online.) Each Online Advertising platform has a minimum number of list subscribers that must be reached before we can start serving Remarketing Ads, so the earlier you build your lists, the better.


Duration of website visit – a question to ask yourself when building lists and is “How long of a site visit is long enough to be added to a retargeting list?” Any visit? Over 30sec? Over 60sec? There is no right or wrong answer here, but this will likely vary depending on the industry, the website, and the target audience.


Positive and negative audiences – in addition to the audiences you’d like to include in your Remarketing strategy, you’ll want to identify users and interactions to exclude. Is Digital Advertising the best channel to reach the visitors who have already converted? Maybe you are already using auxiliary messages via Email, or Social media, or Internal Sales for that. If someone visits your Careers Page, do you want to send them “Purchase our product” Banner Ads or would it be more appropriate to add them to a Facebook Likes or LinkedIn Follow Company campaign?


What Lists to Build for the Vacation Rental Industry

  • All Site Visitors – this would be for brand awareness, if you are a new brand or if you plan on repositioning the brand in the future
  • Visitors of VR subpages – prospective customers, goal is online transactions
  • Visitors of Property Management subpages – prospective owners, goal is a completed inquiry form
  • Visitors of Things To Do / Activities subpages – lookalike audience, they would have to decide on destination first and then select VR property, however, brand awareness can be used to stay top of mind. Expect a longer sales cycle than the typical VR subpages visitor.

Whether or Not to Use Bid Modifiers

Should you use bid modifiers for different lists? Sure, you can try and see, it won’t hurt your performance, and the best case scenario is that it will help.

  • Repeat vs New site visitor
  • Length of site visit
  • Channel where the visitor came from

Remember, before implementing this idea, you would have to create the lists and wait for them to reach the minimum list size for various platforms.


How About Frequency

How many times per day would you like to reach your prospect? What channels are you using and at how many impressions have you capped them? We usually recommend a cap at 5 times per day for Display Remarketing and 3 times per day for Social Ads. That number would go down if you have a Prospect Email Nurture campaign in place.


What is Your Sales Cycle

Based on how long your typical sales cycle is, determine what conversion target window to set up. 30, 60, 90 days? B2C generally behaves differently than B2B, so don’t be surprised if different lists have different conversion windows. E.g. 30 days for Vacation Rentals bookings and 90 days for Owner Acquisition inquiry form fill outs.


Tracking Conversions

Identify what a conversion is for your business and ensure you track these actions in GA. Then exclude the converters from your general Remarketing efforts. These visitors already did what you asked them to, so no need to remarket to them.

  • Online transaction
  • Cart abandonment
  • Inquiry form fill out
  • Email subscription

Then make sure all conversions have a follow-up strategy in place – think about what touch points are necessary for these conversions. If you are remarketing to the same customer via more than one channel, ensure that you are using different messages for each of these communications. The suggested actions of Facebook Ads should be different than what you are asking the customer to do via Email or Display Banner Ads. In terms of Cart Abandonment, email is the most successful way to complete these conversions, so make sure you utilize the automated tool that Bluetent’s Email team offers for Cart Abandonment.


E.g. If your goal is to have more site visitors convert, then you shouldn’t use Remarketing via Display Network or Social Media for people who have already submitted a form or made an online transaction. (I hope your internal Sales Team follows up on all Inquiry Forms.) You can follow them around with Facebook Like Ads or Display Banners for other products/services you offer.

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