No matter how familiar you are with retargeting, it can still have a “creepy” factor. You click on a product or browse a website, and then BAM! There’s that product following you around the Web for days. But there’s a goal to that product’s path—to stay top of mind.
And despite its perceived weirdness, effective retargeting can have a real benefit for your technology company. Most consumers shop around before making a purchase, but in the technology sector, shoppers must sift through 1,876 marketing technology vendors across 43 categories, according to the latest marketing technology landscape super graphic from ChiefMarTec.
How can you help your company stand out in this sea of vendors? Enter retargeting. These best practices will help your brand stay top of mind during a prospect’s search without making them feel like they’re being followed.
But before we jump into retargeting best practices, let’s take a step back and examine your segmentation. This can help you create more refined retargeting messages based on user behavior. Just as not everyone wants or needs to receive news about your product updates, the same principle is in play with targeted ads—not everyone wants or needs to see the same display ad.
You could retarget by:
Specific Web pages visited
The number of pages visited
Blog or social media activity
Take a look at the segments you’ve created. Those visitors who, for example, have visited your website via the home page or visited a secondary page without taking any action are likely at the top of your sales funnel, so it wouldn’t make sense to target them with case studies or product-specific information. Instead, focus on keeping your company top of mind by displaying ads specific to the pages they have visited—perhaps for an educational eBook on the same topic. You’ll want to save those case studies, product information or testimonials for your mid-funnel prospects.
While seeing the same ad for a couple of days or weeks might help keep your brand top of mind, being bombarded by ads on every website your prospect visits can quickly result in overexposure. And overexposure can lead to banner blindness—when a prospect completely ignores your ads—which can negatively affect campaign performance. So don’t overload prospects with your ads as they browse the Web; try using a frequency cap. This enables you to limit the number of times someone will see your ads.
Is there anything more irritating than making a purchase online and continually being retargeted with ads for that same product? A burn pixel is a piece of code that can prevent this. While most technology companies don’t have an e-commerce portal purchasing their software, some do offer free trials, which is where using a burn pixel could be effective. After someone signs up for a free trial, you could use the burn pixel code to make sure they stop receiving ads for a free trial. Now you have the opportunity to enroll these prospects in a new retargeting campaign, perhaps offering them a discount with purchase.
It’s not just for email anymore. Running a campaign with the same ads for months can result in a decreased clickthrough rate: the prospect has seen them so many times that the ads blend into the background. Try rotating your ad creative every couple of months to give new life to your campaigns. Use A/B testing to determine the best performing creative, copy and CTAs.
All the effort of a great retargeting campaign can be wasted if you fail to consider the end destination. If a prospect clicks on one of your ads, where do they end up? Are they being redirected to your home page or do they end up on a targeted page reflecting the content of the ad? For example, if someone clicks on an ad for your latest eBook, do they end up in your resources section or do they see a targeted landing page reflecting what they’ll learn if they download the eBook?
When used well, retargeting can be effective—especially for marketers in the technology space who have to contend with an array of options and a sales cycle much slower than other industries. By segmenting your audience, providing a relevant landing page, A/B testing, and using frequency caps and burn pixels, you can ensure you’re not annoying (or worse, being ignored by) your prospects, and they’re keeping your brand top of mind.