The Do’s and Don’ts of Retargeting

June 5, 2020
4 min

As a B2B marketer, you’re probably familiar with the concept of retargeting. This form of digital advertising serves off-site advertising impressions to people who have already visited your website. Retargeting can be a powerful tool for converting website visitors to some type of action, like a form submission or a sale.

Many companies use retargeting to stimulate a conversion on a web form. This allows them to identify the target and remarket to them. Remarketing strategies are more narrowly focused than retargeting, and are typically driven by email tactics.

In short, when we talk retargeting, think banner ads. When we’re discussing remarketing, think email.

Now that we’ve cleared up the difference, let’s get to it! For veterinary marketers currently retargeting (or considering it), here are the top 10 practical do’s and don’ts for retargeting.

The 10 Do’s

Boost the success of your veterinary retargeting campaigns with these 10 tips.

1. Use retargeting tactics as part of a specific campaign strategy

Target those engaging with campaign-specific assets to engage and convert prospects. For example, you could engage prospects with an article or piece of free content. Then, retarget them with a call to action to sign up for a webinar for lead conversion.

2. Provide proof in your retargeting content strategy

For B2B marketers, leverage retargeting to provide proof sources such as case studies to help nurture your already engaged lead down the path to a conversion.

3. Create urgency

Offer a compelling, time-sensitive call to action or an important reason to return to your website now. The goal with retargeting is to quickly stimulate a return visit and a conversion while your brand is fresh in the prospect’s mind.

4. Review analytics

Review campaign analytics often to provide insights needed to pivot or tweak messaging. It’s easy to replace creative mid-stream with retargeting campaigns.

5. Spend time on your copy

Copy is especially important if you are delivering retargeted ads as banner ads. Your real estate in those ads is small. Make sure your copy is simple, short, compelling, and easy to act on. I know… easier said than done in a 300 pixel by 250 pixel space, but it’s possible!

6. Create different conversion steps

Craft a funnel that includes an “interest step.” For example, offer a free piece of content like an e-book download. Next, create an “action step” for the targets who are now receptive to a conversion call to action. This will enable you to target appropriate messaging to the right audience segment.

7. A/B test your creative and size placements

A/B test different creative and different sizes (ie, 300 px by 250 px, 728 px by 90 px) to identify the creative/size combination that produces the best results. You should also do this with email retargeting programs. With email, focus on A/B testing subject lines and creative.

8. Use retarget audiences to build lookalike audiences

Take your retargeting programs to the next level by using engaged visitor audiences to craft lookalike audiences. This can help extend your reach to others who may be interested in your product.

9. Remarket with email

Use an email-driven remarketing strategy once prospects from your retargeting campaigns have converted to known contacts in your database. With email remarketing, you have more real estate to communicate your message. Email open and clickthrough rates on remarketing programs are disproportionately high.

10. Retarget with supplementary products/offers

Don’t just retarget audiences with products that they saw on your website. Cross-promotion of complimentary products is a great way to create awareness of other offers and create interest that drives traffic back to the website.

The 10 Don’ts

There are some pitfalls to avoid when retargeting. Here are 10 common mistakes that you’ll want to watch for.

1. Show too many impressions

Serving too many impressions is annoying to your target audience. Ultimately, it is a waste of your budget to display redundant impressions.

2. Ignore the importance of creative

Creative extends beyond the text. Make sure your visual creative is high-impact and easy to associate with your brand/campaign at a glance. You don’t have a lot of time and space to capture attention—make every bit count.

3. Retargeting customers or people who just bought your product

Retargeting customers (old ones or new ones) with prospect messaging can be annoying. For better or worse, your customers expect you to “know them,” anticipate their needs, and message them appropriately. Use suppression segments based on automated conversion triggers to keep customers out of prospect retargeting and remarketing campaigns.

4. Create a bidding war and inflated price… for yourself

Employing multiple vendors to work on the same Google Ad Words campaign can result in you bidding against yourself for impressions. Ultimately, this will inflate cost and negatively impact your ROI. Make sure you consider this when initiating any digital advertising campaigns based on a price bidding strategy.

5. Serve generic ads that are blind to the current needs of the visitor

Target your messaging based on site visit behavior to optimize conversions and keep prospects/customers feeling positive about your brand. Tone deaf ads can negatively impact your brand.

6. Attribute all ROI to retargeting

If you’re using search and display advertising and conversions happen at the retargeting step of your funnel, don’t give all the credit to retargeting. Look at original traffic sources to get the whole story. If your search and display campaigns are doing their job, they’ll be bringing traffic in. Retargeting will do the legwork at the final stage to stimulate a conversion.

7. Retarget on just any website

Relevance is important with retargeting, just like display. You want your ad to appear on appropriate sites with relevant content to keep brand perception high. Retargeting in irrelevant places can have a negative impact on a prospect’s feelings toward your campaign and brand. Dig into the data about where your audience spends their time and remarket there.

8. Retarget without a cohesive strategy

Retargeting on its own won’t produce results. It is a component of a larger campaign strategy. Make sure you know its role, how it’s being fed, and how follow up will take place.

9. Link all traffic back to your website home page

Create custom landing pages or direct traffic to relevant pages based on the call to action. Don’t link prospects to the home page and expect them to navigate around to find what they’re looking for. You’ll increase your bounce rate and lose conversion opportunities.

10. Keep working alone when you get overwhelmed

Both remarketing and retargeting can feel like big tasks, especially if your marketing team is small (or nonexistent). But don’t quit! If you’re overwhelmed, consider connecting with a media partner who specializes in remarketing and retargeting campaigns.

Curious about your remarketing and retargeting options? Drop us a line. We’d love to help.