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5 Retargeting Strategies that Pair Well with your Website Testing

At Sentient, many of our customers leverage our conversion rate optimization platform, Ascend, to improve the efficiency and ROI of their paid advertising campaigns. Many of the experiments that run through Ascend target audience segments that marketers have previously defined for media buying purposes–segments can include features such as age, gender, location, mobile vs desktop users, etc or where the user picked up or dropped off on the buyer funnel. This article will give a broad overview of a few popular and effective retargeting strategies that can pair well with your website experimentation strategy.

A Refresher on Retargeting

Retarketing, also known as remarketing, involves serving targeted ads to people who have already visited your site or interacted with you in some way. It is one of the most effective and efficient tactics in modern advertising that can help companies make the most of their digital marketing budgets and boost their ROI. In fact, over 50% of digital budgets are now going towards retargeting ads to previous website visitors. And, since digital marketing budgets are themselves increasing each year, the budget for retargeting ads has likewise shifted from a small percentage of the digital budget to a core component of it.

Here are five examples of retargeting campaigns that can be targeted towards a specific audience segmentation.

1. New versus returning visitors

New users are likely to respond differently to content than returning visitors, particularly for ecommerce stores. Try tailoring different messages to both new and  returning visitors and continue that message theme from the ad to the landing page.

2. Product category remarketing

For visitors that have visited a particular product category–say for instance electrical power tools or cosmetics, try creating a specific segment for users searching for that particular product category and testing new page layouts and calls to action for that specific segment of your catalog. You may find that different layouts work for different segments of your catalog. For instance, users looking for lipstick might react to different visuals and CTA buttons than someone looking for electric power drills. One effective strategy is to advertise the best selling product of a product category to that specific audience segment that previously visited that section. Then, you can tailor an experiment to optimize the purchase rates of that particular product using more direct response oriented content tactics, such as scarcity or social proof. Phrases such as “limited time only” or “only 3 left” or “person X and Y also loved this product”, etc.

3. Customer loyalty remarketing

Not all retargeting budgets are intended for new customer acquisition! Often, the most effective way to spend a digital budget is to retarget existing customers nearing a significant payment event, such as the end of their subscription term. Creating specific content to entice this group of customers to stay with your business might be the most effective way to spend your experimentation traffic. To use a well known example, popular cable providers will start to send low cost offers to their subscription base once they see a term coming up, with the goal of netting another 6-12 month subscription. Since acquiring a customer is cited to be anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining a customer, this type of retargeting and experimentation strategy can be very cost-effective.

4.Cart drop off customers

Ah, the 1st party segment that made marketers everywhere fall in love with retargeting – the cart-drop off audience. This segment of users has already signaled purchase intent and, unfortunately for whatever reason, they did not buy. Experiment with this segment of users and offer a different checkout page! Oftentimes, a different web page look is just what they need to push the to press the ‘confirm checkout’ button.

5. Lookalike Audiences

A lookalike audience is a group of people an ad serving platform – such as Google or Facebook – determines to look ‘similar’ to a known segment of users. For example, let’s say you have an email list of people who have purchased your product. You can send this list of emails to Facebook, and they will allow you to target a group of people who are similar in demographic to that list of e-mails. One strategy we have seen work well is to drop this people directly onto the product page of the product their lookalike audience was created from. Here, you can test out ‘recommendation’ style product positioning, such as ‘we think you would like this product’ as opposed to your typical product description.

Combine your retargeting strategies with your website experimentation segments

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to combining your retargeting budgets to tailored experimentation strategies. We hope that you consider some of these tactics the next time you launch an online experiment. Remember – conversion optimization is more than just what happens on your website, it’s also about clever remarketing after your users have visited your site. And, if you are already involved in website testing, many of these remarketing strategies can easily be aligned to fit your experiment strategy to make the most of your digital marketing budget.