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Striking the Perfect Balance

The Art of Retargeting

In digital marketing, sometimes it’s not about making a grand first impression—it's about those crucial second chances. That's where retargeting efforts can shine. By reconnecting with individuals who've already interacted with your brand, you're nurturing a relationship that may have just needed a little nudge to get it over the line to conversion.

But there's a thin line between "nudging" and "nagging." So, how do you ensure your retargeting strategies don't cross into the realm of creepy? Let's explore.

1. Understanding the Stages to Re-Engage At

Retargeting isn't a one-size-fits-all game. The magic lies in tailoring your approach based on where your audience is in their journey and serving the appropriate tone of message:

Awareness: If someone merely visited your website for a small window or viewed a blog post, it’s just the start of their journey. Consider retargeting with value-driven content, like eBooks, webinars, or more blog posts relevant to what they previously viewed.

Consideration: For visitors who browsed product listings, read reviews, or added items to their cart, retarget with comparison charts, customer testimonials, or detailed product videos that alleviate any possible risks with conversion.

Decision: Those who almost made a purchase but didn't? Retarget them with a one-time discount offer, free shipping code, or simply a gentle reminder of what’s left in their cart.

2. Crafting the Right Message

Remember, retargeting is a conversation, not a monologue. Your messaging should resonate and be relevant:

Provide Value: Think about why someone might have abandoned their cart. Is it too hard to understand size charts. Can you do something like compare sizes with a well known brand of similar style for easy measuring? Can you offer a discount or an incentive to complete the purchase?

Be Relevant: Use dynamic retargeting to show ads for the exact products or services users engaged with. If they looked at blue sneakers, show them those or similar blue sneakers in stock at similar price points.

Address Concerns: Maybe a potential customer is hesitant due to shipping costs or return policies. Create retargeting ads that alleviate these specific concerns by addressing them front on. Talk about ease of return etc and include testimonials if you have them.

3. The Intrusiveness Spectrum: From Gentle Reminder to Creepy Stalker

Retargeting's efficacy also lies in its frequency and tone:

Less is More: Bombarding users with ads every time they scroll can feel invasive – we’ve all got examples of who these digital businesses are. Limit the number of times your retargeted ad appears to a user. Industry standards often suggest around 15-20 retargeting ads per month, per user.

Diversify Your Platforms: If someone sees your ad on Facebook, then on their favourite news website, and then on a YouTube video, it can feel like you're everywhere (and not in a good way –stalker comes to mind). Spread your retargeting campaigns over various platforms, but don't be omnipresent.

Keep It Fresh: Rotate your ads to prevent ad fatigue. If a user sees the same ad repeatedly without engaging, it's a sign that the message isn't resonating. Go back to the A/B testing rule and find out why this ad versus others isn’t converting. You will find a reason, even if it’s subtle.

Know When to Stop: There's a window of opportunity for retargeting, which doesn't stay open forever. If a user hasn’t engaged after a specific period or after viewing multiple retargeted ads, it might be time to let go as much for your budget as for the customer. One month's retargeting cycle is often more than enough.

4. Privacy

In an era where data privacy is top of mind:

Be Transparent: Make sure users know why they're seeing your ad. Platforms like Facebook allow users to see why they've been targeted.

Provide Control: Always give users an option to opt out of retargeting campaigns. This only builds brand trust, even if they don’t purchase this time.

Stay Updated: Regulations are constantly changing so make sure you stay up to date.

In Conclusion

Done right, retargeting can transform missed opportunities into meaningful engagements. The secret is to strike a balance—be persistent but not invasive, be present but not overwhelming. Don’t talk at potential customers but rather start a conversation with them as the focus.

Like all relationships, the one between a brand and its audience thrives on respect, relevance, and rapport and listening. So, tread with a client-centric view and retarget wisely.


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About the author

Connect with Cath

Cath is Head of Strategy at MPA. A seasoned professional in marketing and media, Cath has worked across multiple Agencies and Clients from multinationals to start-ups

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