Remarketing – Get ROI from PPC

Remarketing is any marketing action taken to bring a prospective customer who has not converted back to the website to try to convert them.  Such actions can occur through email, physical mail or online advertising.

Let’s take a look at some examples before we get to why pay-per-click (PPC) might be the easiest way to get started with remarketing, and why it has a high likelihood of excellent ROI.  If you’re not currently running PPC campaigns this might also be a good way to try out PPC – the ROI from PPC is often the highest from remarketing because those who click have already been to your website.  Remarketed visitors are repeat visitors, so they aren’t coming in cold, such as on their first visit to your site.  Remarketed visitors who click are warm prospects.

What does Remarketing Look Like?

You may been part of a remarketing campaign without recognizing it:
  • You’re a registered shopper on a site.  You leave items in your shopping cart.  The next day, you receive an email from the site with an incentive to buy the contents of the cart.
  • You’ve been browsing new car options online, and even played with the online configurator.  Over the next week, while visiting other sites that have nothing to do with cars, you see ads for the the cars you were browsing, especially the ones you were configuring.

Both of the above examples are the results of remarketing campaigns, which are may also be referred to as retargeting campaigns.

  • In the first example, the company’s database of registered shoppers is used to identify shoppers with abandoned shopping carts.  An email is personalized, linking to the specific cart.  Quite a bit of system integration is needed to remarket this way, but the conversion rates are often impressively high if personalization is done well.
  • In the second example, a cookie is dropped on the prospective buyer’s computer when they view pages that signify strong interest.  Campaigns are then created based on the pages visited to show ads based on detected cookies.  Since use of a configurator indicates higher interest than non-use, a different cookie may be set. The cookies drive different campaigns, and the ‘configurers’ campaign might be given a larger budget.

The second example is much easier to execute than the first.  It does not require a permission/contact database or system integration.  It’s not personalized, rather remarkets based on behaviour.

Using Google AdWords PPC for Remarketing

There are many options for remarketing, not just Google AdWords.  However, Google AdWords is amongst the easiest to start with.

  • You need an AdWords account – setup instructions here & sign up fee is $10.
  • You can select the visitor behaviour that will trigger the setting of the needed cookies and you can configure the cookies yourself.
  • You can can set up your own AdWords remarketing campaigns to work with these cookies and use the built-in Ad Builder to create your own image ads online – free.
  • Launch your campaign and only pay when visitors click – your only investment thus far has been $10 to Google, to cover the account signup fee.

Monitor conversion from these campaigns.  There is a lot of self-serve help available in Google’s AdWords and Analytics Help Centers.  However, if you don’t have the time to process this knowledge or need an expeditious launch, contact us to get help setting up both your AdWords account and Google Analytics.

For most organizations, if the right situations are selected to trigger remarketing, the return on PPC spending in remarketing campaigns is many times higher compared to search ad or display ad PPC campaigns.

So, remarket to your website visitors who appeared to be interested but did not convert – your warmest prospects.

Best Bets for Remarketing

Like any other marketing tactic, remarketing works better in some situations than others, particularly when time is involved, and a departure/exit from a website could be permanent.  Here are some examples to help you think of situations where remarketing will work for you:

  • High value B2C decisions such as buying a car or booking a vacation package, where there’s a significant amount of research, or consultation with others, such that it’s unlikely a buying conversion will occur in one visit.
  • Long lead time B2B decisions for equipment, services, training, conferences and many more.
  • Seasonal purchases – deposit cookies in advance of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, pre-Christmas or Boxing Week.

If you’re concerned with privacy and the ability of visitors to control remarketing, they have options such as Mute This Ad, Ads Preferences Manager (select Ads on the Web) and Google Analytics Opt-out.

Next Step – Start by Describing Your Warmest Prospects

On your website, you know that there are certain pages or actions that indicate people are interested.  Perhaps it’s looking at product details, putting items into a shopping cart, viewing an installation video, or viewing the contact us page.

  • Write out the scenarios your warmest prospects will follow, and where they might abandon.
  • Use these scenarios to decide the criteria to set your cookies. Then think about what will bring them back, and where to send them when they arrive (NOT your home page).
Here’s a hypothetical scenario for an imaginary buyer of new condos, Pat, where the fictitious condo develope is Example.com.
Example - Remarketing Scenario for Condo Sales

Until Pat (and others) clicked on the campaign’s ad, Example.com would not have paid any fees to Google (except for $10 initial sign up fee).

Create Remarketing Cookies from Google Analytics, not just with Google AdWords

Until recently, the only way to deposit remarketing cookies was by deploying code generated by Google AdWords.  Google has now added a feature that allows Google Analytics Administrators to create Remarketing Lists within Google Analytics for Google AdWords campaigns (see Google Analytics blog post).

It may sound complicated because there are more options, but the greater flexibility is definitely better.