For many consumers, it's rarely love at first sight when it comes advertisements and online purchases.
Only a small fraction -- around 2 percent -- of visitors who click on an ad actually wind up making a purchase. That's a chilling and sometimes deflating statistic for entrepreneurs and site owners.
Tweaking conversion strategies, site layout, and other key elements can help eliminate some of that fallout. But the reality is there's still a huge chunk of visitors who flee your site without spending a dime.
Yet all is not lost. Enter the power of retargeting.
Getting Your Ad Front and Center
This increasingly important marketing tool allows business owners and marketers to strategically display their own advertisements to consumers as they search the Internet.
Retargeting drops a cookie in visitors' browsers after they visit your site. Entrepreneurs can essentially keep track of visitors and their product preferences out in the greater world of the Web. Using that data, business owners can target ads to consumers on scores of different websites. Former site visitors will see ads for your product regardless of whether they visited your site during that particular browsing session.
The cookie dropped in visitors’ browsers is anonymous, and each visitor receives a specific identity on your network. If you’re concerned that you’ll overwhelm Web surfers with your ad, you can institute frequency caps. Doing so limits the number of times a former visitor sees your ad in a 24-hour period.
A slate of recent studies and surveys have championed retargeting as a crucial strategy for marketing professionals and entrepreneurs. Retargeted consumers are 70 percent more likely to buy something than non-retargeted shoppers according to a study from Criteo. They're also more likely to spend upwards of 50 percent more. The same study concluded that personalized retargeted ads are six times more effective than standard banner ads, and four times more effective than basic retargeting ads. Nearly half of all specialized marketers contacted in a joint study by SEMPO and Advertise.com pointed to retargeting as the most under-utilized online marketing strategy available.
Successful and struggling online retailers alike can use retargeting. This marketing technique gives you an edge over competitors since you’ll be drawing repeat visitors. Retargeting is especially effective for big-ticket items that require research and comparison, which means more browsing sessions.
The Costs of Retargeting
Retargeting budgets can be just a couple hundred dollars a month. Business owners can certainly spend more or less depending on their needs and their marketing budgets. Entrepreneurs can connect with providers and agencies that offer retargeting services such as Collective Media, Fetchback and White Pixel; and even some larger brands, like AOL, offer retargeting options.
Chris Birk is director of content and communications for VA Mortgage Center.com, the nation's No. 1 dedicated VA lender. A recovering journalist, he also teaches at a private Midwestern university. Follow him @cjbirk.