How Retargeting Rescues Display Ads

Display ads, if you think about it, they’re billboards of the internet.  In concept, they’re not that far removed from posters on bus stops, ads on a movie screen before the movie, and old school newspaper ads.  There is a key improvement though – they do have some tractability.

Back before we could measure clicks and conversions, business needed to run an ad that said things like “Tell them Bob sent you” in an attempt to try and measure where their customers were coming from.

These days we have a better fraud control, better quality ad network with amazing demographics targeting tools.  However, the fact remains that display ads will get up to 7% click-thru and unless your ad is clear the visitors coming may bounce soon as they visit.  Furthermore, other factors such as age, location, internet quality, site load time will increase the bounce rate.   What can you do about this???   

Let’s dive deeper into those #s.  Lets say out 70 visits, 2 converted (0.02%), 18 were interested yet bounced (25%) and the rest bounced because of lack of interest in your product.  You had 18 people that were potential clients who clicked on an attractive display for shoes, shown below.  Your goal should be to convert at least 10% of them.  These are the prime candidates for retargeting.

a typical ecommerce display ad

This is where retargeting comes in and why it’s a crucial to incorporate it into any display campaign you run to bring visitors to your site.

As most know, retargeting consists of ads shown to you from a website that you visited after you’ve left the initial site you saw the ad for.  This is done by the site dropping a cookie in your browser while you visit, then using that anonymous data to show you ads.

Those retargeting ads will only show on sites that allow for it, and that have an agreement with whatever network is using to provide inventory on these sites.  Examples of large retargeting networks include: Google, Adroll, PerfectAudience, and ReJoiner. Here’s a detailed list of some of the top retargeting companies.   This way you’re targeting visitors who have shown interest, and in the case of cart abandonment – have shown an intent to purchase.

According to a recent Baymard study of high profile companies, up to 80% of visitors who put an item in their cart will leave without purchase. That doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to purchase, it just means they want to check competitors, got distracted, or any number of other reasons. So don’t lose them forever.  Retargeting has been known to be up to 92% more effective than display.  That’s an awesome number but check this one out – retargeted uses are 70% more likely to convert

So that Soccer Shoes I showed you above, the new retargeted ad looks like so.

retargeting ad

To wrap it up…

If you’re running display, search, or paid ads, and you are seeing some visitors, the key now is to create retargeting ads that continue the messaging and recover users who could find your product to be  of value and would buy it.

Display ads are intended to attract more of a general interest to generate visits.  Retargeting has a personal touch, it comes across as a one to one reminder to your visitor, and a personal invitation to come back.