Why Remarketing Should Be A First Thought – Not An Afterthought

By Blaine Anderson | Oct 22, 2013
More Articles by Blaine


One of the many great technological advances in marketing over the past decade is remarketing – the action of promoting your business specifically to people that have already visited your website. What used to be a hopeful, “Y’all come back now, ya hear?” can now be replaced with “The blender you put in your shopping cart last week (but didn’t buy) is now 20% off!” As a marketer, I enjoy this because I know that the people that have already visited my website are a much more targeted and engaged audience than the average internet user.

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Unfortunately, something I have been guilty of in the past is making remarketing an afterthought. I focus so hard on getting the right account structure and choosing the right keywords that I forget all about remarketing. In reality, remarketing should be more of a first thought, not an afterthought, and here are 3 reasons why.

1. It works

Plain and simple. It works. To steal some stats from our remarketing infographic, customers who are remarketed to are 70% more likely to make a purchase and spend close to 50% more than the average online shopper. Recently, we looked at the performance of the different remarketing campaigns we have run for our clients, and we discovered that from January 1, 2013 to September 10, 2013, remarketing campaigns across all of our clients’ AdWords accounts had an average Many Per Click Conversion Rate of 3.58%. If you want some more data about the success of remarketing, check out that infographic.

What are Many Per Click Conversions? These are where multiple conversions are counted for a single click on an AdWords ad. For example, if several purchases are made on an ecommerce site after a click from an ad.

2. It Requires Some Set Up

In order to do remarketing, Google requires that you update your website’s privacy policy to include a description of how you’re using remarketing and a message about how cookies work (details can be found here). In addition, someone needs to put a few lines of special code on every page of the website in order for the ads to work. With all of our busy schedules, it can be easy for tasks to get lost in the shuffle. The simple action of putting remarketing code on a website is no different. Make it a top priority so it doesn’t get lost.

3. It Takes Time to Build a Good Audience

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I mentioned in the first paragraph that people who have already visited your website are a more targeted and engaged audience than the average internet user. To take that a step further, anyone can visit your website, but that doesn’t mean they’re automatically a potential customer for you. We have a joke here that a good portion of Search Mojo’s website visitors are actually our mothers wanting to read our bio pages and understand what we do. Joking aside, the true value of your website visits is in the people that have visited key pages, like a service page, or a shopping cart page, or a “Thank You” page for downloading a white paper. These are signs of people who are browsing your site and trying to make decisions. By capturing them in a remarketing list, you can make sure they don’t forget about you – but it may take some time to build up a quality list. Google requires 1,000 active cookies in a Search Network remarketing list before you can advertise to them. For Display, the requirement is only 100 active cookies, but Google won’t build a similar audience for you until you have 500 active cookies in your list. You never know how long it is going to take to build up a list. For example, one list I created has been active for about 2 months, and it only has 35 people in it. On the other hand, I’ve also created a list that reached 400 in just a few days. The point is: don’t wait!

So there you have it: 3 reasons why remarketing should be a first thought, and not an afterthought. Have you had success with remarketing? Feel free to comment below with your stories, or to reach out to me on Twitter: @BlaineAAnderson

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