Have you ever admired a product from afar? You wantingly frequent their website, admiring their products or services. But despite all the reasons you want to buy…you just don’t. Maybe the time isn’t right. Maybe you can’t justify the cost. Maybe you’re putting it off until that time when _____.
Whatever the reason, you love the idea of buying, but you don’t.
I do this all the time because I’m commitment phobic when it comes to purchases. With the plethora of options online, it just makes perfect sense to “play the field” before sealing the deal.
As a marketer, I know I’m in the majority of website visitors.
I visit. I want. I leave. I don’t buy.
And as a marketer, I know that I’m prime opportunity.
This is my story from the receiving end of retargeting
I’ve been a fan of Udemy for a long time. They probably have me pegged as one of their avatar personas:
I’m also probably in the 90%+ or so of website visitors who window shop and leave.
I stroll around the website, looking for the next thing to learn. I add courses to my wishlist. Then I get distracted and leave. I don’t buy—I wistfully wishlist.
Until…the day I log in to Facebook and see a sponsored offer for 50% off any course.
They hit me right in my soft spot
At 50% off how could I deny myself all those courses I had just wishlisted yesterday. The want was fresh. And the 50% was the nudge I needed to take the leap. Udemy’s Facebook retargeting ad was successful at removing both friction points in my customer journey:
50% is great for me, but what about Udemy?
I don’t know the economics of Udemy’s business, so I can’t say whether their 50% discount was a loss leader. But I can say that it was the first of many purchases. In the long run, that ad was what eased me into being a committed customer.
Is retargeting the right strategy for you?
It really depends on your goals and your current stage of growth.
If your top marketing priority is to drive traffic, then no. Retargeting isn’t going to help you.
If your goal is to increase conversions, then maybe. Retargeting might help you capture more conversions from website visitors on a return visit.
In other words, if you have a low volume of traffic then the benefit of retargeting will be minimal.
Since retargeting serves ads to people who visit your site, the higher your current traffic volume, the further your ads will reach.
Retargeting is a method for delivering online ads to people who already visited your website.
When someone visits your site a cookie gets placed on their computer. These cookies store which pages the visitor hits.
If I visited a specific course on Udemy’s site—let’s say Justin Mares’ SQL for Marketers. My computer would now have a cookie that shows I visited that page.
But then let’s say that I didn’t buy (even though I did). By not buying, I would not have hit their “thank you for purchasing” page. So my computer’s cookie would not have stored info about a visit to that page.
Udemy could create ads that target people who (1) visited the SQL for Marketers course, but (2) didn’t visit the “thank you for purchasing” page.
They know I’m interested in SQL courses, but I didn’t convert. Now they can deliver ads to me (and anyone else who did the same thing) offering a deal on any SQL course, or even that specific course.
Here are some times when you might want to use retargeting: