Remarketing is a powerful way to help turn visits to your site into sales. But it’s more than just bombarding previous visitors with ads. Learn how to set up a remarketing campaign that works with this guide.

Remarketing is the name of the game online. It’s the reason you look at a product once and it seems to be everywhere else you look. Google ads, sidebars, email offers – they’re all related to remarketing campaigns. How do they work? How do you set them up? Are they effective?

We’re answering those questions in the article below.

What is a Remarketing Campaign

How many times do you click through a link to check out a product, don’t end up buying it, and click away? If you’re anything like the average web user, the answer is a lot. Let’s say you did this with a certain brand of a stethoscope. After you close out of the manufacturer’s site, you start seeing sidebar, Facebook or other ads from that exact manufacturer. It feels like they’re following you around the web. How do they do that? With remarketing. They are, so to speak, following you.

Advertisers who use remarketing put a small undetectable code on their site. When someone clicks into that site, the code places an anonymous (they don’t know who you are) tracker with your server address. That’s called a cookie. Based on their remarketing campaign settings, they can use that cookie to show you their products via ads. The hope is that you’ll think, “Oh yeah! I meant to buy that!” and re-engage. They can get as specific as showing you the exact product you’d placed in your cart or who’s page you visited. Some even offer a small discount to get your click and get you back on their website.

Is it Effective?

In the long run, yes! Remarketing is a huge way to get people from the mouth of your funnel through to a conversion. Only 2% of shoppers buy something from your site on their first click. That means up to 98% of your online sales come from remarketing. Of course, you want that initial number to be higher and you can do that by working on your bounce rate. But you can’t change the fact that consumers like to shop around before they buy. One way to make sure users buy on your site? Have customer reviews linked through Google on your product pages. Customers won’t necessarily trust reviews on your site, but they trust Google. Ask your web developer to help you install the Google reviews plug-in.

How to Set up Your Campaign

Now that you know what remarketing is and the effect it can have, you can start looking at your own goals. Do you want more one-time clients? Or do you want to build a following that’ll buy for their lifetime? Read about possible remarketing campaign goals below.

Remarketing Campaign Goals

In general, the goal of all remarketing campaigns is to sell products. However, there are different triggers you can use to capture data. These different campaign types change when and how a cookie is delivered to the user.

Type 1: Left in Cart

Let’s say a client goes to your site, puts some products in a cart but doesn’t complete the checkout process. You can use the items in their cart to remind them to buy. Many sites ask for email during checkout. If your client doesn’t check out, you can email them saying something like “did you forget something?”. Maybe they went to get their card out of their wallet but forgot what they were doing. If the bait doesn’t get them the first time, you can follow up. Send them an email saying, “We want you to try these products. Here’s 15% off your cart” or something like that. Offering them a discount on items they may think we’re too expensive might be the push they need to convert. To make this work best, have the client put in their information (pre-filling with Facebook is a great easy option) before checking out. That way you can get their information even if they don’t buy right away.

Type 2: Generating Action

Maybe the person didn’t get to the checkout stage. You can still remarket to them! You can use the page they visited to make assumptions about what kind of products they need. If they visited your general supply page but didn’t pick a certain product, use that. You know they’re looking for supplies, but you don’t know which type. Advertise some of your best sellers or the whole category to them as a remarketing technique.

Type 3: Generate Leads

If you don’t sell anything physical but need people to opt-in to your email list, subscription, etc., you can do that too. Remarket your entire site to them. Your goal is to get them to come back and put their email in, where they didn’t the first time. Have your ad link to the highest converting opt-in page on your site. Get them there, that’s all you can do. They decide the rest.

The Logistics

Which remarketing campaign sounds right for your business. One, two, or all three? It’s okay and encouraged to use different types. Here’s a look at how to set them up.

1. Decide Your Trigger

What is the action or non-action someone takes to activate your remarketing campaign? Maybe it’s leaving a certain page without putting in their email. That’s a trigger. It could be them leaving the cart page without paying or putting something in their cart and never looking at it again. When these things happen, you tell the software to drop the cookie onto their browser. These are triggers or tags that activate your remarketing commands. These actions let the software know which ads to show them and when.

2. Make the Ads

Let’s say you only want to remarket people who don’t buy. You teach the software to put the item in their cart in the ads you’ll show them as you remarket. That one stethoscope is suddenly on every couple sidebars they see. You don’t want to overwhelm them. We call this, overloading impressions. You want to remind them of your product, not annoy them with it. Your software or web designer will ask you to set an impression limit. This is usually per day or sometimes per browsing session. You shouldn’t show them your ad more than twice a day. People don’t have much patience and they’ll catch on fast.

3. Set Up the Pixel

Facebook and Google call their remarketing code pixels, so that’s the industry term. You want to install these and give them the correct action code on all the pages you want remarketing triggered. This involves going into the code of your site, so have a website designer do it or make sure you know what you’re doing.

4. Decide Where to Show the Ads

What kind of remarketing ads will you show potential customers? Are you looking to pop up in related searches? That’s something you sort out with your Google Adwords account. What about video ads before a YouTube video? You can use testimonials or product reviews for a quick reminder there. The most affordable type of video ads let users skip after five seconds, so get your message in fast. Email list remarketing is another technique we discussed. What kind of copy will you put in your campaign? Will it be generic, like, “you left (name of a product) in your cart” Always address them by name, if you have the ability. Your subject line should inspire action and attract attention. “You forgot something!” is a good attention getter, since we’re all juggling so many things.

5. Use Action Words

Whatever type of ads you use for your remarketing campaign, have a call to action. A call to action tells the person what you want them to do and how. Classic calls to action are: click here, buy now, complete purchase. Those texts are links, so people know they can click on them and go to the correct page. Your ad text should use the same concept. Make it as easy as possible for people to complete the action you want them to do. Easy, direct, and fast are what consumers look for these days.

Deciding on Your Remarketing Campaign

Everyone needs a remarketing campaign if they want conversions. For people selling stethoscopes to those advertising all-inclusive vacations. Unless your sector doesn’t allow you to advertise to certain people (like tobacco), remarketing is a must! Before you set up your own remarketing campaign, keep the things in this article in mind. You want to know what actions are worth a remarketing trigger, who should see them, in what way, and how often. Once you’ve got all that figured out, start with the copy and code away! Or, hire a web development professional to do it – the increase in conversions will be worth it.