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Remarketing makes digital advertising sense

Last year Google introduced a remarketing feature to its Adwords functionality. It’s actually a pretty cool tool that allows you to follow your website visitors around the web, giving you another crack at making them convert.

It sounds more invasive than it really is. Sort of.

What you have to do is add the remarketing tag to your landing pages that are intended to drive conversions, such as your contact us page, or pages with special promotions. Then, as Joseph Kerschbaum says, when visitors come to your site a tracking cookie is “dropped” onto their computers and you can follow them across sites that subscribe to AdSense.

You can display ads specifically designed to convert previous non-converters.

Of course you don’t want to tag everyone who visits your site. You could end up pestering people who have already converted and drive them up the wall. So you have to create lists. To do so Google says that you need to enable the Audiences tab and set up a campaign that includes the Google Display Network (GDN).

List options include:

  • Adding users to a specific category, e.g., LG HD TVs (if you’re in the home entertainment business). You can then send very specific ads to customers with a very specific interest.
  • Adding non-converters, which entails creating a second list of converted users. It gets a little complicated so you might want to check out Google’s How do I create a custom combination list?
  • Adding visitors who bailed on their shopping carts.
  • Adding people who have converted but might be swayed by an up-sell.
  • Adding a schedule so that users are only targeted a specified number of days after they’ve visited your site.

Is remarketing a good idea?

In a word, yes.

But be smart about it. Create your lists carefully and be just as careful when crafting remarketing ads.

Kerschbaum says that before you slap together some ads you must first determine why visitors didn’t convert in the first place. You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes. Sometimes this means giving visitors others options. Instead of plying them with product promotions you could send them to a product information page that extols the benefits of your products and answers some FAQs.

He also recommends using images: logos, product images with snappy headlines, etc.

Should you use remarketing?

In a word, yes.

The majority of people who visit your site will not convert the first time. You want to stay top of mind so that when they are ready to convert they don’t go somewhere else.

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