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How to Retarget a Lost Audience and Why It’s Important

A major perk of online shopping is the ability to site-hop until the best deals are found. Sure, people can also store-hop, but site-hopping takes much less time and it’s overall more convenient. This is one of the reasons why online shopping continues to rise in popularity, along with the savviness of e-commerce brands: free shipping opportunities, a user-friendly experience, promo codes, and more. No matter what is offered, though, there will always be some sort of competition to keep tabs on.

The Social Marketer’s Guide to Hyper-Targeting

One clue that competition may be getting the best of you is potential customers leaving items in their cart without finalizing the purchase. In cases like this, putting a retargeting plan in place is recommended. Such a plan is created to get potential customers back to your website and make a purchase. Here’s what can be done:

  1. Send out messaging, on and off social, to remind visitors of the current sale or promotion. Repetitive marketing, as long as it’s done tastefully, is beneficial for informing those who have yet to see the sale and reminding those who may have forgotten or went to compare on a different website and never returned. Incorporate a time-related call to action, such as “Only 3 Days Left of the Buy One, Get One Sale!”screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-1-30-01-pm
  2. Remind them with a “Products You Might Like” section. It’s possible that, while site-hopping, customers forget they had items in their cart. Set up your website to register what products were viewed, and offer related products in this section. This may either remind them of the item or introduce them to something they have yet to see.screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-1-32-04-pm
  3. Send an email. If the person wasn’t planning on using guest checkout, chances are they have a personal account set up with the website. While signing up, they probably had the opportunity to check a box that reads something like this: “Send me emails on product updates and promotions.” If shopping cart reminders are a part of that description, you should most certainly send one. screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-1-34-13-pm
  4. Utilize Facebook as a retargeting tool. While the holiday season is a popular time to take advantage of this tool, it’s beneficial for year-round use. You can target specific audiences, including anyone who visits the website, people who visit specific pages, people who visit specific pages and not others, people who haven’t visited for a certain period of time, or a custom combination of these.screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-1-37-41-pm
  5. Pixel-based retargeting. This kind of retargeting sends specific ads in a timely fashion to those who have left your website. These ads are based on specific pages and products.
  6. Send a newsletter. If you send a routine newsletter to a set of subscribers, some retargeting members could be within that audience. Don’t completely change the format of the usual newsletter, but add in a reminder or a section at the bottom with the most popular items of the month.
  7. Invest in advanced digital attribution software. This will help you understand the entire customer journey and where you should be allocating retargeting dollars.

The Importance of Retargeting

Retargeting is important because of its correlation to sales. According to, a little more than two percent of the people who visit a site for the first time actually convert. It’s a cost-effective way to remain top-of-mind and increase return on investment (ROI).

When it comes to the big shopping days of the year, retargeting is even more important. Since holiday campaigns take months to prepare and build, you don’t want to come out of this season with low sales. Retargeting can be the solution.

2017 Social Marketing Planning Guide

Retargeting is also seen as a new way to expose your brand — the messaging, the outlet, and more. It can serve as a test to see what works and what doesn’t. Maybe you will want to utilize some of your retargeting ideas in your actual campaign next time.

Last but not least, retargeting comes with some pretty solid statistics. According to curated findings on LinkedIn:

  • 26% of customers who are exposed to retargeting will return to the website, according to a study conducted by SeeWhy. Only 8% return without retargeting.
  • 42% of retargeting is used to build brand awareness.
  • 63% of marketers take retargeting budgets from display advertising.
  • The average click-through rate for display ads is .07%, and the average click-through rate for retargeted ads is .7%.

Like everything else, there can be negatives, but many of them can be prevented by going about the situation the right way. Two common negatives for retargeting are expense and intrusiveness.

When it comes to being expensive, the best thing to do is incorporate retargeting into your overall budget ahead of time. This way, when sales aren’t where you hoped they would be, you won’t have to scrape up extra funds at the last minute.

Intrusion is a common annoyance for many Internet consumers today. For retargeting, a good practice is to break ads into segments to make sure they’re at least relevant to the people who see them. It’s also beneficial to rotate between three to five ads so that consumers do not get frustrated seeing the same one over and over again. Lastly, set the frequency. You want the frequency to be high enough to remember, but low enough to avoid being overwhelming. Through this, you’ll find your happy medium.

Remember, do your homework. Set aside a time to test retargeting efforts and keep track of analytics. One market differs from the next, so it’s important to figure out what works for yours, as well as your specific brand.

Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

Holiday Planning Guide for Social Marketers


Lyndi Catania

Lyndi Catania is on the marketing team at Huemor, a web design agency located in Farmingdale, New York.

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