Posted by addthree
No matter what type of product you’re offering, how your sales cycle flows, or what the industry you’re in looks like, there are a many different ways that you can leverage remarketing to target your audience.
In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Brian Rauschenbach and Nora Park share their tips and tactics for remarketing success so that you can turn those visits into conversions!
Have you had remarketing success? Leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
“Brian: Hello, I’m Brian Rauschenbach and this is Nora Park. We’re with Add3. We’re a search and display network and agency located here in Seattle. We’re here today to talk about remarketing and Google AdWords. We’ve got a couple of examples of some brands that are probably using remarketing and how they’re going after sort of the same user and some of the advanced tactics, and some ideas and suggestions that we have that have worked with some of our clients and to share them with you.
So, why remarketing, Nora? Why is it so important for brands to be remarketing today?
Nora: So there are a lot of reasons why all brands should really be doing a lot of remarketing. Depending on what type of product you’re offering, your sales cycle, the type of industry you’re in, there are a few different ways that you can really leverage remarketing to target your audience.
Kind of the first one, really, the core, basic reason to do it is to get back in front of customers who visited your site and didn’t take the desired action. They didn’t sign up for your free trial or make a purchase on your site.
So that sort of also links into, if you have more of a type of ecommerce site, the really great way to do it is to reengage those customers who actually spent a lot of time on your site, put things in their shopping cart, maybe even got to the payment page, and didn’t hit the Submit button and actually make a completed purchase. You can get back in front of those users with remarketing, and even use some dynamic product feed remarketing and show them specific products that they looked at.
Brian: Yeah. So I’ve seen that with some sites like Levi’s, where I might put a pair of jeans in a shopping cart, and then I abandon the shopping cart and don’t do the purchase, and then come back, like the next day, and I’m just surfing the web, and then I’ll see that pair of jeans still in there inside of a banner.
Brian: So that’s a dynamic product feed. But it’s a remarketing of that piece.
Nora: Yeah, exactly. It’s going to be really effective.
Another good scenario is to target your existing customers and upsell or cross sell them. So for example, if you’re a software company and you have people who you know have purchased a certain product, based on the way you’ve cookied them and set up your lists, you can show them ads that promote other similar products that somebody who purchased the other product will be likely to buy in tandem, or might also need down the road.
Brian: Okay. These remarketing lists, how is the time piece sensitive? If you have a remarketing list, and you’re like, “I know this person is coming to purchase a product,” and what’s the learning that you can gather from setting up your custom lists with time segments in them?
Nora: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a really great question. A good thing that you should do some testing around is to kind of find out when it’s most effective after that initial purchase, whether it’s 10 days, 20 days, 30 days later, that you can effectively reach that customer. Right away they might say, “You know, I already just gave you some money. I don’t need to make another big software purchase.” But in 30 days, “Well, great, I really like this product. I like this company.” They might be more likely to do that.
Brian: Oh, so it might be like a brand, like a Brenthaven, like I really like their bags. They have a lifetime warranty. I might have just purchased a backpack, but I might be back next month buying an iPad case or whatever.
Nora: Yeah, exactly. So it’s like, great, that kind of leads us into our last one, which is that when you have a really strong brand with really loyal customers, is knowing who those existing customers are, who have made purchases in the past, and being able to reach out to them with other products that you have they might be interested in.
Brian: Okay. So for any of you that might not be using remarketing yet today with your product or brand that you represent, let’s talk a little bit about just setting up campaigns. Where do you find it in the Google AdWords interface, and then what’s your best practices for setting these campaigns up from scratch?
Nora: Yeah, absolutely. It’s pretty simple. Kind of the core is setting up your custom combination lists. So you can go in the AdWords interface to the Audiences section, and that’s where you’ll be able to find the pixels you need to place on your site and then be able to create these lists to segment people based on what pages they’ve visited. So you can add lists based on different products, so if they’ve visited any page related to this certain product, and then you can show them an ad that is aligned with that.
Brian: So the page could be just a URL that’s like the shopping cart URL or the success confirmation page or the thank you confirmation page, if it’s just a sign-up that someone’s looking for.
Nora: Exactly. That’s where you can get really kind of creative and advanced in terms of how you set up the combinations of the list, is to be able to include and exclude people based on how far they got in the cycle. If they did put something in their shopping cart and didn’t reach the confirmation page, you might want to target them separately than somebody who didn’t even put anything in their shopping cart yet.
Brian: So if you have like a subscription-based model for your company and the person has already upgraded, like they’ve upgraded to a Moz Professional account, you don’t want to be following them around and remarketing back to them. So you put them in an exclusion list?
Nora: That’s another great example. When you have a subscription service, to be able to use those exclusion lists to take out people from the remarketing pool that are already subscribed, based on a visit to, for example, a login page using that URL.
Brian: Okay. Great. Then talk to us a little about user segmentation and the duration thing again, why that’s so important.
Nora: Yeah. That one’s important too. You may have some insight already into the sales cycle for your product. So basically, if somebody visits your site, it might take a consideration time of one week up to a month, depending on what it is, before they are actually ready to make a purchase. So you can kind of start and use that as how long you want to set the duration of your cookie pool.
Brian: So these would be good for clients or brands that have, basically, a free trial maybe, and then to upgrade the free trial to a paid trial.
Nora: At the end of that 30 days, or whatever it is. But another great way to do it is just to set up a test and kind of do increments of 10 days, where you give those people, you treat them differently, so you can just see how they act if you target them within 10 days after they first visited your site, within 20 days, and within 30 days.
Brian: Okay. So these are the actual user list pools that you’re doing these time segments?
Brian: Your total cookie pool might be 30,000 users. So after 10 days, you’re cutting off remarketing to those people, and then you go into a 10 to 20-day window and then a 20 to 30.
Brian: Then you’re looking at those as three different lists and their effective CPA that they might be achieving.
Nora: Exactly. So you kind of get those learnings, and then you can start to use some custom messaging. Instead of just saying, the people after 10 days didn’t convert as well, we’ll give them a different message and see if you can get them to convert as well, whether you’re using a promotion code with an expiration date that you put directly in the ad, or offering a higher discount. Or a third example would be . . .
Brian: Well, we’ve got a couple of examples up here. So the discounted example is if you’re booking a flight. This example that we’ve drawn out here is some guys that are planning a mancation to Alaska. So they come in. Someone’s been to Alaska Airlines, and they’re going to pick up a cookie there. Then, a day later, they might be getting a leader board banner that’s targeted to them for a cheaper flight up to Alaska. Then that person’s also looking to get some outdoor gear for that trip, and REI might hit them a couple of days later with a marketing message around free shipping. So it’s basically a promo, one that’s a little bit more time delayed.
Then Airbnb might have a call to action that’s like, “Are you still looking for a cabin to rent?” I think a lot of those, if you make those messages custom, and don’t repurpose what you’re running in your existing AdWords campaigns, but understand the audience that you’re actually remarketing back to these people. They’ve been to your website. So you don’t need to really talk about the brand too much. But give them a promo or a time-sensitive call to action or something that’s like a question.
Brian: Going back to the user segmentation duration thing. I found that, when you ask this to a client a lot of times, like, “What’s sort of your sweet spot of when your person converts,” this is also a way that, if your brand doesn’t really know what that is, you could get the learnings from this.
Nora: Yeah, exactly. It will definitely give you a good idea of where that sweet spot is. Another thing, too, is how many times those people see those ads. So you can set frequency caps, as well as set up the duration settings to see how effective it is to show them 10 ads a day versus 10 ads a month.
Brian: Oh, so there’s a good segue there. After you’ve had your remarketing campaign up and everything is just chugging away, what are some tactics that you’ve sort of used to enhance the remarketing strategy with all this learning that you’re gaining, from setting up custom combination lists to time-delayed market segmentation? What have you been doing to sort of keep the meter going? Because it seems like the remarketing comes out really strong after you’re learning, and then it sort of has a little tail.
Nora: Yeah. With any AdWords campaign, it’s always important to kind of keep up with the marketplace. So optimizing your bids is sort of standard. But something else, the really great thing Google provides, is looking at the managed placement, so the actual list of the sites that your ad showed up on and the performance by each of those sites, so you can find that maybe there are 20 sites . . .
Brian: Maybe some pockets.
Nora: Yeah. Either a category of sites or just specific sites that you can bid higher on that will allow your ad to show in more prominent positions, potentially more above the fold, and just more frequently.
Brian: Then, on sort of the bid management side of things, I’ve seen some different market or duration list segments where I see if you’ve run 10, 20, 30, 40 day segments, sometimes they’ll pause out, like the 30 or 40, and then really focus in on the ones that are very optimal. Then you mentioned frequency caps. What’s a good generic setting for frequency caps, given that some of these ads might appear below the fold, and so even if you’re winning in this auction against three different brands, what should you have your frequency cap set to?
Nora: Generally, let some of the initial data kind of show you where that drop-off is. You actually can see in Google, after how many impressions in a given week, where your click-through rate starts to drop off or your conversion rate starts to drop off. I’ve typically seen that it’s around eight a week.
Brian: Eight a week. Okay. That’s good to know. So we talked a little bit about some Google beta programs that are out there. There are a couple other ones that we’re testing with different clients that are in different verticals, so it makes sense for them. Can you talk about any of those?
Nora: Yeah. The one I think I’m most excited about that we’ve started to test and see some great success with is the search companion beta. What that does is it enables you to remarket to people who haven’t necessarily been to your site. So you choose keywords that you want to retarget. So anybody who’s searched for those keywords on Google, then when they are on sites that are part of the Google Display Network and accept AdSense ads, then you can get in front of them that way.
Brian: So if you were brand like REI and someone did a search for hiking shoes, and then they visited the REI website, can then one of their competitors, like an outdoor emporium or, something like that, go after that user even though they didn’t even visit the site?
Nora: Yeah, absolutely.
Nora: So they would just say anybody who searches for hiking shoes, we want to be able to remarket to them.
Brian: Okay. So that’s a pretty powerful beta that’s out. How about anything in YouTube? Have you done any work with their network?
Nora: Yeah. That’s another great opportunity, that Google allows you to kind of repurpose your remarketing list and show YouTube ads, in-stream ads. It’s within the same log-in account, and they kind of talk to each other. You can set up a campaign and use that same list of people.
Brian: So this is the same custom combination list, but just in YouTube.
Nora: Exactly. Exactly.
Brian: So you don’t have to just throw impressions away, basically.
Nora: Yeah. So it makes it really targeted.
Brian: Well, cool. Well, we’ve been doing a lot of discovery with remarketing here this last year and paying close attention to it, because all these new beta programs are coming out. Do you think that there’s going to be an end to this?
Nora: Probably not.
Brian: This is our industry crack we have right now. What do you think is going to be on the horizon with Google?
Nora: I’m sure more like this. With traditional remarketing, you’re sort of capped in terms of how much you can grow just based on the visits you’re getting to the site in a given month. Something like the search companion beta really opens that up to a much larger population of available impressions. It just makes the marketplace that much bigger. So I’m sure that they’ll come up with more things along the same lines.
Brian: We forgot to mention that, in order to sort of participate in this universe, you do need to have content running, right?
Nora: Yeah, absolutely. That’s what the campaign setting is.
Brian: So this used to be one of those check boxes that you used to leave unchecked, but now it’s like the Google Content Network or the Google Display network, it’s pretty big now, right? Quality’s really gone up on it.
Nora: Yeah, absolutely. There are so many different ways you can target the Google Network. Remarketing is just one of them. But it’s sort of part of the same thing, where you can target on the Google Display Network by keyword content, categories, and interests as well.
Brian: Then if you didn’t have the resources to get banner creative, this stuff can also just be contextual only, right?
Nora: Yeah. You can use text ads. Actually, Google has a really cool thing called the Google Display Ad Builder, and they will just kind of take images from your site and put banners together themselves. I’ve actually used that, and they look really great. It’s a free and effective way for some clients that might not have the resources to get their ads out there.
Brian: I was going to say that kind of sounds a little scary, if they’re just grabbing images from your site.
Nora: Well, you get to see them. You have a lot of choices in terms of the layout and the language, and they actually look great. I don’t know how they pick the right images, but from what I’ve seen, they do a really good job.
Brian: Okay, cool. Well, I think that sort of wraps up our segment on remarketing. We’ll be online listening and replying back to any commentary or any questions that you might have. Thanks.
Nora: Thank you.”
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