Retargeting campaigns often cost less (with lower CPCs) and convert more, making them the ultimate win-win situation for advertisers.
Since users are more likely to engage with ads from brands they know and trust, it’s pretty much a win-win-win situation.
These seven retargeting strategies are all excellent ways to connect with users in different stages of the funnel, so test them out and see what works well for your business.
Well, you have to read the post first! 😉
I’m a big fan of The Office, and I’ve seen each episode at least a half-dozen times. There’s a lot of great scenes, but one that always sticks out to me is the scene where Michael is trying to prove how much business knowledge he has, and Ryan asks him whether it’s cheaper to sign a new customer or keep an existing client relationship ongoing. Michael immediately answers a new client, but the answer is the opposite.
Every time I see this scene, I think of how many businesses could use this reminder when it comes to their marketing.
Yes, attracting new users in cold audiences is absolutely essential, because you need to be drawing new people in to survive churn rates and grow.
Still, it’s exceptionally true that you also need to be connecting with the audience you have to reduce churn rates, and it is both cheaper and easier to maintain customer relationships instead of having to go out and find a new one.
That’s where the beauty of retargeting comes into play.
It allows you to reach out to users who you already have a relationship with -in any capacity- and try to get them to purchase or re-engage with your brand.
This can require establishing complex sales funnels, but you can also use these seven easy Facebook Ad retargeting strategies to build those relationships and get conversions quickly.
1. The “Slow and Steady” Strategy
As a Millennial, I’ve done my fair share of online dating. And I can tell you one thing that immediately turned me off from a lot of guys was when they wanted to rush into things too quickly. I had not one, not two, not three, but four different adult men ask me to label “the relationship” before our first lukewarm date over coffee was over.
I wish I was kidding.
These guys had no chill, and the concept of “slow and steady” had clearly never occurred to them.
Don’t make this same mistake with your Facebook Ads, especially when you are building a funnel for cold audiences. It’s called a funnel for a reason, after all.
Instead, remember that slow and steady always wins the race (and the customer!).
Ease customers into your relationship with you.
Start with a brand awareness ad that’s simply meant to introduce you to your audience. Sure, some may click and convert immediately, but there’s a good chance many won’t. That’s ok though- you can run a retargeting campaign that shows your ad to users who saved or engaged with your previous ad. At this point, you can focus on conversions or lead generation a little more heavily.
A great way to do this is to use a video ad for your first ad, as it gives you a great medium to tell your brand’s story.
Then, create a custom audience off of users who watched at least half of your video (indicating strong interest). This can be found by clicking on “Engagement” when creating a custom audience, and then choosing “video.”
Now you can hit them with a retargeting ad that contains more offers that can entice them to click.
You can also create custom audiences off users who have engaged with Canvas or Collection Ads and show them specific products.
You can find these options under the “Fullscreen Experience,” which is categorized under the “Engagement” custom audience category.
2. The “Dangling the Apple” Strategy
What’s the last thing that you were oh-so-tempted to buy, but held off despite really, really, reallywanting to go ahead and buy right now?
I think we’ve all been there, whether it’s a new pair of shoes (guilty), a new cooking appliance (also guilty), or a video game (not guilty, finally). Maybe we’re just trying to stick to a budget, and we may initially resist the item at first. But then it pops up in our Facebook feed, and it feels like fate, and it’s just a little too tempting, and we convert.
This is how I’ve gotten both my pasta maker and my favorite pair of boots. No regrets.
When customers have visited different product pages of your site, that indicates strong interest and purchase intent. It is, after all, very uncommon to have a large number of users end up on a product page if they’re not interested in buying something similar.
Using dynamic ads and custom audiences from a website to dangle that proverbial apple in front of the customer on Facebook is an excellent way to keep you at the forefront of their mind. It can help you get the conversion, and as a bonus, it may even steal a sale from your competition in the process. 😎
To make this strategy most effective, target users who visit specific pages, but exclude those who purchased. You can do this by excluding users who “visited” your order confirmation page.
Note that you shouldn’t omit users just for viewing a cart, because this is an excellent opportunity to push abandoned cart users to convert, which is an enormous source of untapped revenue for almost all businesses.
3. The “I Can’t Get Over You” Strategy
We’ve all gotten an email so far out of the blue from an ex that it feels a little jarring. Fortunately, that same effect doesn’t carry over into the business world. This is one area where it’s not super creepy to follow up months or years after a relationship seems to have run its course.
There’s a lot of room for customer growth with re-engagement campaigns.
All businesses (including mine) have clients who seem to have drifted off, but in reality are almost there waiting in the wings, ready for you to swoop them back into the fold. It’s just up to you to do so.
Retargeting campaigns explicitly designed to connect with users who haven’t purchased from you or engaged with your site within a set period of time is the way to go for this particular strategy.
How long will depend on your audience and business; I’ve seen retargeting campaigns in this category as soon as three months after the last purchase, and as long as one year.
However long you decide, though, you can upload a custom audience of users from your email list who haven’t engaged or opened your emails recently. This is information that many CRMs and email service providers can give you, and you can use it to your advantage.
Don’t worry about being subtle here!
A nice big headline of “We miss you!” can actually be exceptionally effective for this strategy,especially if you combine it with a tempting offer that’s good enough to bring disengaged users back into enthusiastic customers (or even just customers).
4. The “If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It” Strategy
Some retargeting campaigns will involve specific funnels that include offers based around specific entry touchpoints or audience characteristics.
For large businesses, however, there may also be some retargeting campaigns that are evergreen.
Dynamic ad campaigns are an excellent example of this sort of evergreen campaign that you can continue running as long as the metrics are good and the campaigns are profitable.
Here’s why: some of these evergreen campaigns are designed to be a broad appeal, and they’ll continue to be shown to users who interact at certain stages of the funnel.
Because of this, the ad campaigns may be triggered by specific actions, so they’ll always feel relevant to the new user, even if the same exact campaign has been running for a little while.
This is particularly true for dynamic ad campaigns, which by nature will feel exceptionally personalized to the user even though it’s nothing more than an auto-generated template (an example of which can be seen below).
All that being said, however, keep a close eye on ongoing campaigns.
While you can leave specific dynamic ad retargeting campaigns on autopilot to an extent, you still need to always monitor them closely.
Things can change in the blink of an eye, so while you shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken, you should also be watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t break when you aren’t looking, so to speak.
5. The “Uh, Did You Forget Something?” Strategy
If customers have added something to their cart and then left without converting, there may be several reasons for this.
It’s entirely possible that they forgot. It’s also possible that they wanted to price out other options, or see what the full cost would be, including shipping and processing before purchasing.
Sometimes, though, there’s a little bit more of a sneaky answer: some are actually contemplating, but want to wait to see if you’ll send a coupon code your way. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t done this once for that new mixer I wanted from Williams-Sonoma.
No matter what the reason is, abandoned cart shoppers are high-intent potential customers, and you don’t want to let them pass you by.
The global cart abandonment rate is currently sitting at around 75%; imagine if you could get even a third of them to go ahead and convert.
As long as you have a “view cart” option on your site, this is an easy custom audience to set up.
You can set up inclusionary and exclusionary targeting, ensuring that people who have seen your “View Cart” pages (and even preliminary checkout pages, if you choose) but have not seen your order confirmation page will see your ad.
Add an introductory offer to these ads, either with a hefty discount of 15-20% or with the offer of free shipping.
This can convince users to purchase for the first time and help you to drive conversions that you would have lost otherwise.
6. The “Achievement Unlocked” Strategy
Increasing numbers of businesses -large and small- are investing into mobile apps. Those apps keep brands relevant, ensuring that it’s as convenient as possible for customers or leads to interact with a brand at any given point.
Apps can do everything from offer value to make it easier for users to purchase.
Bra company Third Love used to have a mobile app that would allow potential customers to submit a (clothed) picture of themselves and the app would determine their bra size, and then the app would offer product suggestions.
Other service-based apps, like Hootsuite‘s, are designed to ensure users can access their tools anywhere.
Use in-app activity to create retargeting campaigns that will move users to the next step of the digital sales funnel.
If someone has viewed a product but not converted, try showing them the products again.
One fantastic use of this that I saw was whenever someone looked at the “upgrade” page in the app, they were hit with a retargeting campaign explaining why they needed the next level of app service.
You can also opt to target your most active users, or users who purchased the most, with high-value exclusive offers, including first access to sales or new release products.
7. The “Perfect Timing” Ads
There are times where a single follow up ad just isn’t going to cut it. In some instances, a user may need to see multiple ad campaigns in a series before they‘ll have gained enough exposure to your brand and what you offer to be comfortable enough to move to the next stage of the funnel.
If you believe this is the case for you, it’s time to look into sequencing ads.
This retargeting strategy works by setting specific time windows on each individual ad in a multi-ad series, ensuring that users within your target audience are most likely to see those ads in the order you designed to get them to convert.
Decide what windows work for you, and what your most high-value offers are. Then, set up a retargeting campaign from website traffic, and create different individual ads for different timelines.
Here’s how you can do this.
Let’s say you’re working on the ad campaign targeting days 5-8. Include users who have visited your site in the past 8 days, but exclude users who have visited your site in the past 4 days.
This will ensure the right users are seeing the ad.