Remarketing doesn’t need to be weird, creepy or intrusive

A few years ago, something very strange on the internet started to happen. When somebody visited a website, ads promoting that website started following them around. In some cases, almost immediately. Welcome to the birth of ‘Remarketing’.

With the meteoric raise in popularity of Remarketing, combined with increasingly desperate publishers trying to monetize content by adding more and more ad units, some of which are incredibly intrusive and interfere with the readers experience, have resulted in where we are today; millions upon millions of web users utilizing ad blocking software. Frankly, it’s all a bit of a mess, and it’s hard to attribute real blame, since so many parties are complicit.

Much of the blame however does fall at the feet of Remarketing, mainly (and perhaps unfairly) at the advertiser that buys the space.

This leaves advertisers with a big problem because Remarketing campaigns do often yield very good results, as they do provide an opportunity to re-engage potential customers, yet they often damage the reputation of the brand.

So, the question is, how can brands use Remarketing in an effective way, without leaving consumers freaked out, creaped out, or just plain annoyed?

We have some suggestions.

Make it useful.210H

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when running Remarketing campaigns is to be useful, and to enhance the customer experience. Don’t just send them back to your homepage, or to pages
they have already visited, but rather use Remarketing to put new, related content in front of customers that have visited certain pages, or viewed specific products or services. For example, a white paper, a study or new blog post. This appraoch can help to build relationsships with prospects by adding value, and brand authority.

Segment your audience.

The likelihood is that there are distinctions in your customers, sometimes subtle, sometimes not. Either way, create as many different audience lists as possible, then run Remarketing campaigns with specific messaging, relevant to the content they have consumed.

Go deep.

However good your marketing is, there is a really good chance that many people find your homepage when they are actually looking for something else. Avoid Remarketing to these people, and those that are probably never likely to become a paying customer by only showing your Remarketing ads to those that have managed to find pages that sit deeper in your website, or pages that show intent. For example, a content page.

Use frequency capping.

Although it’s tempting, resist the urge to blast your audience with the same ads over and over again. This is a sure fire way to annoy the hell out of them. Try to limit each person to between 5-10 ads per day.

Mix up your creative.

Ad creative can get pretty old, pretty quick. Keep in mind that your customers maybe seeing a number of your ads every day, even when using stingy frequency capping, so switch it up as often as you can. Even if the messaging is the same, the design can be different, keeping it fresh. Also, the longer you leave the ad running, the less impactful it becomes, since users will likely become immune to it.

Also, use different ad formats. This will allow your ads to run your ads on more publisher sites, and use tighter frequency capping without sacrificing reach, and click volume.

Give it a rest once in a while.

Switching your Remarketing ads off once in a while can do a lot of good. Yes, if your campaigns are performing well, you will not want to go quiet, but in the longer term, giving your customers a breather can actually improve results.

Be selective with your placements.

Remarketing ads can become a lot more creepy if they start showing up on webpages that have nothing to do with your business or products. It’s completely fine to run your Remarketing ads on popular news and entertainment sites, but if yor ads start showing up when a visitor is helping his daughter research her school history assignment, it may start to feel harassing, and thus damaging your brand.