Retargeting is theNew Lead Nurturing:6 Simple Ways to IncreaseOnline Conversions throughDisplay AdvertisingRetargeting is theNew Lead Nurturing:6 Simple Ways to IncreaseOnline Conversions throughDisplay Advertising565 Commercial Street, San Francisco, CA 94111 | 866.497.5505 | www.bizo.com | Follow us on Twitter: @bizo
Retargeting is the New Lead Nurturing:6 Simple Ways to Increase Online Conversionsthrough Display AdvertisingMost marketers who target business professionals relyheavily on email as one of their tried-and-true onlinemarketing channels. And, it’s not hard to see why.The email address is still seen as a window into thebuying soul of the business professional: capture thispiece of information in your marketing database andyou’re set. Target people with relevant content offersand newsletters on a regular basis, monitor theirengagement with a lead nurturing program, and usekey online behaviors—opens, click-throughs, websitevisits to high-value pages—to strike while the iron’shot.While lead nurturing through email should be a solidpart of every online marketer’s strategy, it does haveits limitations. Email marketing relies on a lead’scontact information being known, and inﬂuencing theprospect or customer takes place within the conﬁnesof the inbox. Did your prospect visit your pricing pagein the last two days? Send an email from your salesrep. Did a customer coming up for renewal search fora competitive product recently? Send an email with apromotion. These techniques can be effective, but ifyour potential customers are on email only 8.3% ofthe time that they’re online, you’re missing a huge
opportunity to get in front of them the other 91.7%of the time.1The single best way to ensure that you’re reachingand nurturing your audience whenever and whereverthey are online is through targeted display advertising.And, the technique known as retargeting is one ofthe most powerful ways to increase your onlineconversions. But, before we take a look at how to useretargeting as an effective lead nurturing strategy,let’s ﬁrst examine how it all works.What exactly is retargeting?Retargeting is the ability to serve up relevant displayadvertising to people who have already visitedyour website or landing pages. This is accomplishedby placing a small piece of HTML code on the Webpage(s) from which you’re looking to capture yourretargeting audience. Whenever someone visits oneof these pages, an ad server then loads a retargetingpixel (a clear, single pixel GIF image), drops a cookieonto that person’s machine, (which identiﬁes him orher as part of a speciﬁc retargeting audience), andenables marketers to serve them speciﬁc displayadvertising wherever they may travel on the Web.As an online marketer, you’ve made large investmentsin multiple marketing channels from email to searchDid You Know…More and moremarketers aremoving their adspend online.According tothe InteractiveAdvertising Bureau(IAB), display-related advertisingtotaled nearly $10billion in 2010, whichrepresents a 24%increase from 2009.21“What Americans Do Online: Social Media and Games Dominate Online Activity,”NielsenWire, August 2, 2010.2IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report,” Interactive Advertising Bureau andPricewaterhouseCoopers, May 2011.
to display advertising. And let’s face it—online conversions are hard to come by.Whether you want prospects to download a white paper or register for a freetrial, they may not have the time or are just not interested yet. By incorporatingretargeting across your marketing activities, you can rest assured that peoplewho don’t convert the ﬁrst time aren’t lost forever—you can continue to keep yourmessage in front of them until they are ready to engage with you.How Basic Retargeting WorksYour WebsiteYour WebsiteSIGN UP NOW!SIGN UP NOW!Business NewsWebsiteBusiness NewsWebsiteYour Display Ad:“Limited Time Offer -Sign Up Now!”Your Display Ad:“Limited Time Offer -Sign Up Now!”User visits your website andreceives a retargeting cookieVisitor does not convert,leaves, and visits other siteVisitor receives a display ad witha specific retargeting messageand returns to your websiteWhy is retargeting perfect for lead nurturing?If you think about what constitutes an effective lead nurturing program, it is theability to build strong, trusting relationships with prospects, regardless of theirreadiness to buy. This includes staying top of mind with your brand, addressing theright questions or concerns at all stages of the buying cycle with relevant content,and inﬂuencing all of the individuals involved in the buying decision.
If you have a marketing automation platform, you’re probably already familiarwith setting up automated workﬂows that send out different emails based onyour leads’ speciﬁc demographics or behaviors with the overall goal of nudgingthem further down the sales process. Think of retargeting as accomplishing thesame objective—only this time you don’t have to wait until you have their emailaddresses, and you can reach them beyond the inbox anywhere on the Web.Whether your prospects are on WSJ.com, Citysearch.com, or AOL, you can reachthem wherever they go, and if you also know their business demographics, you canexpose them to even more relevant messaging.Retargeting is proven to increase online conversionsThe idea behind building up a retargeting audience is that the people whocomprise this audience segment have already demonstrated an interest in yourbrand, product, or service, and although they may not have converted the ﬁrsttime around, there is a higher probability that they will convert once they areretargeted. If this sounds familiar to the lead nurturing you do with email, that’sbecause it is! If you send an email to a prospect at the top of the funnel, someonewho is just beginning to research solutions to their business challenges, he or shemay click through and actually purchase, but there is a higher probability thatthey’ll click through to your landing page, download your whitepaper, and comeback another time. In most cases, you’ll need to send additional emails that willnurture them further down the funnel ﬁrst. This is where retargeting comes in—it’syour key to nurturing leads, but instead of being conﬁned within the inbox, you canreach them wherever they go online.6 Simple Ways to Increase Online Conversions through RetargetingNow that we’ve covered how basic retargeting works as well as its role in onlinelead nurturing, let’s dive into the best ways to apply retargeting in your onlinemarketing strategies to increase conversions and sales.
1. Just getting started with retargeting? Don’t be intimidated—all you need is a pixel andone set of retargeting ad creative.Even if you’re new to the area of display advertising, it’s actually quite easy to getstarted with retargeting. As we mentioned earlier, retargeting simply requires apixel to be placed on any Web or landing page for which you’re looking to createa retargeting audience. Next, start simple by developing one set of retargetingad creative to serve these people that don’t convert off of your page(s). Forexample, if you’re developing a retargeting pool based on people that have visiteda landing page for a free trial, they may have not converted because a producttrial may have seemed like too much of a commitment. Instead, why not retargetthem with ad creative that promotes a way for you to keep in touch with them ina “low-commitment” way, such as with an email newsletter? By employing basicretargeting such as this, you’re already on your way to nurturing prospects whoat one point would have just been lost conversions on your landing page. Yourbrand will now be top of mind with this audience, and you can further strengthenyour ad targeting by incorporating business demographics (e.g. industry, companysize, etc.), interest-based targeting, and more.
2. Let the stages of your marketing funnel—from awareness to evaluation to purchase—inﬂuence your retargeting strategies.As with lead nurturing, retargeting can help you prepare your prospect to buywhether they are at the top of the funnel learning about your product or service oreven if they’ve begun to evaluate speciﬁc vendors to solve their business challenge.The great thing about retargeting is that you can tailor your ads to addresswherever your prospects are in the buying cycle. For example, if you have anaudience that has visited your home page and done nothing else, retarget themwith ad creative that focuses on increasing your brand awareness and overall valueproposition. However, if you have a retargeting audience comprised of peoplewho have visited speciﬁc product pages on your website (indicating that they arefurther down the funnel and know what they’re searching for), it would be moreeffective to retarget them with ad creative that addresses the particular featuresand beneﬁts of your products.Typical Sales/Marketing Funnel Retargeting Message Focuses On:AwarenessEducationEvaluationProposalPurchaseAwarenessEducationEvaluationProposalPurchaseBrand/CompanyMain Value PropositionCompetitive DifferentiatorsCustomer SuccessesRetention and RenewalTypical Sales/Marketing Funnel Retargeting Message Focuses On:Use the stages of the marketing/sales funnel to help inform your retargetingstrategies.
3. Over time, develop multiple sets of retargeting creative, be as speciﬁc as you can withyour messaging, and test, test, test.One of the great things about retargeting is that you do get a second (and third,and fourth…) chance to make a ﬁrst impression. It’s not easy to convince prospectswhen they ﬁrst hit one of your landing pages that you’re the solution for them. Andthe length of the average B2B sales process proves this point—it can often takemonths to close a deal, despite numerous emails, phone calls, and other activities.As with other marketing channels, it’s useful to incorporate some A/B testing intoyour retargeting efforts to better optimize your conversions. For example, if youhave a retargeting audience based on people who do not convert on a landingpage promoting a whitepaper download, you could make the assumption that thisaudience may not have time to read through a whitepaper. Why not create twoversions of retargeting creative that address the same topic of interest, but offernew ways of consuming the information: one that offers access to a short videoand the other promoting a subscription to a blog? As you begin to reﬁne yourstrategies and ad creative, and test these over time, you’re likely to see a largerincrease in online conversions.
4. Incorporate business demographic insights into your retargeting to provide evengreater relevancy (and reap more conversions) from your ad creative.Retargeting lets you create more relevant online experiences for your audienceby knowing the Web pages in which they were interested. But, what’s even morepowerful is building in an understanding of who is actually visiting your websiteinto your retargeting efforts. By incorporating into your Web analytics theability to detect key business demographic information about your visitors (e.g.industry, company size, job function, etc.), your display advertising can home inon what matters most to your audience. For example, if your company specializesin ﬁnancial services products, your offers and promotions to C-level executivesfrom Fortune 500 companies would probably differ greatly from those aimedat small business owners. By incorporating business demographics into yourretargeting approach, your messages will have a better chance of resonating withthe right audiences, and will result in improved conversions.Display Ad #1:“Small Businesses: Fee-FreeChecking Accounts for You”Display Ad #1:“Small Businesses: Fee-FreeChecking Accounts for You”Display Ad #2:“The Bank that Fortune 500Companies Rely On”Display Ad #2:“The Bank that Fortune 500Companies Rely On”Landing PageLanding Page“Get the Top-RatedBusiness CheckingAccount”By incorporating business demographic insights into your retargeting efforts, yourdisplay creative can have even greater impact on conversions.
5. Use retargeting to increase your search marketing conversions, including brandedsearch.Search and display have been known to offer a powerful combination to onlinemarketers seeking to increase conversions. In recent research, comScore foundthat “search alone produces an 82% lift in sales from visitors exposed to ads,compared to…119% when search and display are combined.”3The key is providingyour prospects with the most relevant online experience possible, and display ads—especially retargeted ads—can play a huge role by reinforcing your marketing andmessaging.Retargeting helps you better monetize existing investments in search marketing.Think about how you would want to address all of the people that visit your searchlanding pages, but don’t convert. People that are already searching for youonline are potentially more qualiﬁed, “bottom funnel” prospects, which meansthere’s a high probability that they’ll convert versus those who are just educatingthemselves about your solution, industry, or market. Place a retargeting pixel onyour search landing pages and start to create a retargeting audience pool to whichyou’ll serve more targeted ad creative. For example, if you know that users visited alanding page as a result of searching for a speciﬁc business solution you offer, yourretargeted ad creative may want to offer a discount on that solution to help nudgethese visitors closer to a sale.3“The Bottom Line Is Online Ads Work for Branding and Sales,” Laurie Sullivan, MediaPostNews, July 31, 2009.4“When Money Moves to Digital, Where Should It Go?”, September 2010, comScore and ValueClick Media.Did You Know…In a study spurred by the tremendous growth of online advertising,comScore and ValueClick examined the lift in trademark searchesfrom various online targeting strategies. Retargeting provided thegreatest lift in trademark searches at 1,046%.4
6. Boost the power of your email marketing by including retargeting pixels in your HTMLemails.While retargeting can play a powerful role in increasing conversions for anonymousprospects, you can also incorporate the technique into your email marketing tohave even greater impact on those in your email database anywhere they travelonline. By inserting retargeting pixels in your HTML emails, you can create aspeciﬁc retargeting pool for this high-value audience once they open the email ina browser or if they click through to a speciﬁc landing page from the email. Sincethe people in this segment have already opted-in to receiving communicationsfrom you, use retargeting as an opportunity to continue building your company’srelationship and trust with them. For example, you might consider creating adsthat promote a speciﬁc offer to only your loyal email newsletter subscribers.Nurture Leads across the Web with RetargetingTo recap, retargeting can play a huge role in lead nurturing, a strategy that wasonce only reserved for email and “known” prospects. By creating retargetingaudiences for virtually all of their existing online activities, marketers can maintaintheir relationships with prospects across the Web, and turn lost conversions intonew opportunities.565 Commercial Street, San Francisco, CA 94111 | 866.497.5505 | www.bizo.com | Follow us on Twitter: @bizo