Retargeting is being called the single most effective method of online marketing today. It allows a brand to follow previous website visitors throughout their browsing on the internet, keeping your brand top of mind.
Here’s how it works:
The user visits your site, browses around but doesn’t buy anything, then leaves your site. What the user doesn’t know is that he or she has been tagged (via a tracking cookie). Your banner ad is then served to this person on future sites he visits, and the messaging can even be customized specifically to what the visitor was viewing on your site. For example, if a user was researching mortgage rates but did not click through to an application, the banner ads he sees on the next sites he visits would relate to your low mortgage rates and ease of applying. The ultimate goal is to have the user click on that banner and come back to your site.
Retargeting is definitely a bit “Big Brother,” but it is effective. It has been proven that retargeting not only helps keep a brand top of mind, but has increased conversion rates for website transactions as well.
Of course, there is some controversy about the practice. Some consumers say they are feeling stalked, especially when the ad is very customized to their website habits. If you are online shopping for shoes but don’t purchase anything , then five minutes later you are served a banner for those same exact shoes, you may start looking over your shoulder. In fact, some experts caution not to customize your banners too much or you may scare off prospects.
Do you utilize retargeting? On the flip side, have you ever felt “watched” online?