Effective Retargeting: Driving Results in the Mortgage and Real Estate Industry

What happens to the potential clients who visit your website but never click the CTA, call, email you or fill out the form? What about those who merely “open” your emails without taking further action?

There are many reasons why people don’t take the time to pursue the next step with your company.

They could be comparison shopping, conducting research on a specific topic, casually browsing, or maybe getting distracted by a phone call or a pet.

Whatever the reason, the bottom line is they’re now gone. The first impression you made can be quickly forgotten once they move on. Somehow, you need to recapture their attention with information that will help them in their quest for knowledge as they move down the pathway towards a final decision on who they will choose to do business with.

Retargeting technology allows you to make a second, third, fourth impression, or more.

What is retargeting?

Everyone reading this post has been retargeted before. However, for those of you who are unfamiliar, retargeting is the practice of targeting consumers with online advertising based on their previous online activity.

Retargeting is a strategy that can be used by any type of company in the mortgage or real estate industries, including lenders, real estate brokerages or any kind of vendor that provides industry-related products or services on a B2B or B2C level.

For example, if a potential homebuyer visits a mortgage or real estate website, that prospect might later see an ad for that company while shopping on Wayfair, watching a “how-to” video or reading a news story.

This is called “site retargeting.”

Even though it’s been around for years, many still don’t believe in its effectiveness. Maybe they tried it before, and it didn’t work for them or have the mistaken belief that it hurts more than helps due to perceived intrusiveness or violation of privacy.

These issues are easily resolved with a good strategy developed from a place of experience.

How does retargeting technology work?

Let’s say a potential homebuyer visits the website of a retail mortgage lender, one of several they plan to investigate based upon recommendations received. Or maybe a mortgage lender or real estate brokerage is comparing different vendor solutions to enhance their operations or processes.

Once the prospect lands on that website, a tracking tag on the page(s) visited places a “cookie” in their browser. This tracking tag is inserted by a retargeting company like AdRoll, Fetchback, ReTargeter or another. This cookie is a piece of JavaScript code that resides on the page(s) visited and is designed to follow them across the web, incrementally serving up ads in real time created by the company whose site was visited.

Now, when a web page with ad space for sale is loaded, the retargeting company will bid on that ad space and serve up the company’s ad if that company has the winning bid.

If the prospect were to click on that ad and revisit the page, fill out a form and submit it, that company’s website would (or should) insert a “burn pixel” in the prospect’s browser so that they no longer receive ads from that company. A burn pixel is a snippet of code that will untag a visitor so that visitor no longer receives ads…one of several best practices associated with retargeting.

Historically, retargeting has been used, and is highly effective, in selling products with very short sales cycles…like shoes, electronics, furniture, and the like.

However, the practice has gained plenty of momentum with B2B and B2C marketers that provide services with much longer sales cycles.

5 Essential Ad Retargeting Strategies:

  • Build brand recognition/recall with a custom audience: Given the longer sales cycle for mortgage and real estate industry-oriented products and services, retargeting can be a great way to get and stay in front of your prospects, warming them up to your brand. This awareness will also add lift to other campaign elements offline and online. In addition, this approach helps build trust in your brand, a lot of which is needed for bigger ticket decisions.
  • Engaging past visitors who showed initial interest: As mentioned earlier, there are many reasons why people don’t convert. They could have gotten distracted, forgotten your company’s name, or continued with some comparison research. Or maybe they didn’t stick around long enough to learn about the great features of your product. In any of these cases, retargeting is valuable.You can retarget your prospects with additional information about the features of your offer or send them more information based on their activity. Something may strike a chord and encourage them to revisit your site and give your offering deeper consideration. Time on site is a good indicator of interest. Don’t waste your time and money retargeting those who spend less than ten seconds on your site because they may have come there by mistake.
  • Cross-selling: Many companies in the mortgage and real estate industry have cross-selling and up-selling opportunities with their clients. Therefore, after an initial conversion for one product or service, you may then retarget that same customer with ads for other products and services that may fit their needs now or later.
  • Retarget by the number of visits to a page on your site: If someone keeps coming back to a certain page, pages or category of pages on your website, create a separate retargeting campaign for them. For example, if certain people are making frequent visits to product description or case study pages, they are further down the funnel and should be retargeted with deeper level information than other site visitors.
  • Ad sequencing: Similar to email sequencing, you may have determined a sequence of messages that, when sent to your audience, helps them narrow their consideration set and eventually become a client. Accordingly, develop a sequence of ads to be sent to a specific target audience that keeps them moving along the buyer pathway.

To be clear, retargeting should never be a stand-alone tactic. However, retargeting combined with many other communications tactics in a comprehensive strategy will give your brand and conversion rates an incredible lift!

If you would like help with developing a retargeting strategy or improving the performance of a current strategy, contact us.