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Ad Retargeting Strategy: Essential for your Marketing Funnel

What happens to the people who visit your website but never click the CTA, call, email you or fill out a short form?

What about the people that you see “open” your emails in your email campaigns? Why don’t they contact you?

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 they just got 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.

Retargeting technology gives you the opportunity to make a second, third, fourth impression and more.

What is retargeting?

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

For example, if you visit the website of a mortgage company, you might later see an ad for that lender while shopping on Wayfair, watching a “how-to” video or reading a news story.

This is called “site retargeting.”

Site retargeting is nothing new and many lenders have been using it for years. B2B marketers in the mortgage industry are warming up to it quickly.

I see many companies on both sides taking advantage of this as it’s been around for years. But many still don’t believe in its effectiveness, maybe because 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 you visit the website of a retail mortgage lender, one of several you plan to investigate based upon recommendations you received. Or, maybe you’re comparing different LOS’s, CRM’s, appraisal or servicing software.

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

Now, when you load a web page that has ad space for sale on it, in real-time the retargeting company will bid on that ad space and serve up the company’s ad if they have the winning bid.

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

Retargeting historically has most often 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, like mortgages and technology for mortgage companies.

5 Essential Ad Retargeting Strategies:

  1. Build brand recognition/recall with a custom audience: Given the longer sales cycle for mortgage industry products and services, retargeting can be a great way to get and stay in front of your prospects in a particular vertical, geography or lifecycle stage, warming them up to your brand. This awareness will also add lift to other campaign elements offline as well as online. This approach helps build trust in your brand, a lot of which is needed for bigger ticket decisions.
  1. Retarget those who spend time on your site: As mentioned earlier, there are many reasons why people don’t convert. They could have gotten distracted, forgotten the name of your company or continued on 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 offering 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.
  1. Cross-selling: Many companies in the mortgage 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 at a later date.
  1. 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. Make sense?
  1. 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. 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.  

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