If you’ve ever shopped for anything on the internet—and I do mean anything—you’ve probably been retargeted.
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That’s when website owners show you ads only if you’ve already visited their website. It can also be described as remarketing. They typically work better than other forms of display ads because the person seeing the ad has already seen some of your message, brand or company.
Retargeting has taken paid display media placement by storm. Where, general display targeting has its merits, there’s something that’s crazy-effective about retargeting visitors of your website who didn’t convert.
It’s a powerful tool for internet marketers, but it must be carefully balanced to avoid annoying your potential guests.
As a “power” internet user as well as an internet marketing professional, I’m on both sides of this coin. I create ads that target those who’ve visited my website, and I also get targeted by them. Therefore, I’m always on the lookout for companies that do retargeting well versus those that are heavy-handed.
When it comes to vacation rentals, the bigger players in the space use retargeting fairly frequently. If you leave any of the larger websites in the vacation rental and hotel industry, you’re likely to see their ads on Facebook, Twitter and throughout the web.
The first few times, you expect it. Remarketing ads can delight users because the users are seeing ads that are more relevant and targeted to them than general display ads. But with poor management, you can upset potential guests and customers with over-aggressive targeting. Here are some quick tips for both sides to better manage retargeting:
1. Include Offers
A great way to kick-start a good click-through-rate on your retargeting ads is to include an offer in your creative ad. It’s a bonus for both the customer (an enticing offer always appeals to me!) and the results of the display campaign. I will caution businesses here: always including offers could create bad scenarios where your shoppers always expect a deal and therefore never actually convert into a booking on your website the first time.
2. Limit Frequency
Every ad platform has a method for showing you what your display ad frequency is. Google even has a dedicated setting to limit this for fear of over-targeting customers. My general rule of thumb is to target people no more than 15 impressions per day and for no longer than a month. Depending on the lifecycle of your average booking, you may want to tweak these numbers. Having longer sales processes can be tricky, but adjusting these numbers with testing will likely show you the best settings for you.
We’ve probably all been on the wrong side of a web advertiser who has gone a bit overboard with retargeting. It can cause people to get annoyed by your brand so much that they’ll vow never to return for fear of being targeted too aggressively again.
3. Rotate Creative
Perhaps the most common way I get frustrated at display ads is the same creative over and over. Companies like Perfect Audience retarget heavily if you visit their site, but I see several different ad creatives. If you’re going to show your ad more than a few times per day to customers, have different creatives in your ad account to limit the amount of “Ugh, I’ve seen that so many times before!” reactions.
4. Test, Test, Test
To sum it up, ABT: Always Be Testing.
You never know what’s going to click with your audience or entice the consumer. Perhaps an ad that worked very well with vacation rentals in Florida doesn’t resonate with your customers in Colorado.
When you’re always testing, everyone wins.
Potential guests win because they are seeing more relevant ads in their web browsing experience, which is a win for publishers and readers. If readers click through more often on ads, the publishers or ad networks make more money, allowing them to be profitable and maintain the content they provide to you.
Advertisers win because they see greater ROI from their display advertising budgets by bringing back lost customers. It’s always great to bring amazing retargeting ad results to your boss and show them the concrete value of investment in advertising.