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What is good conversion rate, anyway? According to Larry Kim CTO of WordStream, the average landing page conversion rate across industries is 2.35 percent, yet the top 25 percent of companies are converting at 5.31 percent or higher. Better yet, the top ten percent of companies boast a conversion rate of 11.45 percent.

According to website, Adroll, that gulf isn’t just down to landing page design alone. Their research indicates that just two percent of your web traffic converts on the first visit.

So, how do you get people to visit twice — or even more frequently — to boost that conversion rate to where it should be? That’s where retargeting comes in.

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What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a marketing technique that entails displaying ads to people who have recently visited your website or application without converting. By “retargeting” website visitors who didn’t convert the first time, brands can entice website visitors back to their site with reminders about their products or services, discount codes, or personalized messaging.

It’s an effective strategy because it focuses ads on web surfers who have already demonstrated interest in your brand by visiting your website. According to CMO.com, website visitors who have been retargeted are 70 percent more likely to convert on a retailer’s website. “Retargeting is essentially re-engaging with someone who has been to your website, interacted with your social channels, subscribed to your email list, or who has purchased from you in the past,” said Kate Lobel, Director of Public Relations at San Diego, Calif.-based Power Digital Marketing. “It’s extremely important to retarget people when you’re running your marketing campaigns, so your brand stays top of mind when people initially peak interest and visit your site.”

Meisha Bochicchio, Content Marketing Manager at Orlando, FL.-based PlanSource, explained that retargeting works by making use of cookies, a “small snippet of code”, that is placed on the brand’s website which then anonymously “follows” the website visitor right across the web. The cookie is also known as a “pixel”.

Domenica D’Ottavio, Brand Relationship Manager at Fractl, added that there are two methods of retargeting. The first method makes use of a pixel-based tracking code, as Bochicchio mentioned, and the second method utilizes a list-base database such as a CRM or email list. “Pixel-based uses on-site code to track the visitor, while list-base retargeting uses contact information from a database,” said D’Ottavio.

Bochicchio added that the retargeting pixels are available for a “variety of [ad] platforms, including Google Adwords [and] Facebook Ads.”

What are the Benefits of Retargeting?

Digiday reported that the average CTR for a retargeted ad is 10 times higher than a display ad — a statistic that was backed by Martin Berman, head of retail and travel for North America for InMobi. He stated that, in his experience, retargeted customers are “three times more likely to click on an ad than people who haven’t interacted with the business before”.

D’Ottavio also shared his thoughts on additional benefits of retargeting, “With retargeting, you can target a user who has already shown [an] interest in the product or service instead of a mass audience. These types of users will reduce your ad costs, improve click-through rates (CTR), and raise your overall conversions,” explained D’Ottavio.

Furthermore, D’Ottavio pointed out that retargeting can improve brand awareness and build brand recognition during the purchasing process. He continued by saying that, if a person is deciding between you and a competitor, you can, “use retargeting to remind the users about your product or service as they explore the web.”

D’Ottavio also added that retargeting can also play a key role in your content marketing strategy. “You can use [retargeting] to build thought leadership in your niche. [plus], you can target users who have visited content that shows the benefits of your service or product as well as your expertise on the topic,” he noted.

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Common Retargeting Mistakes to Avoid

Retargeting sounds straightforward, but there are some common mistakes that marketers make when retargeting portions of their audience. “One of the most common retargeting mistakes made by marketers is not taking the time to truly segment and customize the ad experience. Retargeting is most effective when it is timely and highly relevant to each individual consumer. Every part of the experience, from the ad copy and the ad creative all the way down to the landing page experience should closely match the consumer intent.” said Bocchicchio.

D’Ottavio further suggested avoiding the use of ads that mimic the design of your website. “Make unique ads for your segmentations, make them stand out [and look refreshing] so users don't get tired of the same branding from your website,” he advised.

Another common mistake, as noted by Lobel, was when brands focus too much of their efforts on their retargeting campaigns. “Retargeting can [exhaust] your existing traffic. If you start to see your retargeting campaigns slow down, ramp up your prospecting campaigns so you can get more traffic to the site and in turn, see a higher return on your retargeting efforts,” Lobel said.

Finally, D’Ottavio highlighted how the frequency of retargeting ads being shown to people can potentially hinder a campaign’s conversion rate. D’Ottavio explained that, “showing your retargeted ads too many times can make people not want ever to revisit your site. You need to limit the ad frequency in your campaigns.”

Is retargeting working for your conversion rate? Share your experience with us in the comments below.