Vergil Kanne
Interactive Producer at Tactica Interactive
Vergil Kanne
Interactive Producer at Tactica Interactive

Remarketing: Hit up a user a second time for another chance at conversion

May  2010 / 6 1 Comment

Google Remarketing Privacy Concerns

I once went fishing and caught a medium-sized Pike. Just before pulling him out of the water, he flipped his head and got off the hook. Annoyed, I continued to reel the lure, minus the fish, back in, when – WHAP – I saw the fish’s head come splashing out of the water and hit the lure. I sunk the hook and reeled the fish into shore.

The same fish had bit the same lure twice. I wondered how a fish could be so dumb.

A user who clicks on a contextual ad can be considered qualified traffic. A user who clicks on the same ad a second time – well, you’re much closer to reeling in a conversion.

Google explains remarketing as:

Imagine you’re a travel company, and you’re trying to excite users during the holiday season about deals to tropical Caribbean destinations. Users may come to your website, browse the offers and think about booking a trip, but decide that the deal is still not cheap enough. Then, they continue to browse the web. If you later decide to offer discounted deals to the Carribean, how do you reach these users who have already expressed interest in travelling there?

To help you do this, this week we’re rolling out a new feature called remarketing. Any AdWords advertiser can use remarketing to reach users as they’re browsing the web on sites within the Google Content Network. Remarketing is a simple way to connect with users, based on their past interactions with your website.

According to Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land,

You might be inclined to call this “behavioral targeting” and so did I on the phone with Google yesterday. However, Google doesn’t like that term and finds it imprecise. In addition there’s a stigma associated with it among privacy groups and to some degree the FTC (and maybe some regulation coming in the near future). Thus Google uses the more positive term “Interest Based Advertising”.

Hitting up users a second time, and mechanisms to accomplish this are really nothing new. Examining successful squeeze pages highlights one common approach to facilitating the second conversion attempt. Many aggressive squeeze pages give users a bail-out option midway down the page in the form of an e-mail newsletter sign-up. This give the site owner a second chance to push further marketing at a user interested enough to qualify themselves as a lead, but not convince enough (yet) to take action.

The difference between this more passive approach and Google’s remarketing functionality, is that it happens without the user’s knowledge or consent, behind the scenes serendipity.

What a coincidence, I clicked on that ad yesterday and today it’s half price.

Photo credit: Jonathan Macintosh

  • Especially with big ticket items, you can expect that a visitor won’t make a purchase on their first visit to your site. It may take several visits, or even a different strategy such as an email contact before they make up their mind to purchase. This is a normal part of the shopping process, but it’s only been recently that marketers have focused on tracking these multitouch conversions.

    So much ad money is wasted on displaying ads to people who have no interest in the product being advertised… If you can focus your ads on people who have shown some interest in your product, this is very efficient use of your budget. It looks like AdWords’ remarketing feature is quite powerful — a couple great strategies I see are targeting visitors who’ve abandoned their shopping cart, and targeting buyers a certain time after they’ve made a purchase.

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