When you are running a business in the twenty-first century, you need to have an online presence. A robust online presence is important because it allows you to reach customers wherever they are. There are so many advertisements in the modern day that most customers actually tune them out. They either ignore the advertisements because they’re so ubiquitous or they block them. On their computers, people often use ad blockers. They also use DVRs to avoid watching television commercials. Retargeting provides a way to reach these people, however. Retargeting is a way of identifying customers who have expressed an interest in your products in some way.
Very often, potential customers will put products into their cart on your website but then won’t actually check out. This can happen for several different reasons. It could be that they have decided that they don’t want your products, and as a result they close the window; alternately, it could be that they have simply forgotten that they had these items in their cart. Whatever the case may be, these customers have clearly expressed an interest in your products at one time. So, if they have signed up for a mailing list or newsletter from you, they would be good customers to re-target. You could send them an email or an SMS message to remind them that they still have items in their cart. You could also offer them similar items at a different price point.
If someone has made a purchase from you, you should encourage them to sign up for some kind of mailing list or newsletter. That will allow you to send them messages from time to time offering promotions. The point of re-targeting is specificity, however. You don’t want to just send customers some random message that might or might not be relevant. Standard advertisements are great for attracting first-time customers, but if you’re retargeting customers, you will want to approach them with something more specific.
For example, if someone buys a pair of running shoes, you might re-target them in a few weeks with offers for socks, running shorts, and other running gear. You could also wait a few months and re-target them with offers on that same pair of shoes. You would want to wait about five or six months to re-target them in this manner, as that time frame would hopefully line up with when they need a new pair of running shoes. That is the strength of re-targeting: it offers you the opportunity to focus on specifics that will likely cut through all the noise of other advertisements.
Lastly, you could also target customers with items that complement products they have purchased in the past or which are in their cart. For example, you could identify customers that have put a lot of books in their cart, and you could then email them an offer for book ends. That would complement their new books. While re-targeting is still just advertising, it feels less intrusive because it is genuinely helpful. The key is to be specific to the potential customer’s needs.
Retargeting is a trend in both digital and direct sales. Even Google uses this technique to find potential customers. According to folks at Funnel Metrics, retargeting brings more qualified leads than cold calling.