When retargeting, applying good techniques is essential to maximize its effectiveness. Indeed, it is not enough to repeat the same message to the target audience to convince them to buy. Subsequent exposures to content proposed by the company can be decisive in generating the purchase decision, but if they are not well designed they can instead create an annoyance or even repulsion in the potential buyer.
Before describing some extremely effective retargeting techniques, let’s clarify what is meant by retargeting.
What is Retargeting?
By retargeting we mean any online action aimed at re-proposing corporate content to users who have already come into contact with the company and its contents, with a greater preference for those who have expressed an explicit interest by implementing any form of interaction with the original content (for example with a like, a comment, a share, a click on the link, etc.).
This repetition can take place mostly using advertising campaigns, emails or messages on messengers. The recipients of the messages are users who have interacted with previous campaigns, have visited the site or its specific pages, have placed products in the cart or have purchased them, or have entered into a relationship with the company by communicating via email, chat, or other online channels.
Usually, the term retargeting is considered synonymous with remarketing, but in reality, there is a difference, which mostly depends on the way in which the messages arrive at the user. We talked about it in more detail in our article about the difference between retargeting and remarketing.
In summary, retargeting serves to maintain active and prolonged communication with the user who has come into contact with the company. In this way the chances that a conversion (a sale, a subscription to a service, a subscription to an event, etc.) can be obtained increases considerably.
The mere-exposure effect and retargeting
The basic principle of retargeting is the so-called mere-exposure effect. It is a psychological phenomenon for which when a certain object is presented more often than others, the impression is generated that it is more important and significant than others of the same kind. It is closely related to the familiarity principle, according to which what is more familiar tends to be preferred to what is less or not at all. One of the conditions that make something familiar is the number of times a person has come into contact with it.
In marketing this principle finds a direct application: the higher the number of times a person comes into contact with the company (the so-called touchpoints or contact points ) in any way, the more the likelihood that they will buy the products or services in preference to all the others available belonging to the same product category. And this is only because that brand and its products are more familiar to her, thus leading her to believe that for this reason alone they are better than the others.
Touchpoints and retargeting
Among digital marketing techniques for businesses, retargeting is one of the most effective and easily manageable ways in which a company can increase the points of contact with the customer. One of the formulas now taken for granted by many marketers and sales managers is that to bring a potential customer to the threshold of purchase, between 7 and 13 touch points must be produced on average. It means that the chances of a customer deciding to buy a product from the company before coming into contact with the company at least 7 times are extremely low.
Retargeting allows you to quickly multiply exposures to company messages by quickly increasing touchpoints and therefore making the brand more familiar, with the effect of increasing the likelihood of triggering a purchase.
It works like this: a user who enters the company site registers a touchpoint that is detected by the tracking systems applied to the site. These systems can be various social media pixels, email marketing software trackers, advertising platform cookies, etc. In this way, it is possible to identify the users who have made the first contact with the company and program a subsequent exposure to a new message to serve as a new touchpoint. This message may take the form of an advertisement, an email with specific content, a direct message in a chat, etc. The channels in which it will be displayed can be of various types, depending on the type of retargeting techniques adopted
However, it is not possible to reduce everything to a simple quantitative analysis of the repetitions of the potential customer’s exposure to the company’s messages. If it is true that any subsequent re-exposure however increases familiarity with the brand – and at the same time brand awareness or brand awareness – it is also undeniable that certain retargeting messages can annoy the user and therefore rather than bring him closer to the favorable purchase decision they end up push it towards competing brands.
To create effective and engaging touchpoints, it is not enough to simply re-present the image of a product that the potential customer has seen in a company e-commerce website tab. It is necessary to create messages that, step by step, arouse a growing interest in the brand and products and above all manage to create an increasingly intense involvement.
To obtain this result, it is necessary to think of more creative forms and retargeting techniques, in which the messages develop over time a real cognitive or emotional path capable of captivating the potential customer up to generating the purchase decision. Here are some ways and techniques that allow you to make retargeting an extremely effective and relational customer communication tool.
1. Identify the strengths of a product and highlight them
A customer who stumbles upon a product and doesn’t buy it probably has specific reasons not to purchase. Rather than presenting him with the product that he may have already placed in a cart and then abandoned, the technique in which some of the product’s strengths are exposed can be much more stimulating, or it can be countered to the more typical doubts that customers may have towards the product and blocking the purchase.
For example, if a user has put a pair of specific sneakers in the cart for jogging, a message can be sent in retargeting in which the resistance of the sole is highlighted, which will allow him to run for 5,000 kilometers without ever thinking of having to change shoes. If a customer has expressed an interest in buying a mobile phone, one of the unique technical specifications that characterize it can be highlighted, perhaps underlining that he will not be able to have this function in any other mobile phone on the market.
2. Present the products already seen on the site from a different perspective
Typical retargeting is the re-presentation of the products seen on a site. In most cases, this simple and banal technique based on the repurposing of product sheets is boring or annoying to users. Instead, if the same products are shown in a different perspective, for example, worn or used by exceptional testimonials, seen in particular contexts of use, presented in showcases other than those found on the site, etc. the chances of rekindling the customer’s interest increase.
Teased by the new context, the user could return to think more convinced about the product and the brand and re-evaluate the idea of buying. A good technique, among the most basic, is also to create carousels in which the same product is shown in its various aspects. Alternatively, if you have videos that present the product in a new way, you can use them for retargeting.
3. Leverage FOMO (fear of missing out)
FOMO in English stands for “fear of missing out”, which in Italian can be translated as “fear of losing the opportunity”. A user who has seen a product on a site and found it interesting but then did not buy it may be indifferent to finding it in front of an advertisement. But if this advertisement warns you that there are only two products left in stock or that it is possible to buy it at a discounted price only if the purchase is made by today, then the perception changes.
FOMO shifts the focus from an interest in the object to the fear of losing the opportunity to buy it. And fear is often the engine that generates essential decisions in the shortest time. This retargeting technique is most effective on potential customers who have already expressed a clear interest in a certain product.
4. Offer particular bonuses related to the product
If the fear of losing a product exerts a great push towards the purchase, the news can also be enticing that by buying the product you can get a particular bonus. For example a considerable discount on your next purchase, a prize, a gift, etc.
For example, you can give an accessory as a gift or you can offer a particular package with which the product is put on sale. The message could show the product in an elegant case with which it is sold or with a unique display. The uniqueness, peculiarity, and originality of the proposed purchase solution can be a spring that leads to conversion.
5. Ask for an opinion on the product seen
Even if the product has not been purchased, it is always possible to ask for an opinion on the product itself. We present a product that the customer has already considered and are asked to express an opinion, perhaps through a short survey with a few simple closed-ended questions.
In this way, the users who answer will be involved in a very strong way and will necessarily have to evaluate the strengths of the product and what they consider most appreciable, with the effect that they desire to buy it could arise.
6. Present products related to the one in which there is interest
A typical retargeting problem is to show the same product many times to customers who have already bought it off that site or have bought another product in the same category. There is nothing more inconsistent and useless than an advertisement aimed at convincing you to make a purchase … already made! Rather than offering the product in the cart, then a good retargeting technique can be the proposal of related products, which complement it or act as accessories.
If a user has entered a mobile phone in the cart, a skin, a case, earphones, etc. can be shown in retargeting. In this way, the user is indirectly reminded to have a product in the cart that becomes more attractive thanks to the other objects that make it even more complete. If, on the other hand, it has already been bought, the customer may think about buying the accessory.
7. Focus on purchases already made (if it is an acquired customer)
“You have already bought this product, now we have the new collection that you will surely like, come and see it!”. This message means to retrieve interest of your loyal customers in the brand. refers to the customers acquired and the products sold and encourage them to view the news of the brand and the new assortment.
You can use this retargeting technique to notify loyal customers when there are new products or news. In most cases, the effect is to reinvigorate curiosity, which will lead the user to visit the site or in any case to carefully discover the company’s new proposals.
8. Invite to events related to the products and the brand
A retargeting message doesn’t always have to aim to generate an immediate purchase. Conversely, retargeting can simply serve to increase the strength of the relationship between the company and its customers. For this purpose, creating a specific event and inviting customers who have expressed interest in the brand over time is a great way to keep them connected to the company and to encourage them.
Events can be tastings, presentations of the new collection, meetings with influencers or testimonials, etc. In many cases, these events can also be held in the form of webinars, in which an expert makes tutorials or presents interesting in-depth content related to the brand and products.
9. Propose in-depth content
Blog posts, videos, podcasts, catalogs, etc. are all contents that can be more interesting than a simple image of the product re-proposed in retargeting for the umpteenth time. In this case, the goal is to give new information, sharpening the interest in the product and the brand.
In this regard, in-depth tutorials on the use of a product, short stories showing how the product can be used or even testimonials from other customers or ambassadors who have appreciated the product can be very valuable.