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Remarketing – Your PPC Follow Up Call

Remarketing is a great tool for targeting potential customers who have encountered your brand’s website. Your advert can ‘follow’ them as they browse other sites so that you have an impact on their consciousness long after they’ve left your site.

Despite Remarketing still featuring high up on our “PPC favourite features” list after a number of years, I am amazed by how many of my new clients, seminar and training delegates are not aware of this advertising option. Others have heard of it but haven’t tested it to see what it could offer in terms of increasing sales and profits.

With this in mind, I thought it was the right time to explain just what it is and why you should definitely be considering it as part of your PPC campaign.

#Remarketing is a great tool for targeting prospects who have visited your brand's website. #PPC Click To Tweet

What is Remarketing?

I am sure that you have seen examples of this many times without realising what it was.

Imagine you click on a PPC ad in Google and go to a brand’s website. Once you leave the site, you then go to another website (let’s say, for example, a news website), and you sometimes see a big banner ad for the website that you just visited.

This is called Remarketing, and this follow up sales message often follows you around as you visit subsequent websites.

A Second Chance to Sell

In simple terms, Remarketing could be equated to the old ‘follow up sales call’.

Often, one visit is not enough for many customers to convert into a sale, so remarketing gives you another opportunity to get in front of them and close the deal – and, as a bonus, as part of your overall PPC strategy, it’s surprisingly cost-effective.

Not only that – Remarketing can allow you to make consequent visits even more focused than the first, based on a customer’s engagement the first time around – thereby increasing the opportunity for conversion.

In simple terms, #Remarketing could be equated to the old 'follow up sales call'. #PPC Click To Tweet

How Does it Work?

There are some very clever ways to maximise the profitability of your Remarketing programme.

For example, let’s look at, who use Remarketing in a very effective way. When you’ve made a visit to the site to browse hotels, you’ll then be ‘followed’ by a rotating ad featuring all the hotels you looked at on that visit – putting them in front of you again and reminding you of their great features and prices. Even once you’ve made a booking through the site, you’ll still see their ads; but they very niftily won’t include the one you’ve already booked!

We implemented a similar strategy for two of our clients, Ramblers Worldwide Holidays and Italian Short Breaks, where we created ads for individual trips that would follow the people who had visited those specific pages on the site. Italian Short Breaks set up a page on their site dedicated to the Venice Carnival, and a Remarketing campaign that followed the visitors to this page with a relevant ad. Similarly, to help Ramblers Worldwide Holidays promote some remaining places on their walking holiday to Cappadocia, we ran a Remarketing advert that targeted the visitors who had landed on the company’s website page for Cappadocia.

2 Remarketing Ads

PPC Remarketing ads for Italian Short Breaks (left) and Ramblers Worldwide Holidays (right)

Another version of this kind of strategy is one that we used for our client Bartle Holidays. We used a ‘non converting customers’ list (anyone who’d browsed the site but hadn’t made it to the enquiry/contact/booking stage) and advertised a special offer to them through remarketing, which linked directly to the special offers page.

That all sounds pretty focused, right? Well, it can get even better, and insurance comparison website gets it right with laser precision. Within minutes of visiting the site and searching for a comparison quote, you’ll be followed by an ad that, not only gets their branding front and centre – it shows you the top three insurance quotes from your search. Almost irresistible!

For our own travel insurance client, InsureMore, we used Remarketing in a similar way by targeting customers who had gone as far as getting a quote, but had not yet converted. We used both text ads and graphic ads to follow them with a special discount offer as an incentive to follow through with their quote.

Bartle Holidays + InsureMore Remarketing Ads

Remarketing ads for Bartle Holidays (left) and InsureMore (right)

Of course, just how focused or dynamic your campaign is will depend on your budget and the way you choose to use your audience lists, but even the most basic Remarketing can reinforce your brand message and successfully increase conversions.

Effective Remarketing

All the bells and whistles aside, it’s extremely important to identify the most effective way to use Remarketing for your business. Whether you target all visitors to your site, or separately by specific products, time of day/year, or even based on individual customer engagement (where you initiate the Remarketing at a selected point in the browsing or buying process), it’s got to work for you.

What’s right for a huge retail giant like John Lewis, for example, where they remarket to customers according to every product they’ve browsed, might not be appropriate for a smaller business whose focus is more on simply creating enhanced brand awareness.

When we first started Remarketing for our client Courier Exchange, we began by targeting all visitors with a generic ad, as a test to see how it could work for them. We set limits on the amount of times the ads would show per day so as not to annoy users, and we then applied Remarketing to the non-converting visitors only to provide a pool of results that we could analyse.

For another client, Naturetrek (who offer a diverse range of nature and wildlife holidays), we used Remarketing in a particularly focused way. Visitors to the company’s bird watching holidays page were followed by a bird watching holiday graphic ad, rather than simply a generic branded one. We found this a very effective way of increasing those focused conversions.

Naturetrek + Courier Exchange Remarketing Ads

Remarketing ads for Naturetrek (left) and Courier Exchange (right)

Different Strokes for Different Folks

One of the things we like about Remarketing is coming up with creative and new ways of using it. It seems so flexible. However, like most things in life, it’s all about knowing what works and what doesn’t.

As an agency, we are doing Remarketing for lots of our clients and it is fascinating to see how one idea works well for one client but not for another, similar client. And while that might not make sense, it does remind us of two important lessons: it’s all about finding the right mix for each client, and it’s all about testing, testing and testing to know what is working and what is not.

Need Help Developing a Profitable Remarketing Mix?

If you would like to find out more about Remarketing and how it can help improve your sales and profits, please give me a call to discuss.


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