On average, only 2% of web traffic converts to sales on the first visit to a given site. Several factors contribute to this situation, including the fact that many potential customers are hesitant to make a purchase on their first visit to a new site. To help bring back the 98% of people who won’t make a purchase on their first visit, retargeting is an invaluable marketing strategy. Retargeting allows you to follow your audience after they leave, placing ads that will eventually bring them back to make a purchase.

Choose Your Demographic

The goal of a retargeting campaign is not to chase after everybody who visits your store without making a purchase, but rather to direct people who might become customers back to you in the future. For this reason, knowing your demographic is very important. Check your analytics carefully to make sure that you know the age, gender, social status, and browsing habits of the typical person who comes through your online store. Your retargeting ads should target people who match this description first and foremost, as they represent your best potential customers. While you don’t need to stay strictly within this demographic, it’s a good idea not to stray too far from it lest you waste precious ad dollars.

Create Customized Messages

Your retargeting ads will be most useful if you tailor them to specific kinds of customers. This includes people who abandoned their shopping carts without making a purchase, repeat customers who visited your site but didn’t make a purchase this time, and new visitors who might need some coaxing before they finally make a purchase. You can design a custom message that targets each of these potential customers. Don’t make it too specific, as that might elicit fear or paranoia in the visitor, but do make sure that the individual feels like the ad is communicating directly to them. Providing a gentle reminder about an abandoned cart or offering an incentive to make a first-time purchase can bring people back to your site even if they didn’t plan on making a purchase.

Focus on High-Performing Pages

Depending on where you want people who click on your retargeting ads to wind up, they could go to your landing page or a specific product page. The landing page has the benefit of getting the visitor back to the area with the most option, but some individuals, such as those who abandoned their carts, might be better served returning to a specific product page. Regardless of which section of your store you choose, make sure that the page typically performs well and has a high conversion rate.

Show Relevant Products

Your ads have the ability to showcase specific products that your potential customer might be interested in. This should include not only the product that the customer almost bought, but related items as well. It is very possible that the reason a visitor did not convert into becoming a customer has to do with a preference for a different brand or the price of the item that got left behind. By providing options that are similar to what drew the customer to your site in the first place, you have a chance to get them to reconsider the deal. This also provides you with potential upselling or cross selling options once the individual does make a purchase.

Create a Burn Code

Retargeting needs to feel more like a gentle reminder to the customer and not like a constant pestering. When you set up your ad, create a burn code. This code tells the advertiser when to stop running ads for a particular individual. This code usually goes into your post-transaction page and untags any customer who completes the checkout process. Doing this accomplishes two things. First, it saves you money on ads that have already served their purpose. Second, it makes sure that the ad effectively reminds the customer without running the risk of getting annoying. You can then focus on other targeted ads to help turn that customer into a regular.

Proper retargeting ads are very context-sensitive. They pay attention to what the demographic is, where the interests of the potential customer lie, and how to provide a gentle nudge back to your store. If you follow the tips outlined above, your retargeting efforts will lead to a much higher conversion rate.