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Ready For PPC Remarketing? 4 Questions To Help You Get Started

Time? Money? Can you afford to waste either? Probably not, especially if you’re a B2B marketer. But you could end up wasting both if you don’t ask the right questions before you launch your remarketing campaign.

The Opportunity

Much like the hottest new toy for the holidays, remarketing via PPC is a new AdWords offering that everyone wants to try. By leveraging cookies, it serves ads to visitors to your site, and then serves additional ads to them on the other sites they visit.

In short, remarketing gives you another chance to sell to customers who didn’t convert on their first visit. By using it to follow-up with those who have already expressed an interest, you can turn marginal visitors into engaged customers. Because you are pitching to a smaller, better-qualified audience, acquisition rates tend to be higher.

What’s more, since you’re targeting a smaller audience, your costs will often be lower as well. In fact, many marketers get a superior return on ad spend by pursuing highly qualified remarketing leads.

Higher acquisition rates, lower costs – it sounds like an obvious win.

The Tradeoff

But if remarketing were that easy, everyone would do it. What the engines won’t tell you is that remarketing takes more effort to set up than a traditional PPC campaign.

For example, you’ll have to consider how a remarketing effort ties into your campaign’s key performance indicators (KPI). Since remarketing serves a smaller audience, it may not produce the volume your KPIs require.

In addition, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of how your targeted users behave, especially how long they take to convert. Remarketing takes place in the window between first click and final acquisition. How long is that window for your business?

Beyond that, you will need the technical savvy to implement the required tracking. Relax — this won’t take too much work. But you’ll want to make sure you can test your remarketing campaign’s structure before implementing.

Finally, you will have to consider the new opportunities remarketing allows. You can serve ads for the same products your visitors saw before, new products, or complementary products. Which one will be right for you?

Remarketing In Action

Looking to boost his conversion figures, one ambitious marketer decided to give PPC remarketing a shot. His new efforts targeted users who had made a visit to an enterprise-level software vendor, but left without filling out a form for more information. Leads had been trailing off, and the marketer had high hopes that remarketing would be the answer.

After a few weeks, the remarketing campaign looked like a success on paper. It boasted the highest clickthrough rate and conversion rate of any of the vendor’s PPC campaigns. But the marketing department wasn’t impressed.

Remarketing campaigns serve to a small, well-qualified audience; that’s the key to their success. However, the remarketing audience for this campaign was so small that the conversions came in at a trickle. Instead of a big boost to conversions, the marketer only netted a few.

Fortunately, raising budgets, creating some new ad copy, and revising expectations improved the campaign’s story. However, that disappointment could have been avoided if the marketer had taken the time to ask a few easy questions in the beginning.

Taking Action

Before launching a remarketing campaign, consider the following four questions:

Question 1:  What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for this campaign?

Granted, you should be asking this question before you initiate any new campaign; however, it’s especially important for remarketing efforts. Remarketing performs well because it targets a highly qualified segment of your site’s potential audience: the people who’ve already visited. Given that, it is important to have clarity on KPIs. For example, are you expecting the same CPA or ROI as your other online marketing efforts? If you want the same conversion volume that you get from your other campaigns, are you willing to devote the budget to make it happen?

Recommended action: Adjust your key performance indicators to reflect the unique capabilities and limitations of remarketing.

Question 2:  What is the lead time for your conversion metrics?

Remarketing is an obvious choice for retail, but leveraging it for B2B is more complicated. For instance, if it takes an average of two weeks to get from a first click to a conversion for your business, can you afford to run a remarketing campaign for that long? Is there a risk that visitors would get tired of seeing your ads after you target them for another two weeks? Fortunately, most remarketing interfaces allow you to customize how often you serve ads to a user. However, savvy marketers will still address this issue going in.

Recommended Action: Set your remarketing conversion windows so they accommodate the average lead time for your campaigns.

Question 3:  Can you meet the tracking requirements to make remarketing work?

Because remarketing leverages cookies, your site will need to host whatever code is required to make it work. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that any existing tracking you use fully integrates with remarketing. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tie remarketing into your KPIs. And having a marketing campaign that you can’t connect to your KPIs doesn’t make sense for your business.

Recommended action: Make sure that you can support whatever pixels or URL coding your remarketing campaign requires.

Question 4:  What messaging will your remarketing campaign use?

Do you want to serve ads for the same product that the visitor originally landed on? Or will you serve ads for a different product in case they’re more likely to convert on that one? Many advertisers use remarketing to keep visitors informed of new product offerings and entice them to come back to the website. Having a highly qualified audience at your fingertips gives you more options than a traditional B2B marketing campaign, so consider how you want to target them.

Recommended action: Define your messaging early on, and then re-evaluate it as the campaign continues.

Everybody deserves a second chance, and remarketing via PPC can give you exactly that. Leverage it to capture the visitors you missed the first time around, and turn them into new customers!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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