In the old days, there was a lot more uncertainty when it came to doing business on the Internet. For starters, there wasn’t much you could to do track users. Sure, you could see where they came from, but not so much what they did on your site.
If someone visited your website, browsed through a product category, even placed an item in a shopping cart and left, the tracking process ended there. Even if said user returned, and say, completed that purchase, there was no way of knowing it was the same person. Yes, cookies can hold some information about these visitors, and likewise, a shopping cart login allowed you to save their purchase for when they come back.
But what if they didn’t? What if they cleared their browser’s cookies? What if they never registered with an account to use your shopping cart?Fortunately for you, retargeting and remarketing solved these problems.
Remarketing at a Glance
Remarketing refers to the process of tracking users even after they’ve left your site. Relax, it’s anonymous, that is, no personal information of any kind is being tracked. All you and other code on the Internet see is a series of numbers representing a User Session ID.
When a user visits any of your site’s web pages, it activates special remarketing coded called a Pixel, dropping a tiny bit of data on the user’s computer or device. It works just like a cookie, which it is.
Now, let’s say that user moves on to another website, like Facebook. They’re on the social network looking through pages and such, with Facebook collecting information about them as they normally do. Facebook sees that user having the pixel from your website, which they use to connect the dots and trigger an ad for that site.
This process doesn’t just work for Facebook, but hundreds of other sites as well. Of course, it only works if you run an online ad campaign targeted towards users with your pixels.
How Do You Use Retargeting Pixels?
While there are several ways to use retargeting pixels, the most method popular by far is to target users who have visited your product pages, and show them related ads on Facebook.
To start, you will to apply Facebook’s tracking Pixel to your product pages. IMPORTANT: Don’t place it on all your pages, otherwise you’ll end up retargeting people who visit your homepage or landing pages only to end up bouncing out.
If you want to run a more streamlined remarketing campaign, you can specifically retarget users who have visited your “added to cart” page. You can even add an additional string of code to exclude users who have converted into successful purchases, so you don’t remarket to people who made these conversions. This code is called a “Burn Pixel,” and offers a great way to maximize ROI.
Best Retargeting Practices
As with any online marketing campaign, there are some best practices to consider using.
• Set a cap on ad frequency to avoid flooding users with repeat ads. Remarketing only works if users are reminded of your site in a non-spammy manner. Don’t annoy and drive them away.
• Switch up retargeted ads periodically. Keep ads fresh and attractive to keep users interested in what you have to offer.
• A/B test your ads to determine which is most effective. Split test variations in copy, image, and even landing pages. When one ad or page works better, ramp up its visibility and perform another test.
• Continue to track users even after remarketing, taking note of each attempt’s rate of success.