You’re driving down a dark road at night when you notice headlights in your rear view mirror. You turn left. The lights appear behind you a few seconds later. You turn right. There they are again. Eventually, you start to feel like you’re being followed. Do you drive home or do you try to get away?
Similarly, we’ve all experienced the same creepy feeling when we visit a website, browse a few products, and notice that days or even weeks later, ads for that site are popping up on other pages we visit.
Is someone peeking over our shoulders and reporting every keystroke back to Google?
In a way, yes.
It’s called remarketing or retargeting, and it allows site owners to track users after they click away to visit other pages.
It seems creepy at first, but the data doesn’t lie. Sometimes, creepy converts.
Since only 2% of website visitors make a purchase, submit a sales inquiry, or otherwise become a known lead on their first visit, retargeting provides a way for companies to encourage those users to come back, take a second look, or complete a purchase that may have been abandoned somewhere during the sales process.
Think of it this way. You’re browsing for boots on a popular department store website. You find a pair you love, and you pick your size and add them to your shopping cart. Then you look at the time and realize that you need to get dinner in the oven before it’s too late. You walk away from your computer, and by the time you sit back down a few hours later, you’ve forgotten all about the boots.
A few days later, you’re online again, helping your son do research for a school project. Right there in the sidebar of an educational website, you see a picture of your boots. You’re busy, so you ignore them. But when they pop up again while you’re checking the weather forecast that night, you finally click back over to the department store and finish your purchase.
Whether it’s a mom shopping for boots in her spare time or a busy CEO looking for a new software product in between meetings, there are so many ways potential sales can be lost in the shuffle. Remarketing gives companies a way to recapture those opportunities and turn near-misses into actual sales.
This Halloween, don’t be afraid to employ a creepy tactic. Retargeting ads are a surefire trick that will fill your sales bucket with treats!