Increase Conversions: Work Smarter Not Harder

By Amanda Rowe

We’ve all been there as customers. You look at a product online, maybe you add it to your shopping cart, but then decide to leave the site without checking out. Be prepared for that shopping cart to follow you. Everywhere. For days, or even weeks. That’s retargeting at its finest—and done well, it can be incredibly effective at driving conversions. Retargeting has the added benefit of being relatively low cost compared to other forms of digital marketing, meaning that it can be added to the marketing mix without killing your budget.

On average, across all industries, only about 2 percent of website visitors convert. That leaves a whopping 98 percent that do not take your desired action, such as clicking to open an account or applying for a loan. Rather than hoping that they come back on their own, retargeting allows you to stay top of mind and remind visitors of what your bank has to offer.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about retargeting:

What is retargeting?

As described above, retargeting allows you to show ads to website visitors once they have left your website or landing page. This can be kept very basic, such as showing general branding ads, or you can take it a step further and segment your audience based upon their previous activity on your website. For example, if a website visitor was viewing your checking account page you could show them ads about your checking products. To take it another step further, you could also show them an article or blog post about how to choose the right checking account, providing both value and a cross-sell opportunity. Retargeting can be done through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google Search and many display ad networks—meaning that you can reach your audience wherever they consume their digital media.

Is it different than remarketing?

Yes. And no. Confused? You’re not alone. Though they are often used interchangeably, the terms did not originally mean the same thing. Initially, retargeting referred to showing ads to previous website visitors while remarketing referred to collecting email addresses to send marketing messages via email. That being said, Google refers to their retargeting as remarketing. This has started to change the way the terminology is used industry-wide, with remarketing becoming the more commonly used term.

Are there compliance or privacy concerns?

As with any new marketing avenue explored, compliance and customer privacy need to be taken into account. Fortunately, retargeting does not collect personally identifiable information—therefore visitor privacy is maintained. Instead, the retargeting audience is built by placing a pixel, also known as a cookie, on the browser of anyone that visits your website. This tagging allows you to see certain details, such as pages visited, without learning anything about the user’s identity.

Is it bothersome?

Though retargeting can be very effective, it’s important to review your plan from the consumer’s perspective. Most of us have likely, at some point, been bothered by an ad that just won’t go away and continues to haunt our web experience. Rather than encouraging conversion, retargeting taken too far can drive potential customers away. When setting up your campaigns, put a cap on the frequency your ad will be shown to the same person in a specific period of time. Keeping your messaging and ad content fresh will also help prevent fatigue.

Does it work?

Retargeting has shown to drive higher click-through-rates on both ads and landing pages than standard display ads. Lakeland Bank ($6.4 billion, Oak Ridge, N.J.) ran a retargeting campaign promoting home equities. Looking at the results, the retargeting ads had a 1.30 percent click-through-rate compared to the 0.51 percent click-through-rate on the display ads, which is a 154.9 percent lift. Another bank, Bridgewater Savings Bank ($539 million, Raynham, Mass.), included retargeting as part of a checking campaign. The landing page received almost the same number of views from the display ads and the retargeting ads (137 and 133, respectively)—however the retargeting campaign had a conversion rate that was 366.7 percent higher.

How do I get started?

Getting up and running with retargeting is relatively simple. You’ll need to get the pixel from your ad network and have it installed on your website. Google Ads, Facebook/Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all provide the required pixels and placement instructions in their ad managers. You should also update your website terms and conditions to let people know that you’re using pixels and how you’re using them. Check with your ad network on any specific language they require. Once that’s done, your audience will start to build and, for most platforms, when your target audience reaches 1,000 website visitors, your ads will start being served.

Retargeting may seem complicated to implement or a hassle to manage, but the reality is that it’s fairly simple. Banks can easily add retargeting to existing digital campaigns with little heavy lifting or added work. And, as the results show, it could make a huge impact on the effects of your campaign.

Amanda Rowe is senior vice president of delivery at Pannos Marketing based in Bedford, NH. Pannos Marketing is a full-service marketing and communications firm that works with financial institutions to help them stay relevant and find new success with powerful brands, digital, social and traditional media, and custom websites. Strong client partnerships and a deep expertise in banking have consistently delivered strategic and innovative solutions and measureable results for over 25 years. Email: arowe@pannosmarketing.com. LinkedIn.

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