My first day at SMX Advanced was filled with great information from educated speakers. One of the sessions on the Paid Search track was “Taking Retargeting to the Next Level.” The three speakers were Susan Waldes from Five Mill, Leo Dalakos from Performics, and Mei Yee from Time Inc.While they all had pertinent information to share, Susan’s presentation resonated with me the most.
As digital marketers a lot of the time we focus on who we should be adding to our remarketing lists and not considering who we don’t want to be paying to market (or remarket) to.
What is Velvet Rope Remarketing?
Velvet rope remarketing is the process of determining who is relevant (and gets to be a part of our exclusive list) and who is not relevant (and should not be let through the velvet rope). The following is some useful information I learned from Susan’s presentation.
- 96% of people who visit a website leave without completing the actions marketers want them to take
- 70% of people abandon the shopping cart without completing a purchase
What we must remember is that just because someone visited our client’s site doesn’t mean they’re a “buyer” at every moment moving forward. Most remarketing is made up of the following attributes:
- Time – whenever I can
- People – sure, people!
- Message – hey remember me?
Velvet rope remarketing is made up of the right time, the right people, and the right message.
“Cut wasteful impressions, get more desirable impressions.”
One of the most effective, and also underutilized, ways to optimize remarketing is through excluding impressions. Exclusions can include impression caps, category exclusions, CPA bidding, and excluding your own audiences and others’ audiences.
While Reach and Frequency reporting is no longer available in the AdWords platform as part of the dimensions tab you can work around this by using the Reach Reporting in the Metrics list. Determining what the limit of impressions per user is will depend on your product or service, but use your common sense, and if that doesn’t work, compare your conversions per impression to average impressions frequency to lead you down the right path.
Depending on your product or service these might be the types of people you should consider excluding:
- People who visited that “thing” on your site that went viral
- People who visited the day of a press release
- People who were referred by a Groupon link
- People who spend time on the Careers section of your site
- People in countries you can’t service
- People who just converted
- People that barely visited
Your own audience can consist of a few different types of people, but those who barely engaged with the site should be the first to go (sessions lasting less than 10 seconds)
Additionally, Google provides Affinity Categories that you should review to make sure you’re not serving ads to users who aren’t going to convert.
Some other exclusions that should be considered are those that are bringing in a high amount of impressions but low to no clicks, competitors’ sites or political sites that you don’t want to be associated with, and certain demographics (usually 18-24 year olds and 65+ year olds drive impressions without conversions).
Do you have the right message?
Optimizing your exclusions isn’t the only thing you can do to help increase your CTR and hopefully your conversion total – making sure you have the right message for each audience is imperative. A few things that Susan recommends are:
- Use all ad types and sizes
- Consider offers
- Use dynamic ads where possible (not just for eCommerce)
- Segment creative and landing page based on site areas visited
- Create urgency
- Don’t be scared of showing prices
With your velvet rope in place and your campaigns optimized to be exclusive you can stop wasting impressions and see your conversion volumes go up!
See Susan’s full deck here: