What is Retargeting? How Software Marketers Can Convert Lost Web Visitors

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Someone visits your software website; they click around, read some info about your product, but more than likely, they leave your site without converting.

Frustrating, right?

Unfortunately, that’s how 98% of your web traffic behaves as, on average, only 2% of visitors actually convert on their first visit.  

So what do you do about the other 98%? Forget about them?

Absolutely NOT!

Just because they didn’t convert on their first visit doesn’t mean they never will. Implementing a retargeting campaign can help you recapture those “lost” web visitors and bring them back, to hopefully convert later into paying customers.

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In addition to explaining the concept of retargeting, I’ll go over the benefits of using it in your marketing strategy, and I’ll share which tools are available to help implement and track your remarketing efforts.

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What is Retargeting?

According to AdRoll, “retargeting lets you customize which ads you serve to people based on the way they’ve interacted with your website.” For example, if someone visits your software product pricing page, then you can serve them ads that feature pricing info, or even special discounts specifically for retargeted web visitors.

In order to capture the visitor data needed to serve these kinds of ads, you’ll need to add a piece of code to your website. Then, when someone visits your site, their browser is “cookied.” That piece of code will track the visitor’s activity on your site, such as what pages they visit and where they abandon your site. Once they leave, the cookie will allow the retargeting platform to serve personalized ads on other sites, based on their activity on your website.

retargeting definition

Unless you consider yourself extremely tech-savvy, your Tech team can install the code for you on your website. Then you’ll be able to create ads, track visitors, and convert more leads.

Why Should I Retarget?

Now that you know the what and how of retargeting, it’s time to learn about the why and the benefits of using retargeting to generate more leads for your software.

Recapture “lost” leads

I’ve already discussed the main benefit, but I’ll say it again: retargeting gives you the opportunity to reach web visitors who may not have been ready to purchase when they first visited your site. 26% of web visitors will return to a site through retargeting. So by using simple marketing technology, you can recapture over one quarter of the 98% of web leads you already “lost.”

Retargeted consumers are also 3x more likely to click on your ad than those who haven’t interacted with your site before. Makes sense, right? If they’re already aware of your software and how it could fulfill their needs, they’re more likely to respond to your ad, compared to someone who might not even be in the market for your product. If you’re spending the same cost per impression for each potential lead, so why not spend it on targeted ads to someone who’s more likely to click through and convert!  

Retarget visitors with ads about a specific page or product they viewed, like Salesforce did with their Service Cloud product.

Retarget visitors with ads about a specific page or product they visited, like Salesforce did with their Service Cloud product.

And sometimes the site abandonment has nothing to do with the prospect’s feeling towards your software. Computers crash, phones ring, and a myriad of other distractions can come between your site and converting a lead. With retargeting, those lost visitors can be reminded that they were on your website at some point and be provided a one-click option to get back to business.

Personalization

One of the best features of retargeting is the ability to display ads based on a web visitor’s behavior. Did they abandon your site after looking at the pricing page? Serve an ad with a special discount offer! Were they looking at a specific feature of your software? Display an ad that shows how that feature can help their business! The possibilities truly are endless with personalization and a lot of great data.  

You can even retarget based on their profession, like Booker did with dog grooming.

You can even retarget based on their profession, like Booker did with dog grooming.

Retargeting really lets you get creative with your marketing, even more so than your other ads, since you actually have some specific behavioral data on these potential leads. Personalization is one of the top trends in marketing because your consumers don’t want to see generic ads that could be talking about just anyone. It might seem creepy, but they’ll respond better to an ad that can actually speak to their specific pain points and offer a solution: your software product!    

Brand awareness

There’s more to retargeting than just capturing potential leads. Even if you can’t get all 98% to revisit your website (believe me, you won’t), they will still see your ads and brand, which could lead them to think of you even when they’re no longer being retargeted, when they’re actually ready to purchase your software.

Salesforce uses retargeting to remind visitors of the benefits of its software.

Salesforce uses retargeting to remind visitors of the benefits of its software.

However, with the pros come the just as important cons of retargeting. Online users see anywhere from 300-700 marketing messages per day. Consumers, unfortunately, have become numb to the constant ad delivery as they surf the Internet. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be annoyed by all of those ads! Don’t bombard them with ads about how awesome your software is; the more you do, the more likely they’ll feel the opposite about your brand, and then you’ll have an even more difficult time getting them back to your site to convert.       

What Retargeting Platforms Can I Use?

The easiest way to serve your retargeting ads is through one of these platforms, which specialize in retargeting technology and best practices.  

AdRoll

One of the most popular and well-known retargeting platforms, AdRoll lets you implement retargeting on both the web and social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter. So not only will they see your retargeted ads on other websites, when they visit their own social media profiles, you can also serve them relevant ads there.

adroll

Pricing is fairly simple; your weekly budget is based on the number of web visitors per month, which is set through AdRoll’s nifty pricing tool. For example, if you see 10,000-25,000 visits per month on your site, AdRoll recommends a weekly budget of $1,000. Their prices are great for small businesses, with up to 200,000 monthly web visitors for $7,500 per week, but if you have more than 200K, you’ll need to get in touch with one of their sales reps for more information.

ReTargeter

ReTargeter is very similar to AdRoll and other retargeting platforms. They offer both site and social media retargeting, and you’re also able to create your own custom package based on your retargeting goals.

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Pricing is also based on your unique monthly web visitors per month, and includes a limit on impressions, too. However, ReTargeter services are less expensive than AdRoll’s at only $1,000 per month with 20,000 unique visitors, compared $1,000 per week on AdRoll.

Perfect Audience

One feature that sets Perfect Audience apart from the rest is its integration with HubSpot. You can sync your already segmented lists from HubSpot and serve them with retargeting ads created in Perfect Audience. Those ads can reflect similar messaging that your audience has already been exposed to through your marketing automation efforts. Now that’s full-service marketing!

perfect audience

As far as pricing goes, Perfect Audience offers a free 14-day trial, and only charges on a CPM basis, so you’ll only pay once your ads are served. You can set your own budget, so the expense is completely up to you.

Google AdWords

Of course, Google has its own name for retargeting: remarketing. Big difference, right? Other than the name, Google’s retargeting platform offers the same basic functionality, just through your existing AdWords account. This means you’re able to connect your current online advertising efforts and take it even further. Let’s say someone clicks through to your website from one of your Adwords campaigns. They visit a few pages, but ultimately leave your site. Now, without using a completely different platform, your Google AdWords account can add them to your remarketing lists and serve them the appropriate, targeted ads.

adwords

Unlike the other services on this list, Google AdWords allows you to not only retarget with display campaigns, but through their search engine marketing (SEM) ads as well. So if somebody searches again on a related term for your software after already visiting your site, you can bid on that keyword and link to a landing page more down funnel (like a free trial or demo sign up) to convert more search visitors.

LinkedIn Lead Accelerator

All of the platforms offer social media retargeting just for Facebook and Twitter, but what about LinkedIn? After acquiring Bizo, a popular retargeting tool among B2B software marketers, LinkedIn announced its new marketing tool: LinkedIn Lead Accelerator. This platform allows you to retarget your site visitors within LinkedIn, using data from their LinkedIn profiles.

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With LinkedIn Lead Accelerator, you can actually nurture these prospects with retargeted ads and specialized content based on their behavior on your website. Other cool features include the ability to integrate with your Eloqua or Marketo marketing automation system, use A/B testing within the platform to optimize your ads, and measure the results of your campaigns at any stage of the retargeting and nurturing process.      

Next Steps

Now it’s time for you to try retargeting! And remember, like all marketing tactics and strategies, test as much as you can. Try different ad variations for each audience, vary how many times you serve a specific ad, and experiment with offers and promotions to entice these people back to your site. Learn as much as you can about the 98% through these tests and, before you know it, retargeting will be a high performing lead gen tactic for your software company.  

Have you ever done a retargeting campaign? How did it perform? Share your experiences and recommendations for retargeting newbies in the comments below!

Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.

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About the Author

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Caroline Malamut

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Caroline is the Vendor Marketing Manager at Capterra. Her love of marketing began while growing up in Philadelphia and has only grown since attending the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and cheering on her Philly and Pitt sports teams.

Comments

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Hello Caroline,

Of all the articles I’ve read about Retargeting, I’ve never read a mention of https://retargeting.biz/ . Why? Is a really good platform, especially for small and medium companies.

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