We’ve all heard the expression “you wouldn’t try to fill a leaky bucket,” (or some variation of the saying) but this is precisely what advertisers and business owners are doing when they aim to boost revenue without considering customer loyalty and retention strategies. 

Whether you’re looking to transform a window shopper into a paying customer or a previously regular buyer has dropped off the map, retargeting and display ads are invaluable for pulling customers back into the fold. 

What are display ads? 

Even if you’ve never come across the phrase “display ads” before, you’ll have definitely seen them! 

These highly targeted advertising tools can follow potential customers based on their browsing history. This means that customers only see ads relevant to them, and you’re not wasting your time and effort advertising to people who are never going to be interested. 

For example, a business selling dietary supplements may want to produce display ads for a gym website, dog food manufacturers may do well on pet-related blogs, and so on. 

How can display ads help with retargeting? 

Retargeting customers is an excellent way to utilize your existing audience. Not only does it cost approximately five times less to retain an existing customer than seek out new ones, but returning customers are also known to spend up to 67% more with your store! 

Retargeting can also be useful for pulling on-the-fence customers into your business. Studies show that around 96% of people aren’t ready to buy when they first visit an online store and need more than one interaction with your brand to make a purchasing decision. So, giving them the chance to think about their purchase and reminding them of your presence with targeted display ads can be just the boost they need to become a loyal customer. 

6 ways to use retargeting and display ads to improve customer loyalty

Now we know how useful retargeting and display ads can be for boosting customer loyalty (and your bottom line), here are our 6 top tips for creating a compelling ad campaign that actually converts. 

1. Get your targeting right

One of the main advantages of display ads is the ability to create highly targeted advertisements that speak to your customers. But this ability is pointless if you haven’t taken the time to clearly establish who your audience is and what they want. 

Let’s face it, you’re not going to win any points if you try to sell steak to a vegan. And display ads offer an invaluable chance to avoid these advertising faux-pas by creating highly targeted and personalized advertisements. 

When building your ideal customer profile (ICP), clearly establish the following: 

Demographics – customer segments based on age, gender, profession, etc. 

  • Geographics
  • Browsing history
  • Interests
  • Pain points
  • And anything else you can think of. 

Remember, 80% of customers state they’re more likely to buy from a brand that provides a personal experience, and 78% want to be recognized as individuals. By creating a detailed customer profile for your retargeting display ads, you can provide this experience and speak to them on a more human level – which really is all they want. 

2. Establish different stages of the customer journey

Once you’ve established your customer profile, the next step is to dig a little deeper to perfect your retargeting strategy and create a truly personalized experience for your customers. 

Depending on how far through the customer journey an individual got, different marketing methods might be more appropriate. 

For example: 

  • Past customers who haven’t shopped with you for a while are likely to really appreciate a special offer or discount. 
  • Previous customers may benefit from learning more about your fantastic loyalty program. 
  • Window shoppers who browsed your discounts section are likely to be happy to spot display ads for your brand notifying them of sales or exclusive offers. 
  • Cart abandoners could benefit from a reminder of the items they added to their cart: this could remind them how much they wanted the items! 

Display ads that feature complimentary products to something a customer has purchased recently is also an excellent, personalized strategy for enticing shoppers back to your online store. For example, if a shopper has recently bought jeans, they might need a belt. Someone who’s shopped for luggage may be planning an exotic vacation; do you sell anything else that could benefit them and add value to their experience with you? 

3. Stick with clear, concise wording and imagery 

If you’ve spent loads of time and effort creating the ideal targeting parameters, you don’t want this to go to waste because your customers have misunderstood the message! 

Keeping things straightforward is the best way to attract the right sort of attention with your display ads, retargeting or otherwise. 

According to a 2019 Microsoft study, people have an attention span of approximately 8 seconds… This was 12 seconds back in 2000: a decrease of 88% yearly! With figures like this, you can easily see how little time you have to grab the attention of your target customer.

To attract customers as quickly and efficiently as possible, follow these top tips: 

  • Keep imagery simple and attractive. 
  • Use branding, colors, and fonts that your customers will recognize and/or associate with your brand. 
  • Use concise wording / get to the point! 
  • Speak in the language your customers use daily.
  • Avoid jargon or complex terms.

4. Don’t forget your CTAs! 

Including a great CTA (call to action) is arguably the most crucial part of any display ad campaign. This is what your customers will click on and what leads conversions, so it needs to be perfect. 

As above, keep your CTA simple, to the point, and in the language your customers actually use to ensure it’s as engaging as possible. 

5. Track, analyze, and update constantly.

Retargeting ad campaigns should never be considered a set-it-and-forget-it exercise. They require constant monitoring, analyzing, optimization, and experimentation to offer the best results for you and your customers. 

A/B testing is a fantastic way to monitor the performance of your retargeting campaigns and develop display ads that constantly improve and convert. Try altering the CTA, the positioning or font of the copy, or even the images in your copy (one at a time) and running two ads simultaneously to see which offers the best returns. The winner can then be edited slightly and run with an update. This way, you’re constantly increasing returns and boosting conversions. 

If all this tracking and editing feels a bit too much, you can utilize smart software to effortlessly track and analyze the performance of your retargeting display ads. There are loads of AI software options available to streamline the process and ensure you never miss your mark when interacting with new and existing customers. 

6. Consider frequency caps and ad durations

We’re all internet users ourselves, and we all know how frustrating it is to feel bombarded by an ad campaign… Even if it’s an ad campaign we might be interested in! 

Over promotion can damage the success of your campaign, and studies have found up to 57% of people will actively avoid a brand that bombards them with poorly targeted ads. On the other hand, however, studies also found it takes 5-7 impressions for customers to remember your brand. 

These figures mean that finding the perfect balance of repetition with display ads is vital for an effective retargeting campaign. Setting time limits and frequency caps on your ads can ensure your customers avoid ad fatigue, while still allowing you to achieve your marketing goals. 

When considering the premium frequency and time limit for your ad campaign, think about your audience, what you’re offering, and what your desired outcome is. 

For example: 

  • If you’re looking to build brand awareness, a frequency cap for your Facebook ads should probably sit between 5-7 to ensure your brand is memorable without being overwhelming. 
  • If you have a special offer, sale, or campaign running, you need to ensure the ad times out when the offer expires… Nothing is more frustrating than being lead to a lapsed landing page, particularly when bargain hunting! 

Surprise, delight, and add value in every interaction

Retargeting campaigns can be a highly effective way of boosting customer loyalty and increasing your bottom line without spending a fortune trying to attract new customers. However, as with any campaign, you will need to put some effort into ensuring your message comes across the right way to the right people. 

With detailed targeting and customer analysis, display ads allow you to create a highly personalized experience to your customers in the online places they already hang out.

Any ad campaign should aim to delight and add value to a customer’s browsing experience. With retargeting, you can take this a step further by creating a personal experience that gives the customer what they want/need. By showing you understand and care, you’re more likely to build loyalty and end up with customers or clients who return to you time and time again.

Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

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