On Site Retargeting – 5 Truths we think you should know


As experts in the field of retargeting, Smarter Click wanted to take some time out of our busy schedules to help educate our readers on the truth of on-site retargeting.


Smarter Click specialise in full user journey re-marketing services, we manage client campaigns on performance metrics to increase their conversions, reduce their abandonment rates, and drive new customers – a key element of this is working with advertisers to improve their conversion rates on site and reduce abandonment rates using on-site technology in the form of overlays.


We have written this article to dispel some of the myths that we have had to dispel when speaking to advertisers about our products.


Myth 1“You are just going to show an overlay to all of the customers visiting my site and so there is no incrementality”


A well planned out campaign won’t show to all visitors to your site – when choosing a partner to work with check they can do the following:


  1. Target people based on the traffic sources they came from
  2. Ensure that overlays are only being shown to people you are confident are leaving your site – usual triggering methods are heat-mapping or clicking on the “x”
  3. If using heat mapping – make sure you are confident that the user is definitely leaving and not just navigating to other areas of your site (advanced heat-mapping)
  4. Consider what messages you want to show people depending on what they have done on the site (see myth 3!)
  5. Consider all your targeting carefully – be strategic with it, but with the flexibility to be responsive when needed.


A well-managed campaign should only be showing to between 5% and 20% of your site depending on what your strategy is and individual users should only ever see one campaign – don’t over power your users.


Myth 2“Overlays are just “pop-ups” and are annoying and interrupt my customer’s journey through our site”


It is generally now accepted that there are 4 main types of UX elements that often get confused – Pop-ups, Modals, Interstitials and Overlays:


Pop-Ups – these generally appear in new windows either in front of or behind the user’s screen – Google hates these and your site’s SEO will be impacted with these – generally speaking bad UX


Modals – Modals tend to be windows of interaction, where you start working inside the new window, and prevents you from interacting with the content behind it. Generally, aren’t usually classed as bad UX.


Interstitials – These tend to be the worst case of UX – Google particularly hate them – the advertisement will appear while the page is being loaded and will remain on the screen for a short while – they are classed as “Interruption Marekting” – so in my opinion – bad UX!


Overlays – Finally, there are overlays – a smaller element, a piece, a box, a window, a visual of some kind that is only triggered from a user interaction – they don’t create the same problems that the other 3 do, at least from Google’s perspective


So a carefully planned overlay campaign should improve your user experience, not interrupt their journey – an experienced company that has the technology to ensure customer interactions are taken into account will help you set up a positive experience for your customers.


Myth 3 – “I am just going to be discounting and using margin for no need”


This is a myth that has been brought out of badly managed campaigns – consider your user journey – we would never recommend you offering customers a discount just for the sake of – using a well-built technology, you should be able to push different messages to customers at different stages in their journey.


Consider your customer journey and use different tactics for each stage – for example:


  1. Awareness – the research stage – use messages such as “Enter your email to sign up to our newsletter or stay updated with new product releases” – this is a good data capture tool and doesn’t have to be discount led
  2. Consideration – this is the stage that customers are choosing between options of product – consider using messages to upsell at this point or cross sell – consider messaging if product is out of stock or low stock.
  3. Preference – this is the stage where customers are deciding between you and your competitors – use messaging that re-enforces your brand’s key USP’s – again don’t need to discount
  4. Purchase – this is indeed a key point of the process and if you are experiencing abandoning users at this point, then this is probably where you need to consider an extra incentive to convert. However, this doesn’t have to be a discount, consider gifts with purchase or low stock messaging
  5. Post purchase – just because a customer has bought from you once doesn’t mean they will buy from you again – consider post purchase messaging and how this could look – consider the triggers for this.


Myth 4 – “It is too costly and if I don’t like it I am stuck in a contract”


We don’t have much to respond to this apart from to say, only pay what you can afford – a good partner in this space will only charge you for performance and won’t insist on you signing up to a lengthy contract.


The most traditional method of particularly on-site retargeting with overlays has been through the affiliate channel, so you only ever pay when a sale has been made and you can ensure you are able to de-dupe across channels to ensure the incrementality of the activity that you are paying for.


Our advice – never sign a contract for this activity and never pay anything other than CPA – you should be able to work with a company that trusts its own abilities to deliver your strategy without tying you into a contract – always work with a company that wants to work strategically with you over the longer term.


Myth 5 – “We can deliver this in-house”


We don’t disagree with you on this, basic models of on-site retargeting are available, however building a solution that addresses my previous 4 myths is time consuming and costly – why not use someone who has done this work for you already?


If you can deliver in house and address all the above myths, we would love to speak to you – we may have a job for you in our development team.


If you would like to know more about Smarter Click and their product offering, please get in touch with the author of this article – david@smarterclick.co.uk


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