We’ve all done it. We’ve gone online to peruse our options, but we click away without making a purchase. Then, ads for that same merchandise or service pop up all over the web. This can be a convenient reminder to buy what you want… or it can totally creep you out. If you’re the one in charge of marketing, then it’s your job to retarget without stalking.

What’s the Big Deal?

Retargeting is a great marketing strategy that reaps a lot of benefits. So, why not go all out? Why should you care if some of the people you’re retargeting feel like they’re being stalked?

Well, for one thing, it makes for some pretty nasty PR. Consider this scathing review on Econsultancy:

“Even though we’ve bought the damn service, we’re now all being followed all over the web with Fuze Meeting banners and boxes and MPUs. Not just on a few sites: everywhere. It’s banner bullying.”

To make matters worse, their clients are now being subjected to the same harassment. Now, after reading this, would you even consider signing up for Fuze? I certainly wouldn’t. That’s bad PR in action. The result is lost sales and those losses can be permanent. Brand destruction ensues.

Frequency Capping

Reminders are all well and good. That’s the whole point of retarget marketing, isn’t it? You’re tempting people who’ve expressed an interest in your products and services to go ahead and take the plunge.

The temptation wears off pretty quickly. If you keep it up, then you’re not going to be luring them in, you’re going to be putting them off. It’s called overexposure. Simply put, overexposure erodes marketing value, instead of increasing it.

The key to solving the problems of both stalking and over exposure is to set a cap on the frequency of your retargeting efforts. By setting a limit on the number of exposure opportunities given to any one customer in a given period of time, you choose to direct your marketing resources where they are most likely to land a sale.

Refining Your Retargeting

If you want to get the most out of your marketing resources, you’ve got to refine your retargeting efforts. You can start by using a burn code to disengage from actual customers. (You have better marketing mediums you can use to reach them!) Just insert a bit of code in your post-transaction page that “de-tags” visitors who’ve completed a purchase. Now, you’re not wasting your ad dollars “selling” what people have already bought.

Next, see what you can do to differentiate casual browsers from serious shoppers. With casual browsers, you want to raise brand awareness to pique their interest. With serious shoppers, you want to actually sell the products they want. Your ads can retarget visitors based on their interest levels. That way you can build a better brand relationship with them, regardless of how close they are to a purchase.

Your ads make an impression. That’s the whole point. It’s your job to make it a good one. We can help! Call Sprout Media Lab at (800) 617-6975 for a free consultation.