We know that the sales funnel is about moving a prospect fluidly from awareness through to interest, desire and finally action, be that purchase or enquiry. On the surface, you’d be forgiven for thinking that remarketing isn’t suitable for some of these stages.
The truth? It’s relevant at every single one. Using remarketing in intelligent ways enables brands to reach existing and prospective customers at various stages of the purchase funnel, helping to guide them to that desired final goal.
Getting Started: Top of the funnel (TOFU)
Often known as the awareness stage, TOFU campaigns aim to build awareness of both brand and solution.
So, how’s it done?
Let’s start with remarketing for search. We use this to re-engage with users after they’ve left your website.
Ads are shown to each user when they search on Google or Bing for specific keywords of our choosing. Best results are achieved when the ad message is tailored to the user’s original search intent. This is dissected into four categories:
- Informational intent – Your user has a specific question or wants more information a particular topic. This could be about the weather, the tyres on her car or information on activities in a certain location.
- Navigational intent – People with this intent are trying to get to a specific website. Maybe yours, maybe your competitors. But they know where they want to go. Navigational intent is hard to crack though; your user wants to get somewhere specific so pulling them away from their planned journey can often be a challenge.
- Commercial investigation – These people have the intention to buy soon, but not just yet. They may be researching solutions to their problem or comparing specific products. They have transaction intent (see below) but need some time and convincing before buying.
- Transactional intent – This type of intent is about purchasing things. Your user is looking for a product or solution and searches for it, often with a view to purchase almost immediately.
As you might imagine, remarketing for search leads to interest that is already qualified – great!
But your message should not be too salesy. TOFU campaigns should aim to build brand awareness and loyalty subtly. Here are a few ways it can be done:
- Links to useful, entertaining or funny videos
- Well-written blog content
- An engaging story
- Free downloads, magazines, whitepapers or brochures
From here it’s easy to build a campaign that repeatedly flaunts your brand to a prospect we already know is interested. Supported by a strong brand-awareness message delivered through visual remarketing ads on the Google Display Network, and with Facebook and LinkedIn news feed ads, you’re on your way to MOFU…
Keeping Things Moving: Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
Your prospect moves their way down to the middle of the funnel, but the work doesn’t stop here!
MOFU is about creating interest and product evaluation. If I’ve moved prospects from the top of the funnel, they now know about my services and brand. The number-one challenge here is keep the momentum going enough to build interest and create a memorable impression of your brand and its offering.
A key to leveraging remarketing at this stage is to understand just how pervasive and multi-channel it really can be. I don’t have to limit my efforts to just remarketing for search; I can deliver my remarketing ads on mobiles, social media and through the Gmail inbox.
If you’re familiar with multi-channel marketing then you might be aware of the common understanding from which all successful campaigns are born: personalise and be present as much as possible.
A successful MOFU remarketing strategy always consists of cross-device targeting (mobiles, desktops and tablets) with messaging personalised to each user based on their behaviour on your site. This could include (but isn’t limited to):
- Types of products viewed
- Search queries made from your site’s search bar
- People who abandoned cart and never looked back 🙁
- Recent buyers (for up-sell / cross-sell opportunities)
This is the point where I usually introduce a more product focused message. For example:
- Benefits of product or service
- The problem your product can help overcome
It’s also critically important to address common buyer objections in your ad message. These typically include high cost/realising value for money, time (lack of) and trust (again, lack of).
Closing the Deal: Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
We’ve made it. Well, almost!
Comfortably in BOFU, the customer is nearly ready to buy. So what’s stopping them?
One word. Commitment.
There’s an old expression: If you go up to a random girl or guy and say, “Will you marry me?” chances are they’re going to say no.
Sales and marketing is the same.
As with dating, the key to a successful remarketing strategy is in building relationships and trust. To do this you need to follow your own structured (and proven) process of:
- Reaching the right people
- With the right messages
- At the right time
- The appropriate number of times
This is the very essence of a successful purchase funnel, but unfortunately there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach here.
The two general keys to success are:
- Test at least three different messages at every stage of the funnel to find out what works best
- Segment your audience into different groups based on their level of exposure and location in funnel
At BOFU stage you almost always want to prompt your audience to take action. This can include messages like:
- Book a free trial
- Buy now
- Request a sample
- Book a viewing
Many businesses simply give up once the sale has been made. Don’t be like many businesses!
In actual fact, post-sale remarketing provides a valuable way to build trust with customers, and can help later down the line with things like brand loyalty, recognition, customer recommendations and the general perception of your business (which also helps improve things like email open rates, ad click-through rates and even the effectiveness of a sales phone call).
Better still, post-sale remarketing provides an opportunity to up-sell or cross-sell on a previous enquiry or purchase.
By tailoring my remarketing to customers who have previously purchased, I can offer them specific deals and offers – the age-old upselling technique with a digital twist.
If my client purchased a pair of jeans from my e-commerce website, I can use post-sale remarketing to serve them adverts for a jacket that matches it just so.
It’s quite the difference. Instead of allowing my clients and customers to disappear into the ether once they’ve purchased, I can instead stay in contact with them and offer unique appealing deals to the most highly qualified audience imaginable.
At QliQ, our clients vary in the services they provide and the products they offer. There are, however, common points we always consider when building a successful remarketing campaign.
- Mind your metrics: It’s tempting to assume that a campaign is successful because of basic metrics like click-through rates. While a higher CTR is always encouraging news, it’s only a signal of success at one step of the journey towards conversion.
- Visibility is key; if I’m running a remarketing campaign, I want to have full visibility of impressions, ad spend and distribution, cost-per-acquisition and more. Ultimately, I’ll be looking at the end-goal figures: conversions, be they in the form of purchases, form submissions or phone-calls. On the way, however, I’ll be monitoring the metrics that incrementally lead towards that final figure. They tell a valuable story and often point out weaknesses in the campaign that can be improved upon iteratively.
- Tailor your messaging: Although I mentioned the tailoring of messages in the growth stage, its value holds true across all points of the funnel. We’re fortunate to have access to such fantastic audience segmentation on our ad platforms, and I make use of it wherever I can. To me, an ideal campaign involving remarketing will include variations of messaging at all points of the funnel. If I’m marketing a product to users who are split across mobile and web browsing according to their individual preference, I need to keep my mobile messaging short and punchy in comparison to the web users who have more on-screen real estate and, generally, a little more time to read my message.
I hope you’ve found today’s article on the subject useful and informative!
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this but there are a series of fundamental and proven processes to help drive sales growth, most of which I’ve detailed here.
If you have questions or would like to talk to us about your remarketing goals contact us here.