As a mod­ern mar­keter, you’ve prob­a­bly heard plenty about retar­get­ing: the strat­egy of tar­get­ing con­sumers who have pre­vi­ously vis­ited your site with­out mak­ing a purchase.

When most peo­ple think of retar­get­ing, they asso­ciate it with search retar­get­ing, where dis­play ads are trig­gered by a user’s activ­ity on Google or other search engines—but there are sev­eral other effec­tive retar­get­ing approaches that shouldn’t be over­looked. As you fine-tune your 2014 mar­ket­ing plan, keep the fol­low­ing strate­gies in your sights.

Search Retar­get­ing

There’s a rea­son this strat­egy is so widely known—it works. By serv­ing up cus­tomized dis­play ads to these buy­ers, you can help keep your brand on their radar, prompt them to action, and boost clicks and con­ver­sions. Search retar­get­ing is effec­tive because it shows peo­ple what they were look­ing for to begin with.

Email Retar­get­ing

Even if a prospect vis­its your site and doesn’t make a pur­chase, they’ve still left behind valu­able infor­ma­tion. What prod­ucts did they view? Did they search for some­thing and then leave the site? Did they fill their cart before aban­don­ing it? If you have these vis­i­tors’ email addresses, you can send a tar­geted mes­sage invit­ing them back.

When using email as a retar­get­ing tool, per­son­al­iza­tion is key. Tai­lor your mes­sages based on the visitor’s behav­ior and inter­est in cer­tain prod­ucts or con­tent. Did the vis­i­tor browse a few jew­elry items but never make it to check­out? You could fea­ture images of your newest gem­stones in your email cre­ative. Did shop­pers search for “cus­tom cuff links” but come up short? Send an email link­ing to your sis­ter site that sells what they’re look­ing for.

Time­li­ness is also important—many e-tailers have had great suc­cess retar­get­ing cart aban­don­ers, but it’s cru­cial to con­nect before the would-be buyer loses inter­est or for­gets what moti­vated the pur­chase in the first place.

To take email retar­get­ing to another level, you can look at other buyer data, such as pre­vi­ous pur­chases and aver­age order value, and use this infor­ma­tion to deliver rel­e­vant offers that entice vis­i­tors to return.

What­ever strat­egy you use, email retar­get­ing is an afford­able, effec­tive way to engage pre­vi­ous vis­i­tors and build brand loyalty.

Site Retar­get­ing

This strat­egy also tar­gets vis­i­tors who have pre­vi­ously vis­ited your site. Based on the customer’s ear­lier inter­ac­tions and behav­iors, along with data from their mar­ket­ing pro­files, you can serve up rel­e­vant, engag­ing con­tent to pique their interest.

Let’s say a prospec­tive buyer has vis­ited your site search­ing for the per­fect black dress for an upcom­ing party. Maybe she viewed a few prod­uct pages, read some cus­tomer reviews, or even added a dress to her cart. The next time she returns to the site, you could dis­play tar­geted ads with images and mes­sag­ing that rein­force the item of inter­est. This is a great sup­ple­ment to tar­geted emails, cre­at­ing a cohe­sive retar­get­ing strat­egy that flows from one chan­nel to the next.

Using a com­pre­hen­sive solu­tion such as the Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud, you can tap into a rich set of data to use in your retar­get­ing efforts, includ­ing aver­age order value, point of aban­don­ment, pre­vi­ously pur­chased items, and other key infor­ma­tion within cus­tomer profiles.

SEO/SEM Retar­get­ing

A close cousin to site retar­get­ing, this method focuses on the search terms vis­i­tors have used to arrive at your site. By exam­in­ing these search terms—in con­junc­tion with the actions peo­ple take once they’re on your site—you can gain the highly valu­able advan­tage of vis­i­tor intent. Once you’ve pin­pointed pre­cisely what a cus­tomer is look­ing for, you can cater to that with rel­e­vant, timely offers and content.

Con­tex­tual Retargeting

This form of retar­get­ing involves an exchange between rel­e­vant, com­ple­men­tary sites. Con­tex­tual retar­get­ing focuses on vis­i­tors look­ing for prod­ucts or ser­vices that are fre­quently pur­chased together. For exam­ple, the Mar­riott might retar­get vis­i­tors to an air­line or auto rental site.

Find­ing Suc­cess with Retargeting

Today’s savvy mar­keters are branch­ing out beyond search retar­get­ing, and find­ing more ways to seize a sec­ond chance at con­vert­ing browsers to buy­ers.  Accord­ing to recent data from the Chango Retar­get­ing Barom­e­ter Q3 2014, one in five mar­keters has a ded­i­cated retar­get­ing bud­get, and approx­i­mately 80 per­cent agree that retar­get­ing is a stan­dard mar­ket­ing practice.

Imple­ment­ing mul­ti­ple retar­get­ing strate­gies can help you hone your mar­ket­ing mes­sages, reach the “sweet spot” of your tar­get mar­ket, and drive higher engage­ment, con­ver­sions, and brand loy­alty. With each of these tech­niques, you’ll see much bet­ter results if you take the time to seg­ment, tar­get, and retar­get using a tool such as Adobe Tar­get, ensur­ing that the right audi­ence seg­ments are receiv­ing the right mes­sages at the right time.

I’ll be talk­ing more about retar­get­ing tech­niques at the 2014 Adobe Sum­mit, sched­uled for late March. There’s still plenty of time to reg­is­ter!

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