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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