Guest Post - Omnistar
A common mistake made by e-merchants is that they focus their marketing efforts towards acquiring new customers rather than retargeting previous customers or lost-prospects. Convincing someone that they need a product they’ve never even heard of before takes a lot more effort than reaching out to someone who almost made a purchase and just needs that extra push to get them across the line.
This ‘extra push’ is otherwise known as retargeting, and it happens to all of us, all the time. How often do you find yourself considering making a purchase but deciding against it, only to be tempted by ads for that or similar products everywhere you turn until you finally cave and buy it? That’s retargeting. It allows e-merchants to follow their prospects across the internet and promote their product wherever they turn.
Retargeting works particularly well when done in conjunction with a referral program. If a prospect is on the verge of making a purchase, the ability to offer them a reward may be the final push needed to make the sale. Use your retargeting messages to remind the prospect of the referral program and the rewards they will receive if they refer to their family and friends.
What is Retargeting?
In order to fully understand retargeting, you need to grasp one key concept - ‘cookies’ (not the edible kind). Cookies are effectively codes that allow e-merchants to monitor the behavior of their customers and prospects. The information gained by cookies helps e-merchants analyze user behavior and respond accordingly, sending relevant messaging to the right people. While it may seem like an odd idea at first, it’s actually mutually beneficial - customers are receiving ads that may actually interest them as opposed to generalized spam, while e-merchants are able to find and target their ideal audience.
Retargeting doesn’t only work for products and services, it’s a great way to spread awareness about your referral program. Here are some key reasons that the two work so well together:
Referrals Allow You to Retarget More Prospects
Referral programs spread awareness about your product and bring more traffic to your website. This is done through a referral page, which customers will send to friends and family to get themselves a reward. Once one of your customer’s referred connections enters the page, it gathers their information, widening the scope of potential customers you can retarget.
Increase Brand Recognition and Social Proof
One of the most important benefits of a referral program is that prospects have trust in the product right from the get-go. This isn’t just a complete stranger telling them about some new product, it’s a friend or family member, so the recommendation comes with legitimacy and brand recognition already built-in. This, in turn, will generate social proof, as more and more people within the one social circle begin talking about and promoting the same product.
It Allows You to Work With Influencers
Once the referral program has gained your brand enough recognition, you can start to consider working with influencers. Influencers look to collaborate with successful online businesses with a booming customer base. They work along-side popular brands to increase their own reach while promoting your brand to their many followers. The mere presence of a referral program can gain the attention of influencers and make them want to promote your business.
So, how can you make referral programs work for you?
Here are some key practices to ensure that your referral and retargeting programs work in unison to gain new prospects, and in turn, customers!
Analyze User Behavior
When a prospect leaves your referral page without signing up don’t just accept the loss, find out why. Analyze the user’s behavior on your site, from the stage of the purchase process they dropped-off at, to the amount of time they spent on the page, and try and work out what made them leave. There may be patterns that emerge between different customers, so keep track of this data and use it to modify purchasing or sign-up processes and optimize the user experience. Only then will you maximize your conversions
Use data to segment and personalize your retargeting
You need to analyze data beyond just customers’ past behavior on your site if they want to effectively retarget them. Taking factors such as age, gender or location into account, along with past behavior, allows you to segment your audience and retarget the right customers in the right way. Segmenting your audience and specifically targeting them in this way means you’ll be spending less on clicks per sale and increasing your return on investment while improving the customers' experience with your brand.
Visualize the customer journey and ensure that you don’t over-retarget your customers with customizable workflows. Custom workflows is a feature available in some marketing automation tools (such as Carts Guru) that allow you to design the customer journey down to the finest detail. For example, you may have a customer who has already received one retargeting message over email but did not respond. Instead of continuing to send them emails, with customizable workflows you’re able to set a delay period, to give the customer time to mull over the product, before reaching out to them on another medium (such as Facebook Messenger). This allows you to stay in front-of-mind without frustrating your prospective customer.
Methods of Retargeting
Referral Sales Targeting
When a customer makes a purchase you shouldn’t just relax and celebrate. Treat this sale as an opportunity to make another sale! This can be done through an upsell, down-sell or cross-sell, sending offers for complementary products that the customer will also want.
Often the customer will really like these additional products, but since they didn’t initially plan on purchasing them there won’t be room in their budget. This is a great opportunity to introduce a referral program, where they promote the product they just purchased to their friends and family and in turn receive a discount on the additional product.
A great way to increase your customer base and gain more data is through a ‘coming-soon’ or ‘waiting list’ page. Setting up such a page allows you to capture not just anyone’s information, but valuable information about people who are already very interested in your product and eagerly awaiting its release. Through the creation of a ‘coming soon’ page, you will have a list of genuinely interested prospects to target across different networks about your new releases and limited-time products.
Retargeting through social media allows businesses to target customers based on more specific characteristics such as their likes and interests, rather than just those who have made a relevant google search. A referral program can be a great help in social media retargeting, as your referees can garner referrals through a simple post to social media, which has a greater reach and takes less effort than actively reaching out to friends and family.
Partner Exchange Retargeting
Developing a working relationship with a business who produces a complementary product to yours is a great way to increase the reach of your marketing efforts. This mutually beneficial relationship involves each business sharing its pixel information and customer-base, then promoting each other's products so that they both reach a bigger target market.
As was mentioned at the start of this article, acquiring brand new customers takes a lot more effort than retaining current ones. The same can be said for bringing back lost customers. They already know who you are, what you do, and have shown enough interest in your product to make a purchase. Re-engaging customers who have seemingly lost interest in your brand involves analyzing why you lost them in the first place, designing a campaign around this issue (and why it’s been solved), and targeting them personally. Really paying attention to lost customers and sending personalized content made seemingly just for them will make them feel valued, and can be a huge step towards re-engaging them with your brand.
Retargeting is a fantastic way to turn prospects into customers. Combining retargeting with a referral program can vastly help your brand improve the reach of its marketing strategy, retaining customers and driving profits.
Don’t have a referral program? You can create one with a referral marketing software such as OmniStar. Our software works on any blog or eCommerce platform like Shopify and BigCommerce. Brands such as Big Hunting Bow Labs have had great success when using Omnistar software for their retargeting ads.