As you know, I think retargeting is an amazing tool. With that said, it’s not a silver bullet solution for generating leads and sales from your website. It’s not a tactic to start with. Instead, retargeting is layered on top of a strong digital marketing foundation.
If you cook or, like me, just watch TV cooking shows like the Next Food Network Star, you know that salt and other seasonings enhance the flavor of food. You wouldn’t build a meal around just salt and pepper. You first need the core ingredients, and then you add salt and pepper to enhance their flavors. That’s how you should think about retargeting. It’s not a meal by itself. You need other components of digital marketing, and then retargeting enhances those for you.
In this article, I’m going to talk about four misconceptions regarding retargeting in advertising.
Misconception #1. Retargeting Fixes Conversion Problems
In previous articles, I have explained how retargeting will increase your conversion rate. But it doesn’t actually fix your overall website conversions. So if your website is not currently converting visitors into leads and sales, simply adding a retargeting campaign will not fix that problem. You will need to get to the root of that issue first, which probably has to do with the copy and the layout of your website.
If you already have a website that is converting visitors into leads, then a retargeting campaign will enhance, or increase, your overall conversion rates. Again, this is just like how salt and pepper enhance the flavors of food – but the food has to actually taste good in the first place, or the salt and pepper won’t help! The core ingredient, in this case a high-converting website, has to be in place first.
Misconception #2. Retargeting Will Build Traffic
Retargeting cannot build traffic to a website that isn’t getting any traffic yet (or is only getting minimal traffic). Let’s say you launch a brand new website and nobody goes to it, because you’re not ranking organically and you have no referral traffic or advertising in place. In this case, you have no one to retarget. The way retargeting works is to show ads to your website visitors after they leave your site. If you have no visitors, there is no one to see those ads.
Misconception #3. Retargeting Is Unethical or Illegal
A very common misconception is that retargeting is somehow unethical or that it violates online privacy laws. Those are valid concerns but, in fact, retargeting does not violate anyone’s privacy. That’s because everything is completely anonymous. The way the technology works is that a cookie is stored on the website visitor’s browser, but no personal identifying information is saved. It’s more like a yes or no: “Yes, this browser visited the website” or “No, it did not.” If yes, then you can show an ad to that person, but you do not collect any information such as the name or email address. This means that the strategy is completely within the privacy laws.
Misconception #4. Retargeting Replaces Website Contact Forms
Many people think that if they are using retargeting ads, they don’t need to have a contact form (or what we call a Lead Magnet) on their websites. That’s completely untrue. Remember, the retargeting ad platforms do not provide any personal identifying information, so there is no way to follow up via email or a phone call with these prospects.
That’s why it’s critical for everyone, every type of business, to have some kind of contact form on your website, so you can collect your prospects’ contact information. That way, you can follow up directly with your prospects, in addition to showing banners with retargeting.
Want More Retargeting Tips?
If you’d like to learn more about retargeting, I’m hosting a live training session on Wednesday, June 18th called “How to Profit with Retargeting.”
During this training, I’ll show you, step by step, how to set up a retargeting campaign, reveal more mistakes to avoid, and share some advanced tactics and real world examples. Plus I’ll answer all of your questions during the live Q&A.
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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