Before we explore remarketing that goes beyond the basket, let’s examine its underlying principles in greater detail. As you consider your remarketing strategy, here are five questions you’ll want to answer.
Why are you sending the message? The beginning of a good remarketing strategy is a clear “why.” To get there, you need to ask other questions, like what customer intention are you trying to respond to? What do you want them to do? The more specific you can get, the better. For example, knowing that you want to keep in touch to customers who have left products in their basket is good. But knowing why your customers are leaving products in their basket is better because it allows you to tailor your message to a more relevant need.
Who is receiving it? Understanding your audience is crucial. And again, the more specific you can get, the better. Every piece of information you can gather on your customers — everything from purchasing history to behavioural data — can help you to create a remarketing message that works. Remember, the goal here is to understand your customer’s intention. The more you understand your customer, the better you understand their intentions.
What is the right timing and cadence? Once you understand your audience and your why, you can determine when you should send your message and how many follow-ups you think you’ll need. The Internet is full of advice about the “right” time to do everything, including sending remarketing emails. The truth is, the right time varies from situation to situation, but you need to be prepared to respond quickly to take advantage of their motives. “The more you reduce the time distance between when somebody took and action to when you send an email,” says Jose Cebrian, senior vice president of digital messaging at Merkle, “the more money you make.”
How are they receiving it? To send the best message, you need to know not only how your customer will be reading it, but what they’ll do as a result. This question is becoming increasingly difficult to answer as new technologies come into play and the online and off-line worlds become ever more entangled. Obviously, mobile devices and desktops are the two main channels now, but as wearables and the Internet of Things become more prevalent, good data on your audience consumption behaviour will become ever more important.
Is your content simple and useful? Again, this question goes back to your audience and your why. In order to be useful, you need to approach your emails from a customer-centric perspective. You need to understand what they’re trying to accomplish so you can solve their problem. At the same time, if your messages are too complicated, you may be trying to do too much. Go back to your audience need and your purpose and see if you can refine it more.
Guided by these principles, you can launch a basic remarketing campaign pretty easily and get good results. Consider moments where your customers are on the cusp of conversion but don’t quite make it. Then keep in touch to them and offer a solution. If you’re honest about what’s wrong and put yourself in your customer’s place, you’ll see results.
For example, one national hardware retailer had an e-commerce site and adopted a basic abandoned basket campaign. But they weren’t seeing the results they expected, so they dug into their analytics data and started looking more closely at what their customers were doing.
They quickly discovered that their customers were putting big-ticket items in their baskets as a way to research products and compare prices, but then they were purchasing those items in physical shops. With this new insight gleaned from cross-channel data about the actual behaviour and intent of their customers, they re-worked their campaign to focus on reminders instead of purchases, with much better results.
But as you’re successful, you can’t sit still. Because good remarketing relies so heavily on the context in which your customers receive it, remarketing is a great, ROI-friendly catalyst for transforming your entire email strategy.