Almost every sales and marketing consultant will tell you that you need to ‘touch’ or interact with your prospects multiple times before they will buy.
As the number of marketing messages each of us is exposed to rises almost daily, so the number of touches needed grows too.
Conventional wisdom suggests seven – your prospects have to be exposed to your message at least seven times before they will buy from you – though this figure appears to be rising.
When it comes to internet marketing, the accepted way to tackle this is to use a variety of means to drive targeted traffic (suspects) to your website, where your landing page (be that a special squeeze page as they’re called or a conventional home page) encourages them to interact with your website in some way so that you can capture their email address and convert them into a prospect. Once you have their email address, you can then send a series of messages to build the relationship and eventually encourage your prospects to buy from you.
It’s a tried and tested process used the world over and there are endless articles, books and indeed websites dedicated to how to maximise the traffic to your website, the conversion of that traffic into prospects and those prospects into customers.
But no matter how good you get at internet marketing you are never going to achieve a 100% conversion rate. The overwhelming majority (as many as 99%) of people visiting your website will stop by, have a quick look and move on somewhere else – no matter how well designed your website or how targeted the traffic.
So if 99% of people who visit your website are just passing by and don’t leave you any clue as to who they are, how are you going to keep in touch with them? After all, they were interested enough to stop by in the first place…
What if you could stay in touch with those people somehow, and ensure that they continued to see your message the seven, ten, twenty or fifty times needed to convert them into a prospect then a customer? What if you could keep in touch with them for a year or more? Do you think you could eventually sell quite a few of them something?
Welcome to the wonderful world of Re-Marketing.
There has been something of a revolution going on in the last year or so but it hasn’t really hit the headlines. A number of advertising networks have grown, Google being the biggest (yes, those guys again!) that take smart advertising to a whole new level.
In traditional marketing, a key factor is working out where your suspects and prospects hang out – which newspapers and magazines they read etc. – so that you can ensure your message is strategically placed.
Pay-per-click advertising took that to a new level – now you could get your advert in front of suspects and prospects at the very moment they were searching for what you had to offer.
Re-Marketing is the next generation.
Every computer on the internet has a unique address, an IP address. It’s what web servers use to send you the pages you request when you type in a URL or click on a link – the computer equivalent of your house number and postcode, if you like. Google Analytics and other web tools allow you or your website team to capture the IP address of every visitor to your site – whether they buy from you, subscribe to your mailing list, browse a while or just click straight past to somewhere else.
What Re-Marketing does is create a way for your message to follow that IP address around the internet and for your message to miraculously appear on other websites that your visitor browses.
So someone could visit your website today but not interact. Then tomorrow they are browsing the BBC website and lo and behold there’s an advert for your product or service on that website. How spooky – they were only looking at your site yesterday! A couple of days later they follow a link to read an interesting article on the website of their favourite national newspaper – and “look at that, there’s that company again! Wow, these guys must be doing really well, they’re everywhere! I really must go back and have another look at that website…”
One of the great benefits of Re-Marketing is that it is laser targeted. Your advert is only displayed to a small audience – those who’ve visited your website (and you can niche down even further than that) – and because you are being so targeted in when your advert gets served, the cost of clicks is much lower than if you were bidding against your competitors for a broader audience.
Another benefit is that it gives the impression of ubiquity. The majority of internet users aren’t that tech savvy, and won’t figure out that your ad is only being shown to them because they’ve already been on your website. In their mind you’ll be on the BBC, Sky, Google, Yahoo, MSN, The Times, their favourite specialist magazine site etc. And being associated with those big brands that they trust, being seen to be hanging out in all the right places, does wonders for your credibility and brand awareness – as well as the more direct effect of interacting with those previously untraceable suspects and turning them into prospects and customers.
So integrating Re-Marketing into your marketing strategy can deliver real benefits.
It’s something I’m going to be exploring in more detail for some of my websites – so when I start to implement it you’ll definitely be seeing me around!