Remarketing and RLSAs: Keeping Up with Your Joneses

Your best customers have already shown up! The most significant opportunity for a brand is to convert people who have already shown interest in your business. Using the magic behind the internet, you can find these people and make sure they don’t forget about you. This ability to be everywhere your customers are is called Remarketing.

You probably know a bit about this already; Remarketing is one of the more visible and polarizing tactics in digital marketing. “It’s creepy” and “Go away stop following me” are common responses when people are asked what they think of these ads. I honestly don’t blame them, SO MANY marketers do a shit job of using this tool that I’m surprised that ad platforms don’t just shut the gates and tell everyone that this is why we can’t have nice things.

How can we be better? Think a bit before launching your campaign to start. Taking Google as an example, there are a bunch of options when it comes to setting up a Remarketing campaign. One of my favourites is to use a timed response model with varied ad visuals or copy. You can set it up to take a break for a few days before starting, or to remove them from the campaign targeting if they visited a specific page (like, say, if they visited your “thank you” page after conversion).

Removing converted customers from the list is a great way to save money! Campaigns should be set up to be as tight as possible from the beginning, but don’t be afraid to dig into the data to choke off loose spend on an unrelated activity. If you provide an information page for a service, you have that seems to be just gathering people looking for a definition (WTF is a joist, anyway?) but not leading to conversions… you could cut that activity from your campaign and see the results. Remember, testing is part of the game!

Remarketing places customers into a group. When you’re talking Search ads, this list is an RLSA or Remarketing List for Search Ads. It is an audience that has acted in viewing one of your pages or watching one of your videos, and now you’re targeting their related searches.

You can use dynamic Remarketing to show the specific product or service that they were interested in. You can even set up a trigger to start a campaign only if the customer has viewed a particular part of your site like ¾ of the way down a page. There are nearly a dozen trigger types you can use in Google Ads alone! Also, this applies to YouTube Ads, as you can set triggers based on how people interact with embedded videos.

Other ad networks have similar abilities to add and remove people from campaign targeting, so why all the terrible creepy stalker ads? Well… it isn’t exactly straightforward. Triggers aren’t as simple as flipping a switch; you need to think about how their rules will interact with other rules in your campaigns.

Now that you know how to get better at Remarketing let’s look at how you can use these talents to drive a conversion. That’s right… it’s funnel time!

At the top of the conversion funnel, you’re trying to drive awareness. That’s where most Remarketing campaigns are used; someone took a look at your sweaters, and you want to remind them that HEY FUCKER WE DON’T DISAPPEAR WHEN YOU CLOSE THE PAGE, WE HAVE MOUTHS TO FEED BUY OUR SWEATER SO WE DON’T STARVE… CHAMPION DOESN’T SIGNAL WHEN CHANGING LANES THEY’RE TRASH.

Using a simple Remarketing campaign, you appear in display spots around the web and stay at “top of mind.” I might sound like I’m talking down on this strategy, but that’s not at all accurate. Awareness campaigns are crucial to new brands, or brands looking to promote new products or services. To expect someone to buy your shit before learning who you even are isn’t fair, and you’re going to be disappointed in your results if you try to force-feed people down the funnel.

People develop relationships with the things they buy. Part of a relationship is getting to know whom you’re hopping into bed with, so be gentle when setting up your conversion journey. It would be best if you instilled a sense of urgency, of course; you aren’t going to wait FOREVER to seal the deal, but you can smooth out the journey with a good set up.

Now that you know there are options when creating these campaigns to be less creepy… do it. Lazy remarketing wastes money and hurts your brand. Nobody likes a stalker… well nobody likes an obvious stalker. Get better at hiding in bushes by choosing which bushes to hide in, for starters.

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