Tom Shapiro is the founder & CEO of Digital Marketing NOW, a full-service digital marketing and design firm with expertise in the real estate industry. For more information, visit http://DigitalMarketingNOW.com.
Reel Prospects Back in Online
With retargeting techniques, you don't have to worry about losing contact with prospects once they've left your Web site.
January 4, 2012
You want prospects to visit your Web site and become familiar with your brand, information, and listings. The problem comes when prospects leave your site without contacting you. When they leave, they often check out the competition, forgetting about you and your brand. And the odds of being contacted by these prospects dwindle the longer they’ve been away from your site.
To be successful with digital marketing efforts, you must increase the number of “touchpoints” your brand has with prospects. When prospects spend time with your brand, you increase the chances of them hiring you for their real estate needs. Many big real estate brokerages embark on huge advertising campaigns to stay top-of-mind, but you may not have the marketing budget to constantly display your messages everywhere.
Even with a limited budget, though, you should ensure that your Web site visitors repeatedly come into contact with your brand. Focus on being exactly where your site visitors are going online at precisely the right time. The key to digital advertising success is to create highly targeted, highly timely marketing campaigns — a winning combination for an individual real estate practitioner or a brokerage of any size.
An effective way to accomplish this is through “retargeting” efforts, such as:
The most basic type of retargeting, this is an online advertising campaign configured to be displayed to those who have visited and left your site. Depending on your site and retargeting solution, you can configure the campaign to show ads to only those who did not submit an online form while on your site, ensuring that you’re effectively reaching those who “got away.” The ads appear in a multitude of online destinations based on the ad networks involved.
Let’s say a couple is interested in buying a three-bedroom, two-bathroom property. They visit and then leave your site without filling out your online contact form, and continue their Web research. Perhaps they visit their local newspaper’s Web site. If you’re running a site-retargeting campaign, your ad could appear on the newspaper’s site, reminding them about you and how you can meet their real estate needs.
Site retargeting is most effective if you segment your audience. You can show ads specifically about condominiums to someone who has visited the condo pages on your site, or display ads about apartment rentals to prospects that visited your apartment listing pages. This way, your messages are highly relevant to each person’s needs and online experiences.
Another key to success with site retargeting is to write custom ad copy that assumes the prospect has already visited your site. By offering a special incentive and a clear call to action, you can “bring them back” to you.
As with any retargeting campaign, you can set a frequency cap for the number of times prospects see your ads, and you can also designate an expiration date for the ads (e.g., “show the ads up to five times and only within seven days after they left my site”).
There are many solutions on the market, such as AdRoll.com, Retargeter.com, and FetchBack.com. The right solution depends on your goals, market, and budget.
Search retargeting is another useful mechanism for getting in front of those who have visited (and left) your Web site. With a service like Google Remarketing, you can show online display ads to those who search for your real estate keywords in Google and click on your Google AdWords ads but then leave your site. Your Google Remarketing ads appear when those site visitors then go to sites in the Google Display Network, which covers thousands of sites, including CNN.com, YouTube.com, and many others.
Google enables you to specify sites within the Google Display Network for your ads to appear. You can also exclude sites based on your preferences. Your ad copy should be written with the knowledge that these visitors have already clicked on your Google ads, checked out your site, and gained some familiarity with your brand.
With a typical Google AdWords campaign producing conversion rates of between 2 and 10 percent, Google Remarketing empowers you to keep your brand top-of-mind for the other 90 percent to 98 percent of prospects who clicked on your Google ads.
Beyond Search Retargeting
Other search retargeting programs, such as by Simpli.fi and Chango.com, go a step further by building repeated touchpoints with prospects. Now, you can more effectively target people who have used any of the major search engines to look for real estate in your target geography, regardless of whether you’re running search ads. This type of retargeting enables you to target prospects on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, even if they haven’t been to your site or clicked on any of your ads. With Simpli.fi’s platform, your campaign can extend beyond the search engines to practically any site where a user may search for information, including CNN.com, Amazon.com, and so forth.
This type of search retargeting repeatedly gets you in front of prospects who might otherwise not know about you. Plus, you’ll reach them precisely at the time they’re looking for real estate, dramatically increasing your chances of winning their business.
Measure, Measure, Measure
With any type of retargeting campaign, track, measure, and analyze your results. Clicks and conversions are useful metrics. You can also configure special landing pages with dedicated or dynamic phone numbers. Or take the lower-tech route of simply asking prospects how they found out about you and if they saw any of your ads online. Assess your efforts to determine your campaign’s value. That way, you’ll ensure that your retargeting initiative is providing the biggest bang for the buck.