We often plan out re-targeting campaigns for real estate agents as part of a digital strategy project. But we’ve also seen a lot of real estate agents that already have re-targeting campaigns in place that are set up ineffectively. A successful re-targeting campaign just takes some thought to think about what you actually want to happen when a user clicks an ad, and what the most logical flow is for the user to take.

What is re-targeting?

Re-targeting is a pretty simple concept.

The basic idea is that if someone visits your website, a tracking cookie is installed in their browser, based on their IP address, and they’ll see ads on various websites or social networking sites for a period of time.

You’ve probably seen it before when you’ve looked at some clothing online, and then you’ve suspiciously seen ads for that same clothing on other websites; maybe you even clicked the ad and ended up buying it.

Specifically, you only want to show them these ads if they don’t convert. The idea is that by showing them an ad for something they’re already familiar with, they’ll click through it, come back, and convert once they’re returned to the website.

As mentioned earlier though, we’ve found that a lot of re-targeting campaigns that aren’t very effective, and they actually turn out to be a waste of advertising dollars. For example, if you have a re-targeting campaign set up, and when the user clicks one of the ads, and they go to a website homepage, that’s going to be really ineffective because you’re not giving the user anything to convert on when they’re on your homepage. To fix that, we plan our re-targeting campaigns in a more complex way by spending time thinking about what we actually want to happen when a user clicks an ad.

How do you get started?

The first thing you need to do is set up the specific pages you want the user to be targeted from when they visit. For example, if someone visits pages that we say are related to selling real estate, it just makes sense to only show them ads that are related to selling. Depending on your budget, you may decide to just target everyone regardless of which page they visit, and that’s ok too if you have a well-planned out, and somewhat general, page to send them to when they click through.

The next thing you have to think about is where you want the user to go when they click the ad, and the most effective place to direct them is to a well-designed landing page. We’ll often design landing pages with no exit points, forms with minimal fields, and specifically written, designed, and developed for that one specific campaign.

We’ve seen re-targeting campaigns go from 0% conversions to 40% and up by setting up landing pages that way.

One often overlooked thing is that you’ll want to have multiple thank you pages setup on your website, which is basically the page a user would go to when they convert and fill out a form. Why? Besides it just being a nice user experience, it also helps for re-targeting to have different thank you pages to count as conversions based on their URL. So, you’ll want to create a thank you page specifically for this campaign.

The last thing you’ll want to do is think about what your re-targeting ads will look like. This is, of course, a really important part of your strategy because you need to convince someone to actually click the ad.

An effective ad will have a beautiful and logical image, compelling copy, and something that looks like it can be clicked, like a button.

A lot of re-targeting services will let you create ads in multiple sizes, so we also create a different ad, at least visually speaking, for each of the ads. Why? Sometimes, websites will display 4 different ads on the same page, and it’s nice to see a little variety.

An example of a more complex re-targeting campaign

If we want to plan out a re-targeting campaign that was a little more complex, we might do something like this:

  • We’d create a Facebook ad with the goal of pushing the user to a certain landing page on the website, which would be a soft-sell landing page, meaning, not too pushy.
  • If they don’t complete the form, we’ll show them re-targeting ads to try to bring them back to the website, which makes sense since we already know they’re interested in what we’re trying to sell them.
  • Then, if they click the re-targeting ad, we’ll bring them to a new landing page, which is a hard-sell landing page, meaning, we’d be a little more direct in what we want them to do.

Get Planning

Re-targeting can be simple, or it can be complex. The whole point is that you want to make sure you plan out exactly what you want to accomplish before you set up a re-targeting campaign. The more you plan, think, and strategize your campaigns, the more successful they’ll be.

If you want a hand planning out your next re-targeting campaign, just send us an email at sales@artifaktdigital.com.

- Andre Bodnar, Managing Partner of Creative

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