Ad retargeting has really changed the advertising landscape and redefined how marketers can put their message in front of you.

The age-old sales motto has been that it takes 7 touchpoints to convert a prospect.

While in the past it might have been difficult to get those 7 touchpoints, ad retargeting makes it a breeze. After all, if you were a media buyer years ago limited only to TV, radio and print, it was a challenge to forecast just how often your message would reach the same individual. You would know the total impressions, and you could hypothesize if that same person had watched your ad yesterday and saw it again today, but it was a challenge.

With ad retargeting, you can literally have an advertisement follow someone around the web based on their specific behavior.

Let me give you an example….

Last October, my wife and I had a beautiful baby girl. When this happened (aside from being over-joyed and sleep deprived), I must have gone on several websites looking for information about diapers.

Prior to October, never (never ever!) had I seen an ad online for diapers. After October, almost every single ad I saw on any website was for diapers. It was like Huggies and Pampers had invaded my cyberspace. It didn’t matter what website I was on or what I was reading, there was always that ad reminding me I needed diapers somewhere on the screen.

This is ad retargeting in all it’s glory.

Of course, the layers of retargeting go much deeper and I’m just beginning to scratch the surface. You can retarget people based on their search terms, the sites they visit and more.

Let me give you an example of how we use ad retargeting here at Elite Email.

Through Google AdWords and the Google Display Network, we have it setup so that if you visit Elite Email, but do not signup for our free trial or login to an account, then our ads will follow you around the web for the next 60 days. If you didn’t know about ad retargeting, you may think that Elite Email has bought up every advertising slot on the entire web…. but that isn’t the case. During those 60 days, if you click on an ad, come back to Elite Email, and signup, then the ads will stop.

We even get a bit fancier here (oh so fancy!) because the ads you see as you traverse the web will actually be different depending on what pages you looked at. So, if you were focused on our “Features” pages, the ads will be really feature focused. Whereas if you were spending time on our “Pricing” page, the ads you see will remind you just how awesome our pricing is.

To the consumer ad retargeting could be a bit annoying at times, and possibly even border on creepy. However, to the advertiser, it is a game changer that opens up a world of possibilities.

We have done some fancy things with our enterprise clients where we tie in email marketing, landing pages and retargeting. Essentially, if you click on a link in our client’s newsletter about a certain product, you arrive at a specific landing page. That page has a special tracking pixel that acts as the trigger to begin the remarketing campaign. Now, as you travel around the web, you will see ads about that specific product until you come back to the site and complete your purchase or more than 60 days has gone by. This is a great way to boost conversions and tie in all the marketing together to get the best possible results.

Here is a great cartoon from Tom Fishburne who is one of my favorite illustrators that really sums up ad retargeting…

Ad Re-targeting Cartoon

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