5 Tips for Smarter Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting relevant content to interested consumers is an extremely powerful acquisition tool for banks and credit unions looking to achieve a lower cost-per-account opening. Here are five tips to manage retargeting campaigns effectively, efficiently and within compliance regulation.

By Carie Schelfhaudt, Director of Digital Marketing at McDougall & Duval Advertising

Most educated buyers make financial decisions after doing a lot of research and comparison shopping to find the products that fit their current needs. The internet has become a place where consumers to kick tires and test drive products before making long-term purchase decisions. But life throws little distractions at us all the time. The phone rings. The kids need help. The coffee spills. Suddenly, the search for a new auto loan is on hold, and time passes between the initial intent to purchase and the date of the actual purchase.

Experts who have studied consumer buying patterns have developed a solution: retargeting (sometimes referred to as remarketing). For those unfamiliar with retargeting, this service gives you the option to show online ads to people after they have visited your website and left without purchasing a product. Here’s how it works:

  1. A person visits your financial institution’s website.
  2. A pixel (or cookie) is automatically dropped on the browser of that person by the third-party retargeting service (Google, AdRoll, etc.).
  3. The person then leaves your financial institution’s website.
  4. Depending on your media buy, online ads from your financial institution will be shown to that person as they visit other websites (the marketing team can design the ad content and decide how frequently and for how long the ad appears to that person).

Retargeting can be a remarkable solution for financial service marketers that are looking for innovative ways to re-entice potential customers and/or members to make the switch to a new financial institution. Here is a list of five tips and tricks to help you get the most from your financial institution’s retargeting campaigns.

( Read More: A Comprehensive Guide to Retargeting for Banks and Credit Unions )

1. Be relevant: Tying ads to a specific product campaign will increase ROI

The first thing you need to do is determine the type of product that the person was searching for before they abandoned your financial institution’s website. This can be accomplished by dropping cookies on the user’s browser only when they visit particular pages on your website. Then you know what that consumer was interested, allowing you to create ads that promote the exact product the potential customer is interested in.

For example, a consumer — we’ll call her Linda — is searching a credit union’s website for current auto loan rates. She navigates to the auto loan page and sees a rate of 3.5% APR. At that moment, a cookie is dropped on her browser, logging her specific interest in auto loans. The doorbell rings — it’s UPS with a package. Then she has to make dinner. The next day, she sits back down at her laptop to read the local news and check her email. While browsing the web, Linda sees an ad for the same credit union offering a discounted auto loan rate of (2.99% APR) and clicks on the ad. From there, Linda fills out the contact form, or online application and a conversion is recorded.

In this example, the ad is relevant to the needs of the customer and even offers the product at a discounted rate. Once purchased, a profitable ROI is achieved.

2. Buyer Beware: Follow compliance regulations by updating your website’s privacy policy

Every time a new marketing technique is introduced to bank marketers, it is usually greeted with a myriad of issues surrounding compliance and regulations. The most common concern with retargeting involves the use of cookies.

You should be upfront with consumers about the specifics of a retargeting campaign. Let consumers know that you’re using cookies, for what purpose, and the length of time the information will be utilized for marketing purposes. These details should be explained in full within your “Privacy Policy.”

Similarly, retargeted ads are still governed by the same compliance regulations of all online advertising. “Trigger words” should not be used in the ads, and any ads containing rates should also include disclaimers with more information on a landing page that is no more than one click away from the ad.

3. Time’s up: Limit the frequency of retargeted ads

Have you ever heard of the expression, “He’s just not that into you?” Retargeting critics will s0metimes say that the practice is intrusive or creepy. If done incorrectly, they can be rather disturbing to some consumers. To minimize this perception, it is highly recommended to limit the amount of exposure that one person will receive for any given ad. In other words, limit the frequency and length of time of each ad. It’s a good idea to cap the length of time a retargeted ad is shown to a given consumer to a maximum of 30 days. This limit should also be communicated in the website’s Privacy Policy. The length of time could be shorter than this, depending on the product or promotion you’re running. For instance, the decision-making process on a new mortgage could be significantly longer than the decision-making process on an auto loan. Conversely, a special rate on CDs might only apply for a week or even just a few days.

4. Experiment with cross-selling: Set your cookie on a “thank you” page after an initial conversion to cross-sell other products

If a first-time buying experience is rewarding, statistics show that a second purchase from the same customer is likely in the future. Use retargeting to cross-sell additional products to newly acquired buyers. For example, Bank ABC has a special promotion for a low rate on a home equity line of credit. A multi-pronged campaign is developed to entice users to fill out an online application, and many do. If thinking strategically, Bank ABC has the opportunity to retarget to these customers with another product by dropping cookies on the “thank you” page of the HELOC application (perhaps a credit card).

5. Targeting is key: Segment your audience

Retargeting can be set up in a variety of different ways depending on the platform that is used. Always remember that knowing your specific audience is a key factor in determining the success of a campaign. Pick an audience that will help meet the strategic goal of your financial institution, whether the goal is to create brand awareness, increase customer acquisition, or cross-sell an existing customer.

The bottom line is that banks and credit unions can no longer afford to spend precious marketing dollars just to have website visitors abandon their product searches or account opening process without converting to customers or members. Working in conjunction with inbound marketing efforts, retargeting can help turn window shoppers into hot prospects – a winning combination.

Has your financial institution had any success with retargeting? If so, please leave a comment below and share your experience.

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