We’ve all been there before. We wander a little too deep into the realms of the internet and suddenly we’re shopping for Dutch clogs. We come to, realize what we’ve done and quickly exit out before it gets worse. You open a new window, head over to your favorite site and BAM! an ad appears for DUTCH CLOGS. (I’m starting to think I’m alone on this one, but just roll with it).
This internet spy-work is what’s known as remarketing – a powerful tool for digital advertisers to market again, or “re” market, to people who have already shown interest in a product. “Showing interest” can mean a number of things, such as visiting a page, multiple page visits within a single site, or placing an item in their cart. According to Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned. This is an astonishing statistic that Ad platforms like Google AdWords, Yahoo Ads, Bing Ads, and others have attempted to quell.
Perhaps it’s my experience managing Ad campaigns, but recently I’ve noticed remarketing campaigns hitting especially hard.
Let me show you how I went from remarketed to straight up hunted by Prana yoga activewear company.
Aside from a 1-credit yoga course in college (Senioritis, much?), you’d be more likely to see me at a Yogi Bear campsite than being a yogi in the studio. That said, I received a pair of their pants as a Christmas gift last year and I practically live in them, so I decided to check out what they had going on this summer. What started as a quick peek turned into a mirrored plot to Scream I, II, & III. [Note: these screenshots were grabbed over a three week period, not just a day to two]
Prana’s homepage: where it all began.
1. Various News Sources… because the election is almost a year from being right around the corner!
Fox News (8/2/15)
USA Today: 7/21/2015
New York Times (7/16/15) #fashion!
New York Times (8/3/15)
2. Reading some classic click-bait marketing blogs
Clickbait somewhere (8/5/15)
TrueTwit spam (8/10/15)
3. Random browsing
Business Insider (8/12/15)
Some other Facebook retargeting
*If I had included all the different Facebook screenshots, you’d basically be scrolling through a week’s worth of my newsfeed.
All the while, Patagonia sends one email directly to my inbox (voluntary subscription) for a similar sale. Sorry Prana, you can’t remarket my inbox.
In all, the whole process made me feel as though Prana’s Twitter profile should more accurately read: “Clothing for people who live life fully, play long, and troll the internet too much”. Interestingly, Prana has almost 200K followers on Facebook and they posted ONLY ONE organic post about the sale. Obviously, they are careful about not “selling” to their fans over social, but seem to have no problem hunting down my cookies and infiltrating even my walk to work in Boulder Colorado: HOW!
SO, THE QUESTION YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR: DID IT WORK? DID I BUY SOMETHING FROM THE PRANA GARAGE SALE AT 40% OFF?!
I bought something! But not from Prana.com. A few days into the remarketing barrage, my friend sent me this email:
I bought some shorts @ 50% off. They’re fantastic.
For scrolling through that mess, here’s your reward! To set up your own remarketing campaign on Google AdWords, check out this tutorial video:
At the end of the day, take this story with a grain of salt. And that grain of salt is that you need to be careful when setting up campaigns so as not to barrage the user. I became so hyper-aware of their marketing that I was somewhat put-off by the website in general. A great way to avoid this is by setting up frequency capping in your Google AdWords account.
To honor them… I wore this shirt today… that I already owned… or maybe they brainwashed me into wearing it. Who knows!?
Have some remarketing horror stories of your own? Hit us up on Twitter @adhawk