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Not all business owners know how to make the most out of the opportunities Google remarketing brings. On this episode, learn about the nuts and bolts, find out what’s new with remarketing and discover how it can benefit your business.
In this episode:
01:35 – Remarketing — what is it? What’s new with it?
02:30 – Power your campaigns with segmentation
02:55 – Putting a tracking pixel on your websites
03:33 – Focusing on Google remarketing
04:11 – 3 groups you want to create ads for
05:57 – Segmenting by time frame
07:45 – Showing different ads over time
09:02 – How display ads look like
10:29 – Will this ad setup work over time?
12:18 – Dynamic remarketing
13:06 – Best type of businesses to use remarketing
14:38 – Is it difficult to set up?
15:32 – Remarketing 101 and beyond at SFB Live
16:33 – How to improve your remarketing results
18:35 – Re-engineering sales results with remarketing
20:25 – How much does this cost?
20:50 – The action steps
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James: James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today’s guest is going to blow our minds as to the opportunities available to us.
It’s not new, this topic, so much, but a lot of people still don’t know about it, which is kind of surprising by now. I’d like to welcome Mike Rhodes to the call.
Mike: Good day, mate.
James: How are you going?
Mike: Good to be here. I’m very good. Thank you for having me.
James: Now you’re kind of a veteran around my circles. Isn’t it funny, Google have kind of picked up on that circle thing and run with it.
James: But in our neck of the woods, you’ve been to a few of my events and talked about remarketing, or as you put it, the invisible email list.
Quite some time ago, but still the average business owner probably doesn’t know about it, and I guess the bridge is starting to form where it becomes more mainstream.
But I’m really interested to find what is actually new with remarketing. What is it, just in case someone’s not sure about what it is, and let’s dazzle listeners with some amazing possibilities.
What Is Remarketing?
Mike: Alright. Well, let’s start at the beginning, because obviously we touched on it on the FastWeb 3 I think in particular, I think we touched on it way back when in FastWeb 2, but… As a brief overview, what is it, the ability to show ads to people based on a previous behavior. That’s it in a nutshell.
Typically, what that’s going to be is people that have been to your website but that didn’t convert yet, that didn’t take some sort of action that you’ve deemed important.
Obviously for an e-commerce site that’s buying stuff, for a lead gen site that’s filling in the form to get the free consultation or the white paper or the software download or whatever it might be.
James: Well, just on that point, wouldn’t we want to have a remarketing campaign for people who did take an action as well, like our hyperlist of buyers?
Mike: Absolutely. If you’ve got enough – I’ll talk a little bit about segmentation as we go – if you’ve got enough of those people then it absolutely makes sense to break those out and treat those as hyper-responsives separately.
It’s like anything that’s database driven. The more you can segment, the more power you’re going to get out of it, and that’s really what I want to focus on today and in the presentation at SuperFast.
James: OK, so let’s just talk about the tech involved here. It’s simply a case of putting a little tracking pixel of some kind on our website code in the back of the website, right?
Mike: Yeah. There’s no different technology here. Most people at this stage are running some form of Google Adwords account, so you don’t have to go and set something else up, this is all inside your Adwords account, and once you set up remarketing, Google spits out a little bit of code to you and you install that little bit of code or someone that knows what they’re doing puts that little bit of code on every page of your website.
I’m also going to talk a little bit later about a slightly new, the more advanced, the fun stuff, where you may not even have to change any code at all.
James: Wow. And just while we’re here, are you specifically talking about Google today? What about other providers like AdRoll, Perfect Audience, Remarketer….
Mike: I’m going to focus on Google because there’s a corner of remarketing called Google Analytics Remarketing. That’s the bit that’s got me really excited at the moment, where you can do a lot more than some of these other providers.
There are many, many, many platforms these days. You’ve mentioned a couple that you can use for remarketing. I’m going to suggest for the majority of people that they stick with Google for their first campaign, really learn and understand remarketing, get the power of it, and then you can go on and use different platforms for different uses.
James: Fantastic. Alright, well, now we know what it is, we know who we’re talking about, let’s get stuck into the meat.
Segmenting your audience
Mike: Well, let’s start with the basics. There are essentially three groups of people that you might want to create in order to show different ads to.
The first, the easiest one to get your head around is everybody that comes to your website. So that’s your All Visitors list. Then, you’ve already mentioned this, you’d have a group of just the buyers, or just the people that have converted, people that have done what you wanted them to do.
And then there’s probably a group in the middle there somewhere that are those people that have shown more interest than the average visitor but haven’t done what you wanted yet.
So they’ve maybe added a product to the shopping cart, or they’ve read your shipping policy page, or they’ve read a couple of blog posts, been to that free consultation page, but haven’t filled out the form yet.
So there’s a range of different groups of people that we can create. And again, the more you segment, the more powerful this is going to be. But at the same time, you’re kind of balancing that between what’s a sensible number of people to remarket to, so remarket being marketing again to.
If I’m remarketing to seven people, it’s probably not going to work very well. It’s going to be very hard to judge results, and it’s probably going to take quite a while before those people even see my ad.
Now there is no golden rule, sorry, there’s no perfect number how much should I segment my list. I’m going to give you a rough, rough rule of thumb where you probably want to be adding about a thousand people a month to each segment, at a minimum.
So if you’ve only got 5,000 people a month coming to your website, one or two, three lists is probably going to be about right. If you’ve got a 100,000 people a month coming to your website, you can get away with a lot more lists. Obviously you’ve got a bit more work to do, but the more you can segment, the more powerful it gets..
James: OK. So got that.
Mike: Good so far?
James: Yup, what’s next?
Segmenting by time frame
Mike: So then we get a little bit more advanced. And this is where we start to segment, not by the page on our site that somebody has been to, but by the time frame.
So it would make sense that someone that’s just been to your website and they’ve shown lots of interest but they haven’t quite converted yet, if you can get back in front of that person fairly quickly, it’s obviously going to stand more chance that you’re going to convert that person than, say, six months or a year from now.
So if we can start now to slice and dice our list over time, and show different ads to people over time, it’s probably going to work better.
So let’s say you’ve got a process that typically most people take about a month to do all their research and their decision making, so it’s about a month-long decision making process.
So you might want to, for instance, bid more to show an ad to those people over the first week, and they still haven’t taken action but you still want to show ads to them but then not quite as hot to trot now.
So maybe you then want to reduce your bids down a little bit, for weeks two, three and four. And if they still haven’t been back to your website, you still want to show ads to them for another few weeks, but you want to bid even less.
A month after that, they still haven’t done anything, so we’ll stop advertising to them altogether. We don’t want to annoy them and constantly follow them around.
Mike: So now, we’re segmenting by the level of interest that they’ve shown, and we’re segmenting by the time frame. OK? So let’s go a notch up.
James: This is like scoping a rifle and we’re just dialing in the coordinates, right?
Mike: There you go. A couple of test shots. Figuring out where to go. And just dialing it in and dialing it in.
Changing the ads
So now what would be even better than just paying more for the short term would be if we could change the ad, change the promise over time. So we might show different ideas, different stories, different product attributes. Totally different ad creative over time.
So think of that as more like an autoresponder sequence, which your listeners would be very, very familiar with, where instead of changing the message on day 7 and day 15 and day 30 and day 60, we can change the ads that someone sees.
Mike: So an example of that, I don’t like discounting as a pricing strategy, but you might choose to… OK, they’ve been to my site, they didn’t buy, I’ll show them an ad for a week. I’ll try and get them back. They didn’t respond to that.
Well OK, now let me try a 10% off ad for a week or two. Now OK, they still didn’t respond to that. Now let me try a buy one, get one free ad for a bit. They still haven’t responded.
OK, last ditch, Hail Mary pass, we’ll go the 50% off ad, and if they still don’t respond to that, then bugger it, we’re going to stop advertising to them altogether.
So by changing the ad, and obviously you need to match the promise made in those ads, you need to bring the person to the right landing page, and you need to obviously fulfill on that promise made, but if you can do that, now we’re getting pretty clever.
James: And what sort of ads… what are they going to look like?
Mike: So these ads are your typical display ads or banner ads. There are a number of sizes that they can be in. They can be text ads, but generally they’re going to be image ads.
So obviously quite powerful if you can have your brand in there. Remember that these are people that have already been to your website. They‘re already somewhat familiar with you. So at least having the brand in there and a headline there to tell the story, tell the promise of that ad.
Then you can start to get a little bit funky and test totally different looking ads. You know, is it the picture of the cute girl? Is it the picture of the cute guy? Is it the couple? Is it the couple holding a baby? Is it the older couple?
Is it the picture of the thing, you know, the car or the microphone or the thing that we’re selling?Or is it a picture of the end result, the feeling, the emotion that they want on the other side of purchasing the product?
We’re testing at the moment more hand-drawn, more cartoon style versus beautiful photographs versus black and white photographs versus no image at all, just writing.
It’s very simple to create a range of different ads, but by showing different ads to a range of people over time, you learn a huge amount very quickly about which ads perform the best, and that’s ultimately what we want here. This is all meant to be positive ROI and driving profitable traffic back to our website.
James: And like, is this the sort of stuff you can set up and it continues to work for you, or do you get things like banner fatigue? Does it depend if your customers are repeat or continuously revolving door on your front-end website?
Mike: Yeah, that’s going to make a little bit of a difference. But if you get this set up and you’ve got this fairly well segmented, it’s not completely send and forget. But it is, I’d say, more send and forget than the bulk of an Adwords account would be.
Because these ads by definition now will not be shown to somebody, take the example we had before, where no one’s even going to see this ad until they’ve been to your site, shown that they’re interested, but not bought yet, and have been in that state 15 days later, before they see this ad in your account.
So you don’t really get banner fatigue, if you segment well. So if you’re showing a different group of ads to people in week 1, and then another group of ads to people in month 1, and then a different group of ads to people in month 2…
Once that’s all set up and you’ve set up the maze, very similar to an autoresponder, I wouldn’t ever suggest that you just walk away from that completely, but the bulk of the work is then done.
You’re still obviously going to look at results and tweak that over time and keep testing different creatives and different ideas, maybe different levels of bidding, but the bulk of it’s done. And yeah, this can work just on autopilot for a long time.
James: So I know that a lot of companies are doing this, because I go and visit a site, and immediately I’m starting to see, like, liquid web banners everywhere I go.
Mike: Bellroy. For me at the moment. Bellroy wallets.
James: Yeah, actually, I’ve seen Bellroy wallets as well. Tell me, who do you think’s doing a great job of this? We could go and visit their site and then start paying attention to what’s in front of us.
Who does it well?
Mike: OK, so another option that you have, which I’ll talk about briefly at the SuperFast event, is dynamic remarketing. And that’s where if you look at a specific product, then you’ll basically get stalked by ads with that specific product that they know you’ve looked at but not bought yet.
AppliancesOnline.com.au, which is an Australian site, does that particularly well, and Kogan. Kogan is probably doing one of the best jobs of remarketing in Australia.
Most of the big boys, most of the big box retailers, are not, at least in Australia. I don’t get to see too many American ads, because I’m in Australia most of the time. But those two are probably doing among the best job.
James: And what type of business or services is the best one to use remarketing for?
Mike: Really, anything where there’s a length of time for that decision making process. And you probably want that to be at least a week or two, if not months.
I was talking to a guy the other day who sells online coffins, and if you’re buying a coffin online you’ve got a fairly fixed time frame in which you need to buy that product. And most people buy from him within a couple of hours of first visiting the site, at which point remarketing isn’t going to work very well.
Similarly, I suppose, anything that’s a very easy decision to make, you know, it’s a commodity purchase, then there’s not going to be a huge benefit. But anything where people are making that decision making process, or a high level of repeat buyers.
So we’ve got a fashion client, they’ve got a number of clients coming back to their site every month or two because the lines have changed, the fashions have changed, they’ve got new line items to sell, so we’re able to constantly, very, very cheaply, get in front of previous visitors, show them all the new stuff, and wait for them to come back to the site that way.
And the benefit of this obviously being because it’s within your Adwords account, that you can choose to pay only per click.
So it’s not like typical media where you’re doing this on a CPM basis or a cost per thousand view basis, we’re still doing this on a CPC basis, cost per click, so if only one in a hundred people are clicking on your banners, if only one in a thousand are clicking on your ads, it’s practically free branding the rest of the time.
How hard is it?
James: And is this difficult to set up, or do you have to get a professional to help?
Mike: I’d say there’s two parts to it. There’s the strategy and there’s the tactics. The tactics are very easy. Once you know what to do, pressing the right buttons inside of Adwords is very simple. And I get to share more of that at the conference.
Getting the strategy right, getting the thinking right, going after the right people at the right time with the right message, that’s the bit that’s probably a bit harder and requires more of a marketing brain.
James: Yup. OK, so it’s probably a little bit like Adwords. Simple to get started, but more difficult to master.
James: It keeps guys like you fully employed.
James: So you run a website, WebSavvy.com.au .
James: And you provide services for Google Adwords and remarketing, you’ve been helping me with my own customers and my own account, so thank you for that.
Mike: You’re welcome.
James: And you’re going to come, well, you’ve got some information that’s going into your SuperFastBusiness presentation, which will be available to people who attend the live event or access the recordings from our membership.
Mike: Yeah, and I’d really want to get stuck in there, to the really advanced stuff. So we’ve probably gone from Remarketing 101 to 301.
I’m going to get stuck into 401, 501, the really advanced stuff, using Google Analytics remarketing to get a much, much better handle on who’s seeing the different types of ads that you choose to show. It’s fun stuff.
Leveraging different behaviors
James: Well, as I’ve been building a super site here at SuperFastBusiness.com, I have been spending a lot more time in analytics, because it’s amazing how you can set up good dashboards to find out which content is converting the best, what stuff people are arriving at the site for, how long they stay, what they view…
It’s fascinating to see the behaviors, and I’m sure if you can link that to advertising, that’s going to be very effective.
Mike: I’ll give you a very, very simple example. I’ve got an e-commerce client, and we’ve just been doing some analytics segmenting for them, and we found that people that spend over six minutes on their site.
So I’m talking, for this particular site, and the time frame we looked at, I think off the top of my head, the number was something like 118,000 users, that was people that had spent over six minutes on a visit in the past month.
That’s 118,000 visitors, which for them was like 20, 23 percent, I think, of the total traffic. But there were only 7,000 people that had purchased.
But as a whole, that 23 percent of traffic accounts for about 95 percent of the revenue for that site. So there’s a lot of people there that have shown significant interest in the product, most of whom have not bought yet.
But as a whole, that group is a group of people that, well, this is definitely someone we want to get back in front of. They’ve spent a long time on the site, they’ve shown significant interest, but they haven’t quite gone over the line yet. But that’s a group that’s responsible for almost all of our revenue.
Now, conversely, let’s just go super advanced for a second. There’s a group of people that will spend less than 30 seconds on the site. You’ve got the same. Every website’s got the same.
There’s this group that have shown significantly less interest than everybody. And simply by not showing remarketing ads and potentially not showing ads in other campaigns to that group of not at all interested people, we can dramatically improve the results of our remarketing across the board.
So by excluding that list of uninterested people, if you like, we can dramatically improve remarketing results, and I’ll share some of those results and case studies at the event.
James: Excellent. Sounds like a bit of cohort analysis.
Mike: There’s a little bit of that.
James: Tracking people all the way through the funnel like a trace dye.
If you could ask this…
James: It would be good if you could find out from the people who did buy what led them to buy and then to re-engineer that into your remarketing.
Mike: I have seen a couple of those recently where there’ve been post sale but also post abandonment surveys, so “What caused you to buy today?” or for the buyers, “What almost stopped you from buying?”
And then if you can get in front of them, but obviously people that are quitting your site are generally quitting for a reason and they don’t usually hang around to fill out a survey, but if you can get in front of those people, “What prevented you from buying today?”
But I think that one for buyers, “What almost stopped you buying from us today?” that’s a pretty interesting one to trial, I would think.
James: It’s a nice one, and I guess in this case… and it was mentioned by Greg Cassar, he mentioned a tool called Kampyle, which is really good for surveying on e-commerce stores, we did a conversions podcast once.
And he’s also going to contribute to SuperFastBusiness Live. But if you did find out the reason, then you could retrospectively go and catch up with everyone if you’ve cookied their browser and start running a campaign to address the gap that you now know but didn’t know at the time they were at the site.
Mike: Absolutely. And with your remarketing list, we’ve talked generally about short time frames, another great use of remarketing is putting all of these people onto the longest possible list that you can, which is actually 540 days, just as a safety measure, if you like.
Just to know that I’ve got this group of people over here that I could, if something goes horribly wrong, I could run mad to these people at a moment’s notice, at the drop of a hat. You know, maybe you’ve got CEO problems, maybe like what happened here in St. Kilda recently, the restaurant burnt down.
If they’d had a remarketing list of the 50,000 people that have come to the restaurant recently, they would very easily be able to run a remarketing campaign once they’ve reopened, letting everybody know that they’ve reopened and they’re back in business.
James: And just to clarify, the cost for you to be putting that cookie onto your website is how much?
James: Zero. So it’s a great insurance policy. OK, so just wrapping up, what would be the action steps for someone who has listened to this and thought, OK, Mike’s talking about some pretty good stuff about remarketing, I might go and have a look in my Google account.
I guess they would have to start mapping out who they want to talk to and what message they would have with those people.
Mike: Absolutely. Start there. Start by figuring out: who’s the group of people that you would like to reach, what messages do you want to show, and in a perfect world, would you like to change the message or change how much you’re willing to pay to get it in front of those people over time?
So first thing first, forget the code, forget the computer – get a piece of paper, get a whiteboard, and map that out.
James: Oh, you mean you should know your lifetime customer value?
Mike: Little things like that, yeah.
James: You know, everything else makes sense when you know the big numbers like that. Well, Mike, it’s great to catch up again, thank you for sharing this information, and that’s Mike Rhodes from WebSavvy.com.au.
Quite the expert in Google, all things Google, used to be the Google guy.
Mike: Still am. Not on Twitter as much anymore, but yes, that is still my handle on that. It’s a bit embarrassing actually, really, I think in hindsight, I think I picked that one five years ago.
James: Well, you know, I think you probably backed a good horse. They probably will own the world, eventually.
Mike: It was probably better than being the Yahoo guy.
James: Or the MySpace guy.
James: That’d be one you’d keep a little quiet.
Mike: Hasta la vista baby, yeah? Well, that was good.
James: Thanks, Mike.
Mike: Yep, no, bet a good horse. Thanks mate, always a pleasure to catch up with you.
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Please leave your comments below
Rajeev Kistoo says
I have used perfect Audience and the fact that you can use the same pixel to retarget on Google and Facebook is definitely a plus…
Rajeev Kistoo says
I have used perfect Audience and the fact that you can use the same pixel to retarget on Google and Facebook is definitely a plus…
James Schramko says
Great point Rajeev!