Win Back Website Abandoners by Retargeting with Facebook

If you’ve looked at a performance report for your website recently, you may have been struck by how many visitors come to your product pages every day and promptly leave before opening a new account or applying for a loan. It’s sort of like having a bunch of faceless people show up for your party and walk out the door before you even get dinner on the table.

I’ve looked at site abandonment data when I ran large-scale consumer marketing campaigns in the past and I asked myself: why were these visitors compelled to check out my site in the first place and what turned them off so much that they left before signing up? More importantly, what can I do to bring them back?

One of the most efficient digital marketing tactics is display (banner) ad retargeting. If you aren’t familiar with it, it works like this:

You place retargeting pixels on certain pages of your website. If you’re a bank or credit union, I’d recommend that you place these on your product pages, but not on your home page since many homepage visitors are just trying to log into online banking and aren’t true prospects.

When prospects visit your key sell pages, they are sent cookies which enable you to show display ads across websites, networks, and ad exchanges. The only people who will see your ads are previous visitors to your site who left before applying for accounts or loans. That’s what makes retargeting so efficient: you’re only spending money to advertise to people who have already shown some interest. It’s always been one of my best performing tactics.

If you’re a small bank or credit union you may have overlooked it. If so, you shouldn’t any longer. In September, Facebook launched a new retargeting service, Facebook Exchange, and it’s proving to be both good news for Facebook’s struggling revenue model and for marketers in every industry. There are no monthly minimums so even small institutions can afford to test it as part of their marketing mix. Early reports indicate that the ads areproducing great results for marketers. It may be something you want to test now or build into your 2013 marketing plan.

If you’re interested in trying it, you can find some help here and here.

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Melanie manages the blog for Andera, a small company that provides customer acquisition solutions to banks and credit unions. She is a member of the first class of Venture for America, a two-year fellowship in entrepreneurship that seeks to revitalize American cities by matching recent graduates with small companies in low-income cities. She graduated from Brown University in 2012 with an A.B. in economics.

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