Digital audiences can be a finicky bunch, to say the least. After all, an overwhelming number of people visit a site, browse around a bit, and then leave—all without ever making a purchase.

Maybe something was a little off with your messaging. Or maybe the customer just wasn’t quite ready to make a purchase—they may have only been in the research phase, and were still planning on checking out your competition before making a final decision.

But for all you know, they may have abandoned your site because they realized dinner was starting to burn in the oven.

In fact, according to Hubspot, over 96% of the visitors to your site aren’t going to make a purchase the first time they visit.

Now, this admittedly sounds pretty bleak, but as any marketer worth their salt knows, retargeting is one of your best ways to capture those missed opportunities.

Retargeting the Right Way

Of course, it’s not enough to simply identify users who have visited your site, and then start blasting them with PPC content. While PPC and other retargeting methods can be highly effective, your retargeted customers aren’t likely to respond to a message that hasn’t been tailored to their location along the buyer’s journey.

To become truly successful with your retargeting, you need to assist your potential customers through the buyer’s journey, providing them with tools and incentives that help them make a final decision.

So what are your best ways to accomplish this? Thankfully, the most effective methods of achieving unsurpassed levels of retargeting success are also surprisingly simple. As you tailor these messages to your buyers’ behavior, you’ll be in a far better position to notch those valuable conversions.

Method #1: Offer Information That Addresses Concerns

One of the most common reasons that site visitors don’t make a purchase is that they feel they don’t have enough information. Maybe they’re not convinced that your software offering can fulfill everything they need it to, or maybe they still want to check out what your competition has to offer (especially if it’s available at a lower price).

In other cases, they might be worried that your product is too complex. They might even be scared of doing a free trial because of the possibility of automatically getting signed up for a subscription when the trail period ends!

No matter what issues are worrying your prospective customers, one of the best things you can do is identify common stumbling blocks that prevent conversions and then retarget with materials that address those concerns.

Whether you target site visitors with a video that highlights your software’s ease-of-use or a free e-book that highlights the unique features of your product, retargeting users with blogs, videos and other engaging content that directly deals with common worries can give your customers peace of mind and help them make a purchasing decision.

Method #2: Make Things Easy With Bundles

Why sell one item when you can sell two? While the concept of bundling different items together may not apply to all online businesses, an increasing number of e-commerce sites have found that offering bundles in their retargeted ads can be a great way to simplify a buyer’s purchasing journey and increase sales.

Amazon is probably the king of using bundles to simplify buyer purchases. By recommending products that are “Frequently Bought Together,” Amazon further establishes itself as a convenient shopping solution—and notches incredible sales numbers in the process.

You can take a similar approach to simplify things for your own customers. When creating retargeted ads, it’s worth considering complementary products that go along with the product you’re advertising. In some cases, customers might be more interested in your complementary products than the product you were originally trying to sell!

When you simplify the shopping process with bundling, you can improve customer perception of your brand and dramatically increase sales.

Method #3: Create Urgency With Discounts and Sales

More often than not, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is—people will still try to find something that is less expensive. Even when lower prices mean reduced quality, many buyers will still choose the cheaper option.

So how can you convince potential customers to purchase your product? The answer lies in one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book: offering sales and discounts. After all, there’s a reason we consistently see stampedes of shoppers on Black Friday—people get excited and feel good when they manage to snag a special deal.

Retargeting consumers with discounts and other special offers can go a long way in encouraging them to give your product a second look, especially if the offer has a time constraint. Seeing a retargeted ad with a limited-time offer doesn’t just make your special deal intriguing; it gives potential customers a motivation to act quickly so they don’t miss out.

Method #4: Plan Ahead By Understanding the Business Cycle

Whether you’re an e-commerce store selling upscale women’s clothing or a software company offering a subscription-based service, it is essential that you understand your target market’s unique buying cycle for targeting repeat customers.

After all, a satisfied customer who has already made a purchase from you knows what you have to offer. They trust you. They like your service. Even more importantly, they typically spend more and require much less of your marketing dollars than acquiring new customers does.

A thorough understanding of your product and customer needs can help you plan ahead so you can retarget past customers at a time when your messages will be most effective. Do many of your software subscribers update to a higher-premium version after five months? Targeted messages four months after the purchase would be a great choice to persuade individuals thinking of an upgrade.

Retargeting based on buying behaviors can be especially useful for e-commerce sites that can adapt their messages and offerings for different times of year. For example, a clothing store could repeatedly target past customers as new styles become available, motivating a steady cycle of new purchases.

As you retarget past consumers with personalized, timely messages, you can generate repeat business that will significantly increase your revenue—and at a much lower cost.


The reasons a first-time visitor might bail out on your site can range from the understandable to the insane. Despite your best efforts, it’s a simple fact that most people will leave without making a purchase.

Regardless of why customers initially leave your site, leveraging these persuasive retargeting methods can go a long way in convincing them to return. As you use your market research to determine which tactics work best for your different customer groups, you’ll be far better equipped to achieve amazing retargeting success.

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