Remarketing 101: How to Bring Existing Customers Back To Your Business

By Raubi Perilli

      Apr 17, 2017     Solutions    

Many small businesses have a single focus -- get new customers to come to their business.

While this is an important strategy, it shouldn’t be the only focus when it comes to developing a customer base. You need to put as much energy into keeping existing customers as you put into acquiring new customers.

You must have a strong remarketing plan.

What Is Remarketing? 

Remarketing is the act of reconnecting with past customers or audiences to bring them back to do business with you.

Remarketing is a smart and cost-effective strategy because:

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is higher than selling to a new customer. The probability of converting an existing customer is 60% to 70%, whereas the probability of converting a new customer is only 5% to 20% (Marketing Metrics).
  • Existing customers are more likely to spend more than new customers. Past customers may spend up to 67% more than new customers. (Bain)
  • It costs more money to acquire new customers than to retain current customers. It can cost up to five times more to get new customers (Forrester).   

Reselling and remarketing to existing customers saves and makes your business money.

When you increase customer retention rates by just 5% -- you can increase your profits from 25% to 95% depending on your industry (Harvard Business School).

So, how can your business effectively remarket to increase sales and revenues?

Three Powerful Remarketing Strategies 

Remarketing is a strategy that puts your brand back in the minds of customers who have already done business with you. It makes them remember to return and do business with you again.

There are multiple ways to launch this strategy. You can do it through:

  • Digital retargeting
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Audience re-engagement programs

Let's look at how each of these remarketing strategies works.

Related: 5 Customer Retention Strategies Local Businesses Can Start Right Now

Digital Retargeting

Remarketing is often associated with or referred to as retargeting. But, I would consider digital retargeting as an aspect of remarketing, rather than a synonym. While remarketing is a broad strategy that includes multiple layers, retargeting is a specific digital marketing strategy.

Retargeting is the act of displaying online ads and messages to customers based on their prior online actions.

Have ever visited a website, then in the next day or two noticed an ad for that specific brand on an unrelated third-party website? It may seem like a coincidence, but it’s not. It’s retargeting.

Through retargeting, an advertiser:

  • Adds a tracking code on their website that places a “cookie” on website visitors.
  • Creates an ad that targets an audience who is already familiar with the site.
  • Uses display advertising to deliver the ad only to audiences who have visited the website.

For example, a Mexican restaurant could add a tag to visitors when they visit the company’s website. They will then create an ad that encourages an interested audience to take the next step. The ad may include a time-sensitive coupon or promotion for an upcoming event. Then, the restaurant will present the ad to only audiences who have visited the restaurant’s website.

Retargeting is effective because instead of connecting with cold prospects, it connects with warm prospects that are already aware of and/or interested in a brand or business.

It’s available through both Google ads (that displays banners on third-party websites) and Facebook ads (which display ads in Facebook newsfeeds). Both are extremely effective ways to remarket to people who are already familiar with your brand.

Related: A Google Ads Starter Guide for Small Businesses

Customer Loyalty Programs

Another powerful remarketing strategy is implementing customer loyalty programs.

A customer loyalty program is a rewards program that offers incentives and bonuses to customers who frequently make purchases.   

There are multiple ways to approach customer loyalty programs, and different tactics will work better for certain industries. But a few of the most effective and widely used customer loyalty programs include:

  • Point Rewards/Gamification: Customers are assigned a certain number or points based on their actions or engagements with a business (receive points for dollars spent, times visited, etc.).
  • In-store Giveaways: Regular customers receive exclusive, time-sensitive offers for in-store giveaways (get a free item for making a purchase over a certain dollar amount, visiting between select dates, etc.).
  • Punch Cards: Customers use a card to track their visits. When they receive a certain number of “punches,” they get a freebie or discount.
  • Birthday & Anniversary Promotions: Stores send customers a specific discount or offer on their birthday, anniversary, or another notable date.
  • VIP Clubs: This could be offered as a free or paid club where customers receive special treatment on offers when they visit the store.

Loyalty programs collect customer contact information, reward customers for doing business with you, and provide incentives that bring customers back again and again.

Building out a database of customers who have already done business with you is essential to strong remarketing as can continue to communicate with customers and use your list to send text and email marketing campaigns

Related: Why It's Important to Own Your Business Data and How to Start Collecting It

Audience Re-Engagement Programs

Re-engagement programs are a type of remarketing that combines elements of retargeting and customer loyalty programs.

Re-engagement programs guide customers to take an action that allows a business to collect their data and create a communication line. It then targets those audiences and encourages them to revisit or reconnect with the business.  

It’s a smart targeting tactic that offers fun, valuable, and interesting engagements to connect with and get to know customers.

Examples of re-engagement programs include:

  • Events: Customers now crave more than products and services from a business. They also want an experience. By hosting a branded event, businesses can provide an immersive experience that allows customers to get to know their business while having a good time. Registration for the event allows the business to collect customer data so they can follow-up with additional remarketing offers and messages.
  • Photo Promotions: During events, businesses can take photos of attendees and tell them where to go online to see the photos. When the attendees visit the website to get their photo, they are required to provide their information to acquire the photos. Running photo promotions give businesses an opportunity to provide something fun for customers and guests while acquiring useful customer data.  
  • Mobile Marketing: While audiences are engaged, whether at an event on a big screen or through in-store signage, businesses can share a text offer. The offer guides audiences to text a specific number or phrase to receive a coupon code or freebie. Text marketing campaigns allow the business to reward audiences and give away prizes while collecting data.

Combining elements of retargeting and customer loyalty programs, re-engagement programs are an interactive and fun ways to connect with customers. It’s also a remarketing tactic that many businesses often overlook and underutilize.  

Need help with remarketing?

Now that you’ve seen the power of reconnecting with previous customers -- are you ready to implement remarketing systems that get customers to return to your business again and again? Contact us today to talk about how we can help you launch your next strategic retargeting, customer loyalty, or re-engagement program.