Is Too Much Retargeting a Bad Thing? October 07, 2019, | Posted by erin

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One of the best technological innovations to come to digital marketing as a whole--and to email marketing in particular--is the ability to engage in retargeting campaigns: that is, repeat advertisements aimed at someone who shows an interest in purchasing a product or service, but hasn’t taken the plunge yet. Here at Site Impact, we’re big believers in the value of retargeting strategy; but we have to admit, a recent study by AI platform Clinch, finding that consumers become annoyed by excessive retargeting, doesn’t surprise us. As with all email strategies, the key is in finding a proper balance, and the study’s results bear that out; even if you love chocolate cake, having it for every meal, every day for a week would make you want almost anything else, after all. Today we’ll dive into the study, and take a look at what this means for retargeting campaigns and how to get your best results with them.


Anything worth doing is worth doing well

Overall, the findings by Clinch are fairly common-sense, if you think about it. The study found that 41.6% of consumers (in a pool of 550 survey takers) objected to excessive retargeting. The study didn’t specify email retargeting efforts, of course, but the results can be extrapolated. Now, the question is: how can a brand or marketer know if they’re being excessive? In some cases, it’s easy to figure out that you need to dial back the intensity; if you’re reaching out to someone with messaging for your product more often than a few times a day, it’s easy to see how that could get annoying. But as with many things, there are situations where it’s hard to tell. Not only that, but sometimes the issue is less to do with frequency, and more to do with relevance. 46.7% of the same survey-takers also highlighted that clicking an ad or CTA only to have to look hard for the product advertised is a common--any annoying--problem.


When it isn’t about frequency, but quality

The feeling that a retargeting campaign is excessive often doesn’t come from an actual sense that there are too many ads for a product. Instead, the issue comes up because the advertising the consumer sees is not relevant to them, or the quality of the advertising--whether the ad itself, or the landing page, and so on--is low. Unless you’re truly bombarding people with repeated messages about your product or service, it’s safe to assume that the issue is the quality of your retargeting strategy; the study findings cement this. "When the experience is irrelevant, repetitive, and doesn't 'learn' from past user interaction/engagement, consumers take notice," said Oz Etzioni, CEO of Clinch. Therefore, to avoid excessive retargeting efforts, the best focus you can have is, and will be, making those retargeting efforts high quality--the frequency with which you send the message is actually secondary to that.


Few things have upped the ante on reaching out to prospective customers the way retargeting tech has; it enables brands and marketers to keep products and services at the top of mind for people who have already shown an interest, and lets them do that in a fairly automatic way. But issues arise when consumers get retargeted advertising that isn’t relevant, isn’t high quality, and doesn’t progress from a simple, flat reminder that the product or service exists. For those looking into retargeting efforts, it’s important to craft a quality strategy that responds to changes in the prospect’s behavior, and provides additional details or even incentives to sweeten the pot. Contact Site Impact to learn how we can help you plan all your email marketing strategies.