Technology / SEM strategies

How to win new customers for as little as $5

If you’ve invested heavily in search engine marketing and social media targeting with varying success, you may be surprised to find how cheap it can be to convert one-time web-browsers to happy customers.

25 October 2016 by

What does $5 get you these days? Not much, right? If you’re down to your last $5 in your online marketing budget and want to boost your sales conversion, read on.

Own an online store? If so, then it’s highly likely you have lots of competitors. And chances are, your customers have found these competitors too. Which means, before said customer proceeds through your website’s checkout, it’s likely they’re checking in with your competitors first.

The volume of traffic to your online store does not always equal high conversion success. If you’re finding people are filling their carts but deserting it before they reach the crucial payment step, it could be that your customer is now distracted by choice or tempted to constantly compare (or they may just be distracted by life in general – who knows).

"The key to successful targeting is to be very clear about who, what, when, where and why to ensure you reach the right people with the right message and the right time. "

With so much competition, your website has to work pretty hard to bring in sales. However, your marketing has to work even harder to drive traffic back to your site, again and again, especially when you consider that many people only purchase after multiple visits. Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Facebook targeting, email marketing – the costs of online marketing all adds up. Meanwhile, strong ROI becomes harder to achieve.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective strategies I’ve found is investing a few dollars in remarketing, (also known as re-targeting) where the goal is to bring customers back to complete the purchase they abandoned. These people are already aware of my brand and interested in my products – they just didn’t commit to the sale on their first visit.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is a form of search and social advertising that displays customised messages directly to people who have visited your website and shown interest in your products or services. Visitors come to your site and, depending how they browsed, have custom ads target them via Facebook or Google. The result is often high sales conversions at a lower cost per click.

Why does remarketing work?

It works because it can be used to target individuals at a time when they have shown an interest in your brand and product and are most motivated to buy.

Best of all, it is a tactic you can create yourself and customise to your specific customer segment and budget.

Let’s say a customer selects a few different products in their cart but fails to complete the purchase. You can segment that person in a different category from the person who only visits the home page. You can also segment the person based on what they selected.

Then, with remarketing, you create a specific message to motivate the interested customer to complete their transaction. It could be an offer of free shipping or further discount – whatever you think will clinch the deal. You decide how often this ad should appear and how long to run the campaign.

How much time and money should I invest?

Your daily budget does not need to be huge. I’ve found I can achieve a successful conversion rate for as little as $5 per day.  This targeted approach is often dramatically more cost effective in driving sales than the cost to attract the customer to the site in the first place.

Remarketing on Facebook usually has a lower cost per click when compared to marketing on search engines. When your customer is searching on Google, they are looking for a result, so are primed to react to your ad. On social media, the ad displays while the user is doing something else, so the motivation to click may be lower. The result is that ads are cheaper.

It is a simple DIY setup, requiring minimal time. And you can be as specific as you like. For example, you might select only those who have visited a specific page on your website. This means your target audience may be only a small proportion of your web-browsers which drives the cost per click down further.

The key to successful targeting is to be very clear about who, what, when, where and why to ensure you reach the right people with the right message and the right time.

A word of caution

There is a line too often crossed between re-targeting interested buyers in a subtle, yet persuasive way and indiscriminately bombarding the casual browser with ads for days (even weeks). One approach is smart, the other is 100 per cent annoying and a complete waste of time and money. If you have no defined segmentation or targeting strategy you will find yourself in the latter camp. Some company’s ads seem to follow you around the internet day in, day out. This gets extremely annoying and is a major turn off – precisely the opposite intended outcome. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask ‘What message would motivate me to return to buy?’

Know your competitors

Another surprising way remarketing has helped my business is with market research in the form of competitors targeting me with their ads. I make a point of visiting all of my competitor’s websites weekly just so I can be followed around the internet with their remarketing ads.  While it can be annoying at first, it allows me to identify the point of difference between our products first hand, to help me stay informed about the market, their messaging and to see what benchmark is set by others.

While it seems people abandon the purchase path for many different reasons, and some may have genuinely decided to go elsewhere, there is a high number who will come back with the right motivation. A few dollars spent targeting these customers could add significantly to your sales performance, making it a very sound investment.

Matthew White

is director of Ergoflex Australia, an online retailer of premium quality memory foam mattresses. As well as helping Australians get a better night's sleep, Matthew is a marketer, sleep blogger, father of two and home renovator.

Comments

  • Hi Mathew,

    What a great competitor research hack that is!

    You make a powerful point about walking the line between being a bother and being helpful.

    Thanks for contributing!

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