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New Tools to Keep Customers Engaged: Remarketing Basics

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 3, 2015 at 8:07 AM

Retargeting Increase Online Community Engagement

Recently, we discussed how capitalizing on the latest marketing tactics can help you keep customers or members engaged in your private online community. Specifically, we examined how remarketing can drive people back to your community by taking your normal calls-to-action that typically only exist within the walls of your community and extending them out into the rest of the Internet.

In traditional marketing terms, remarketing is highly-targeted advertising that reaches out to people who have already shown interest in your product or services.

To steal our example from the previous post, if you browse WalMart.com for a new blender, but fail to complete your purchase, WalMart can put a "cookie" on your browser, causing targeted ads for blenders that you abandon in the shopping cart to show up when you visit other websites. Ideally, this would remind you that you are meant to purchase the blender in the first place and send you back to WalMart.com to complete your transaction.

What do blenders mean when it comes to online communities? By adding a remarketing strategy to your community management plan, you can get your community members to engage further in specific areas or topics that they have already shown interest in, such as participating in a discussion forum, commenting on a video, or registering for a conference.

After your members exit your community, they can be reminded of the potential value of re-engaging with messages like, "We want your opinion" or "Get advice from other XYZ product user." In the busy lives of your community members, remarketing is a proven method to stay at the forefront of your members' minds even when they aren't logged into the online community.

So, how do you start remarketing? First and foremost, you'll need to select the remarketing tool that best serves your online community.

How to Choose the Best Tool for Your Online Community's Remarketing Campaign

Retargeting Online Communiry Engagement

Remarketing may sound daunting and complicated, but don't worry there are plenty of tools on the market to simplify the process. The services available take care of the technical side of things—like monitoring your member's behavior and putting cookies on their browsers—so all you have to do is design and manage your calls-to- action.

There are plenty of platforms to choose from in the world of remarketing. We've taken some time to round up some of the most popular:


If you are already familiar with Google AdWords and are looking for a quick, simple solution then Google's remarketing tool is one of your best options. The service is set up in your AdWords account, so building your ads and creating your campaign will likely feel fairly intuitive if you're used to using AdWords functions.

However, it's important to note that using Google as your remarketing tool only gives you access to the Google Display Network, which is only about 10 percent of the Internet and doesn't include Facebook.

Don't Forget: It is crucial to understand your audience when making your choice. Knowing where your members spend their time is the only way you can effectively choose the right platform. For example, if your audience isn't really using social networks, then getting your retargeting ads on Facebook isn't a priority and the Google platform might fit your community's needs.


Adroll's remarketing services allow you to reach nearly the entire Internet (98 percent to be exact) and includes big names like Facebook, Yahoo, and even Google itself.

They also offer targeting techniques that are more advanced, allowing for more in-depth remarketing campaigns. Since it does offer so many options, AdRoll tends to be a bit more expensive than other tools. Evaluate the investment to determine its worth in the long run - they claim that their customers earn 10 dollars for every one dollar spent.

Don't Forget: Don't get caught up in staggering statistics when making your decisions. While claims like this certainly speak to the success of the platform, evaluate these statistics through the lens of your private online community and budget.

Perfect Audience

If you want to give remarketing a shot, but would prefer to keep the process as simple and affordable as possible, Perfect Audience is right up your alley.

They utilize other websites but specialize in Facebook ads. Their vast reach, allows you to target your community members through both their interactions with your emails, in addition to their behavior within your online community. 

Due to a lack of set-up or maintenance fees, their services are significantly more affordable than other options.


Triggit also focuses primarily on Facebook ads, but has even less of an Internet reach than Perfect Audience. If you are focusing on social media remarketing, Triggit does have several advanced features. For instance, you can set frequency caps to ensure your ads don't annoy your community members.

Once you choose your tool, set up your account and add the tracking code to your online community pages, it's time to plan your campaign.

5 Steps to Use Remarketing in Your Online Community

Online Community Engagement Retargeting

Step One: Identify Pages

Figure out which pages in your online community warrant tracking of your member's behavior. There are a number of ways to narrow down the list. It is important to consider pages that will drive your members to into your online community from your retargeting ads.

You may consider choosing those pages that feature more dynamic content and a clear next step so that community members get a new experience if they continually click through to your community. For instance, consider directing people back to an active discussion so that community members see new comments and a clear indication of how to contribute.

Step Two: Segment Your Members

Once you have made your selections, isolate any pages that correspond with specific engagement opportunities. For instance, some pages in your community might be specific a product or region.

Identifying that these pages have a specific audience allows you to create more specific calls-to-action. Let's say you want to create a remarketing campaign for an upcoming regional conference. You'd then want to isolate a user group from that specific region. What pages in your online community would only those community members visit? Those are the pages that will tag those users as from a specific region or users of a specific product. 

Step Three: Set Up Your Conversion Page

This is the page that your members will see immediately following their click on your remarketing ad. Conversion pages allow you to track the effectiveness of each remarketing campaign. Tracking your success will lead to better campaigns in the future.

Additionally, it's important to compare the ratios of how often people are clicking on the ad, but then not following through on the action. Over time, you can even assign a revenue number to each conversion once the data is available.

Step Four: Create Your Ads 

The prior three steps should leave you with a strong understanding of your members and their behavior in your private online community. This knowledge allows you to create specific messaging content that attracts more attention to your ads and ultimately conversions.

When it comes to the actual design of your ad, don't abandon your brand and keep it simple. Like any strong call-to-action, good remarketing ad don't include more than one "ask." If you ask members to do more than one thing, they may do neither. Also, make sure the "ask" is clear.

Step Five: Measure and Optimize

Use all of the data collected from each remarketing campaign to see what's working and what isn't so you can figure out where in the process you can improve. For instance:

  • Are people seeing your ads, but just not clicking on them? Then the "ask" highlighted in the ad isn't strong enough and you need to modify it.
  • Are they clicking on them, but not taking that next step once they reach your community? Reconsider the page that you have on the other end of the link. 

Continuously testing and learning from your data allows you to optimize your processes to drive even more people back to your online community

Remarketing Basics Takeaway

Getting started with remarketing may seem intimidating. However, there are plenty of tools on the market to simplify the process. It's just a matter of figuring out which tool is the best choice for your online community's individual needs and then following these five basic steps to getting your campaign off the ground.

Download your free guide to buying and implementing a customer portal.

Topics: Communications, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Online Community

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