Retargeting Challenge: Appraising and Leveraging on The Power of Intent

The title of this post suggests that: if a person’s intention to buy is high, then retargeting them will increase the probability of conversion.

However, the challenge for many digital advertisers isn’t how to setup retargeting campaigns but how the gauge and appraise the level of user intention based on their interaction with your website and services.

The higher the intent, the better conversion rate you would likely get from retargeting those users.

Why Is It Important to Understand The Degree Of Intent?

If there were 3 potential user segments to retarget: A, B and C. Whereby, your guestimate is that the A users have a 9/10 buying intent, B has 5/10 and C has 2/10, you would want to run your retargeting campaign on A first.

Without appraising intent, you may end up putting in the same amount of time and efforts for the C segment with little to no returns to show for.

Gauging intent for a retargeting campaign, helps to ensure that your time and effort in setting up the campaign is well invested.

Let’s look at some example ideas on how you can appraise intent:

#1: Not All Data Is Created Equal

When looking at your user’s data, be it from Google Analytics or any other web analytics tool, keep in mind that every data has multiple dimensions.

Consequently, these dimensions can significantly impact the meaning of those data and the suggested degree of buying intent.

For example, you may have 2 sets of data. The first telling you that women aged 30-40 years old are the top visitors to the mom-and-child section of your website. The second telling you that women aged 30-40 years old have the highest number of checkouts from the fashion category. At first glance, you may want to target the second segment since it appears to directly impact your revenue.

Now what if I were to tell you, the first data came from the past month, whereas the second data was from last year. Can you confidently conclude that retargeting the second segment will drive the most conversions to your website? This is an example where considering the dimensions of the data can significantly impact how your gauge user intent for retargeting campaigns.

#2: The Power of Frequency

If your monetization model is designed around a subscription model, one way to estimate the degree of intent is by looking at the frequency of returning buys.

For example, if you were wanting to retarget members who have been inactive for the past 3 months, perhaps members who have previously made 4 recurring purchases in the past would have higher buying intent than members who may have purchased only once. From here, you can decide how to allocate your retargeting campaign budget for the best possible yield.

#3: The Commercial Intent of Keywords

At a more advanced level, it’s possible to track a user’s behavior the their very first interaction with one of your channels, keyword (search term) searched in Google (or other search engines), all the way to whether the user checked out and completed his/her purchase.

By grouping users based on the keywords and phrases that they searched for to arrive at your website, from organic search and advertising campaigns, you can gain lots of valuable insights. For instance, you may identify which group of users and search terms brought in higher conversion rates and then retarget users in those groups who haven’t yet converted.

The assumption here being that every search term suggests different degree of intent, such as the search terms: ‘what is a server?’ and discount coupon for hosting’.

Be creative with how you view your data to help you appraise the degree of intent. In doing so, the practice can save you heap loads of time from setting up retargeting campaigns that in the end, really were not worth your efforts.