It’s a likely scenario: someone arrives to your event website intending to buy a ticket or register for your event and gets distracted before they could finish the purchase process. Your highly interested website visitor has completely forgotten about your event, and gone about their day.
Knowing this happens can be frustrating — and if you spent money advertising to those would-be attendees, it can be costly too.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could give them a friendly reminder to come back?
Well, with retargeting, you can.
Retargeting (also called remarketing) can be a cost-effective way to bring back those interested attendees. This technique serves up relevant ads to past visitors when they’re browsing their favourite sites online.
On average, you can see a 6x return on investment (ROI) with retargeting. The results are also immediate. Across Eventbrite’s retargeting program, 78% of conversions happened within one day of clicking on an ad.
How retargeting advertising works
When an attendee visits your website, the website tags them with an anonymous browser cookie — a small piece of code stored in their web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Chrome). Later, when your attendee is on another website, the cookie will tell that website to show them your retargeting display ad. Seeing the ad helps remind them of their intent to purchase.
Targeting the right audience
Retargeting ads are most effective when you target people who started the registration or purchase process, but failed to complete the process.
The closer that visitors was to buying, the more likely you are to see a positive result from your retargeting campaigns. For example, data shows that retargeting people who previously looked at an event page has led to an average of 10x ROI. So avoid wasting time and money showing retargeting ads to people who visited your event website but never clicked on a button to register or buy tickets.
Using the right messaging
Keep in mind that your retargeting ads will be shown to people who’ve already been to your site and came close to buying a ticket or registering. The goal of your ad is to drive them back to your site and complete their purchase. Here’s how to reflect that goal in your creative direction.
You’re showing ads to people who already know about your event — they’ve been to your event page — so there’s no need to beat around the bush in your copy or creative. Don’t be afraid to create urgency by telling them when sales for tickets or registrations end (“Registrations close tomorrow”).
Tracking your success
As with all paid marketing and advertising, it’s essential to track your success. You can do this by using the reports provided by your retargeting platform (e.g., AdRoll), ticketing and registration partner (e.g., Eventbrite), or Google Analytics. Check these reports at least once a week to ensure your spend is being optimised. And if you’re running multiple campaigns or working with larger budgets, then you should aim to keep a daily eye on them.
Look out for two main things in these reports:
First, look for any retargeting campaigns that are driving lots of interest and web traffic but not many ticket sales. This tells you one of two things:
- You’re spending money on the wrong people. They’ve taken a look at your event not once but twice now, and they’re still not buying. This suggests they aren’t interested and are the wrong target audience.
- You’re spending money on the right people, but something is keeping them from committing. This could be due to unclear refund terms and conditions, a ticket buying experience not optimised for mobile, or any number of other things. To help rule out option 2, test out your ticket buying or registration experience. If there are no obvious problems, consider option 1. You may need to adjust your targeting to reach a more interested audience.
Next, look for retargeting campaigns that are not driving huge volumes of traffic but have high conversion rates. Consider investing more heavily in these campaigns — hopefully, you will continue to enjoy strong sales from them too.
Looking to beef up your event promotion strategy?
Download the Complete Guide to Digital Marketing for Event Managers to learn more about search engine marketing, display advertising, and more.