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115: How Retargeting Will Improve Your Business’ Results

Posted by Austin Brawner on November 24, 2016

Want more results? Want to know how to get those better results through your Facebook ads, Instagram ads and other unique ways of retargeting to your audience?

Get a detailed step by step look at the process you need to go through to start retargeting for your ecommerce business. We’ll show you how to use retargeting as an elegant tool to accomplish different goals at each stage of your sales funnel.

Michael is an expert in online ads and walks us through the terminology, how to use them, when to use retargeting and what you need to start doing when you’re done listening to the show.

Key Takeaways from the Show

  • Advanced Retargeting Skills
  • How to Think of your Funnel Differently.
  • What TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU are.
  • The right messaging to use in your funnels.
  • How to better maximize social media ads
  • Split your large list into several smaller lists.
  • What is working right now for ecommerce businesses.

Links / Resources

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Austin: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence podcast. I’m your host Austin Brawner.

Today, like we usually do, we’re breaking down traffic and conversion strategies to help you grow your ecommerce business from seven to eight figures and beyond. I’ve got a very actionable exciting interview for you today. It’s one where if you are doing any retargeting and you listen through this episode and you implement what we talk about, you are going to improve your results.

That’s what this episode is all about. If you haven’t done any retargeting yet and you’re thinking about it, it’s a great place to start as well. This episode we cover basically advanced retargeting skills, how to think of your funnel differently, what TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU is, that will make a lot of sense once you listen to the episode.

It’s a great way to remember different steps in the funnel and all around great episode. I’m happy to share with you guys our guest is my friend Michael Erikson Faccin. He’s a CEO and the founder of Search Scientist and they work with some very large ecommerce companies help them spend money on Pay Dads to make more money on Pay Dads. They are an agency. He is a very smart, sharp dude and I am very excited to welcome him to the show.

Michael: Hey what’s up Austin? How’s it going?

Austin: Good, man. Thanks for being here. I’m really happy that you took the time to come on and share some of your vast knowledge with some of the listeners.

Michael: I’m really excited over what it is we’re going to talk about today. I’m fairly positive a lot of people are going to be able to benefit from it.

Austin: Good so I gave a little bit of a background on you, why don’t you take about 30 seconds, give some of our listeners a little bit of background and your marketing expertise and who you are.

Michael: So I’m Michael Erikson Faccin and I’m the founder of where we help ecommerce stores find more clients and customers online. So everything from ad word, public listing ads, ad word search text ads, retargeting which is what we’re going to talk about today. So Facebook ads, Instagram, to Amazon ads, if it’s patriotic for ecommerce that is what we do and currently we manage about 10 million dollars a year in patriotic spend.

Austin: Awesome. People here that are listening who have ecommerce companies, the big question mark really comes down to what’s working right now so is the question that I ask people who are in your space, things move quickly. So what have you seen that has changed over the last year and what is working now that maybe hasn’t worked in the past and what isn’t working now that might have worked in the past?

Michael: So I’m going to start with what I think a contrarian answer there and say the fundamentals that underlie so many strategies that are considered very new that pop up every month or so. The fundamentals I think are the most important part of that puzzle. So when it comes to paid traffic, it’s always been, always about giving the right ad offer to the right person at the right time, period.

So as ad format change as targeting method change, all these things are bound to change but the good fundamentals will always ring true and give people what they are looking for when they are looking for it. That’s always going to be very effective. What I’ve noticed and why I wanted to talk about it today is because I have seen a lot of advertiser’s sort of forget that. They will hop on to something and that sort just focus on the tactics and throw out the underlying strategy that makes it really successful.

Austin: tactics are so sexy man. You hear somebody go on a podcast like this or you see a case study that people that have changed the setting of having a video ads and they have made all these moneys and you get lured in there. So okay perfect. So alright, I’m on the same page with you. So let’s talk about what are people doing right now. Well, let’s start with that. How do you find the right message and how do you deliver ads at the right time to the right people in ecommerce?

Michael: If you go to Google images right now and you punch in sales funnel, you will see probably 100 different images within 30 seconds. It seems like most people, most well-intentioned business owners in getting into the think of everything, all the ad types, all the ways you can target everybody, they seemed to get overwhelmed by that and forget this very simple, fundamental that you kind of had a top of funnel, you have a mid of funnel and you have a bottom of funnel. TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. Whenever we apply a new tactic we need to remember where this fit into our funnel, what’s the right messaging we should serve at each stage of the funnel.

Austin: So where do people make the most mistakes? Where are you seeing mistakes that people typically like pitfalls?

Michael: So take something like retargeting. Retargeting I think such become such an integral part of a stores’ marketing plan that should almost be considered its own channel at this point. So you have ad words and you have Facebook ads and you have Instagram. But also, thinking of retargeting, like giving retargeting its own strategy that is separate from just a general Facebook ad strategy that you go and take a course on. Facebook ads, it’s going to give you lots of good information on Facebook ads but what about using retargeting as a really elegant complex tool to accomplish different things at each stage of the sales funnel.

Austin: Let’s talk about that. Let’s break that down a little bit. We have taken retargeting, we have moved it out into its own part of the funnel, what does that look like and how people are winning with retargeting by thinking of it that way?

Michael: So let’s talk about what I’d probably say 90% of the stores end up doing to start retargeting. I think we have all done it right? We have out traffic, we throw up our retargeting tag on our site. We start building our audience and then we turn on, serving ad to people who visited over the last 30 days and that’s usually it. Even just that is fairly good because it’s very targeted. You’re only targeting people who are interested enough to visit your site in the first place. The ad itself is probably relevant to them because they visited in the first place again.

But, the opportunity cost of not taking it to the next level which is how I think stores are really winning so let’s get into that. There is a really simple way to look at it, to avoid getting bagged down by the details are the really simple way, it just to consider three-list retargeting. So instead of just having one big list, one massive list that targets the person who reach the cart page and didn’t check out, they treat that person the same that they treated someone who has read a blog article by you. That visitor is so different. So I love to talk about the three-list retargeting funnel that I think a lot of ecommerce stores should have.

Austin: So somebody comes in, you are talking about TOFU, BOFU, which I like by the way. I like that that you had. So somebody comes in and goes to a blog, that’s considered TOFU right?

Michael: Very top of funnel.

Austin: Very top of funnel. The person who goes to a cart page almost checks out and that is BOFU, bottom of funnel. So how do you treat these people differently with retargeting?

Michael: First thing’s first, is actually creating these audiences. Inside of every platform is like analytics you can do it. It’s like ad words you can do it. It’s like Facebook ads you can do it. Step one is simply setting it up and start really segmenting. What is our bottom of funnel audience and how do we know that they are bottom of funnel, how do we know that they’re top of funnel? And how do we know that they are somewhere in the middle?

A good way to think about it is, look at retargeting almost the same way that you would use email. In fact in some ways, it’s even more powerful than email in the sense that if someone visits your page and they never opted in, if you’re only using email to follow up with people to give them the right marketing message, all of those top of funnel people are gone because they never opted in. they are so looking at retargeting almost the same kind of way that you know about using it like a trigger when people do a certain thing, they see a certain ad and they get taken to a certain page. So step number one, setting it up. How do you know someone is top of funnel? How do you know someone is bottom of funnel? And how do you know someone is in this middle range? How do we do that?

Austin: Yeah, how do we do it?

Michael: So bottom of funnel is very easy. What kind of behavior are people doing when they are very close when they are very close to the bottom of funnel? They are viewing products. They are adding things to cart. They are viewing cart pages but they haven’t checked out yet. So it’s quite easy to set this up inside Facebook ad, Shopify creates these audiences. They tax it all up properly. Sometimes you may need a developer to help you with that but bottom of the funnel, these people have basically raised their hand and said, I’m pretty interested in these products, I am checking them out, maybe I am adding them to the cart. I’m bottom of funnel.

Austin: Maybe they just kicked off that fence, just push off right to the other side.

Michael: Moving to the other end of the spectrum because they think it is very easy to conceptualize too is someone who is at the top of the funnel. Who’s on it and how do we know? Well, these people, they are so top of the funnel, they haven’t actually viewed any products maybe. Maybe they only viewed a blog post. Someone shared a piece of your content, they came by and they read that content and that’s it. They were busy so they left. This is very much a top of funnel person. Top of funnel.

Moving to the mid-funnel, this area can get a little creative and it can sometimes vary depending on people’s total marketing strategy. But, what I normally called mod-funnel of an ecommerce sort is someone who is opted into something. So they opted into a nice piece of content. They did something that basically says yeah I am interested in your company but maybe they haven’t checked out yet. So they were interested in an e-book that maybe you have but they never actually said I am actually interested in adding things to cart or anything like that. So when you have that middle area, maybe this is a person who’s liked you on Facebook but hasn’t viewed your product pages in quite some time. They are in this mid-area who are interested but they are not actively checking out products.

Austin: I usually call these people, subscribers and I put them in a bucket of they are subscribed to something. You got a lot of those people when you run like 10% off, free shipping coupon code pop-ups. You get a lot of them and not all of them redeem and you got all these people who are like that it is interested. Make sense, mid-funnel, the subscribers, I get it.

Michael: Exactly, the rules that you would use to create these things, you want to be sure you’re blocking one group from the other groups so your marketing messages aren’t getting pooled around. So someone’s view /blog but did not view /cart or /product. The URL structure there is important to be sure. People are getting the right message at the right time.

Austin: So let’s walk through this because I think we’re at a good point where you have divided up your funnel and you have TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU and they are all separated. So let’s start maybe how would you approach who are at the TOFU level?

Michael: So TOFU is probably generally ecommerce store that hasn’t thought of this before, TOFU is probably the most challenging one for them, because a product may not be the best-suited offer to give someone who’s at the top of the funnel. So there is a lot of things that an ecommerce store can do. What kind of engaging piece of content can you maybe reshare and then you can control the experience a little bit more and maybe it’s a really fun use of your products of how so and so used our product to get dinner done in half the time or something like that. So it’s a piece of content, it’s still engaging, it’s top of funnel and really the goal there, is to simply get them aware of that. You are this and this and you’re not just getting out information.

So maybe you’re trying to get them opt into something. Maybe it’s you trying to get them to volunteer to click through a product page or something like that. The top of funnel stage we want to respect that they in the past didn’t actually "clicked" on a product. So they are interested but we know that they are probably not ready to purchase so maybe it’s a great piece of content, maybe it’s a great story of someone using it, maybe it’s an engaging video. Something light, something to get them through the door and then introduce them, hey why don’t you opt in for a free download. Why don’t you opt in for a guide on how to use these products. Something top of funnel that would be a really soft ask.

Austin: One thing I saw, I think you actually might have created but it’s been hitting me over and over again is a video of Tim Farris and David Asberry talking about a supplement. And it’s pure content-based but it’s a video of them talking about it. It was very much on top of the funnel. I think maybe looked at the page time or a piece of content one time, no products then was hit this almost like an endorsement type case study by two people that I follow on Facebook talking about that product. So that is definitely top of the funnel and has been hitting me.

Michael: Exactly. You told them when they actively did it or you passively did it just by viewing one piece of content. You told them that you will probably be interested in another piece of content. Now they are subtly introducing hey we also sell this product and this works really well.

Austin: Yeah this guy’s Tim Farris and Dave Asberry’s fanboy and he takes supplements so let’s see him up.

Michael: Exactly. So top of the funnel and I would definitely recommend ecommerce stores starting towards the bottom because the bottom is going to be easiest.

Austin: So let’s go to the bottom, let’s go to BOFU.

Michael: Cool, let’s go to the bottom so at the other end of the spectrum, this person, I think it’s good that we are contrasting to this. So at the other end of the spectrum, they have viewed products. They potentially added to cart and people with really high traffic made them separate someone who just viewed the product versus someone who viewed the cart. So you have this person who’s at the bottom at the funnel so they are interested in products but for some reason, there is a barrier that had happened and they didn’t end up sealing the deal. So the question is–

Austin: I like to quote sealing the deal where it’s like–

Michael: Sealing the deal, hit that check. So the question is, why didn’t they do it? What has happened to that person to prevent them from doing it? In the best case scenario, maybe it was just as simple as time. They got distracted but they were fully intentioned and now you are giving them exactly what they are looking for which is that other opportunity to check out. Everyone’s stores is going to be a little bit different but why don’t people complete check out? Is it because their check out was loading too slowly? You are going to get good data thereby analyzing that maybe it was a price hesitation. Maybe it was a comparison issue that they left and they started doing further research. So maybe you can serve them an ad that does the comparison. Comparison of your checkout process and your product versus something generic or some of a competitor. So think of retargeting again, you have this incredible opportunity to do objection handling via a retargeting ad.

Austin: Shipping is huge. Shipping is the number one reason for abandonment and you can retarget with that basically.

Michael: Exactly, so retargeting with a free upgrade to faster shipping. That’s awesome, sure. So whatever that hesitation was for that person you could address in a retargeting ad. For really advanced you can actually do a multi-offer or a multi-message at this stage of this funnel. So at the bottom of the funnel, it’s very possible for you to set up an audience that runs for seven days and hits them with a shipping offer. So addressing that shipping concern.

If they still haven’t converted, maybe from days 8 to 14 you serve just a coupon in general. From days 15 to 21, that’s when you really get on with the hard sale and try and give away maybe a steep discount to try to get the deal done. So there is, again my whole push here you can start viewing these retargeting lists as its own email list just like you would try to do follow up with email, you can do follow up with multiple messaging for retargeting and it’s all about that right message at that right time, just like it is with email.

Austin: I mean Cynthia talked about all the time with email. Abandon carts, how to sequence of 10 days. You know the first 20 you may show them the product again just because they are not—like it’s the stage of when people drop off. Always break it down. Initially, when I go off to people with email, I usually going off ready coupons for the first couple of hours at least because, the first day just because it’s quite possible that somebody has just forgot. Or their kid started screaming and they had to run downstairs and they had to go off the computer, whatever happened but they are still interested and they progress and you go up the ladder to type discount and you increase and increase and increase until they close the deal. So that makes sense. I think BOFU people understand. Let’s talk MOFU. What can you do?

Michael: So this person maybe they have that pop up happened, they punched in their email but then they got distracted and they didn’t end up viewing deeper into the funnel. Maybe they clicked through your back page or something like that. So these are people who have some inclination that they are commercially inclined in some way but not as much as someone who has viewed your product pages. So in a case like this which can get a little bit tricky and it does differ from each person’s individual sales funnel but for a case like this, at a nice light introduction to the products so maybe it says users manual.

You are serving an ad, maybe you sell backpacking equipment. And your ad is product focused content so it’s product focused in the sense maybe to bind guide. Maybe it’s a comparison chart. Maybe it’s something to a planning tool for camping and what will they need for and then click through the product. So it’s not so much light and just engage in content like it was at the top of the funnel where you’re not necessarily mentioning products, you’re just mentioning the story behind the products and maybe help benefit people’s lives.

But here they are passed that stage. Now we’re introducing that stage. We talked about, you like this content, you like what this can stand for, did you know that we actually sell the product to solve this issue too? So a nice introduction. Whatever people need to be introduced to a particular product to guide them to ultimately be moved to the bottom of the funnel. So if it’s comparison shopping guide or if it’s a user manual, if it’s a packing lesson or something. An introduction, you are kind of controlling their first introduction to that product.

Austin: Sure, makes sense. So that middle funnel and when you deliver this so let’s talk about technology and where it’s delivered. Are you delivering this on Facebook, on Google ad network? Are you doing it all at the same time? Are you running multiple campaigns? What does it look like for a more tactical aspect for somebody who thinks I am interested how do I do it?

Michael: So the practical aspect, you set up your tracking and typically I say collect all the data because you can always go down and parse it out. So even before you start thinking what is my top of funnel ad is going to be because you should definitely start at the bottom you should still start going in there and start collecting as many cookies as you can for people.

Austin: Okay so I’m going to stop you here because I know people are listening and they are thinking he said set up my tracking. I don’t even know what that means. So when you say set up your tracking, what should specifically people do? Maybe a checklist type thing.

Michael: Awesome, so the first place that we set up toward these targeting lists so this three list approach is going to be Google Analytics and Facebook. So these two places will allow you to do these three list retargeting with the Google Ad network as well as the Facebook Instagram network. So inside people’s Googles Analytics, there are sections inside of there where you can create your own remarketing list. It’s in the Admin section and you go to your remarketing list and you simply start creating rules. So the rules are generally URL based or action based.

So the first thing you want to do is block everyone who has purchased. So whatever URL that you have to represent a purchase you will first create that list of people that you will then not show any of these three list retargeting messages to. So the first thing, block out people who have purchased. Again, if you set this set up there is probably a good opportunity for follow up sequences or customer longevity cycle so if you sell a consumable maybe you have a retargeting that appears 45 days after these people have purchased. So as you soon start thinking in terms of URLs and rules so bottom of funnel people, they have not viewed the purchase completely URL but they have viewed maybe a cart and they have viewed maybe /product. So these are URL that you would use to build your audiences and then all the way at the top of the funnel, it will be maybe they have viewed the home page but didn’t have viewed anything else or maybe they have viewed /blog but not /product. So anything with a /product in it they didn’t view but they did view something that was /blog. That’s a really good top of funnel audience. In the mid-funnel maybe they viewed /thankyouforoptingin. Whatever someone email opt-in thank you page looks like, they have viewed that but they didn’t view /product.

Austin: Cool, makes sense. I think this is a great framework people will be thinking about for retargeting. I want to ask you a question I would like to ask people who have agencies that’s what question should somebody ask if they hire somebody do retargeting, to do paid ads for them, what question should they ask to make sure that they are with somebody who is doing a good job and that they can trust.

Michael: So the first thing I tell everybody and this is so important because back to that ethos behind online marketing, it’s so to get overwhelmed by what we hear in the news this week and then we change our strategy next week and then the week after I think it’s so important to think long-term and to set up goals to reflect that long-term vision. So a good conversation to have and good questions to ask are where do we see the campaigns in three months.

Where do we see the campaigns in six months? And reverse engineering what we want it to look like. So if someone is currently spending 10,000 a month right now on paid traffic maybe they are just on Ad words. A good conversation to have is where do we see it different in the next 90 days. What are you going to do to try to push it forward? At the same time where we are trying to push it forward but as well what are our goals for this next 90-day period? So where we want to be as a business, where do we think the page out that we get us to and how do we link those two things together? So coming up with good planning I think is a very good sign of a good paid traffic manager.

Austin: I think that’s a good answer. It leads people with something they can go do and take away for the competition to go to their provider.

Michael: The easy thing is do they actually do what was talked about in that 90-day period? So if someone says, okay great I want to set up my retargeting list for the three-list approach, let’s do it, let’s talk to our people and let’s get this going, 90 days does that sound good to set all this up? Yeah, probably you can set all this up, create the list, create the offers, create the ads for each list. That is something you can get done within 90 days and then, of course, do they actually do it? That’s an even bigger sign of a good agency.

Austin: So for somebody listening in and they think that that sounds great what’s the next best step or the next step they can take, the first step that you recommend if they are doing this themselves or if they are going to be outsourcing somebody else?

Michael: So if someone is low tech solopreneur, an 80-20 just launch retargeting. Just get it out there and take the steps necessary to set up a basic 30-day just targeting everyone 30 days. You are treating basically everyone as if they are BOFU. So you are serving a product ad to basically everyone who visited your site.

Austin: So you are BOFUing everybody?

Michael: You’re BOFUing everybody. It’s not perfect but you’re not doing any retargeting, it’s going to be a value ad. The next step from there would just be thinking about your three lists. So the easiest one is to address the TOFU. These are people that viewed just the blog or a piece of content but they didn’t actually view the product pages. Treat them differently. Setting up basic retargeting and then from there that should lay the groundwork and give you enough experience to eventually set up the three lists. What you’ll notice when you transition from treating everyone like they are in the bottom of the funnel, to start segmenting this out, you will start to notice hey my top of funnel, I am getting a lot more opt-ins than I did previously plus you’re getting people the right message at the right time as opposed to just hey you just viewed our blog here is a product buy it instead of hey you viewed our blog guess we have more of this great content and guess what this is related to this product you are walking them through your sales funnel.

Austin: Cool, questions for you. Do you have any books that you would recommend? What’s the book that you have read over the last year that you have given away to other people?

Michael: I have everyone here at Search Scientist read Advanced Google Ad Words by Brad Gettis which I consider the bible of ad words. The level of detail and the level of technical aspects that he has got in it is fantastic.

Austin: Awesome, that’s great and what about non-ad words related?

Michael: I would probably say one of the most influential business books that I have read over the last year is Traction by Gina Wickman. And Traction gives a level of organization to especially a distributed team where 11 people spread out over many time zones and traction really gave us the framework on how to set goals and work towards those goals in quarter by quarters, trying to get better every single quarter. Traction by Gina Wickman.

Austin: Cool what about, do you have any apps that you are liking these days? I know you have given me some good apps recently. You have been my go-to for like got me on strong app, I’ll give you 100% credit for that. It’s great. Anything else that you have been doing that you’d recommend?

Michael: I am a fan of OPTYMZER. It’s really helped accelerate a few of our routine tasks that we do in Ad words. I am a big fan of that.

Austin: Cool, Optymzer. Awesome. I’ll check it out. This has been great. It’s fantastic. For anybody listening who are like wow he knows his stuff what is the best resource you can direct them to or the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Michael: Come check out our blog, Feel free to poke around there. If you are interested in hearing more, we have a mailing list and we are going to be rolling out some more content.

Austin: Awesome. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it and we’ll talk soon.

Michael: Awesome.

Austin: I hope you guys enjoyed this episode with Michael as much as I did. If it resonated with you and got some value out of it, my one ask is that you share it with somebody who would think who would enjoy it. That’s how we grow, how we keep going. If you want to goa little bit deeper and get some of the show notes and the transcript, you can head over to click on the podcast button and I’ll have all the links there, the books to the app Optymzer he was talking about and until next time. Have a great one and I can’t wait to chat with you guys again. Talk soon.

Austin: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence podcast. I’m your host Austin Brawner.

Today, like we usually do, we’re breaking down traffic and conversion strategies to help you grow your ecommerce business from seven to eight figures and beyond. I’ve got a very actionable exciting intervie...

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