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Retargeting Ads and How They Work for Dealerships

Retargeting Ads and How They Work for Dealerships


The way customers decide to buy a vehicle has aggressively changed over the last decade. With the introduction of 100% online shopping options for purchasing a vehicle, the power that dealerships and floor salespeople have on controlling the negotiation has waned.

Dealerships struggling to maintain brand awareness and commitment from customers online may be able to introduce new advertising strategies to drive purchases.

Over 90% of people start online when looking to buy a new car, but 98% of the people that visit your site aren’t ready to buy (source: Criteo). You can persuade only 2% of the visitors on your site to purchase a vehicle from you. So what do you do with the other 98%?

They didn’t show up on your website by accident, so how do you stay top of mind when they are ready to make a purchase? Enter: retargeting ad campaigns.

What is a retargeting campaign?

Retargeting campaigns (also called remarketing campaigns) are simple digital marketing strategies you can implement to retarget people and bring them back to your website.

Think about your website like it’s a salesperson (which it should be your best salesperson). A customer steps into the dealership and starts looking around at cars. The salesperson asks if they want to look at something specific. After talking for a bit, the salesperson is able to exchange contact information with the customer.

The salesperson follows up a few days later and is able to ask more specific questions, and invites the customer to come back to look at a few specific models. After considering a couple cars and a test drive, the customer is ready to make a purchase.

Your website can do the exact same thing, but on the Internet instead of a dealership. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how it works:

  1. A viewer makes a first visit to a website’s homepage, landing page, vehicle page, or they take a unique action like adding a product to their shopping cart.
  2. The website captures the visitor’s device information.
  3. The visitor is placed into a unique group of people.
  4. The marketer sends out dedicated and relevant ads to that specific group.

Pretty simple, right? It’s the digital marketing version of following up in sales.

How can you use retargeting in the automotive industry?

When purchasing new cars, customers do a ton of research and look at dozens of vehicles online before setting foot on a dealership. Here are some simple strategies you can implement to stay top-of-mind during the long purchase journey.

Retarget with images of cars they’ve already viewed.

You can place a specific tracking code that remembers when a viewer looks at a particular make and model on your website. Use that information to show them images of those vehicles via banner ads, carousel ads, and display ads.

Create a retargeting list on your Visit Us or Contact Us page.

If customers are learning about where your dealership is or how to speak to a representative, then they might be ready to take the next step. Gently remind them that they’re interested with retargeted messages.

Retarget with a special limited time offer.

If the customer believes they’re getting a deal, they may be willing to pull the trigger earlier, even if they weren’t ready to buy the first time. When retargeting, mention any deal you have occurring like 0% down or 0% interest on financing for the first 12 months to incite quicker action.

Retarget with interactive marketing tools.

If viewers aren’t sure what vehicle they want to purchase, it may be worth the time to lead them into a self-selecting form. Ask questions about what they’re interested in, what their priorities are in a vehicle, specific preferences, or any other matter.

Your salespeople should know the best questions to ask when sizing up what someone wants. Use that same method in your remarketing to guide someone closer to a sale.

Why should you implement a retargeting campaign?

Remarketing ads are essential in industries that have a longer lead time, such as the automotive industry. Buying a new car isn’t as easy as pulling up any random website, and clicking the Buy Now button. From the time someone realizes they need a new car to the moment they’re ready to buy, weeks, if not months could pass.

Retargeting potential customers helps maintain brand awareness, improve click-through rates and conversion rates, grow your email list, and increase your website traffic.

Visitors from retargeting lists add items into their shopping cart 15% of the time, versus new visitors who take the same action only 8% of the time (source: Navistone).

Dynamic retargeting ads generate a 50% lower cost-per-acquisition compared to static ads (source: AdRoll).

The average click-through rate for retargeting ads is ten times higher than typical display ads (source: Wishpond).

When retargeting campaigns are implemented, business name searches increase by 1,046%, creating returning visitors (source: PR Newswire).

How can you get started with retargeting campaigns today?

T3 Marketing focuses heavily on dynamic retargeting. By utilizing advanced retargeting pixels and product feeds, we can gently remind customers that they should purchase from you with carousel images of vehicles they’ve already looked at or may be interested in.

If you want to get started with advanced retargeting campaigns today, contact us.