The first time you noticed it, it probably freaked you out a little – it’s okay to admit that. I mean, just a few moments ago you were browsing Amazon, looking for a new 6-speed blender because, let’s face it, 5 speeds just isn’t cutting it anymore.
But you got distracted and, look at that, you’re on Facebook again – what a surprise. And then you see it. On the right side of your Facebook page, it’s a perfectly placed, perfectly timed ad: a brand-new 6-speed blender on Amazon for $49.99. What a steal! Wait…how did they know?
Paranoia begins to creep in and you turn around to look behind you. Is there someone in your house right now? Are you being watched?
Well, no. You’re not being watched. Turns out, watching someone aimlessly browse the internet for hours on end is an awful way to pass time. But you are being tracked – well, your online behavior is being tracked, and then being used to retarget you with well-placed digital display ads that follow you around the World Wide Web.
It’s a genius concept, really. But it’s not without its drawbacks, which are now beginning to reveal themselves. You see, we humans are supremely capable of being able to tune things out, especially things we’ve become accustomed to seeing time and time again.
Now, after years of being exposed to ubiquitous display ad retargeting, we’ve started to tune that out too. Combine that with the rise of ad blocking software – there are now as many as 198 million ad block users around the world – and display ad retargeting is becoming less and less effective at achieving what it was designed to achieve: conversions.
So when the very ads that are supposed to capture our attention start becoming nothing more than internet white noise to us, how effective can they really be?
The key to recapturing those lost and wandering internet souls is retargeting them in way that you know will get their attention – the tried-and-true direct marketing channel known as Direct Mail (with a capital D and capital M, of course). While display ads have an average click-through rate, across all platforms, of about 0.06%, direct mail is a few orders of magnitude more successful, averaging response rates closer to 25%.
Furthermore, according to studies conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, 70% of Americans say that direct mail is more personal than email or display ads, and 56% say that receiving mail is a “pleasure” – a word you’ll almost certainly never hear describing banner ads.
But perhaps the real value in multichannel retargeting, is that direct mail compels people to take action in a way that display ads really don’t. Take these two statistics, for example: a USPS study showed that 60% of direct mail recipients were compelled to visit the brand’s website, with 23% even visiting the store’s location; meanwhile, 54% of internet users actively avoid clicking on banner ads.
So when it comes to retargeting, the clear answer for how to grab hold of the 98% of site visitors who slip through the cracks is multichannel website retargeting.