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Think of the recruitment cycle when retargeting to grow users

Retargeting has become one of the most popular tools for recruiting users to a new service.  The idea is simple; potential users who visit one of your online properties but don’t immediately sign up are targeted with ads that aimed at recruiting them.  The theory goes that  by retargeting previous visitors, you are going to reach people predisposed to signing up, slashing recruitment costs.

A recent article “Past Behavior Does Not Determine Future Purchases” questions the premises upon which retargeting logic is based; namely that past online behavior is an indicator of future behavior.   Indeed, a user may be on a shared device,  his browsing history may be driven by an objective other than purchase or he may have already made his choice.  The key is to know your recruitment cycle; generally speaking, each product has a well defined recruitment cycle with length and steps varying with the nature of the service and complexity of decision.

The basics are that the retargeting audiences must be as precise as possible (separating signups from non-signed up visitors for example).  Then you can begin to create messaging that fits each step of the recruitment cycle; basic product benefits for new visitors, offers of deeper information during the decision making process and perhaps even a competitive switch offer to those who have not signed up yet, just before the end of the evaluation period.

See the original article: “Past Behavior Does Not Determine Future Purchases

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