An inside look at what it is and how to use it to re-engage customers — and increase conversions.

In the increasingly data-driven world of retail marketing, delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time has never been more important for generating sales — and keeping your brand front and center. So what’s the secret to higher conversions? CRM retargeting. By identifying and converting your offline customers, a CRM retargeting campaign can bridge the gap, allowing you to create more personalized experiences for your customers online, across multiple screens and devices.

Retargeted users consistently outperform new users when it comes to engagement, purchases and retention. And you can implement CRM retargeting campaigns with data you already have — as little as a customer email or physical mailing address. Here’s what you need to know.

Traditional Retargeting Versus CRM Retargeting

To get the most value out of your customer retargeting campaign — and your budget — it’s important to understand the difference between regular retargeting and CRM retargeting. Traditional retargeting serves online display ads to previous visitors to your website. CRM retargeting takes it a step further by using offline customer data that your organization has already collected to reach your customers online, even if they have never visited your website or opened your emails.

A CRM retargeting campaign lets you reach customers, including in-store shoppers and email prospects, allowing you to increase the frequency of your messaging and keep your brand top of mind with display advertising when customers go online. And it appears to be working. Compared to traditional display advertising, CRM retargeting ads enjoy on average:1

  • A 20 percent lower cost per thousand (CPM)
  • Two times the click-thru rate (CTR)
  • Consistently higher conversion rates
  • An added boost in the form of increased reach when used with email, direct mail and other digital marketing campaigns

How does CRM retargeting work?

CRM retargeting uses your offline data (for example, loyalty member mailing addresses) and through a process known as onboarding, matches that data to an online customer identity (i.e., known cookies associated with that individual). During the onboarding process, the offline data is anonymized to protect individual customer identities. Customers can then receive highly targeted, and therefore more effective, display banner ads that better correspond to their interests and purchase behavior.

CRM Retargeting Onboarding: Probabilistic Versus Deterministic

There are two methodologies to consider when onboarding your offline data. The best approach depends on the application and how crucial it is to your CRM retargeting campaign to reach an exact individual.

  • With a probabilistic approach, you can say that you’re probably reaching the right people — as well as others with similar characteristics.
  • On the other hand, a deterministic approach uses multiple identifiers during the verification process to assure that banner ads will reach the right people.

Use Cases for Successful CRM Retargeting Campaigns

“CRM retargeting can be a very effective and economical tool for the right objectives,” explains CCG President and CEO Sandra Gudat. “It’s a great way to build awareness with your customer base in a variety of situations and compel them to action.”

For example, imagine certain customers are approaching an award level in your loyalty program. You could deliver a CRM retargeted ad to them that, when clicked, would let them see their award, explains Gudat.

In addition to the loyalty program example above, CRM retargeting can be extremely helpful if, for instance, you want to promote a special event to VIP customers or win back lapsed customers with a special offer. CRM retargeting campaigns can also be used to target customers at their various buyer journey stages — and encourage them to move to the next stage.

Even if you’re already benefiting from regular retargeting, CRM retargeting marketing can help close the gap by providing an opportunity to reach lapsed customers or those who don’t open your emails.

Another case in point: A retailer selling swimwear serves a retargeted online ad to prior in-store shoppers, notifying them that this season’s new styles have arrived. Meanwhile, an abandoned cart shopper, one who almost made a purchase last season, can receive a retargeted banner ad that includes a special offer for first-time customers.

“CRM retargeting possibilities are endless,” says Gudat. “They should be on the radar of every marketer who is proactively looking to increase reach, engagement and conversions.”

CCG Success Story: A CCG retail client wanted to test CRM retargeting against direct mail as part of a traffic-building campaign to their existing customers. The CRM retargeting campaign generated three times more traffic than the direct mail campaign — and at a fraction of the cost.

Staying Connected to Your Customers Is Key

In the ever-evolving and competitive world of retail, understanding your audience and connecting with them through a seamless customer experience has never been more important.

A strategic CRM retargeting campaign not only helps save money by avoiding prospects who are unlikely to buy from you, but can also help you discover who your best customers are. This in turn can help you better manage cross-sell, up-sell and customer re-activation planning. In short, it lets you deliver a specific message — right when it counts.

As another example, savvy retail marketers can use CRM retargeting to help connect the dots and close the loop with certain customers: As your customers click and make a purchase, you know immediately who those people are and how they reached your website. If the response isn’t as strong as you’d hoped, it’s an opportunity to make tweaks to the banner ad.

CRM Retargeting Campaign Best Practices

Get more value out of your CRM retargeting campaigns by incorporating these industry best practices that have been proven to increase engagement and conversions.

  • Use dynamic creative to test calls to action, colors, sizes and offers, and then deliver the winning ad to a larger audience.
  • Use mobile-friendly designs that are clean, quick to load and offer an optimal customer experience on multiple screen sizes.
  • Keep messaging consistent across ad placements, campaigns and channels.
  • Use a clear call to action that creates a sense of urgency promoting a specific offer that’s compelling to the customer.
  • Showcase multiple products and services, even rotating them in a carousel based on what’s most relevant to the customer.
  • Use a combination of attribution models, such as views, clicks and purchases to get a better idea of what actions and touchpoints are working and which ones need some tweaking.
  • Consider a frequency cap to turn off a specific ad before it turns off the customer.
  • Include multiple channels and devices, making it easy for customers to access your brand in multiple ways.

CRM Retargeting: A Simple Tool to Increase Reach and Conversions

Bridging the gap between offline and online data lets you create a more relevant experience for your customers across multiple channels, screens and devices, strengthening their relationship with your brand. And in an increasingly data-driven world, CRM retargeting can be a powerful and effective component of your digital marketing strategy.

While 95 percent of companies implementing CRM retargeting currently use a probabilistic approach, (close but not definitive), CCG can offer a deterministic onboarding approach, as well. By considering multiple identifiers that triple-verify that we’ve found the right individuals for that specific retargeting campaign we can guarantee the highest level of accuracy.

Looking to enhance your loyalty program, increase awareness and boost conversions? As a leading retail marketing agency, CCG helps retail clients increase customer reach, loyalty and retention, resulting in stronger customer relationships and healthier bottom lines. Our retail marketing services include strategic customer initiatives, CRM business case development, omni-channel content strategy and planning, and retention program development. Contact one of our retail CRM and loyalty marketing experts for a free one-on-one consultation to see how CRM retargeting might work for you.

1 “What is CRM Retargeting?”, accessed March 1, 2018