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Remarketing Strategies & Tips for Tour Operators

Last updated on June 3, 2020
11 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Explore different types of remarketing
  • Capitalize on qualified leads & create repeat customers
  • Timing your remarketing efforts
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Skill Level

Intermediate, Advanced
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What Is Remarketing?

You’ve probably been in this situation before: You’re browsing a website for a product, maybe a pair of hiking boots, and a few minutes later you get an advertisement for those same boots on your social media or elsewhere on the web. These ads are the result of remarketing.

Remarketing is just what it sounds like — using digital marketing tools to connect with and stay in front of people who have previously interacted with your website or mobile app but did not convert — meaning they didn’t finalize a purchase. Using marketing tags and tracking pixels, remarketing delivers highly personalized ads to customers who are already familiar with your brand, with the purpose of bringing them back to your site to make a purchase.

Like any PPC marketing effort, remarketing is not free, but doing a cost/benefit analysis will show you that it’s generally not as expensive as other PPC ad types, with the added benefit that you’re reaching customers who have already shown interest in your product. If you have the room in your budget, remarketing can be a great way to convert those people who are most likely to book one of your tours or activities. This guide will cover the benefits of remarketing, different types, and some tips and strategies to make the most of your remarketing efforts. 

a close up of a logoBenefits of Remarketing

One of the main benefits of remarketing is that you’re targeting a “qualified lead” or “hot lead” — people who have already shown an interest in your product by visiting your website or signing up for your emails. This type of focused marketing tends to have a better ROI because there’s a higher chance that these users will make a purchase.  

There’s a rule of marketing that has been around since the 1930s: A potential customer needs to hear your message at least seven times before deciding to purchase your product. In the age of digital marketing, it’s much easier to ensure that people have contact with your brand as many times as needed to convert them into a customer. Remarketing makes it easy to ensure users see your brand enough that they become more likely to book a tour or activity with you. 

Travelers tend to do a lot of research online before booking a tour or activity to make sure they find the perfect thing for their budget and needs, and 95% of people who visit a website are not ready to make a purchase and hit that book button just yet (Marketo). Remarketing allows you to stay at the top of their mind as they browse the internet and make their plans, increasing their chances of booking with your business when they’re ready to make a purchase. 

a close up of a logoTypes of Remarketing

Remarketing takes a lot of different forms, and you can find these ads on a variety of different platforms. Here are some of the most popular types. 

  • Display banner ads on other sites and social platforms: When you see an ad for those hiking boots you were searching for earlier on other websites, at the top of your Gmail inbox, or on social media sites like Facebook, those are display banner ads. These are a great way to stay top of mind when your visitors are browsing the web, and they might remind them to come back to your site and make a booking. 
  • Email remarketing: Maybe you put those hiking boots in your cart, but then you decided to give it some more thought before you make the purchase or you got distracted by your dog reminding you it’s time for a walk. Later in the day, you get an email reminding you that you still have some items waiting to be purchased. These types of personalized abandoned cart emails make it easy for the customer to finish making a purchase. 
  • Video remarketing: YouTube is one of the most widely used internet platforms, making it an ideal place for remarketing. If you have viewers who have watched videos of how awesome your tours are but they haven’t made a purchase yet, serve them up some video ads to remind them of what they’re missing out on.
  • Customer list remarketing: Users who self-select to receive communications from you are the ideal audience for remarketing. For example, when users sign up for a newsletter on your website, you can give them the option to select their specific interests — maybe they want to know about snorkeling tours but not scuba diving tours. With this information, you can target customers with ads that are tailored to their interests. 

Tips & Strategies for Remarketing

a close up of a logoSelect/Build Your Remarketing Audience

The audience for your remarketing efforts will depend on what your goal is and at what stage of the funnel each customer is. You don’t necessarily want to serve up the same ad to someone who has visited your homepage once and someone who has already viewed several activities multiple times. Here are some different types of audiences to consider. 

  • Basic/standard: This is your broadest audience, targeting people who have previously visited your site or app. Remarketing ads for this audience can be more general promotions of your business and showcase what makes you different from the competition. 
  • Advanced/dynamic: As users spend more time on your site, you have more data to help you understand what they’re interested in. This type of remarketing audience targets visitors who have taken specific actions on your site. For example, if they have viewed three different hiking activities, you want to serve them an ad for a hiking tour, not for a Jeep tour. 
  • Previous customers: You can target people who have booked with you before with incentives to continue to be a customer. A good way to encourage them to book with you again is to offer a discount code or ask them to enroll in a loyalty program. They’ve already had a great experience with your company, so they’re likely to want to book with you over the competition!

a close up of a logoEncourage Purchases with Great Content

The content of remarketing ads should be more tailored to the user than your broader first-touch ads, where you’re introducing your brand or services. Here are some ways to use content to help your ads convert: 

  • Create a sense of urgency: Using language like “this popular tour sells out fast” or “this deal ends soon” can incentivize customers to finalize their booking sooner rather than later.
  • Offer promo codes/discounts: A great way to encourage a customer who has been browsing your site to book is to offer them a discount. For example, you could offer someone who has viewed the same tour multiple times a promo code to get 10% off their booking. Put a time limit on the discount to further incentivize them to book their tour now.
  • Bring back cart abandoners: If a user has something in their cart but they haven’t finished checking out, the content of your remarketing efforts should give them a reason to come back and finish their purchase. You can sweeten the deal by offering a discount if they check out now or create a sense of urgency by letting them know that the item they were interested in is almost sold out.

a close up of a logoTiming

The right time to serve up remarketing ads will depend on your goal and your audience. A cart abandonment email should go out while the potential purchase is still fresh on the customer’s mind, typically within a few hours of their visit to your site. For dynamic ad targeting, consider the customer’s journey as they plan their vacation. According to Facebook IQ, 51% of U.S. travelers spend less than a week conducting research once they’ve decided to go on a trip. Your ads should be popping up during the next week as they browse the web and decide where they want to book. For previous customers, you can wait a little longer before encouraging them to come back and book with you again — for example, you can get in touch a month after their tour with new offers. 

a close up of a logoRemarketing Platforms 

You can use a variety of platforms for your remarketing efforts depending on where you turn to for digital advertising, whether it’s Google, social media, or other platforms. Some popular remarketing platforms include. 

  • AdRoll
  • Google Ads
  • Wordstream
  • Perfect Audience
  • ReTargeter

Remarketing is a great way to engage those customers who have already shown some interest in your business and are more likely to book with you. As with any form of digital marketing, it’s important to analyze and measure the success of your campaigns to help you create better ads and target your audience with more personalized content. To learn more about digital advertising, head over to our PPC guides.

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