Business Strategy

Explosive CTR And The Fine Art Of Automotive Retargeting

Explosive CTR And The Fine Art Of Automotive Retargeting

A shopper driving off your lot in the car they arrived in rather than one newly purchased from your inventory doesn’t have to mean losing all hope for a sale. Timely retargeting allows you to play to a prior customer’s demonstrated interest in what you have to offer with a reminder that you will always welcome another visit anytime.

Even the world’s most durable, dependable automobiles won’t run forever. Their lifespans, though lengthy, eventually run out. Interestingly, many automakers have built massive enduringly loyal fanbases rooted in deep personal satisfaction, a certain charming nostalgic devotion, or an ingrained marriage of the two. When the time comes to replace a vehicle or to purchase an automobile for a loved one, many customers turn first and foremost to their love affairs with one specific brand.

Ah, but what of used-car dealerships? If anything, remarketing may prove even more valuable a tool when properly wielded, especially to a business with a well-deserved reputation for integrity. However warranted it may or may not be, the stigma of the fast-talking salesman who would sell his mother up the river to close a deal plagues used-auto lots nationwide. Demonstrate time and again that nothing comes before satisfying your customers, and that word of mouth will light a path shoppers to can beat to your lot. Chances are, you eventually draw more than a handful of prospective customers disillusioned by other dealers’ games and desperate to make a deal.

Is it so hard to imagine that someone out there passed up a deal on your lot, took their business elsewhere, and ended up regretting the cold shoulder you received? Retargeting can serve a reminder that there are no hard feelings – especially if someone still happens to be in the market for a vehicle.


Retargeting, alternately and equally known as “remarketing,” is actually far from a novel concept. Businesses have been subtly and strategically “checking back” with prospects since the very first customer said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” That’s because the reality that a customer might not be in the market for a vehicle right now or simply have no interest in anything within your inventory at the moment doesn’t guarantee that your supply and that shopper’s demand won’t sync up later.

Online retargeting adds an automated twist to classic networking channels such as mailing or email lists and direct mail campaigns. Only 2 percent of web traffic to any commercial website converts a sale on the first visit. This is how you successfully reach the vast 98 percent who didn’t show an immediate interest.

This cookie-based technology adds an unobtrusive, unnoticeable Javascript code often called a “pixel” to anonymously track the continued browsing of any visitor to your website. Without affecting your site’s performance, it drops a tracker known as a “cookie” that tells retargeting providers when to display your ads.

Retargeting produces the most profound conversion optimization and branding results when used in conjunction with demand generation and both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. It should serve as a complement to consistent on-message content marketing, AdWords spending, and targeted display campaigns that already successfully drive traffic. Sure, can meaningfully increase conversions, but don’t expect it to directly send traffic surging to your site or boost conversion optimization.

Think of your marketing toolkit as a basketball team. Retargeting acts as a powerful rebounder who can grab errant shots and contribute points near the basket but shouldn’t be counted on to lead your scoring. Keeping tabs on bounced traffic bolsters ROI on digital channels by narrowing your advertising spend down to people who have demonstrated an interest and awareness in your brand.

Considering that online ad spending from the U.S. automotive industry will likely rise to at least $7.8 billion in 2017, no dealership can afford to underestimate the advantages of investing as judiciously as possible.


With a general idea of how and why retargeting works, you can now start thinking carefully about how to guarantee you will be the first name on the tip of a bounced online visitor’s tongue when the time comes to buy a new car. All strategies are not created equal, but these three tactics are essentials that should be firmly in place before looking into any additional avenues for reaching out to potential second-chance buyers:


A single highly visible ad unit placed directly within a retargeted visitor’s News Feed is more than 20 times as likely as ordinary web ads to get clicked and almost 50 times more likely to be interacted with than those on Facebook’s right-hand side. Just as importantly, News Feed ads produce average CTR that surpass standard web retargeting by orders of magnitude.


Drive target prospects to specifically tailored product landing pages with ads catered to products already viewed on your site. A personalized ad integrating actual product images from your site cultivates engagement with every click. By the numbers, your CTR could flourish to the tune of a 102-percent average increase over standard FBX ads and a 15-percent improvement from standard web ads.


The pages your prospects view (i.e., low-funnel vs. high-funnel) can add insightful detail to how you understand your website and your visitors’ varying levels of intent.

Ideally, you want your ads in front of users who trend toward browsing your higher-funnel pages for a longer period. The earlier reach them in their purchase stages, the better your chances of conversion. When engaging users who make it to your lower-funnel shopping cart or other areas, your objective should be making sure they return to complete their previously begun purchase.

Again, retargeting should never become a primary traffic-driving tool. After all, if prospects have to leave your site and be convinced to return before deciding to make a deal, something is drastically wrong. However, you have a chance to demonstrate a commitment to earning a potentially reluctant visitor’s business or maintain a fresh presence at all times within a prospect’s mind that could pay dividends the next time a purchase is in order

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Business Strategy

Author’s BioJoe Mosier is the owner and CEO of Adsitco a Mercedes Benz Parts retailer. His team has been executing and developing online strategies for their company since Joe bought Adist several years ago ago.

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