Why Non-Profits Should Start Remarketing to their Supporters

Remarketing is one of the most effective ways to move supporters along your spectrum of engagement, although it’s also one that many non-profits neglect or even dislike. In this post, I’ll explain what remarketing is, outline the benefits, and provide directions on getting started.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is when a supporter of your non-profit visits your website, eventually leaves your website, and then sees your advertisements or social posts online. This is achieved through tracking code and “cookies” which allow websites to recognize visitors (knowing one person – or their IP address – from another) and follow them around the web. This is exactly what happens when you visit the JC Penney or Zappos website and then start seeing ads on Facebook for the products you were just looking at.

Bing Remarketing

Why should non-profits utilize remarketing?

Remarketing allows non-profits to keep in touch with their supporters even after they’ve left your website. You can customize those follow-up messages to request further support, a different form of engagement, or to just get your existing content (like Facebook posts or Pinterest pins) in front of an audience already familiar with your work.

Many people are skeptical about this advertising technique, though. Not all of us are glad that the internet essentially knows our browsing history, our wants and wishes, or even our actions, like whether we actually donated online or not. But this kind of tracking is already happening in millions of ways each and every day. So, as a marketer, I often think: If Amazon can utilize this technology to promote consumerism, then I want non-profits to utilize this technology to promote their cause.

In the for-profit world, the stats are compelling:

  • 70% of website visitors who are remarketed to are more like to convert on your website
  • 72% of online shoppers are likely to abandon their shopping cart prior to completing a purchase
    • Without remarketing, only 8% will return to complete the purchase
    • With remarketing, 26% return and complete the checkout process!

Stats from Digital Information World.

Can you imagine how your non-profit would fare if your website got 70% more conversions, especially from those who started to donate but abandoned the process?

How does remarketing technically work?

Each channel will have its own remarketing code you should add to your website. I would only advise adding codes for the channels you’re actively going to remarket on, since adding code to your website can slow down the load time.

Pinterest RemarketingHere are the major players, each linked to further instructions:

*I also wrote a blog post about Facebook Custom Audiences here.

The Bottom Line: Non-Profits Should be Remarketing

Non-profits should be remarketing as a way to move supporters along a spectrum of engagement. Even if you don’t have a spectrum of engagement written down, we can all imagine the flow: we want fans to become supporters and supporters to become advocates by learning about us, engaging more and more, donating (more and more, or more consistently), getting involved, and becoming a real champion over time.

Remarketing online starts this process at more nascent stages, when fans are hearing about you in the news and go to your website to learn more. Or when their friend shares your social media post and they click thru to your blog. You want your remarketing ads, or posts, to pop up in the days and weeks after they’ve engaged.

But remarketing isn’t just for the nascent fans: it’s for everyone! Remarketing can turn your website visitors into donors, volunteers, informed supporters, and more, just by offering timeline and relevant content after they’ve visited your website.

Want to give this a try? I’d be happy to help!