How to Use Remarketing to Extend the Life of Your Sweepstakes

Posted by Brian Opyd on Sep 21, 2017 1:11:00 PM
Brian Opyd
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You did it!  You successfully ran an online sweepstakes, gave away a great prize, and had more people opt-in for more information than you anticipated.  What do you do next to maximize these leads that you've collected? You’ve tried the traditional e-mail drip campaigns and have distributed some coupon codes to encourage purchase from your e-commerce site.  Even after doing this, you’re still wondering what can be done to track your ROI and show even more value for the campaign you just ran. 

One way to continue to prove the value of that sweepstakes or contest and maximize the impact is by using AdWords Remarketing.

Use Customer Match AdWords Features to Reconnect

The fastest way to get to show tangible benefits may lie in using AdWords’ customer match. AdWords customer match allows you to target your paid media campaigns directly to your customers based on their email addresses.


Customer match works by comparing a list of emails you provide to Google's vast sources of data. Email addresses you provide aren’t required to be Gmail addresses either.  While you’ll never get a 100% match rate, match rates can range from 25% to 60%.   This means you’ll be able to directly target ads at between 25% and 60% of the customer list you provide.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) campaigns typically score a much higher rate than business-to-business (B2B) campaigns.  Just because the B2B match rates are lower doesn’t mean they should be ignored.  It becomes of numbers game.  If you have a 20,000 long list of email addresses and you are matching 25% those, 5,000 matches may be engaged potential buyers.  They’re probably still worth chasing because they’ve already shown an interest in your brand.

By uploading your list of entrants you’ll be able to remarket directly to those individuals that have engaged with your brand.  If you’ve done your homework correctly and planned a great promotion, you’ll be engaging with a target segment that is closer to a sales conversion. 

You’ll be spending advertising budget on potential leads that have shown a true interest in your product or service, and that makes for the best use of your marketing dollars.

What About Keywords with a Customer Match Audience

Don’t forget about your keywords.  Even though you’ve got a great list of targeted potential buyers you’ll still need to layer a traditional keyword approach on top of any audience segment you might be targeting.

Picking your keywords for remarketing can be a bit of an art.  While the original keyword that may have driven a lead to your site may have been very specific to your product or service, we now have to remember we have an advantage because we know who the users is.  In this case, we can branch our keywords out.  We can look to buy other keywords that are in close relation to the general market or services we are going after but maybe not as tightly targeted.

Customer match offers a great opportunity, but most often it’s used on the Google Display Network.  Let’s dig into GDN and how you might approach remarketing your display ads.

Using GDN and Keywords for Display Remarketing

If you’re considering remarketing to your customer list using the Google Display Network there is one trick you’ll need to take note of.  There are actually two types of keyword settings you can choose from.

  • Audience targeting
  • Content targeting

In most cases, you’ll want to select the audience setting. The audience setting ensures that both the individual viewing the banner ad as well as web page or app that where the ad is being shown are both relevant to the keyword.  For example, if you are selling socks and the user is known to be interested in socks, your ad might be displayed on a fashion focused website.

When using the content setting for your keywords, Google only looks at the page content, and not the user’s history. In this example, our sock ad will still be shown on a fashion website, but the display ad will not consider the past browsing habits or interests of the user.

Remember you have these two options.  In most cases, the default audience setting will be perfect.  In the rare case that a content match makes more sense, you’ll have that available to you as well.

Don’t Forget About Remarketing Tags

If you aren’t ready to take the plunge into the AdWords customer match features, you may want to consider using remarketing tags.  Within the world of contests and sweepstakes remarketing tags are best implemented prior to launching your program into market.  You want to be sure you’re ready to gather valuable remarketing data from day one.

By inserting Google's remarking tags you’ll be able to collect and build a target audience of users that have visited your site. This isn’t as good as the specific matching of a list of confirmed customer email addresses, but it’s still an awesome feature.

If you’ve got a bit of web dev experience or are even mildly comfortable with managing a CMS platform, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a remarketing tag on your website.  It’s a very similar process to inserting a Google Analytics tag.

By setting up your remarketing tags from day one, you’ll be able to remarket to those consumers that engaged with your promotion.  Depending on your marketing calendar that can mean running targeted ads while the promotion is running, or even shortly after the program ends.  I’ll leave that up to you based on our marketing goals.

If you haven’t looked at remarketing now is the time.  Its not hard.  With a little practice and a small budget, you can have a measurable impact.  Invest the time to try it out.  You might be surprised at the results.

Until next time, keep on marketing!

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Topics: Advertising, Google, Remarketing

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