Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

Hosted by Julie F Bacchini, this week’s PPCChat session was focused on the rough split between acquisition and retention, the biggest issue encountered when running acquisition & retention campaigns, favorite strategy or tactic for retention goaled campaigns and more.


Q1: Are you responsible for both acquisition and retention PPC campaigns? What is the rough split between the two, percentage wise?


Yes responsible for both. However, the split is much heavier on acquisition. Probably 80/20. @KyleShurtz

I would put the bulk of what I work on into the acquisition bucket – trying to get that initial lead or sale. @NeptuneMoon

Also do both, though the vast majority is acquisition. Most of the retention work is for their internal sales teams. @CJSlattery

Same as you @NeptuneMoon – mostly have always focused on acquisition. But in previous companies when we had RLSA tags set up properly we had some good offers especially for new customers & needed a strategy for retention @mindswanppc

I would very much put retention as an exception. But those that we do can be great. Remarketing is not retention, but I see clients that confuse the two as well. @armondhammer

Handling both in house and it is wonderful. We have scoped budgets for Acq and Ret, but built-in variables based on product launches and promotions. Usually 60/40 in growth months. That can skew towards retention depending on the campaign or event. @zmste


Q2: Are clients more interested in acquisition or retention on your current accounts/in your experience?


Acquisition for sure. They see PPC as a quick win and want to see immediate results. @joshuadubs

In my experience acquisition. Not enough is done to retain the customer. As in my first answer – there was a 20% discount for only brand new customers. Nothing for their already customers. @mindswanppc

I don’t think it’s even particularly close. The interest is all acquisition. Nobody even really thinks about PPC as something to be used for retention. TBH, I think that’s probably somewhat of a blind spot for me as well. @CJSlattery

Acquisition is generally the focus, but I’ve been working on them to think about using social for retention more. It’s interesting to me that they often think they don’t have to spend on someone who has already done 1 thing again, ever. @NeptuneMoon

All about acquisition which is unfortunate. I think retention needs to be a much larger portion of budget and strategy. Keeping a client around is much cheaper than getting a new one. @KyleShurtz

There is zero doubt that most look at PPC as equal to acquisition. I’ve talked to some about using PPC to promote support after sale. I applaud this strategy but get some shrugs. @armondhammer

Everyone wants more customers. Really like the up/cross-sell feature in Facebook for catalog sale campaigns. Easy way to add it into your Facebook mix. @duanebrown

Most clients are realistic knowing that 80% of their revenue is coming from 20% of their current customer base but they definitely want to see positive ROAS on acquisition campaigns. They know #’s won’t be similar, but they expect a 2-5 to 1 return. @RyBen3

Can be getting enough creative. Sometimes it’s everyone having an open mind to try something new and different from what they’ve done in the past. Some think ….if it’s not broken..why fix it. @duanebrown

Definitely acquisition. Businesses are way too fixated on chasing new customers while taking their current customers for granted. @stevegibsonppc

Experience shows clients lean heavily on Ret as that generally provides quick returns if they weren’t doing it. That can lead ignoring the start of the customer journey. Finding the balance and fit, especially for DTC is pivotal to success. @zmste


Q3: What is the biggest issue you encounter when running acquisition campaigns? Does it differ by platform?


Because most of these come under generic searches – for me it would be the competition and the fact that the cpcs would definitely be higher for these keywords. We need to work harder to stand out. @mindswanppc

Unrealistic expectations is the biggest issue, honestly. You can’t expect to have brand traffic without spending for people to know your brand. And you can’t expect to have non-brand be as cheap as brand or convert nearly as well/cheaply. @NeptuneMoon

Biggest challenge with acquisition I’d say is getting clients to buy in on experimentation and/or giving things enough time to be tested and optimized. They want amazing results ASAP and get nervous if it’s not running well after 2 weeks. @CJSlattery

Separating Brand from generic intent. Esp when inheriting an account. Brand terms are the payoff of other efforts, and when they’re co-mingled as a performance metric it’s wrong. And separating that makes the account look bad. @armondhammer

Attribution. I feel like many Google PPC campaigns are so low funnel that the attribution is more accurate, but the Facebook and YouTube video campaigns are hard to prove if you don’t have someone who understands an overall marketing process. @RyBen3

My biggest challenge w/ acquisition is the expectation that PPC lives in a silo and the dollars need to be tied back to a “last click” attribution. We all know that won’t work. Have a blended acquisition cost metric that PPC assists and helps grow volume. @KyleShurtz

The biggest problem is that many clients don’t get that you have to earn the sale – i.e. you have to give the prospect a self-serving reason to buy from you, rather than your competitors. Lots of “me, too” businesses out there.@stevegibsonppc

Knowing what asset to offer people at the right stage, and how to segment intent by buying stage. Can get fuzzy quickly. @timothyjjensen

From experience not understanding LTV, AOV, and not understanding who is buying from you. Sadly for Google Ads not having branded keywords as negatives in Non-Brand is something I see a lot. For FB JUST relying on Purchase as exclusions. @zmste


Q4: What is the biggest issue you encounter when running retention campaigns? Does it differ by platform? You can answer this about challenges to even running retention campaigns too.


Yes – biggest issue is that the band usually doesn’t put it in the plans at all. so it’s more a hoping for the best situation. @mindswanppc

I think the biggest challenge I see if knowing how much to push your ads. Would these customers buy anyways? Are you crossing the line of annoyance? How do you balance your spend efficiently while not being annoying. @KyleShurtz

The hard part of retention is assigning ROI. it’s not always an upsell, or even a sell at all. And that makes such a numbers driven set of platforms sort of bristle. @armondhammer

I feel like there’s 2 types of retention campaigns – customers that haven’t bought again & retargeted site visitors. Both require proper balance of messaging & unique creative. Don’t hit them w/ the same ad for the next 30-60 days. Ad fatigue is biggest challenge. @RyBen3

So, two things: (1)making sure clients remember that one of their most valuable assets is their customers & they should consciously invest in building that relationship in both transactional and non- transactional ways and /1 @SamRuchlewicz

Changing their attitude so they realize “retention” is a dirty word -customers should *want* to be there, not be forced to stay. Retention implies that your holding them in, where care (h/t @avinash) focuses on creating an experience they want to be a part of /2. @SamRuchlewicz

Same ad copy Acq (I have been guilty of this in the past. Sometimes Acq and Ret can share the same creative, but testing is pivotal. @zmste


Q5: What is your favorite strategy or tactic for acquisition goaled campaigns?


Right now it’s a 2 step tactic I love (keep in mind I do a lot of B2B). Get the target to self-identify, and then push super hard at that audience. @armondhammer

I love creating large retargeting pools by using effective video and looped GIFs campaigns. Targeting by % of video viewed with different messaging as a follow-up. They are the best way to engage, they are entertaining for users, and they educate about your product. @RyBen3

Use Facebook to remarket to audiences that came from other places. Remarketing on FB is generally inexpensive, so getting people in your list elsewhere (like LI or Quora) and then showing them ads on FB is just smart. @NeptuneMoon

I’m a huge fan of prospecting on underutilized channels (i.e. Reddit, Quora, Twitter), then using more established, expensive ones to seal the deal. Or I’ll overlay additional criteria on a remarketing audience to further qualify already interested people. @SamRuchlewicz

Starting acquisition in FB is utilizing rules for monitoring and scaling campaigns. Sometimes a new audience has legs to grow and we don’t give it enough budget. Inverse campaigns lag but are given just as much budget. @zmste


Q6: What is your favorite strategy or tactic for retention goaled campaigns?


You have access to powerful data on existing customers. Work w/ client to segment the list into smaller segments you can show specialized messaging to them. When it is time to renew Seasonal purchases (remind in that season again!) One time vs. multiple purchase. @NeptuneMoon

I love influencer or customer reviews. People don’t want to hear how great your brand is, unless it comes from a customer. Reviews are one of my favorite ways to bridge that gap. Especially if your product solves a common problem. @RyBen3

Promoting content pieces to existing customers – good “soft” approach to staying top of mind while not being perceived as pushing annoying “sell sell sell” ads to people who have bought before. @timothyjjensen

Finding the right day to reengage someone who have purchased once. Talking to customers. Getting pen and paper and basically storyboard what that looks like and finally testing and tweaking in engine. @zmste


Q7: Do you find particular platforms are better suited to acquisition and/or retention? Why?


I think Google is really the gold standard for acquisition, at least for the clients we work with. I think retention does well on social though also obviously on GDN as well. @CJSlattery

Big fan of FB for retention due to ease of getting volume with smaller segmented lists. @timothyjjensen

Google Ads pays off when there is demand present to be there to capture it. Facebook can help generate awareness/demand and is also great for retention. @NeptuneMoon

Linked in is great for account-based retention. (B2B) You know the company and feeding content like tips and tricks work.  @armondhammer

That would be my answer as well! I just think social media in general (display) would be good to generate awareness. @mindswanppc

Hard to make a definite best/worst as I think most will have some variation. That being said I think Google will always remain a starting point for initial research and that always needs some attention. @zmste


Q8: What is the biggest client misconception about acquisition campaigns?


That you can make people search. If no one knows the category, and there’s no keyword demand you need to tackle it other ways. @armondhammer

That performance will go “up and to the right” forever and ever. Or that you can fish the same pond forever and keep having the same results. You don’t have to try different things to find the right mix. Finally, everybody wants what they’re selling. @NeptuneMoon

That as marketers we have some 100% sure-fire audience or ad that will generate 3-6x ROAS. Educating on the power of testing goes a long way in helping clients understand that initial couple of months. @zmste

That it can work as a silo and you don’t need to have done any brand awareness beforehand.  @mindswanppc


Q9: What is the biggest client misconception about retention campaigns?


That they don’t need to spend any money on them…@NeptuneMoon

That your other marketing channels will make up the slack and they don’t need to put any more money in keeping these customers. @zmste

That one ISNT needed. urrrgh  @mindswanppc


Q10: Is there anything the platforms could do to make acquisition and/or retention efforts easier?


They could stop hiding the data from us and asking us to just trust them! @CJSlattery

Keep working on making setting up audiences easier to do. @mindswanppc

The campaign-level conversion setting was a help, I gotta say @heyglenns

I’m curious how all the crackdowns on tracking capabilities will affect our ability to bucket out current customers accurately and how ad platforms will address. @timothyjjensen

Needs to focus on their Attribution tool. Getting a solid understanding of that is help. More understanding of audiences and how they grow week to week as well (on all platforms) @zmste


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