Retargeting and Behavior Targetting works for Affiliates


Perhaps one of the least used technologies in the Affiliate and Performance Marketing game is behavior & re-targeting. Outside of the brand side of the industry, there are very few people who talk about behavior targeting, and its not always understood by the industry in general. Perhaps one of the reasons is that not a single CPA network has an internal system that works on behavior targeting. Another factor might be the large deposit requirement from some of the behavior companies and also the fact that many of them don’t want to work with performance marketing companies, let alone affiliates, seeing them as “low lying fruit.”

However, behavior targeting can be one of the most effective ways of affiliates take barely profitable or even unprofitable campaigns and turn them profitable.

A quick explanation of what we are talking here. Basically, behavior targeting at its simplest level is using a pixel placed on a page to re-target users again. Most of the behavior targeting is done on a display level, but more and more PPC engines are allowing this method of targeting.

The principle is simple: if someone is interested in one specific product, they may be interested in another similar product. It’s simple, it works and I recommend everyone learn more about it.

There are several ways that this can be used for Affiliate and Performance Marketers. First of all, one can easily buy a target from a display network that they feel will best fit the profile of the product that you are selling. While contextual targeting uses a URL or keywords to target, behavior targeting uses the demographics of the users based on the users experience.  For example, anyone who visits pet sites frequently might be targeted as a “Pet Owner” and would make sense for a company such as, of their affiliates to use that target.

However, at another level, this is very effective for affiliates who have already made a purchase. Imagine if you are an affiliate of a pet product,  and you place a behavior targeting pixel on the purchase page of that product. You’ll know immediately that everyone who bought the product (or showed interest) was a pet owner and thus more likely to continue to buy pet products. If you could target based on what they bought (cat vs. dog food) you’d know what other product to show them. If you were an affiliate of a another pet product (such as lets say a pet dating site – hey you never know) you could then target those people again.

The value in this is building data of users and then re-targeting them with ads across display networks. That initial target may be profitable, or barely profitable, as I mentioned, but that ability to “upsell” later in the future to the same consumer is extremely valuable. Since the ads would only go to those other users, they would be hyper-targeted, cheap in comparison and most likely provide very high conversion rates.

One you have this data, of a specific user, the possibilities of what to do with this data and how to monetize it are endless. Additionally, don’t forget that you can re-target based on one medium to another. For example, you don’t have to get the consumers interest originally based on display. You could have had people who clicked on a pet PPC advertisement come to your landing page, and then re-target them on display.

The best thing about re-targeting is that you can be extremely creative. A person expressing interest in a car loan might also need car insurance, a consumer who buys a book about travel might also be interested in airline tickets.

Again, thinking outside the box, re-monetizing consumers is the key here.

Companies who can behavior target recommended for affiliates:
Media Shakers
Audience Science (a bit pricey and very strict guidelines)

What's your opinion?