The financial service industry invests $2.7 billion in online display advertising. In the past year we’ve seen a 30% increase in the total number of financial services clients that have adopted retargeting. While more finance advertisers now recognize the value of online display for reaching their customers, there are still a lot of ways advertisers can become more efficient and effective with their marketing strategies.

“Insurance,” “loans,” and “mortgage” round out the top 3 most expensive Google keyword search terms, running as high as $54 cost-per-click (CPC). At AdRoll, the average CPC for web retargeting is $4.42 for finance brands. Advertisers are also experiencing higher performance with this channel where 42% of marketers saw that retargeting performs better than search. Obviously, there’s a big opportunity for advertisers to improve the performance of their digital strategies, while also lowering costs.

To help you get there, we’ve pulled together some best practices for finance advertising: 

1. Reach your audience on their terms

Financial Social Engagement Pie 2In 2014, the average person in the US spent more time on their smartphone than desktop computer, and a majority of this time is spent on social networks. With 72% of US financial service brands on social media, finance advertisers must have a social presence to stay competitive. Mobile and social retargeting extend your reach with your highest-intent audience with engaging and cost-effective ads.

The strategy is simple: pair intent data from your website with everything Facebook and Twitter knows about the customer, buy quality ad space at an affordable price, and serve personalized ads that engage and convert users across all their devices.

2. Configure the proper audience segments.

Most financial brands offer multiple services, with diverse users coming to their site with different needs. The best part about first-party data is that you can not only retarget users who have expressed interest, but you can serve them personalized ads based on specific pages or products they looked at.

Clearly define your customer segments to align with your business objectives. Are you looking to drive free account signups and convert to paid users or investors down the line? Does your product have multiple audiences such as potential company investors and companies needing investment? Make sure you implement the proper tracking to count conversion segments for each campaign.

3. Onboard your CRM data

Don’t forget about the data you’ve gathered offline. Finance brands have troves of valuable email addresses collected at events and conferences stored in their CRM databases. Targeting your CRM list with online display ads is a great way to re-engage dormant users: for example, a retail bank looking to contact last year’s customers during tax season. 

4. Personalize your messaging

Tailoring your creative messaging and landing pages to the correct audience is critical to driving performance through all the retargeting channels.

– Corbin Holt, Director of Marketing at Crowdfunder 

Once you’ve built out your key audience segments, make sure that you’re engaging each one in a way that makes sense and encourages them to interact with your brand. Homepage bouncers and other low intent segments should receive branding CTAs along the lines of “Learn More”, or “Join for free”. High-intent campaigns should encourage the user to take a particular desired action, e.g., “Upgrade your account,” or “Invest with us today,”.

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Run multiple sets of ads within each campaign to learn what creative messaging (imagery, CTA, ad copy) resonates best with your audience.

5. Be confident in your attribution strategy

90% of marketers know how important attribution is, but 1 in 3 aren’t sure how to track it. If you’re only measuring click-through conversions, you’re missing the value of ads that a user sees, didn’t click on, but influences the purchasing decision. Set up view-through conversions (VTCs) to measure how ads that were shown but not clicked on impacted users, to better inform your marketing strategy.

Work with your Account Manager to evaluate your users’ conversion behavior to find the optimal window and weight to attribute both your view and click-through conversions.