Retargeting: Keeping Church Visitors Coming Back for More Online

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In today’s podcast episode, Kenny and Katie are going to explain what retargeting is and how it can help the church. They are also going to talk about using retargeting ads to build your ministries.
For more information, visit Missional Marketing’s page for more information on retargeting and how you can make this work for your church.
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Katie Allred:                           Welcome to the Church Communications podcast. I’m Katie Allred.

Kenny Jahng:                         I’m Kenny Jahng.

Katie Allred:                           We want to help you become a better church communicator.

Kenny Jahng:                         This is the place we’re going to talk about strategies and best practices for your church.

Katie Allred:                           Let’s get started.

Kenny Jahng:                         Hey, friends, this is Kenny Jahng. I feel like you are my comrade, Comrade Katie.

Katie Allred:                           Comrade Katie and Comrade Kenny. Oh, my gosh, we’re starting a whole new podcast. Oh, gosh. Well, how are you doing, Kenny?

Kenny Jahng:                         I’m doing really good. It’s just one of those things where I feel like we’re in our groove. I’m really excited about the things that we’ve been coming across in the group and meeting different people across the country. Today, this is one of the things.

Kenny Jahng:                         I promised I was going to have my party hat. I don’t have a party hat, but I’ve got my fun meter. If you’re watching on video, my fun meter says that we’re going to push it up to the max today.

Katie Allred:                           That is amazing.

Kenny Jahng:                         Do you got a fun meter, Katie? I got to get you one of these.

Katie Allred:                           I don’t have a fun meter. I don’t even have it. I have some socks that someone gave me one time, I don’t really know. I’m in my office, I’m a professor. I don’t really have… Oh, you know what? I do have something fun. Hold on.

Kenny Jahng:                         Well, I’ll have to get you one of these fun meters in the meantime.

Katie Allred:                           Oh, there we go. Here we go. I’ve got my Pikachu bank.

Kenny Jahng:                         I know what you have; you got your “I’ll pray about it” mug. Didn’t you bring that today?

Katie Allred:                           That’s true. I also have that. These are the things I have in my office: a Pikachu bank and my “I’ll pray about it” mug.

Kenny Jahng:                         I want our listeners to weigh it. Katie, can you show us the mug that is the size of your head again?

Katie Allred:                           Okay, sure. We’ll put it up to my head.

Kenny Jahng:                         I want our listeners to try and, if you’re watching this on video, to comment in the comments thumbs up or thumbs down on Katie’s mug. Then she put our, I don’t know if you know, we made these really cool laptop stickers.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, we did.

Kenny Jahng:                         It says, “I’ll pray about it.”

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, because that’s how I feel all the time. I’m like Kermit, the memes with Kermit who’s like… I do this with my students a lot, too, but if somebody comes and asks me for something, I’ll be like, “I’ll pray about it.”

Kenny Jahng:                         I love it, which is why my fun meter is going all the way to the max today. It’s redlining. We’re going to talk about a really fun episode today. Katie, let’s get down to business. We’re going to talk about church retargeting or retargeting for churches.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         Let’s just get started.

Katie Allred:                           What is it?

Kenny Jahng:                         I don’t know about you, Katie, but have you ever looked up, for you, a pair of socks or a gigantic mug on a company’s website only to find ads for those exact same things while you’re visiting other sites?

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, of course. All the time.

Kenny Jahng:                         It’s a little bit spooky, right? People are starting to get it, finally, but I think when it first started to happen en masse, people were really weirded out. Just like right now, everyone’s saying that Facebook is listening to our conversations.

Katie Allred:                           They are.

Kenny Jahng:                         This is benign compared to what Facebook is doing, right?

Katie Allred:                           Right. Let’s be honest: Well, Facebook has said that they’re not listening to our conversation. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but yeah, it is pretty crazy that you can go to a website and then be targeted for ads for the rest of your life.

Katie Allred:                           Or if you say something in your Facebook status, like, “I’m looking for a mattress, can everybody recommend a mattress?” and then suddenly you’re seeing mattress ads for like 40 years.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yes.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         That stuff didn’t happen on accident. It’s part of common best practice advertising techniques right now, right? You’ll hear about it in different ways. Some people call it remarketing, some people call it retargeting. Let’s just talk about retargeting. What is retargeting, Katie?

Katie Allred:                           Okay, let’s just do this really basic explanation. Retargeting works like this: A visitor reaches your website and is given a tracking cookie, all right? You may have heard of “cookies” before, it’s a tracking cookie, it’s not a cookie you eat, but that sounds delicious, it’s not that. They reach your website, they’re given a cookie. That visitor leaves your site. They later see advertisements for your website from a retargeting campaign. The visitor remembers your sites and revisits. That’s what retargeting is.

Katie Allred:                           You really, in marketing, general marketing, I got a sweet marketing textbook here if you’re watching this, you can see I’ve got my sweet marketing textbook. Basic marketing tells you that you have to have several touchpoints, seven to 11, really, touchpoints before a user makes a decision to act. Before they decide they want to buy something, they have to see it, touch it, feel it, experience it seven to 11 times before they will actually decide and commit to do something.

Katie Allred:                           It’s the same thing for your church, right? Before they visit your church, they’ve got to see it in a YouTube video, go to your website, they’ve got to hear about it from a friend. There’s several things that they’re going to do before they actually go and visit a church, something that really compels them to.

Katie Allred:                           I’ve been looking for a church now, been visiting a lot of churches for the past year as I’ve moved recently. It’s so funny; I finally just visited this last church a couple weeks ago and loved it, but it took me meeting a pastor, going to their website several times, hearing about an event that was happening at the church, finding out a student also went to that church, and I was like, “All right, maybe I’ll visit the church finally,” and I’m a Christian, so how much more of that does it take for someone to visit your church when they don’t know anything about Jesus?

Kenny Jahng:                         Or how much quicker would have been happened if you …?

Katie Allred:                           Had been retargeted?

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah, if stuff from the church-

Katie Allred:                           Had been in my feed.

Kenny Jahng:                         … become popping up as you journey.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah. I may have went six months ago if I had just continually seen more information. I like them on Facebook, I follow them on Instagram, but their feed, their information just isn’t popping up in my top stuff because Facebook and Instagram are feeding me stuff from my friends unless they’re paying for advertisement, which I don’t think that they are. How can we get to them in different ways? We can do that with retargeting.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah. Basically, let’s just step back, right?

Katie Allred:                           Jump into it.

Kenny Jahng:                         Retargeting can help your church basically by reconnecting anyone who’s visited your church website. They visit your church website. Now, imagine knowing exactly who visited your church website and what they were looking for while they’re on your site, right?

Kenny Jahng:                         Then on top of that, imagine being able to cater specific ads to them with a gentle reminder, slowly, once in a while, that your church is present, available for the stuff that they were looking at. If they were looking at your men’s ministry, you can serve them ads about your men’s stuff. If they’re looking at your family and kids’ ministry, you can start there. If they’re looking at your outreach or your missions and stuff, you can talk about that stuff as another example.

Kenny Jahng:                         Just think about the spike in traffic your church website already receives around, say, Christmas and Easter, the big days. Mother’s Day is another one, right? What would happen if you can send various reminders about the church’s holiday services in ads, specifically only those visitors that have visited your sector in the holiday seasons, right? They came to your site during the holiday season, checked it out. They may not be coming back immediately. This is a way for you to continue to get in front of them.

Kenny Jahng:                         Every church, your church that you’re listening here today has the power to reconnect those people visiting your church website through these things called cookies, retargeting, remarketing, what we’re talking about today.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, for sure.

Kenny Jahng:                         People get that. Then question is, I think they don’t understand the next step, Katie. If you can help talk through: Where do these ads get shown? How? Where? Where? How do you get people to see these ads?

Katie Allred:                           Okay, what’s great is that you can choose to show your retargeting ads on either websites or on Facebook. A retargeting ad on Facebook will show up in an individual’s Facebook feed reminding them. Oh, or you could even do Instagram, so it’s not limited to that. I mean, you could do it with Twitter, honestly, you could do it with LinkedIn; there’s a lot different retargeting places.

Katie Allred:                           Essentially, it will show up in an individual’s Facebook feed reminding them of their website experience, that they went to it. The best part of a Facebook retargeting ad is the fact that ad will also be visible to all of a person’s other online connections, so website retargeting ad will be shown on any website allowing Google display network ads. This means a person will be reminded of their visit to your church site while they browse other sites across the web.

Kenny Jahng:                         That’s kind of powerful, actually.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, it’s pretty wild. Your church has the power to reengage with individuals who have visited your church website. This happens through retargeting an ad campaign. This kind of an ad may be the final nudge to a person to attend your church for the first time. Missional Marketing is offering a helpful PDF that explains retargeting and describes how these types of ads can be used to grow their church.

Kenny Jahng:                         The guys at Missional Marketing, our friends, are offering this PDF that we pulled together free for everybody that’s listening today. In order to download this helpful PDF, all you have to do is go to this website. Ready? It’s missionalmarketing.com/retarget. That’s missionalmarketing.com/retarget.

Kenny Jahng:                         Retargeting, basically, is very efficient. It’s cost-effective. You’re not least in your ads and other people. People already know who you are, they’ve been to your website, so it’s a cost-effective way to basically reconnect all those visitors that are already interested in your church, right?

Katie Allred:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kenny Jahng:                         If you’ve ever tried AdWords or Facebook Ads, just general, generically, and we find a lot of people do, they start, they have some budget, they burn through the budget, they’re frustrated with the results, I would strongly tell you reconsider ads.

Kenny Jahng:                         But you really should start with retargeting campaigns because instead of just saying generically everyone in this zip code or this age group or this gender or these interests generically, it basically helps you focus ads only on those people that have taken the time to visit your site so they already know who you are. They’ve seen you, they’ve had one impression. Like Katie said, that lost seven-11, we’re trying to get number of impressions up over again.

Kenny Jahng:                         Here’s a really cool part about the cost-effectiveness of it: If you serve ads, typically, in most of these ad networks, you don’t pay for the ads unless they click on them. If you’re seeing those ads come up over and over again and you don’t click through until the 11th time, until the 20th time, until the 100th time, you don’t pay for it until they click. That click is the one that you pay for, not all the other things, right?

Kenny Jahng:                         People have already expressed interest by visiting your church website. They need that little help in getting to that next step, as Katie said, right?

Katie Allred:                           Right.

Kenny Jahng:                         She had to see and talk to different people, et cetera. They need that extra help. It’s just a natural thing for us. Our lives are busy, right?

Katie Allred:                           Right.

Kenny Jahng:                         This is going to really help get that first-time visit.

Katie Allred:                           How is retargeting different than just a traditional Google ad?

Kenny Jahng:                         For me, I think that it’s strategic. It is laser-targeted surgical, right?

Katie Allred:                           100%.

Kenny Jahng:                         Just a regular ad just is generic; it just shows to a lot of different people. Here, you’re really just focused on people who know you. I think that’s the biggest, biggest thing. You’ve already figured out how to get them to your site, whether you paid for ads in the first place, you put flyers out, word of mouth, email, something happened. You’ve already invested in getting people to your website and now you’ve got to figure out how to get back.

Kenny Jahng:                         I always say, it’s this one story, Katie: If you have a little shop on Main Street and you’ve got visitors that come into your store and say one day you get a thousand visitors in your store, but no one bought anything, you’re going to go home happy, but by the end of the month, you’re going to be sad because those thousand visitors don’t come back.

Kenny Jahng:                         Imagine if they all left their phone number and you’re able to text them reminders or you’re able to send them emails or you’re able to ping them once in a while. A good portion of those thousand people might not fly away, but they actually might come back, eventually. That’s what retargeting is.

Katie Allred:                           Okay. What, too, I think is something that we need to think about is: When does our website get the most traffic? Throughout the year, you know when website traffic is going to peak for you.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yes.

Katie Allred:                           Okay, it’s around Christmas, it’s around Easter, it’s around these very specific times people are looking for our church website anyway, so let’s take advantage of those times when people are searching “Christmas programs near me” and let’s retarget those people with ads for our church around those times.

Kenny Jahng:                         Oh, absolutely. Again, here’s the other call-out: It’s free to install the Pixel, right?

Katie Allred:                           Yep.

Kenny Jahng:                         Katie, why don’t you share about that? Because I think most people don’t get it.

Katie Allred:                           Mkay.

Kenny Jahng:                         They feel like if this is all tied to paid campaigns, but it’s almost like as soon as you set up a website, whether you’re advertising or not, you should install these.

Katie Allred:                           The Pixel.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, the first thing you need to do is set up your business account through Facebook. If you have not set up a business account on Facebook, it’s really easy to do. You can go to business.facebook.com and then just set up a new business for your church.

Katie Allred:                           Then you can link all your churches’ pages and Instagram accounts underneath this business account and then you can set up ad accounts for different kinds of spending. Maybe your children’s ministry has different ad account, your different churches. Maybe you have several churches in your church, maybe you’re multi-site. You can set up all these ad accounts for different kinds of spending and then through those ad accounts you create your ads.

Katie Allred:                           It seems difficult. I remember the first time I was setting up a business account, I was very confused. I was like, “Okay, how do I even open this?” But they’ve made it really easy. There’s so much training.

Katie Allred:                           You can go to Facebook Blueprint. If you’ve never heard of Facebook Blueprint, there’s free training on how to do all of this, how to set up your business account. You can actually chat with Facebook and get help as well, which is phenomenal. I don’t think a lot of people realize they can get one-on-one chat help with Facebook to do this kind of stuff, especially if you’re going to spend money, Facebook wants to help you spend money.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, there’s some easy ways you can access this. Yeah, that’s the steps I would take to it.

Kenny Jahng:                         Instant is magical right now, right? Almost 30% of all us online ads are viewed on Facebook, so this is, this is definitely a place where whether or not you personally are crushing it on Facebook, it’s something that’s going to get you there. I would definitely look into it. Our friends at Missional Marketing have come up with some tools.

Katie Allred:                           Sweet tools.

Kenny Jahng:                         Katie, can you share what it is and how they can get it?

Katie Allred:                           Okay, you can go to missionalmarketing.com/retarget. Again, that is missionalmarketing.com/retarget. Essentially, you can get this PDF of everything we’ve talked about today: what retargeting is, how you can do it, how do you take your next step if you’re trying to figure it out for yourself. They would love to help you as well. If you’re interested in some services and getting started with it yourself, I’m sure that they are more than happy to help, so yeah, that’s missionalmarketing.com/retarget.

Kenny Jahng:                         Awesome. As we close out this episode, I think there’s a lot more resources also on our blog. You should check out our blog, churchcommunications.com/blog. Also, in our Facebook group, the thing that Katie mentioned last episode is actually true: I recently talked to somebody who has known as through the podcast, but actually didn’t realize that there are 21,000 other people just like them in a single Facebook group, meaning every single 18,000 of them are active daily in the group, right?

Katie Allred:                           Yeah. It’s wild.

Kenny Jahng:                         If you are a church communicator, we want to help you become the best church communicator you can be.

Katie Allred:                           Ever.

Kenny Jahng:                         A Facebook group is a place where you can get peer-to-peer interactions, getting your questions answered, exposed to the latest and greatest techniques and best practices and just some comradery and fellowship, right, Katie?

Katie Allred:                           Yeah. I think the most important thing is I don’t want people to do ministry alone. I don’t think that you should have to do that alone. I don’t think you should have to make these decisions about retargeting alone. If you’re like, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” just start asking questions in the group. People who have done this a million times before will reach out and help you figure it out.

Katie Allred:                           Of course, you can leave comments and stuff on this specific one. We’ve actually set up learning units in the group, too. This will be in a learning unit as well, so you can go through and catch the ones that you missed, but you can comment on that and just reach out, ask us questions. We’re always happy to help.

Kenny Jahng:                         Awesome. Well, Katie, thanks for sitting down and talking about my fun meter topic of the day.

Katie Allred:                           Retargeting.

Kenny Jahng:                         It’s been really good. Again, this is one of those secret tips, assorted tools that I use in my digital agency for clients when we’re running ads for them. You really should check it out and get some help if you need from the Missional Marketing guys, but retargeting is something that in 2019, 2020, and beyond, you really need to be considering putting it into your mix.

Katie Allred:                           Right.

Kenny Jahng:                         Till next time, Katie, have a good week. I’ll check you out here next time. As we go, what are we going to talk about next week?

Katie Allred:                           Retaining your SEO power when migrating to a new church website.

Kenny Jahng:                         That is a headache, but I guess let’s simplify for people as we come back to that topic.

Katie Allred:                           Okay.

Kenny Jahng:                         Thanks for hanging out with me, Katie. I’ll have a good week and we’ll check you out here next week on the Church Communications podcast.

Katie Allred:                           All right.

Kenny Jahng:                         Your church has the power to reconnect with individuals interested in your church online through what we call a “retargeting ad campaign.” Learn more about retargeting and how it can help your church by downloading a helpful PDF from our friends at Missional Marketing. You can find the free checklist today by going to the website missionalmarketing.com/retarget. That’s missionalmarketing.com/retarget.


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