Tips for effective site retargeting for your fantasy sports business

March 30, 2016

You can’t operate your fantasy sports business with a “if I build it, they will come” mantra. Even if you build the most kick-ass DFS platform, or provide the best lineup generator in the industry, without a good, consistent marketing plan, no one will come.


Like most consumers, the digital attention span of a fantasy sports player is extremely low. You have to capture their attention quickly. They’re bouncing from websites to social channels to their email, and back again. The only way to get them to notice your marketing efforts is to ‘wow’ them. You have to make it seem like your marketing plan was developed and personalized specifically for them. That’s where behavioral retargeting, otherwise known as site retargeting, comes into play.


So what is site retargeting? So you go to StubHub to price out tickets for opening day baseball but you can’t quite justify paying $250 per ticket. So you leave the site and move on to a different site. Suddenly, there’s a StubHub banner ad on the new site with a message about tickets being available for the exact game you were just looking at. You move on to your Gmail account and there the ad is again, touting that there’s only 1500 tickets left for the event. Creepy? Yes. But THIS is site retargeting. And more and more marketers in the fantasy sports space is using the tactic to convert website visitors into leads, subscribers, or players.


Retargeting keeps track of people who visit your site through a pixel-based cookie, and displays retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online. And consumers are starting to take notice. Nearly three out of five online buyers said they notice ads for products they looked up on other sites, according to eMarketer. These ads are powerful, too. According to Criteo, visitors that are retargeted with display ads are 70 percent more likely to convert into qualified leads than those who are not. So how do you implement a successful retargeting campaign? Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the best ROI out of your retargeting ads.


Know when to get started

Retargeting isn’t for every fantasy sports business. The goal of a retargeting campaign isn’t necessarily brand awareness, but is focused on driving conversions on your site (subscriptions, sales, leads, newsletter sign-ups, etc.). Remember, by definition, site retargeting only targets your current site audience. If you have less than 5,000 unique visitors per month to your site, a full-fledge retargeting campaign may not be for you.


However, you should consider adding a retargeting tracking pixel to your site now. But don’t start actually retargeting. This will start the process of creating a pool or retargetable visitors. Focus on things that will help generate traffic to your site (SEO, social media advertising, content marketing, blogs, etc.). So when you’re ready to start a site retargeting campaign, you’ll have more of a significant pool of users to target.


Don’t stalk too much

Just because your ad CAN follow your site visitors doesn’t mean it always has to. Ad exhaustion is real. If you display your ad too many times, your targeted audience will become numb to your message. You don’t want the personalization and curiosity factor to succumb to annoyance. The good news is that most retargeting tools allow you to put a cap on the number of times your ad can be seen.


Segmentation is a good thing here

Retargeting allows you to segment your audience into different categories based on their previous actions on your website. Let’s say you’re a fantasy sports data provider and you’ve organized your website into individual sport feeds. If a visitor clicks on your MLB feed and then bounces off your site, you should serve up baseball related ads on subsequent sites they visit. Serving an NFL- or NBA-related retargeting ad to this visitor would miss the boat. This is a prime example of segmentation. Remember, you want to connect with potential customers and provide the best experience possible through your retargeting ads.


Don’t be that boyfriend/girlfriend that hangs around too long

In other words, watch your ad duration. This will obviously vary from campaign to campaign. But you don’t want your retargeting ad to hang around too long. This will require some testing and analysis, but typically, a retargeting campaign should last as long as your typical sales cycle, i.e. a sports season, pre-season, tournament, etc.


Change it up!

As stated above, ad exhaustion is real. A huge contributing factor to this is a company not changing their creative design. The brilliance of retargeting is that you don’t have to stick with the same design for the same message. Change things up a bit. There should be a common element or two that is present in all the ad to create cohesiveness and brand awareness, but offer different versions of your retargeting ads. Also, there’s nothing wrong with completely overhauling banner ads to freshen up your campaigns.


There’s no shame in letting others do your dirty work

A successful retargeting campaign takes work. You have to analyze data. You have to tweak campaigns constantly. You have to develop proper creative sets, landing pages, audience segments and marketing messages. And let’s face it…you have a business to run. Partnering with a reputable marketing firm that understands your business and/or your industry will definitely drive up your ROI. There’s obviously a management fee attached to this tactic. But letting someone else handle the day-to-day management of the campaign will help your business in the long run.


Need help with your site retargeting efforts? Contact FantasyMeter today at or (817) 729-8771.

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