Internet business owners have many different options when it comes to online marketing, but what is the best method or methods to promote your store. Fetchback is a specific type of marketing that might not be for everyone, but it looks like it has the potential to get some of those customers lost in cyber space back to your specific eCommerce store, or even monetize your products or website in some way.
When I first started looking at Fetchback I was pretty excited about the prospects of getting those customers who left an online store without making a purchase or signing up for any newsletter or email, back. Their techniques are unique in that they, as far as I can tell, as one of the few companies that targets those visitors that left.
Who is Fetchback
Fetchback is a company out of Arizona that specializes in retarget marketing, founded by Chad Little. Little has past experience in the online marketing field and was also the founder of AdOn Network, a keyword target marketing company. The domain registration info shows that the name has been registered for about a year and is good through 2011, and it looks like Fetchback has been actively operating and adding new clients for about 6 months, launching its service on April 11th, 2007.
Their aim is to convert those “lost” customers into repeat buyers, called behavioral targeting, and they do this through a patent-pending application on your online store pages. I could not find a patent for the application in a patent search but patents can be pending for years and are not easy to search.
Fetchback is organized in a typical structure with their founder, Little, called their Chief Retriever, a four member board with a lot of online marketing experience collectively, and a small sales or targeting specialist group. Overall structure is quite small and although they don’t say how many employees they have, I would make an educated guess it is around 20.
Retarget Marketing and How is it Used by Fetchback
Retarget marketing, or also called by Fetchback behavioral targeting, is a CPC (cost per click) marketing program that targets the customers that have left your eCommerce store without making a purchase. Commonly seen in the stats as the abandon carts, these customers are then shown a CPC banner or graphical ad on other high traffic websites that they frequent, and not necessarily pages that have anything to do with your own store.
Unlike other online marketing companies, they use a wide variety of ads including paid searches, TV, display ads, and even print ads in some cases. As a small business owner, the reach is far greater than you would be able to effectively hit on your own since they use a large network of ad campaigns on big name sites like ESPN, ABC, YouTube, most of which are out of reach for small eCommerce store shops.
It works by placing a single line of code (called a PDC) on your online store, sometimes on several different key pages, that places, according to Fetchback,
an anonymous cookie containing no personal or identifiable information and no spyware or adware whatsoever
The cookie is placed on the visitors computer which then triggers some type of banner or other ad when the customer goes to a site that is in the network used by Fetchback. The customer has the ability to opt out of receiving future cookies and can delete the cookie if they do not want the service, although I am guessing that most customers will not know or understand the concept of how a cookie works.
Graphics and Banner Ads
For the banner ads themselves they offer four different size .gif ads from a rectangular to skyscraper and they suggest that you do not use the same banner ads as you do with other companies, but an ad that will target the customer to come back to the store site. It is interesting to note that two commonly used banner sizes, 468×60 and 125×125 are not two of the choices, so companies that use that size ad are probably not included in their “network”.
The banner sizes and the fact that it probably won’t be the same ads as you use on your other campaigns is something that needs to be kept in mind when budgeting for this campaign. If you are not a company that does their own graphics and banner ads, you might have need to high a graphics design company to place effective ads with the program.
How Much Does it Cost
The pricing information on their website isn’t really all that telling, they say between a penny and a million bucks. In actuality, it is pretty expensive for the small online store that has a limited marketing budget. They compare it to Google where you set the budget and pay the CPC,
but you can get in with Google for almost nothing, and pay literally what you want.
In order to see the actually dollars you are going to have to put out, you will need to create an account and request a proposal for your specific company. I do consulting for a few companies and one was seriously considering their offer but just couldn’t make it work into their marketing budget. The proposal was broken down to a CPC per lost customer, around $.25 each, but you had to commit to 3 months of service at $500 per month, a total of about $1,500 for the entire campaign.
It might be a hard sell to companies with revenues under $500,000 or less annually. For those companies in the range of $500,000 to $1,000,000 in annual revenues coming from their online eCommerce store, it might be a little easier to work it into the marketing budget.
Will it Work for Your Company
That is the big question of course. It is a new company, so there isn’t a lot of history to look at, and reports to review before you actually make the financial decision and take the plunge are not included with the proposal. Without any real information on its effectiveness I thought back to another company, BuySafe, that did a proposal for me and then did a 30 day test to prove to me the results were what they said they would be.
It was pretty compelling when you can look at actual data and see that the marketing campaign did do what it was intended to do for my specific company. I ended up buying their services for more than a year before I moved most of my business away from eBay. I was really hoping for something like that in this case but no such offer could be worked out.
The program looks great, but most of the online marketing companies today will let you do a test drive first to see how great it works, especially when the initial financial commitment is this high. Other options might be a discount for a trial time or anything to see how well the program works without having to spend the entire amount up front.
If an offer comes my way I will be sure to update the results here. I do know of one company that is doing a test (full price of course) and when the results are known I will try to do an updated post to the effectiveness of the campaign.
Other Points of View
While the concept is great, targeting a customer form another site may or may not be something that the customer actually wants to see. Of course online marketing is all about making sure the customer gets the information presented to them that we know they really do want to see if they knew all the options and sales that are available to them, right?
I asked an online “consumer” and their first reaction was a little negative because they perceived the campaign as a little sneaky, but that is what most people think about cookies. This isn’t really to much of an issue for the business owner since most customers will not really understand how the campaign works, and may not even notice or connect the dots from one site to the other.
It was summed up well in a post, What Will Affiliate Marketing Be Like In 5 Years?, where it was said:
Companies like FetchBack will become more mainstream but still may be out of the reach to most merchants.
There is no doubt that retargeting online ads in a more effective way is the way online marketing is headed. Fetchback is one company that has a head start through their specific application and should have a strong presence in the future of online marketing. Little’s post on his blog, We’re Changing Online Advertising, shows where the company is headed, going to the next level and having fun doing it. Shouldn’t we all.