Four ways Warby Parker is ruining my life ...a tale of remarketing ad campaigns gone bad



It’s Monday morning. You sit down at your desk with a bracingly hot cup of coffee. After the flood of email and a few loose ends, now what do you do.

This week I want you to run this checklist. It's a great way to start the week.

I am a customer and fan of Warby Parker. Well, of the eyeglasses that is. The marketing however drives me nuts! So, thinking on what they do right. That has been talked about before…but what they do wrong. Oh yeah. Let’s talk.

Below is a checklist I designed by observing ways Warby Parker is punishing me with remarketing ads for the simple act of visiting their website, then trying on and buying their product. From these lessons you and I can have a list of what NOT to do when we run remarketing campaigns.

Remarketing campaigns (also known as behavioral retargeting, behavioral remarketing, or retargeting) is a form of online-targeted advertising where ads are targeted to consumers based on their previous internet actions. Often remarketing is used when a site visit did not result in a sale or conversion of some sort. In other words, these are those ads that “follow you” once you look at a particular product or service. 

The application point today is Warby Parker. I dare you to visit the site and look at a few pairs of frames. Then go to nearly any other site that has advertising. It’s a sure bet you will see a Warby Parker ad. Then another, and another. That is remarketing.

My plea to Warby Parker (and to you as a marketer):

1. Please Warby, do not continue to retarget someone after they have converted. I bought. Have mercy. I am wearing your frames. The ONLY bad part of the experience has been the unrelenting ads. I love the product and the buying experience. Of course you must have connected the dots between my log in information, my telephone touch when we talked and if so your digital team adding a pixel to a conversion page is an easy step. You did that, right. No. Please do.

2. Stop your retargeting ads from running with high frequency caps. Stop it. Because the results are good then you must think, “try to buy more ads.” The problem is, you can only buy more by reaching ME more often, inundating ME and others in your audience with retargeting ads. Set your cap at one to two impressions per day. I beg you. 

3. Oh yeah, remember the context that I am in. This is a consumer buy right? When I am on my industry trade websites, is that the right time for you to hit me up? It’s like my daughter asking for money right when I get home. “Sweetheart, let daddy put his briefcase down and say hello first.” Warby, limit your retargeting campaign to be contextually relevant and keep my personal life and my work life separate. (For you the reader of this blog, the inverse is true. B2B marketing is very out of context on sites that your prospects use for personal reasons. Give them a break.)

4. Give me an opt out. Really. I have seen it once. Twice. Thrice. Oh how I wish every ad would offer an opt out. Warby, give me a button that allows me to say “I love you, but give me some ROOM!” You can do it. Right? Yes. Please. If you are going to insist on flooding the internet with ads, give me a little control? Can you?

Ok, I promised a check list that gave you tips how to remarket well. It turned into a little bit of a rant. But you are smart. It’s Monday soon. Look at your remarketing efforts and consider if maybe you are driving some poor schmuck, like me, crazy with your ads. 

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