May 22, 2018

Using Google AdWords to Make Interested Readers Commit — Guest: Christina Delay

A "Don't Forget" note on a bulletin board with text: Weren't You Interested in My Book?

If you’re anything like me, you have a huge to-be-read pile. Between my physical stacks of books and the ebooks stored on my Kindle, I have more than enough books to last a lifetime (or two… *cough* or three).

Of course, that fact doesn’t stop us from collecting more books that sound interesting. (One can never have too many books. *smile*)

However, that common trait among readers means that even when readers are interested in our work, they might not follow through with purchasing our stories. Or if they purchase the first book in our series, they might let it sit in their TBR pile—and thus, they won’t experience our awesomeness and feel compelled to buy our other books.

So when trying to promote our work, we might need to market to different “audiences.” We often talk about how to use marketing to introduce our writing to new people, but we don’t often talk about how to get previously interested readers to commit to purchasing and/or reading (and hopefully picking up more of our stories).

A few months ago, Christina Delay shared her tips and insights for how to use Facebook to reach readers and sell books. Today, she’s back again with information on how we can use Google AdWords to remind our visitors that they really should check out our books.

Please welcome Christina Delay! *smile*


Using Remarketing Tools to Reach Readers

By Christina Delay

You’ve got the social media accounts set up, your website is gorgeous and functional, and you have your newsletter ready to go. You’ve done all the basics to reach out to your readers and connect with them to start building a relationship, but…you want to do more. Especially if you have a new launch or are running a sale.

Let me introduce you to a thing called remarketing.

You may have heard the term “remarketing,” and immediately cringed. I don’t blame you. It sounds all corporate, Big Brother, I’m-watching-you, huh?

The reality is, learning how to use remarketing in a personal way has the ability to increase your book sales and to make you more relevant to your audience, so that you are effectively delivering an invitation to get to know you and your books to a core audience who have already expressed interest in your writing.

What Is Remarketing?

Remarketing is a great way to connect with visitors to your website, aka your readers, and give them welcome reminders that you and your books are out there, waiting for them. It is, in essence, a way to re-market to readers who have visited your website.

What's “Remarketing” and how can it help us win over interested readers? by @christinadelay Click To TweetWith remarketing, you have the ability to build an audience from people who have visited your site (as long as you are following the new GDPR rules), and use paid ads to gently remind them who you are and the books that are awaiting them.

If you’re looking at paid ads to promote book sales, a new launch, or a sale, using remarketing tools can drastically increase the effectiveness and decrease the cost of your advertising.

How Can Authors Use a Remarketing Audience?

I always advise my clients to use paid advertising for specific events:

  • a new product,
  • a sale, or
  • an event that has an upcoming deadline.

You want to tie your advertising dollars to one item, so you can evaluate the effectiveness and discover your true net profit on that product.

For remarketing audiences, this philosophy remains true. If you use your remarketing audience like one of your core audiences, you’ll find ways to talk to them through advertising that are more personable.

How can we remind visitors interested in our writing to purchase? by @christinadelay Click To TweetFor example, you could offer your newsletter subscribers, your street team, and your remarketing audience exclusive access to the first three chapters of your upcoming release. Your remarketing audience would have the chance to sign up for your newsletter and download the first three chapters.

By extending this personal invitation to get to know you and your writing to readers who have visited your website in the past, you’re offering them value and then have the opportunity to ask for something in return—the purchase of your book.

Using remarketing in the way I’ve outlined above—as a reminder to connect—is a great way to create a loyal reader base and get away from the ‘me-me-me’ advertising tactics we’re all so used to.

How Do Authors Set Up Remarketing?

There are a couple of different platforms you can use to set up remarketing. One of the most popular is Google AdWords.

To use a remarketing audience in Google AdWords, you’ll need to set up a full AdWords account (not an express account), and install a remarketing tag on your website. This tag will collect data from your visitors, which enables you to be a better and more relevant advertiser.

Please keep in mind you will need to follow the GDPR rules to stay in compliance.

To Set Up the Remarketing Tag:

  1. Sign into your AdWords account.
  2. Click on Audience Manager under the wrench icon.
  3. On the left, click Audience Sources to open a group of sources from which you can create your remarketing list.
  4. In the “Adwords tag” card, click SET UP TAG.
  5. Follow the prompts, then click CREATE AND CONTINUE.
  6. You’ll then see a global site tag snippet that you’ll need to copy and paste into every page of your website. There is also an option to email the instructions to your web master (my favorite option!).

To Set Up the Remarketing Audience:

  1. Sign into your AdWords account.
  2. Click on Audience Manager under the wrench icon.
  3. Click on Audience Lists.
  4. Click the plus button and select “Website visitors.”
  5. Enter a descriptive list name.
  6. Select a set of rules from the “Visited pages” drop-down menu. For this option, I suggest using pages that have your books or your buy links, not your home page. This will narrow your audience down to those that are most interested in you and your books.
  7. Change your membership duration to the past 365 days. This will allow you to market to anyone who has visited your site in the past 365 days, once the list begins to build. Meaning if someone has not been to your site in 366 days, they will roll off your audience list.

“Don’t Delay!”
Why You Should Set Up Remarketing Right Away

Keep in mind that you’ll not be able to create an AdWords campaign for a remarketing audience until your audience size builds to 1,000 visitors. Because of this, it’s important to set this up now so when you do get ready for a book launch or sale, you’ll have the audience ready to go.

Remarketing Is a Win-Win

Visitors to our website are invaluable to understanding who we are reaching with our message. It’s also important to keep in mind that they would not have visited your website unless they were interested in learning more about you and your books.

Using tools to understand our visitors makes us more relevant marketers and allows us to provide our visitors with the products (books) that they actually want. That’s a win-win for everyone.

Christina DelayAbout Christina Delay:

Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers and an award-winning author represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. When she’s not cruising the Caribbean, she’s dreaming up new writing retreats to take talented authors on or giving into the demands of imaginary people to tell their stories. | Facebook | Twitter


About Cruising Writers:

Cruising Writers brings writers together with bestselling authors, an agent, an editor, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor writing retreats around the world.

Cruise with us to Grand Cayman this October with Kristen Lamb (Bestselling Author and Marketing Jedi), Rachel Caine (Bestselling Author of 50+ books), Deidre Knight (The Knight Agency), and Alex Sehulster (St. Martin’s Press).

Or get ready to Dive Deep and join us on a 7-day Immersion Cruise with Margie Lawson this December to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel! | Facebook | Twitter

Cruising Writers Goes to Grand Cayman!


Thank you, Christina! I’ve long wondered how websites make their ads follow us around from site to site after a visit, so this is enlightening (and if we’re updating our website for GDPR compliance, we need to understand how remarketing works to explain to visitors in our privacy policy how we’re using it).

Like with Christina’s post about Facebook’s Pixel Codes, I love how her advice isn’t about just throwing more advertising out there. Instead, she’s teaching us how to market to an audience that wants to hear from us.

Not only can that make us feel better about our marketing efforts, but it can also make our money spent on advertising more effective. We’re not trying to get a random person off the internet interested in us, even one who might not ever read. Instead, we’re limiting our efforts to target only those who’ve shown real interest already.

Once we’ve identified that audience of potential readers, we can remind those visitors that we—and our books—exist. And with that reminder, we have a better chance of getting them to take the step from interested to committed. *smile*

Have you heard of remarketing before? Does this post help clear up the concept? If you’ve done remarketing, how did you set it up? Do you have any other advice to add? Do you have any questions for Christina?

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Comments — What do you think?

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Christina Delay

Thanks for having me on today, Jami!

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara

Thanks… but I use adblockers specifically because I don’t like ads following me around….
Spot on about the TBR mountain; and this also means I do not invest time in reading three chapters on a website or mail. Too many full length books to read. But some readers may be happy to get to know an author or series in this way.


[…] Nathan Bransford goes over how to make a good author website, and Scott La Counte explains how to develop a content strategy for author websites, while Christina Delay makes sense of using Google AdWords to make interested readers commit. […]


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