5 Best Practices for Running a Retargeting Campaign

Posted by Camille Storms on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 @ 09:00 AM


So you’ve written a fantastic e-book or perhaps made an awesome promotion for your website visitors, but they just aren’t getting the message, what do you do? One great way to reiterate your sales message is to try retargeting, which essentially is re-marketing. Let’s face it, most people visit a site then leave and might come across it a couple months later, probably as a prospect. But what brings them back? Yep, you guessed it - a retargeting campaign.

Retargeting converts window-shoppers into buyers. It allows you to show ads exclusively to people who’ve already visited your website but have not converted (meaning they didn’t sign up on a lead generation form or make a purchase). It does this by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your “retargeting” ads to them as they visit other sites online.

Unlike typical banner ads, retargeting ads are a form of online targeting advertising only for those who have visited your website or a contact in your database (like a lead or customer). Ever noticed how you might visit an online store and then see ads for them around facebook? That’s one example of how a retargeting campaign looks like. But there are few things you need to note before you create retargeting campaign, I mean you wouldn’t want to get annoying and feel almost spammy to your potential customer right? In this post, we share 5 of best practices for running a retargeting campaign.

 Margin Media - Retargeting.jpg

Demographic, Geographic and Contextual Targeting

First things first, who do you want to target? What’s the purpose of your re-targeting ads? Banners or ads can be targeted based on demographic information, like age or gender, contextual factors like subject matter of the website, or geographic data. When you target your ads considering demographic, geographic and contextual variables, you don’t waste valuable impressions on people who aren’t relevant to your campaign. Proper targeting not only improves the relevancy of your retargeting campaign by placing the right ads in front of the right people, but it also lowers your costs. Instead of serving ads to everyone, you’re saving money and showing ads to the people whom they would be most relevant to.


Next, you can go one step further by considering segmentation. Retargeting is most effective if you segment your visitors (e.g people who viewed bags vs hats) and tailor the retargeting ads shown to each group. Segmenting your audience allows you to tailor ad messages to users in different stages of the purchase funnel. The process is simple - place different retargeting pixels (the code for which helps you interpret how visitors behave on your site) on different pages of your site, and then tailor creatives based on the depth of engagement of each user. When a visitor comes to your main page, you can target them with creatives that communicate general brand awareness. If they looked at your product page, you can serve them with more specific ads around your product offerings. Regardless of users' level of interest, audience segmentation ensures that you’re serving relevant and engaging ads.

Separate your site visitors according to what they did or did not purchase. For those who purchased a specific item, consider re-targeting them with a complementary product. When appropriate, exclude visitors who’ve already converted. For example, no one wants to see an ad to download an app if they’ve already downloaded it.

Frequency Caps

Next thing to consider is in order to achieve the highest click-through-rate on your retargeting ad you need to show it the “right” amount of times. But what is that magical number?

Different products warrant different retargeting time windows e.g people shopping for travel should be retargeted immediately; people shopping for luxury goods should be retargeted later.

If someone visits your site once or twice doesn’t mean a visitor (prospect) wants to start seeing your ad on every site they go to. Overexposure quickly results in decreased campaign performance, that’s where having a frequency cap is super important. Overexposure will generally result in decreased campaign performance because of banner blindness (where consumers ignore ads) and may result in a negative association with your business.

A general rule of thumb is to assign 17-20 ads per user per month, but this isn’t set in stone and you need to review your actual needs of your campaign.

Burn Code

Have you ever bought a ticket to see a show online but then still got inundated with ads to buy tickets to that show? By continuing to serve ads to converted customers, companies are only serving to annoy people. Don’t make the same mistake. To avoid this use a burn pixel, a snippet of code which you place in your post-transaction page and will untag any user who have made a purchase ensuring you stop serving them ads. Not only does it avoid annoying customers, it saves you money. Why waste valuable impressions on the people who have already been converted? Converted customers can still be a part of your retargeting campaign, just don’t ask them to make the same action twice. Now, you have an opportunity to retarget current customers with new ads. Instead of showing them what they have already bought, you can upsell, cross-sell, or even offer referral discounts through new ads. Don’t make your customers feel like they have to avoid your website. By adding a burn pixel to your post-conversion page you can either stop or change the ads that they’re being shown. For example, if a visitor downloads your ebook, invite them to join a webinar on the same topic. Or, if they’re already a customer, you could show them offers for complementary products to cross-sell them.

Rotate Creatives with a Call-to-action

Finally, use multiple creative to keep display ads fresh. This serves to keep retargeting campaigns from getting stale by avoiding overexposure to any one or two display ads. Also be sure to include a clear call to action (CTA). Make sure you’ve defined the action you want the person to take depending on where they’re at in the sales funnel. For instance, a CTA for those at the top of the sales funnel may be “learn more,” while a CTA for those at the low end may be “buy now” or “request a demo.” Promote an offer specific to the site page visited. Did potential customers visit a particular page without converting? Promote a sale or other incentive to this segment from that page’s content.

These are just a few of the best practices when developing your retargeting campaign, need help with your strategy? Contact us today and we can help ascertain the goals and implement the actions needed for a successful retargeting campaign.



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Topics: Advertising Tips

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