5 Retargeting Tips Every Marketer Should Know

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By Jordan Bell, Marketing Manager

Retargeting—or as we call it, Remarketing—has revolutionized the online advertising industry. The ability to continuously target previous site visitors helps marketers recapture lost conversions, and also increase customers’ lifetime value through ongoing promotion. But while retargeting technology is readily available, few marketers have learned how to optimize it for maximum ROI gains.

So here are 5 of our must-know strategies to make the most of your Remarketing campaigns:

1. Determine your CPA goal
One of the most important first steps in building a successful Remarketing campaign is to set a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) goal that answers the question, “How much am I willing to spend on advertising to get a sale or lead?” Doing so will help you and your ad network more effectively determine the right Remarketing ad budget and pricing strategy—be it on a CPC, CPM, or even CPA basis. If you’re focused on getting the lowest effective CPA, you should continuously analyze these data points during and after each campaign. You may be surprised as to which pricing model works best for you: paying per view, click, or conversion.

2. Design for Engagement
One of the biggest mistakes made in Remarketing is cutting corners on design. But making your ads pop is crucial, especially while retargeting, as chances are you’re not the only advertiser trying to get your customers’ attention. Start by upping the ante and using interactive and/or in-banner video ad units to grab your users’ attention while they browse whatever sites they’re on. Even if they don’t click, you’ll build much better brand awareness than you will with boring static ads that are subject to banner blindness. And if you don’t have interactive ad designers in-house, your advertising network or agency should be willing to design the kind of engaging creatives that outperform other ads on the page.

3. Target with Relevant Calls to Action
Remember, the word “retargeting” still involves “targeting”—and you should approach it similarly to how you segment and target your audience through other advertising. Consider that not all users visit your website for the same reason or view the same pages. You can make sure your Remarketing ads are always relevant by placing specific cookies on each product or service page. That way, your ads will retarget the customer with the type of content that interested them before.

Another way to make retargeting more relevant is to utilize Dynamic Product Insertion—a feature that automatically adds specific product names and prices to your ad copy. For example, if John almost bought that MP3 player on a product page, you can retarget him with an ad that dynamically contains that MP3 player name, price, and any tipping points that might convince him to return to checkout. Likewise, if Susan just bought a flower bouquet, you could retarget her with a floral promotion ad next month and create a repeat customer!

4. Optimize Ad Duration and Frequency
Optimal duration (time period your user is targeted) and frequency (ad views per day) settings are usually guessed by advertisers, or set as “default” when they set up new Remarketing campaigns. Ironically, these settings can have a huge impact on your conversion rates and ROI, because you pay for every ad you show whether or not it had the desired effect. With duration, it’s all about your customers’ decision timeline. Let’s say you run a law firm specializing in a practice area where customers sign a contract with a firm within 30 – 45 days of searching for legal help. If your typical Remarketing duration is 120 days, it could be a waste of money to retarget them for longer than half that time, because they will have already made their decision by then.

With frequency, you should consider how influential your brand is with new customers, or how much awareness you already have. If you’re a relatively unknown company and require repeated exposure to land the sale or lead, then you might choose to be more aggressive and set a high frequency cap on your Remarketing ads. However, if you’re a well-known national brand that most of your target audience has previously engaged with, it could be a waste of money (and an annoyance) to shower your customers with ads on every other site they visit.

5. Place Your Ads Above the Fold
Three words say it all: Above The Fold. Now, there are other ways to control the placement of your ads including homepage vs. secondary page, sidebar vs. header, etc. But unless you’re making individual site deals with highly trafficked websites (which we don’t recommend because you’ll pay more for the same sites than you would through a display network), most of these options don’t affect your analytics as much as above-the-fold placement. Here’s why: When your display banners appear below the fold, you greatly increase the chance they will not be seen. You still pay for each time a page loads with your ad, regardless of whether it was actually seen by a user. This quickly wastes your ad dollars by racking up bogus impressions in your retargeting campaign. If your ad network is worth its digital weight, they should be able to combat this by getting your ads above the fold most, if not all the time.

Keep Optimizing for Better Results
Above all else, successful Remarketing campaigns require a delicate balance of strategy, creativity, and execution to get the optimal ROI without overwhelming your audience. Even when you adhere to the best retargeting strategies, you should continuously monitor how yours ads perform among different audience segments and using different delivery settings. Test, measure, and adjust to find the Remarketing sweet spot that will increase your profits and help you expand your business online.

Since 2001, Advertise.com has offered competitive online advertiser and publisher solutions to companies around the globe. Our mission is to help advertisers achieve their best ROI with high-quality, cost-effective ad units, as well as provide our publishers with monetization tools that yield the highest revenues. Contact us to learn more or get started with your advertising campaigns.