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7 Best Practices for Running a Retargeting Campaign


Running a retargeting campaign is a great way to bring your audience back to your website. In fact, we believe that retargeting is the best branding that you can buy with your advertising budget! Whether your goal is to increase audience engagement, build brand awareness, or focus on customer acquisition/activation, retargeting has proven to be the simplest and most effective boost to many companies marketing strategies.

While retargeting has proven to be effective on countless occasions, we do warn advertisers that a poorly set up campaign can actually hurt your marketing efforts. Because of this, we’ve created a list of best practices to help you get the most out of your retargeting:

  1. Don’t Overbear or Under-serve. One of the worst things that you can do is bombard your audience with ads. Doing so will likely annoy a lot of your current and potential customers. Conversely, you also don’t want to serve too few ads, this leaves a lot of value on the table. The idea is to find a balance between overbearing and underserving your audience. We’ve found that setting a frequency cap of 15 to 20 impressions to each of your users every month is the most elegant way to keep your brand top of mind.
  2. Make Sure Your Ads Are Well Branded. While retargeting guarantees that your ads will stay in front of your audience, your ad creatives still need to spark a subliminal connection between your brand and your audience. Since the people seeing your ads have already visited your website, they are likely familiar with your logo. Highlighting your logo and branding on all of your ad-units is a great way to ensure that your ads don’t go unnoticed.
  3. Understand the view-through window. If you haven’t read our recent article on The Billboard Effect, here’s a quick recap: similarly to how billboards can affect your purchase decisions, banner ads don’t need to be clicked on to create an effect on your audience. With that said, you need to give credit where credit is due, so it’s important to understand view-through conversions and your view-through window. In retargeting, view-through conversions are tracked whenever a member of your audience sees a retargeted ad, and then visits your site and converts without actually clicking on your ad. A 24-hour view-through window only tracks these conversions whenever someone makes a conversion within 24 hours; a 30-day view-through window tracks these conversions whenever someone converts within 30 days. By default, we set a 24-hour view-through window to make sure that you’re only counting the conversions that were most likely influenced by your retargeting campaign’s billboard effect.
  4. Have an Incredible Network Reach. In theory, retargeting works because it keeps your brand in front of your audience wherever they go. This is why you need to make sure that you’re retargeting your site’s visitors across as much ad inventory as possible. ReTargeter’s Incredible Network is a unique blend of dozens of ad networks, including Google Doubleclick, Yahoo! Right Media, Microsoft AdECN, and Fox Audience Network. We’ve invested heavily in our network relationships to make sure that you’re retargeting your audience from as many places as possible.
  5. Optimize Your Conversion Funnel. Similar to how your ads need to be well branded to attract the attention of your audience, it is also important to A/B test your ad creatives and landing pages. Start with two different ad creative iterations and simple landing pages that reiterate your ad’s messaging. Use retargeting to test these iterations, deactivate your loser iteration, and create a new optimized iteration and continue testing. Keep testing until you’ve reached your metric goals and then create a new goal and start more tests!
  6. Target an Actionable Audience. The placement of your segment pixel can make or break the performance of your campaign. It is a general practice to place your segment pixel on your homepage and landing pages to make sure that you’re only retargeting the people who have at least some familiarity with your brand. However, if you’re driving a large amount of paid or low-quality traffic to your website, you may not be retargeting the most appropriate people. If this is the case, it’s best to place your retargeting pixel on all pages other than your site’s entry points, such as your pricing page, products page, or signup/checkout pages. This makes sure that you’re focusing your retargeting on a more actionable audience.
  7. Segment Your Active Audience. In addition to understanding the proper placement of your segment pixel, understanding your burn pixel is another best practice for retargeting. If the goal of your campaign is to drive activation from new customers/users, it’s best to place your burn pixel on your “Thank You” page to make sure that you stop retargeting to the users who have already converted. If you would like to start retargeting different messages to your active and engaged audience, you can set up an additional retargeting campaign that retargets your burned audience. This creates additional resell, upsell, and engagement opportunities for your customers/users.

Knowing these tips will help you get more out of your retargeting efforts. For additional insight, feel free to give us a call – (415) 738-0573 – or shoot us an email to questions@retargeter.com.

Have any additional tips of your own? Comment below and we just might add them to our list!

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Case Study: Total Wine & More

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Total Wine Partners With Retargeter to Drive Ecommerce Success Total Wine is America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, with over 130 superstores across the country. In addition to their brick and mortar locations, Total Wine runs a fast-growing eCommerce storefront. Their digital marketing team enlisted the help of ReTargeter in the spring of 2014 […]

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