Best Practices for Running a Retargeting Campaign

Retargeting, or remarketing as some call it, is a highly effective tool for eCommerce businesses. When done right, a retargeting campaign keeps your business at the forefront of consumers’ minds and helps convert online browsers into buyers. To help you do that and get the best ROI from your retargeting campaign, here are our 8 best practices to follow.

1. Apply Frequency Caps

Approximately 33% of online users think display ads are intolerable. I think it’s a safe assumption that if you retargeted a consumer with your ad numerous times a day that they’d find your ad and your brand totally unacceptable. Have you ever heard of banner blindness? That’s when you’ve been overexposed to an ad while browsing online that you just start ignoring it. Consumers either started ignoring the ad and/or you now have a negative association with your brand. Either case, that’s not what you want for your company. Frequency capping simply puts a limit on how many times a tagged person sees your ad per day, week or month. How many ads you serve and how often will vary, so use some common sense, find analytics to go off from other retargeting campaigns and test two or three frequency levels to see which gives you the best margin. Google does recommend with its retargeting that you retarget someone for 30 days.

 2. Use a Burn Code

Without retargeting marketing campaign, only 26% of consumers return to an eCommerce site and complete the checkout process. But a customer who’s already purchased those shoes from you doesn’t want to be retargeted with the same ad later that day showcasing that same pair of shoes. Don’t be a business that doesn’t capture the fact that a consumer has already purchased from you and continues to serve them the same product ads of the product they’ve purchased. Doing so is only going to annoy them, and possibly make them not feel like a valued customer and not want to buy from you again. Instead of making this costly mistake, take a snippet of code, put it on your post-transaction page and then untag anyone who’s made a purchase so you stop serving them the same ads. And bonus—using this burn code will save you money by not wasting impressions on consumers who’ve already converted to customers. We’re not saying converted customers can’t be part of your retargeting campaign. Quite the contrary actually. Once they’ve purchased, you can now hit them up with new ads; ads to upsell or cross-sell them. If someone bought a necklace from your store online, try cross-selling them with a pair of matching earrings or a shirt they can wear the necklace with. And if you want to know the best generation to retarget, it’s millennials, as 72% of millennial shoppers approve of retargeting.

3. Utilize Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation is really the best way to determine your audience for retargeting. You can create your strategy based on consumer behavior and then hit them with the right kind of retargeted pitch. Consumer behavior typically falls into four categories:
  1. First-time visitors: Retarget these visitors with creatives that showcase brand awareness.
  2. Frequent visitors: Retarget them with product ads for the products they’re frequently visiting on your site. Discounted retargeting messages seem to work well with warm leads as well.
  3. Loyal buyers: Retarget these shoppers based on their shopping habits by either cross-selling or upselling them on coordinating items to once they’ve already bought or new products they’d like based on past purchases. ReTargeter found that businesses that retargeted with upselling-focused messages earned 3-5% higher click-through and conversion rates than traditional retargeting messages.
  4. Cart abandoners: Retarget these shoppers with a follow-up email or display ad reminding them of what they left in their shopping cart.

4. Target Ads by Demographic, Geographic and Contextual Variables

Adjust your targeted ads even more by demographics, most notably gender and age, geographic data and other contextual variables. This allows you to serve more relevant ads in the right place, at the right time and to the right people to hopefully increase your ad performance. In fact, 70% of site visitors who are retargeted with targeted ads are more likely to convert on your site.

5. Set View-Through Conversion Windows

 If you’re looking to increase your brand awareness, display is a competent channel. While some will tell you online display ads don’t trigger the clicks at the rate that paid search advertising does, there’s more than getting clicks when your goal is better brand awareness. Even if a retargeted ad isn’t clicked on, it’s still putting your brand in front of the eyes of many consumers. One study found that retargeted ads led to a 1046% increase in branded search—you want an awesome stat that encourages a reason to start a retargeting campaign, that’s a pretty good one. And as an added nudger, the same study also saw a 726% boost in site visitation after a month of being exposed to retargeted ads. Some say to do a 30-day view-through window. I’ve seen others recommend 24 hours. Again, test your own lengths and find out what works best for your targeted audience.

6. Run Single-Provider Retargeting Campaigns

To save yourself money, only run retargeting campaigns with one provider. Choosing a handful of providers will cause your selected providers to bid against one another for spots on the same websites, which will increase your costs while decreasing the chance of online browsers seeing your ads. For those of you who are new to the game of retargeting and don’t know what provider you want to use yet, don’t test different ones out at the same time. Run a campaign with one for a few months, test another for another few months, etc., and then analyze your results to discover which platform is the best match for your retargeting goals.

 7. Switch Out and A/B Test Creatives 

Remember earlier when I said if you see an ad too many times you become blind to it? Along with not overexposing online shoppers to your ads, don’t run the same ones for long periods of time or they’ll begin blending into the web page for users and you’ll never see a good ROI. In a recent study, a company ran the same creatives for five months straight and their click-through rate dropped by 50%. Don’t let that happen to you because you got creatively lazy. To improve your retargeting campaign, regularly A/B test it. On your ad copy, consider testing two different headlines, keywords, taglines, images and calls to action. Rather than just guessing which ad you think will perform best, A/B test your top two and know for sure which is going to give you desired actionable retargeting results. If you want my best advice—never settle and never stop testing. Take two ad copies and test them until you have a winner, either with highest click-through rate or highest conversion rate. And once you have your winner, turn off the loser copy and come up with another one and keep testing. Keep pushing yourself to be better so you can eventually double or triple your current conversion rates.

8. Create Clear, Concise Creatives

Don’t skimp on the design of your creatives, especially your banner ads. Don’t make them look cheap and fake, as 54% of users don’t click on banner ads because they simply don’t trust them. Your banner needs to catch an online browser’s eyes while keeping their attention and enticing them to click on the add. How do you do that? The best way is keeping your ad simple. Don’t cram tons of words and messaging into one small ad. Your ad should be clean and easy to read. It should effectively get the message across in a matter of seconds. Other good tips are to use bold colors, a clear CTA, and an easy-to-click button. And if you can afford it, add graphics or create a moving ad; it really does make a difference. Roughly 65% of people are visual learners, and our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Visual elements can help more effectively get your retargeted messaging across and reinforce your brand. Well, there you have it Stryde’s 8 best practices for running a retarget marketing campaign.]]>

Greg is the founder and CEO of Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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