Better Than The Ultimate Retargeting Ads Guide

October 30, 2018 Andy Beohar

You’ve probably heard about retargeting and how it helps you reach back out to customers who have left your site without making a purchase. But you may be wondering, what is retargeting? And how can you use it to boost conversions?

In this guide, we’ll start with the basics of what retargeting is and how it can help your business, and then we’ll dive into more specific tactics you can use to improve your retargeting ad campaigns.

What Are Retargeting Ads?

How many times have you visited a website only to get distracted or start doing something else and navigate away to another page before making a purchase? Now how many times have you seen ads for that same store follow you around online? This isn’t a weird coincidence. It’s called retargeting, and it’s a strategy that brands use to reach out to people who have shown interest in their site, brand, or products and services.

Retargeting ads serve relevant ad content to site visitors that have navigated away from your site, giving you the perfect opportunity to recapture their attention. Since you are positioning your brand in front of consumers that already know about and have already shown interest in your products or services, you have the unique opportunity to re-engage these interested leads and encourage them to complete the conversion process. The goal here is to reignite the visitor’s interest in your brand and drive these consumers back to your site to finish their purchase.

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The key to a successful retargeting ad is personalized ad content. Often, the retargeted ad will contain the product that the visitor originally investigated on their first previous visit to your site. Retargeted ads may also contain images or promotions for products that are similar or complementary to the products that the visitor was browsing.

How Do Retargeting Ads Work?

The method of delivering retargeted ad content will vary depending on the platform you are using. However, there are a few stages that are included in most retargeting ad campaigns:

  • A visitor comes to your site, looking at one or multiple pages. While the visitor is on your site, it places a cookie, or small piece of code, on the visitor’s browser.

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  • The visitor then leaves your site without taking the desired action. They may navigate to another site or leave their computer altogether.
  • Eventually, the visitor ends up on a page that serves ad content, and the cookie that your website has stored on their browser enables you to display personalized ad content to this visitor.

Some companies steer clear of retargeting ads because they don’t want it to seem like they are intruding on the visitor’s privacy. However, when used in moderation, retargeting ad campaigns are an effective way to regain the interest and attention of qualified leads. In fact, according to AdRoll, 91% of marketers who use retargeting campaigns have found that these ads perform the same or better than other types of marketing.

Types of Ad Retargeting

Now that you know what retargeting is and how it works, let’s talk about the different types of ad retargeting that you can use to reach back out to your visitors. Understanding the different types of ad retargeting strategies will help you make better decisions about the best way to retarget your target customers online:

Site Retargeting

When it comes to remarketing ads, site retargeting involves placing ads in front of individuals who have already visited your website. This is the most common form of retargeting. However, it’s vital that businesses carefully consider which site pages they use to initiate tracking. Not everyone who visits your site is a qualified lead, and you can help focus on more qualified leads by tracking pages that indicate an interest to purchase.

For instance, you wouldn’t want to initiate tracking on your home page as many of the visitors who land here are looking for general information about your brands and products. However, you may want to consider tracking certain best-selling product pages. When consumers visit these pages, they are more inclined to be interested in making a purchase. Many retargeting ads also focus on individuals who have visited your “Contact Us” page.

Dynamic Retargeting

Dynamic ad retargeting is a type of remarketing that’s similar to smart CTAs. This type of retargeting allows you to deliver personalized ad content to previous site visitors that’s based on the pages they visited or content they have engaged with. These ads are impactful because they allow your brand to adapt your message to the person who is viewing the ad.

A great example of this is the pair of pants that follows you on the Internet. Let’s say that you visit an ecommerce site and look at different pairs of jeans. But before you make a purchase, you end up navigating to another site. Then, you see the same pair of pants that you looked at earlier when visiting other places online. This is the type of dynamic retargeting that can capture the attention of your visitors and encourage them to complete their conversion.

CRM Retargeting

CRM retargeting involves a bit more work than the other strategies mentioned here. This method of ad retargeting allows you to target lists in your customer relationship management system (CRM) based on a specific set of criteria that you’ve developed. In order for this type of retargeting to benefit your business, you’ll need to ensure that your CRM list is clean, up-to-date, and effectively segmented. Though this requires a bit of work up-front, it can certainly be worthwhile given that you’re able to serve more personalized ad content to those who have already shown interest in your brand.

For example, let’s say that you have a list of customers in your CRM that have shown interest in a certain category of products. You can use this list to serve specific and relevant ad content that highlights these product categories. Since the consumers have already shown interest in this type of product and your brand, they will be more likely to re-visit your site and consider purchasing the product.

Retargeting Ad Platforms

In addition to knowing the different ad retargeting strategies, it’s also important to become familiar with the platforms that you can use for retargeting ad content so that you can make more informed decisions about your campaigns:

  • Google Display Network– If you have a Google AdWords account, then you can run retargeting ad content on the Google Display Network (GDN), which consists of more than 1,000,000 sites and apps. If you decide to use this platform, you’ll need to add the Google remarketing pixel or tag to your site before creating and launching ads. In addition to Google Display Network, you can also launch remarketing ads on YouTube.
  • Facebook– With about 1.3 billion active daily users, Facebook is another important retargeting ad platform. Similar to GDN, you can start creating and launching retargeting ad campaigns on Facebook after adding the pixel to your site. Facebook also owns Instagram, allowing you to expand your retargeting audience even further.
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  • Twitter – Twitter also offers retargeting ad options that are similar to Facebook. Though this platform may not be as popular as Facebook or as far-reaching as Google Display Network, Twitter can help you maximize exposure for important campaigns.

4 Retargeting Best Practices You Need to Follow

Retargeting ads can get a bit tricky, especially if you are new to this type of marketing. There are a few best practices that you can use to get started creating effective retargeting campaigns:

1. Segment Your Retargeting Audiences.

Consumers will visit your website for different reasons. Similarly, they may be interested in vastly different products or may be in a different stage of the buyer’s journey than other visitors. Serving the same exact ad content to everyone is not as effective as delivering more personalized messaging and offers to the audience based on their interests and behaviors. That’s why it’s vital to segment your ad retargeting audiences.

For instance, you don’t want to deliver the same messaging to someone who has just discovered your brand and someone who has visited specific product pages or added certain products to their cart. Consider the user intent and where the consumers is in their buyer’s journey when setting up different ad retargeting audiences and creating relevant messaging and offers.

You can use different pixels on different site pages, such as your different product categories, or you may even want to set up different criteria for your ad audiences, like time on site or geographic location. Once you’ve effectively segmented your audience, you can work to create specific messaging and offers that address the unique needs and interests of that segment.

2. Choose The Right Frequency.

Another vital part of ad retargeting campaigns is choosing the right frequency for your ads. You don’t want to irritate or alienate your site visitors. That’s why it’s important to set ad frequency caps for your remarketing campaigns. While some brands prefer to limit the amount of times a consumer sees their brand’s ad, other brands want to get their ads in front of previous site visitors as many times as possible.

There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong ad frequency. Typically, we recommend finding some balance between frequent ad exposure without serving so many ads that your audience becomes irritated. You can try testing frequency for different audiences to determine what the magic number is. In the end, the longer that you run your ads, the better as you never know when consumers will finally be ready to buy.

Often, it’s best to consider how long it’s been since the individual has visited your site. Serving content shortly after a visit is more likely to result in clicks and conversions. This means that it may be worthwhile to serve multiple ads to visitors in the first week or two after they’ve visited your site. As time passes, the likelihood that a visitor will click on your ad and convert goes down, so you may want to decrease the frequency in which these visitors see your ads.

3. Utilize The Burn Pixel.

Nothing is more irritating to consumers than seeing a remarketing ad right after they have just purchased the product. Not only is this annoying, but I can cause the consumer to have a negative outlook on your brand. Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid this problem with your retargeting campaigns. Introducing the burn pixel…

Just as you would use a retargeting pixel to track and serve ad content to previous site visitors, you can also use a burn pixel to exclude those who have converted from seeing your retargeting ad campaigns. This helps ensure that you’re not wasting time or resources marketing to someone who has already converted while also making sure that the consumer does not become irritated with an ad that’s delivered post-purchase.

You should add the burn pixel to your thank you page, order confirmation page, or whatever page you take customers to after they have made a purchase. Then, these consumers will be excluded from your standard retargeting ad campaigns.

4. Rotate Your Retargeting Ads.

It’s vital to regularly rotate your retargeting ads. Even when consumers have shown interest in your brand, seeing the same retargeting ad content will become ineffective after a certain point in time. If you don’t rotate your retargeting ads, consumers will become so accustomed to seeing your ad content that they start to ignore it. This is especially true for long running campaigns. The longer that the consumer is exposed to the same ad content, the less likely it will be to effectively influence a click and conversion.

The best way to avoid retargeting ad fatigue is to routinely run A/B tests on your remarketing ad content. Test new images and copy on a regular basis to determine which messaging resonates best with your audience. Not only will A/B testing help you make your ads more effective, but it will also allow you to keep your ads fresh and avoid ad blindness.

How to Take Your Retargeting Ad Campaigns to the Next Level

Knowing the basics of how you can use retargeting ads for your business is just the beginning. We’ve put together a list of simple tips that you can use to take your retargeting campaigns to the next level once you’ve got the best practices down:

1. Deliver Discount Promotions.

One of the best ways to instantly improve conversions through retargeting ads is to cut your prices. Many consumers don’t complete their purchase the first time they visit your site because they aren’t comfortable with the price. Most consumers want to comparison shop and research competitor pricing before they finally make a purchase. Advertising discounted prices in your retargeting ads is a great way to get consumer attention.

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In addition to advertising reduced prices, you’ll also want to add a sense of urgency to your retargeting ads. This helps you encourage site visitors to take action sooner rather than later. For example, by putting a time limit on the offer, you have a greater chance of encouraging the lead to make a purchase. Phrases like “offer valid until” or “while supplies last” add a sense of urgency, encouraging consumers to act.

2. Address The Consumer’s Main Concerns.

Beyond price, another issue that might hold consumers back from making a purchase is that they still have concerns or questions about a product. By addressing these concerns in your retargeting ads, you’re able to meet consumers where they are and help them more easily make an effective purchasing decision.

There are many different concerns that a potential customer might have that could hold them back from buying. They may feel that a product is too difficult to use or a service requires too much time from them. Consumers may also have concerns about setting up a product or onboarding for a service. No matter what concerns your leads have, you are able to address these in your retargeting ads, helping you drive traffic back to your site and hopefully influence more conversions.

3. Retarget Previous Customers.

Previous site visitors aren’t the only appropriate audience for your retargeting ads. You can also remarket to those who have previously purchased from your brand. To do this, you’ll need to rely on the burn pixel again. Burn pixels not only help you get people out of your retargeting campaigns but they also useful when you want to convince those who have already made a purchase to buy from your brand again.

If you plan to remarket to previous customers, you’ll need to first take a look at your buying cycle. Most consumers are not ready to make another purchase immediately after they’ve purchased from your brand. It may be a few weeks or months before they’re ready to buy again. Consider when the best time to reach back out to these consumers might be before you target them with remarketing ads.

Need help getting started with your retargeting ads? The remarketing experts at SevenAtoms can help you reach back out to qualified leads and consumers through an effective retargeting ad strategy. Contact us now to see how we can help.

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