Winning Back Your Audience with Ad Retargeting Strategies

Hannes Parman
April 6, 2023
5 min read

Picture this: you're browsing the internet for the perfect pair of shoes.

You find them on a website, add them to your cart, but then you get distracted and leave the site without making a purchase.

Later, you see an ad for those same shoes on another website.

This is no coincidence; it's the magic of ad retargeting in action.

Ad retargeting (also known as remarketing) is a powerful online advertising technique that helps businesses reconnect with users who've previously visited their website.

By displaying targeted ads to these users as they browse the web, businesses can increase their brand exposure and, ultimately, drive conversions.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll discuss the ins and outs of ad retargeting and share some best practices for winning back your audience.

What is Ad Retargeting.

Retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that involves showing ads to people who have previously visited your website or engaged with your content but haven't taken a desired action, such as making a purchase.

This targeting method uses a combination of cookies, retargeting pixels, and other tracking technologies to segment your audience and serve them personalized ads.

To give you an idea of the power of retargeting, let's consider a real-life example.

Meet Jane, the owner of an online clothing store.

She notices that many visitors are adding items to their cart but not completing the purchase.

To remedy this, Jane sets up a retargeting campaign that shows ads featuring the abandoned items to these users as they browse other websites.

As a result, many of these users return to Jane's website and complete their purchases, boosting her conversion rate.

How Retargeting Works.

Retargeting campaigns rely on a few key components to function effectively:.

  1. Retargeting Pixel: A small piece of JavaScript code added to your website that tracks user behavior, such as page visits or items added to the cart.

    When a user visits your site, the pixel drops a cookie in their browser, allowing you to track their behavior and serve them targeted ads later.

  2. Audience Segmentation: The process of dividing your website visitors into smaller groups based on specific criteria, such as the pages they visited, the products they viewed, or the actions they took (or didn't take).

    This allows you to create highly targeted ads that resonate with each audience segment.

  3. Ad Creative: The actual ad content, including images, copy, and calls-to-action, that is displayed to your retargeted audience.

    Effective ad creative is crucial for driving engagement and conversions.

Types of Retargeting Campaigns.

There are several types of retargeting campaigns that can help you achieve different goals, including:.

  1. Site Retargeting: This is the most common form of retargeting, in which you target users who have visited your website but didn't convert.

    You can segment your audience based on the pages they visited or the actions they took to serve them highly personalized ads.

  2. Search Retargeting: This method targets users who have searched for specific keywords related to your business or industry but haven't visited your website.

    By showing ads to these users, you can capture their interest and drive them to your site.

  3. Email Retargeting: This strategy involves targeting users who have opened your marketing emails but haven't taken the desired action.

    You can use email retargeting to remind users of your offers or promotions and encourage them to return to your website.

  4. CRM Retargeting: This approach leverages your customer relationship management (CRM) data to target users who have previously interacted with your brand, such as past customers or leads.

    This can help you upsell, cross-sell, or re-engage these users with relevant offers and content.

  1. Social Media Retargeting: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer retargeting options that allow you to serve ads to users who have interacted with your brand on social media.

    This can help you reinforce your message and drive users back to your website.

Best Practices for Ad Retargeting.

To make the most of your retargeting efforts, follow these best practices:.

  1. Segment Your Audience: The more granular your audience segmentation, the more targeted and relevant your ads will be.

    Consider segmenting your audience based on the pages they visited, the products they viewed, or the actions they took (or didn't take) on your website.

  2. Set Frequency Caps: Overexposure to your ads can lead to ad fatigue and decreased engagement.

    To avoid this, set frequency caps to limit the number of times your ads are shown to each user within a specific time frame.

  3. Create Compelling Ad Creative: Your ad creative should be eye-catching, relevant, and tailored to your audience's interests.

    Use high-quality images, clear calls-to-action, and persuasive ad copy to encourage users to click on your ads and return to your website.

  4. Test and Optimize: Continuously test different ad creatives, targeting options, and bidding strategies to find what works best for your audience and goals.

    Regularly analyze your campaign performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your retargeting efforts.

  5. Measure Your Success: Track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as click-through rates (CTRs), conversion rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS), to measure the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns and inform future optimizations.

Retargeting on Different Platforms.

Each advertising platform has its own unique features and targeting options for retargeting campaigns.

Here are a few examples of how to use retargeting on popular platforms:.

  1. Google Ads: Google's display ad network reaches 90% of internet users worldwide, making it an ideal platform for retargeting campaigns.

    You can set up retargeting ads on Google Ads using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) or display ads, and target users based on their search history, website visits, or interactions with your YouTube videos.

  2. Facebook and Instagram: Facebook's robust targeting options make it easy to create highly personalized retargeting campaigns.

    You can use Custom Audiences to target users who have visited your website, engaged with your Facebook Page, or interacted with your Instagram profile.

    Additionally, you can use Lookalike Audiences to find new users who share similar characteristics with your existing customers.

  3. LinkedIn: LinkedIn's retargeting options allow you to reach professionals who have engaged with your content, visited your website, or interacted with your LinkedIn Page.

    This can be especially effective for B2B marketers looking to drive leads and conversions from a highly targeted audience.

  4. Twitter: With Twitter's tailored audiences, you can retarget users who have visited your website, engaged with your tweets, or fit specific demographic and interest criteria.

    This can help you increase brand awareness and drive website traffic from a highly engaged audience.

Cross-Device Retargeting.

In today's multi-device world, it's essential to consider cross-device retargeting.

This strategy involves serving ads to users across different devices, such as desktops, smartphones, and tablets.

Cross-device retargeting can help you maintain a consistent message and reach your audience wherever they are, increasing the likelihood of driving conversions.

Here are some tips for implementing cross-device retargeting:.

  1. Track Users Across Devices: Utilize tracking technologies that can identify and track users across multiple devices, such as device IDs, probabilistic matching, or deterministic matching.

  2. Create Mobile-Friendly Ads: Ensure that your ad creatives are optimized for various screen sizes and devices.

    This will ensure a seamless and positive user experience, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions.

  3. Coordinate Your Messaging: Maintain a consistent message across devices to reinforce your brand and increase familiarity.

    This can help improve ad recall and encourage users to take the desired action.

Dynamic Retargeting.

Dynamic retargeting is an advanced form of retargeting that displays personalized ads based on the specific products or content that users have interacted with on your website.

This can significantly improve ad relevancy and increase the likelihood of driving conversions.

To implement dynamic retargeting, follow these steps:.

  1. Set Up a Product Feed: Create a product feed that contains information about each product or content item on your website, such as product names, images, descriptions, and prices.

  2. Implement a Dynamic Retargeting Pixel: Add a dynamic retargeting pixel to your website that can track user interactions with specific products or content and pass this information back to your advertising platform.

  3. Create Dynamic Ad Templates: Design ad templates that can automatically populate with product or content information from your product feed.

    This will enable you to serve personalized ads based on the user's browsing history.

  4. Monitor and Optimize: Continuously monitor your dynamic retargeting campaigns to identify areas for improvement and optimize your targeting, bidding, and ad creative to drive better results.

Retargeting and Privacy Concerns.

As digital marketers, it's essential to be aware of the privacy concerns surrounding retargeting and online tracking.

With the introduction of privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), businesses must ensure that their retargeting practices comply with these regulations.

To address privacy concerns, consider the following:.

  1. Obtain User Consent: Ensure that you obtain user consent for tracking and retargeting activities, where required by law.

    This can be achieved through a cookie consent banner or a more comprehensive privacy management solution.

  2. Be Transparent: Clearly communicate your tracking and retargeting practices in your privacy policy and provide users with the option to opt-out of tracking and personalized advertising.

  3. Limit Data Collection and Retention: Only collect the data necessary for your retargeting campaigns and establish retention policies that ensure you do not store user data for longer than necessary.

Building Trust with Retargeting.

As with any marketing strategy, it's crucial to build trust with your audience when implementing retargeting campaigns.

Here are a few tips to ensure your retargeting efforts foster trust and positive brand perception:.

  1. Be Relevant: Ensure your retargeting ads are relevant and valuable to your audience.

    Irrelevant ads can be annoying and lead to negative brand sentiment.

    Use audience segmentation and dynamic retargeting to deliver personalized ads that resonate with your users.

  2. Avoid Overexposure: Bombarding users with the same ad repeatedly can lead to ad fatigue and damage your brand's reputation.

    Implement frequency caps and diversify your ad creative to prevent overexposure and maintain a positive user experience.

  3. Maintain Consistent Branding: Keep your branding consistent across all your retargeting ads, regardless of the platform or device.

    This helps to reinforce your brand identity and fosters trust with your audience.

  4. Provide Value: Offer exclusive deals, promotions, or content in your retargeting ads to provide value to your audience and give them a reason to re-engage with your brand.

  5. Respect User Privacy: As mentioned earlier, it's essential to respect user privacy when implementing retargeting campaigns.

    Be transparent about your practices and provide users with options to manage their privacy preferences.

Ad Retargeting Tools and Platforms.

Several tools and platforms can help you manage and optimize your retargeting campaigns:.

  1. Google Ads: Google's advertising platform offers a comprehensive suite of retargeting tools, including remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs), display ads, and video retargeting through YouTube.

  2. Facebook Ads Manager: Facebook's advertising platform allows you to create Custom Audiences for retargeting campaigns, targeting users based on their website visits, email engagement, or interactions with your Facebook Page or Instagram profile.

  3. AdRoll: AdRoll is a popular retargeting platform that offers cross-channel retargeting, dynamic creatives, and audience segmentation tools to create personalized retargeting campaigns across the web, social media, and email.

  4. Perfect Audience: Perfect Audience is a retargeting platform that helps you create, manage, and optimize retargeting campaigns across multiple channels, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of other websites.

  5. Criteo: Criteo is a leading retargeting platform that uses machine learning and predictive algorithms to deliver personalized ads and optimize campaign performance across multiple devices and channels.

By leveraging these tools and platforms, you can streamline your retargeting efforts and improve your campaign performance.

Combining Retargeting with Other Marketing Strategies.

While retargeting is a powerful marketing tool on its own, it's essential to consider how it fits into your broader marketing strategy.

Integrating retargeting with other marketing tactics can help you create a cohesive, multi-channel approach that drives better results.

Here are a few ways to combine retargeting with other marketing strategies:.

  1. Content Marketing: Use retargeting to promote your best-performing content, such as blog posts, whitepapers, or webinars, to users who have shown interest in similar topics.

    This can help you drive traffic, generate leads, and position your brand as an industry expert.

  2. Email Marketing: Integrate retargeting with your email marketing campaigns to reinforce your message and drive users back to your website.

    You can retarget users who have opened your emails, clicked on specific links, or engaged with your email content.

  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Use retargeting to re-engage users who have found your website through organic search results.

    By targeting users based on the keywords they searched for or the pages they visited, you can deliver highly relevant ads that encourage them to return to your website and convert.

  1. Influencer Marketing: Collaborate with influencers in your industry to create content that promotes your brand, products, or services.

    Use retargeting to reach users who have engaged with the influencer's content, driving them to your website for further engagement.

  2. Social Media Marketing: Integrate retargeting with your social media marketing efforts to amplify your message and reach users who have interacted with your brand on social platforms.

    This can help you increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and boost conversions.

By combining retargeting with other marketing strategies, you can create a comprehensive, multi-channel approach that maximizes your marketing efforts and delivers better results.

Keeping Up with Retargeting Trends and Innovations.

As the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve, it's essential to stay informed about the latest trends and innovations in retargeting.

This can help you stay ahead of the competition and continually optimize your campaigns for better performance.

Here are a few trends to watch for in the world of retargeting:.

  1. Increased Focus on Privacy: With growing concerns around data privacy and the introduction of privacy regulations, businesses must adapt their retargeting practices to ensure compliance and maintain consumer trust.

    This may involve adopting new tracking technologies, obtaining user consent, and increasing transparency.

  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: AI and machine learning technologies are becoming increasingly important in the world of digital marketing, and retargeting is no exception.

    By leveraging these technologies, marketers can better predict user behavior, optimize ad creative and targeting, and improve overall campaign performance.

  3. Video Retargeting: As video content continues to grow in popularity, video retargeting is becoming an increasingly important strategy for marketers.

    By serving video ads to users who have previously engaged with your brand or visited your website, you can capture their attention and drive higher engagement.

  4. Omnichannel Retargeting: As consumers engage with brands across multiple channels and devices, it's crucial for marketers to adopt an omnichannel approach to retargeting.

    This involves integrating retargeting efforts across various platforms, such as web, social media, email, and even offline channels, to create a seamless and consistent user experience.

Personalization and Retargeting.

One of the most significant advantages of retargeting is the ability to deliver personalized ads to your audience.

Personalization not only makes your ads more relevant and engaging but also fosters a stronger connection between your brand and the user.

Here are some tips for incorporating personalization into your retargeting campaigns:.

  1. Leverage User Data: Use the data you've collected on your users, such as browsing history, past purchases, and demographics, to create more personalized ads.

    This can help you deliver ads that are more likely to resonate with your audience and drive conversions.

  2. Segment Your Audience: Break your audience into segments based on factors like behavior, demographics, and interests.

    By doing so, you can create targeted retargeting campaigns that cater to the specific needs and preferences of each segment.

  3. Dynamic Creative: Utilize dynamic creative technology to automatically generate personalized ads based on the user's browsing history, preferences, and other data points.

    This can help you scale your personalization efforts and improve ad performance.

  4. Test and Optimize: Continuously test different personalization tactics and ad variations to determine what resonates best with your audience.

    Use these insights to refine your campaigns and improve your targeting and ad creative.

Retargeting and Customer Lifetime Value.

Retargeting is not only about driving immediate conversions but also about increasing customer lifetime value (CLV).

By nurturing relationships with your existing customers and encouraging repeat purchases, you can boost the overall value of your customer base.

Here are some ways to use retargeting to increase customer lifetime value:.

  1. Upsell and Cross-Sell: Use retargeting to promote complementary products or services to your existing customers.

    By offering relevant recommendations, you can increase the likelihood of driving additional sales and boosting CLV.

  2. Loyalty Programs: Promote your loyalty program through retargeting ads to encourage repeat purchases and foster long-term customer relationships.

    Loyalty programs can help you incentivize users to return to your website and make additional purchases.

  3. Post-Purchase Retargeting: Engage with your customers after they've made a purchase by serving them retargeting ads with helpful information, such as product tutorials or customer reviews.

    This can help you nurture relationships with your customers and encourage brand loyalty.

By focusing on increasing customer lifetime value, you can make the most of your retargeting efforts and maximize the long-term value of your marketing investments.

Measuring and Analyzing Retargeting Campaign Performance.

To ensure your retargeting campaigns are effective, it's crucial to measure and analyze your campaign performance.

By monitoring key metrics, you can gain insights into what's working and what needs improvement, allowing you to optimize your campaigns for better results.

Here are some essential metrics to track when measuring retargeting campaign performance:.

  1. Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click on your ad after seeing it.

    A higher CTR indicates that your ad is engaging and relevant to your audience.

  2. Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, after clicking on your ad.

    A higher conversion rate suggests that your retargeting efforts are driving the desired results.

  3. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The revenue generated by your retargeting campaign divided by the cost of the campaign.

    A higher ROAS indicates that your campaign is generating a positive return on investment.

  4. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): The total cost of your retargeting campaign divided by the number of acquisitions (e.g., sales, sign-ups).

    A lower CPA indicates that your campaign is efficiently driving conversions.

By monitoring these metrics,you can gain valuable insights into your retargeting campaign performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your efforts.

Retargeting Do's and Don'ts.

To help you create successful retargeting campaigns, here's a list of do's and don'ts to keep in mind:.

Do's:.

  1. Set clear goals: Define the objectives of your retargeting campaign, such as increasing sales, driving website traffic, or boosting brand awareness.

    This will help you create a focused strategy and measure your success.

  2. Test different ad formats: Experiment with various ad formats, such as static images, animated GIFs, or video, to determine which format resonates best with your audience and drives the best results.

  3. Use a multi-channel approach: Don't limit your retargeting efforts to just one platform.

    Instead, utilize multiple channels, such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, to reach a wider audience and create a more cohesive user experience.

  4. Focus on ad creative: Invest time and resources into creating compelling ad creative that captures your audience's attention and encourages them to take action.

Don'ts:.

  1. Don't be intrusive: Avoid excessive retargeting, as this can be perceived as intrusive and annoying by your users.

    Implement frequency caps and diversify your ad creative to prevent overexposure.

  2. Don't ignore user privacy: Ensure that you're compliant with data privacy regulations and respect user privacy by being transparent about your tracking practices and providing users with options to manage their privacy preferences.

  3. Don't rely solely on retargeting: While retargeting is a powerful marketing tool, it shouldn't be your only strategy.

    Combine retargeting with other marketing tactics, such as content marketing, email marketing, and SEO, to create a comprehensive, multi-channel approach.

  4. Don't forget to optimize: Continuously monitor your campaign performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your retargeting efforts.

    This may involve testing different ad variations, adjusting your targeting, or refining your bidding strategy.

By following these do's and don'ts, you can create more effective retargeting campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive better results.

FAQ


What is ad retargeting.

Ad retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that involves displaying targeted ads to users who have previously visited or engaged with your website, encouraging them to return and take a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

What is an example of retargeting.

An example of retargeting is when a user visits an online clothing store, browses a specific product, but leaves without making a purchase.

Later, while browsing the web, they see an ad featuring the same product they were looking at earlier, encouraging them to return to the store and complete their purchase.

What is remarketing vs retargeting ads.

Remarketing and retargeting are often used interchangeably, but remarketing generally refers to re-engaging with users through email campaigns, while retargeting focuses on displaying targeted ads to users who have visited your website or engaged with your brand.

What is retargeting techniques.

Retargeting techniques are the strategies used to display targeted ads to users who have previously engaged with your brand or visited your website.

These techniques can include audience segmentation, ad personalization, and utilizing different platforms for ad delivery.

What is remarketing vs retargeting.

Remarketing is a strategy that involves re-engaging with users who have previously interacted with your brand, primarily through email campaigns.

Retargeting, on the other hand, focuses on displaying targeted ads to users who have visited your website or engaged with your brand through various digital platforms.

What is retargeting in SEO.

Retargeting in SEO refers to the use of targeted ads to re-engage with users who have previously visited your website or interacted with your brand through organic search results.

This strategy aims to increase website traffic and conversions by reminding users about your brand and encouraging them to return.

What is retargeting in online advertising.

Retargeting in online advertising involves displaying targeted ads to users who have previously visited your website or engaged with your brand through various digital platforms.

The goal is to win back the user's attention and encourage them to return to your website and complete a desired action.

What is retargeting strategy example.

A retargeting strategy example is creating a Facebook retargeting campaign to display ads to users who have abandoned their shopping carts on your e-commerce website.

These ads could offer a limited-time discount or remind users about the items left in their carts, encouraging them to complete their purchase.

How do I optimize my retargeting ads.

Optimize retargeting ads by setting clear goals, testing different ad formats and creatives, segmenting your audience, personalizing ad content, and monitoring performance metrics to make data-driven decisions for improvement.

What ad types can you run retargeting on.

You can run retargeting on various ad types, including display ads, social media ads, video ads, and native ads, across different platforms like Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.

How do I learn more about retargeting.

To learn more about retargeting, read industry blogs, attend webinars or conferences, take online courses, or follow thought leaders in the field of digital marketing.

Is retargeting really effective.

Yes, retargeting can be highly effective when implemented correctly.

It allows you to re-engage with users who have shown interest in your brand, increasing the likelihood of conversions and boosting your overall marketing efforts.

What is website retargeting.

Website retargeting is a strategy that involves displaying targeted ads to users who have previously visited your website, encouraging them to return and take a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Final Thoughts.

In conclusion, ad retargeting is a powerful tool that can help you win back your audience and drive conversions.

By understanding how retargeting works, implementing best practices, and leveraging different platforms, you can create highly targeted and effective campaigns that resonate with your audience and deliver results.

So, don't let potential customers slip away—embrace the power of retargeting to reconnect with your audience and grow your business.

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Hannes Parman
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