Retargeting, You’re (Probably) Doing It Wrong

Retargeting, or remarketing, is a simple and effective way to increase conversions across your website visitors. But you’re probably doing it wrong.

As I surf my way across the web, it’s a safe bet that I will come across a Zappos.com ads for new Nike running sneakers or an ad for a new pair of Warby Parker specs. It’s not an accident that these brands have found me. I’ve been retargeted.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of targeted display banner advertising (sometimes also a part of a search campaign). When you, the user visits a site that is running a retargeting campaign, the site drops a cookie into the your browser. That cookie then tracks your activity as you move around the site. The cookie stores information about you. After you leave said site, you continue to bump around the web inside the display network’s partner sites. You are then served an ad for the retargeted site.

Simple right?

Here’s what you’re probably doing wrong.

You’re not using dynamic retargeting.

Most businesses lump their retargeting audience into one data set. That data set is “you came to our site”. These users are then served a generic, one-sized fits all ad. Your missed opportunity here is to combine retargeting with audience segmentation and dynamic product ads.

Warby Parker is actually a great example of the dynamic product ad strategy. I love Warby Parker glasses but I don’t love ALL of them. Let’s be honest, I can’t pull off the cat-eye look. I go to their website to check out the newest women’s styles and low and behold…I’m retargeted on Facebook.

(On a related tangent, Facebook retargeting is one of the most effective networks to run a retargeting campaign. More on that later.)

Warby Parker Retargeting on Facebook

Dynamic retargeting allows you to create templates that create product related ads in an instant. These customers have already shown an interest in the product or services you offer. They are more likely to click and more likely to convert than customers who haven’t been retargeted.

You can also use dynamic retargeting to define the highest value areas of your site as trigger points to create audience segments. You can customize messaging based on their actions (or lack of actions) on your site.

For example, my favorite retargeting segment is the ‘shopping cart abandoners’ segment. Serve this segment dynamic product ads based on the products in their cart with an additional incentive to convert. Perhaps a free shipping offer or a percentage off coupon code.

Do pay attention to best practices.

It’s easy to get excited about all the possibilities retargeting offers, but remember to employ the following best practices to maximize your results.

Best Practice #1: Employ frequency capping so you only serve a limited number of retargeted ads each day.  This assures you maintain a good experience with your target audience.

Best Practice #2 – Utilize a stop pixel once a person has converted.  This ensures we don’t continue to serve your message to someone who has already purchased from you.