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5 Tips to Maximize Your Retargeting Campaigns

Ben Plomion
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target-your-customersUsing data to retarget Internet users with more relevant ads is growing more popular. And why not? Retargeting makes online advertising more intelligent and efficient, and that means much better returns for advertisers.

Now more marketers are jumping on the bandwagon before learning all of the ins and outs of retargeting. The result: a lot of easily correctable mistakes.

Let’s take a look at five key tips to keep in mind before launching your next retargeting campaign.

1. Don’t Stalk Your Visitors

As consumers, we’ve all experienced it: that brand that stalks us around the Internet after we leave its site without converting. Instead of being enticing, it's just plain creepy.

When retargeting a site visitor, a marketer should always set a maximum time period based on the buying cycle for the product or service being advertised. If you’re uncertain, there are very few cases where retargeting for more than seven days is justified – it not only wastes money but can also damage the user’s opinion of your brand.

2. Don’t Retarget Twice

Many different companies offer retargeting solutions, and, as a result, it can be tempting to use more than one of them in an effort to achieve scale.

Don’t do it.

If you use multiple retargeting vendors, they’ll end up competing against each other to serve ads to your site visitors, driving up the cost of the impressions and wasting media dollars. It’s like going to an auction, assigning split personalities to your left and right hands, and bidding against yourself – except not nearly as amusing.

3. Don’t Confuse Retargeting With Site Retargeting

The most popular type of retargeting is site retargeting – the practice of serving targeted ads to users who have already visited your site, but there are six other types of retargeting:

  1. Search
  2. SEO
  3. Email
  4. Contextual
  5. Engagement 
  6. Social

The most exciting of these is search retargeting, the practice of targeting users with display ads based on the keywords they entered into search engines. It’s a brave new retargeting world, so make sure you explore all of it.

4. Don’t Retarget Everyone

All site visitors are not created equal. To take a basic example, a visitor to the DVD page of a retailer’s site is much more valuable than a visitor to that retailer's career page.

This practice of using data points to create a sophisticated picture of a site visitor is known as programmatic site retargeting (PSR). Other data points factored into PSR include pages viewed, referral data, shipping address, and many others.

Marketers use this data to assign a “visitor score” to each user. The score, in turn, tells us how much we should bid to serve an impression.

PSR transforms site retargeting from an intelligent guess into a science, resulting in fewer wasted impressions, greater returns, and an ROI that will make your boss hug you for 10 seconds too long.

5. Don’t Ignore View-Through Conversions

Marketers rely on clicks as a key metric because they’re easy to measure, but the vast majority of users never click on an ad – and most do it accidentally. Smart marketers look to other types of measurements, such as view-through attribution, which tracks users who convert after viewing display ads that they never clicked on.

This isn’t to say that 100 percent view-through credit is the right measurement. It’s not. Many marketers usually give view-through attribution a 65 percent allocation within a reasonable window of 14 days, which makes much more sense than the industry standard of 30 days.

Summary

There’s, of course, much more to be said on all of these topics, but these five tips should get your new year off to a great start. Happy retargeting, everyone..


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