Creating a successful retargeting strategy

Retargeting is a great way to engage users who have previously visited your website or app. The beauty of this strategy is that you target ads at people who are already interested in your product or service.

Retargeting to this audience means they are more likely to convert, ensuring your ads have a better ROI. In fact, more than 90% of marketers say that retargeting is their best-performing advertising channel.

Additionally, research suggests it takes up to eight different touchpoints before a customer converts. Retargeting is a great way to create these interactions by reaching out to your customers with relevant ads that can push them further down the sales funnel.

Why does retargeting work?

Using customer data is an excellent way to improve your ad’s cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

Understanding buyer persona demographics, interests, and lifestyle info can help you serve ads and offers that people want. But sometimes, these methods are a shot in the dark.

Knowing a particular cohort’s age, gender, and hobbies can help predict their buying behavior, but you can’t be sure they’re specifically interested in your brand.

There are ways you can feel confident that a specific customer likes your product or service. For example, if they’ve already:

  • clicked one of your ads
  • found your brand via organic search
  • visited your website
  • followed you on social media

Any of these actions are a strong sign of interest. But how can you engage these users once they’ve given you this signal? You can build and use retargeting lists.


What is the difference between retargeting and remarketing?

You may hear these terms being used interchangeably. While they are similar, they have some differences.

Remarketing primarily collects user data and sends them marketing information. For example, you buy a perfume from a company and in the next week or two, you get an email about new products, sales, discounts, etc.

Retargeting collects data from website visits, social media, apps, and customer accounts and then advertises to these users via platforms like Facebook or on Google’s Display Network. For example, you log in to a website and put a pair of sneakers you like in your cart. However, you don’t complete the purchase. A little while later, on Facebook or via a Google Display Ad, you see those same sneakers or related products, prompting you to return to compete for your purchase.

How to build your retargeting lists

If you want to use data, you need to collect it. Fortunately, there are many great analytics tools out there that help you capture customer information. While the third-party cookie is going away, there are other ways to collect this data.

How can you use first-party data for retargeting?

There are several ways you can use first-party data for retargeting. Your website, social media, apps, landing pages, and mailing lists are made up of people who are interested in your brand.

Additionally, you’ll also have a rich amount of data based on purchasing and even things like abandoned carts.

#1. Abandoned carts

Abandoned carts suggest that customers were close to making a purchase, but something got in the way. These people should be part of your retargeting list, as a simple reminder can be enough to encourage users to finalize their purchases.

#2. High-value audience

Customers who have made frequent or large purchases in the past are great to add to your list. You have their data, and you know they like your products. So get them to return.

#3. App Users

If your business has an app, you’ll have a pre-made list of everyone who has made an account. You can use this first-party data to build lists on Facebook or Google Ads. However, it’s probably worth editing this list and excluding people who have taken particular actions already.

#4. Social media audience

You can use your followers on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to create a retargeting list. While you can directly target these audiences through your content and posts, serving them ads on Facebook and Google can be very effective.

#5. Contact list

Many businesses have a contact list. These audiences can come from various places that we’ve mentioned above, like social media or current customers. However, you can also populate these lists with people who have downloaded gated content from your site, like whitepapers or eBooks, or people who have made inquiries via customer services.

Retargeting via social media and search

Retargeting is about serving ads to already interested customers. To get these ads in front of customers, you need to go to the places where they congregate. Google and Facebook make this fairly easy.

Retargeting on Facebook and Google has many similarities. However, where the ads are shown are different. For example, Facebook retargeting will display ads across their platform, while Google retargeting ads will show across the Google display network.


How to remarket with Google Ads?

While it’s still available, you can use Google Analytics to remarket based on website views. You can build a list by going to the Google Ads section and selecting Audiences. You need to choose New Audience to make this retargeting list.

From there, you fill in a few parameters, generate a tag, and add this to your website or relevant pages.

Then you set some limits (i.e., max cost-per-click) and build your creatives. Then, go to Display Network and select the retargeting list you created.

Then Google will display ads to users who visit your website or tagged pages.

How to remarket with Facebook?

You can remarket via Facebook by opening Business Manager and selecting Custom Audiences. By adding your retargeting list with details and email address, Facebook builds your Custom Audience. From here, it targets these users with relevant ads as they browse the platform.

Tips for Remarketing Success

You have your list, and you know which channels you will use to reach your customers. But here are a few tips that will boost your chances of success.

Define a goal: Any marketing campaign should have a goal. It could be sales, awareness, cross-selling, or lead generation. Whatever it is, make sure you clearly define it because it will influence everything from budget, KPIs, and content.

Always measure and analyze your ads: Retargeting ads can take time to generate results. Be patient, but at the same time, observe the data about which channels and ad versions convert. Don’t be afraid to pull a poor-performing ad and replace it with something that works better.

Vary your content: Use different copy and images for each campaign. You want to grab user attention, so find new creative ways to get your message across.

A/B testing: A/B test your copy and other creatives. Sometimes the ads that we think will work don’t resonate with users, for whatever reason. So try out a few different versions and go with the strongest performer.

Limit frequency: Facebook and Google will allow you to limit how many times a particular user is served your ad. If a user feels bombarded or followed around by your company everywhere they go on the internet, it can result in a negative perception and a lost opportunity.

Retargeting is a very effective tool to drive conversions. But, it takes time and some trial and error. Always measure the performance of specific channels, creatives, and copy. With third-party cookies being phased out, retargeting has gotten more complicated. But it’s still a high-ROI type of advertisement that you can’t afford to miss out on.


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