4 Tips To Maximize Retargeting Effectiveness

. 3 min read

Written by: Tom Murray | Managing Director, Agency

Retargeting across any channel is often the top performing tactic you can run. Everyone always says you should “max out your retargeting.” While this is true, often times this causes people to lose lots of dollars that could be better spent elsewhere. Many people just keep raising retargeting budgets until you reach your goal threshold, but this is usually a losing formula. Let’s take a deeper look at retargeting to understand the mechanisms of retargeting and some strategies you can take to truly maximize your lowest funnel campaigns.

Tip #1: Keep an Eye on Frequency

Frequency of retargeting campaigns can be quite, from 7-14 a week on Facebook to even higher on display channels. Without refreshing creative frequently, your ads are going to reach the same people over and over again with the same creative which is a complete waste. Ensure your retargeting campaigns always have fresh ads to combat frequency. In Facebook specifically, you can optimize towards daily unique reach to ensure Facebook only serves users one ad per day as a way to try to slow this down.

Tip #2: Use existing UTM Parameters to Cross-Target Other Channel Traffic

If you tag your URLs with special UTMs (such as utm_source=google or utm_medium=cpc) you can use this to retarget users specifically and strategically. If you know someone clicked on a Google search ad for example but didn’t convert, they perhaps need something different  to convert such as a positive testimonial review or even a coupon code. Conversely, if you know someone entered the site from Snapchat, that user may need more information when you retarget, so you might want to show them an informational ad instead since they may be a little bit higher up funnel.

Tip #3: Be Careful About Raising Budgets Too Much Too Quickly

The best performance comes from retargeting campaigns typically, so many media buyers just start increasing budgets immediately. And even if costs go up, no one blinks an eye because it is still likely more efficient than other campaigns. This is the wrong approach to take. When raising budgets, you need to be mindful of frequency as mentioned, but also reach. If you double the budgets and reach only 1.25X more people, that means you’ve barely reached anyone new, and just either increased your frequency or the CPM pricing. Instead, raise your budgets slowly, and if you start seeing the reach decelerate faster than the budget increases, that means it is time to stop raising budgets.  

Tip #4: Split retargeting Based on Site Actions

Not all website visitors are created equally. Similar to why people who enter from different channels should get different ads, so should users who have done specific actions on the site. Someone who has viewed 20 product pages and never added to cart is just browsing and not close to deciding. Someone who has added to cart but abandoned it might be on the fence about pulling the trigger. The ads used for retargeting can help push these different users into the right direction. Often times brands will treat all visitors the same and send them all the same ad, but that is a surefire way to leave money on the table. There you have it, four quick tips on how to improve your retargeting no matter what channel you are marketing for, whether it is a Facebook, Google, Display or Native campaign. Don’t lose money on the customers that are the most likely to buy your product!