Retargeting 101: Target Users Even When They Leave

Jun 24 By Aziz Kamara

The great thing about online marketing is the number of targeting strategies for products and services you want to promote. Finding out how each method of promotion works and to what end you can use each method to your advantage is the hard part.

One method you can employ is a system called retargeting.

But what is retargeting? What’s so appealing about it but more importantly what are its fall-backs? Surely there must be some pros AND cons, otherwise everyone would be using that method.

The last question then should be, which resources out there will allow you to utilize retargeting and can/should you use it?

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a strategy used by many whereby relevant ads are shown to users who have expressed some interest in a particular product or service by visiting a site or conducting a search engine inquiry.

Many people are familiar with Google Adwords’ Remarketing which allows marketers to create and place snippets of code within their web pages that will present relevant ads to their users through the Google Ad Network after they’ve exited the site.

However, there are other ad networks out there with retargeting campabilities like AdRoll, Retargeter, and Chango.

Types of Retargeting

Additionally, there are various types of retargeting, all of which have their own unique value.

The ad network Chango lists the different types of retargeting in 7 categories:

  • Search
  • Site
  • SEO
  • Email
  • Contextual
  • Engagement
  • Social

The type of retargeting reach can determine how well or how poorly your retargeting campaign will perform. With that in mind, it’s important to understand when retargeting can be useful and when it can be harmful.

Cons of Retargeting

It’s easy to imagine that with all the different types of traffic, browsers, and devices out there that retargeting can be a little tricky. Depending on the retargeting software you deploy, you may unwittingly inundate users with too many retargeted ads and leave them feeling annoyed. Conversely, your retargeting platform may serve up your ads too infrequently and can render your campaign ineffective.

Targeting Converts

Another concern aside from retargeting frequency is unnecessarily retargeting. Without the proper software or configuration, users who have ordered a product or subscribed to a service may continue to receive retargeted ads resulting in wasted capital. However, this can be avoided with one method used by ReTargeter which provides a “burn pixel” for your campaigns.

Essentially, a burn pixel will fire after a user has converted, thus preventing any more of your ads from appearing.

Feeling Stalked

One of the top concerns of a retargeting campaign ultimately regards privacy. In a world where an increasingly large number of individuals don’t even think twice about clicking the privacy agreement box before downloading something or entering their email, it’s odd to think that anyone these days might be “creeped out” by a retargeting campaign. Yet, it still happens.

It’s for that reason that certaiin retargeting platforms will provide an opportunity for users to not only try and understand why/how they’re seeing a retargeting campaign ad, but will also provde a way for that user to opt-out of seeing further ads. An example of this can be foundhere where the aforementioned is explained.

So Why Retarget?

Ad Preference SurveyAccording to a recent survey conducted by Zogby Analytics and the DAA (Digital Advertising Alliance), 40% of online users prefer to be shown ads directed around their interests, while only 16% would prefer random or generic ads. What this means is that while online users report a disdain towards the feeling of “being watched”, a large portion only want to see relevant ads.

Despite any reservations about privacy, retargeting can be an effective strategy for your campaigns. Retargeting allows you to draw back in users who at one point had some interest in an offer you provided with another attempt to get them to convert.

With the myriad of retargeting platforms available, it may be difficult to figure out which one to choose. To make sure you start out on the right foot, remember these important things:

  1. Too much can be as detrimental as too little – Look for a platform that will allow you to adjust ad frequency.
  2. Traffic can vary – One platform may perform better with one type of traffic yet fall short in another. Research your network thoroughly.
  3. Avoid retargeting converted users – Make sure that you can configure your campaigns to only show ads when necessary.
  4. Creativity counts – To avoid the creep out effect, try to be creative with your ads. Enticing generalities can be more appealing than aggressively specific ads.

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One Comment

  • Thanks for this and it certainly is a good idea to apply some additional creativity to your retargeting campaign. I would also mention that besides retargeting, RTB is really good at driving new users to your site at scale and to low cost..

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