Retargeting are ads that follow your visitors as soon as they leave your website. This is achieved by placing cookies that will keep track of your website visitors as they browse other sites online. Your brand gains more recognition by keeping your ads present. This strategy has raised the number of conversions from customers who initially abandoned the buying process from 8% to 26%. But there is obviously still room for improvement when it comes to maximizing the potential benefits of retargeting ads, so we’ve curated examples and tips from marketing experts to help you get started.
Here are 25 retargeting ads examples and tips from the pros.
1. Understand Your Customer’s Buying Window
Rob Weatherhead, Owner, Agent Wolf
Too many businesses retarget individuals who have viewed a particular product but not bought it, and continue to do so for an indefinite period. The individual may have been interested in that product and making a purchase on a given date, but there was a window of their interest. During which they either bought elsewhere, or decided not to buy. This may be a week, a fortnight, a month, but unlikely much longer. Only retarget them for the period they were interested otherwise you risk becoming an annoyance.
2. The Link to the Right Product – Example by Kelley Blue Book
When retargeting ads gets the attention of users, it’s because they are displaying something that the target customer is already interested in. It is important that the links of your retargeting ads take the users to the same product displayed on the ad. This not only helps for faster conversion but builds your business as a reliable brand as well.
3. Create a Separate Landing Page
Neil Andrew, Marketing Manager, PPC Protect Limited
One of the biggest tips I would suggest when running retargeting ads is to use a new landing page just for retargeting ads. I see a lot of people using their homepage or the same landing page as their regular PPC ads. By having a special landing page made just for returning visitors, you can approach them in a different way. The chances are they already know about your product so there’s no point introducing it all over again. This time you can use a different approach and focus on the key benefits instead of having to explain everything from scratch. This makes visitors much more likely to convert.
4. Use Dynamic Remarketing Ads
Ryan Scollon, Head of Marketing, ryanscollon.co.uk
One of the most simple tips for remarketing is to use dynamic remarketing ads. Sounds quite fancy compared to the simple banner remarketing ads, but it’s just as easy to set up and tends to be a lot more effective. Dynamic remarketing ads allow you to show products in your ads, that the individual had previously been looking at.. This makes the ad a lot more interesting to the end user, as they are seeing a product that they were recently interested in, instead of some generic display banners that just show your company logo. The only problem here is that you need to have really good product imagery for it to work well.
5. Use a Less Expensive Alternative to Facebook and Google
Philippe Côté-Léger, Marketing Director, Lab Urbain
This tip is not only for bringing back lost customers, but also for prospecting new ones. Since Facebook and Google clicks can be expensive, you should take advantage of cheaper platforms. Native advertising or content discovery network, like Outbrain, can offer inexpensive CPC. You can create content on your blog related to specific products and drive cheap traffic through Outbrain. Then, you remarket on Facebook and Google to close the sell. Similarly, you can also create a retargeting audience for all users that have made a specific action on your site. For example, you create an audience of all past buyers. Then, you can use Facebook Lookalike Audience, or Google Similar Audience, to find new potential customers.
6. Match Your Retargeting Campaign with Email Promotion
Phil Weaver, CMO, Learning Success Systems
It is counter-intuitive but we have repeatedly found that when running an email promotion there is a tremendous benefit in running a matching retargeting campaign. Simply export the section of the email list sent to and retarget them when the campaign launches. It is not uncommon to see email open rates increase by 50 or even 100%. This can result in a dramatic sales increase. Why does it work? One can only theorize but maybe they get reminded of the email by seeing the ad and are more likely to open and click later. The effect is so dramatic and has been observed across so many businesses, that we do not test this, we just do it and take the win.
7. Retarget with Reviews
Karen Sahetya, Founder, Brand Central Marketing
If you’re retargeting previous customers to build social proof as in positive reviews and engagement on your ads, you can then turn around and use those reviews to retarget potential customers who are considering your product. They’re a lot more likely to buy when they see that others have had a positive experience with your product. This is the online version of you saying that you’re considering buying a specific car and your friend saying that they’ve been driving that kind of car for years and absolutely love it. It’s a powerful online strategy.
If you’re an Amazon seller, or thinking of becoming one, it’s important to have the best feedback from your customers. Visit Fit Small Business’ article that will show you the right way of getting reviews on Amazon.
8. Include Social Proof on Your Ads – Example by Birchbox
Social proof is always a good way to bring customers to your door, or in this case to your website. Birchbox’ example showed how you can include this strategy to your retargeting ads. Users leave online stores without conversion in the wake of some form of apprehension so offering social proof will work a great deal towards resolving this issue. Make sure that clicking on the ad sends them directly to the reviews of the online shop in general, or much better if you can get feedback from those who have actually bought the same product on your site.
9. Make Sure you Segment Your Audience
Devon Vocke, Co-Founder, Evoke Strategy LLC
Retargeting should definitely be a component of any digital marketing strategy. Make sure you segment your retargeting audiences. You don’t necessarily want to include converted visitors in your retargeting ads, so exclude visitors who visited certain URLs or completed a conversion. And, you’ll want to show different types of ads depending on which pages they visited or what actions they have already taken on your site. In general, don’t confuse or annoy site visitors with haphazard retargeting campaigns.
10. Know Your Audience
Adele Stewart, Senior Project Manager, Sparq Designs
You will have your first time visitors, your cart abandoners, your repeat customers, and just people browsing your site to see what’s new. All of these visitors are opportunities that you don’t want to lose. Install a Facebook tracking pixel on your website that Facebook can use to automatically generate ads from your account that will target any person who has looked at them in the past, then review your audience from there. Segment everything. Each specific visitor group is going to receive different messaging, different ads (served at different times throughout the day, month, YEAR!), and even different imagery. It’s necessary to get a good idea of what pages visitors engaged with.
Those who visited the About Us page should be served an ad of general services. Visitors who reviewed a specific product page, should be served ads of what they looked like and similar imagery. If someone signed up for an account, show them what they’re missing – perhaps you offer 25% off if they follow through their purchase now. Give them something to come back to. Those who abandoned their cart should be served the exact product they left off on.
11. Display Your Best Offer – Example by Handy
Handy’s home cleaning retargeting banner appears after a customer views other similar websites that offer home cleaning services. This retargeting ad is catchy because it uses bright colors, while displaying a promotional offer and a prominent CTA.
12. Consider What Your Potential Customer is Looking For
David Mitroff, Ph.D., Founder, Piedmont Avenue Consulting
To customize your Retargeting ads, you want to consider what the potential or lost customers is looking for. There are the retargeting ads that starts from your website or the one that you attached to your main competitor website and they are commonly used to “follow” and get seen by the potential customers when that already left the website. Which ever retargeting tactic you want to follow you want create catchy ads that promote and increase your brand awareness. If they don’t act immediately they will at least remember your name and what you are providing in the future if your ad is catchy enough. You are empowering customer to think about your brand and come back to your website later on. Retargeting ad may not lead to revenue quickly, but it creates brand recall and association from potential customers.
13. Use a frequency cap to prevent overexposure
Kyna Garrett, Content Specialist, Strike Social
In today’s world, social media ads are everywhere. Retargeting efforts are crucial to staying on people’s minds and converting more customers. One of Strike Social’s more important tips is to apply a frequency cap on your retargeted ads to prevent overwhelming potential customers from overexposure. This not only frustrates and deters customers, it can also lead brands down a damaging path. Determining optimal frequency can be challenging though, but it’s essential to achieving great results. Find that retargeting sweet spot for potential customers through testing multiple ads and monitoring performance based on different frequencies. Testing which frequencies perform best with retargeting is the key to maintaining a trusted brand.
14. Avoid “Spammy” Type Retargeting Ads
Patric Kreidler, Paid Media Account Manager, Power Digital Marketing
The immediate impact had by the ad blocker rollout by Chrome is that it is forcing advertisers to re-evaluate the user experience they’re providing Chrome users with. If you look at the ad types that were recently affected by this, they are the “spammy” ads that people usually associate with bad advertising. Namely pop-ups, full page interstitials, countdown ads, and ads that have sound on autoplay. You see even more ad types that are blocked on mobile devices, since users there can leave their internet browser with ease if they are dissatisfied with the experience they’re being served. These ads are bad for the user experience, and Google recognized that after feedback and surveying.
As an advertiser or a business, you need to recognize that this trend is or will be soon shared across every major ad platform, and strategize to use better/more relevant ad types that enhance the user experience to replicate that reach.
15. Prioritize Users Closest to Completing a Purchase
Joe Castro, Search Engine Marketing Manager, Elevation
Users that simply get to your home page or perhaps browse product pages are not nearly as valuable as those that added a specific product to their cart or even got to the billing and shipping step in checkout but did not complete a purchase. Be willing to pay more for these users that expressed more interest in purchasing from you and even consider proving an extra incentive to these users such as Free Shipping or 10% off their first order.
16. Nurture Potential Clients Instead of a Sale – Example by WordStream
Sometimes it’s much better to nurture your target customer along the sales funnel instead of heading for a direct sale. In this example, WordStream offered a free assessment instead of a discount to their product. This allows customers to let their guard down by not being pressured into purchasing. Instead, WordStream offered a service of value that’s related to what the customer is looking for bas picked up by their remarketing pixel.
17. Try Using Link Retargeting
Louisa McGrath, Digital Marketing Specialist, Rebrandly
If you find ad retargeting works well for your business, you can use link retargeting to add even more prospective customers to your retargeting funnel – even if they’ve never visited your website before. With link retargeting, you can retarget ads at people who have clicked on a link in your social media posts. If you share a review of one of your products or media coverage of your business from a third-party website, you can target ads at anyone who clicks on them. Even though they haven’t visited your website, the people who have interacted with these articles are interested in what you do so it’s a great way to follow up with them.
Link retargeting is easy to do with a tool like Rebrandly. When you shorten a link to share on social media, simply add a pixel code from Facebook, Google – or whatever retargeting platform you’re using – and whoever clicks on that link can be retargeted with ads at a later date.
18. Appeal to Your Customer’s Emotion in your Retargeted Ads
Rick Arms, Sales Manager, Think Engraved
We find that using something that draws an emotional response seems to work well.
For example: We use a cute picture combined with a cute statement. In most customers this draws a smile or laugh and make your company easier to relate to. Use a catch to draw the customer back and give them a feeling that they are getting something extra. For example: We offer an extra 10% for customers to come back and complete their purchase. For customer on the fence this can help them decide to complete the purchase.
19. Create a Sense of Urgency – Example by Expedia
Booking travel online is very common and with so many options to choose from, users often times wait until they are offered a great deal. Expedia’s retargeting ad uses irresistible deals combined with last minute offers that easily engages the customer to act. Fear of missing out strategy works best especially for online travel booking sites.
20. Make Your Ad Interesting and Relatable – Example by Mazda and Merchenta
Create an interesting and relatable retargeting ad to increase chances of conversion. In this example, Merchenta worked with Mazda to get more potential customers to test drive their cars. Merchenta created customized ads based on geographic radius matching people specifically to a near Mazda dealership. Based on the customer’s browsing history of Mazda cars, the ad was made to display which nearest dealership houses that specific model, improving the chances of the customer visiting and test driving the car.
21. Use Videos and Slideshows
Sophia Pollock, Paid Social Account Manager, Power Digital Marketing
Users are often bombarded with advertisements during their online experience so it is important to design thumb stopping creative that allows you to stand out above the noise. Facebook and many other advertising platforms are continuing to favor video over other forms of creative. This can be as simple as creating a slideshow of your product imagery. Once you start advertising video creative you also have the opportunity to retarget users based on the percentage of the video they have watched! Also, sometimes getting a user to return to your site is as simple as changing the call-to-action!
Try testing out different CTAs like “Shop Now!” or “Check it Out!” every audience is different and it’s important to be setting up A/B tests in order to get data to tell you what will perform better. Updating messaging and creative on a regular basis will help you avoid ad fatigue or dips in performance.
22. Target Your Email Subscribers
Andrea Atkins, Marketing Evangelist, Revere.AI
Retargeting ads can definitely boost your marketing results, but they also significantly increase your marketing spend (especially if most of your retargeting audience is coming from paid traffic sources already). To get more bang for your retargeting bucks, consider expanding your efforts across marketing channels in creative ways. For example, importing a list of your email subscribers who haven’t made a recent purchase on your site into a Facebook custom audience and targeting them with ads about your new product offerings is an affordable way to re-engage your user base while also keeping ad costs low.
23. Make Sure You Only Include the Sites Relevant to Your Brand
Thomas Budnik, SEM Marketing Specialist, Auto Accessories Garage
If you are not targeting specific websites, then it’s important to exclude certain sites from your remarketing campaign in order to maintain brand and performance. Before setting a campaign live, go through the targeting section and make sure to only include website categories that you want. Then, just as you would with search queries, you should regularly go through your sites and exclude any that are not performing well or not relevant to your company. It’s important that you are only spending money on sites that you want to be associated with your brand. There is a massive amount of sites and apps on the Google Display Network and plenty that will need to be excluded.
24. Adopt a Social Content Messaging Strategy
Robb Hecht, Digital Influencer and Adjunct Marketing Professor, robbhecht.com
A creative tip when using retargeting ads is to utilize a social content messaging strategy framework which breaks retargeting ads copy out so you address your customer at various stages of their purchase journey. With a click of a link within Facebook, it knows your intent on a brand. The brand then retargets you with usually 2-3 different versions of the ad which address the awareness, mid funnel and conversion stages of your purchase. By using the framework you ensure you don’t miss any of your targets.
25. Combine Remarketing with Search Ads
Caesar Barba, Marketing Director, Inflow
Just because we’re talking about retargeting doesn’t mean we’re just talking about display retargeting #amiright? We’re big fans of creating multiple levers to help us tweak our bidding strategies and even potentially find a valuable audience where it may have been hidden before. RLSA campaigns can be a great source for this, The idea here is that you want to dig into your analytics and try to suss out any potential audience that could represent a different value, so the lists will be very custom to your specific business, website, traffic volume, etc.
At this point, just add these lists to your search campaigns to at least collect data, this literally costs you nothing (more than it already does)! But, it can help you collect valuable data that you can then use to adjust bids to place a higher emphasis on more valuable visitors and even help guide a Display Remarketing strategy by expanding your reach on the lists that have worked well.
Over To You
Whether you are a marketing veteran or a newbie, retargeting ads strategies are something you should continue to evolve in order to keep up with the ever changing demands of your market. Use these retargeting ad examples and tips to get your retargeting campaign the boost it needs for bringing in more conversions on your website.
Tried any of the retargeting ad examples on our list? Let us know how these retargeting ad tips worked for you in the comments!