The Right Way to Use Retargeting

Have Halloween costumes haunted you in every advertisement after you searched for your ideal outfit two weeks ago? That's retargeting! Well, more appropriately, it's bad retargeting if the ads seem like they'll never leave you alone.

When retargeting is done correctly, an online ad casually reminds potential customers of products they viewed previously and may still want to purchase. In fact, it can benefit businesses tremendously. Retargeting advertisements increase response rates by up to 400 percent and, while on the website, retargeted customers are 70 percent more likely to convert.

Man alarmed by hands reaching out of computer screen
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the difference between good retargeting and average retargeting is like the difference between lightning and lightning bugs — the latter isn't bad, but it's nowhere near as powerful as the former. Here are a few tips to help take your retargeting to the next level.

Use Frequency Caps

Nobody wants to see the same advertisement 31 times a day, even if it's for a product they like. One Ad Age writer even described his experience with retargeting as feeling like he was being stalked by a pair of pants. Clearly, this is not the desired effect!

Using frequency caps on retargeted advertisements is a good way to make sure your message doesn't become annoying. Two ads per user per day is typically enough to get the customer's attention. Along the same lines, only one or two ad networks should be used simultaneously to avoid undue frequency increases. By limiting the number of communications, you can mitigate the risk of your retargeting efforts seeming pushy or creepy.

Take Advantage of Email

Retargeting isn't limited to banner ads on websites. The tried-and-true method of emailing potential customers also works! More direct than website ads, emails have the ability to communicate with potential customers in a more personalized way. When creating emails, make sure they're tailored to fit the needs of your target market. This is important, because no one wants to see an irrelevant email.

Measure the Impact of Retargeting

Everyone's experience with retargeting is different; what may be a great tip for one company could fizzle for another. The only way to be sure is to measure the results. That way you'll know how well your retargeting ads are working, and you can compare them to each other to see which one is most effective.

Measuring return on investment (ROI) by tracking online-to-offline lead conversions is particularly beneficial. By placing a unique toll-free number (TFN) on different advertisements, you can measure the response from each online ad and determine the highest performing one. With this information, you can make better business decisions, especially as they relate to retargeting campaigns.

Use these tips to avoid the pitfalls of retargeting, and you just might see your company gain the extra edge it needs.