5 Essential Tactics For a Successful Remarketing Campaign

By Samantha Halpin & Amber Usmani in Digital Marketing on May 28th, 2015

Remarketing campaigns are essential to almost any digital campaign, and especially to any direct marketing display campaign. Advertising to prospects who have already shown interest in your brand/product or have taken action on your site will help complete the purchase funnel and continue to grow your loyal customer base. But how do you know what type of message to serve, how often to advertise, or when to stop advertising to the remarketing user? Here are 5 tactics to increase the success of your online remarketing campaign.

Remarketing Campaign

1. Audience Segmentation

With Audience Segmentation, you can tailor your retargeting tactics to users that are at different stages of the purchase funnel. Audience segmentation is not only a great way to customize messaging to various types of users, but it also allows for comparison of results to further optimize your campaign.

When setting up audience segmentation, you typically start by placing different retargeting pixels on various pages of the advertiser’s website. This way you can collect data on pages that each individual viewed and group these users into various segments. For example, if a prospect visits the website of an online shoe store and only views the homepage, you may place them in a low bucket segment and retarget them with creative that has general brand awareness messaging. However, if a user visits the shoe store website and browses for items that are only on sale, you may retarget them with creative that has an offer (such as a 50% off seasonal sale or coupon code).  

There are various ways to collect data on your audience to create audience segmentation, such as using sources like Google Analytics and DoubleClick Campaign Manager, among others. Whichever method you choose, audience segmentation is an effective remarketing tool that can be used in tandem with other tactics to increase your campaign’s efficiency!

2. Tailored Messaging

One important strategy for remarketing is ensuring your message is relevant to the user. Otherwise, impressions would be wasted on users who don’t have a connection with your ads. Although, audience segmentation can be a great start for tailoring your remarketing messaging, targeting based on demographic, geographic, and contextual variables is essential to fine-tune your ads. When an ad “speaks” to a user, it will produce higher returns for the advertiser.  Serving a banner to a user, showing them the closest retail locations to pick up the shoe he/she was just viewing, will help drive engagement and ultimately conversions.

3. Frequency Cap

A frequency cap is important for any remarketing campaign. However, a strategy behind the frequency cap is imperative. Frequency caps should not just be set on daily or weekly basis. Rather, on a recency to site visit. A user who visited your site within the last 24 hours is likely to be much more valuable and have a higher likelihood of converting than someone who visited the site 60+ days ago. Therefore, your frequency cap should be adjusted based on the time to conversion for your client’s main KPI.

In order to determine your frequency cap strategy, you must first become familiar with the time to convert for a typical consumer. A brand with a main KPI of a form fill out versus a brand with a main KPI of driving online home bids will have a much shorter path to conversion and thus a different remarketing strategy.

4. Creative Testing

When testing different types of display creative for a Remarketing campaign, it is important to consider the following:

  • Call to Action: An effective call-to-action is a “no brainer” for a successful campaign. Whether your CTA asks users to “Shop Now” or “Sign Up”, align your CTA with your campaign goals and targeting. 
  • A/B Testing: Digital advertising consists of constant testing to determine what works best for your campaign goals. This is also important for creative with A/B testing (also known as split testing) which allows for a process of elimination on what type of creative is most effective by using a control versus a test. A/B testing can be used to determine ad copy, promotions, CTAs, landing pages, etc.
  • Ad Fatigue: If your creative has been in rotation for an extended period of time with little or no change, you may see a drop in performance metrics like CTR due to user “ad fatigue.” This can occur due to users becoming bored or uninterested in seeing the same creative, or even due to constantly being served the ads (in which case you should  consider frequency capping). The best way to combat ad fatigue is to rotate your creative with different variations. Variations can be simple as adjustments in color, graphics, ad copy, images or CTAs.

5. Targeting Past Converters

Have you ever been served a display banner showing a product that you just purchased? If so, that marketer is missing a key component to their remarketing campaign – an exclusion pixel.  Depending on the type of “conversion,” an exclusion pixel may be necessary for your remarketing campaign, in order to not show the same message to a user who just converted.  However, with that being said, marketers should not discredit all converted users and remove them completely from their remarketing campaigns.

Retargeting past converters can be valuable in any of the following circumstances:

  • To upsell or cross-sell current/past customers
  • To drive awareness for new products
  • To keep your brand top of mind for repeat purchases
  • To introduce a loyalty program

When speaking to past and current purchasers, a separate creative with a tailored message should be served.

As with any digital campaign, it is important that your remarketing message is relevant and timely to the customer. A great remarketing campaign will help convert those “window shoppers” and drive more loyal, valuable customers.


Ready to amp up your remarketing campaigns and start converting warm prospects?

Get in touch with our digital marketing team today!