What is retargeting?

Retargeting converts window-shoppers into buyers. Generally 2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98%. Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online.

How does retargeting work?

Technically all that is necessary is to place a JavaScript tag in the footer of your website. This code creates a list of people that visit your site by placing anonymous retargeting “cookies” in their browser. This list allows Our Local Re-Targeting to display retargeting ads to your potential customers as they visit other sites. Since we work with the largest ad exchanges, we can retarget your customers just about anywhere they might go online.

Why is retargeting so effective?

Retargeting generates greater online sales by keeping your brand front and center and bringing “window shoppers” back when they’re ready to buy. Every time your customer sees your retargeting ads, your brand gains traction and more recognition. The high click-through rates and increased conversions that are typical with retargeting campaigns underscore the value of good branding and repeated exposure.

Retargeting Best Practices

Retargeting is most effective if you segment your visitors (eg, people who looked at shoes vs pants) and tailor the retargeting ads shown to each group, or not retarget them at all (eg, people who converted.)

The best performing retargeting creative has a clear call-to-action and promotes an offer.

Different products warrant different retargeting time windows. Eg, people shopping for travel should be retargeted immediately; people shopping for luxury goods should be retargeted later.

Most of AdRoll’s advertisers have specific campaign goals and targets and scale their retargeting campaign to drive as many clicks, conversions or revenue as they can while hitting these targets. That said, there are times when all of us have to stick to a budget and plan for future spending.

Setting up an initial campaign test budget

The number of unique visitors to a website has the strongest correlation with potential retargeting budget. Sites that have more traffic are able to spend more on retargeting effectively. When setting up an initial test campaign, those bigger sites may need to spend more to get an initial read on their metrics and campaign’s success.

When a new advertiser wants to setup a test campaign, our account team suggests starting with the following ranges depending upon the size of the audience being targeted.

5,000 – 10,000 unique visitors – $50 – $275 per week
10,000 – 25,000 unique visitors – $175 – $650 per week
25,000 – 50,000 unique visitors – $550 – $1,250 per week
50,000 – 100,000 unique visitors – $1,000 – $3,000 per week

These ranges are estimates for initial budgets for advertisers targeting an audience in the United States.

Retargeting can work well with websites of all sizes and Retargeting’s account strategists can work with you to propose a test campaign for very popular websites with advanced campaigns.

Forecasting future spend

As a business grows, most marketers will have to forecast future spend for each of their marketing channels.

Trend existing monthly spend

If you’re an experienced retargeter, bringing your monthly spend into Excel and trending into the future is an easy way to start predicting future spend.

Trend site traffic growth

If you’re just beginning your retargeting, trending and forecasting your site traffic and unique visitors might work as a substitute for growth rates that can then be applied to your initial retargeting spend.

Most analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, can let you create segments of site traffic that mimic the audience you are reaching with your retargeting campaign. You can increase the accuracy of your forecast by only looking at unique visitors that would fall into your retargeting segments.

This means your segment should take into account:

  • Visitors to pages you target with your campaign
  • Geosegmentation that you may have in place
  • Exclude iOS browsers as they aren’t reachable by retargeting

Take into account promotions

Big promotions such as product launches, discounts and viral campaigns can spike your website traffic. While the traffic increase may be short-lived, your retargeting lists will stay larger for longer than the promotion time period. You should take this into account when forecasting the costs and impact of the promotion.

Adjust budgets for seasonality

Most businesses have seasonal rises and declines in site traffic and interest. A tax preparation website in the US may see increased site traffic from February through April. Vacation destinations and travel websites often have high and low seasons. Retail and ecommerce websites are skewed toward Q4 and the holiday season.

Changes in campaigns, ad frequency and list duration

Even a perfect traffic forecast and subsequent retargeting spend can be thrown out the window if you make major changes to your retargeting campaign settings. Launching new campaigns with incremental budget, such as a Facebook Exchange campaign, changing ad serving frequency, bids and targets, or increasing or decreasing your list durations will all have impacts on your budget and retargeting spend.