Optimize Your Retargeting With These Strategies

optimize your retargeting

This is the third and final blog post of a three-part series. In this post, I will show you how to optimize your retargeting campaigns to ensure you are getting the best results from your retargeting efforts. The previous posts in the series were an Introduction to Retargeting and An Overview of Three Retargeting Platforms.


According to Bryan Heathman book Conversion Marketing, on average, only 2% of your website visitors convert the first time they visit your website.

Getting the other 98% back to your site and then converting them is tricky but critical to maximizing the return on your marketing investment.

To help, here are several strategies that I’ve found to decrease the cost of our retargeting efforts while improving the performance of our ads.

1. Segment Your Market Audience

The most common mistake that most marketers make when just starting their retargeting efforts is retargeting all of their website visitors with the same ads. By doing this, you’re showing irrelevant ads to most of your visitors and needlessly draining your budget.

To optimize your retargeting, the first thing I would recommend all marketers do is segment their market audiences. Audience segmentation allows advertisers to group their website visitors into different groups based on their behavior on your site: pages they’ve visited, actions they’ve taken, shopping cart status, etc.

Understanding what people do on your website will allow you to develop specific creative and messaging for your target groups, anticipate your visitors buying intent, and build high-converting landing pages specific to which product and services your visitor is interested in.

Once your visitors have taken the desired action on your website, like buying your product, there is an opportunity to segment those visitors into buyers, upsell or cross-sell to them, or simply exclude this segment from your targeted segments so as not to waste your budget on impressions for visitors who’ve already bought your product/service.

2. Use Frequency Capping

If retargeting is one of your digital marketing efforts, you certainly don’t want to be perceived as a stalker company. Retargeting can make your visitors feel harassed and annoyed by your brand, and it can ultimately substantially decrease the performance of your campaign. Utilizing frequency capping allows you to control the number of times a certain ad is shown to your target group.

Using the money saved by capping frequency, I will often increase the bid on our ads to maximize exposure and reach without increasing the overall spend.

There is no magic number for optimal frequency. However, it turns out that 3 is a good starting place for many B2B brands, but many perform better with more or less. You need to experiment and optimize for your campaign.

3. Retargeting Duration

When creating a retargeting list, you are able to specify how long your visitors can be on this list. By default, most retargeting platforms set a 90-day duration. However, like everything else, the ideal duration really depends on the kind of products or services you’re offering and what your sales lifecycle looks like.

For example, if you’re working in a long B2B cycle that takes a month to few months, three months is actually pretty good. On the flip side, if you are a retailer and your sales life cycle is much shorter, then you would want to go with a retargeting duration list of 30 days or less. Or at least start bidding less after the first week or two.

4. There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Formula for Good Retargeting

You have to fine-tune your tactics for every campaign to find the sweet spot.

Some strategies that have worked for me include:

Bid less on home page visitors and more on product pages. People who have visited product pages are more likely to make a purchase than people who bounced off the home page.

Target your non-converting traffic with softer-sell CTAs. Offering an asset to people who have shown an interest in your company but are not ready to buy yet can be a great strategy to push them down the sales funnel.

Find the right platform that will help achieve your retargeting needs. Refer to my second blog post in this series “AdRoll vs Perfect Audience vs Magnetic” to see how each of these platforms can help you attain your goals.

Mix up your creative. Avoid ad exhaustion. If your visitors have not clicked on the same ad that they have been seeing for months, chances are they still won’t if you show it to them one more time. However, exposing them to a different creative might catch their attention.

How do you optimize your retargeting, and what strategies have worked for you? Comment below to add them. We’d love to know about them.

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