Free Assessment: How does your inbound marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started

Free Assessment:

3 Tips for Executing A Retargeting Campaign That Actually Works

By Carly Stec

3 Tips for Executing A Retargeting Campaign That Actually Works

shutterstock_144414862_mini"Nothing haunts us like the things we didn't buy."

I came across this quote several nights ago while I was scrolling through my Tumblr feed and my inner-marketer had a good laugh. 

We've all visited a website, took a look around, and jumped ship without buying anything or filling anything out, right? 

You innocently move on to a different website, and like clockwork, the website you were just looking at appears in an advertisement. 

Before you jump to conclusions, this is not some sort of Internet sorcery. It's a marketing strategy called retargeting, and 1 in 5 marketers are doing it. (Source: Chango)


Quite simply, it's working.  

What is retargeting?

With only 2% of shoppers converting on the first visit to an online store, what is your business doing to bring back the other 98%?

Retargeting is a paid search marketing strategy that allows brands to stay in front of potential customers after they've bounced off their site. In the simplest terms possible, this is how it works:


 Allow me to expand a bit.

Retargeting employs a bit of code (also known as a retargeting pixel), that drops a tracking cookie on a visitor's browser, making it possible for your advertisements to appear elsewhere once they've left your site. 

While we're certainly not one for intrusive marketing, studies show that online consumers are actually open to receiving behaviorally retargeting ads. In fact, 60% of consumers remain neutral about the concept, while 25% actually stated that they enjoy retargeting ads because they remind them of what they were looking for. (Source: Neolane)

1. Leverage data

The most successful marketing iniatives begin with careful consideration for the consumer's wants, needs, and behaviors. This information is then analyzed and applied to campaigns in an attempt to produce the highest performing results. 

If you're looking to retarget returning customer, you'll want to take a close look at their past purchases and website behaviors. This will help you build a better understanding of where their interests lie so that you can present them with advertisements that make the most sense. 

For brand new visitors, you'll want to evaluate which pages they've viewed in order to determine what it is that may have been were looking for. The more data you have to work with, the better, as it becomes easier to draw conclusions based off common or reoccurring browsing patterns. 

This type of strategic analysis helps you to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, in an effort to carry them back to your website. 

2. Segment your audience 

Much like segmenting your emails to appeal to different buyer personas or stages of the sales funnel, audience segmentation for retargeting campaigns allows marketers to deliver a more tailored message based off a visitor's unique interests.

With the data uncovered, marketers can then apply that bit of code I mentioned before (also known as a retargeting pixel) to different pages through out their website so that they can adjust the display of advertisements accordingly.

While a break down of the sales funnel would suffice here, I came across this visual from Moz that I simply couldn't resist referencing (ice cream cones > sales funnels.)


Using the data you've uncovered about their behaviors, you can begin to place visitors into different buying stages like the ones outlined above. Seeing as though the interests and needs will vary based on their level of readiness, the advertisements you select should reflect just that. 

While simple advertisements with just your business' logo are effective for visitors in the "Awareness" stage, returning customers are more likely to find value in advertisements that reflect their past purchases. 

3. Conduct A/B tests

When it comes to effective retargeting, you never want to allow uncertainty to influence your decision-making. Rather than pour time and resources into a campaign rooted in gut instinct, consider conducting an A/B test to uncover what's really working, and what's not.

Here are 2 ways that you can use A/B testing to improve the performance of your retargeting advertisements:

1. Determine a schedule for rotation 

After 5 months of running the same advertisements, ReTargeter found that clickthrough rates had decreased by almost 50%. To ensure that the advertisements that you're running aren't losing their effectiveness, you'll want to have a new wave of creative to add to the rotation.

While ReTargeter noticed a decline after 5 months, every business is different. We suggest that you pay close attention to the performance of the advertisements over time to determine the best time to switch out the old and input the new. 

2. Experiment with different copy 

The fact that there is limited room for copy on retargeting ads makes the copy that you do employ that much more important. 

While the copy you have in place right now might be driving positive results, you won't know if there is an even better option unless you test it out.

Just keep in mind that if you're testing copy, you'll want to keep every other aspect of the advertisement the same (color, size, placement.) The reason being, too many variables will make it impossible to determine whether or not the variation of copy was influential, or if the performance was swayed by other factors. 

Has your company experimented with retargeting? Did it work? Feel free to share your experiences below. We'd love to hear what you think...

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Inbound Sales
Published on October 2, 2014

Recent Articles

How To Improve Your Sales Process
May 28, 2023 • 6 min read
The 5 Most Common Sales Problems — And How To Solve Them
May 1, 2023 • 8 min read
How To Create a Sales Process That Closes More Deals
April 3, 2023 • 6 min read
5 Ways to Get Your Sales Team Excited About Creating Content
March 23, 2023 • 5 min read
4 Common Assignment Selling Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)
March 2, 2023 • 5 min read
5 Real-Life Sales Scenarios Where You Need Assignment Selling (+ Templates)
February 16, 2023 • 8 min read
What is Assignment Selling? Using Content to Close Deals Faster
February 13, 2023 • 6 min read
The Lazy Sales Technique Your Buyers Hate? Scoping Disguised as Discovery
February 8, 2023 • 5 min read
4 Tried-and-True Tips for Using Video in Sales Prospecting
January 19, 2023 • 5 min read
4 Videos That Will Streamline Your Sales Process — And Don’t Require a Videographer
January 18, 2023 • 4 min read
Sales vs Marketing in 2023: What’s The Difference?
January 5, 2023 • 7 min read
Here's Why You Keep Getting Garbage Inbound Marketing Leads
December 19, 2022 • 6 min read
How Does They Ask, You Answer Benefit Sales?
December 7, 2022 • 5 min read
What Is a Revenue Team?
December 5, 2022 • 4 min read
24 Essential Questions for Understanding Your Ideal Customer (+ Infographic)
December 1, 2022 • 5 min read
What Is a Buyer Persona (And Do You Really Need One)?
November 21, 2022 • 8 min read
How to Make Role-play Actually Valuable for Your Sales Team
November 10, 2022 • 6 min read
Want to Win More and Improve Company Culture? Do More Role-playing
November 9, 2022 • 4 min read
4 Smart Ways to "Unsuck" Your Sales Presentations
October 27, 2022 • 4 min read
Your Sales Presentations Are Terrible — Here’s Why
October 26, 2022 • 3 min read
12 Best Practices for Better Virtual Sales Calls
October 24, 2022 • 8 min read
8 Reasons Why Sales Training Can Fail to Deliver Results
September 22, 2022 • 6 min read
The Best Sales Enablement Tools for Your Team in 2023
September 2, 2022 • 7 min read
Sales and Marketing Friction is Hurting Your Bottom Line – Here’s What to Do About It
August 4, 2022 • 6 min read
Sales Qualifying Questions: How Do You Know If Your Leads Are Ready?
May 12, 2022 • 7 min read