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13 Bright Ideas for Running Smarter Re-Targeting Campaigns

WARNING: Some of the following ideas might seem like a “no-brainer” but we recommend you read and follow them all!


  1. Add re-targeting for your website – Yes, this one is one of the “no-brainers.” Add re-targeting pixels for your platforms (even ones you may not plan to use in the near future)! Re-targeting requires time so that you can build an “audience” of traffic. In order for someone to be re-targeted, they will need to have visited your website. It can take several weeks for companies to build a formidable re-marketing audience to serve ads. Get started now in order to reap the benefits when you are ready to pull the lever.
  2. Create at least 2 re-marketing segments – Sure, you may want to serve ads to everyone that visits your website. However, you may want to send a different message to those who visit a checkout page but didn’t make an order. You may want to offer a discount on their purchase to encourage them to return to the site and become a customer. So, at bare minimum, you should have 2 re-marketing segments – one for people who’ve visited your website in general and one for people who’ve visited your checkout page without making a purchase, specifically.
  3.  Use re-targeting to boost your reputation – How would you do this? Send a special message to people who have made a purchase on your website. Encourage them to review their purchase on your eCommerce site for a future discount. One of the biggest signals for people to make a purchase is the website’s and product’s average customer review. In the beginning, it may be hard to prove to anyone that you have a good product. You may want to pay for the reviews in an indirect way – through re-marketing.
  4.  Sequenced re-marketing ads – when you are working on regaining lost business, it is prudent to not offer the largest discount possible in the beginning. Many people only need to see the ad again to be convinced to make the purchase. If the customer has been exposed to the ad and still hasn’t purchased, up the ante by adding a 10% discount for the next 10 days, then 25% discount for the next 10, and so on and so on. It requires more time and attention to get this running, but you only need to do this once, then it runs itself from there.
  5.  Re-targeting customers – Wait, re-targeting customers? How can that make sense? They already purchased! However, on average, eCommerce stores harvest 40% of their business from a mere 8% of their customers. So, it’s prudent to re-target your previous customers. And don’t be so confident that they were going to purchase anyway. Even customers that love your product may lose track of time and fail to repurchase.
  6.  Display ads are more than just text – While Google may serve text ads more frequently, they hardly stand out and they are rarely memorable. Additionally, with re-targeting, clicks are not your only goal. Re-targeting utilizes the display network which is generally considered to be a branding network. You want your customers to not only act, but remember your brand when it’s fits their budget and schedule. Take the time to build creative ads for all dimensions in Photoshop or dynamically.
  7.  Re-target specific products – Have you ever looked at an item on a specific website and then saw that item another day through a display while browsing Facebook or a blog? That’s might be a little “big brother” and/or creepy, but it’s effective. It get’s clicks and, more importantly, orders.
  8.  Leverage the seasons – Advertisers know that there is always a reason to celebrate. In addition to normal holidays like Halloween or Black Friday, we have those random holidays like “Talk like a Pirate Day” or “National Donuts Day.” Leverage those special occasions (especially those that are most relevant to your products). Establish creative that fits with those special events.
  9.  More than orders – Getting orders is your primary goal. However, good eCommerce sites also leverage other conversions like chat features and newsletter signups. These could be the central message of your display ads in addition to purchases. If you have a professional chat service that assists customers in completing orders, maybe you want to add messaging about that. For instance, if you sell clothing, advertise that you have web consultants ready to help on your websites.
  10.  Video re-targeting – You can leverage more than just the display network for re-targeting. This can also extend to video campaigns. You don’t need a fancy camera or a large marketing budget to create effective videos. They are highly cost effective and guarantee eyeballs.
  11.  Facebook – Facebook is a great platform that deserves it’s own budget. It provides several ways to re-target your customers.
  12. Bing – If you have setup your AdWords account, you’ve essentially setup your Bing account. Bing makes it easy to import your AdWords account into their system so that you can start advertising on their exclusive networks as well.
  13.  Play with frequency capping and membership duration – Some products are EXTREMELY timely and do not make sense past a certain date. If your product fits this description, you may want to decrease the membership duration. Additionally, you may not want to bombard your customers with ads. They may learn to resent you. Analyze your data to find the sweet spot.