Setting up a Retargeting Campaign 101

Retargeting is the act of displaying advertisements to people who have previously visited a website or viewed a product. One of the first things to understand is that retargeting is not the same thing as pay per click.

retargeting-101While you can take the trial and error route to learn the most effective methods for retargeting, you can also use the tips here to make your campaign effective immediately.

If you’re using a company like Adroll to retarget, or a company like BigEngage to automate retargeting, you’ll be getting good help from those sites along the way.  However, there are some things to keep in mind when setting up a retargeting campaign, that sometimes slip by when going through a standard retargeting website workflow.  These basic tips will help you maximize how effective your campaigns are, and keep your CPM way down.

Check the Settings of the Campaign  

While you will likely pay some attention to the settings of your campaign, there are a number of defaults that the majority of retargeting vendors use in their system that can result in you targeting the wrong people. When programming your campaign settings, remember:


  • Your audience’s geography: The majority of vendors will use the default setting to display their ads internationally. If you are not operating internationally, then you need to ensure that the same-country parameters are entered.
  • Duration of cookies: It is essential that you align the buying cycle with the cookie duration for your users.
  • The majority of vendors will set the cookie duration for 30 to 90 days. If you have an average buying cycle that only lasts five days, you will be paying for ads longer than they will be effective.
  • Rotation of offers: It is also important to tune the settings so that they rotate what ad is shown to a user during the duration of the cookies.

Create Areas of Interest on Your Site

In order to get extremely targeted with your retargeted ad, you will have to show different visitors an ad based on the pages they actually view on your website.

In order to segment your actual audience, you will first have to divide the existing website into different areas of interest. One of the logical ways to do this is by organizing your website by industry. Another option would be the segment the site based on the products that are offered. Either option will help you build a profile of different visitors when you track the URLs they actually visit.

Use a Disciplined Method to Test Your Ads

Once you have created an audience segmentation framework, it will be time to begin tweaking and then testing the ads you have. Some of the aspects of your ads that you can change including :

  • Headline of the ad
  • The copy in the ad
  • Colors and images
  • Size of the ad
  • The call to action

Keep in mind, if you really want to know what ads are effective, you will have to allow them to run long enough to generate statistical data. Taking some time to work on your retargeting campaign can pay off big in the long run. Failure to do this may result in ineffective ads that are essential just a drain on your marketing dollars. No one wants to deal with this, so be sure to create quality ads that will get quality results., and test them.  Always.  Test them.