How to Leverage Remarketing and Retargeting for Higher Conversions

by Gary Victory

Last updated on September 28th, 2017

Everyone deserves a second chance, and remarketing (also called retargeting) is your chance to get your business back in front of your customers’ eyes no matter where they go after they’ve visited your site.

But how do you get the most out of your retargeting efforts?

In this article, we’ll look at the many different types of options out there that really does leverage remarketing and retargeting, and how to squeeze every last drop of performance out of them, so that no matter which network you’re with, you’ll be able to connect to customers with confidence.

Build Brand Awareness for Newly Launched Sites

If your site is brand new, your goal is going to be building up brand awareness. This is the most basic of all types of remarketing and the fastest to set up.

In a nutshell, you’ll be displaying the same ad to everyone who has visited your site. The code is placed on a core area of your site—such as the header or footer—so it executes site-wide.

Examples of retargeting ads targeting the Phoenix area Examples of retargeting ads targeting the Phoenix area

Market to Customers Who Have Already Converted with Special Offers

Next, there are the people who have visited your site and already converted. These people are a remarketing goldmine, since they’re already familiar with your brand and have taken that all-important first step toward interacting with you, be it buying a product, calling for a quote or signing up for your mailing list.

A loyalty bonus can be a great way to show your customers that you appreciate their business A loyalty bonus can be a great way to show your customers that you appreciate their business

It doesn’t make sense to remarket to these people with the same generic brand-wide ad, so why not design and test a variety of creatives that entice the user to come back and save money? By targeting it only to people who have converted, you’ll greatly increase their chances of coming back and converting again.

Since Google launched its remarketing platform, businesses are taking full advantage and increasing their conversions 300-400% plus. In addition to this you can reduce your cost per click (CPC) or place this spend into your remarketing strategy.

If you’ve already set up your Facebook account to drive traffic and conversions, then you may want to try Adroll. SalesBlend used Adroll for their Facebook remarketing to target their specific audience. With Adroll, they paid a CPC of $1.62. Now, since switching to running their remarketing directly through Facebook, they’ve reduced CPC to an unbelievable $0.44. That’s a 73% decrease.

Be the Helpful Salesperson

Have you ever had a salesperson that stood out as someone truly helpful? Not only did they help you find that amazingly comfortable pair of shoes, they also suggested a fantastic pair of jeans to go with them. You could tell right away that they were interested in making you look and feel your best.

That’s what your remarketing ads should do.

Many retargeting ads can remind a customer of the items they shopped for on your website previouslyMany retargeting ads can remind a customer of the items they shopped for on your website previously.

If someone is browsing on your site, use remarketing to take stock of what they looked at, and suggest relevant accessories that would look or perform even better with whatever it was they had their eye on.

Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

It begs the question: What approach are you implementing to minimize customers falling through the net?

According to research conducted by Yoast, a whopping 56% of online shoppers abandon payment at the point of sale because of unexpected costs.

Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for even the most well-known retailers and presents the perfect opportunity for remarketing to shine. Not only can you remind customers by email of the products they left in their cart (provided you have their email), but you can also address any common issues they may have had shopping the first time that caused them not to order from you.

You can even retargeting customers who have left your service, to get them to come back and try you again You can even retargeting customers who have left your service, to get them to come back and try you again.

For example, your creative might show the item(s) they left in their cart, along with a “Free Shipping on Orders Over $25” note, just in case the user anticipated that shipping their items would be too costly.

Adjust for Seasonality

Depending on your business, you may see more traffic around certain holidays—or even months afterward. If you create a remarketing list of users who viewed your site leading up to, during and slightly after a specific holiday, you can use that list to send them reminders the following year.

Something like this, for example: “Remember how much your mom loved that personalized picture frame you bought her last year? We now have them available in a larger size so you can fill them with even more special family moments!”

This retargeting ad from ProFlowers advises customers that shipping is cheaper during weekdays, so they can order flowers without worrying about a higher cost of sending them. This retargeting ad from ProFlowers advises customers that shipping is cheaper during weekdays, so they can order flowers without worrying about a higher cost of sending them.

Even PPC ads can be tailored to remind customers that they’ve left items in their cart Even PPC ads can be tailored to remind customers that they’ve left items in their cart.

Experiment with Duration Time

When remarketing to your customers (or potential customers), you don’t want to bombard them with ads to the point where their ambivalence toward you becomes downright animosity.

With Google, as well as many other ad networks, you can set the duration time of your ads. While there is no “best time” that fits every business or industry, CPC Strategy has a great outline of how to calculate a fair duration time for your ads depending on whether you’re using Adwords or Product Listing Ads (PLAs).

As you can see, every step of the retargeting process needs to be carefully considered and planned to avoid throwing money on the wall and hoping some of it sticks!

Segment Ads Based on User Groups

Segmenting users based on gender, location, device used and other attributes is just good marketing sense. Some ads go so far as to target clothing shoppers depending on the weather in their area.

Each network has its own set of criteria, so understanding your market as well as individuals in that market can make a bigger impact on your remarketing efforts than broader advertising attempts.

By the same token, if the user has already made a purchase of an item that might eventually require repair or upgrade (think electronics, mobile phones or services), segment them into a “product lifespan” group and remind them when it’s time to re-order or upgrade.

Segmenting also allows you to personalize your marketing efforts. A survey by Adobe and Econsultancy found that 52% of marketers consider “personalization” as a fundamental factor to their online marketing strategy. You can do this by capturing; user preferences, on-site behavior, browser or purchase history, personal data.

Create Custom Landing Pages that Incorporate Your Retargeting Message

Finally, with so much attention on retargeting, creative, placement and segments, landing pages may seem like an after-thought that’s cobbled together at the last minute. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing to do. After all, you’ve spent a good deal of money getting this far—why settle for a piecemeal landing page when it’s your business’ moment to shine?

Avoid “disconnects” by using the same title, photo, and even color in your landing page as on your ad Avoid “disconnects” by using the same title, photo, and even color in your landing page as on your ad.

Take the time to incorporate custom landing pages that reflect your retargeting message for each group/segment. There’s nothing worse than doing all that work to get the user to your landing page, only to have them think, “Is this the right page?” when they arrive.

By using similar language and even the specific keyword or copy from your retargeting ad, you’ll create a smoother, more tightly integrated and relevant page that drastically improves your conversion rate.

Finally, Remember that Retargeting Won’t Solve Everything

Retargeting, like all marketing solutions, isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, or a magic pill that can instantly cure your conversion woes. Building a strong, enticing and highly targeted sales funnel, along with providing genuinely helpful customer service and relevant products, will go a long way toward making your retargeting efforts pay off.

What’s more, you could look at your click logs and find their performance is sorely lacking. This is not the time to abandon your remarketing efforts and throw your hands up in the air helplessly.

Think about it—when was the last time you purposefully clicked on an ad? Sure, clicks are easy to measure, but they aren’t the only number you should be looking at.

Instead, consider how many people ultimately convert after simply viewing your ad, a process known as “view-through attribution.”

Good ad networks won’t devote 100% of ads viewed to conversions, since that would be overkill. Instead, they tend to estimate it at around 60-65% for a two week window, which is the system’s “best guess” at understanding the ratio of views to conversions.

And when conversions are your focus, as they should be, test everything. Ad sizes, ad creative, even ad placements. Assign a “value score” to your prospects—since someone who visited your product page is much more valuable to you as a conversion than someone who visited your About Us page.

Try dynamic creative that adjust based on what the user was searching for, or creative that focus on a different intent (buying for oneself versus buying a gift, for example).

Once you have enough data to be able to make a confident decision on performance, it’s then time to cull the poor performers, adjust your strategy, and try again.

As you’ll quickly learn, retargeting is not a “once-then-done” process. Much like A/B testing, landing page optimization and other facets of CRO, it’s an ongoing game of always trying to beat your “high score”—where points translate into profits.

What Are Your Thoughts on Retargeting?

Do you take advantage of retargeting campaigns? How have they worked for you? Not sure which ad network to choose or just starting to dabble in the science of remarketing? We want to know about it! Share your insights and feedback in the comments below.

Read other Crazy Egg posts by Gary Victory.



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Gary Victory

Gary Victory is a Business Analyst at Elite Group Marketing, a company specialising in online marketing in London.

He delivers cutting edge solutions to an extensive portfolio of private, public & multinational companies both locally in the UK & internationally. His professional interests include, new business marketing and digital media. Connect with Gary on Linkedin, Twitter or Google+!


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  1. John James says:
    May 10, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    this was an especially interesting read to me thank you Gary Victory. I think that retargeting campaigns can be effective if the agency that you have chosen to provide the video remarketing services is up to speed. I’ve been using Treepodia and they are excellent. You want conversions, higher CTR and ROI – this is the company you should use. I’m happy to tell anyone else about this – just ping me.

  2. Daniel Daines-Hutt says:
    July 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Great post

    I have to agree, after starting to devote my time purely to retargeting funnels, the ROI can be insane.
    It makes total sense to continue working with previous traffic, rather than focusing on the small percentage of immediate conversions

    Im getting between 7000-9000% ROI right now its crazy!


    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      July 6, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Way to go, Daniel! Your numbers are incredible!

      • Daniel Daines-Hutt says:
        July 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        Thanks Kathryn

        Its pretty crazy eh! I seem to have a knack (or great luck!) with retargeting so i’m making it my key focus! My new blog is just about the different methods and case studies i’m running/guides of how to do it yourself

        I just did a test on a fairly dead shopify store. Wasnt as effective but the site was getting only 18 visitors a week. I drove traffic for $30 and then retargeted for around $15-we saw around $400 generated over 24 hours.
        Will see if the ongoing campaign pays off!
        (I’m enjoying testing in different situations/audience sizes and products/services)


        • Kathryn Aragon says:
          July 7, 2015 at 10:17 am

          You may need to share one of your case studies with us. 🙂

          • DanIel daines-hutt says:
            July 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm

            Well if you insist!
            Here is the step by step guide of how I helped an ecommerce company generate $18,750 in sales for $114 in Facebook retargeting spend – it’s pretty good 🙂

  3. Anu K S says:
    July 24, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Hi Neil,
    Nice post.. I always think retargetting is helpful really you help me to get a great knowledge on this.

    • Neil Patel says:
      July 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Anu, glad we could help 🙂

  4. Gary Victory says:
    July 24, 2014 at 2:36 am

    Thanks Gaurav. It’s a real opportunity for ROI however big or small your business is. Patience and persistance in certainly required.

    • Neil Patel says:
      July 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Gary, great points! Thanks for the share 🙂

      • gary Victory says:
        July 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

        It’s my pleasure Neil. Just happy and privileged to be able share my knowledge on here. Have a great weekend all 🙂

  5. Gaurav Heera says:
    July 23, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Hello Gary,

    Such a informative article you posted but as far as i know retargetting can solve everything.


    • Neil Patel says:
      July 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Gaurav, glad we could help 🙂

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