Effective Strategies for Retargeting

Posted on Oct 14, 2018
By Gaurav Aidasani

You’re shopping online for bags, browsing through various sites on the internet. Suddenly, you stumble upon some breaking news and you surf over to that site. While you’re browsing through the news site, an advertisement appears. Guess what? Miraculously, it’s an ad for the same bag you were checking out a few minutes ago. Then, you move onto another news site. There also you see the same ad for the same bag. Why is this bag following you everywhere? You may wonder! Well, that’s the wonder of dynamic retargeting. It keeps finding you again, and again, and again to show you what you’ve been scoping out, so you’re constantly reminded about what you saw but didn’t purchase, until you finally give in to temptation and purchase.

There is no doubt about the fact that retargeting is crazily impactful. A strategy that allows people who have visited your site to not only see your ads but also make purchases basis your ads is brilliant, isn’t it? On an average, retargeted ads are more likely to be clicked on than a regular display ad by almost 75%. Sequential retargeting also plays a huge role and leads to increase in campaign performance. It focuses on people based on their past actions, then customizes messages according to the user's interaction with the ad. It analyses what actions the user has or has not taken, how they have interacted with the brand, at what stage did they stop interacting with the brand and then tailors the message accordingly. For example, if Apple is launching a new phone, it would first launch a campaign that creates awareness about the product. This would help Apple reach out to a large audience, pique their interest and create curiosity. Depending on the number of people who interacted with this ad; the brand’s next step would be to re-engage with these viewers. At this stage, it would highlight key features of the phone and further entice customers to buy the product. Once again, Apple would monitor the number of viewers who engaged and interacted with the ad during stage 2. Depending on the number of people who showed a deep interest in the product, Apple would further retarget them as they would be people who are interested and would eventually purchase the product.


Another thing to take into consideration is showing your retargeting ad the ‘right’ number of times. But what is this right number? Different products have different retargeting time. For e.g. people shopping for travel will need to be retargeted immediately vs people shopping for luxury brands, as they can be retargeted later. Depending on your ad, it is important to set a frequency cap so people are not spammed unnecessarily. Overexposure leads to bad user experience and decrease in campaign performance.

Retargeting is the best type of branding that you can buy with your ad budgets as it is the simplest and most effective method to drive sales. But how does retargeting actually help? Find out below:  

1) It showcases your brand to the right people  

2) It shows them the right ad 

3) It places you perfectly well in the right place 

4) It generates leads and increases sales 

5) It drives traffic to your website 

While planning a retargeting strategy, it is important to take the following pointers into consideration:  

1) Showcase products you know your audience is interested in 

The internet is the perfect place for virtual window shopping. So, if you understand what your audience is looking for and ensure you showcase only those products to them, you are sure to pique their interest and encourage more leads.  

2) Determine the number of visitors who spend time on your site:  

If a customer is visiting your site, it means they’re either curious to see what you offer or are strongly interested in making purchases. Create a list of people who visit your website on a timely basis and focus on their browsing pattern and the amount of time they’re spending on your site. This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t. It will also give you a better idea about your audience so you can retarget them effectively. For e.g. an e-commerce fashion site can follow their customers like stalkers, wherever they go, from site to site.  On the other hand, a luxurious automobile brand can only retarget those individuals who show an interest in making purchases. 

3) Determine your landing page:  

This is one of the most important things to keep in mind while planning a retargeting strategy. Your entire ad campaign is set up around your landing page as that’s the final destination your audience will reach if they click on your ad. Make sure it’s the most attractive and welcoming page as your customer will only proceed to make a purchase if the landing page is inviting enough. 

4) Make multiple ads with different sizes, colors and fonts with exciting offers and discounts 

Nobody wants to see an ad that’s not visually appealing. It’s important to have attractive, eye-catching ads as they attract attention instantly and drive more traffic. At the same time, focus on introducing exciting offers and discounts. If a person has recently searched for a brand of luxury chocolates but hasn’t purchased yet, retarget them with ‘buy 1 get 1 free’ offers on those chocolates. 

5) Introduce various promotions to cross-sell to customers 

Enticing promotions always garner more attention. If a user has recently purchased a smartphone on your website, there’s a chance that the user will return to your site to buy a case for that smartphone. At this point, if the customer notices a discount on smartphone cases, he will be tempted to purchase. However, in order to cross-sell to a particular audience, it is very important to first understand how they’re purchasing and which products they’re purchasing together. Basis that information, you can decide on introducing offers on those products that you want to cross-sell to them. If a person purchases a smartphone and sees a promotion on cosmetic surgery, the ad is clearly of no use and has gone to waste. 

6) Emphasize on urgency so they feel the need to purchase the product:  

Have you seen how travel websites lure you into booking your next travel with text such as ‘Last Minute Deals’ on their adsThis creates a sense of urgency and makes you want to log in and book right away. It instills anxiety in the customera fear of missing out which in turn leads to quick decision making and instant purchases. 


Research has it that 92% of retargeting ads perform as good as or better than standard search ads while 91% perform as good as or better than emailers which means retargeting strategies are very impactful if implemented effectively.