7 best practices for running a retargeting campaign

Retargeting is a very simple and cost effective way to bring people back to your website. Whether your goal is to drive conversions, a direct ROI, or simply to keep your brand top-of-mind, retargeting has proven to be an effective technology. But, simply jumping into retargeting could deliver no results -- or worse, even hurt your brand image. These seven best practices will help avoid the pitfalls and help you reach your marketing goals.

Don't overbear or under-serve
Not serving enough ads to your audience will not drive many clicks, and it wouldn't do much for your brand recognition. However, serving too many impressions could bother your audience, and cause a social-media outcry. For the best performance, balance between overbearing and underserving your audience. I recommend serving 15-20 impressions to each person in your segment pool.

Make sure your ads are well branded
Retargeting keeps your ads in front of your audience -- but this won't do your brand any good if your audience doesn't make a subliminal connection between your ad and the brand. Make your brand clearly visible on your ads -- it will make your retargeted visitors notice your ads. Sometimes, even a plain banner ad with nothing but your logo, your brand's colors, and a simple call-to-action will work.

Understand your view-through window
The view-through window of a retargeting campaign tracks conversions from people who haven't clicked on your retargeted ad, but have seen your retargeted ad. Some networks use a 24 hour view-through window, while some use a 30 day view-through window. Make sure to set your view-through window to an interval that's appropriate for you so that you can give credit where credit is due.

Don't touch your inventory
Retargeting is not a standard display advertising campaign. Unlike a media buy, retargeting works so well because it serves your ads to everyone who has left your site. These people have already engaged with your brand, so it makes sense to keep your inventory as open as possible. While it may seem like some domains don't convert very well, the branding value provided from these domains is crucial to a retargeting campaign's overall performance.

Optimize your conversion funnel
After gathering some retargeting data, work on optimizing your funnel to drive more conversions. The best way to do this is via an A/B test difference that weighs in on creative and landing page elements. Changing the color of your call-to-action can help, as well as changing the ad's messaging. Some landing page elements worth testing are images, videos, and form elements.

Target an actionable audience
In some cases, your website may be getting a lot of traffic that isn't too actionable. If you're retargeting un-actionable traffic, you'll end up wasting money. Try targeting less people and, instead, retarget visitors to your pricing page or some other page within your site. People who go deeper into your site and bounce are better candidates for converting.

Segment your active audience
Lastly, make sure to place your burn pixel on any "thank you" page that a person would see after converting. This makes sure that you're not targeting people who have already converted, and it allows you to serve different ads to those people later.

Have you been struggling with retargeting? These seven best practices will set you on your way to retargeting success. Try implementing some of them, and comment below to let me know your findings. I'm happy to help.

Samir Soriano is the director of marketing for ReTargeter.

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