Cheat Sheet to Display and Retargeting Strategies

December 13, 2023
By Magee Clegg

Are you finding it difficult to retain your website visitors or push those potential customers down the sales funnel? Have you ever asked yourself why some users show interest in your products or services, visit your website but then disappear without a trace, leaving your sales team with no leads to follow up on? If so, it’s time you explored the power of display and retargeting. These digital marketing strategies can help you reach out to these seemingly lost customers, reminding them of their initial interest and nudging them towards a purchase.

At Cleartail Marketing, we understand the struggles of small to medium-sized business owners like you. It’s not just about attracting customers. It’s about re-engaging them, reinforcing your brand, and maximizing the possibilities of a sale. The digital landscape is vast, but with the right strategies, such as display and retargeting, we can help you navigate it efficiently.

Quick Facts About Display and Retargeting

  • Display Retargeting: Also known as Display Remarketing, this method lets you target consumers who have already seen your ad during the same or a previous advertising campaign. It reinforces your message and pushes consumers down the sales funnel.
  • Two Types: You can opt for pixel-based retargeting, which redelivers your material to any anonymous site visitor, or list-based retargeting, using contact information on your database.
  • Cost Effective: Regardless of your business size, you can implement retargeting methods. It’s a cost-effective strategy.
  • Wide Reach: Retargeting can serve ads on millions of websites, giving your brand considerable exposure.

We invite you to dive deeper into display and retargeting through this comprehensive guide. Let’s unravel the secrets to turning lost opportunities into new possibilities.

Retargeting Strategies Infographic - display and retargeting infographic pillar-4-steps

Understanding Display Ad Retargeting

What is Display Ad Retargeting?

Display ad retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a strategic approach to digital advertising where we target ads to people who have previously visited our website when they are on other websites. This strategy is a powerful tool that allows us at Cleartail Marketing to stay connected with our potential customers, subtly reminding them of the products or services they showed interest in on our site.

Think about those times when you were browsing through products on an online store, decided to leave without making a purchase, and then later saw ads for those same products on different websites. That, in essence, is display ad retargeting in action.

How Does Display Ad Retargeting Work?

The mechanics of display ad retargeting are pretty simple. When a visitor comes to our website, we use a small amount of data sent to their internet browser, referred to as a “cookie” or “SendGrid pixel,” to track what pages and products they view. This cookie helps us identify the visitor on other websites where we can serve them with personalized ads based on their browsing history on our site.

From the visitor’s perspective, their journey simply involves visiting our site, considering our products or services, and then seeing ads for those same offerings or our brand in general, elsewhere on the internet.

Why is Display Ad Retargeting Effective?

Display ad retargeting is incredibly effective because it focuses on people who have already shown interest in what we have to offer. When a potential customer visits our website, they’re signaling that they’re considering our products or services. Even if they leave without making a purchase, their visit to our site indicates their interest, making them a high-value target for retargeting.

By providing them with a display ad related to their browsing history, we substantially increase the likelihood of them returning to our website and completing the purchase. This strategy is not only efficient in terms of cost but also effective in turning potential customers into actual buyers.

In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between remarketing and retargeting, two terms that are often used interchangeably but have distinctive differences in their approach and execution.

The Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting

After exploring the concept of display ad retargeting, it’s crucial to understand the difference between retargeting and remarketing. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they do have distinctive differences.

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing primarily involves re-engaging with your existing customers or contacts. It refers to the strategies used to reconnect with people who have previously interacted with your business, such as those who have made a purchase or signed up for your newsletter. This interaction often happens through email marketing, where personalized emails are sent to customers based on their past behavior or interaction with your business.

For instance, you might send an email to customers who abandoned their shopping carts without completing a purchase, providing them with a special discount or a reminder about the products they left behind.

What is Retargeting?

On the other hand, retargeting is about re-engaging with visitors who have left your website without taking any desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. This is achieved primarily through online ads, served to these visitors when they visit other websites, use social media, or search online.

As Cleartail Marketing puts it, retargeting involves placing a small piece of code (a pixel) on your website, which tracks users’ web activity and serves them relevant ads based on their interests as they browse the web.

Key Differences Between Remarketing and Retargeting

The main difference between remarketing and retargeting lies in the strategy and channels used.

  • Remarketing leans more towards using email to re-engage past customers, while retargeting uses display ads to engage users who have visited your website but haven’t converted.
  • In terms of audience, remarketing tends to focus on people who have already made a purchase or shown a strong interest in your business, while retargeting focuses on those who have merely visited your site and left without any significant interaction.

Understanding these differences can help you make more informed decisions about which strategy to use to re-engage your audience and encourage them to complete a purchase. In the next section, we’ll explore different types of retargeting strategies, namely pixel-based and list-based retargeting.

Types of Retargeting: Pixel-Based and List-Based

Retargeting is a powerful tool in the digital marketer’s toolkit, and understanding how to use it effectively is critical to a successful digital marketing campaign. As our expert, Magee Clegg, explains, there are two main types of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based.

Understanding Pixel-Based Retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting is perhaps the most common form of retargeting. When visitors come to your website, a small piece of JavaScript, often referred to as a pixel, is placed on their browser. This process is often referred to as “cookie-d.” This pixel then tracks the user’s activity on your site and serves them ads based on the specific pages they visited, even after they’ve left your site.

One of the main benefits of pixel-based retargeting is its timeliness. Users can be retargeted almost immediately after leaving your site. This strategy is also behavior-based and specific to certain pages on your site, making it highly targeted and relevant.

However, pixel-based retargeting does come with a few challenges. Since this method is reliant on users visiting your website and browsing specific pages, the volume of people in the campaign may fluctuate. Implementing JavaScript across many website pages can also be time-consuming and complicated.

Understanding List-Based Retargeting

List-based retargeting, on the other hand, works after you already have a user’s contact information in your database. This strategy involves uploading a list of email addresses to a retargeting campaign on a social network like Facebook or Twitter. The platform will then serve your retargeting ads to users on the network who match the email addresses you provided.

List-based retargeting allows for more customization in your ads because you’re choosing who goes into each list. This level of control can be extremely beneficial, especially when you have specific goals for different segments of your audience.

However, there are some potential pitfalls to be aware of with list-based retargeting. For instance, a user might use a different email address for the social network than the one they provided to you. In such cases, they would not see your ads. Additionally, list-based retargeting requires regular maintenance of your email list, making it less automatic and timely compared to pixel-based retargeting.

Understanding the nuances of both pixel-based and list-based retargeting can help you formulate a more effective display and retargeting strategy. By leveraging these strategies in conjunction, you can maximize your reach and engage with your audience in a more meaningful way.

Best Practices for Successful Retargeting Campaigns

Crafting an effective display and retargeting campaign requires more than just understanding the fundamentals. It involves executing a number of best practices designed to optimize your efforts, maximize your ROI, and ensure that your audience feels respected and valued in the process. Here is a cheat sheet of best practices to consider when executing your retargeting campaigns.

Segmenting Your Audience

One effective way to increase the relevance of your retargeting ads is to segment your audience. This involves dividing your audience into smaller, more specific groups based on characteristics such as their browsing behavior, purchase history, or demographic information. By tailoring your retargeting messages to be more relevant and personalized to each segment, you increase the chances of conversion. This targeted approach ensures that your audience receives ads that truly resonate with them, enhancing their experience and your brand’s reputation.

Setting Frequency Caps

It’s crucial to strike a balance between reminding your audience about your brand and overwhelming them with too many ads. Therefore, we recommend implementing frequency caps to control the number of times an individual sees your retargeting ads within a specific time period. This ensures your campaign remains effective without annoying or overwhelming your audience.

Utilizing Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are a powerful tool in a retargeting campaign. These ads are generated based on a user’s browsing history and interests, increasing their relevance and the likelihood of conversion. For example, if a user viewed a particular product on your website but did not make a purchase, you can use dynamic ads to remind them of this product as they browse other websites.

Optimizing Landing Pages

The effectiveness of your retargeting campaign heavily relies on the design and optimization of your landing pages. Make it easy for users to take the desired action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a form. A clear call-to-action and streamlined conversion process will enhance the effectiveness of your retargeting campaign.

Testing and Refining Ad Variations

As with any marketing strategy, testing and refining are crucial elements of a successful retargeting campaign. Experiment with different ad formats, messaging, visuals, and audience segments to identify what resonates best with your target audience. Monitor key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on ad spend to determine the effectiveness of different variations and make data-driven optimizations.

Respecting User Privacy

Transparency and respect for user privacy are essential in building trust with your audience. Be clear about the data you collect and how you use it for retargeting purposes. Provide clear options for users to opt out of retargeting if they wish to do so—and respect their preferences. It’s not only about compliance with regulations like GDPR, but also about demonstrating that you value your customers’ privacy.

By applying these best practices to your display and retargeting strategy, you can create more effective campaigns that reach your target audience in a personalized and impactful way. The goal is to re-engage your audience, remind them of their interest in your brand, and ultimately, drive conversions.

Retargeting on Different Platforms

Having understood the best practices for successful retargeting campaigns, it’s time to explore how we can implement them across different platforms. The major platforms that offer retargeting capabilities include Google Ads, Facebook, and via Email. Each platform has its unique features and advantages, so let’s dive in to understand each one better.

Google Ads Retargeting

When it comes to online advertising, Google Ads is a powerful tool that offers a broad reach across the internet. With Google Ads retargeting, you can create customized lists, run tests like frequency cap testing, ad testing, custom combination testing, and bid tests.

Google Ads retargeting offers several types of campaigns. For instance, standard Remarketing shows ads to past visitors as they visit Display Network websites and use Display Network applications. Dynamic Remarketing is more product-centric, showing ads that include specific products or services that visitors browsed on your website.

Remarketing for Mobile Apps targets visitors who have used your mobile app or mobile website. Remarketing Lists for Ads show ads to visitors as they do follow-up searches for what they need on Google. Video Remarketing targets visitors who have viewed your YouTube videos, and Email List Remarketing allows you to upload a list of your customers’ email addresses, who then see your display ads when they browse other websites.

Facebook Retargeting

Facebook, with its vast user base, is another excellent platform for retargeting. It allows you to track conversions on your Facebook ads, optimize ads based on the data you gather from your campaigns, and create better ads in the future. A significant advantage of using Facebook for retargeting is that it also enables you to serve Instagram retargeting ads to visitors.

Email Retargeting

Email retargeting is a powerful strategy that allows you to nurture and re-engage potential customers who have already shown an interest in your products or services. By integrating your retargeting strategies with Email Marketing, you can effectively keep your brand in front of your audience, even when they are not actively browsing your website.

This strategy involves sending targeted emails to your customers based on their browsing behavior, past purchases, or interactions with your brand. For instance, you can send a welcome email to new customers, video emails for higher engagement, review request emails for feedback, or lead nurturing emails to potential customers based on their interests and interactions.

To recap, display and retargeting strategies can be effectively implemented across a variety of platforms, each offering unique possibilities. By understanding the nuances of each platform and applying the best practices we’ve discussed, you can create powerful retargeting campaigns that drive conversions and grow your business.

How to Set Up a Successful Retargeting Campaign

To harness the power of display and retargeting strategies, you need to set up your campaign in a way that maximizes potential reach, engagement, and conversions. At Cleartail Marketing, we follow a systematic approach to ensure our clients’ retargeting campaigns are effective and profitable.

Creating a List of Existing Contacts or Gathering Groups from Pixels

First, you need to identify who you are retargeting. If you already have a list of leads, you’re off to a great start. This list can be segmented based on key factors such as lifecycle stage or interests, which can be based on the topic of their most recent download or interaction with your content. If you don’t have a list yet, not to worry. You can create one using a pixel on your website. This small piece of code tracks user activity and helps identify potential customers based on their behavior on your site.

Uploading the List to the Platform’s Audience Manager

Once you have your list, it needs to be uploaded to the Audience Manager of the platform you’re using for retargeting. For example, if you’re running a Facebook retargeting campaign, you would use Facebook’s Custom Audience Manager. This tool matches email addresses with Facebook profiles, allowing you to retarget your ads more effectively.

Determining Your Destination URL

Your Destination URL is the web page you want people to visit when they click on your ad. Make sure to include a UTM tracking code in your URL to help monitor the success of your campaign and attribute clicks and conversions accurately.

Segmenting Your Ads for Specific Audiences

Segmenting your ads allows you to personalise your content for each audience group. This can be based on demographics, online behavior, and geotargeting, among other factors. The more personalized your ads are, the more effective they will be.

Setting Your Budget

Just like any other marketing strategy, you need to set a budget for your retargeting campaign. Effectiveness of retargeting does not solely depend on the amount of money spent, but on the strategy and execution.

Creating Your Ad

Now, it’s time to create your ad. This involves crafting compelling copy, choosing engaging visuals, and making sure your call to action is clear and persuasive. The goal of your ad is not only to attract attention, but to drive action.

Tracking Your Campaign’s Progress

Finally, keep a close eye on your campaign’s progress. This involves monitoring key metrics like lead conversions, view-through conversions, site visits, and more. By tracking these metrics, you can assess the effectiveness of your campaign and make necessary adjustments to improve results.

At Cleartail Marketing, we believe in the power of display and retargeting strategies to drive growth for businesses of all sizes. If you’re ready to leverage these strategies for your business, we’re here to help.

Conclusion: Leveraging Display and Retargeting for Your Business

Display and retargeting strategies are a game-changer for businesses looking to increase their online presence and conversion rates. They allow you to stay top of mind with potential customers who have shown interest in your products or services, nudging them closer to the point of purchase.

By using these strategies, you are not only reaching out to new audiences, but also re-engaging those who have already interacted with your brand. This approach can significantly increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts, driving higher click-through and conversion rates.

However, to make the most of these strategies, stay up-to-date with best practices, such as segmenting your audience, setting frequency caps, utilizing dynamic ads, optimizing landing pages, and testing and refining ad variations. Additionally, respecting user privacy is paramount in today’s digital marketing landscape.

Display and retargeting are not one-size-fits-all strategies. They require careful planning and execution to align with your business goals and target audience. Experiment with different tactics, monitor your metrics, and tweak your strategies as needed.

At Cleartail Marketing, we have the expertise and tools to help you navigate these strategies and ensure that your display and retargeting campaigns are set up for success. We’re dedicated to helping businesses like yours achieve their marketing goals and drive sustainable growth.

Ready to take the next step in your digital marketing journey? Learn more about our services, or contact us today to discuss how we can help you leverage display and retargeting strategies for your business.

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