If you’re a major advertiser, you probably use behavioral remarketing or retargeting strategies. That’s to reach prospective customers based on their Internet searches, if they leave your Web site and don’t buy from you.

Other firms use retargeting to purchase advertising. Basically, retargeting is accomplished by using a cookie or pixel, to show banner ads to Internet users.

But transparency is a significant problem for advertisers, according to a 2014 report by Marin Software.

“Retargeting is emerging as a central part in the marketing mix, and advertisers are hungry for the same type of control over the channel that they are used to with search and social marketing,” said Brad Flora, senior director of product management at Marin Software.

Key findings:
  • 25 percent are worried about transparency
  • 43 percent find attribution for the performance of retargeting a headache
  • More than 33 percent aren’t even sure their ads are viewed, they fear click fraud, and are concerned about “black box” optimization
  • 88 percent of respondents use retargeting methods.
  • The most-used channels: 81 percent of them are in display, 77 percent are in search and 48 are percent are in social media.
  • 89 percent use Google as a retargeting channel.

According to a blog on retargeter.com,  there are “8 Best Practices for Running a Retargeting Campaign”:

1. Frequency Caps

Overexposure quickly results in decreased campaign performance, which is why it’s almost always advisable to use a frequency cap. Prospects may ignore your ads completely, a phenomenon known as banner blindness, or they may begin to have a negative association with your brand as you follow them all over the web.

2. Burn Code

Have you ever made a purchase online only to find you’re still being inundated with advertisements for that company or product? By continuing to serve ads to converted customers, companies are only serving to annoy people.

Luckily, there’s a very simple solution: use a burn pixel. This snippet of code, placed in your post-transaction page, will untag any users who have made a purchase, ensuring you stop serving them ads.

Converted customers can still be a part of your retargeting campaign, just don’t ask them to take the same action twice. Now, you have an opportunity to retarget current customers with new ads.

3. Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation allows for you to tailor ad messages to users in different stages of the purchase funnel. The process is simple: you place different retargeting pixels on different pages of your site, and then tailor creatives based on the depth of engagement of each user.

4. Demographic, Geographic, & Contextual Targeting

Targeting gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your ad placements, ensuring greater relevancy and increasing ad performance. Advertisements can be targeted based on demographic information, like age or gender, contextual factors like subject matter of the website, or geographic data.

5. Setting View-Through Conversion Windows

A frequent complaint of the direct response crowd is that online display advertising doesn’t drive clicks at the same rate as paid search advertising, but clicks aren’t telling the whole story. Retargeted ads, even if they aren’t clicked, can provide brand lift.

The view-through conversion takes into account that some ads don’t trigger immediate buying decisions, but can nonetheless influence people to make purchases later, also known as the billboard effect. In the same way a catchy billboard grabs your attention and boosts brand awareness, an online display ad can encourage a later action. View-through conversions provide advertisers with richer data around ad performance by considering conversions that occur within a certain window after a user sees an ad.

6. Single-Provider Retargeting

Running retargeting campaigns with multiple providers has a number of serious drawbacks. If you run with multiple providers, each provider will be bidding for the same spots on the same websites, driving up media costs and decreasing the chances each has to serve ads to your users.  You may also run into difficulties effectively implementing frequency caps, as each retargeting provider will be operating independently.

7. Rotating Creatives + A/B Testing

Even if you launch your campaign with incredibly strong creatives, running with the same set of ads for months on end will result in a lower performing campaign.  According to a ReTargeter study, clickthrough rates decrease by almost 50 percent after five months of running the same set of ads. After seeing the same ads again and again, a user’s interest is no longer piqued and the ads are more likely to blend into the background. By rotating your ad creative every few months, you can easily avoid experiencing these dips in performance.

8. Optimized Creatives

The banner ads you use may do more to determine success than any other factor of your retargeting campaign, so it’s crucial to devote sufficient resources to making beautiful ads. Marketers often try to cram as much information as possible into the space allotted. This method of designing banners will only distract your audience and won’t serve the purpose of the ad: to win their attention and keep it.

These eight practices from retargeter.com make sense and are worth using. But I’d recommend you visit retargeter.com for the complete information and more great strategies.

From the Coach’s Corner, related tips:

10 Strategies to Shine and Make Ad Designing a Breeze — Designing simple banner ads without strategic planning no longer suffices. The click rates have declined significantly, especially in B2B. To shine in the clutter of Internet advertising, there are at least 10 tips to keep in mind. That’s true in your mobile or Web site strategies.

9 Tips to Evaluate Online Advertising Options — Are you at a point at which you want to advertise your company on the Internet? But you’re unsure which sites are the best for you?

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

-Mark Twain


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.