5 Lists To Get Started With Remarketing


Imagine that 96% of your website visitors leave without completing a desired action or that 70% of visitors that add a product to their digital shopping cart abandon the process before completing their order. According to recent Forrester Report, these percentages are a reality.

But what if you can reengage a specific set of these visitors instantly and at scale?
Good news! You can! This is the core benefit of remarketing (also known as retargeting or remessaging).

Some other Benefits of Display Remarketing include:

  • Improve ROI on marketing budgets - For businesses already spending money to drive traffic to a website, remarketing can extend the conversion funnel to your best qualified visitors.
  • Increase brand awareness - Re-displaying ads to new prospects increases the likelihood of brand retention and awareness. It also helps that marketers can now reach prospects with likable and sharable ads in Facebook through Facebook's exchange ads.
  • Granular retargeting capabilities - In other words, advertisers can use tailored messaging and incentives based on the browsing behavior of the prospect.

But Wait..What is it? How Does it Work?
Display Remarketing is a form of pay per click marketing that allows you to show banner advertisments to users who previously visited your website as they browse the rest of the web.

  • First, a prospect user visits your site.
  • Next, a tracking cookie is dropped on their browser.
  • The prospect user then leaves your site without converting or taking desired onsite action.
  • You then display banner advertisements to that user as they continue to browse other websites throughout the web.
  • Lastly, your banner ads entice the user to come back and complete a purchase or take some other desired action.

retargeting process
Image courtesy of

What Do I Need to Get Started?

  • Access to an ad exchange platform that supports display remarketing - A few popular self-serving platforms include the Google Display Network, AdRoll, and Chango.
  • Remarketing code (or "tags") - This is a snippet of code that needs to be added to your website or specific web pages. The code snippet will be generated by ad platform that you choose.
  • Target audiences and remarketing strategies - You'll want to build one or more audience lists that will define which visitors you want to follow around with ads. An example of this would be visitors who abandoned their shopping cart or visitors who abandoned a contact form. For more common remarketing strategies, keep reading...
  • Budget - Cost-per-click bids for remarketing should generally be higher than standard display or paid search since you will be targeting prospects who have already shown an interest in your product or brand. You can, of course, approach this more strategically by further segmenting your remarketing lists based on historical marketing data. For example, you can allocate a higher budget to the prospects that came through a transactional search query if you know that these types of users historically convert at a higher rate.
  • Ad Creative - When creating display ads, you'll always want to make sure they are relevant to your audience lists and contain a compelling call to action. It's also recommended that you use and test a variety of designs and messaging, while also considering the variety of ad sizes and placements.

Who/How Should I Target? Some Common List Building Strategies Include:

  • Targeting those who abandon of a shopping cart or lead generation form - Followup with banner advertisements that offer a bonus incentive to complete a purchase or form submission.
  • Targeting those who visit particular product category pages - Followup with ads that include products or services from this category.
  • Targeting existing customers - Up-sell or cross sell existing customers based on purchase behavior or seasonal interests.
  • Exclude existing customers and recent converters - Filter out recent customers from broadly targeted advertisements.

Lastly, some General Best Practices for Display Remarketing Include:

  • Establish granular remarketing lists - The more targeted the original traffic, the better the remarketing response.
  • Timing is KEY - Determine the best timeframe to re-engage your users and test your hypothesis.
  • Get started sooner rather than later - Start building your remarketing lists now. Even if you don't intend to use them right away, you can build a pool of users to target when you do wish to start remarketing
  • Avoid overexposure - Use frequency capping and ad scheduling to avoid pestering your audience and help manage ad spend/
  • TEST, ANALYZE, OPTIMIZE! - Overtime, strike negative performing placements and reward the positives.

Do you have other strategies or best practices for display remarketing? Let us know in the comments below or tweet @BFMweb.

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  1. I gotta tell you, Jared, I didn’t pay much attention to remarketing until I was a target of it.

    I visited an animation site just to look around, then left the site. A couple of domains later, I saw a display ad for the same animation site. Hmmm, what a coincidence, I thought.

    Later on the same day I noticed their display ad on maybe half a dozen other sites I happened to visit. God, these guys are all over the Internet, I thought. I was impressed.

    It is only after a few more days of the same experience that I realized I was being remarketed to. I nevertheless developed a healthy respect for the advertiser.

    I did not buy from them because I did not need the product, but if I *had* needed it, I darn well might have bought from them.

    Net result: my company has started its remarketing journey. We’re upbeat about the prospects —


    Lucky Balaraman

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