Friday 3rd of February 2023

Top 10 Retargeting Mistakes you should Avoid

Don’t Set and Forget. Optimize and Refine your Approach Continuously

[Free Takeaway Inside – Affinity Audience Segments in Google Ads]

There’s no doubt that retargeting is one of the most powerful weapons in a digital marketer’s arsenal. Among all marketing tactics, re-targeting, when done well, has the power to produce the highest ROI up to ten times more than standard ad campaigns.

However, rushing into a retargeting campaign without a solid strategy in place can lead to careless mistakes.

Here’s a round-up of some common retargeting mistakes you need to steer away from to maximize its effectiveness:

  1. Restricting Retargeting Ads to Siloed Channels

Too often, marketers tend to focus their efforts on channels rather than putting customers at the center of their planning. It’s vital to overcome the default channel-centric mindset and plan re-targeting campaigns based on customer behaviour. By doing so, you can move beyond siloed channel-based retargeting to omnichannel retargeting. Instead of retargeting users within a single channel, you can amplify your reach and re-engage audiences across multiple channels. Diversify your retargeting ads mix across channels where your ideal target segments hang out the most.

  1. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

An effective retargeting approach is nuanced with the use of segmentation to differentiate your offers, creatives and messaging for specific customer segments. Using a one-size-fits-all approach will prevent you from personalizing campaigns based on the actions a visitor has taken on your website. Creating syndicated audience lists from first-party and third-party data sources can help you address each segment’s needs and concerns within your ad copy and landing page copy.

  1. Not having a Clear Purpose

More often than not, retargeting is simply used for reaching people who didn’t buy from you in the first place. However, there are several use cases for retargeting. You can re-target existing customers to encourage repeat purchases in the form of up-selling or reminding them to do business with you again. Or you can re-target prospects stuck in the top funnel with educational content to pique their interest and help them continue their journey. In all cases, deciding the goals of your retargeting campaign will set the stage for defining a target audience and crafting the campaign’s content based on the specific stage of their buying journey.

  1. Failing to Rotate Ad Copy

If people get used to seeing the same set of ads constantly, ad fatigue and banner blindness can set in. This happens when people are so used to seeing your banners that your ads just don’t seem to stand out. In order to prevent this phenomenon, it’s recommended to rotate your ads and show your audience a new ad after a period of time. You can also limit the number of exposure and set a frequency limit for your ads. In addition, you can maintain a contact and response repository with the details of the creative used for each touch and ensure that ad repetition is avoided.

  1. Not Implementing Brand Safety Measures

If you are running a retargeting campaign using ad publishers or Google Display Network, you will find that your ads may appear on a variety of third-party sites in their ad inventory. This can result in your ads being shown alongside content that is deemed non-brand safe, potentially damaging your online reputation. If you want to prevent ads from appearing on online spaces that may reflect poorly on your business, you can choose to exclude certain categories of sites that conflict with your brand’s image.

  1. Not Bidding Enough

In most cases, remarketing budgets are set too low to start with and hence don’t attract the expected impressions or clicks. Since retargeting is aimed at warm leads and the odds of conversion are generally higher than standard acquisition campaigns, it pays off to set an optimal bid for your ads. If you think that your retargeting campaigns are not generating the kind of results you expected, despite nailing segmentation, try to raise your bids and monitor its impact on overall results.

  1. Serving Ads to Converted Audiences

Oftentimes, retargeting ads are displayed to converted customers or shoppers who have already purchased. With audience exclusions, you can configure targeting rules to avoid showing ads for the same products or services that the user has already bought or subscribed to. Unless you want to retarget audiences for cross-selling or upselling, it’s recommended to exclude converted audiences within a stipulated lookback window to suppress ad wastage.

  1. Asymmetric Landing Page with Unclear Call to Action

It’s vital to create coherence between your ads and the landing page. If a user clicks on an ad only to drive them to a generic home page, they are highly likely to abandon their journey. A recent study revealed that personalizing PPC landing pages generated a 32% increase in conversions. Therefore, it’s best to customize landing pages with symmetrical elements as your ad copy and include a clear call to action to drive real impact. Craft a landing page that honors the conversation prospects have begun with you, ideally overcoming common objections to conversion.

  1. Avoiding Lookalike Audiences

Similar or lookalike audiences are powerful prospecting tools. They allow you to upload existing contacts and use them as models to find similar audiences. These predictive models can amplify your reach by expanding your retargeting lists further and cloning your most promising leads. However, it’s important to note Similar Audiences and Lookalike Audiences will only be as good as the lists you use to seed them.

  1. Pushing for Sales Immediately

Even though the goal of retargeting is to get the consumer to come back to your site and convert, you cannot expect them to transact without getting fully acquainted with your brand. Take the time to build the foundation and foster trust before you push for sales. Build an engagement momentum by creating a sequence of retargeting ads that nurture audiences along their purchase journey and gradually drive them towards conversion. For instance, you can set up a sequence of ad experiences for prospects who viewed a specific product page or bounced from the home page.

All in all, retargeting is an effective way to convert people who did not take the desired action on your site during their initial visit. However, many marketers fail to adopt a differentiated approach for retargeting and treat it like a standard PPC campaign. Make retargeting work for you by paying attention to fine details and avoiding the above common mistakes. Don’t run your retargeting ads in autopilot mode using an automated campaign management tool; track the results closely to make ongoing optimizations and maximize results.


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