One of the most common mistakes we see in ad accounts is either the absence of much or even any retargeting campaigns, OR retargeting is in place but it is not being used effectively. In this blog, we’re going to walk you through the key retargeting campaigns we use to build out a full retargeting ecosystem for our clients, in order to maximise ROAS.

We find that retargeting campaigns tend to be some of the most profitable, but they can only be so if they’re set up properly.

So what should you have, and how should it be set up?

Top of our list is an evergreen campaign focusing on the warmest traffic you have. Ideally, this will be users who have been checking out your product, but didn’t complete the transaction. These are the warmest prospects you can get, but depending on how much traffic your site gets, your audience may be too small and your retargeting campaign may not run.

In that case, just take a step back in terms of the audience - perhaps an initiated checkout, or an add to cart audience. The principle is to focus on the warmest audience that is sufficiently large and you can therefore target it.

This will be by definition a small audience compared to the others that we will discuss below, but it helps us capture the people who were close to purchasing but dropped off because something came up - they often just need a nudge to get back onto the checkout page, or some targeted angles to overcome common objections that may have resulted in them bouncing off.

To ensure users are warm when they see the retargeting advert, we advise relatively short time horizons for this retargeting campaign. Typically, the 7-14 day range works best - the shorter the time period, the warmer the user will be, but also the smaller the audience would be.

Moving to the opposite end of the spectrum now, our next retargeting recommendation would be “All Retargeting”. In this campaign, we want to capture as many users that have engaged with your brand in some way as possible, so we will retarget everything from website viewers, to instagram/Facebook engagement or video viewers. We target these out as far as possible, 180-365 days depending on the audience. This gives us the largest pool of users possible.

This campaign serves as a catch-all - users are warmer than cold traffic, but the audience is usually quite large too, so your ad costs will not be excessive. This campaign can be run as an evergreen campaign (it is perfect when you have some established best-performing ads that you can run to this warmer audience) or it can be tapped into periodically, for example when you have a new launch.

Beyond these two campaigns, we would also include as part of a full retargeting ecosystem:

“Stage 2” retargeting

Pooling recent engagers from Facebook/Instagram engagement, website viewers and video viewers, to get an advert in front of people who have more familiarity with your brand than a purely “cold” audience member. This is very similar to All Retargeting (mentioned above) but is over a shorter time period, perhaps 7-14 days, and as such is a good low-budget way to “top up” on your cold campaigns, getting ads back in front of people who are engaged.

Product page retargeting

This is designed to overcome objections that may have resulted in a user not moving beyond the product page and initiating a purchase. It ensures those who had high levels of intent (having clicked from the ad and spent time on the product page) convert at as high a rate as possible, even if they originally bounced from the page initially. Think of it as giving yourself a second bite of the cherry. Targeting users out to 30 days may well be effective here.

Post-Purchase Retargeting

Only suitable for those with a sufficient volume of purchasers, but very worthwhile if you do fit that criteria. A former customer is one of your warmest prospects, they've already bought from you once before, so perhaps they need a nudge to replace the product they bought that has now run out, or a complementary product, or indeed you could move them up the value ladder with a new, higher-ticket purchase. Special offers to entice them back may work well here, and you can be flexible on the time horizon you retarget on - a weekly or fortnightly purchase may work well on a range of 7-30 days, whereas a 30+ day audience of long term former customers may be worthwhile too.

And that’s it!

If you’re missing any of these key campaigns, be sure to test them out and if you are doing something similar, but you’re struggling to get the performance you expect, make sure you’re structuring them as we’ve outlined above.

Phil Gregory

Phil is an Account Executive here at SV. Phil’s day-to-day consists of managing ad accounts, liaising with Account Managers and ensuring the team has everything they need to maximise results.