Digital Advertising

The 6 Best Retargeting Practices and How to Implement Them

Illustrating best retargeting practices
(Last Updated On: October 18, 2023)

Retargeting is one of the best ways for businesses to reconnect with customers and build meaningful relationships that you can convert into a sale, which is why so many businesses want to use it. However, most businesses quickly realize that there are many ways to use the full potential of a retargeting campaign. Retargeting best practices can provide you with several levers that you can pull to optimize your retargeting campaign and get the most bang for your buck. 

So that’s exactly what we’ll do! This piece will teach you: 

  • How to define your KPIs in a way that improves performance and keeps your retargeting team accountable. 
  • Why it makes sense to employ one or more specialized retargeting providers and how to manage a multiple retargeting strategy. 
  • How Deep Learning works best without human intervention. 
  • Why using highly personalized but clear and simple designs with high-quality creative templates is important. 

Table of Contents:

Ready to dive in? Let’s start with a quick refresher on retargeting and why it works.

What is retargeting? 

Retargeting is an advertising technique that enables brands to display customized ads tailored to a customer’s specific needs who has previously interacted with their website or app. This works by combining a number of different signifiers, such as past behavior, predicted interests, or any previous interactions with your products. 

Effective retargeting can be achieved in a variety of ways. For example, you can use data, like registered transactions with your ecommerce shop, to deliver ads tailored to that user’s shopping habits or to users who have abandoned carts or visited your site without making a purchase. You can also reach users by using third-party tracking cookies or cookieless alternatives like Interest Groups, such as Protected Audience API’s Interest Groups, to target users based on predicted interests.

All effective retargeting campaigns share one thing in common: They need to be able to interpret large amounts of data quickly and deal with non-standardized datasets. This is where Deep Learning shines and why RTB House has implemented Deep Learning across all of its retargeting campaigns since 2017. 

Now comes the big question: What are the retargeting best practices for implementing a campaign?

Your personal retargeting best practices checklist 

This checklist will run you through the things you should be doing before, during, and after a retargeting campaign.

#1 Define your goal with specific performance-based KPIs

The first step is to scope out exactly what you want to achieve. This is important because it will help you when you speak to your retargeting partner (more on that in a moment) and ensure that you are speaking from a position of knowledge. 

Before talking to anyone, you should at least sketch out the basic scope of your campaign, including: 

  • The desired goals and associated metrics In retargeting, it’s important to initially focus on your desired end goal, specifically conversions, and then look at your costs to get there, such as Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) or Cost Per Sale (CPS). You should also consider whether you want to sell as much as possible, keeping within a particular CPA or CPS, or achieve the best possible results within your budget constraints. 
  • The ultimate goalAre you trying to sell products on your ecommerce site, or is this about generating leads your sales team will chase down? Your goal will help your retargeting providers build a campaign and define what methodologies you use. If you already have another retargeting provider, you can base your goals on your previous work; otherwise, you can always get support from a professional partner or provider with market expertise. 

You should remember that you don’t need to track every metric, and doing so may make it more difficult to understand what is working in your campaign. Instead, you should focus on your ultimate goal and use that as your guiding star. 

Once you define these goals, you can use them to create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can use to keep your retargeting provider accountable and measure the success of your campaigns. 

#2 Work with a retargeting provider(s) 

While some larger companies run retargeting campaigns in-house, there are significant benefits to working with a retargeting provider. Even if you have your own internal team or existing provider, employing an additional provider can often boost your retargeting results. 

Professional retargeting providers often have deep industry knowledge and access to specialized tools that internal teams may not have. For example, RTB House uses proprietary Deep Learning algorithms to optimize all of our campaigns. This enables us to leverage data sources more effectively than many competitors and build campaigns that meet or beat the agreed KPIs. 

#3 Ensure you properly set up your multiple retargeting strategy 

You must set the proper groundwork if you engage in a multiple retargeting strategy. Generally, the goal is two-fold: Firstly, you want to validate the performance of your retargeting providers to allocate higher spending to the best performers. Secondly, you can take advantage of the diverse capabilities of multiple providers and synergies, and use this to improve your campaign’s overall efficiency. 

When setting up a campaign, it’s important to prepare equal conditions for each retargeting provider and ensure every retargeter has access to the entire cookie pool, giving everyone access to the same set of resources. These steps will ensure that you are comparing apples to apples, enabling you to make intelligent decisions when and if you need to reallocate campaign spend. 

It is important to note that it may take some time before the results become apparent. You should only make decisions after gathering enough data from the period after the first 45 days, as the learning phase must be completed before you can gain actionable data. 

Black Friday & Holiday Season [REPORT]
This guide is your manual for building a strategy for the holiday season. It looks at changing customer behaviors, opportunities for business, and the value of personalized retargeting ad campaigns.

#4 Take advantage of Deep Learning to dynamically optimize your retargeting campaign

Speaking of unique capabilities, one way you can boost your retargeting campaign is by using Deep Learning to help limit the risks of human error. This can take a lot of different forms, but the first example you encounter will probably be in audience building. 

Deep Learning algorithms can understand vast datasets rapidly and will evaluate each individual user’s buying likelihood. Thanks to understanding the user’s preferences, the algorithm will provide the user with product recommendations that will maximize the user’s likelihood of converting, which will help you achieve your desired goal. The algorithm dynamically adjusts your campaign based on real-time data, improving overall results without the need for human intervention.

#5 Use templates and Deep Learning to personalize creative 

An often overlooked aspect of retargeting is high-quality creatives. While you could just use a static generic banner ad, 71% of customers prefer personalized ads, and as such, they tend to perform significantly better. The first step to achieving this is to rely on solid templating. This process enables you to create a large volume of effective creatives. 

However, it is possible to go a step further with Deep Learning. Using personalized ads, you can have banner ads that show products most suitable for particular users thanks to Deep Learning’s superiority in identifying patterns and interests. Our internal data shows that human interference regarding what products are presented on banners almost always negatively impacts the performance of retargeting campaigns, and it’s often best to let the Deep Learning AI select products without constraints.

#6 Test, adjust, and improve 

We talked about data a lot, and now we come to why it is so important. Over the course of your retargeting campaign, you will collect a lot of information. During the campaign, and particularly after any key milestones, it is very important to speak with your retargeting partners and try to understand what is and isn’t working. 

This will help you keep track of progress and ultimately enable you to run a more efficient campaign and drive better results. 

Good to know: The Top 20 Deep Learning Applications You Need to Know

Take your retargeting ads to the next level with retargeting best practices

Then the RTB House team is standing by to assist.  We have extensive experience helping companies like yours obtain the maximum performance from their campaigns. 

For example, we helped home decor brand Westwing boost revenue by 81% over Black Friday with a hard-hitting retargeting campaign, and we helped many other brands achieve similar results. 

If you’re ready to start, simply head over to the contact form to begin your RTB House journey.

Into the future of online ads?
Subscribe to receive email notifications about our latest blog posts