Retargeting Practise

Retargeting target board with arrows

Retargeting Practise

Refining your Customer Targeting by Specifically Targeting them Again

Have you ever wondered why you go to a website and then find an ad for that very same company a day or two later?

What a coincidence!

Get paranoid you’re being cyber-stalked by big business? Well, yes, you are.

This process is called ‘retargeting’. Only now you don’t need to be a big company, the barriers have opened to brands both big and small, including you.

What exactly is retargeting?

Retargeting is a buzzword that means targeting for a second time people who have previously been to your website, but not continued through to make a purchase. It plants a cookie on the advertiser’s website (or the website you visit), which is known as either a ‘SmartPixel’ or a Tag’ (PerfectAudience).

How it Works

There are three types of ad placements that can be made using AdRoll. The first is via Facebook Exchange (FBE) and can be set to appear in the user’s Newsfeed the next time they log into their account. The second type is with a Facebook right-hand column advertisement. Last but not least, the ad can appear on larger, thoroughfare, trusted websites, including Yahoo, Google and MSN. AdRoll claims they have 98% global reach, which is impressive. This is why you might be looking at shoes on a clothing website and then go to Yahoo and see an ad for shoes from the same site you were recently at.


Advertisers can fluidly target exactly the kind of product of interest to an ex-website visitor through ‘liquidAds’. This means that the specific age or pages the visitor looked at (for example: shoes) can be served as a ‘Shoe’ ad. To run Liquid Ads, you need to paste a SmartPixel on every page on your website so that you can segment your audience by their interest and therefore tailor which ad will be served to them. Liquid Ads use Flash. AdRoll claims to be the most widely used retargeting platform in the world. It offers a $60 two-week free trial and claims to have a 97% take-up rate after this. (How a $60 trial is free I don’t quite understand, but anyhow. Your credit card is not debited until after the trial is completed.)

Success Rate

Both PerfectAudience and AdRoll claim to have the highest conversion rates and best cost per click. Evidence of the number of companies – both big and small- using their services indicates that retargeting works and is more cost effective than other online advertising.

Things to Know

You need to have a Privacy policy on your website. You cannot have a website that consists of a single ‘squeeze’ page. Google hates these anyway and they’ve had their day.

Pop-ups are also prohibited, as are ads with graphics that mimic computer functions, such as animated virus scanning, scrolling, or downloading imagery. Like those anti-virus scanning ads that scream things like “Is your computer infected?” There are a few still floating around. Bad news.

You’re also not allowed to interfere with a user’s ‘Back’ button. You have probably come across this yourself and been really annoyed. It’s when you got to a website and try to hit the Back button, but it won’t take you back, but somewhere else.

Ad formats

Please note these can and likely will change. Check your account details at the time you’re creating your ad.

Liquid Ads

300×250 ◦    160×600 ◦    728×90 ◦    300×600 •    Facebook Exchange (FBx) LiquidAds ◦    100×72 thumbnail image

Formats to create your own need to be Gif, Jpeg or Flash and have a 1 pixel border if the background is white or black.

Creative Best Practise

To create successful ads, be simple. Too many words and too much clutter will cause people to filter it out.

A strong image and a short amount of persuasive text is all that you need. Simplicity trumps persuasion!

Try to make the ad attractive through simplicity in the image, complementary (opposite) colours and an appealing offer, such as free trial or free delivery.

Good luck and have fun.