12 tips to create successful remarketing strategies

Did you know that the average website conversion rate for most industries is only around 2-5%?  That means around 97% of visitors will simply leave your site without taking any further action. When they do, you need to get them back. And that’s when remarketing comes in. Remarketing is essentially redelivering ads to people who’ve interacted with your

Successful Remarketing Strategies

Did you know that the average website conversion rate for most industries is only around 2-5%

That means around 97% of visitors will simply leave your site without taking any further action.

When they do, you need to get them back. And that’s when remarketing comes in.

Remarketing is essentially redelivering ads to people who’ve interacted with your business online to try to get them to come back and convert to a sale.

So how do you successfully target those customers to bring them back to your site and achieve those conversions?

Here are 12 of our top tips for creating a successful remarketing strategy in 2021.

1. Set remarketing goals

Every marketing campaign starts with a goal and builds a strategy to achieve it.

Remarketing is about getting certain customers to take certain actions.

Begin by determining the end result you want from the campaign and then determine the who, when, and how you’ll have to target to achieve this result.

For example, if your goal is lead generation, you could target visitors who leave your site without signing up for an account or your newsletter with branded ads elsewhere around the internet.

If you want to nurture existing leads into conversions, you could target email subscribers with discount emails to entice them into making a purchase, especially if they abandoned a basket.

Your objective will lead you to the audience segment and tools for reaching them, but remember to set measurable goals so you can see whether your efforts are working.

2. Define your audience with remarketing lists

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all ad, because every element in marketing aims at a specific audience.

Remarketing only works if you’re showing relevant content to the relevant people.

The easiest place to start is by collecting customer information through email sign-ups, using incentives like promotional offers or access to gated content to get them to hand over their contact details.

Tracking user activity across your website helps you identify where you lost them, so you can separate prospects into relevant lists and retarget them appropriately.

For example, if you have a list of people who visited a specific category or product page then left, you can target them with messaging tailored to the products they’re interested in.

Creating a remarketing list in Google Ads is straightforward – you just specify which visitors to include or exclude and add people to the list if they take a particular action.

You can extend the duration of your lists to gather more users, or reduce the duration to focus on the freshest prospects.

3. Segment your audience into different groups

The more specific your remarketing list, the better.

Your general audience will be at different stages in their journey and require different methods and frequencies of targeting.

Breaking down your audience into segments makes it easier to speak directly to the specific needs of the customers in each segment.

According to stats gathered by Backlinko, segmented email campaigns have a clickthrough rate 100.95% higher than non-segmented campaigns, with trigger-based emails performing three times better.

You can create customer segments based on a variety of factors, like:

  • Age and gender
  • Location
  • Purchase history
  • Website pages visited
  • Time spent on your website
  • Stage of abandonment

Knowing the habits of visitors lets you know what the next step is to re-engage them and which strategy is most likely to work for that specific group.

4. Make unique landing pages and add tracking codes 

Whether you’re using Google Analytics, Google Ads, or another tagging tool, you need to tag the right pages with remarketing code.

Tracking users beyond the landing page will tell you which products they’re most interested in and how close they got to purchasing something.

But if your landing pages aren’t providing relevant information or calls to action, visitors might simply leave the site without visiting any other pages or providing their contact information.

Effective landing pages should be designed in response to specific click throughs from searches, ads, emails, or online posts, and present an intriguing offer.

That means persuasive headlines, quality images, compelling copy, and social proof like reviews or case studies, plus a streamlined form for their details.

Tracking users with purchase intent across your site can help you to target them with relevant messaging if they leave, with certain actions triggering certain ads.

5. Apply automated remarketing

Using automation tools makes remarketing much easier when you don’t have to manually set bids in Google Ads or trigger emails yourself.

Auto-targeting in Google Ads automatically displays your ads to similar audiences, with real-time cost-per-click optimisation to get maximum conversions from your budget.

Investing in email automation software also streamlines the remarketing process, with specific types of emails triggered by specific user actions.

Automatic ‘welcome’, ‘thank you’, or transactional confirmation emails build trust with the customer and remind them to take further action.

Here are some examples:

  • Activation – sending an instructive reminder email to people who sign up but don’t come back to the site
  • Abandonment – sending a reminder email about an item they almost bought, possibly with a discount
  • Surprise offers – sending periodical promotional offers to boost customer loyalty and encourage return purchases
  • Winning back – sending existing customers who haven’t engaged for a while information about new products they might be interested in

Automating emails like this can generate 320% more revenue while also saving time for your marketing team to focus on other areas.

6. Write targeted copy with personalisation

The copy on landing pages and blog posts should be offering ways to solve problems the audience has, answering questions and using informational keywords.

When you’re creating copy to retarget a specific audience, it has to be relevant to their engagement with your site.

So if they signed up for an account but abandoned a shopping basket with shoes in it, that should trigger an email reminding them of shoes on offer, rather than following them around the web with general ads for your brand.

Don’t waste time trying to advertise something that they’ve already bought or that they’ve shown no interest in.

Direct communications should be personalised with the customer’s name and include real contact details for your business in the email signature.

According to OptinMonster, personalised email subject lines result in a 26% increase in opening rates, proving that generic emails aren’t the best way to go. 

When it comes to copy for retargeting ads, appeal to emotions and call out the benefits of your product.

For bonus points, you could include social proof with review quotes, offer a free trial or lower price, or target the complaints of your competitors’ customers.

7. Create responsive ads for different channels

Of course your ads need to reflect your brand, with a distinctive graphic style and a memorable call to action, but they also need to fit the channels you’re marketing on.

There are 14 different sizes of display ads for the Google Display Network, allowing you to diversify ad sizes for different placements.

To get the best placement for a given channel, you’d need multiple versions of ads with appropriately formatted images and copy.

Opting for responsive ads makes this process easier, because Google automatically adjusts your ad content to fit the space on a specific device so the user can view it in the best possible format.

Optimising for mobile devices is especially important considering mobile phones now generate over 50% of global traffic.

You should also invest in advertising across multiple platforms to get the most reach, including social media sites like Facebook, X, and LinkedIn.

Running ads on YouTube can be especially lucrative, as it’s the second biggest search engine after Google itself and has more than 2 billion users watching millions of hours of videos every day.

8. Use dynamic remarketing

As a step up from responsive marketing, you should set up dynamic remarketing in Google Ads.

Dynamic remarketing not only follows users around the internet with relevant display ads in the appropriate size format, but specifically shows products that the user looked at.

By catering to the user’s browsing history, dynamic ads draw people back to your site by reminding them about products they wanted to buy.

Machine learning also lets Google use ‘dynamic prospecting’ to target new users with ads for similar products, expanding your marketing reach.

Multiple case studies have shown that dynamic remarketing gets positive results, with the possibility of boosting your clickthrough rate by up to 300% and increasing conversions by up to 500%.

9. A/B test varying techniques

Like any ad campaign, you should be testing different content and layouts to optimise your ads with whatever format works best for your retargeting audience.

A/B testing takes some of the guesswork out of marketing by showing you which techniques your customers respond to the most.

Run two versions of ads or emails with small differences on a smaller scale, then roll out the winning version to a wider group.

You can test different versions of things like:

  • Email subject lines
  • Copy length
  • Images
  • Templates
  • Buttons
  • HTML

Continually running new A/B tests and monitoring the results will guide your strategy, also helping you to adjust your marketing budget and improve your return on investment.

10. Cap ad frequency to avoid fatigue and ad-blindness

You should schedule ads to appear when the target audience is most likely to be browsing online, whether that’s a time of day or day of the week, but also schedule a frequency cap. 

Frequency capping means setting a number of times for an ad to be displayed to a visitor – this could be a daily, weekly, or monthly maximum.

Bombarding people with too many ads wherever they go on the internet can have the opposite of the desired effect, and could annoy them so much they develop a negative attitude towards your brand.

Even if they don’t get annoyed, it can get to the point of people developing ‘banner blindness’ –  where they ignore your ads completely.

Rotate ads to keep them fresh enough to avoid banner blindness from extensive repetition.

Don’t be too aggressive with the number of ads, strike the right balance to remind people about your products without overwhelming them.

11. Cross-sell to existing customers

If a customer has already made a purchase, it’s a prime opportunity to retarget them with offers for similar products.

Cross-sell by advertising complementary products, such as games or accessories for a console they’ve already bought.

Or up-sell related services for the product, such as extended warranties or software subscriptions. 

If they have a contract or subscription that’s due to expire, retarget them with encouragement to renew.

Customers who’ve already converted are just as valuable to pursue as new prospects, so don’t spend all your time chasing cart abandoners.

To help you retarget converted customers, add ‘burn pixels’ to the code on post-conversion pages.

This also prevents them from seeing annoying ads for products they’ve already bought.

12. Try different types of remarketing

Just like you should have multiple audience segments, you should be targeting your audience segments in multiple ways.

We’ve already mentioned some of these tactics above, but here are some other remarketing strategies to consider:

  • Frequency-based remarketing – capping ads to the frequency that’s the most effective to avoid viewer burnout and persuade click-throughs
  • Time-based remarketing – target prospective customers within a certain period, whether it’s an abandonment reminder within a few hours or retargeting ads for up to 30 days
  • Location-based remarketing – if you operate in multiple locations, expand your location and language settings to target prospects wherever they are
  • Behaviour-based remarketing – targeting people according to their level of engagement and particular actions to move them along to the next step in the buyer journey
  • Product-based remarketing – create remarketing lists for specific products or product categories to target them with ads for those products
  • Search-based remarketing – targeting your audiences with ads when they search specific keywords on Google using Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)
  • Offer-based remarketing – retarget repeat visitors with special offers and discounts to get them to finally convert (or retarget existing customers with loyalty programme benefits)

Different methods will be more applicable for different segments, so only use them if it makes sense for that user group’s journey.

Ready to build your successful remarketing strategy?

To summarise, successful remarketing strategies involve:

  • Setting measurable goals at the beginning
  • Researching to define audience demographics and behaviours
  • Segmenting your audience into remarketing lists
  • Using tracking codes to monitor user activity across your site and beyond
  • Automating display ads and marketing emails for responsive optimisation
  • Meeting customers where they are and showing them the right ads at the right time

If you need some help to get started with remarketing, you could contact a digital marketing agency for expert PPC, SEO, and content marketing services.


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