What is Retargeting and how does it work?

Do you ever find yourself online, being served ads for the exact product that you were previously looking at online? Have you ever been shopping for say, engagement rings online and then noticed ads popping up in your browser for wedding dresses, tuxedo rentals, or for the exact ring you were looking at? How do they know what you were looking at and how can they make that exact item stalk you in other browsers until you buy it? This “Big Brother” phenomena is known as retargeting.retarget

Marketers use retargeting to track users’ online behaviors in order to show them the most relevant advertisements. Studies show that those consumers who are retargeted are three times more likely to click the advertisement than those who are not retargeted. While the benefits to the advertiser are apparent, the consumer also benefits because they will see ads for goods or services that they are interested in.

So how does retargeting work? Marketers place a piece of code on their website and then every time someone new visits their site, the code leaves a browser cookie. Whenever that person is online, that cookie will let the retargeting provider know to show that person your advertisement.

One important aspect of retargeting are frequency caps. You want to make sure to set a frequency cap so that consumers are not bombarded with your advertisement to the point of annoying them. Further, it is equally as important to code your retargeting ads to stop serving ads once the conversion has taken place. An advertisement for a pair of shoes that the customer has already clicked on and purchased is a wasted impression.

Retargeting ads can be highly successful and can improve customer experience. Even so, there is a fine line between advertisements that are relevant and helpful and those that overwhelm and annoy. When starting a retargeting campaign, make sure that parameters are set in place to ensure  the best possible user experience.


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