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How to Make Retargeting Ads More Effective with Segmentation


While retargeting ads are proven to significantly increase the likelihood of lost prospects returning to your website, you need a sound strategy to really drive web traffic. Web marketing analytics show that a nuanced, sophisticated audience segmentation strategy can help you make the most of your retargeting campaign. By fine-tuning your plan with this three-step process, you can create and deploy a series of highly tailored ads that will resonate with your consumers.

How Retargeting and Segmentation Work

As many businesses already know, retargeting is a strategy that shows display ads to users who have already interacted with your business—for example, those who have visited your website but left without making a purchase.

While retargeting alone is critical to retaining potentially lost prospects, segmenting your strategy makes it more sophisticated, more personalized and ultimately, more effective in the increasingly competitive fight for better web traffic. If you have a retargeting campaign already in place, these three steps can help you refine it for even better results.

Step One: Identify Your Targets

Set up parameters that segment the users who interact with your brand online into meaningful categories. There are two main ways you can segment your audience: By position in the sales cycle, and by interests based on pages visited.

  • To segment according to the sales cycle, you may want to serve different ads to users who have only browsed your site and users who have abandoned shopping carts.
  • To segment by interest, you may serve different ads to your visitors based on the products or services that they reviewed on your site.

Step Two: Create Your Display Ads

Because you’re dividing your audience, you can create different ads for different segments to more effectively send web traffic back to your site. For visitors who browsed moving truck rentals, you can specifically promote this service with your display ads. For the other visitors who browsed professional moving services, you can further the connection with ads specific to that service. Make each retargeting ad speak directly to the segment with ad design and content centered around what has proven to be of interest to your recent visitors.

Step Three: Control Your Web Traffic

Your segmented retargeting ads are designed to speak directly to the varying wants and needs of different groups—make sure that they function the same way. Your ads should determine where your web traffic goes, making it easier for users to arrive at the most relevant destination on your site.

Instead of your segmented ads leading to your homepage, each one should send the user to a relevant subpage—for example, an ad for moving truck rentals should lead directly to the page where users can reserve a truck online.

Testing and Ongoing Web Marketing Analytics

You should always make sure that your segmentation strategy is working with ongoing web marketing analytics. Performance data can show you which segments respond to your retargeting campaign the most, giving you the tool necessary to determine which segmented ads translate into significant returns, thereby providing additional opportunities to redraw segment lines and refocus your ad spend for greater ROI.

By strategizing and implementing a refined, sophisticated retargeting campaign like this, you can focus on generating the most valuable web traffic possible for your business.