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Hosted by @NeptuneMoon, this week’s PPCChat session sought experts views on challenges with remarketing & how to do it better, Web site issues that hamper remarketing and more.


Q1: Are you currently doing remarketing for some or all of your clients/accounts? If so, on which platforms?


Yes! but I have the fun of having several clients who won’t allow site pixelling. Oddly, they are the ones that ask the most remarketing questions. @JuliaVyse

Mostly on Google, but sometimes with Quantcast, Criteo, FB, Bing.  @JuliaVyse

Google and Facebook for me. @NeptuneMoon

Yes! Google, FB, LI at the moment. @Mel66

Google AdWords & Facebook. @adwordsgirl

Anywhere and everywhere! I’m a lot more in FB rn though so doing a lot of stuff there! I LOVE REMARKETING AND BUYER JOURNEYS! @markpgus

Facebook and Google. @matt_lozar

We also do programmatic retargeting but that’s a different dept from me. @Mel66

Yes, Google, FB/IG, LinkedIn. @robert_brady

Remarketing on Google. @anna_arrow

We have #remarketing in almost every account. Typically used in Google Ads, also will see it in FB. @amaliaefowler

Yes! Currently: Facebook, Quora, Twitter, Google Ads, the platform FKA Bing Ads. @akaEmmaLouise

Facebook remarketing ads work great for B2C eCommerce clients! @chloevarns

Roughly all my clients, and all platforms possible. @JonKagan


Q2: What do you generally find are client’s expectations for remarketing campaigns? Does it differ at all by platform?


In general, clients expect to use more specific messaging/content based on buyer journey stage & what they know about the customer; and they expect lower CPAs. @Mel66

Often they don’t know what to expect. It’s either expecting RM to do everything from fixing product issues to watering crops and smoothing irritated skin, to just getting more coverage. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ @JuliaVyse

ALL THE LEADS. @amaliaefowler

Some think that it will retrieve all their lost clients. Some know of it as a buzzword but unsure of what exactly it is. And some realise searches are part of a funnel of sort and that remarketing is for those at a different stage, but want ROI stats. @AskYisrael

Cheap Results and for the most part, that’s what our goa is too! There are select cases where remarketing doesn’t make sense for some. (Higher CPA/ lower ROAS than prospecting). @markpgus

Remarketing is tricky for lawyers. Either the audiences kill it and you get all sorts of cases or the audiences are filled with junk traffic and you get nothing @anna_arrow

Clients generally expect a lower CPC/CPA and better lead quality. @adwordsgirl

I work in recruitment and our research showed that returning website visitors converted 2X as new visitors. We look for more conversions. but also just to stay in front of that engaged audience. @matt_lozar

I feel companies assume that retargeting is a magic bullet, that their core offer is fine and they just need to beat people over the head with it to stick. @ferkungamaboobo

cont’d: Clients also tend to forget that you have to continue to feed the funnel at the top, or there isn’t any relevant traffic to remarket to anymore. It can’t be a standalone strategy. @amaliaefowler

I find most clients have a basic understanding of “ads that follow you around” but don’t necessarily have a clear idea of how they can be effectively used. Love it when I get a client who does have thoughts on things we can try! @NeptuneMoon

The expectation–if they have one–is generally massive lead volume at rock bottom prices. Rock bottom prices often attainable but massive volume often not. @CJSlattery

I haven’t had clients not understand tbh. A lot of times clients will start with JUST FB remarketing coming from search! @markpgus

Differs by client! Most view leads from retargeting as more qualified (higher value). But I specialize in Lead Gen so that leans toward B2B/longer sales cycles.@akaEmmaLouise

Most often I get “You can do that?” Then followed by, “why don’t we only do that?” and ends with “why isn’t there more volume?” @JonKagan


Q3: What is a remarketing campaign that you thought was awesome (one of yours or one you were on the receiving end of)? What made it great?


I have had a really successful one for abandoned forms halfway through for a bridal salon – the remarketing ads were specifically those who started the form but did not finish and offered discounted alterations should they buy. Worked really well. Additionally, RLSA. @amaliaefowler

In-platform remarketing on Facebook: Video Views audiences and Lead Form audiences have been a great/cost-effective way to nurture and qualify leads. Looking forward to more platforms adopting. @akaEmmaLouise

TESTIMONIALS ARE Give me some UGC creative and throw up and watch the money flow in! @markpgus

I built a remarketing campaign where the adgroups were segmented by themes. It was for a fishing equipment company. The ads were tied directly into the topics and themes of the placement instead of something generic and worked was pretty good. @AskYisrael

When 99% of placements are on mobile apps, especially game apps, and the campaign is supposed to be B2B lead gen. @sam_lalonde

We did a customized shopping cart abandonment one, where we added in the AOV to the list, and then made ads calling them “big spenders”. @JonKagan


Q4: What is a remarketing campaign that you thought was awful (one of yours or one you were on the receiving end o)? What made it awful?


I reserved a hotel in LA for a conference I was attending. Ads for the same darn hotel followed me around for weeks asking me to book my room. Cmon. @Mel66

Most of the ones I’m asked to do. Just use the same creative. same landing page. parse the audience, why? uuuuuuugh. @JuliaVyse

My husband – gotta love him but he is not usually mktg savvy – noticed that a clothing store was remarketing to him AFTER HE COMPLETED THE PURCHASE. It made him SO mad. EXCLUDE CONVERTED AUDIENCES. In conclusion, any campaign that does not exclude converted audiences. @amaliaefowler

I agree on the already purchased ads. That is maddening for all, not just marketing folks. Also campaigns that are essentially “Don’t you want this? How about now? Maybe now? Ok, now?”. Convince me to take the next step or make a nice discount offer! @NeptuneMoon

Anything that retargets me with the product I already purchased, and email remarketing in general. @ValenciaSEM

Most of them. The ones that don’t cap the impressions and that stalk you everywhere forever. @CJSlattery

1 and to echo what others say, don’t retarget me for stuff I just bought. And don’t show me the same thing I just read/viewed over and over. Cmon. @Mel66

Please don’t follow me around if I already booked your hotel. Also, if you REALLY want me to buy that handbag, can you at least offer me some $$ off after the 20th time you’ve shown me the ads? k. thx. @anna_arrow


Lookalike audience Facebook ads which retarget to me after I’ve made a purchase – what a waste of money! @chloevarns

Already purchased ads. Ads that are inappropriate to media being consumed. Oh and remarketing campaigns that go on way too long, especially they don’t change their ads. @AskYisrael

Agree w/ others: same creative/offer to both prospecting & remarketing audiences. I love data and it’s great to see how one audience performs vs. another, but I fully admit it’s just lazy advertising. Taking the time to customize creative *even a little* is worth it. @akaEmmaLouise

Campaigns that show me the product I just saw. Campaigns that have no impression cap. @adwordsgirl

Defer to my upcoming presentation at @DigitalSummits “Don’t Blame the Vendor Because Your Ad Placement Makes You Look Like a Horrible Person”. @JonKagan


Q5: Do you have any kind of standard practice you use when setting up remarketing campaigns?


CHECK MCF IN ANALYTICS Reference – Time Lag Report – Path Length Report Create audience windows/ funnels accordingly!!!! @markpgus

Almost every campaign is set up custom for the objective. Almost always exclude converters unless we are selling an upgrade/new version or something though. @Mel66

Impression cap! Don’t be that guy. @ValenciaSEM

Setting time limits. Excluding audiences. Have 2 ads, one for the cognitive route and one for the affective route. @AskYisrael

Yes! get yourself a checklist, first. Next, set up the reason for your remarketing. Is it form dropoffs? repeat store visits? Next, exclude your converters (or at least limit the time between visits), build new creative, and label label label everything! @JuliaVyse

Negative audiences. Just like embedded negative kws for search – if we are targeting a remarketing audience in one campaign/ad set, we better be excluding it from others! Also, tracking and excluding people who convert so they aren’t hit up twice. @akaEmmaLouise

I am all aboard the segmenting train. If things are not set up to be easily segmented into the audiences we need, I get to work on that FIRST. Also, I often like a series of ads, not just one. @NeptuneMoon

Totally seconded on the series. Put them in a series of audiences with different ads and different offers. @CJSlattery

I try find platforms that allow for smaller sizes or find other ways. Sometimes I’ll still create a campaign and see what happens anyway. @AskYisrael

Don’t ignore placements. Make sure your audience/placements are brand safe. @JonKagan

With Facebook remarketing, show to all placements and then exclude the placements once you have some data and know what’s converting well @chloevarns

Segmenting and several variations of the ads. @adwordsgirl


Q6: How do you handle #remarketing with small audiences/too small to remarket?


This is where I’m torn. I try to generate more traffic, but sometimes its so niche that all I’m generating is poor quality traffic – that isn’t worth remarketing to anyways. So I’m looking forward to your answers. @amaliaefowler

Use other platforms outside Google (FB minimum audience is technically only 100 users, I think Quora is 300?). You just can’t push as much spend toward it. @akaEmmaLouise

This is a tough one. on google, I like to layer it onto another cluster using observation mode. that can give some simple, early data. In other cases I try to build the audience – boost your prospecting traffic to get to a place where the audience is big enough. @JuliaVyse

It’s ok. You don’t have to do remarketing. Reengage folks through other means! • Say Hi & ask about their kids at an event • Email people who’ve converted with a good offer • Sponsor something your audience likes • Support your local NPR. @ferkungamaboobo

Sometimes you have to explain that it’s not possible, which no client wants to hear. I’d go harder on trying to build an email list for these types of clients. @NeptuneMoon

Well FB’s minimum size is 20 soooo always possible here. Hit them with reach and frequency! If you don’t have volume to inform ML then trust your instincts as a marketer and get in front of that audience!!! Search??? Yeah just go to FB INSTEAD. @markpgus

A HUGE MISS FOR SMBs is the ability to put in SWEAT and have impact. You can see everyone that engaged with your ad. DM then telling them you want to give them a discount. If you’re small “DO THINGS THAT DONT SCALE”. @markpgus

Try to go higher up the funnel/larger audience to build the audience. @JonKagan

Be transparent. Sometimes cool features won’t work for you and somethings cool tests fail. Just be open with clients and manage expectations. @anna_arrow

Go looking for your clients target market, if their audiences are too small, choose to do a conversion based campaign using Facebook’s audience targeting and the instant experience mobile experience. This way you can still get those sales in! @chloevarns


Q7: What are common issues or roadblocks that prevent you from doing remarketing in the way you might want to? Have you found any solutions or workarounds for them?


Legalities, ie Healthcare cant do Google remarketing. @JonKagan

Client: you can’t pixel our site! Me: hmm, okay, I’ll work around it. Client: are we getting the results we need? How do we reengage our visitors? Me: … That’s my remarketing challenge in a 1 act play. @JuliaVyse

Legalities, limitations with creatives, not having pixel data is probably the biggest one. @amaliaefowler

Issues with getting appropriate creative & legal are the big ones I’ve run into as others have mentioned. @CJSlattery

Lack of content//creative/something new to show in remarketing is the biggest barrier. No ability or policy against adding pixels to site. @Mel66

Creative Handcuffs! Clients that won’t make stuff for me. I guess I’ll serve the same creative and not maximize results. For me stressing creatives roll is HUGE in selling FB now. Audience size is another Andddd the FB algo working so well when going broader. @markpgus

Too small audience lists for specialty and local providers – haven’t found. where remarketing media is too expensive for the audience. – lay out to the clients Where combined cost for acquisition is too high – exclude paid traffic. @AskYisrael

Most common pushback: – Why should I pay for a user twice? I got them to the site once & they didn’t convert, why pay to bring them back? – We don’t believe in pixels or infosec/legal team won’t let us (mostly going away) – We don’t have any other creative/LPs to use. @akaEmmaLouise

Web sites that make tracking important events, like a purchase or a form fill, damn near impossible. Need clear data points to build audiences for targeting & exclusion. It’s great when they are open to modifying the site! Lots of times they aren’t/can’t. @NeptuneMoon

Ok. Found Q7. Remarketing lists for the legal industry will get flagged frequently. Using analytics to build the audience seems to either slow the process of getting flagged or avoid it altogether. Also, remarketing to YouTube audiences is helpful. @anna_arrow

Getting a client to install conversion tracking and Facebook pixels properly. Still trying to find a work around for this! @chloevarns


Q8: What do you wish clients knew/did with their web sites to make remarketing easier?


Let me pixel the site? and if not, make those category pages clear and simple. the funnel shouldn’t be a star chart, it should be clear. @JuliaVyse

Use separate URLs and don’t have things reload in the same page/URL. Tracking is SO MUCH EASIER when you have separate URLs. Fill out a form? Go to a thank you page. Complete a purchase? Go to a thank you/confirmation page. Make unique pages for remkt. ads too. @NeptuneMoon

That they can’t just remarket back to the same page and it’ll be all good. And I wish they would setup within their analytics funnel stages so that remarketing can deal with each independently and consciously. @AskYisrael

If you have a service and a lot of pages/blogs about that particular service – to remarket to people interested in that service and not the others you offer – make them have something in the URL in common = easier to group them in an audience. Also no iframes. @amaliaefowler

Create specific LPs addressing the pain points I’m addressing in the ads! Also nice for building funnels when you can send them to a typical LP and optimize to a lower level event like VC or ATC which requires site navigation. @markpgus

Categorize URLS so I can just use a URL contains “sub folder” @markpgus

Grant me Google Tag Manager access. So many fun remarketing opportunities (see my recent slides on the topic: @akaEmmaLouise

3 LOAD FASTER!!!! @markpgus

Single page sites are fun and cute and all, but a nightmare for trying to build audience behavior lists off. Make your sites digestable, deep, and navitgable but not overwhelming. @JonKagan

Also businesses within other businesses (i.e. restaurants within hotels) – make sure you can track separately! @amaliaefowler

Also a smaller note but if you are a franchise or have stores in several locations and each have a website, don’t make the form common for them all. That means we track ALL forms, not one. I wish more people knew to think about this when building businesses. @amaliaefowler

Have an app with some content, not just purchases. those deep links help build a whole owned channel of yours right on people’s phones! make that app sing! @JuliaVyse

I think it was @michellemsem at @heroconf that talked about the “price” of your offer (i.e. amount of data you’re requiring in exchange). If you’re retargeting someone who didn’t convert, lower the “price” (fewer form fields) or increase the value they receive. @akaEmmaLouise


Q9: Is there a feature or capability you wish was available for remarketing that currently is not available?


I realize this will likely never happen but I really wish third party booking systems like open table and jane app allowed for GTM/Analytics installs – we can’t exclude audiences that convert this way, and its bad remarketing. @amaliaefowler


To have on Google similar to what Facebook has that you can create audiences based on interaction with an ad content. So that if someone saw an ad and did nothing or interacted and didn’t convert, to choose a different ad. @AskYisrael

I agree on better cross platform availability for remarketing audiences. Might have to look at some more creative ways to get closer in Analytics…@NeptuneMoon


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