Remarketing: How to be less annoying and a clever spender!

by G on April 11, 2014

Money fly

Google Remarketing (Retargeting or to those outside SEO “that scary shit that follows me around and I don’t understand why”) and now Facebook remarketing (through Facebook Exchange) are two strategies that any business online should be adopting. The skill is finding a suitably engaging commercial hook to make people want to return to your website for whatever reason. I’ve been building out a number of strategies for my clients and wanted to share a really simple optimization strategy that makes complete sense, but weirdly doesn’t seem to be easily available in the form of a user guide online.

I’ll assume that you have setup a remarketing list and have some people in that list already. And that you have created a series of banners that you wish to use as part of your remarketing campaign. I’m also going to assume that you are going to be delivering people from this remarketing campaign to a unique page on your website, that could only be found by either a blackhatter (including me & Google!) or someone that arrived at your landing page via your campaign. This is fundamental, and while there are ways to do the same thing with a homepage, it’s best to isolate conditions as much as possible when you are spending money!

How to make sure people that click on your banner do not get shown the banner again!

It seems pretty obvious but let’s say I get served a banner and I click on it, and see the offer, chances are that I’m not going to be interested in clicking again in the future, so it’s pretty pointless showing the banner again.

What I wanted was the following setting:

I have a list of 100K, I want everyone to click on the banner, but once I do I don’t want that to happen again.

This is actually quite cool, because it’s the kind of thing I’ve built using robots and lists. Essentially your 100K list automatically ignores positive clicks. But how do you do that in your own re-marketing campaign?

You use negative Audiences!!

How to set it up?

Go into Audiences on Adwords and create a new marketing list which is based on the list that you are using for your primary campaign. In my case I am just using a main list, but if you are segmenting your lists then you could simply apply it to that segment.

Give the remarketing list a name such as “people that have clicked on X campaign”. You then need to answer declare “Who do add to your list”. You should select “Visitors of a page” and then select the format URL contains (but you’ll know what you need to match). In the field you should enter the Unique URL of the landing page (that’s why it’s important to make it unique!). You should then tick “include past visitors that match these rules” and make the list “open”. You can set your list duration based on how you are running your campaign. Then save off the list.

Next head over to your re-marketing campaign and get your main campaign up. You will see some red buttons labeled “+Exclusions”. Go into Campaign Audience exclusions and set the AdGroup settings to exclude the list that you created before and hit save.

Now what’s going to happen is the following:

People in you main remarketing list will be shown the banner. Those that click on the banner and hit your landing page will be added to another remarketing list (“people that have clicked on X campaign”). Members of this list will be constantly removed from the main list so you’ve now got a self-optimizing remarketing list. Set these lists up a couple of days before going live and you’ll not have any initial burps in the system as the new list is being populated.

Make sure that you implement impression caps when setting up your campaign. The principle I follow is, whatever Google is suggesting you to do question it (expand the advanced option), and if in any doubt Google a question about the option in another browser window and understand what it means. Impression caps will stop your banner being showed 100 times a day to the same person.

è voilà!

ps. I set myself the goal of writing and publishing this post in no more than half an hour (postedit: failed it took me 40!) -What I have learnt is it is best to write the post first before passing time looking at photos on a photo-stock site!

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