7 Tips for Effective Link Retargeting Campaigns

By Miriam Kung | 31 May 2019

Retargeting has become the industry norm for online advertisers - with traditional website retargeting, website visitors who see retargeting ads are 70% more likely to convert.

Especially for retail addicts, when it can be hard to turn down enticing retargeting ad copy from fashion companies like Revolve.

Revolve retargeting ad

With link retargeting, a newer technology, this supercharges your retargeting strategies, as it embeds a retargeting pixel into a shortened URL, rather than embedding the pixel onto your website.

This means you can retarget people who simply clicked on any URL, including links that don't take people to your own site. At PixelMe, using our own link retargeting tool, we've seen a 600% increase in Facebook Ads CTR! πŸš€

An ongoing question we get from customers is: "What are some best practices for getting more value from my link retargeting campaigns?". To help you increase CTR and conversions, below you'll find 7 best practices for making the most of your link retargeting campaigns πŸŽ‰.

Before getting started, here's a look at how link retargeting works in 4 steps:

Link Retargeting with PixelMe

Tip 1: Build Custom Audiences From Every URL

To automatically build Custom Audiences from people clicking through your URLs and campaigns, shorten and embed retargeting pixels into every link (especially links to 3rd party sites) and share them across all your marketing channels,

πŸ’‘ Some examples of where you can share your links: social media posts, ads, newsletters, website icons taking people to your social media channels, and more. You can then segment people who clicked on them to build more effective retargeting campaigns (see more in Tip 2), and get a bird's eye view of performance across all your links in your PixelMe dashboard to better inform your marketing content plans (see more in Tip 7).

πŸ”‘ Sign up for a free PixelMe account to build retargeting audiences from your URLs using our link creation modal.

PixelMe create a link

Tip 2: Create Segmented Audience Lists

Embedding pixels to every link you share, means you can segment and organize your retargeting audiences by different types of content and topics they clicked on and already showed interest in. You can also take this a step further and tailor your retargeting ads so the ad copy and creative are specific to their interests.

πŸ’‘ For example, let's say you're a B2B business targeting advertisers, and have shared both curated articles from 3rd party sites as well as your own blog posts covering: lead generation, Facebook Ads tips, Google Ads tips, email marketing tools, and landing page best practices.

You can segment your audiences based on shortened links you shared for each topic, such as all links related to Facebook Ads tips. Then, you can customize your ads so they promote a new article on Facebook Ads tips or features your business just launched that helps them get more conversions on Facebook.

Here's a look at setting up a Facebook Custom Audience for retargeting, where you can include any number of PixelMe shortened links:

Custom Audience creation

πŸ”‘ Pro-tips:

  • Read our guide for retargeting people who clicked on your links with Facebook Ads.
  • Find new customers: From segmented Custom Audiences that you setup, you can also create Lookalike Audiences to find more customers similar to people who've already shown interest in your products & services.

Tip 3: Retarget People Across Ad Platforms

If you're using multiple social channels and ad platforms, retargeting people who engaged with your posts and ads in one platform, by reaching them in a different platform where they're also likely to be active in, can recapture people's attention and get them to take the next step.

πŸ’‘For example, if you're an Amazon seller who's running Google Ads to your Amazon store, you could could create a retargeting audience for your Facebook Ads, made up of people who clicked on your Google Ads. Then, retarget them on Facebook to bring them back to your Amazon store - or you could even bring them to your website instead.

To customize your Facebook Ads, you could segment your audience based on similar clusters of Google Ads search keywords people used (e.g. summer leather sandals for men). Then, promote specific products that highlight what they're searching for.

As you can imagine, there’s lots of combinations of ways you can segment people from one or multiple ad platforms and retarget them in another platform. Try testing different strategies based on your ad goals and where people are in your marketing funnel to see what works best.

Here's where you can find Search Terms people used before clicking on your Google Search Ads:

Google Ads Search Terms report

πŸ”‘ Pro-tips:

Tip 4: Exclude Customers From Acquisition Campaigns

Excluding existing customers from your retargeting campaigns when your goal is customer acquisition, can be another cost-effective way to ensure you're not wasting ad dollars to reach people who already converted (signed up, purchased, etc.).

Note: Retargeting existing customers to upsell them on new products and services can still be highly effective, but your ad content and creative will be different than ones targeting potential customers.

πŸ’‘ Here's an example from Facebook Ads Manager, where we created an event "App PixelMe" from our Facebook Pixel, based on people who signed up and logged into our app. In the Audience > Custom Audiences section, we added our "App PixelMe" event to the section for "Exclude people who are in the following".

Facebook Custom Audience exclusion

You can also create an exclusion Custom Audience based on your website URLs that indicate someone converted, for example the URL for a "thank you" page or confirmation page that people land on after they've signed up or made a purchase.

πŸ”‘ Pro-tips:

Tip 5: Monitor Ad Frequency

Ad frequency indicates how many times on average each person sees your ads. Since nobody likes being hounded, you can try putting frequency caps in place, plus monitor your ad frequency and refresh your ads to prevent them from going stale.

This will help new or existing customers from being overloaded after seeing your ads too many times and prevent people from blocking your business (e.g. on Facebook).

The ideal frequency will vary depending on your business type and retargeting goals. According to a study from Facebook, there is no "magic frequency level": "For brand advertisers with a large market share and high base levels of brand awareness, a frequency cap of at least 1 to 2 per week was able to capture a substantial portion of the total potential brand impact."

πŸ’‘ Here's an example in Facebook Ads Manager reporting, which includes Frequency as a metrics column:

Facebook Ads Frequency

πŸ”‘ Pro-tips:

  • Read Facebook's guide on how to set frequency caps. Note: it's not yet available for all ad accounts, so you can still monitor your ad frequency in Ads Manager and create new ads if they reach a high frequency.
  • Read Google's Help Center article on how to set frequency capping for ads in their Display Network.
  • Jon Loomer's guide on the ideal Facebook Ads frequency also covers the different factors that affect it.

Tip 6: A/B Test Ad Creative

As with all efforts in marketing, always be testing. This holds especially true for your link retargeting ads. From a ReTargeter study, CTR decreases by nearly 50% after five months of running the same ads.

πŸ’‘ Refreshing your ad creative as often as every few weeks lets you experiment with more variables so you can find the most effective ad combinations. Some variables you can test:

  • Headline: Being concise and catchy is key. AdEspresso ran an analysis over 4 years, and found that a 5-word headline is the perfect length.
  • Images/Videos: Videos are really effective at engaging people compared to images. You can test different formats to see what gives you the highest returns, and leverage free tools like Facebook's video templates.
  • Copy: For your value proposition, try tailoring your text so it's customized to someone who already showed interest in your products and services rather than a generic overview of your business.
  • Content: If you're a B2B business - guides, eBooks and whitepapers continue to be widely used for generating leads. If you're an E-commerce company - Facebook's Dynamic Ads are a great way to upload your entire Product Catalog and show specific products to people.

πŸ”‘ Pro-tips:

Tip 7: Measure Campaign Performance Across Platforms

Are your retargeting campaigns more effective on Facebook or Google (or another ads platform)? And are your retargeting campaigns doubly effective when you combine segments of people who clicked on 3rd party links you shared in addition to people who visited your website?

Understanding which retargeting campaigns and ad platforms generate the highest conversions and ROI is key for optimizing your ad budgets and growing your business.

πŸ’‘ Currently, it's pretty manual to aggregate your ad campaigns and metrics across ad platforms (e.g. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Pinterest) into one place. Our new Conversion Tracking beta product tackles this measurement problem by integrating with each of your ad platforms and tools, to show your acquisition costs and ROI by campaigns and platforms in one view.

πŸ”‘ Learn how to get started with our PixelMe Conversion Tracking pixel.

Here's an early look at our Conversion Tracking dashboard, which shows key conversion events across your Referring Domains. There's also similar views for your UTM parameters and Webpages, and you can toggle by first-touch, multi-touch, and last-touch conversion models:

PixelMe Conversion Tracking feature

For some final thoughts, effective link retargeting campaigns can help create a whole new stream of customers for your business (like it has for us!).

So it can be worth testing and comparing various strategies to see which types of ads and channels help you most effectively convert people that've shown interest in links and campaigns you've launched 🎯.

Want to grow customers with link retargeting & Conversion Tracking? Sign up for a free 7-day PixelMe trial. If you have any questions, just message us from the chat icon πŸ’¬ in the bottom right-hand corner or email us at team@pixelme.me πŸ’Œ