8 advanced remarketing strategies to 3x your ROI

8 advanced remarketing strategies to triple your ROI

Imagine yourself being at a party. Would you connect easier and engage better with a group of people you already know or with a bunch of strangers?

Most would choose familiar faces over strangers, right?

Well, with growing your customer base, the situation is pretty similar. People who already recognize your brand are far more likely to engage with you in a positive way and eventually, become your customers.

Yet, during dozens of ad accounts audits that I’ve made, I haven’t seen more than a few companies with a proper remarketing strategy.

I mean, come on. Relying only on finding new customers (prospecting)is exactly like spending each free evening with a bunch of new folks, instead of your friends. It just doesn’t make sense and isn’t effective. Business is all about building relationships with your customers and remarketing gives you great tools to do just that.

But hey, what exactly is remarketing, and how to build a proper strategy around it? According to Wikipedia, it is “a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions”.

Simply put, remarketing is a set of tools aimed at re-engaging customers, based on their previous touchpoints with your brand. It can have a form of:

  • paid ads targeted only to people who have visited your website,
  • email marketing aimed at your subscriber list members, who are viewing certain subpages,
  • whole social selling automation, based on ABM (account-based marketing) strategy.

But, enough of the party analogies and the boring definitions. To show you how important the proper remarketing strategy really is, here are the top 5 business facts about remarketing:

  1. Remarketing is a driver of respectively 62% for shopping’s, 39% for food and drinks’ and 24% of lifestyle’s total conversionsSocialMediaToday.
  2. Staggering 91% of marketers state that remarketing performs better or equal to other channels like search or e-mail – according to IAB poll.
  3. The percentage of users who have abandoned their carts and then made a purchase can increase from 8 to up to 26% using remarketing – according to WIshpond.
  4. 30% of customers have a positive or very positive attitude towards remarketing ads – according to a poll from emarketer.
  5. Retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convertinvesp.

Did I get you interested in improving your remarketing game (and increasing your ROI by a hella lot)? That’s great. So, here are the top 8 advanced remarketing strategies to help you do just that.


Table of contents

  1. Retarget the best performing Google Ads keywords or Facebook audiences
  2. Cross-sell and up-sell using paid ads and emails
  3. Use paid acquisition funnels
  4. Use less-obvious optimization goals combined with the best-converting content
  5. Retarget users who haven’t been active for a while or haven’t completed a full conversion path
  6. Be precise with the remarketing
  7. Use IP identification tools to recognize companies browsing your site and retarget them
  8. Get creative

Imagine you own an e-commerce selling sneakers. You have found that the Facebook audience “Sneakerheads” tends to deliver twice as high return on ad spend (ROAS) as your second-best paid audience.

How to ensure that customers from this audience will come across your offer and will get to know your brand? You can create a custom audience based on a unique utm_campaign attached to users within those audiences, and assign an extra budget to retarget specifically them.

Each time you’ll run out of ideas for your ads (or even target groups) you can head on to Facebook Ads Library and get a glimpse of your competitors strategy and creatives
Each time you’ll run out of ideas for your ads (or even target groups) you can head on to this page and get a glimpse of your competitors’ strategy and creatives

You don’t have to limit yourself to Facebook. It might be actually worth it to create a similar remarketing audience or Google Ads, or any other paid channel you’re using.

There is no way between platforms to assess the frequency of your ads for a single user. To avoid being punished for exceeding the frequency cap, it might be wise to split a big retargeting budget between different channels.

You can use the very same technique to retarget B2B customers. For example, by using a proper tagging convention, you can exclusively remarketing users that did come to your website from expensive Google Ads Search keywords or (expensive as hell) LinkedIn Ads. The cool thing is that once they’ve hit your website, you can retarget them using cheaper advertising channels like Display or Social media. This way you can sort of “gamble” the most expensive audiences using remarketing.

The key here is having a well-thought, consistent tracking conversion. For that purpose, you can use our URL builder or create your own.

2. Cross-sell and up-sell using paid ads and emails

Most e-commerces finish their paid activity after the user has made a purchase. But think of it – this doesn’t make sense at all.

According to the “foot in the door” marketing psychology principle, it’s way easier to sell to somebody once they’ve successfully completed their first transaction with you.

Cross sell ad by Amazon – image source: smartrmail.com

We did already prove that we’re trustworthy and deliver on time, and the customer proved their interest in our product. Seems like a perfect combination, right?

It usually doesn’t make sense to retarget users just after they made a purchase. In most cases, the best choice is to dig into the actual user data.

Try to identify users’ cohorts that are far less likely to make a purchase again (let’s say people who haven’t made their second purchase for the last 100 days), and use email or paid ads to retarget just them.

You can also try to find a moment in which a purchase is more likely to happen. Let’s say returning users are more likely to make another purchase after 27 days. On this day, you can, for example, deliver a trigger via an e-mail with bestsellers of the week.

As you can probably see above, the tests to perform with this remarketing strategy are almost infinite.

I’ve already run out of party analogies, so maybe let’s go for a different one here.

You don’t propose on a first date. You don’t commit your life to run marathons after seeing a 3-minute compilation on Youtube. You don’t sell your house, ditch your job and move to Hawaii after the first fight with your boss (I mean most of us would like to do it at some point of their lives – but only a few actually make the decision).

I hope you got my point across. The longer the time commitment needed, the higher the possible effort. And the bigger the risk/price involved, the harder it is to make a decision.

If you’re in one of the businesses where the pain of switching or integrating new providers is high, don’t close the deal straight away. By doing this, you’ll convert only the most decided or rushed users. And as a consequence, you’ll leave a lot of money on the table.

Here’s an example of how the acquisition funnel looks like. Image source – sproutsocial

Instead, identify people that might be involved in the process. Typically, the higher value/pain that comes from conversion, the more decision-makers involved.

They can be, for example, family members (for a company selling cars) or growth specialist > marketing manager > CFO trio (for a marketing SaaS startup).

Map out fears and objections they might have on different stages within the acquisition funnel and prepare content for each one of them.

Then, segment audiences by their stage in the funnel and assign specific content types ( like quick video or short written content for Awareness, in-depth e-book for Consideration, and well-crafted Landing Page for Conversion).

Once you got the users into your funnel, don’t let them get away. Keep them there using paid remarketing and follow-up with marketing automation.

For each content and stage, make sure you’re answering as many objections each persona might have, without making the content too sales-y or heavy.

An example of a paid funnel might look like this:

1. Awareness videos distributed via Facebook
2. Users who saw 75% of one of the videos receive a Facebook ad leading to one of the blog posts answering purchase objections
3. Users who spend 20 seconds on that content and scrolled 50% of it, receive an ad on Google, Facebook & Twitter leading to a Sales Page

Sounds complicated? Unfortunately, often it is.

However, proper implementation of such a strategy will allow you not only to scale up your acquisition efforts but also to increase the average volume order. It may also take off some work from the sales team, as the prospect will be more warmed up before hitting the CRM.

4. Use less-obvious optimization goals combined with the best-converting content to retarget users

Remarketing is not only about screaming “BUY FROM ME” each time you do have contact with your potential customers.

Here’s the deal with algorithms that are the backbone of the most important advertising channels. They decide whom to show ads to based on predictions drawn from analyzing hundreds of thousands of data points that a user leaves on the Internet.

Example of our very own Marketing Blueprint ad we use in our acquisition strategy
Example of our very own Marketing Blueprint ad we use in our acquisition strategy

Let’s say that again you’re the owner of e-commerce with sneakers. When you create a Google or Facebook campaign aimed at making a purchase, you basically ask algorithms to display ads to people most likely to buy a pair of shoes in the upcoming days.

But guess what. In most of western countries, there are far more businesses selling the same stuff that you do. And all of them are asking the algorithm to be able to display ads to people most likely to buy soon.

All of the modern advertising platforms do work on a RTB (Real Time Bidding) model. Thus, the more advertisers want to display ads to a certain customer, the more expensive it gets. And that makes the Cost Per Purchase go up, and your ROAS go down.

The same rule does apply to all businesses like Softwarehouses, SaaS companies, etc.

But you can gamble the system by choosing a different optimization goal. For example, you can create a piece of valuable content about a fall season trend, and display products that match the content inside the blogpost.

Then, you create a content campaign with the goal to engage with content (let’s say it’s 20 seconds on page + 50% vertical scroll) and see if that can bring a good ROI.

I’ve seen this tactic work very well numerous times, especially for B2B, as the scale for final conversions (like leads) tend to be far lower there, and optimizing for higher in the funnel helps utilize ad algorithms machine learning.

You don’t even have to create new content. Check your Google Analytics data for subpages that are hidden gems that have a higher chance of converting users, and distribute them both via paid channels and your e-mail marketing.

5. Retarget users of your product who haven’t been active for a while or haven’t completed a full conversion path

A great visualization of retargeting funnel for mobile apps from AppSamurai

Think of it for a moment. The users who have abandoned your product:

a) are already aware of your brand

b) do possess some sort of use cases for your products

c) are already familiar with your offer and (hopefully) aware of your product’s benefits

What’s more, the fact that they haven’t completed a conversion funnel or have stopped subscription of your services doesn’t necessarily mean your product has stopped to be valuable to them.

We live in an extremely crowded world with tons of disruptions hitting us every second. It’s perfectly normal to forget about signing for the new app you’ve just downloaded, or forgetting to add a new card to the settings of business SaaS you’ve been using for a while.

Of course, it doesn’t make sense to bug them straight away with sales emails or paid ads. Instead, try to analyze your retention curve and identify the touchpoints crucial for keeping or resurrecting a customer.

As a rule of thumb, the shorter time from the last use of your product, the less salesy your approach should be.

Try asking customers for feedback first or distributing a guide that displays features or benefits of your product. The farther away the customer gets from their last visit, the more sales-y your approach can become.

You might even want to test some sort of discount to check if that will help with the long-term re-engagement of your customers.

6. Be precise with the remarketing – show users exactly what they are interested in

Let’s say you do run marketing for a growth agency. You probably have a variety of different services in your portfolio – ranging from Facebook ads to SEO and CRO.

It doesn’t really make sense to remarket your users, bragging about your Facebook skills if they’re interested in CRO – and vice versa.

The same rule does apply to almost every business out there – ranging from mobile apps to e-commerce.

Here’s a great example of a remarketing ad from chairish.com, a marketplace for often unique interior designs.

They do combine a single-image ad with the latest visited product, with a tailored, specific copy enhanced by the use of FOMO (fear of missing out).

You can apply the same principles with your marketing automation systems. Instead of sending a generic abandoned cart email, make sure to display an actual product and try to add a copy that enacts desire and adds some psychological nudge – scarcity, framing, or others.
As a general rule of thumb – the more specific you are, the higher the chances for conversion.

7. Use IP identification tools to recognize companies browsing your site and retarget them on social or with cold mailing

Only about 0.5 – 2% of B2B website visitors will typically convert on your website, and about 98% of them will never become your customers. This is a huge waste of resources, and a lot of money left on the table.

What if I told you that as a B2B company, you can actually identify companies which representatives have visited your website? Even those that have never left any contact details.

By using tools like Leadfeeder you can actually identify companies whose IPs were used to access your website. While it isn’t the perfect indicator of interest in your product, it actually greatly increases your chance of finding a company already in the search for a product like yours.

Tools like LeadFeeder does allow for identifying companies that visited your website, to use for advanced remarketing strategies

After identification is done, using prospecting tools or simply Linkedin browsing, you can better segment these companies, and either add their decision-makers to your network and start a social selling process or use tools like hunter.io to generate their e-mail and include them into your cold-emailing list.

Such processes, combined with proper ABM strategies (as done in many US-based B2B companies, can be surprisingly effective – especially when combined with a well-optimized outreach process.

Note: remember, that you can only gather the data that is in line with your privacy policy, and the restrictions imposed by your country (like GDPR). Before proceeding with this strategy, consult with your lawyer!

8. Get creative – don’t be afraid to play with different segments on your websites

Many companies do rely only on some most obvious segments, like people who have visited the website, or some part of the funnel.

It’s often worth digging a bit deeper. While the algorithms of ad platforms have gotten very good in identifying conversion opportunities, they’re not perfect yet.

Try to analyze your conversion funnel and search for events that have a higher than average chance to bring conversion.

It can be performing a search on the website (which often proves to work great for e-commerce), visiting “about us” pages, or even browsing through subpages that most businesses tend to ignore like faq or privacy or return policy.

Visitors of Support / FAQ / Policies websites can be a surprisingly good foundation for remarketing audiences

The latter one has actually proved to deliver extremely good results for one of the clients I’ve used to work with. And it was worth keeping up, despite bringing a very low volume.

Key takeaways

I hope you’ve enjoyed the advanced remarketing strategies. Here’s a quick list of the ideas we’ve discussed:

  1. Identify the best performing Google Ads keywords or Facebook audiences and retarget them using a combination of channels
  2. Cross-sell and up-sell using paid ads and emails
  3. Use paid acquisition funnels
  4. Use less-obvious optimization goals combined with and the best-converting content to retarget users
  5. Retarget users of your product who haven’t been active for a while – or haven’t completed the conversion path
  6. Be precise with the remarketing – show users exactly what they are interested in
  7. Use IP identification tools to recognize companies browsing your site and retarget them using social selling / cold mailing
  8. Get creative – don’t be afraid to play with different segments on your websites

I hope this article will inspire you to search for your own winning strategies. If you’re not convinced you’re using the full spectrum of your remarketing options, simply sync with your team the next working day.

I’m pretty sure there are still a lot of great strategies you haven’t tested out yet.

Remember to be bold with your approach and never stop testing.