Refining Your Remarketing: 5 Advanced Display Tactics

Display Remarketing Campaigns

Display remarketing campaigns are prized for their affordability, strong ROI, and alignment with the customer journey, fostering brand recall. Yet, many overlook their potential, settling for basic setups. Instead, optimize with advanced strategies to maximize relevance and impact across touch-points, ensuring a lasting impression.

On average, it typically requires 5 to 8 touch-points before a visitor commits to a purchase on your website. This extended decision-making process is influenced by the abundance of available information, as individuals seek assurance in their choices.

A single advertisement is insufficient in this regard.

It’s crucial to consider the entire customer journey, spanning from initial awareness to thorough research and eventual purchase. Equally important is post-purchase engagement. Remember, a customer’s journey doesn’t conclude upon making a purchase; rather, it marks the beginning of a potentially long-lasting relationship. Repeat purchases are more probable once someone has already bought from you, highlighting the ongoing nature of customer interaction.

Display Remarketing Campaigns

Display remarketing campaigns hold a special place in my heart for their cost-effectiveness, high ROI, and strategic alignment with the customer journey. Given the need for consumers to deliberate over their choices, remarketing campaigns serve to keep your brand top-of-mind.

However, it’s evident that many AdWords accounts are overlooking a significant opportunity. Often, PPC managers settle for a basic remarketing setup targeting the past 30 days and leave it at that. The impressive returns might make it tempting to set and forget, but considering the importance of touch-points—especially the 5 to 8 required before purchase—shouldn’t we strive for maximum relevance and impact?

To this end, I’ve compiled a list of 5 advanced display remarketing strategies you can implement immediately.

1. Create a Sequential Display Remarketing Campaign

To kick off your strategy, it’s essential to grasp the time lapse between initial customer interaction and conversion, which can vary significantly across industries. For instance, if you’re vending a low-cost branded item, the conversion window might span 0 to 1 day. Conversely, for more intricate and costly products, this window could extend beyond 30 days.

Navigate to Google Analytics and locate “Conversions,” then access the “Multi-Channel Funnels” dropdown and select “Time Lag.”

This report provides invaluable insights into user behavior, revealing the typical duration between initial interaction and conversion. Armed with this data, you can strategically plan your remarketing campaign to effectively target users at key stages of their decision-making process.

In a scenario where 30% of conversions occur within 0-7 days after the first interaction, 10% within 8-12 days, and 60% after 13 days, it suggests a product requiring thorough research before commitment, likely more complex in nature.

In response, a sequenced display remarketing campaign can be devised to guide users through their research journey. This involves varying creatives and messaging to aid decision-making. Additionally, adjusting bidding strategies is vital; allocating higher bids for the 13+ days segment, given their higher conversion likelihood.

Messaging and creative elements play a crucial role. Generally, as the ad moves further from the initial interaction, offering larger incentives or compelling offers becomes imperative to re-engage users effectively.

Ad 1: Emphasize brand messaging to maintain visibility.
Ad 2: Highlight customer service or positive reviews to instill trust.
Ad 3: Present new customer offers or free-delivery incentives to entice conversion.

Sure, here’s how you can set up the sequenced display remarketing campaign using different audiences based on days since the last interaction:


  1. Audience 1: 0-7 days since first interaction.
  2. Audience 2: 8-14 days since first interaction.
  3. Audience 3: 14-30 days since first interaction.


  1. Campaign 1:
  • Target Audience 1 (Exclude Audience 2 & 3)
  • Ad Creative: Emphasize brand messaging or product benefits to maintain engagement.
  • Bidding: Adjust bids to reflect the higher likelihood of conversion within 0-7 days.
  1. Campaign 2:
  • Target Audience 2 (Exclude Audience 3)
  • Ad Creative: Highlight customer service, positive reviews, or product features to reinforce trust and interest.
  • Bidding: Moderate bids, considering the moderate likelihood of conversion within 8-14 days.
  1. Campaign 3:
  • Target Audience 3
  • Ad Creative: Present compelling offers, discounts, or new customer incentives to re-engage users who have had longer since their last interaction.
  • Bidding: Allocate higher bids, acknowledging the increased potential for conversion within 14-30 days.

By structuring campaigns this way, you ensure that each audience segment receives tailored messaging and bidding strategies based on their respective stages in the customer journey, maximizing the effectiveness of your remarketing efforts.

2. Segment Your Remarketing Audience

To effectively utilize remarketing within your budget constraints while targeting high-value customers, segmenting your traffic based on various parameters is key. These can include time spent on site, number of visits, specific goal completions, pages visited, and even demographics.

Let’s consider setting up a custom audience in Google Analytics:

  1. Access Google Analytics:
  • Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  1. Navigate to the Admin Section:
  • Click on the “Admin” section located in the bottom left corner of the interface.
  1. Create Custom Audiences:
  • Within the Admin section, under the “Property” column, select “Audience Definitions” and then click on “Audiences.”
  • Here, you can create custom audiences based on your desired segmentation criteria. For instance, you can create audiences for users who spend a significant amount of time on your site, visit specific pages, complete certain goals, or fit certain demographic profiles.
  1. Set Remarketing Campaigns:
  • Once your custom audiences are set up, you can use them to create targeted remarketing campaigns in platforms like Google Ads.
  • Utilize these custom audiences to tailor your ads specifically to high-value customer segments, such as users who frequently visit your site, spend considerable time browsing, or abandon their shopping carts.

By segmenting your traffic and targeting high-value customers with remarketing campaigns, you can make the most of your budget and maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Click on the hyperlink titled “audience definitions.”

Select Audiences

click on the new audience button

Select Creat New

For instance, if my aim is to target users who have visited my site on at least two occasions, each lasting more than a minute, and yet haven’t made a purchase, I could create this specific audience and develop a tailored campaign to re-engage them.

It’s important to note that the more specific your audience criteria become, the smaller the resulting audience size will be. Keep in mind that you need at least 100 members in an audience to run a display remarketing campaign successfully.

After building your audience, give it a descriptive name and proceed to the next step. You’ll then be prompted to select a destination for your audience. If you’ve linked your AdWords and Analytics accounts, choose your AdWords account from the drop-down menu. When you log into AdWords next time, your newly created audience will be readily available for you to use.

3. Content Remarketing

Investing in content remarketing can yield significant benefits by fostering trust and nurturing future conversions without bombarding customers with hard-selling messages. By following these steps, you can effectively implement content remarketing:

  1. Create a Remarketing Audience for Content Readers:
  • Identify users who have engaged with your blog posts or articles on your site.
  1. Segment Users Based on Interest and Behavior:
  • Build an audience comprising users who have demonstrated interest by spending considerable time on your site or exploring multiple pages.
  1. Retarget with Relevant Content:
  • Develop ads showcasing additional pieces of content tailored to the user’s interests. For instance, if you’re a bank, offer content like “5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Credit Card.”
  1. Focus on Trust Building and User Nurturing:
  • Content remarketing aims to build trust and nurture users rather than driving immediate conversions. Over time, this approach can positively impact referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations as trust in your brand grows.

Here’s an example from Tableau, a data visualization software company, demonstrating content remarketing effectively. They serve a remarketing banner promoting a whitepaper without resorting to hard-selling tactics, focusing instead on providing valuable content to draw users back to their site.

4. Create a Remarketing Campaign for Customers

You might wonder, “Why allocate resources to users who are already customers?” Consider these compelling statistics:

  1. Acquiring new customers costs five times more than retaining existing ones.
  2. A significant portion—80%—of your future revenue will originate from just 20% of your customer base.
  3. Cultivating customer advocates can yield substantial benefits. Research indicates that 77% of people are more inclined to purchase a product after receiving recommendations from friends or family.
  4. Word of mouth significantly influences purchasing decisions, influencing 20% to 50% of all buying choices.
  5. Returning customers tend to spend 67% more than new customers.

These figures highlight the tremendous potential for creating value by implementing remarketing campaigns tailored to your existing customer base.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what you can do for your base

Certainly! Here’s a comprehensive educational campaign targeting existing customers:

  1. Highlight No-Cost Features Campaign:
  • Educate customers about features available at no extra cost. Showcase how these features add value and enhance their experience.
  • Example: “Discover the Hidden Gems! Explore our array of free features designed to elevate your experience with us.”
  1. Offer Code/Free Delivery Thank You Campaign:
  • Show appreciation to customers who have made previous purchases by offering them an exclusive offer code or free delivery as a token of gratitude.
  • Example: “As a Thank You for Your Continued Support, Enjoy Free Delivery on Your Next Purchase! Use Code THANKYOU at Checkout.”
  1. Free Webinar Invitation Campaign:
  • Invite customers to a free webinar where they can learn valuable insights or skills related to your industry or products.
  • Example: “Unlock Your Potential! Join Our Free Webinar and Learn [Topic]. Reserve Your Spot Now!”
  1. Cross/Upsell Campaign:
  • Inform existing customers about other services or products you offer that complement their previous purchases. Highlight how these additional offerings can further meet their needs or interests.
  • Example: “Expand Your Horizons! Discover [Additional Service/Product] to Enhance Your Experience with Us.”

Remember to tailor each campaign to resonate with your specific customer segments. Understanding their needs and preferences will not only retain customers but also foster advocacy and loyalty.

5. Create Campaigns Based on Where the User Came From

When assessing the various types of traffic your website receives, it’s important to recognize that not all traffic holds equal value. For example, while display awareness traffic serves its purpose, a click from a high-converting PPC campaign may hold more significance.

In our earlier discussion, we delved into segmenting users based on their on-site behavior. Now, let’s explore segmenting users according to their traffic sources.

To recap, website traffic generally falls into four main categories:

  1. Paid
  2. Organic
  3. Referral
  4. Direct

Consider a scenario where you, as a bank, are launching a new mortgage promotion and heavily investing in PPC campaigns targeting mortgage-related keywords. In such a case, it would be beneficial to complement your PPC campaign with a remarketing campaign targeting users who accessed your website through the PPC campaign. This approach allows for audience segmentation, aligning creatives and messaging accordingly, and obtaining a comprehensive overview of campaign performance.

Creating this new audience is a straightforward process:

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Navigate to the Admin section and select Audience Definitions (Audiences).
  3. Click on “+ New Audience” followed by “Create New.”
  4. Here, you can specify the Campaign, Medium, Source, and Keyword through which your users arrived.

By segmenting users based on their traffic sources and tailoring remarketing efforts accordingly, you can gain deeper insights into campaign effectiveness and optimize your strategies accordingly.

Once you click on Apply, you’ll immediately access the estimated audience size. This approach proves excellent for devising comprehensive paid media campaigns, forming a complete loop. It’s equally effective for experimenting with fresh audience segments.

Some final bits of advice: 

When setting up a remarketing campaign, it’s crucial not to treat it as a “set & forget” task. Continuous testing, ad creative rotation, and audience review are essential.

Maintain data hygiene by excluding irrelevant audiences from campaigns. For instance, if targeting non-converters in a remarketing campaign, ensure converters are excluded to avoid overlap.

Vigilantly monitor ad frequency to prevent overwhelming users with constant ad bombardment. Overexposure can deplete impressions and diminish ad effectiveness.

Exercise caution with mobile clicks in display remarketing. Accidental clicks are prevalent and can distort campaign metrics and waste budget. While mobile shouldn’t be disregarded entirely, closely monitor and manage mobile clicks to optimize performance.