In a previous article, I explained why retargeting is such a great tactic for small businesses.

Today, I want to briefly recap those benefits, and then move on to some common mistakes people make with retargeting campaigns.


Benefits of Retargeting

The first benefit of retargeting is that you can increase your conversion rates on your website. Right now, maybe 1% or 2% of your visitors are contacting you, either by making a purchase on your site or completing a form. That means that 98% or 99% of that traffic is just leaving, and most businesses have no way to follow up with those prospects.

What retargeting does is allow you to show your ads to all those prospects who came to your site and expressed interest, but for whatever reason the timing wasn’t right, and they left. Now you can show ads to those prospects and bring them back to your site and convert them into a lead or a customer.

The second benefit is that retargeting gives you precision. Again, you’re only targeting people who showed interest, maybe getting as far as the online shopping cart page, but then abandoned their cart. You can actually show ads just to those prospects who are prime candidates for making a purchase, since they already added the product to their shopping cart.

The third main benefit is that you can expand the reach of your marketing. Right now, you might be using SEO, social media, Google AdWords, and maybe even Facebook ads. Those are all great opportunities. But retargeting lets you expand your reach by showing your ads on websites where you are not currently advertising. For example, you might currently drive prospects from Google search via SEO or AdWords. You can use retargeting to target those same folks when they go to a site like, other top news sites or blogs.

Now let’s talk about 3 common mistakes to avoid…

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid With Retargeting


Mistake #1. Smothering Your Prospects

You might have actually experienced this one yourself; I know this has happened to me. I’ve gone to websites and then started going about my business doing research online. Then I noticed the same business just hammering me with the same ad over and over again. Obviously, that can be pretty annoying for your prospects. And annoying people is the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to make a great first impression and get them to pick up the phone and call you or purchase your product.

You can avoid this mistake by using something called “frequency capping.” This means that you limit the number of times you show an ad to a single person. For example, you might only show your ad to the same person three times in 48 hours, or three times a week, or whatever you think is appropriate. It’s very simple to do but really important because, again, you don’t want to annoy your prospects.


Mistake #2. Not Segmenting Your Prospects and Customers

As I said before, one of the main benefits of retargeting is precision targeting. That’s because retargeting allows you to segment. Specifically, here’s what I mean by that: you can set up a retargeting campaign to only show ads to prospects who have not made a purchase or filled out a form.

Here’s an example of a mistake to avoid with segmenting. If you have an e-commerce site, you don’t want to show an ad to a customer who just purchased your product. It’s a waste of money and pretty annoying to the customer.

An even more costly mistake can happen if you’re running a campaign that offers a discount to prospects who have not yet purchased. We do this with one of our clients. We segment prospects who have not made a purchase and then show them a specific dollar amount discount, like $25 off, to entice them to come back and make that purchase. Obviously, we do not want to show that to existing customers. We would run the risk of not only annoying people, but getting a lot of complaints and requests for that discount on items that were already purchased.


Mistake #3. Not Measuring Return on Investment

If you’re not measuring return on investment (ROI), you have no idea if your retargeting ads are even making a positive impact on your business. So this is obviously a very big mistake – and unfortunately it’s very common.

The way to measure your ROI is to set up conversion tracking.

Most, if not all, retargeting platforms allow you to add a conversion code on your website to track certain actions. For example, if you have an e-commerce website, you’ll add the conversion code to the final receipt page (what we refer to as a Thank You page). That code sends information back to the retargeting platform, and you can track how many sales are generated directly from the retargeting ads.

A second tactic to track conversions is phone call tracking. This is a little bit more technical and harder to set up, but it’s not that hard. Anyone with basic web development skills can get this set up for you.

What you do is change the phone number on your site when the traffic is coming from the retargeting ads, and that will allow you to track every single phone call that comes in directly from the retargeting ad campaign. I highly recommend you put that phone number in your retargeting ad as well, as some people will see the ad and call you directly from seeing the ad (without even visiting your website). And if they click on the ad to go to your website, they will see that same unique phone number. This allows you to track the results of all of those calls and calculate your return on investment.


Want More Retargeting Tips?

If you’d like to learn more about retargeting, I’m hosting a live training session on Wednesday, June 18th called “How to Profit with Retargeting.”

During this training, I’ll walk you through, step by step, how to set up a retargeting campaign, reveal more mistakes to avoid, and share some advanced tactics and real world examples. And we’ll have live Q&A, too.

Click here to learn more and register