Strategic planning for remarketing campaigns – Part 2

Last time, I looked at how to plan and implement a remarketing campaign to increase conversion rates.  This week, I’m looking at how to create remarketing strategies to increase repeat orders from these visitors.

Which audience to target?

As discussed last week, we need to firstly choose the audience we want to remarket to and then what message to use.

The main premise of this audience is that it features non-returning visitors i.e. visitors who have previously purchased from you, but have not come back to the site since.

A campaign to increase repeat orders would enable you to serve ads to visitors who have not returned to your site within a certain length of time.  This might be useful to promote a sale or raise awareness of a relevant, new product.

How to remarket?

Your remarketing list or rules could target visitors who had not returned to your site after 30 plus days.  Setting up a campaign of this type can be slightly more complicated, but only involves excluding certain audiences.

In order to target only visitors that had not returned to the site for 30 days plus, we do the following:


  • Visitors that had previously converted on your site
  • Visitors not returning for 30 days plus


  • Visitors from the first list that had been on the site within 30 days

To exclude those that have visited the site within 30 days we create a list or rule that catches any traffic that had visited the site within 30 days, and then use this as an exclusion factor within the main “custom combination” or over-riding rule.

The cookie length you should use (i.e up to 60 days) will depend strongly on your industry and the buying cycle of products and services. Holidays, for example, are purchased perhaps once or twice a year and often in January. Therefore, you would want to set a longer cookie length. Fashion items on the other hand would demand a much shorter cookie length.

Remarketing campaigns tasked at increasing repeat orders can sometimes need strong incentives.  If these visitors have not returned to the site they may not have been happy with their service first time around, or have found another favourable supplier.

Ideally, you will know the likely reasons why someone may not return to your site.  If you do not, speak to your customer service team, or those that deal directly with customers.  It is likely that you will receive insightful feedback.  From here, you will get an idea of the kind of incentives that will attract these visitors back to your site and in turn will be included in advert messaging;  money off, free delivery, free assembly and free demos are usually good incentives.

Optimising remarketing campaigns

In addition to the above, there are a number of additional points you should consider when running remarketing campaigns:

a)  a/b test adverts to see which are working best. Create new ads based on the highest performing and pause all that are lower performing.  Learn lessons from this and apply it to your website and marketing messaging going forward.

b)  Look to see if there sites on the display network which are receiving a high amount of traffic but low conversion rates?  You will find this on the Networks tab in AdWords.  If you find high impressions sites with low conversion rates & view-through-conversion rates, consider removing them from the campaign

c)  Cookie Lengths.  Depending on the objective of your remarketing campaign, you may wish to set cookie lengths at different levels.  There is no “correct” cookie length.  The cookie period you choose will strongly depend on the average interest-to-purchase “buying cycle” of your industry, and the form of remarketing campaign you choose to undertake.

I hope you have found these tips helpful.  If you have any additional points for people to consider, or any questions I would be interested in hearing from you.

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