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3 Tips to Set Up a Retargeting Campaign in 24 Hours (Even if You Have Never Heard of Retargeting Before)

Retargeting can be scary.

Say the word “retargeting” in a room of small-to-medium business owners, and you might get the same reaction as yelling “monster” to a group of small children.

But why?

Retargeting is one of the best things you can do for your advertising. It can achieve click-through rates of 0.7% vs regular ads at 0.07%—that’s a huge difference!

So, why is there a fear associated with retargeting?

From our experience, it’s usually because it seems really difficult to implement. There are lots of technologies, and even more jargon, associated with remarketing—custom audiences, retargeting scripts, conversion scripts, display ads, publishers, and placements, just to name a few.

All of this can be pretty overwhelming—especially if you are totally new to this side of marketing.

So here are 3 ways you can make retargeting ridiculously easy for yourself—so easy that you can launch your first campaign in 24 hours!

But, before we get started, let’s get back to basics.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that helps you engage with people that have previously visited your website. It’s is a cookie-based technology (not the sweet, delicious kind though) that tags all users who land on your site.

Once they leave the site, they carry your cookie. This cookie is recognized by publishers around the web. These publishers can then display your ads to the same users.

This graphic from Capterra does a great job in explaining the retargeting journey:

graphic showing retargeting process

Why Should You Care About Retargeting?

The reason you should care about retargeting is because it works.

Check this out:

  • For most websites, only 2% of the web traffic ends up converting after the first visit
  • In a study that evaluated various strategies in terms of the average lift in search activity generated for an advertising brand, retargeting represented the highest lift in trademark search behavior at 1046%.
  • Retargeting can boost ad response up to 400%.
  • Web visitors that are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert

Retargeting has been one of the most efficient and personalized ways to advertise, and clearly, it works. So now that we are on the same page about why you should be doing it, let’s dive into how you can make this happen in 24 hours!

(RELATED: The Remarketing Grid: The Science of Ad Retargeting Audience Segmentation)

3 Tips to Setting Up a Retargeting Campaign Within 24 Hours

So, let me provide some context here: If you are looking for an automated solution to do your retargeting for you—this blog post is not for you.

This post is written with the intent of providing tips and solutions that could help a beginner set up a retargeting campaign if you don’t have much knowledge of retargeting campaigns, creating audiences, and most importantly, ways to increase your conversions and ROI from your retargeting efforts.

Here are some assumptions we are making when writing this post:

  • You have a product or a service to sell
  • You have the budget to invest in retargeting solutions and retargeting ads
  • You don’t have a massive team of developers, marketers, and designers to help you set all of this up

So, let’s get into it!

Tip #1: Use Link Retargeting to Build a Retargeting Audience

When building your retargeting audience, you ideally want to build an audience of people who have shown an interest in your product. There are tons of tools you can use to build your retargeting audience, like Adroll, Facebook retargeting, or Google AdWords. However, since they take a lot of set-up and prior work, for a beginner, these are probably not the best options.

But with link retargeting, you don’t need anything to get started: No retargeting script, no display ads, and no ad copy.

It’s as simple as building a retargeting audience out of everyone that clicks on your links. Plus, you know these people already had enough of an interest to click on your site.

Here is how you can do this with link retargeting:

  • Your first step is to find a piece of content that your audience would like to read. This can be your own content or third-party content.

Then you want to shorten the URL of the content using a link retargeting platform such as RetargetLinks, which we will be using as an example.

shortening your link with link retargeting

  • Share your short link on all your broadcasting platforms: social media, email, blog posts, PR Releases—anywhere your target audience exists. Everyone that clicks on your short links will automatically be added to your retargeting audience!

images of different ways you can share you link

  • Create and upload your ads into the RetargetLinks Most link retargeting platforms help you build your retargeting audience but do not show your ads for you. This means that you still need to learn Google Adwords and all that goes with it (building audiences, bidding, and weeding through different placements to get your ads on high-authority sites) in order to display your ads to the right consumers.

However, RetargetLinks specifically gives you a leg up. All you need to do is drag and drop your ads into the platform. They display your ads for you.

the place to drag and drop your ads in RetargetLinks

Additionally, with Link Retargeting you can segment your users. Since the retargeting audience is built out of everyone that clicks on your short link, you have the ability to build highly segmented audiences with the content that you share.

For example, if you wanted an audience of curly haired individuals, you could share an article about “Tips for Managing Curly Hair.” Most likely, the majority of the people who would click on that article have curly hair.

Since everyone that clicks on the article automatically gets added to your retargeting audience, you now have an engaged audience of curly haired individuals! Link Retargeting allows you to be extremely granular with segmenting—something that is quite complicated to do with other retargeting platforms.

Tip # 2: Use a Landing Page Provider to Optimize Conversion Rates

In order to get the best return from your retargeting efforts, you want to have a strong page that the user lands on when they click on your banner ad. However, optimizing your entire website to improve your conversion rates can be a pretty big project—and definitely falls outside of our 24-hour timeline.

Instead, I recommend using an online landing page provider to create a destination for your click-through, like Unbounce, Wix, or Leadpages.

You can even use the landing page templates that are provided by online programs like Unbounce, since they have everything built out for you already.

They are built with a single call to action (an action for the user to complete, a CTA) focused predominantly on converting the user, and you don’t have to know everything about web-page design to set it up.

(RELATED: [DOWNLOAD] The 15-Point Landing Page Audit)

So, here is how you can optimize conversions with landing pages:

  • Navigate to any landing page platform and create a new landing page. For this step-by-step, we will be using the example of Unbounce. You can either create one from scratch (no coding required, just drag and drop) or you can select one of their pre-built, tried-and-tested templates.

showing different options in Unbounce to make landing pages

  • Unbounce allows you to host landing pages for free under their own domain. This means that your landing page URL might look something like this:

Image of Unbounce url you can use

  • You can also opt to add your own domain as a subdomain in Unbounce. This is highly recommended, but it does require a paid subscription.

image shows you how to add your own domain

  • With Unbounce, you create a desktop and mobile version at the same time. And in order to have the most optimal conversion rate, it is crucial that both these versions work well. So make sure you double check that both versions look good and work to drive your audience to the CTA.

showing you the difference between the web and mobile version

  • Unbounce also tracks every lead that comes in and compiles it into a list for you. Say hello to easy conversion tracking—no script, no conversion pixel—nothing!
  • Here is how you can access this information: Navigate to the Unbounce dashboard and check out how many leads have come in by checking up on the conversions. You can also navigate to the leads section and view a list of the leads.

showing you the data that Unbounce can give you

If you would like to export this list into your CRM or email marketing platform, you can also generate a CSV of all of your leads!

With these templates, you can get a great head start with your conversion rate optimization (CRO) without the hassle of learning the ins-and-outs of landing page design (at least for now). That way you can set up your retargeting campaign sooner and get selling faster. 

Tip # 3: Using Banner Templates to Make Display Ads

Onto the last, but definitely not the least, tip…

…Creating your display ads using online banner makers.

This is probably one of the most important aspects of the entire retargeting journey.


Because your ads are competing with a lot of other information—content on that site, other display ads, and other calls to action that could take away from your ad.

Hence, it is important to create an eye-catching ad that stands out, relays the right information, and encourages the click.

Online banner makers like Bannersnack, Canva, and Snappa are life-savers in these situations. Not only do they have pre-set templates with great ideas to create your own banner ads, the templates are also set to the right dimensions!

Here is how you can get that done:

  • Find an online banner maker that works for your needs, but for this step-by-step, we will be using Bannersnack. Bannersnack has one of the most affordable starter plans in our opinion ($7/month for 30 static banners) and a really user-friendly interface.
  • Once you have logged in, you can start by selecting the size of the ad that you would like to create.

the different template offers from Bannersnack

  • Choose a pre-made template you want to use (or build your ad from scratch with the easy drag-and-drop tools). These templates will make your job quick and easy since the image-to-text ratio and the layout is built with keeping CRO in mind.

showing the templates for banners

  • Save the banner you create and download it to any device! Once you have done so, you can drag and drop the banner into a link retargeting platform or upload the banner into Adwords/Facebook.

shows how to download the ad

That’s it! You are done. You now have beautiful, high-converting banner ads with a singular call to action, the right text-to-image ratio, and the correct dimensions.

We hope these 3 tricks help you take your retargeting campaign from zero to hero and aid you in employing one of the most efficient forms of digital advertising as early as tomorrow!

Supriya Gupta

Supriya Gupta

Supriya Gupta is the Head of Marketing at RetargetLinks, an ad-tech startup that invented the technology of link retargeting. She oversees all marketing activities and media partnerships as part of her role at RetargetLinks. She is an SEO and SEM expert who has helped several startups improve their online presence and conversion rates through strategic digital strategy. She comes with an extensive background in eCommerce having worked with reputable brands including Sage eCommerce.

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