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15 Retargeting Campaign Tips
I Learned From Big Brands

We’ve all been around online marketing enough to know that retargeting is a big deal, and that the people who are good at it say it works wonders.  


(But in case you’re new, welcome.)

The thing is, your paid retargeting campaign actually is a big deal, and if you’re not doing it well (or are only half-assing it… you know who you are), it’s something you really need to pony up and start paying attention to.

Dominate Web Media’s found says he’s seen it reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50%. AdEspresso’s Max Chieruzzi says they use it to reduce a $0.10 email collection into a $0.03 email collection.  Body Glove, a specialized eCommerce company, used Facebook retargeting to turn a $114 Facebook ad budget into over $18,000 in sales.

One of the best ways to improve your current retargeting campaigns (or to start them without creating a hot mess) is to pay attention when you’re online to see what your favorite brands are doing to retarget you, what they’re doing well, and how they could do better.

Because if you use the internet at all (and you do, you’re reading this, which is on the internet), you’re being retargeted. Whether you like it or not.

So to help you get started, I took screen shots and made notes over the last few days of how I was getting retargeted by my favorite brands and the lessons I learned from their individual retargeting campaigns.



Let’s start with Nationwide. I use them for my personal checking account, my tax savings account (yay self-employment taxes!), my emergency fund, my business checking account, my car loan, and my car insurance.

You could say I’m a fan.

Originally, I switched to their banking services for individuals because I was fed up at paying $5 a pop in ATM fees, and they offered much higher interest rates.

At this point in time, they’re retargeting me online with paid ads for auto insurance, which is a service I’m already purchasing from them.


Already got it guys.

retargeting ads

Nationwide’s money would be better spent marketing another service to me.


When I see their ads online with their happy-looking stock photos (or Peyton Manning singing everything to their jingle on TV), it makes me feel like a happy part of the Nationwide family.

Yes, even when they’re marketing things I’ve already bought in on.

But if their retargeting ads were for some of their services that I hadn’t already been sucked into? Oh my goodness. They just might get even more business from me.

Lesson #1: Make your existing customers feel good about being customers. It increases brand loyalty.

Lesson #2: Particularly if your existing customers have to log in to access the services you’re paying for, that is something that you can and should be tracking. Don’t waste your ad budgets marketing your ebook to people who already have your ebook. Up-sell or cross-sell to something else. Or at the very least, a non-paid resource that will fall in line with lesson one.



HubSpot usually does an absolutely wonderful job of all things online marketing, but at one point, I got so fed up with them in my Facebook feed that I hid them entirely.

They were running ads that literally said things along the lines of “I wish I’d done this sooner.” “I totally regret I didn’t try this sooner.” “This absolutely changed my life.” and nothing more.

I am not even kidding you. I couldn’t believe this was actually coming from HubSpot, one of my favorite online brands.

retargetting tips

Blair feels the same way as I do.


I’m sure it was just an experiment to A/B test and see how things went, but experiment failed, HubSpot.

Lesson #3: Don’t use annoying ad language. This isn’t direct response. Also, add context. And? Click bait is (THUMBS DOWN EMOJI).

P.S. I still love you, HubSpot. None of us are above silly marketing mistakes from time to time. And now I know you’re human, just like me.


retargeting campaign

Is that the new Facebook mirror ad?


I used to use Edgar for some of my client work, but I don’t yet have an account for myself.

I do love the wonderful setup they’ve got and how they can keep social media going without active management (and thriving if you take the time to do a smart setup.)

I don’t know if it’s intentional, but this lady is even blonde like me and looks like she’s the same age.

(I bet it was intentional. It’s on Facebook where that kind of data is available… at least the female/age thing. The hair color data is probably only a matter of time if that isn’t a thing yet. Let’s be honest.)

They’re trying to sweep me in for a free two-week trial, which literally puts me at no risk, and I really don’t have much of a reason not to just click through and sign up.

However, I already know what Edgar is and what it does, which they could guess from the amount of time I spend “signed in” on their website from my IP address.

So if they wanted to strike even more closer to home for me, they could segment out this particular messaging: Contractors who use Edgar for clients, but don’t yet use it for themselves. (I bet it’s way more people than you’d think.)

Lesson #4: Take advantage of every single piece of data that’s available to you to create tailored ads… especially when you’re retargeting on Facebook.

Lesson #5: Constantly be thinking about how you can segment out audience sections from one another, and how to tailor your retargeting messages to them.


Four Hour Workweek

Yes, I visit Tim Ferriss’ site and podcast from time to time, but what the heck is this advertisement even about??

retargeting campaigns

Access to what Tim?


I mean, I get that it’s to his site, but WHAT do I get access to?

It’s all about clarity, Tim. Clarity. (But I’ll forgive you.)

Lesson #6: Be clear about what you’re offering. Even if you assume the people you’re retargeting are familiar enough with your site to know already.


American Airlines

Yes, AA is my favorite airline. They’re just soooo good at customer service in comparison to the others I’ve flown… so I’ve signed up for two different credit cards and have loads of miles racked up and ready to spend on free flights.

retargeting tip

Classy business card to add to my American Airlines services?


I’ve already got a personal version of this card in gold, but not a business card.

Sure, the business part could be due to the fact that I was on Business Insider when I saw this ad, or they might also be onto the fact (together with data from Business Insider) that I’m a new official business owner.

(And do they know that Capital One is giving me the run-around with THE MOST ANNOYING GAMES EVERRR with the business credit card I just got from them? …. That one’s probably just a coincidence.)

good retargeting

Use retargeting ads to up-sell after you got the first conversion.


But they are probably onto the fact that I’ve got points to spend… enough to fly first class over my typical choice of going in coach. Up-sell done right.

Lesson #7: Look for ways to provide a more well-rounded brand experience for your existing customers. Like offering them a business version of your services when they’re already exceedingly happy with your individual version.

Lesson #8: Don’t be afraid to go for the up-sell. Especially when you know someone’s a dedicated enough customer that it’ll either be totally welcome or at least not annoying.



I just bought a Prius. And I researched way too much about everything I buy that costs over $50, I was definitely doing some hard-hitting Toyota research.

And since Toyota knows I’m interested in one hybrid car from them (or at least that I’ve been heavily researching their hybrid models), I’m obviously a sucker for fuel efficiency and not harming the environment.

how to retarget

Using pop culture/news references can really make an impression.


So what does Toyota show me now?

A car that’s so environmentally friendly that it only emits water.


I AM SO HOOKED ON THIS IDEA! (Sorry for the excitement, but if you knew me in person, you’d think nothing of my excitement over this.)

Being that I’ve got a few years of payments to still make on my Prius, I’m clearly not in the car-buying market, nor do I hope I will be anytime soon.

However, just because I won’t buy today doesn’t mean I’m ever going to forget about how cool this car is, and you can bet this is a car that I’ll seek out in the future when the time comes to replace my sweet baby Prius.

Lesson #9: Just because someone isn’t ready to purchase right now doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future… or that you should ignore them. Keeping yourself top-of-mind is key. (Especially if their conversion means you’ll make thousands of dollars.)

Lesson #10: Don’t be afraid of pop culture / hot news references. This ad was a clear play on the Back to the Future date, which was when I saw this ad and took the screenshot. It made it more memorable.


Zenni Optical

I’m all about saving money. And nerdy, plastic, colorful glasses.

So obviously I shop for my glasses here.


How can you pass up these low prices?


This ad popped up while I was looking up song lyrics reminding me of exactly what I was shopping for on Zenni Optical’s site, but haven’t purchased yet… plastic frames.

Lesson #11: Showing people what they’ve abandoned in their shopping cart is always effective. But so is showing them products they’ve spent time looking at but haven’t actually added to their cart. That friendly reminder can be what they need to remember what a good deal you’ve got and to make that purchase.


Digital Marketer

I’m saving my favorite one for last.

Not that Digital Marketer is necessarily my favorite brand ever (I do like them), but their retargeting efforts were quite effective and memorable.

It was a Friday night karaoke session, and we were using YouTube for the music and lyrics. (Don’t even tell me that’s not classy.)

And apparently, Digital Marketer really wanted to show up for the karaoke too, because I don’t even know how many videos we had to go through before we finally saw an ad that wasn’t Digital Marketer’s.

consistent retargeting

Ad #1

persistent retargeting

Ad #2

good retargeting tips

And, finally, ad #3


A certified content marketing specialist course, a customer acquisition specialist course, and a book on online selling. And that wasn’t even all of them.

So now, just in case I ever had any doubt before, NOW I KNOW that Digital Marketer has exactly everything I need to know and learn about my line of work.

So if I’ve got a question or want to learn more about something? I will check them out.  

Lesson #12: Stay in their face and don’t be apologetic about it.

Lesson #13: Vary your ads so people don’t get totally bored of you. When Digital Marketer ran out of different, relevant ads to show me, they stopped. (Has anyone else seen Bluehost’s YouTube ad? I’ve gotten soooo bored of it.)

Lesson #14: Make sure your ads are on-point to their interests. I’m sure Digital Marketer tracked the kind pages I’d visited on their site and showed me relevant ads.

Lesson #15: If you use YouTube for your retargeting, you just might be the guest of honor at a very cool karaoke party. (It worked for Ryan Deiss, anyway.)



Clearly, the more information you’re able to collect about your prospects, the better you’ll be able to resonate with them and strike closer to home.

Because while retargeting is effective in and of itself, when you pay more attention to make sure you’re showing the right ads to the right people (think Nationwide vs. Digital Marketer above), you’ll get a much better ROI from your investment.

And now that I’ve rambled on about my favorite brands and retargeting ads… what are some of your favorite retargeting methods that you’ve seen across the internet?

Let us know in the comments below, we wanna hear 🙂

P.S. Did you like what you read here? Gained some insight? :) Tweet and post this to your peeps to share the wealth.

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Klientboost Blog Author Chelsea Baldwin

Chelsea Baldwin

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