5 Common Retargeting Mistakes (and How to Fix Them!)

Scott Danielson
June 25, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Perfect Audience blog. We welcomed Perfect Audience to the Marin Software team in June.

Whether you’re just getting started with retargeting or you’ve been at it for a while now, we all make mistakes from time to time. If you find yourself falling into any of these common traps, here are some suggestions to get yourself out!

Mistake #1 - Using one and only one ad

Perfect Audience allows you to create up to 5 ads for your free trial campaign, and as many as you’d like for paid campaigns - so why limit yourself to one ad? I see many campaigns only using one ad. Use more!

Whether you use Perfect Audience or not, make sure to set up multiple ads ads so you can do some A/B testing. You should use at least 2-3 ads for News Feed campaigns, and at least 4-5 for Facebook Sidebar and Web campaigns.

Mistake #2 - Letting underperforming ads continue to underperform

Keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t. It sounds like a minor detail but paying close attention to your ads can really make a difference in your campaign performance.

Keep your ads up to date. Review them every 7-10 days and replace the ads that aren’t performing.

Do audiences seem to click on this picture more than that one? Is this text performing better than that text? Make subtle changes in your ads so that over time you can keep rotating your ads with the better performing ones to keep the campaign healthy.

Mistake #3 - Sounding like an advertiser

Don’t run generic ads! Be creative with your headline and copy. For News Feed ads, keep your copy short and sweet. Try not to make a big block of text with your message. Make your News Feed content sound like something a Facebook user would post. Use your brand’s voice!

It’s also important that your ads are socially relevant. For example, special themed ads around holidays or events can give you a boost in performance if timed correctly. So keep things like Father’s Day, 4th of July, etc… in your mind when the timing is right. Make ads that follow along with these events!

Mistake #4 - Using less popular ad sizes (Web campaigns)

With web campaigns, you get a little more leeway with your banner resolutions. Perfect Audience has found that banner ads that are 300×250 and 729×98 perform best. Some visitors like square ads over the longer banner ad, so at the very least make sure you have both of these sizes in your campaign.

If you run only one or the other, you are limiting your reach. Make sure to have both sizes so you can serve the ad to the widest audience you can get. You’ll also learn which size works best for you and can make any appropriate adjustments to improve performance even more.

Mistake #5 - Using the same ad 4-5 times

It’s great if you’re using multiple ads in your campaign, but do they all say the same thing? Is it the same generic text with a subtle variation in the image? That’s not going to give you good A/B testing data! Make your ad images and text different so you can really determine what visitors like to click on.

Now that you’re armed with all this new great information, go apply it to your campaigns and see how it affects their performance! Do you have a great tip not mentioned here? We’d love to hear about it! Drop us a line in the comments. And finally, learn more about how Perfect Audience is joining forces with Marin Software here!

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