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Jan 03

The recency bump: Why timing for retargeting is important in digital

In retargeting for digital advertising campaigns, as in life, timing is everything.

One major factor that makes retargeting so successful is addressing recency. Meaning, the time between user intent and ad impression is nearly zero. We refer to this impact of immediacy as the “recency bump”.

Before digging into the need for recency in retargeting campaigns let’s start with:

“What is Retargeting?”

Retargeting comes in many forms, but we’ll start with the form of retargeting that is both the most common and the most universally effective: site-based retargeting. Site-based retargeting is, simply, the practice of serving ads to people who visited your website but left without completing the desired action like making a purchase or filling out a lead form. Retargeting is so effective because it focuses your spend on people who are most likely to make a purchase, increasing your conversion rate at a relatively low cost.

Adding recency to your retargeting campaigns.

To get the most out of retargeting, focus on what makes retargeting work in the first place—relevance and recency. Retargeting works best when it is based on serving the most relevant ads to those who have recently expressed interest. To keep retargeting at its most effective, limit your retargeting pools to those who have visited your site recently (say, within 30 days).

Secondly, be sure to keep your retargeting as relevant as possible. If you have a ton of site traffic, it could be important to only target users who have demonstrated significant purchase intent or segment your website based content. For example, you may find it more effective to target only those users who have visited product or pricing pages rather than everyone who visits your homepage.

Retargeting is at its best when working in conjunction with other digital advertising strategies. Frankly, it is unlikely to be efficacious as a standalone tactic. For one thing, retargeting can’t drive new traffic or generate interest or awareness. It will improve brand recall among those who have already heard of your brand, but at its root, it’s a conversion optimization tool.

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