6 Highly Effective Retargeting Ad Campaign Examples With Best Practices

In this article, we will walk you through some of the most effective examples of retargeting ads, and share best practices that you can apply right away!

Congratulations on attracting visitors to your website! It’s a cause for celebration. But there’s a downside: these potential customers are browsing but not making any commitments. Only 3% of first-time visitors actually make a purchase. What about the other 97%? Missed opportunities! This is where the power of retargeting comes into play. It’s not just about reclaiming lost traffic; it’s about turning hesitant audiences into loyal customers through strategic remarketing.

Retargeting is often misunderstood. When done poorly, it can harm your prospects and lead to campaign failures and loss. However, when executed correctly, it keeps your brand alive and encourages your prospects to return to your site. Join us as we draw inspiration from innovative retargeting ad examples for your next retargeting journey.

What is a retargeting ad campaign?

A retargeting ad campaign is a marketing approach that focuses on reconnecting with users who have previously engaged with a brand to boost the chances of conversion. In the case of context-based retargeting ad campaigns, ads are displayed related to the product or service based on the content that the user is currently viewing.

How does a retargeting ad campaign work?

How does retargeting ad campaign work

Let us take an example of contextual retargeting:

  • First encounter: The journey starts when an individual visits a website but leaves the website without making a purchase or taking desired action. 
  • Contextual recognition beyond cookies: Unlike traditional cookie-based monitoring, contextual retargeting doesn’t depend on tracking visitors’ actions through cookies. Instead, it concentrates on the context or substance of the pages that the visitor views.
  • Assessing content interests: In contextual retargeting, the system observes the kind of content that piqued the visitor’s interest during their website visit. The focus is on the thematic or contextual aspects of the visited pages.
  • Context-based retargeting campaigns: Visitors are shown ads related to the content they viewed on the original site as they browse the internet. For example, someone reading about fitness may encounter ads for fitness-related products on other websites. These ads are displayed on platforms that match the content themes seen during the initial visit while maintaining the user’s privacy. 

What are the benefits of running retargeting ad campaigns?

Retargeting ad campaigns are highly effective tools for the following reasons:

Delivers better results

Retargeted ads outperform regular display ads by 76%. Their focused approach targets individuals who have previously expressed interest in a product or service, engaging a more receptive audience. The click-through rate (CTR) of retargeted ads is ten times greater than typical display ads, highlighting their effectiveness in digital marketing.

Cost efficiency

Retargeting marketing campaigns offer a cost-effective way to reach potential customers. The average cost per click (CPC) for retargeting is significantly lower, ranging from $0.66 to $1.23, when compared to Google search ads. Since retargeted audiences are already familiar with the brand, they are more likely to interact with the ads, resulting in lower CPCs and a higher return on investment for marketers.

Ability to convert lost customers

One of the key benefits of retargeting is its ability to bring back customers who previously visited a website but didn’t make a purchase. As we covered earlier, 97% of first-time website visitors leave without buying anything. Retargeting specifically focuses on these visitors, reminding them of their initial interest and guiding them toward purchasing. They employ a personalized approach based on the visitor’s previous interactions with the site to enhance relevance, thereby conversion.

Types of retargeting ad campaigns?

Retargeting campaigns can be categorized based on their goals or the retargeting approach used. Here’s a detailed look at these types:

Based on campaign goals

Awareness-based retargeting ad campaign

Objective: Provides information to prospective clients who have not yet actively engaged with the company but align with the target customer profile to increase brand awareness. 

Approach: Emphasizing the establishment of brand recognition instead of aggressive product promotion. 

Execution: Offering educational content to familiarize potential customers with the company’s values and array of products without employing forceful sales tactics.

Conversion-based retargeting ad campaigns

Objective: It targets visitors who are already familiar with the brand’s products/services but who left without making a purchase.

Approach: Aims to re-engage almost-converters and encourage them to complete their purchase.

Execution: Deploys various ad formats to draw users back to the landing page using persuasive language and imagery that resonate with the brand’s image.

Based on the retargeting approach

List-based retargeting

This retargeting ad strategy uses current contact databases (email addresses) to re-engage with potential customers. For instance, using email marketing, sending a follow-up email to a visitor who browsed the website but did not complete a transaction. It offers increased personalization but relies on pre-existing contact details, reducing intrusiveness but limiting scalability.

Pixel-based retargeting

This tracks pixels or cookies to monitor users on a particular web browser. For instance, if you browse through jackets on an e-commerce platform but do not make a purchase, you will encounter ads for the same jackets while browsing other relevant websites. While this method successfully monitors users’ activities, it can become intrusive. Due to privacy concerns retail media ads are becoming a popular choice for brands these days.

Context-based retargeting

Contextual retargeting analyzes the content being viewed and displays ads relevant to the context or content. For example: After browsing a website offering gourmet desserts without making a purchase, you see an advertisement for the same dessert company while reading a food blog focused on gourmet cooking. The benefit is that it offers personalized ad experiences that consider the user’s current interest.

6 Best retargeting ad campaign strategies with examples that work

Retargeting ad campaign idea #1: Target customers based on action

In this method, the retargeting ad campaign is customized to align with the specific behaviors of customers on your website. It ensures the marketing messages are relevant to each customer stage in the buyer’s journey, boosting the campaign’s effectiveness. You can divide your retargeting ad campaigns into categories based on the customer’s interest or actions. 

Why it works

  • Customization: Recognizing customer journey makes the advertisement feel more tailored and applicable.
  • Tailored messaging for different stages: Customers are in various phases of the decision-making journey. A universal ad campaign may not connect with all audiences.
Retargeting ad campaign example by Jasper market

Credit: Jasper’s Market 

Jasper’s Market has created an ad demonstrating a clever retargeting campaign. Using their previous site activity, it targets people interested in baking or dessert recipes. The ad focuses on the seasonal appeal of figs and promotes Jasper’s pre-made pie crusts as a convenient solution for baking enthusiasts. This approach aims to convert previous site visitors into customers by appealing to their interests and offering a practical product.

Retargeting ad campaign idea #2: Offer free shipping in ads

With free shipping, businesses can effectively tackle a major concern that often prevents people from making online purchases: the extra expense of shipping. The surprise fees for shipping are a key factor that makes customers think twice before finalizing their purchase. Customers perceive the deal as more valuable When they come across an advertisement that promises free shipping. This can significantly boost the click-through rate (CTR) as customers feel more motivated to return to their shopping cart and complete the purchase, knowing that the obstacle of shipping costs has been eliminated.

Why it works

  • Cost sensitivity: Customers frequently react strongly to additional expenses, and the cost of shipping can significantly impact their decision to purchase. Including a promotion in advertisements that removes these fees can sway the decision in favor of completing the purchase.
  • Perceived value: Offering free shipping enhances the perceived value of the offer. It gives customers the impression that they are receiving greater value for their money, which can be a more compelling motivator than a discount equal to the shipping fee.
  • Simplicity in decision-making: When customers come across an advertisement offering free shipping, it makes decision-making much easier. They no longer need to worry about factoring in additional shipping costs, which often causes them to abandon their shopping cart.
Retargeting ad campaign example by Fossils

Credit: Fossil 

Fossil designed an engaging ad targeting customers who had previously visited their website offering complimentary shipping.

Retargeting ad campaign idea #3: Use social proofs to build trust

Introducing social proof in retargeting ads is an effective approach to establishing trust and credibility with potential customers. When people see that others have had good experiences with your product, it provides a powerful validation that is more influential than any claim the brand can make. 

Reviews are crucial because 72% of consumers hold off on buying until they’ve read reviews. 79%  of consumers trust these reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their friends. 

Given that reviews can boost conversion rates by up to 270%, including customer testimonials in retargeting ads is important. You can use social media platforms like – Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok for this.

You can do this by:

  • Influencer endorsements
  • User testimonials
  • User-generated content (UGC)
  • Social media shares
  • Certificates

Why it works

  • Building trust: Reviews and testimonials play a crucial role in building trust, a key factor that affects purchasing decisions. 
  • Peer endorsement: Witnessing the positive impact of a product on someone else’s life increases its attractiveness. 
  • Minimized risk: Social proof lowers the perceived risk of trying out a new product by showcasing it as vetted by other customers. 
  • Empowered choice: Reviews offer valuable insights that address potential buyers’ questions and concerns, empowering them to make informed and confident purchase decisions.
Retargeting ad campaign example by Nature Made

Credit: Nature Made

Nature Made relies on the USP’s expert certification to vouch for the quality of its vitamins instead of self-describing, adding more credibility to the brand.

Retargeting ad campaign idea #4: Create sense of urgency

You can prompt a feeling of urgency in retargeting ads by incorporating time-sensitive promotions, special bargains, countdown clocks, or notifications about limited stock. These strategies motivate their custom audiences to act promptly to seize the opportunity before it’s gone or expires. Phrases like “Hurry,” “Limited offer,” or “Only 40 items remaining” are often used to prompt desired action especially when running ads for holiday seasons. 

Why it works

  • Elevates conversion rates: The sense of urgency can be a great way to persuade indecisive shoppers into making a purchase by imposing time constraints. 
  • Minimizes delay: It prompts uncertain buyers to take action immediately, decreasing their chances of abandoning their carts. 
  • Enhances perceived worth: Time-limited offers can enhance a product’s perceived value, hinting at an exclusive opportunity that may not come around again. 
  • Psychological trigger: Urgency taps into the fear of missing out (FOMO), a compelling driver in consumer decision-making.
Retargeting ad campaign example by J Crew Factory
Credit: J Crew Factory

Crew’s advertisement “Clock is Ticking” is a good example of retargeting by creating a sense of urgency. After browsing through J. Crew’s products, customers may not have made a purchase because they felt no immediate need to do so. This ad effectively conveys the message that the window of opportunity is limited and time is running out, addressing the potential hesitation in making a purchase.

Retargeting ad campaign idea #5: Run retargeting ad campaigns for abandoned cart customers

Forrester’s report on shopping cart abandonment reveals that 88% of online shoppers have abandoned their carts before completing a purchase. Even more concerning, 70% of these abandonments occurred just before the final order was placed. Retargeting ads are widely used due to their effectiveness, with a click-through rate of 0.7%. They streamline the checkout process by directing customers to their abandoned carts when they click on the ad. To efficiently target these abandoned cart customers, businesses can incorporate tracking pixels on their checkout pages. This enables them to launch retargeting ads that remind customers about their incomplete transactions, often displaying visuals of the items left in the cart. 

Why it works

  • Closing the sales loop: With 70% of carts abandoned just before completing the order, retargeting ads is a crucial step in closing the sales loop and improving conversion rates.
  • Relevance and timing: By reminding shoppers what they’re missing out on and offering a seamless checkout experience, these remarketing ads capitalize on relevance and the psychological principle of loss aversion.
  • Incentivization: Offering discounts or free shipping incentives can entice customers to return and complete their purchases, especially when they know their cart is at risk of expiring.
Retargeting ad campaign example by Bestbuy
Credit : Best Buy

Best Buy’s ad subtly prompts customers to review their selected items and emphasizes the convenience of free store pickup and shipping for orders over a certain amount, urging them to move forward with their purchase.

Credit: Redballoon

The RedBalloon ad encourages customers to finalize their purchase by offering a special discount code and conveying a feeling of urgency with a DON’T MISS OUT message. It also displays a range of experiences to cater to different interests. 

Retargeting ad campaign idea #6: Use ads for cross-selling and upselling opportunities

The main goal of this retargeting ad campaign is to see a customer’s conversion as just the beginning rather than the end. Studies show that selling to an existing customer is 60-70% more likely than selling to a new prospect. 

Retargeting ads for cross-selling and upselling presents a strategic opportunity to increase sales and develop stronger relationships with customers. By understanding their needs and offering relevant deals, businesses can significantly boost revenue while improving customer satisfaction. 

Why it works

  • Trust and familiarity: Existing customers have already established their confidence, making them more responsive to future offers.
  • Increased Average Order Value (AOV): Effective cross-selling and upselling enhance AOV, resulting in better revenue per customer.
  • Improved Client Lifetime Value (CLV): These strategies boost customer loyalty and CLV by consistently providing value.
  • Cost efficiency: Since acquiring a new client may be up to five times more expensive than selling to an existing one, retargeting for cross-selling and upselling is a cost-effective marketing strategy.
Credit: Joss and Main

This ad reminds the shopper of a missed item, offering a simple and direct path back to purchase, harnessing the power of suggestion and the FOMO.

The mini-cart advertisement is another example of retargeting, it cleverly recommends complementing items, such as matching lipstick, to persuade the buyer to add more to their bag to complete the look.

Run retail media ads with Flipkart Commerce Cloud

Step into the world of retail media advertising with Flipkart Commerce Cloud (FCC), a powerful platform designed to help businesses reach their target audience effectively. With its advanced targeting capabilities and valuable analytics, FCC is an essential asset for businesses looking to enhance their online presence and increase sales. 

FCC’s cutting-edge targeting features and in-depth analytics ensure that brands can connect with potential customers at the right time, guaranteeing maximum ad visibility. With customer insights and behavior patterns, FCC enables businesses to create personalized and impactful ad campaigns that boost brand recognition and drive sales. 

Get in touch with FCC to take your retail advertising strategy to new heights.

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