20-Point Retargeting (Remarketing) Ad Checklist

You’ve created a retargeting ad and it’s ready to go or at least you think it is. The thing is, it’s easy to run a retargeting ad but if it’s not optimized you’re probably not going to see the results you deserve.

Don’t stress, there’s a good chance you simply skipped over a few minor steps. The problem lies in determining which steps you’ve missed. You’re in luck, i’ve compiled a 20-point checklist that will help you rev-up your retargeting ads. Your retargeting ads (just like your car) needs regular servicing if you want it to run efficiently.  

You can use this checklist to assess whether your retargeting ads are performing, or not and what you need to find further success. Check it out!


1.) Have you shown your business logo (or colors) to make it clear that the retargeting ad is for your business? When you display your business logo (or colors of your business) creates brand awareness and recognition.

2.) Is the copy of your call-to-action (CTA) button actionable? You need to make sure that you’re clear about what will happen when someone clicks on your retargeting ad. When you leave “Submit” on your button it isn’t clear what will happen.

3.) Have you created several banner sizes for different ad placement? Keep in mind that every website will convert at a different rate. When you create different ad sizes you’ll be able to run your retargeting ads on more websites. It makes them harder to ignore and helps users feel less bombarded by the same advertisement.

4.) Have you created multiple ads to avoid ad fatigue? Ad fatigue is when a user has seen your ad too many times and stops clicking it. They start to find it annoying and actively avoid your ad. You can combat this by creating multiple ads in terms of the creatives (how it looks), ad copy (what it says), or the offer itself.

5.) Have you used ‘power’ words in your ad copy? Use words like ‘free’, ‘limited-time’ and ‘money-back guarantee’
to increase clicks.

6.) Have you conveyed the value of your offer? Even if it’s a free course, explaining that it contains over $400 worth of valuable information can catch the eye.

7.) Have you displayed a sense of urgency on your retargeting ads, especially for those offers that expire? One of the best examples of this is if someone bounces from your shopping cart before purchasing. You offer them a discount coupon, “20% off next purchase.” If you don’t say that it expires at midnight it’ll give them less motivation to click on your retargeting ad as they’ll think the offer will always be available.

8.) Is your retargeting ad free of clutter? As you’re working with limited ad space it’s important to keep your message as clear and simple as possible. Busy ads are often overlooked as people think it’s spam
. Limit the amount of words you need to use to explain your offer.

9.) Is your retargeting ad bold enough to stand out from the rest of the page? As most sites will have a white background it’s a good idea to avoid white for the background of your ad10.

10.) Have you set up your conversion tracking pixel before the tag on each page of your website? If you don’t place your pixel in the right spot then the people who visit won’t be tagged.

11.) Have you set your frequency cap? Depending on who you ask you’ll get a different answer of how long you should set. Koozai
recommends showing your retargeting ad two times per week. While ReTargeter recommends showing your retargeting ads 17-20 times per month. It depends on what you’re selling and over time it’ll be easier to determine what the best frequency for your retargeting ads are.

12.) Have you determined the length of your buying cycle (so you know how long you should run the retargeting ad for)? Your buying cycle (how long it takes someone to purchase your product) will dictate how long you should be running your retargeting ad for. For example if you’re B2C business, your buying cycle will be shorter so it’s best to keep your ad running for a maximum of two-weeks. If they haven’t clicked your ad within those two-weeks, chances are, they’re not going to. Your buying cycle will be longer if you’re a B2B company as it takes a longer time for someone to make a large purchase meaning you’ll be able to retarget for longer.

13.) Have you set up a post-conversion pixel on your thank-you or order confirmation page? Retargeting a person for an ad they’ve already converted on is not only going to annoy your now leads or customers but also cost you unnecessary ad spend (if you’re paying CPM).

14.) Have you created a new retargeting ad for converted visitors? Just because someone converted on your retargeting ad doesn’t mean you should stop retargeting them all together. You still can send them highly relevant and targeted ads based on where they are in the buying cycle. If they downloaded an ebook on how to create a successful landing page then retarget them with ads for your upcoming webinar on landing pages.

15.) Have you setup your audience segments? You can retarget the same way based on whether someone visited your site or not. However, if you want to get the highest engagement you’ll want to create segments of visitors based on the pages they visit.

116.) Have you created a different ad for each audience segment? A person who visits your homepage versus several product pages versus the pricing page will need to have different ads delivered to them. When you’ve segmented your audience properly you’ll be able to display ads that are catered to their unique needs.

17.) Are you using a single retargeting provider? You can try using multiple retargeting ad providers however only try them one at a time. A problem you will run to is being unable to control the frequency that your ads are shown. You’ll also have trouble figuring out which provider is giving you the best results. If you want to switch only do so once your retargeting ad is over.

118.) Is your retargeting ad sending users to an optimized landing page? A common mistake I see with retargeting ads is sending who click on your ad to a homepage. When you send people to a landing page it makes it quick and easy for people to convert on your offer.

119.) Is the design of your landing page consistent with the design of your banner? The design, offer and call-to-action should be the same on your retargeting ad as your landing page. It will make it so people know they’ve been directed to the right page and they’ll seek out the same CTA on the retargeting ad as the landing page.

20.) Have you A/B tested your retargeting ads? A/B testing is essential to ensuring your retargeting ads are giving you the best results. You can try testing the placement, size, copy, images, design, frequency, offers to find out what converts best.

There you have it, 20 points you can use to ensure your retargeting ads are up to par. How did you do? Please leave any questions (and how you did) in the comments section below.


Want to learn more about retargeting?

– Written by Samantha Mykyte

When Samantha isn’t crushing content at Wishpond she performs with her burlesque troupe, casts spells in dungeons and dragons and enjoys baking and eating cookies.


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