How to target users without annoying them

How to make users love your ads (and stop users hating them). Find out in below do’s and do nots.

1) Do use respectful frequencies

There’s nothing more irritating (or more likely to put you off a brand) than being talked around the internet by the same ad.

So, you’re thinking about a camping holiday and looked at a tent on an outbound website. That doesn’t mean you want an ad for that same tent to pop up on every site you visit for the next three weeks.

The point of retargeting ads is to gently remind and prod people, not drive them crazy. So make sure you’re respectful when setting the frequency for your ads.

2) Do try to avoid page clutter

Similarly, you don’t want users to think they’re seeing double – or worse. So don’t go for overkill and clutter their web pages with the same ad (or similar ads for the same brand).

We’ve seen some brands squeeze as many as 10 ads on the same page. Try instead to go for more subliminal subtlety.

3) Don’t retarget a user with products they’ve bought

No only is it irritating (and confusing) for users to be bombarded with ads for a product they’ve already bought, but it’s a waste of your advertising budget. After all, if a customer already owns the products, why will they click on an ad for the same item?

It also doesn’t endear your brand to them. You look unprofessional at best, and rude at worst.

4) Don’t keep retargeting a product months later

This advice is particularly important if a product’s buy cycle is short. It’s also just basic common sense. Just because someone looked at some trainers six months ago, doesn’t mean they’re suddenly going to respond to an ad now.

And, back to our camping example earlier, if you didn’t buy tents and sleeping bags in June, you’re certainly going to make a purchase in November.

So when you’re planning your retargeting campaigns, consider the product buy cycle, seasonality and general common sense, and set a realistic end date.

5) Do make your ads look good

In order for your ads to work they don’t just need to be timely and well targeted – they need to look good.

People like, and respond to, well designed ads with the right messaging. So don’t focus all your attention and budget on planning the logistics of a campaign and overlook the creative.

6) Do gain consent

In a post-GDPR world you need to gain consent to target people. So make sure you gain it. And do have a link in your ad to the consent process.

7) Do make it easy to opt out

You also need to make it easy for users to opt out – not just from that particular offer, but from offers in general, brands or the whole scheme.

Not only is it legally compliant, but it’s also good marketing practice. After all, do you really want to be harassing (and wasting budget on) someone who will never buy from you?

8) Do explain why users were targeted in the consent program

When gaining consent, do explain why users were targeted in the consent program.

9) Do take care targeting items likely to be sensitive to others

Think carefully about the products you retarget a user with. For example, if someone has browsed engagement rings, don’t bombard them with a barrage of engagement-related ads. If their prospective fiancée shares their devices you could spoil the surprise.

And even if not, you don’t want them to be nervous about anyone looking over their shoulder and guessing what they’ve been looking at.

So consider carefully the type of products and messaging you retarget users with.

10) Do make your ads engaging and provide valuable information

The more engaging and genuinely useful and helpful your ads are, the more likely users will respond positively to them. They’re more likely to look out for them, click o them, and think positively of the brand.
So even if they don’t buy now, you’re warming them up for future purchases and recommendations.

11) Do ensure your ads contain deep links

Make navigation back to your products as easy as possible by adding deep links to your ads.

Need help with getting your targeting right?

If you’d like assistance in getting your targeting right and making users love your ads, we’d be delighted to help. Call us on 020 3262 0415 or email to find out how we can help.

Want to know how to make the most from your display campaigns? Find the answers in our free report we did in partnership with Retail Week. 

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