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Using Exclusions to Strengthen Retargeting

Published: September 7, 2017

Author: Carolanne Hornung

Social experts know that running retargeting campaigns on your account is one of the easiest ways to bring in conversions while keeping your audience engaged with your brand. Your options for retargeting vary greatly based on your objective. You can have more focused retargeting efforts, such as users who have initiated checkout without purchasing, or you can have a general retargeting effort, like any user who has been to your site.
One common issue that marketers running retargeting campaigns run into is that your clickthrough rates and cost per click seem great, but you’re lacking in conversion rates and it’s driving up your cost per acquisition. How do you combat that issue and bring your acquisition costs to a reasonable amount?
We decided to explore this with a test. For this specific test, we were running a general retargeting audience with a lookback of 180 days. We created an exclusion list of users who had hit certain pages on the site – comprised of pages where the intent was to cancel a free trial or cancel a membership. We added this exclusion list to our 180-day WCA retargeting campaign and ran the same creative and ad copy. After a few months, we compared the data between the original 180-day WCA and the 180 day-WCA with exclusions:

As the results chart above shows, the audience with exclusions saw an incredibly large decrease in clickthrough rates. However, the cost per click and conversion rate showed significant improvement. While the clickthrough rate decreased, we saw a higher quality of traffic coming to the site, leading conversion volume to increase. With the improvements from cost per click, conversion volume, and conversion rate, cost per acquisition decreased by almost 30%.
If you’re running a retargeting audience that could use improvement in conversion rates, think about the quality of traffic that your site is receiving. Adding exclusions, like users who have visited certain parts of the site with an intent to cancel or return an item, can improve your quality in the long run.
Have you tested adding exclusions into your retargeting campaigns before? Let us know!

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