5 Tips When Using Retargeting to Lower Your CPA’s


Companies considering or already using display banner advertising demand a measurable ROI to justify display banner media in their budget.  Smart marketers don’t pay as much attention to impressions or click based metrics. The value of banner ads is their contribution to branding, the cost per action (CPA) and the resulting boost in sales.

CPA is unique to your business model and is whatever action yields the most sales and profits for you. An e-commerce or online retail sale CPA is based on a completed form and credit card transaction; an insurance CPA typically is based on a completed contact form or phone call.

When building your banner ad budget, set your maximum allowable CPA based on the average margin you earn per sale and the % of revenue you are willing to spend to acquire a new customer. Consider the lifetime value (in revenue) of a new customer when setting your CPA goal. Then manage your campaign based on your allowable CPA.

Audience targeting is used effectively in display banner ad retargeting campaigns.

With retargeting, your CPA improves dramatically because you are serving ads to previous and recent visitors to your website. This means prospect-visitors that have already shown an interest in your product or service will be exposed during your campaign to more ads when they visit another website that accepts advertising (the majority of some of the most popular websites).

After repeated exposure to banner ads-many will convert at a higher rate, resulting in an improved (lower) CPA. A lower CPA in turn allows you to spend more media dollars and/or improve your profit margins.

5 Tips When Using Retargeting to Lower Your CPA’s

1.  Bid higher for impressions that are likely to convert

Campaign performance data shows that the best keywords, when targeted in the right recency windows, will drive low CPA’s even if bought at higher CPM prices.

So don’t be afraid to bid at a $10.00 CPM or higher on the keywords that drive performance. This will win your campaign more volume on the best performing keywords, and if you are taking advantage of dynamic CPM pricing, you will pay a far lower CPM, often as much as 50%less than your maximum allowed bid.

2.  Consider keywords that don’t perform well in search

Some keywords don’t perform well in paid search because they are too expensive in search, too competitive, have low quality scores or other reasons. These same keywords, when targeted on banner impressions with the right characteristics, may be able to deliver favorable CPA’s in retargeting.

3.  Use audience targeting

Audience targeting including the use of external third party data and look-a-like modeling which identifies prospects with search patterns of existing converters on the advertiser’s site. By using this technology, additional keywords can be discovered and tested.

For example, Medicare consumers also tend to be searching for terms related to insurance. Insurance terms can be added to the campaign and tested for their ability to drive lower CPA’s.

4.  Ignore click through rate & cost per click

If your goal is a low CPA, don’t confuse matters by simultaneously trying to optimize to a high CTR or CPC. Likewise, don’t restrict your campaign to only the sites that can be won at very low CPM bids.

5.  Pay attention to recency

In search retargeting, the optimal time window between when the user performs the search and when the user is shown your ad can vary greatly by campaign and by vertical.

For example, verticals like restaurants have a short consideration cycle for reservations, and the optimum recency is often measured in minutes or hours.

For verticals like financial services, there is a longer consideration cycle and a 30-day recency window may drive the best results. Each campaign has its own optimum recency window, and understanding this will drive improved CPA.

Enjoy and Prosper!

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

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Explore posts in the same categories: Audience Targeting, Digital Strategy, Display Banner Ads, Online Marketing, Online Media, Retargeting

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