Retargeter Blog

5 of the Worst Ways to Annoy People with Your Ads

Retargeting has been proven time and time again to be one of the most effective ways of reaching a target audience. By reminding potential customers of their past interest in a product, service, or brand, advertisers are able to reach out and bring them back through the networks and sites they already frequent. Simple and cost effective, there’s every reason to use retargeting as part of a regular advertising campaign.

But with retargeting, just like almost everything else in the world, sometimes too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. Read on for 5 of the worst ways to annoy people with your retargeted ads. Knowing them will help you avoid them at all costs.

1. Leading to the Wrong Place

The whole point of retargeting is to lead potentially interested customers in a certain direction, to a specific online destination and to a specific activity or point of engagement. If a you saw an ad for a specific piece of child’s clothing, but the landing page was a general sales page with hundreds of options, what would you do?  Like any other advertising tactic, when a point of friction exists, the likelihood of a sale or conversion decreases drastically. It also creates frustration that can prevent the user with serious buying intentions from visiting your site in the future. Steer clear of this mistake by ensuring that all retargeted ads lead to exactly what they’re advertising.

2. Too Much Motion

Back when flash players and other forms of online animation became prevalent, static ads went out the door. They were replaced with ads that moved, driving attention and increasing overall effectiveness. However, just like other trends, it soon went overboard.

While animation can be an excellent way to catch someone’s eye, it can also drive them away from your brand and advertising. In fact, a recent study by Daniel Goldstein of Microsoft Research found that one of the ad qualities most likely to annoy viewers is overdone or cheesy animation. Participants in the study were most likely to rank animated ads as “much more annoying than the average ad.”

This doesn’t mean that animation doesn’t have a place, but it should be used wisely. Just because you sell high-quality motion-activated sprinklers doesn’t mean you need to have an ad that jumps off the screen with a moving sprinkler head — that’s just distracting, not engaging and it likely won’t lead to the results you’re hoping for. Use common sense and consider asking a focus group for opinions prior to letting an animated ad loose in a retargeting campaign.

3. Not Capping Out

Retargeted ads have come a long way. One of their best qualities, and the quality that makes them more cost-effective than other forms of online advertising, is the availability of impression caps. As an advertiser, you should have a solid understanding of the number of interactions it takes for a prospect to become a customer.  This will go a long way in helping you create a successful retargeting campaign that’s not overwhelming.

If a conversion hasn’t happened after a certain number of impressions, it’s not only not likely to happen,  it’s also likely to be considered annoying.  It also is taking impressions away from other prospects that could convert.

Advertisers who fail to set impression caps will quickly fall into the category of being annoying, rather than a legitimate option for a consumer looking to make a purchase.

4. Not Updating Your Campaign

Much like number one, if a campaign is dated or points to a sale that no longer exists, your bounce rate will undoubtedly increase.

Watch which ads and promotions are being displayed at what times. Even an overlap of a day could cause enough frustration to harm your overall efforts. Keep every ad current at all times.

5. Eliminating Viewer Choice

If anything is certain about today’s customers, it’s this: they want a certain level of control. They want to know that they’re personal information is private and they want to know that they have options. If this is threatened, you can bet on the fact that that user won’t be looking at the violating company for future purchases. If your company shows a retargeted ad repeatedly, without allowing the viewer to opt-out, you run this risk — and it’s not one worth running.

Retargeting should be present but not overwhelming.  Obviously, stalking your prospects is detrimental to gaining the conversions you’re after. Make the effort to ensure customers can opt out and this will go a long way in helping your run a successful campaign.

Retargeting is a high-performance option for any company or brand looking to make the most of their advertising budget. But practice caution. Put yourself in your user’s place — if it feels annoying, it is.  Craft your retargeting campaigns with the user experience in mind and you’ll go a long way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your retargeting campaigns.

Want to see for yourself what retargeting can do for your company?  Get started now!

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