Retargeter Blog

Retargeting 101: Burn Pixel and Frequency Cap

Retargeting is a highly effective marketing tool that targets people who have already expressed interest in your site. It allows you to focus on the people who are in-market and remind them how great your product is or why going with your service is the right decision.

When run correctly, retargeting can perform incredibly well and result in the 1000% ROI and lifts you’ve probably heard about. You’ve started your retargeting campaign, but you’re not seeing the results you were expecting. What’s gone wrong? It’s important to note that there are numerous reasons a campaign can go awry, but today I’d like to highlight the two most common — failure to use a burn pixel and frequency cap.

Feel the Burn

Have you ever made a purchase online only to find you’re still being inundated with advertisements for that company or product? If that’s happening, the company clearly hasn’t recognized you as a current customer. By continuing to serve ads to converted customers, companies are only serving to annoy people.

Don’t make the same mistake. Luckily, there’s a very simple solution: use a burn pixel. This snippet of code, placed in your post-transaction page, will untag any users who have made a purchase, ensuring you stop serving them ads. It’s that easy. In addition to not annoying your customer, the burn code saves you money. Why waste valuable impressions on the people who already converted?

Converted customers can still be a part of your retargeting campaign, just don’t ask them to take the same action twice. Now, you have an opportunity to retarget current customers with new ads. Instead of showing them what they have already bought, you can upsell, cross-sell, or even offer referral discounts through new ads. Essentially, burn the previous campaign and enroll them in a new one!

Play Hard to Get

You want to be visible, but you don’t want to overexpose yourself, which is why it’s almost always advisable to use a frequency cap. One or two visits to your website doesn’t mean prospects want to start seeing your ads everywhere they browse. Overexposure quickly results in decreased campaign performance. Prospects may ignore your ads completely, a phenomenon known as banner blindness, or they may begin to think of your brand as creepy and stalker-like.

A frequency cap will limit the number of times a tagged user will see your ads and will prevent potential customers from feeling bored, overwhelmed, or stalked. Be strategic with how and when you serve ads as many prospects are still researching, window shopping, or just not ready to buy. We typically recommend 17-20 ads per user per month, but you can work with your retargeting provider to determine what makes most sense for your campaign.

These two steps can make a huge difference when it comes to the performance of your retargeting campaign. The burn pixel and frequency cap are easy to incorporate, save you money, and foster positive relationships with prospects and converted customers. The next time you see a study citing 1000% ROI as a result of retargeting, know that success of this caliber is only possible as long as the campaign is set up correctly.

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