8 Retargeting List Uses For Campaign Success

Remarketing lists are becoming a staple in most PPC accounts these days. Whether for inclusion or exclusion, remarketing lists can be very powerful tools for customizing your ad’s audience. Below is a list of ways you can use remarketing lists to better your accounts. Have others? Leave a note in the comments and we’ll add them to the list!


No Future Potential

In some instances, there are users you simply don’t want coming back to your site. Or at the very least, you don’t want to pay money for them to come back. This could be anyone from your own employees, to people looking for employment, to customers who’ve already converted. For those users, it’s a pretty simple process to exclude them based on your criteria. Either create a list based on a page on your site, a behavior they took, or the pixel they hit and add is as a negative to your campaigns.

Poor On-Site Behavior

Using Google Analytics, you can now create user lists based on on-site behavior. If someone came to your site and bounced within three seconds it might be a pretty safe bet that you’re pretty far from what they’re looking for. Create a list of these users using Google Analytics and exclude it from your campaigns.

Selective Exclusion and Inclusion

It’s not always cut and dry if someone should be excluded from ALL of your campaigns.

Previous Converters on Lead Gen Sites

It’s a common best practice to exclude current customers for your lead gen company site. You don’t want to spend more money on a customer you’ve already acquired. They may be looking for support or the login screen, etc. which can be found organically, costing you no additional money per customer.

But these audiences shouldn’t be left on the shelf indefinitely. You may want to take advantage of these audiences when you’re offering a discount on a product upgrade. The same goes for referrals. Many companies offer incentives for current customers to refer new customers. Using these lists is a great way to get the word out in a targeted way.

Creating Net New vs Returning Visitors Campaigns

With the advent of RLSA, many marketers have started segmenting their search campaigns based on net new visitors vs. returning. For this strategy, the same list is excluded from one campaign and targeted separately in another campaign. This strategy allows for different keywords, custom bids, ad messaging, and landing pages to based on whether a user has been to your site before or needs the introductory level information.

Users on an Email List

For your social media campaigns, creating custom audiences based on email lists is super easy. Just upload and go. But these are users you most likely want to be selective with depending on the way you acquired their email. If you bought the list, target away. The assumption here is that all those users are unfamiliar with your site and there’s no real way to determine otherwise. For those who signed up for your email list, follow remarketing best practices. Don’t spam or overload them with messaging or else they’ll become numb or irritated by you and your brand.

But these lists can also be great for moving users through longer conversion funnels. Let’s say your funnel is as follows: Free Info Download, Demo, Customer. If you’ve gained an email address from someone requesting the free download, you can then retarget and encourage them to request a demo of the product. The same goes for the second gap. Once they’ve completed the demo, update your custom audience lists and target them with messaging around becoming a customer, etc.


Just like exclusion, it’s rare and debatable if you should always include certain audiences in your marketing efforts.

Frequent Buyers on E-commerce Sites

Did they purchase once? Great! Did they purchase again? Even better. If your products lend themselves to multiple purchases or if you sell complementary products, remarketing can be a great way to win back previous customers.


What about those who haven’t been to your site? Arguably there are demographic, geographic, contextual targeting and more for those folks, but those don’t allow you to take advantage of your remarketing lists and this post is focused on remarketing lists. Luckily, many of the major advertising players have a solution that allows you to use your remarketing lists to expand your reach in a targeted way.

Similar Audiences

Lookalike or similar audiences are created by the individual channels based off of user data. They scan your current audience (whether determined by a tag or an email list) and put together a list of users they deem similar to yours based on identified interests or online behavior. You can utilize these lists in Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads. We’ve seen success in the past making similar audiences off of those users who’ve filled out leads, become customers, or made purchases online.

Pixel Exchange

The last way to use remarketing lists is through partnerships with other businesses. Look for local businesses that your audience might also need and swap pixels. Plumbers and electricians will most likely want to target the same homeowner. Doggie daycare sites and pet supplies stores. Any type of business that is complementary to yours is a good choice. The biggest point is to make sure their target audience aligns mostly with yours.


How do you use your remarketing lists? Share with us in the comments!