Using Display To Stretch Your PPC Budgets

Keyword-targeted search campaigns and social media campaigns targeting well-heeled audiences can often lead to sky-high CPCs. I’m talking about the HVAC industry, bail bonds, C-level SaaS products, etc. When you see CPCs from $15-$150 your PPC campaigns can burn their budgets really fast.

But what if you could target those same high-value people without paying premium CPCs? You can, by using remarketing and display.

Make Your Remarketing Smart

Remarketing is so powerful because it allows you to target people that have been to your website. Most people define audiences based on what pages they viewed, how long they stayed on the site, or whether they converted. Those are great audiences, but soon these types of audiences get a little muddled. Did the guy who viewed Product X come from an email or PPC?

Here’s where you make your remarketing smarter with a little help from your URL tagging. Consider an example from LinkedIn:

Audience: C-level execs, VPs and Directors in the US Financial industry


CPC? Probably going to be in the neighborhood of $10-$15 if you want to get traction.

Since you’re using LinkedIn though, you’re doing manual URL tagging. Say your URL is Take that URL and create a remarketing audience. Here are a couple ways to do that:

  • All LinkedIn traffic – URL contains “source=linkedin” would put all your LinkedIn traffic in one audience. Set this up first to achieve a marketable audience size quickly, but we want some more granular audiences too.
  • Finance Industry Execs – URL contains “campaign=finance-industry-execs”. If you use this campaign name in AdWords or somewhere else, then you just layer it with your All LinkedIn Traffic audience above. Now you can remarket to these finance big-wigs while paying display CPCs.

The key here is that you define your audience base on unique values in the URL (or unique tags). You can create audiences from your email efforts, from custom URLs you handed out at a conference, from your social and paid social efforts. The sky is the limit here.

Additional Pro Tips

Here is a favorite quote of mine:

“A wise man learns from his mistakes. A wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.”

Hopefully, you see the power of the tactic above, but you may miss a couple nuances that could really help you out. So here’s to you being a wiser man than I:

  • Pay attention to cookie length – If you want to stay in front of a user for a year, set it to 365 days. Don’t let that value slip away because the default was 30 days. Likewise, if your potential customer makes a decision quickly, don’t bother them with ads for an entire year because you got greedy.
  • Impression caps – This relates to our point above, but remember that you can burn someone out if they see your ad too many times.
  • Don’t forget add-ons – Does your product have a follow-on or consumable purchase associated with it? (think refills on a razor blade) Even if you don’t win the initial conversion, you might be able to get them on a follow-up.
  • Read how AimClear uses psychographic targeting. They’ve been on this bandwagon since the beginning.