Marketers are often faced with the question: should I be targeting a small amount of users to solve for strict performance goals, or optimizing for scale to maximize reach and grow my business?

With display advertising and retargeting, these may sometimes seem like conflicting objectives, but they don’t have to be. Scale retargeting and display campaigns without sacrificing performance by building intelligent upper-funnel campaigns to feed into your high-converting, lower-funnel initiatives.

Setting Performance Goals

The first step is deciding what’s important to you and your company. What are the company’s quarterly and yearly sales goals? How does retargeting fit into these?

One question advertisers are often faced with is how to balance and prioritize efficiency – driving more conversions at lower cost – with business growth.

For example, would a retailer with a $1Million annual goal and $20 cost per sale target rather miss their revenue goal and hit their cost per sale target, or reach their revenue goal but with a higher cost per sale?

Depending on your specific objectives, one of these might be prioritized over the other in the short term. It’s important to remember, however, that in the long term the lifetime value of additional customers acquired could offset higher initial costs per sale.

Below we’ll provide some tips on how to initially solve for high ROI campaigns and then scale your campaigns with efficiency so that your business continues to grow.

Optimize for Efficiency

When it comes to display advertising and retargeting, the easiest place to start is building lower-funnel campaigns and targeting high-intent users, ie. shopping cart abandoners and individuals who’ve visited specific product pages. These are the users who have demonstrated the most interest in your brand, and just need that additional incentive or reminder to convert. Typically, retail- focused advertisers utilize AdRoll’s Dynamic Creative product to engage the user with the product they viewed last.

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Scaling For Growth

Once you’ve dialed in these campaigns for efficiency, start implementing tactics to target less engaged users. These are customers who could be doing pricing research or looking at your competitor’s products. Stay in front of these users by growing your upper-funnel campaigns, focused on driving awareness and nurturing leads during the consideration phase.

These campaigns may not convert as efficiently as your lower funnel tactics, but the conversions would not have occurred without the boost from these upper funnel efforts. These are the campaigns that keep your business growing.

AdRoll’s bidding algorithm, BidIQ, helps drive performance by focusing on the intent signals these users show on your site. Even when targeting an upper funnel audience, BidIQ automatically recognizes who is most likely to click and convert, so you can continue to increase reach and drive scale in an intelligent way.

Here are some of the best ways you can scale your campaigns while keeping performance consistent:

1) Smart Segmentation

Choosing the right people to target is a key piece of full-funnel success. When building an upper funnel campaign, it’s important to consider the users who have browsed category pages, FAQ’s or pricing pages. These are users who are clearly interested in learning more about and engaging with your brand.

Many advertisers have found that visitors who viewed more pages on their site are better candidates for retargeting. You can create a new audience segment in your AdRoll dashboard based on the total number of pages viewed; this is an ideal audience to target in your upper funnel campaigns.

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2. Smart Creative Strategy

Creative is a huge piece in nurturing your potential customers to the point of sale. Create ads that will resonate for the different funnel segments. It wouldn’t make sense to show the same ad to an abandoned cart customer as someone who has only landed on your website once. In order to effectively drive your users down funnel, match your call-to-action (CTA) with the audience segment you’re targeting.

For upper-funnel audience segments, focus on general branding and CTAs like “Explore What’s New” or “Browse Today”. As you move down the funnel, your ads should offer more direct incentives and stronger CTAs, such as “Free Shipping”, “10% off for First Time buyers” or “Shop Today.”

Segments - Clinique

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – what is the typical process before purchasing? If you have higher price point items, the research phase might be longer than a site selling every day items. Test creative that encourages people to come back to complete product research.

As you move down the sales funnel, utilize dynamic creative to show product specific ads of the items they were most interested in purchasing. Dynamic ads have proven a 115% increase in CTR and a 44% lift in ROI.

3. Optimize Landing Pages

Like your ads, landing pages should be customized for the specific audience segment you’re targeting. For your upper funnel segments, optimize landing pages to drive people deeper into the site, for example to a specific product page so they’re entered into your lower funnel retargeting campaigns.

For higher-intent shoppers, change landing pages for cart campaigns to direct straight to the customer’s basket. These are your most high intent, interested customers, so you want to help them through to conversion.

As always, feel free to contact your account management team to see which of these strategies will work for your account and start growing your business today! If you’re new to AdRoll, sign up now or reach out to and AdRoll representative to start building your customized plan.

For more strategies on how to scale retargeting campaigns, download our guide: Next Level Guide to Retargeting.