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Marketing 360® Blog

Tips On Designing Retargeting Banner Ads

Post By Scott Yoder | Design & Branding | Remarketing

Retargeting is a powerful tactic that keeps you in front of high probability leads.  Here are important tips on creating effective retargeting banner display ads that drive brand awareness and conversions.

Ad retargeting is an established tactic that helps you overcome one of the major challenges of marketing:  that consumers hesitate before buying.

Retargeting is marketing automation that helps you gain the necessary touches to win conversions.  It’s also a powerful tactic for boosting brand awareness.

Central to retargeting is the display banner ad creative you use with different audiences.  Below are tips for creating effective retargeting banner ads.


#1.  Less is More

A retargeting display banner ad is fairly small – not even close to an entire web page.

Yet many feel inclined to put a web page’s worth of information into a small banner ad.

Retargeting banners don’t just have a split second to get someone’s attention.  They have a split second to convey their entire message.

Packing information into tiny, unreadable text is useless on banner ads.  Too many images or complex graphics will only get ignored.

An effective retargeting ad conveys one idea instantly.

This display banner ad, for example, has too much information:

retargeting banner too much info

This is more refined:

retargeting banner one offer

Keep three things in mind:

  1. People viewing your retargeting ads visited your website previously.  They’re familiar with your offer.  Don’t feel you have to restate everything in a small banner ad.
  2. You literally have a fraction of a second to convey your idea.  If it takes longer than that, you have too much info.
  3. Remember that to convert a sale, people will have to click through to your landing page.  This is the place to include details like coupon codes.


#2  Use Images Effectively

Since retargeting uses display banner ads, most will include an image.  Don’t waste it.

With retargeting, your images will have two main goals:

  1. To display a product.
  2. To communicate value associated with your brand.

When you have a product ad, make sure you use a crisp, professional image.  Also, try to show the product in context of use in a hero shot.  For example:

product image retargeting

Be careful about using stock photos that don’t help to communicate your message.  Commonly used stock photos will cause banner blindness as eyes simply pass over imagery with a message that’s either spurious our empty:

retargeting ads banner blindness

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use an image if it’s not helping convey your message.  Sometimes words alone do a complete job:

retargeting banner no image


#3  Have a Strong Call to Action

What do you want your leads to do?  Central to your retargeting ad is your call to action.

For example, this ad speaks to a specific audience with a clear call to action:

retargeting call to action

On the other hand, this ad assumes shoppers will know what to do:

Best practice is to make your call to action directive big and bold:

retargeting big call to action

Don’t suggest an action in a retargeting ad.  State it with force.


#4  Include Your Branding

One of the overlooked advantages of retargeting is its effectiveness at boosting brand awareness.

Most of the time your ads display, they won’t get clicked on.  But that doesn’t deprive them of marketing value.

When leads are exposed to your brand, you bias them towards you.  Your ads become a reminder for them to finish what they started.  When the period of hesitation is over, they are more likely to choose you.

You might get the click-through on your ad.  Or they might search for you by brand name.  Either way, your banner did its job.

retargeting ad brand


brand retargeting

Other Display Retargeting Ad Banner Tips

  • Make sure to create your ads in all the display size formats:

  • Test your ads to see which images, copy, and offer perform the best.  Retargeting ads are perfect for A/B split testing.
  • Use different ads for each audience and platform.  When you create an audience list for a particular product, make sure the ad you run matches the content they visited on your website.
  • Also, use different ads for Facebook, Twitter, or other social media depending on the audience.  The more your ad matches the audience and the platform, the better it will perform.

Banner Retargeting Case Studies

Does retargeting work?  Read these case studies to see how effective this tactic can be.

eCommerce retargeting case study.

Flower retailer banner retargeting case study.