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5 Super-Effective Retargeting Ads Ideas + Examples

Looking for more examples to inspire your retargeting ads campaigns? Here are examples that will blow your mind. Use these tips to stand out in the market.

Rakefet Yacoby From
By Rakefet Yacoby From
Natalie Stenge
Edited by Natalie Stenge

Updated February 11, 2024.

5 Super-Effective Retargeting Ads Ideas + Examples main image

Even if you execute your paid advertising campaign perfectly, only a fraction of your visitors will actually purchase something. In fact, only 3% of people who visit your website for the first time buy something. The rest of your ad traffic simply vanishes 💨.

You can't just let the other 97% slip away like that. That's where retargeting comes in. If you want to turn warm audiences into actual customers you need to add remarketing to your ads strategy.

Let's take a deeper dive into what retargeting ads are, how to set them up, and show you a few examples from the world’s coolest brands.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is a type of marketing in which you target users who have already interacted with your business. This typically includes people who found your website via an ad, but it may also include people who have interacted with you on social media, via email, or other platforms.

As you can imagine, retargeting is a crucial tool to boost your conversion rates and turn as many people as possible into paying customers. Without retargeting, you would lose a lot of potential buyers because you would allow them to visit your website without purchasing anything.

Retargeting is, therefore, the go-to tool if you want to attract people who haven't purchased anything from you. This includes people who have only visited your website and those who abandoned their shopping carts at checkout. Retargeting will help you convince those people to give your business another shot.

How does retargeting work?

Retargeting utilizes cookies to target people who have interacted with your business in some way. Cookies are tiny files that your web browser stores when you visit a website. They contain information on your online activity.

Retargeting experts can then use this information to see if and how you've interacted with their website and decide if they want to show you certain ads to re-spark your interest. Ads specialists can segment their audiences based on behavior and create different ads for different groups.

It's also possible to retarget your audience with products they've already seen but haven't bought. This requires the use of dynamic retargeting ads, which will allow you to remind your retargeting audiences of products they've shown interest in.


You can retarget users on pretty much any platform, whether it's Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or ads on other social media platforms, search engines, and online publications.

Benefits of doing retargeting campaigns

Retargeting campaigns have one obvious benefit. They help you acquire more customers, increasing your ROAS and conversion rates. They also help you stay relevant, and remind your website visitors and casual customers of your brand and complement your other marketing efforts.

Use retargeting ads to:

  • Increase your ROAS and conversion rates
  • Acquire new customers and active users
  • Create personalized digital experiences
  • Expand the reach of your audience
  • Learn more about your audiences
  • Shorten the customer journey
  • Retain current customers
  • Build brand awareness
  • Monetize social proof

What's the difference between retargeting and remarketing campaigns?

Retargeting and remarketing campaigns can be very similar because their goals are the same. Both try to engage those who have already interacted with your business in some way with the goal of convincing them to buy your products. However, the key difference is in the tactics.


Retargeting campaigns typically rely on PPC ads, such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords). This may include your website or social media platforms. They also have a wider application, as they can be applied to any audience except cold audiences.

On the other hand, remarketing campaigns typically rely on email marketing instead of paid ads. Remarketing audiences typically consist of people who have already done business with you and know about your products.

5 creative retargeting ads examples in action

Now that we've covered the basics, let’s take a look at some great examples of retargeting campaigns to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Madewell: how to use users' preferences for retargeting

Madewell utilizes retargeting ads to re-engage their previous viewers and entice them to buy their products. These dynamic product ads are customized based on the user's activity on their website and their preferences.

Using users' browsing history and preferences is a good retargeting strategy for two reasons. On the one hand, you can create personalized ads that target customers with the specific things they want to buy. On the other hand, you're showing them that you care about their needs and desires, which can inspire brand loyalty among your custom audiences.


2. Fossil: free shipping + dynamic product ads

Added shipping costs are often the reason why people abandon their carts. So a great way to eliminate the hurdle is to offer free shipping.

Fossil created a dynamic product ad that showed their retargeting audiences the products they had checked out on the site and offered free shipping.


3. Mott & Bow: utilizing social proof for retargeting

The claims you make about your products will never be as trustworthy as those made by your satisfied customers. That's why it's always a good idea to include customer reviews in your ads, but it's particularly useful when it comes to retargeting ads, as it will increase the chances of customers changing their minds.

Customer reviews are crucial for every business. 81% of customers research before buying something, and according to a study by BrightLocal, 49% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.


Mott & Blow is a great example of this tactic. The company not only included great reviews of its products in its retargeting Facebook ads but also went a step further and used different reviews for men and women.


4. J.Crew Factory: creating a sense of urgency for retargeting

It's safe to assume that some members of your retargeting audience didn't make a purchase on your website because they figured they could always come back. Creating a sense of urgency by using a retargeting ad to tell them they have limited time to purchase might give them the needed nudge.

J. Crew Factory used this tactic to their advantage really well. They created a simplistic but effective visual ad that featured a clock in black and red. In addition to the striking color scheme, the copy in the picture stated "40% off" while the description said, "The clock is ticking."

Both the visual and the written content of the ad were eye-catching and showed that there was only a limited time in which one could get a hand on their products. This created a great sense of urgency and probably motivated many reluctant shoppers to hurry up and buy something from J.Crew Factory.


5. RedBalloon: reminding customers to finish their transactions

Cart abandonment is a real problem for all online retailers. And you guessed it - remarketing campaigns can help mitigate it. RedBalloon created an awesome campaign that reminded shoppers to return to their carts. While the ad was nothing particularly striking, sometimes a gentle nudge is more than enough to get the job done.


How to get started with an ad retargeting campaign

Starting an ad retargeting campaign is quite similar to a regular advertising campaign, especially if you're using Facebook Ads. The main difference lies in creating a custom audience. To create custom audiences, you need customer lists. You can create these by using an email list or relying on information from the pixel on your website.

For Facebook Ads

Export your list of customers as a .CSV or .TXT file. After that, you should import that list to Facebook's Custom Audience manager. If you navigate to Manage Your Ads and then to Audiences, you'll be able to sort the list by email address, phone number, or user ID.

It's good to leave a few hours for the list to populate before you create your ad. You don't want to publish it before you have the whole audience list. You can also tinker with the standard targeting parameters such as setting a specific location or demographic for your ads.

For Google Ads

To retarget people through Google Ads, you need to go to Audience Manager, and then to Audience Sources. From there, go to Google Ads Tag, and then choose Set up Tag. After that, click the option that says "Only collect general website visit data to show ads to your website visitors."

When you're done with that, you need to choose a way to install the tag. You can do it yourself, you can email it to a developer to do it for you, or you can use Google Tag Manager if you're already tracking other Google Ads campaigns.

Once your tag is ready, run Google Tag Manager on every page of your website to ensure everything is working fine. And there you have it, your Google Ads retargeting is set up and ready to run.

Of course, you'll still need to create your visuals and copy. It's best to create original material that answers the needs of your potential customers. Your ad needs to be optimized for the type of products you're selling and the buyer persona you want to target. Therefore, it's always a good idea to hire a Facebook Ads agency or a Google Ads agency to do the heavy lifting for you.

It's time to start your retargeting campaign!

Retargeting ads are an essential tactic for your marketing strategy. They can do wonders for your sales figures, brand awareness, and customer loyalty. It would be wise to enlist the help of a competent digital marketing agency to help you with such an important task.

Here at Mayple, we can connect you to the right marketer or PPC agency with proven experience in your niche. They will go the extra mile and help you with every step of the process - from ad creation to A/B testing, optimization, and monitoring. Ready to optimize your marketing campaigns? Get started today!


What is an example of retargeting?

A retargeting example would be targeting cart abandoners or visitors who have browsed your website in the past and haven’t purchased anything yet. The goal is to get them to the end of the conversion funnel and turn them into paying customers.

What are retargeting ads?

Retargeting ads are custom ads that you use to target people who have engaged with your website, ads, or social media accounts. This can include visitors who have only browsed casually, cart abandoners, or those who have expressed an interest in your products without buying any of them.

What are Facebook retargeting ads?

Facebook retargeting ads are ads marketers use to retarget their audiences on Facebook. These are often image ads that display products viewers have checked out without buying.

How do you write a good retargeting ad?

When writing a good retargeting ad, you must give reasons why your prospective customers should change their minds and go back to your online shop to buy something. You can do this by creating a sense of urgency in your copy, including reliable reviews, or appealing to their preferences.

Which is the best campaign for retargeting?

The best retargeting campaign would include a special offer such as a discount code or free shipping to entice the viewers to buy. It's also a good idea to personalize these ads and show that you care about your customers' needs and preferences. This establishes you as a trustworthy buyer and makes them more likely to make a purchase.

What are the different types of retargeting?

There are two main types of ads. There are pixel-based retargeting and list-based retargeting. Pixel-based retargeting uses the pixel on your website connected to your Facebook Ads account, while list-based retargeting uses a custom list you create and upload.

What are retargeting strategies?

There are many different retargeting strategies. However, some of the most common include targeting specific URLs, remarketing to existing customers, targeting competitors (their audiences and/or competitor keywords), and creating lead-generation ads that are based on page engagement.

You need to make sure that your ad content is fully optimized with the best product image, the right coupon code and offer, as well some social proof.

How is retargeting done?

Retargeting is done by utilizing the information you get from users' cookies, a pixel, or an email list. This information allows you to see who has visited your website without buying a product and thus target those users again to make them buy something from your business.