November 05, 2014
Case Study

Retargeting Marketing: 278% conversion rate lift in 60 days

SUMMARY: Retargeting, also called remarketing, can be a very powerful tactic, particularly in the complex B2B sale.

This MarketingSherpa case study takes a look at a straightforward retargeting campaign that led to a 278% increase in conversion for a requested demo over the first 60 days of the effort.
by David Kirkpatrick, Manager of Editorial Content


In the complex sale retargeting is an attractive tactic. You have leads, prospects or maybe just data points in the marketing automation system in the form of cookied visitors. The way to create an additional, ongoing touch point is through retargeted advertising.

Postano, a company that works with brands on social media strategy, found that retargeting was an effective way to get people initially interested in the brand back to the company website.

"We have a longer tail sales process because of our price point," Scott Huber, Marketing Director, Postano, explained. "We get a lot of traffic to our website, and the process of converting new prospects takes some time."

Another issue for the company was the social media curation space continued to grow — new competitors were constantly joining the marketplace, sometimes on a weekly basis. Postano needed to be able to recapture prospects who were engaged in comparison shopping among different social media curation platforms.

Read on to find out how Postano was able to dramatically improve its conversion metrics over the first 60 days of the retargeting effort.


According to Huber, "A remarketing campaign was ideal for us because people who had already been to our site showed an initial interest, and we wanted to woo them back."

Step #1. Conduct an audit of existing marketing activities

Postano worked with a vendor on its digital marketing, and together, the team took stock of the digital ecosystem, including:
  • Existing advertising properties

  • Search engine marketing

  • Search engine optimization

This assessment found that, based on Postano's sales model and existing properties, a retargeting effort including AdWords, and particularly banner advertising, was the highest recommendation. This was to make sure Postano was reaching those prospects engaged in comparison shopping.

Step #2. Create the banner ads

With the vendor's recommendation in hand, Huber's team took some of their internal creative concepts and created a series of banner advertisements in different variations and sizes. As the campaign was executed, the versions could be tested and optimized in terms of messaging and effectiveness.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

Step #3. Identify prospects to retarget

"As a product we are a relatively new concept, so our marketing requires us to educate our prospect customers on what our service would even do for them," Huber said.

"When someone searches for something like 'social media display,' or 'social media aggregation,' or 'social media curation,' that person comes to our site," he continued. "They might read a blog article; they read a marketing portion of the website. They can surf around."

He said his impression came from tracking website activity from sites prospects would visit then leave to research on other sites in the same space as Postano.

All website visitors would get cookied and, initially, go into the retargeting campaign for 30 days. The program later expanded to 60 days.

Step #4. Execute the retargeted banner ads

After website visitors were cookied and placed in the retargeting campaign, they would begin seeing Postano's banner ads on websites that were part of the Google display network.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

These banner ads were particularly tailored toward marketing directors and CMOs in specific vertical industries, such as:
  • Sports

  • Fashion

  • Events

  • Ad agencies

The idea was to put some parameters in place to refine who would actually see the banner ads. Initially, the banner ads appeared anywhere on the display network the cookied prospects would visit.

Step #5. Continue to refine the retargeting process

Along with testing different banner ad sizes and messaging, Huber said there was a fair amount of grunt work that went into deciding what websites to place the ads on as the program became further refined.

This entailed going in and finding out which display network websites were actually driving engagement and revisits to Postano's website as well as tracking the frequency different prospects were seeing the retargeted banner ads to ensure prospects weren't exposed to the ads too often or too infrequently.

Any display network websites that didn't perform up to expectations were dropped from the campaign.

Another ongoing aspect of the campaign was refreshing the creative aspects of the banner ads as well as the messaging.

"A customer that has already visited your website is really a unique opportunity for marketing because having a second conversation with them is easier to do," Huber said. "Finding the messaging that brings them back is kind of fun from a marketing standpoint."


Before the retargeting campaign, Postano wasn't able to effectively track what Huber refers to as 'view-through' visitors, also known as clickthrough visitors.

After the first 60 days of the retargeting effort the company achieved:
  • 364% increase in clickthrough conversions

  • 278% increase in conversion rate (measured by requested product demos)

Huber added that requesting a demo was a "big deal" for Postano because that required the prospect to fill out a form with fields including name, company and other identifiable information.

Huber added that all of Postano's marketing is evaluated by how it performs, and everything begins with the Postano website.

"I establish a core portion of my budget to making sure every month we doing everything we can to maximize the existing website property," Huber said. "I wouldn't spend a dollar on events if my website wasn't performing. I wouldn't spend a dollar on print or videos if these things weren't working."

He also offered advice for his marketing peers: "If they are looking at the effort they put into their website and why it's not performing, something like a remarketing campaign would be one of the first tools that I would recommend because it will prove whether or not your site is effective, and it's almost guaranteed to bring back customers."

Creative samples

  1. Banner ad

  2. Example of banner ad on third party website



Anvil Media

Related Resources

Retargeting: 5 tactics from drip email to lead generation

B2B Retargeting: 5 tactics from burn pixels to Facebook

Ad Retargeting: How Corel Software increased revenue 106% with hyper-retargeting

B2B Retargeting: How Lumension achieved an 865% lift in homepage views

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