You hear a lot about how retargeting increases conversion, but it’s hard to believe. It’s still display advertising, after all–known more for branding campaigns and awareness raising than for being attributed to conversion. That’s all beginning to change now, with new tracking capabilities and more data coming out to back up the claims.


We recently talked with one of our advertisers, Wysong, a holistic pet food brand, about their experiences with retargeting. Wysong has been around for 30 years, give or take, and has a product that is a considered purchase. They sell premium nutrition products–not your average dog food–at a price that reflects this quality. They’ve been selling online and through retailers, trying out different kinds of online advertising and measuring the effectiveness of each.

Wysong launched retargeting with AdRoll in November of 2009. Six months in, they’re reporting 20% conversion rates on return visitors–higher than those of any other advertising technique they’ve employed. Not only that, but these rates have been constant and steady from their first month. Lucas Wysong, VP, elaborated saying, “With Google AdWords, we get a 1-2% conversion rate. With retargeting, at roughly the same cost, we get a 20% conversion rate. We do things to support this that work well with retargeting, like adding discount offers to our retargeted ads, and this has proved very successful.” If that wasn’t exciting enough, Lucas reports that many of their retargeted buyers are first time purchasers that then come back for more, “We introduce visitors to our site to a new way of thinking about health and nutrition, and very often make an impact. The retargeting advertisement serves as a reminder, and allows us to incentivize a return visit with a discount offer that was not provided to the visitor the first time around.” Retargeting creates new customers that come to the site but leave before making a purchase, but are given a second or third chance and incentive to try a product out. How well these first time buyers convert into longer-term customers speaks to the quality of Wysong’s product.

Wysong tailored their retargeting advertising by using retargeting-specific ad content (these ads are tailored to people who have been to their site already and differ from their outbound messaging), discount offers, and frequency capping (to avoid online “stalking” Wysong capped the length of time any visitor would see Wysong ads and specified a number of ad impressions each visitor would see).

(As these tactics proved wildly successful, Wysong has plans to now increase new visitors to its site and then grow its list of potential visitors to entice back with retargeting.)

Do you have a product that is a considered buy? Or one with a longer purchase lead time? Retargeting may be a great way for you to increase your conversions and stay current with potential customers.

Get an intro to retargeting and check out learn more about the practice with our retargeting case studies.