3 Steps for Evaluating the Best Results Across Retargeters

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Performance-based solutions are on the rise across e-commerce marketers, and retargeting tools are driving up conversion volumes and bigger ROIs than ever. But how are results actually measured? It is simple when you’re using one tech provider, but gets a little complicated when you implement multiple retargeting strategy. In such cases our judgment is often reduced to how many clicks every solution generates and this can be a false metric, leading to poor decision-making and results that skew the truth. So having the ability to determine which of your providers is actually best for a particular goal is a must for nowadays’ performance-oriented marketers, but how to do that?

By following the three steps below, you can easily evaluate and compare results that your personalized retargeting providers achieve, no matter what kind of goals you’ve established. To simplify our story, we will focus on the most popular goal: optimizing a campaign towards the number of overall conversions.

#1 Find The Right Tool To Compare Efficiency

Every tech provider will deliver statistics gathered during your campaign and your first step in getting the most from multiple retargeters is to find a way to measure the cost of each retargeting activity. Why?

Metrics shown by retargeters may simply not be directly comparable with each other because of such things like: differing definitions of conversions or lookback windows, etc. Remember to always calculate results for each traffic source by using an analytical tool, where campaigns are presented with “flat” metrics (i.e. directly comparable). The most popular tool is Google Analytics, but there are many others available on the market.

Once you have an analytical tool set up, you can easily calculate the average cost for a single conversion generated by each of the traffic sources and move forward in selecting the most effective retargeter.

#2 Choose The Best Way To Attribute Conversions

When you are ready to gather each retargeter’s results via your analytical tool, you should consider how to calculate the number of conversions that were generated via each traffic provider (i.e. attribute them). The goal is to understand how all of your marketing touchpoints work together and which of your dollars spent on different marketing activities work the hardest.

Keep in mind there is no “optimal” model. However, in case of multiple retargeting approach you need to remember about choosing such a way which will help you to be sure that each conversion is reported only once and you don’t need to pay four times for 1 success. At the end of the day it will then be more clear what to do in order to improve your overall effectiveness.

#3 Test And Modify

With your analytical tool selected and the attribution model ready to roll, now is a time to test retargeters and check which one performs better for specific goals. Remember that only by testing different providers (using the same campaign criteria) you can see which one delivers higher results.

When conditions have been established, next step is comparing the effective conversion cost achieved by each of the retargeters, simply meaning the invoiced cost of campaign divided by the number of conversions attributed (according to the previously selected model). Finally comes the optimization of multiple retargeting activities. The rules of this part are as follows: increase the spending for the provider with lower effective cost until the effective cost is even for all providers. So it is not about splitting your overall budget evenly between traffic sources, but shifting it between traffic providers from the less towards the most effective ones. This way you will ensure an optimal utilization of the providers’ capabilities and ideal use of your retargeting budget.


Daniel Surmacz, COO, RTB House
Daniel focuses on creating a long-term development strategy and working out key guidelines for foreign expansion of RTB House. He has been planning and coordinating all business activities since the company was founded.

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