Retargeting Plugin for the OpenX Ad ServerThere are many ways to use the Retargeting plugin for Revive Adserver. To offer some extra inspiration, we’re going to post some examples of how buyers of this plugin have implemented it.

Targeting an advertiser’s potential customers

Advertisers are always looking for the most effective and efficient ways to spend their marketing budgets. One way of doing this is by displaying ads only to visitors that have previously visited their site. The assumption is that a visitor who has been on the advertiser’s site before is much more interested in the advertiser’s product or service than before. The intention to buy is often clear. The best option to turn the viewer into a buyer is by leading the visitor back to the advertiser’s site, with the aim of closing the deal.

Publishers can help advertisers to reach their potential buyers by facilitating a retargeting advertising campaign. Below we will explain how this is done.

Step 1: install a ‘tracking pixel’ on the advertiser’s website

A publisher using Revive Adserver, enhanced with the Regargeting plugin for Revive Adserver, can create an invisible ‘tracking pixel’ that can be installed on the advertiser’s website. Essentially, this tracking pixel captures and stores the fact that a visitor has been on the site. The visitor will not notice this, since it is a transparent 1×1 pixel image. Their privacy is not in danger, because the data that is being captured is anonymous. All it says is that ‘someone’ has been on the site. Installing the tracking pixel is simple, most webmasters can do it in less than 5 minutes.

Let’s assume the advertiser is called ‘Acme Inc.’. A tracking pixel would then capture the fact that the visitor has been on the advertiser’s site by recording a data flag like ‘acme=yes’.

Step 2: create a retargeting campaign

The publisher now creates a campaign in Revive Adserver, and adds banners to it in the very same way as it’s always done. The only difference is that each banner will get a special delivery limitation. It basically says: this banner can only be displayed to a visitor when it is a known fact that the visitor has previously visited the advertiser’s site. Adding a retargeting condition to a banner is easy, it takes less than 30 seconds.

For the fictional advertiser Acme Inc., each banner for their retargeting campaign will be given a special rule saying: this banner can only be displayed when the visitor comes with a data flag like ‘acme=yes’.

Step 3: serve ads, including the retargeted ads

When a visitor comes to the site or sites owned by the publisher, the OpenX ad server operated by the publisher will determine which ad or ads need to be displayed for each page that the visitor requests. When Revive Adserveris considering to display a banner for retargeting campaign, the delivery limitations will be evaluated and only when the banner meets all criteria, it will be displayed on the page. Evaluation of the retargeting rules is fast, it takes just a few milliseconds to execute.

When a visitor comes to the site, OpenX might consider to deliver a banner for Acme Inc.’s campaign. However, the banners in this campaign come with a rule, they can only be displayed when the visitor has a ‘acme=yes’ flag. When OpenX evaluates the condition and determines that it can not be met, it will proceed to find another banner that can be displayed.

Step 4: visitors click the retargeted ad and makes a purchase

When a visitor sees an ad for a site that he or she has visited in the past, it will jog their memory and result in more clicks than when they see just a random ad. And when they do click, it is often with the intention to carefully consider the product of service again. As a result, visitors reaching an advertiser’s site through a retargeted campaign are often 5 to 10 times more likely to purchase on their second visit.

Effects of employing retargeting: increased efficiency and effectiveness

When a publisher runs a retargeted campaign for an advertiser, there are two effects:

  • Since the banners in the campaign will only be displayed when the visitor has previously been on the advertiser’s site, a relatively small portion of the overall visitor population. This helps the advertiser to spend their marketing budget more efficiently. In many cases, for publishers this might mean the difference between being able to sell a campaign or not.
  • Because of the retargeting rules, a visitor seeing the banners will perceive them as much more relevant than when banners will be selected at random. It’s very likely that they will recall visiting the advertiser, and it is much more likely that they will click the banner and visitor the advertiser’s site again. Thus, the effectiveness of the ad campaign has increased.

Increased efficiency and increased effectiveness work in combination and supplement each other, by showing fewer banners and at the same time achieving a higher click-through ratio.

By helping an advertiser increase both the efficiency and the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns, a publisher is able to add great value. Offering retargeting will distinguish the publisher from his competitors. In a crowded market, with many publishers that are after the same advertising budget, it’s an essential tool to come out as the winner.

Please have a look at some of the other examples and use cases of the Retargeting plugin for Revive Adserver.