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How to retarget disengaged subscribers on Google Ads
6 min read

How to retarget disengaged subscribers on Google Ads

How to retarget disengaged subscribers on Google Ads

Even if email remains one of the most efficient channels for businesses, that doesn’t mean that some subscribers won’t fall between the cracks. Knowing how to react when a subscriber stops engaging with your emails is critical to trying to find alternative solutions to bring them back, either as an engaged recipient of newsletters or, ideally, as a purchasing client. Additionally, here are five ways to keep email engagement high.

Integrating your email efforts in a multi-channel marketing strategy will pay off big time when analyzing customer lifetime value. This article will explain how to start incorporating disengaged subscribers in Google Ads campaigns.

The basics of Google Ads

If you have never used Google Ads or any digital advertising platform, there are some key elements we need to explain before moving forward. Getting a grasp on them will enable you not only to understand how to retarget email users but will also allow you to consider if advertising is a good channel for your business.

Unlike traditional advertising, in newspapers, magazines of billboards, where you pay to reach as many eyeballs as possible, digital advertising opens the door to advanced targeting options and a new payment method. You will only pay when users click on the ad or, in some situations, when 1,000 users view the ad.

In terms of targeting, Google Ads offers a large variety of tools to pinpoint the exact users your business considers valuable. For Display ads, which refers to banners placed on various websites, you can define the following:

  • Placements: decide on which mobile apps, websites or YouTube channels your ads are going to show up
  • Audiences: choose from already built audiences or create Custom Intent Audiences based on keywords or websites users are interested in
  • Topics: select what subjects are valuable for you to make sure that the placements fit into those categories
  • Schedule: create complex or basic schedules starting with days and hours
  • Demographics: select the relevant genders, age groups, parental status and household income
  • Locations: decide what are the territories where you want the ads to be displayed

For search campaigns, you will also use specific keywords that users are searching for on Google to place an ad before the organic results in the search engine results page (SERP).

Match email addresses

Reconsidering disengaged subscribers as potentially valuable for your business might imply a new mentality, especially for solopreneurs and junior digital marketers. As long as you have their email address and they have consented to the use of that data for advertising purposes, you should begin the process of retargeting them. Remember to stay compliant with email regulations whenever your marketing efforts involve using email addresses.

To set up an advertising campaign with email addresses, the first place to start is Customer Match. While Google Ads can do more than just associate email addresses with specific users browsing websites, we will just focus on this feature for the purpose of this article.

Keep in mind that the minimum email list that you can upload is of at least 1,000 email addresses. Google Ads will typically match about 30-35% of those email addresses. To run a campaign on Google Search you will need at least 1,000 people in your audience, while for Google Ads Display (the one we are covering in this article), as well as for YouTube or Gmail, you will need at least 100.

Here are the steps you need to follow to include disengaged subscribers in a retargeting campaign (also known as a remarketing campaign):

  • Create a segment of disengaged users

Go to your ESP to set up a new segment with your disengaged subscribers. Decide on what qualifies as a disengaged subscriber and select that time frame to create the segment.

  • Download the email list

Once you have created the segment, you can simply download it. Review and make sure the data is correct before proceeding.

  • Access your Google Ads account

If you don’t yet have an account, you will need to create one before moving forward. Creating an account takes just a couple of minutes. Sign in to your account if you have one.

  • Go to Shared Libraries

To find the Shared Libraries of your Google Ads account, you have to open the Tools and Settings section of the platform, in the upper right corner.

  • Create an audience

Select the Audience Manager section of Shared Libraries. Afterward, click on the blue plus sign to add a new audience list. From here, you will have to select the “Customer list” option.

  • Upload data

Here you have two options. You can either upload a CSV (download the template) file with the fields and data or you can upload hashed data. This is a more difficult step, so our suggestion is to stick to uploading the CSV file. Google Ads will hash all personal information before upload, making data protection something you don’t have to worry about. Pay attention to formatting guidelines before uploading the file, to make sure that everything will work according to plan.

  • Set membership duration

You can opt between setting a specific number of days or no expiration. If you know how long you plan on using the data for the retargeting campaign, you can just choose that as the membership duration. Otherwise, it will be easier if you select no expiration.

  • Finish the upload

Click on the “Upload and create list” button to complete the uploading process.

  • Review the uploaded data

Navigate back to the Audience Manager to review the data before creating an advertising campaign. You will be able to do so after the list is completely processed.

Set up a campaign

Now that you have your email list uploaded to Google Ads, you can start creating the advertising campaign. To generate a new retargeting campaign you need to follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Campaigns

Go to the Campaigns section of Google Ads. This is the home of all of your campaigns. If you have just created your account, don’t worry if this section is empty for now.

  • Add a new campaign

Click on the blue plus button above the Campaigns table to add the retargeting campaign.

  • Select the campaign goal

Choose the specific campaign goal that best fits what you want to achieve with this advertising campaign. You can choose from such options as Sales (suitable for eCommerce businesses), Leads (suitable for SaaS or B2B companies) or Brand awareness and reach (suitable for all businesses). You can also continue without selecting a goal.

  • Select the campaign type

For a retargeting campaign, the best option here would be Display (running ads on websites inside the Google Display Network) but you can also choose Video if you want to reach those subscribers on YouTube with video content.

  • Select the campaign subtype

Be careful when selecting the campaign subtype. A Smart Display Campaign is easier to set up, but it also offers fewer targeting options. To be able to create a retargeting campaign, it is critical that you select the Standard Display Campaign.

  • Select locations and languages

Always try to include the territories where your customers reside as well as the language of the ad. For the location, you can choose a radius (let’s say that you want to target Chicago and its surrounding counties) or specific places (countries, cities, counties).

  • Set the bidding strategy

Bidding strategies are your way of determining what you want to achieve with this campaign. Learn more about Google Ads bidding strategies if you are new at this or before picking an option.

  • Select the audience

Choose the uploaded email list as an audience from the Audience section.

  • Add additional targeting settings

As mentioned above, you can choose from a variety of targeting options. If you want to narrow the reach of your campaign by using additional targeting settings, you can do that now.

  • Create or upload ads

In Google Ads you can create responsive ads for Display campaigns, as well as upload HTML ads, if you have created them beforehand. You also have the option of uploading single size banners. Make sure you have all the required assets (text, final URLs, visuals) and/or ads before you reach this step. Make sure you follow the platform’s guidelines when creating ads.

  • Start your campaign

There you go! You have successfully created your retargeting campaign for disengaged email subscribers.

Takeaways

Engagement is one of the most important email metrics to track. When subscribers stop interacting with your newsletters, maybe it’s time to include them into a new multi-channel strategy. You can create a new advertising campaign on Google Ads, to retarget disengaged users. Here is what we have learned about this process:

  • Disengaged users can still be valuable for your business
  • Advertising campaigns offer powerful customization options for targeting users
  • Uploading a list of users from your ESP takes just a couple of minutes
  • Setting up a retargeting campaign using your email list is extremely easy to do if you follow our step-by-step guide