1 Weird Trick to Fix a Broken Retargeting Campaign

1 Trick to Fix a Retargeting Campaign

Eliminate Retargeting Waste Cheat Sheet

Is retargeting not working for you? If so, I just might have the solution.

As you already know, many people are able to make retargeting work right out of the box, and they are able generate amazing returns.

In fact, it’s common for people see to returns of in excess of 400% on retargeting campaigns. I even know advertisers doing as much as $15 to $20 for every $1 they spend on retargeting.

So, why is it not working for you?

Perhaps, it’s your offer. Perhaps, it’s your creative. But, much more likely, it’s something else – it’s your actual retargeting list. Instead of your retargeting list being made up of hot prospects who want to buy from you or are interested in product or services, your list has a bunch of waste.

This waste consists of curiosity clicks, bots that troll your website and even people who landed on your website by mistake.

Furthermore, if part of your marketing strategy includes affiliates, your affiliates could be using spammy techniques that you don’t even know about like popping up your website through adware, changing the appearance your link to look like something else, or sending your link out to people in chat.

There are so many ways (especially when you run a large site) to fill up your retargeting list with waste.

The good news is I have a solution.

In this cheat sheet, I am going to show a technique using Google Tag Manager that places a timer on your retargeting pixel to eliminate people who quickly “bounce” (i.e. leave your website) to improve the overall effectiveness of your retargeting list.

Note: depending on the type of site you have, you may want to only place this timer on your landing page, rather than all pages.

Time Requirements:

This “cheat” only takes about 10 minutes to deploy, but it may take another 15 to 30 days before your retargeting list is fully healed.

Resources Required:

Google Tag Manager
Retargeting Pixel

Step-by-step Directions:

Step 1: Create Your Trigger

In this step, I’m going to show you how to create a trigger in Google Tag Manager (GTM) that only fires when someone visits a landing page for more than 15 seconds.

To get started, you must add a new trigger. You can do this by clicking on “Triggers” from the left hand menu and then clicking the “New” button.

When setting up a new trigger, GTM will walk you through 4 steps: Choose Event, Configure Trigger, Enable When and Fire On.

For the first step, choose your event as “Timer”.


Now, in the second step, you’ll need to configure the timer. For the example below, I configured the timer for 15 seconds (note: GTM uses milliseconds to define the interval).


Next, you’ll define when you want to enable this timer. For this example, I said when the URL contains “landing-page-one”. You, however, might define this rule to enable on any page a user visits or when the URL contains something else.


Then, you’ll tell trigger when to fire. For this, simply select “All Timers.”

Once complete, name your trigger (i.e. 15 Second Delay on Landing Page) and press the “Create Trigger” button. This will save your trigger.

Step 2: Create a Tag

In this step, I’m going to show you how to create your retargeting tag and how to apply the trigger that you just created in step 1.

To get started, you must select “Tags” from the left hand menu, and then click the “New” button.

Now, GTM will walk you through 3 steps to create your new tag: Choose Product, Configure Tag, and Fire On.

For the first step, you will click “Custom HTML Tag”.


Next, you will configure the tag by copying and pasting in your retargeting code. Below, I used an example from Facebook’s retargeting code, but this code will vary each ad platform.


Now, you will select when the tag will fire. First select, the “More” button and they select then trigger you just created in the first step of this cheat sheet. For the example below, the triggers name is “15 Second Delay on Landing Page.”


Finally, name your tag and press the “Create Tag” button. This will save your new tag.

Step 3: Publish & Deploy

Now, since your new retargeting tag is set up to fire on a delay, it’s time to deploy it out to your website.

To do this, simply click the “Publish” button in the upper right hand corner of GTM. Then, confirm that you want to publish your new changes by clicking the “Publish Now” button. This will deploy your new tag to your website and make sure that your tag will fire based the new trigger you just set up.


This simple yet effective trick will help you eliminate the waste from your retargeting list and will help you create a more curated list of interested, ready to buy prospects.