Is AdRoll Retargeting More Effective on Facebook or the Web?

  • — July 31, 2017

    Is AdRoll Retargeting More Effective on Facebook or the Web?

    ROverhate / Pixabay

    I have a big fat crush on AdRoll retargeting and everyone on my team knows it. But I’ll own up to it. AdRoll is a killer advertising platform. Once you know the fundamentals, it’s quick and easy to use. And once you explore its full potential, you can pull in some seriously impressive conversion rates.

    Last month I blogged about some of my favourite ways to reach any stage in your funnel using different AdRoll segmenting strategies. This month, I want to answer a different question. You can run AdRoll retargeting campaigns through Facebook or the general web. Is one more effective than the other?


    In our experience we have seen consistently higher engagement and conversion through AdRoll’s Facebook network. I’m talking click-through rates that marketers dream about — sometimes even double digits. While we can’t say why Facebook wins for certain, there are a few hypotheses floating around.

    You can give your audience more information on Facebook.

    There’s a lot more real estate with Facebook’s ad structure. Web ads are banners. There’s room for some text, but not tons, especially with some of the more awkward sizes. Facebook’s ads look much like regular content. Pair an image with a call-to-action button, some intro text, as well as a custom link title and description. You have room to tell a whole story.

    Users are already looking for something to interact with on Facebook.

    Web ads generally appear in the margins and paragraph breaks of articles or shopping sites. That user is already occupied. On Facebook, they’re generally in a much different head space. They’re looking for something to occupy them. Increase engagement even further by making your ads look like regular newsfeed content — think value-add over promotional.


    Budget permitting, you should still run an AdRoll web campaign alongside your Facebook campaign.

    Some users may not be on Facebook. Web is a great way to reach them.

    In fact, with CRM segmenting, we often see a higher number of web matches. If you’re choosing between networks, the trade-off between potential reach and engagement rate is important to consider. Perhaps you can make the case for using both.

    Hit them with more impressions.

    For users that can be reached on both networks, web impressions play a supporting role in keeping you top of mind. The benefit to running both campaigns through the AdRoll platform is that your conversion pixel works across both networks. Once a user converts through one campaign, they’ll stop seeing ads from both.


    When you’re paying for impressions instead of clicks, it’s important to spend efficiently. Our experience with Facebook vs. web retargeting campaigns may not hold true in different circumstances. We always like to test both and watch KPIs early for signs that budget may be better spent elsewhere.

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