Our retail clients sell products big and small, fashionable or functional, and at both the entry and luxury ends of the market. Each of these variations demands a bespoke marketing strategy, leveraging the best tools possible based on those unique requirements. In this blog post I’m going to focus on one of the tools for the luxury market: ‘remarketing lists for search ads’, or RLSAs.

What are RLSAs?

RLSAs are a feature that let advertisers customise their campaigns to target people who have previously engaged with their website; whether they have just visited the homepage, or made a purchase. These ads allow you to tailor your bids and ads to make sure they are appearing in front of the right people on Google and search partner sites.

Why RLSAs? A qualified, more cost effective audience

RLSAs guarantee the users you are advertising to have shown some level of interest in your products or services in the past. This allows you to be much more generic with keywords than you usually would when creating your campaigns, by targeting a much narrower audience. They allow you to place a much higher bid on the keyword/adgroup, whilst also filtering out people who are less likely to purchase specific items.

Without RLSAs it would be difficult to justify bidding on very generic keywords without a qualifier when selling these high-priced items. Doing so would likely exhaust your budget quickly, and your ads would be showing to people who don’t necessarily want to see the high-end products.

RLSAs can be especially advantageous for retailers as they allow for a great landing page experience for the customer; and as they already contain a qualified audience they can be very profitable.

Setting up your RLSAs

First, you will need to build remarketing lists in AdWords and have them populate for up to 540 days (which is the capped limit). The lists can be split into how far the customer got in the purchasing journey, and by how many days ago the customer interacted with you. Some examples could be:

In this example, there would be six audiences per behaviour (depending on how long ago the behaviour was), so a total of 24 audiences. Splitting out the audiences dependant on time lapse since their interaction allows you to apply different bids/multipliers per audience; for example, you may find that bidding more aggressively on ‘7 days abandoned basket’ is more profitable than bidding aggressively on ‘180 days abandoned basket’.

Once you have your audiences, you could simply apply RLSA bid adjustments to your existing campaigns. However in order to take full advantage, using more generic keywords or more targeted creative, I'd recommend building new "RLSA campaigns" specifically to target these audiences (and if you duplicate existing campaigns, consider excluding these audiences from the non-RLSA campaigns).

It is very important to remember to set the targeting of RLSA ads to ‘target and bid’ rather than ‘bid only’. This will make sure that your ads are shown to users who match your audiences. This can be done in AdWords Editor by selecting the ‘flexible reach’ tab.

Finishing touches: price extensions

Price extensions are an ad extension available within AdWords, similar to sitelinks. They complement RLSAs well, as they showcase the different types of products you sell which the audience may be interested in. I actually wrote about them in more detail a little while ago here.

They also display the ad far more prominently on the page. Below is an example of one of our RLSAs created for a high-end luxury client for a generic search, which shows the ad showing with price extensions.

Convinced? Time to start!

RLSAs are essential for advertisers with high-ticket items. They give you the ability to show off your products with tailored ads which already have specific qualified audiences, which can result in excellent ROI when utilised properly. Having set up effective audiences in AdWords, generic keywords can be bid on safely without the fear of spending too much of your budget.

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