Remarketing with Google Analytics

Use segments to create Remarketing Lists

When you import or create a segment, you identify a set of criteria that users must meet in order to be eligible to see your remarketing ads. The next time one of those users comes to your site, if the behavior has matched the criteria in the segment any time over the look-back window (the last 7-30 days, depending on your list configuration), then that user is added to the remarketing list until it expires.

Currently, users are not removed from the list if a subsequent session disqualifies them from the segment (e.g., if the segment identifies abandoned shopping carts and someone purchases those items on a subsequent session). In order to avoid spending part of your remarketing budget on users who no longer meet the criteria of your list, you need to develop an additional list based on opposite criteria, and then in AdWords use that second list to exclude the users who no longer meet your criteria; for example, if you develop a list to identify abandoned shopping carts, then you need to also develop a list to identify users who have purchased the items in their carts, and exclude those users from your remarketing campaign. You can accomplish this by creating a custom-combination list in AdWords that includes one audience and not the other.

To use a segment as the basis for your remarketing list:

  1. When you're creating a new remarketing list in Analytics, select the Create my own remarketing type using Segments option.
  2. Click Import to use an existing segment.

    You can augment your existing list of Segments by importing from the Analytics Solutions Gallery. The gallery lets Analytics users share solutions (including Segments) they've developed, which you can use as is, or customize as necessary for your own business. For example, you can import this starter pack of Remarketing Segments, and use them as the basis for your lists.

    or

    click any of the filter options (Demographics, Behavior, Sequences, etc.) to start creating a new segment.

    Learn more about how to create segments.

Sample segments for the Retail vertical

Users who abandoned items in their shopping carts

Build this segment to identify users who added items to their shopping carts, but didn’t complete the purchase.

This example presumes that you have set up event tracking, and that you track clicks on the Add-to-Cart button as events.

In this example, you want to remarket to users who added items to their shopping carts but didn’t complete a transaction. However, when those users do finally purchase the items in their carts, you don’t want to continue serving those particular ads. So, you create one list to identify and serve ads to the users who added items but didn’t purchase, and another list to identify users who did finish their purchases, and whom you want to exclude from your remarketing campaign.

On the Create New Remarketing List page, under Remarketing type:

Select Create my own remarketing type using Segments.

Create a filter to identify users who added items to their shopping carts, but who did not complete a transaction.

Save the list.

Create a second list to identify users who added items to their shopping carts, and then did complete a transaction.

Save the list.

In AdWords, use both lists to create a custom-combination list that includes the first list but not the second.

Users who searched the site but did not convert

This segment assumes that you have configured site search.

On the Create New Remarketing List page, under Remarketing type:

Select Create my own remarketing type using Segments.

Configure the filter to include no conversions (e.g., zero goal completions, transactions, or revenue), and some entry in the search field (in this case, a non-empty string):

Save the list.

Users who viewed any page in a directory or viewed specific pages

On the Create New Remarketing List page, under Remarketing type:

Select Create my own remarketing type using Segments.

To identify a directory of pages, use the directory name, for example, /Men/ or /Women/.

To identify a specific page, use the page title.

In the List name field, enter either Directory or Page.

Users who have previously converted

Build this segment to identify users who have completed goals or transactions.

On the Create New Remarketing List page, under Remarketing type:

Create a filter to identify users whose Goal Completions or Transactions or Revenue were greater than 0.

You can use one or more of these metrics, or other Goal metrics, depending on which of these you’re tracking.

Sample Segment: Campaign Cohort

You can build segments to identify cohorts, for example, new users to your site within a specific date range, who arrived as the result of a specific campaign:

  • Click Date of First Session.
  • Select First session is between.
  • Select the dates to identify when the campaign was running.
  • Click Conditions.
  • Configure the filter as follows: Users > Include > Campaign exactly matches campaign name

Additional Sample Segments

Users who have spent over/under dollar amount

1 Condition Filter

Include: Revenue Greater than N

AND

Include: Revenue Less than N

Users who complete a specific sequence of actions

1 Sequence Filter

Step 1:

Include: Page Containing page name

Step 2: Any time after step #1

Include: Page Containing page name

Step 3: Any time after step #2

Include: Event Action Exactly matching event action

Users who visited X (or <> X) times

1 Condition Filter

Include: Count of Sessions Exactly matching/Less than/Greater than N

Users who purchased X but not Y

2 Condition Filters

You need to create a list of who purchased X, and a list of who purchased Y; and then in AdWords create a custom combination list that subtracts the list of who purchased Y from who purchased X to see who of those users didn’t purchase Y.

Filter 1:

Include: Product/Product Category/Product SKU Exactly matching X

Filter 2:

Include: Product/Product Category/Product SKU Exactly matching Y

Users who completed a specific goal

1 Condition Filter

Include: [goal name(GoalN Completions) greater than or equal to 1

Users who viewed a page or pages in a directory N times

1 Condition Filter

Include: Page Exactly matching/Containing page name

Users who signed in at least X times

1 Condition Filter

Include: Event Action Exactly matching event-action name

Use the Session Bucket metric to run A/B tests

Analytics randomly tags users with numerical identifiers from 1-100. You can take advantage of those tags by including the Session Bucket metric when you create a Remarketing List based on a segment.

You can use Session Bucket to run A/B/N tests of your Remarketing Lists and the associated ads, and test the efficacy of one remarketing campaign against another. For example, you can create two user segments to identify any population of users (e.g., Revenue > 100; Transactions > 5; Country/Territory Exactly matching United States), and then use the Session Bucket metric to differentiate them:

  • List A: Revenue > 100 AND Session Bucket < 51
  • List B: Revenue > 100 AND Session Bucket > 50

Users tagged 1-50 would be candidates for List A; users tagged 51-100 would be candidates for List B. Use List A in one ad group, and use List B in another, and then analyze which was more effective.

You can use that same methodology to measure how effective your remarketing campaigns are compared to no use of remarketing. In this case, you create a remarketing list to include only a specific set of users and ignore the others. For example, add any criteria to the list, and set Session Bucket to Less than 51. In this case, users 1-50 would be candidates for remarketing ads, while users 51-100 would not.