Set up cross-channel remarketing for social, search, and display

About cross-channel remarketing in DoubleClick Search

DoubleClick Search (DS) can work with search and social engines to build lists of customers who click your search ads and social ads. Once the lists contain enough users to satisfy engine requirements, you can use the engines or DoubleClick Bid Manager to re-engage your customers on search, social, or display channels. 

Remarketing for search and social ads

Here's an overview of how DS helps coordinate cross-channel remarketing on the search and social channels:

  1. In DS, you create a remarketing list and indicate which search or social ads should be used to build an audience for the list.

    For example, you can specify that search ads focused on the safety features of a car should build an audience for the "Safety-conscious" remarketing list, while search ads that focus on a car's performance should build audiences for a "Performance list".

    In the search or social engine, you create a parallel remarketing list. Then you set up rules that automatically add customers to the engine's list if the customer clicked an ad in a DS remarketing list.

  2. When a customer clicks an ad, the click is redirected through DS. If the ad is associated with a DS remarketing list, DS adds the ds_rl URL parameter that uniquely identifies the list. Make sure your landing page URLs are ready for this parameter.

    Then DS forwards the click to the page specified by the ad.

  3. On the ad's landing page, you add a remarketing tag generated by the search or social engine. 

  4. When a customer lands on this page, the special URL parameter added by DS tells the engine to add the customer to its remarketing list. 

Once you start building an audience, you can sign into the engines and use the list to target ads to interested customers. Note that for AdWords remarketing lists, you create the list in AdWords, but once you've created the list you can set up targeting either in AdWords or in DS.

Remarketing for display ads

Remarketing on the display channel is slightly different. Because both DS and DoubleClick Bid Manager are part of the DoubleClick suite and share the same cookie space, DS itself builds the remarketing lists and shares it with Bid Manager. This solution doesn't require any tags on your site, but you do need to sign into Bid Manager to target the list in display networks.

Here's an overview of how DS helps coordinate cross-channel remarketing on the display channel:

  1. You set up DS to add cookie IDs to a remarketing list when users click search or social ads that you specify.

    Note the following:

    • DS adds the cookie ID to its list when a user clicks search or social ads. These users may or may not convert on your site after clicking the ad.

    • The cookie IDs in the list are random and non-identifiable, so they can't be used to track or share any personally identifiable information.

  2. You share the list with specific AdWords accounts and Bid Manager.

  3. You set up AdWords and Bid Manager to do any of the following with the list:
    • Target relevant display ads to the users in the remarketing list. Because the users in the remarketing list have shown interest by clicking on the paid search ad managed by DS, re-targeting them via display channels can lead to increased CTR and conversion rates.
    • Exclude users in the remarketing list from seeing your display ads.
    • Use the DS list in combination with lists collected by AdWords or Bid Manager to customize targeting.

      For example, a user left a pair of shoes in the shopping cart, but did not check out. If Bid Manager or AdWords has a remarketing list of users who have added items to the shopping cart, you can use Bid Manager or AdWords custom targeting to target display ads only to users who are on both the DS remarketing list and the shopping cart list.
  4. View reports in AdWords or Bid Manager to measure the effect of your remarketing.

Required number of list members

A remarketing list maintained by the engines usually needs to contain at least a minimal number of users before the list can be used to re-engage the users in the list. Here's information about the minimal number of users required by each engine:

In addition, DoubleClick Bid manager requires at least 100 users in a remarketing list before the list can be used to re-engage users. You can see the number of users in a list that DS maintains and shares with Bid Manager by viewing the Global Users column.

Note: DS doesn't report on the number of global users in its remarketing lists that target social or search engines. The social or search engine may report the number of cookies in its remarketing list, but the DS list and the social engine's list may not match.

Parallel tracking and cross-channel remarketing

AdWords parallel tracking sends customers directly from your ad to your final URL while click measurement happens in the background (without sending customers to the tracking URLs first). If you turn on parallel tracking for an AdWords engine account, clicks on AdWords search ads go directly to the final URL, so DS cannot add the remarketing list ID.

To continue using clicks on AdWords search ads to re-engage customers on social, search, or display channels, turn off parallel tracking.

Using social clicks to re-engage customers through the social, search, or display channels is supported with parallel tracking, since social clicks still redirect through DS. 

In addition, using search clicks to re-engage on other channels is supported for engine accounts other than AdWords, since those clicks still redirect through DS.

Learn more about compatibility issues with AdWords parallel tracking.

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Set up remarketing lists for:

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