About Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists in Search Ads 360

If you've set up remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) in Microsoft Advertising or in Search Ads 360, you can use Search Ads 360 to:

  • Target search ads, prevent ads from displaying, or adjust keyword bids based on inclusion in a Microsoft Advertising remarketing list. 
  • See how performance is influenced by the remarketing list. You can then download the performance data for offline analysis.

Why use remarketing lists?

Target your message

To bid differently to reach potential customers or to display certain ads only to previous customers, you can set up various remarketing lists to target these customers with a different message and offers.

You may want to increase bids to target a remarketing list when members search for the keywords in a campaign because people who have previously visited your site are more likely to buy,

For example, an athletic shoe company can encourage a second visit to their site by raising bids 25% when remarketing list members search for keywords such as “compare brand x prices".

Another way to target remarketing list members is to only display certain ads to, for example, people who visited your site without converting.

To target these potential customers, the athletic shoe company sets up a Microsoft Advertising remarketing list to contain customers who have visited their site recently but didn't buy. The ads that display for these customers includes a 25% discount.

Exclude remarketing list members from seeing ads

To focus advertising on new customers who have never visited your site, you can prevent ads from displaying for current customers by excluding a remarketing list members from your advertising. 

For example, to prevent barraging current customers with a new campaign ad blitz, the athletic shoe company excludes the remarketing list in the campaign. Ads from that campaign will not display for existing customers.

A few things to consider when using Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists in Search Ads 360

Apply remarketing lists only in a campaign or only in ad groups

Within a Microsoft Advertising campaign, remarketing lists can be applied only to a campaign or only to ad groups. Remarketing lists, even different lists, can’t be applied at both levels, unless one list excludes members and the other list targets. That is, you can apply a remarketing list to a campaign, and exclude a different remarketing list in an ad group within the campaign.


If you have a campaign that contains five ad groups, and you want to target a remarketing list named PrevCust with all of the ads in the campaign, you would apply the remarketing list to the campaign. The remarketing list is inherited by all of the ad groups.

If you wanted to apply a different remarketing list named PotentialCust to one of the ad groups, you’d need to first remove the PrevCust remarketing list from the campaign. Then you could apply the PotentialCust remarketing list to the ad group. You'd also want to apply the PrevCust remarketing list to all five ad groups.

Overview of how to apply Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists in Search Ads 360

The following steps provide the general process for using Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists in Search Ads 360. For more detailed steps, see the other articles in this section.

  1. Create remarketing lists in Microsoft Advertising.

  2. Sync the remarketing lists into Search Ads 360.
    If you've scheduled engine changes to sync on a regular basis, make sure to wait until the next sync occurs. You'll only see your Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists after they've been synced into Search Ads 360.

  3. Apply the remarketing list to do the following:

    • Display specific ads only to list members
    • Prevent ads from displaying for list members
    • Specify a bid adjustment to target a remarketing list

Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists and other Search Ads 360 features

Supported features

The following Search Ads 360 features work with Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists:

  • Bid strategies (at the campaign or ad group level). ROI bid strategies are able to recommend and change remarketing target bid adjustments applied to campaigns or ad groups.
  • Change history report. Changes to remarketing lists, as well as additions and removals are logged in change history.

Features that don't work with Microsoft Advertising remarketing lists

  • Campaign copy. Remarketing lists aren’t included when you copy Microsoft Advertising campaigns.
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