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How to Improve Customer Loyalty With Retargeting and Display Ads

By Mollie Woolnough-Rai
04 Aug, 2021
3 min read

Instead of chasing after those new, difficult-to-reach customers, you could use your time better by focusing on retaining and engaging your existing customer base. Why do this? Well, according to one report, it costs five times less to retain an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one. On top of that, existing customers are known to spend 67% more than new customers. 

In this blog post, we cover a number of creative ways that you can use paid ads to keep the customers you’ve already got. Here are four actionable strategies you can implement today. They’ll both improve your customer retention rates and see your profits increase.

Use your data to identify customer segments to target

It’s no good blasting every customer with the same message when they are all at different stages of their journey with your brand. First off, analyze your data and identify who belongs to each of the below key customer segments:

Data has a better idea
Image source: unsplash
  • Loyal customers: these are those who engage with your store, have a high average order value and who have a high rate of successful referrals – this shows they appreciate your brand, shop with you regularly and will return easily
  • At-risk customers: this group hasn’t purchased again with you within an expected timeframe, but that doesn’t mean they’re lost just yet! 
  • Churned customers – the ones who have never returned to shop with you since the first time and don’t engage with your store anymore 

Running different paid ads campaigns with specific, targeted messaging for each of these groups makes it much easier to bring these customers back into the fold, regain their trust and instill (or inspire) their brand loyalty. 

Loyal customers: personalized ads provide a superior experience

To engage your loyal customers, the best bet is to run personalized ads that show you appreciate their loyalty to your brand.  80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences. While 78% of customers said they would want to be individually recognized and rewarded for their loyalty. 

Try retargeting this group with products that are complementary to their previous purchases; alternatively, show them a geographically specific deal. This helps customers to feel recognized as individuals, not just another number on a spreadsheet. 

You could even tie your retargeting in with your loyalty program with banners that show customers the number of loyalty points they’ll get if they return and purchase that item, incentivizing them to shop. For that to work, make sure that you have a compelling banner ad design that will entice your target audience to click on it and convert them as your customer.

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At-risk customers: surprise and delight 

At-risk customers haven’t shopped with you in a little while - but perhaps life just got busy and they forgot how great you are! Paid ads that surprise and delight are the perfect way to offer customers something they weren’t expecting. They allow you to pop up in their feed with an offer or discount that will entice them back to your brand.

For example, Waterdrop uses ads to show their members that they have access to their new product drop before anyone else through their loyalty program. This encourages them to return to the brand before they churn.


Churned customers: remind them you value them

Churned customers have completely dropped off the radar and may not even realize you have initiatives in place that would make them feel like a valued customer. Once they see or experience this effort from your brand, they’ll be encouraged to return. 

Use paid channels to highlight the perks of your loyalty program to customers who have not returned to purchase from you a second time. Do they know they can earn double points at certain times of the year, that they would receive a free birthday gift or that you send them personalized product recommendations? If not, now is the time to let those customers know. 

For example, TRADLANDS use paid ads to highlight the perks of their program, such as exclusive, members-only offers for and a bunch of points just for signing up. This gets customers keen to return and spend with you before you lose them for good to other brands. 


With digital ads now costing 12% more than they did two years ago (that’s five times the rate of inflation!) businesses are being forced to pay more to reach fewer consumers. In a crowded landscape, why not use ads to focus on the customers you’ve already got instead? Targeting the above three categories with specific, thoughtful messaging will help you to retain customers you already have, and mean you need to expend less of your marketing efforts on constantly seeking to find new buyers for your business’s offering. 

Mollie Woolnough-Rai

Mollie is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion. After graduating from UCL in 2016, she has worked both in-house and at marketing agencies providing expertise in content for both B2B and B2C clients. At LoyaltyLion, Mollie manages our content, making sure our readers get the best quality resources about customer loyalty and retention.