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Personalizing your media strategy with dynamic retargeting

We see thousands of ads online each day.

Think about it next time you scroll through your social feed, visit a website or sit down to watch your favorite streaming service.

As the noise and competition for a user’s attention has risen, so has the user’s expectation for personalized experiences.

For-profit organizations are setting the bar high, leaning on data and advanced analytics to create personalized experiences based on an individual's unique behavior and preferences.

Because of this, donors expect the same thing from nonprofit organizations. One of the tactics we’re using to help our clients provide personalized experiences in paid media is dynamic retargeting.

What is dynamic retargeting?

Traditional retargeting targets audiences based on what segment they fall into—like those who haven’t donated in the last six months.

Dynamic retargeting is a more granular and personalized way to reach your audience through digital media.

Dynamic retargeting enables your nonprofit to tailor the ad experience at an individual level. Through machine learning, this technique adjusts imagery and messaging in real-time based on an individual’s preferences and interactions with your organization.

How you can implement it into your media strategy

So, how can you start implementing dynamic retargeting to enhance engagement across your paid media campaigns? Here are a few ways we’re using it across our clients’ programs:


Using a donor or prospect’s geographic location, you can tailor ads to display relevant copy, images or languages.

Website Interactions

We’re helping our clients tailor experiences based on a user’s previous interactions with their website, including:

  • Homepage visits: Retarget users who visited your homepage with ads encouraging them to return or elaborating on your nonprofit's mission.
  • Category/Webpage views: Target users with ads related to specific pages they visited, such as membership offers, volunteer opportunities or donation appeals.
  • Abandoned carts: Re-engage users who started the donation process but didn't complete it, reminding them of the impact their donation could make or encouraging them to donate.
  • Donation completion: After a user donates, utilize dynamic retargeting to deliver "Thank You" messages or encourage them to make recurring donations.

Sequential Targeting

Sequential targeting displays a series of ad copy and images to a user. With each exposure to the ad, the user sees the next stage of the ad set.

What makes this approach so effective is the ability to extend the narrative. By seeing a sequence of ads over time, your targeted audience gets to know you on a deeper level—and it also decreases ad fatigue.

As the user moves deeper into the sequence, the call to actions evolve—moving from something as soft as ‘Learn more’ to as direct as ‘Donate now.’

Personalization is the name of the game in today’s digital era. As commercial brands cause donor expectations to rise, dynamic retargeting can be a game changer for nonprofits looking to break through the noise, alleviate ad fatigue and tell an expanded story at an individual level.

Stay tuned for part two of this blog where I’ll dive into a few examples from clients who have started leveraging dynamic retargeting to enhance their paid media strategies.

Nicole Daily

Nicole Daily is a digital media strategist at RKD Group. She is an expert on digital media audience and performance with more than six years of digital media campaign experience. Nicole couples strategy with ongoing optimization, helping translate the complicated digital world into actionable insights. She makes sure nonprofits' digital media targeting is spot-on, specifically for using social media as a marketing channel.



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