Remarketing audience duration - how long should you follow someone - Vine Street Digital

Remarketing Audience Duration – How Long Should You Follow Someone?

Remarketing Audience Duration – How Long Should You Follow Someone?

Remarketing is a powerful way to re-engage your website visitors, close a sale, or up-sell to existing customers. But how long should you follow someone? What’s the best remarketing audience duration? There are numerous possibilities when it comes to remarketing and who you can target. Let’s explore how long someone can stay in an audience (membership duration), and the length of time it makes sense for you to keep remarketing to your users.

How Do Remarketing Audiences Work?

Remarketing audiences are usually collected via a tracking code on your site. This tracking code varies depending on which platform you’re using. For example, Google uses either a Google Ads conversion tracking code or Google Analytics code. Facebook & Instagram use Facebook Pixel, and Microsoft Ads uses its UET code.

When someone visits your website, the code tracks that visitor and adds them to a remarketing list. There are numerous ways you can decide who you follow:

  • demographics,
  • actions they took on the site
  • actions they didn’t take on the site
  • how long they stayed,
  • where (on the Internet) they came from,
  • the city they’re in

The options are enormous! Once you’ve decided on who you want to follow, you must then decide how long you want to follow them for. This is called audience duration or membership duration. In other words: how long do you want this person to be on this list?

Let’s say you want to follow someone for 30 days. This means that when someone visits your site, they’ll be added to the list and remain there for 30 days. Once those 30 days are up, they disappear from the list.

How Long Can I Remarket To Someone?

Your audience duration or membership duration limits can vary between networks and platforms. See below:

Platform/Network Maximum Audience Duration
Google 540 Days
Facebook 180 Days
Instagram 180 Days
Microsoft 180 Days
YouTube 540 Days
Twitter 90 Days (but they’ll only target users who have been active on Twitter within the last 30 days)


There are some exceptions to this depending on the options you choose, but this gives you a general guide. As you can see, depending on the platform, you can follow someone for a pretty long time!

How Long Should I Remarket To Someone?

This really depends on your goals as a business. Unfortunately, there’s not one single rule that will apply to everyone. There are a few main things you should remember when you’re choosing how long someone remains in a remarketing list;

1) Are my ads still useful and relevant?

We’ve all been followed by annoying remarketing ads that just aren’t helpful or interesting. When it comes to audience duration, remember that something may become less interesting over time. For example, say I’m shopping around for wine glasses online. I browse a few sites, then I’m followed for the next week with ads about wine glasses. That’s great – I’m clearly in the market for them right now and I don’t mind being reminded of some of the options I saw. However, after a week it might get a bit old. Maybe I’m not interested anymore, or maybe I’ve already made my choice. When someone is a hot prospect it makes sense to keep their interest by showing them remarketing ads. But, keep in mind that when they’re not so hot, your ads won’t be either.

2) Are my users seeing the same thing over and over again?

Not all users have to be recent in order for remarketing to be effective. Some products and services require contemplation and consideration before someone can make the leap. These long buying cycles mean that following someone for longer makes a lot of sense. However, the last thing you want is for someone to be followed with the exact same ad over and over again for 3 months. After a while, an ad loses its effectiveness. This is why it makes sense to have a range of ads with different messages on rotation. You can even choose to show an ad to someone for the first 30 days after they leave the site, and then a different ad for the next 30 days after that. Keeping your ads fresh is important. You don’t want them to get stale and have users start hating the repetitiveness of what you’re showing them.

3) Is there a compelling reason to come back?

If they didn’t convert the first time, you need to ask why. As I mentioned above, it could be because that person needs time to make a decision. However, it could also be because they weren’t compelled to convert the first time. If you are trying to follow the non-converters or the abandoned carts, then you might want to give them an offer they can’t refuse. Try 10% off their first purchase or similar discount. Perhaps there’s an important selling point that was missing from the landing page that you can now show to them.

Keep in mind that inviting people to come back isn’t just about getting them to buy something they’ve already looked at. It can also be about up-selling. Say I buy wine glasses; perhaps I’d come back for a great decanter! With Google’s long remarketing list times, you can also think about bringing people back when it’s time for another service. This works great for pest control, house-washers, or mechanics who offer a service that should be done on a regular basis. If you’re the one to remind them, they’re likely to be a client for the long term. Think of it like being on the call list for a dentist or optometrist – every so often they call to remind you to make an appointment for a check-up!


In summary, how long you follow someone depends on who they are, what action they took, and whether or not your offer is still compelling or relevant. Ultimately, it comes down to your goals as a business. Remember that not everyone is going to be worth following, and the best remarketing ads are ones that are useful, relevant, and fresh.

If you’d like to explore remarketing and find out how it could fit into your advertising, feel free to get in touch to ask any questions!

Written by Gemma Renton