Ecommerce Growth

The Complete Guide to Understanding AdRoll Audiences

Ecommerce Growth

The Complete Guide to Understanding AdRoll Audiences


In the swirling sea of online shoppers, catching the attention of the right customer at the right time can feel like searching for a beacon in the fog. AdRoll shines as that beacon, with its sophisticated audience targeting and retargeting software designed to not only capture but also keep your ideal customer's attention, encouraging repeat purchases. This platform offers a tailored approach to identify and engage customers throughout their journey, from the first casual browse to loyal buying behavior.

AdRoll stands out by enabling businesses to filter shoppers by interest or to retarget those who have left items in their carts, using precise targeting options such as URLs, fixed pages, events, viewed pages, served impressions, or a CRM list. It's a tool that ensures no potential customer slips through the net, using data and AI to bring them back, convert visits into purchases, and ultimately, increase customer lifetime value.

For businesses aiming to not just reach but resonate with their audiences, AdRoll offers a suite of advanced targeting options. From contextual and demographic targeting to interest, lookalike, and retargeting strategies, AdRoll leverages AI to identify new audiences that mirror your best customers' behaviors and preferences. This strategic approach is about more than just making sales; it's about building a community of your brand's biggest fans.

Whether you're a seasoned marketing executive or a business owner expanding online, understanding the power of AdRoll's audience targeting and retargeting capabilities is the first step in crafting campaigns that not only capture attention but also cultivate a loyal customer base. Let's explore how to harness AdRoll to its full potential, from setting up your first audience to retargeting strategies that bring real results.

Understanding AdRoll's Audience Targeting Options

AdRoll audiences are all about getting the right message in front of the right person at the right time. Sounds simple, right? Well, with AdRoll, it kind of is. Let's break down the targeting options that make this possible.


Imagine you run a website selling eco-friendly products. A visitor browses your selection of reusable water bottles but leaves without buying. With URL targeting, you can show ads for those water bottles to that visitor as they browse other sites. You just need to specify the URL they visited.

Fixed Page

This is similar to URL targeting but more specific. Let's say you have a special promotion page for Earth Day. You can target visitors to that page specifically, ensuring they see your Earth Day deals even if they navigate away.


Did someone add a product to their cart but leave your site? Or maybe they signed up for your newsletter. Event targeting lets you respond to these actions. For example, you could show ads for the items they left in their cart or welcome them with a special offer.

Pages Viewed & Impressions Served

These options let you fine-tune your approach based on engagement. If someone viewed several pages of your site, they're likely more interested than someone who bounced off the homepage. Similarly, you can limit how often someone sees your ads with impressions served, avoiding ad fatigue.

CRM List

Here's where personalization really shines. Upload your CRM list to AdRoll, and you can target or retarget customers with specific messages. For instance, if you have a list of past purchasers, you could target them with ads for complementary products or exclusive discounts.

Case Study: Leonisa

Leonisa, a lingerie brand, used AdRoll's audience targeting to expose their brand to a wider audience and drive high-quality traffic to their site. By targeting new visitors and retargeting them with relevant ads, they significantly increased engagement on their site. This is a perfect example of how effective AdRoll's targeting options can be when used strategically.

AdRoll Targeting Options - adroll audiences

AdRoll's audience targeting options provide a toolkit for engaging customers at every step of their journey. Whether they're casually browsing, showing interest in specific products, or they're past customers, AdRoll helps you keep your brand front and center in their minds. By understanding and utilizing URLs, fixed pages, events, pages viewed, impressions served, and CRM lists, you can craft targeted campaigns that speak directly to your audience's interests and behaviors.

We'll dive into how to create your first AdRoll audience, ensuring you're equipped to launch campaigns that resonate with your target market and drive conversions.

Creating Your First AdRoll Audience

Creating your first AdRoll audience is a crucial step in launching campaigns that truly connect with your potential customers. Let's break down this process into two main strategies: URL-Based Audience Creation and CRM Audiences. These methods allow you to tailor your marketing efforts based on specific user behaviors and interactions with your brand.

URL-Based Audience Creation

Creating an audience based on the URLs they've visited on your website allows you to segment users based on their interests and the stage they are at in the buying process. Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

  1. Navigate to the Audience Section: In your AdRoll dashboard, find the section dedicated to audience management.
  2. Create a New Audience: Look for an option to create a new audience. This is your starting point for segmentation.
  3. Specify URL Visited: Choose the criteria for audience segmentation. One effective method is to target users based on specific URLs they have visited on your site. For example, if someone visited a page about "blue running shoes," you can create an audience specifically interested in this product.
  4. Set a Unique URL Rule: Define a unique rule that includes the URL or part of the URL. This ensures that only visitors to that specific page are included in your audience.
  5. Name Your Audience: Give your audience a descriptive name that easily identifies the segment. For instance, "Blue Running Shoes Visitors."

By following these steps, you create a targeted group of users who have shown a specific interest, making your campaigns more relevant and effective.

CRM Audiences

Leveraging your CRM list for audience creation is another powerful strategy. This involves using your existing contacts—those who have already engaged with your brand—to re-engage them and share promotions. Here’s how to use your CRM list in AdRoll:

  1. Prepare Your CRM List: Ensure your list is up-to-date and segmented according to the criteria you want to target, such as past purchasers or newsletter subscribers.
  2. Import Your List to AdRoll: In the audience section of AdRoll, find the option to import a CRM list. Follow the steps to upload your file.
  3. Use Email Marketing for Re-engagement: With your CRM audience now in AdRoll, you can create targeted email marketing campaigns. For instance, you might send a special offer to past purchasers or inform your subscribers about a new product launch.
  4. Share Promotions: Besides email marketing, use your CRM audience to share promotions across other channels. AdRoll allows you to reach these audiences through various ad formats, ensuring your message is consistent across platforms.

By combining URL-based audience creation and CRM audience strategies, you can significantly enhance the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns. These methods allow for precise targeting, ensuring your message reaches those most interested in what you have to offer. As a result, you're not only more likely to see higher engagement rates but also an increase in conversions and customer loyalty.

As we explore further, we'll look into targeting strategies that can make your AdRoll campaigns even more effective. Stay tuned for insights on contextual, demographic, interest, and lookalike targeting, as well as the power of retargeting.

Targeting Strategies for Effective Campaigns

When crafting your campaigns, understanding and implementing various targeting strategies can significantly enhance their effectiveness. Let's dive into some of these strategies.

Contextual Targeting

Imagine your brand as a guest at a dinner party, where the conversation topics are exactly what you're passionate about. Contextual targeting places your ads in such environments online. It's about associating your brand with content that speaks the same language as your products or services. For example, if you're selling eco-friendly water bottles, your ads would feel right at home on blogs about sustainability or outdoor adventure sites. This relevance not only captures attention but also builds a natural connection with potential customers.

Demographic Targeting

Knowing who your customers are is one thing, but understanding them on a deeper level—such as their education level or net worth—can help you tailor your messaging even more precisely. Demographic targeting allows you to reach people based on these specific attributes. If your product is a high-end tech gadget, targeting users with a higher net worth might increase your chances of conversions. It's all about matching your product with the lifestyle and needs of your audience.

Interest Targeting

People's hobbies, passions, and interests define a significant part of who they are. Interest targeting taps into these aspects to show your ads to individuals who are already inclined towards similar topics. Whether it's sports enthusiasts, fashion aficionados, or food lovers, aligning your ads with users' interests makes your brand more relevant and engaging to them. For instance, promoting a new line of running shoes on sports-related pages will likely resonate more with your target audience.

Lookalike Targeting

Sometimes, the best new customers are those who resemble your current ones. Lookalike targeting uses AI to analyze the behaviors and preferences of your existing audience and then finds new users with similar characteristics. This method is incredibly powerful because it allows you to expand your reach while maintaining a high relevance with the newly targeted audience. It's like telling your AI, "Find more people who love my brand," and it goes out and does just that.


Ever browsed for a product only to see it pop up in ads on other sites you visit? That's retargeting. It focuses on users who have already interacted with your site—whether they visited a specific page, left items in their cart, or completed a certain action—but didn't make a purchase. By reminding them of what they left behind, retargeting not only increases brand recall but also significantly boosts the chances of converting those interactions into sales. It's like giving your customers a gentle nudge to say, "Hey, remember us? You were interested in something here."

Each of these strategies plays a crucial role in creating campaigns that not only reach the right audience but also speak to them in a way that's compelling and relevant. By leveraging a mix of contextual, demographic, interest, lookalike targeting, and retargeting, you can ensure that your AdRoll campaigns are not just seen but also resonate deeply with potential customers, driving both engagement and conversions.

We'll explore real-life examples of how these targeting strategies have been successfully implemented in AdRoll campaigns, providing you with inspiration and actionable insights for your own advertising efforts.

Examples of Successful AdRoll Campaigns

Affinity Audience Targeting

Action Movie Lovers
Imagine targeting an audience that lives and breathes action movies. They're always on the lookout for the next adrenaline rush, whether it's a high-speed chase or a dramatic explosion. By harnessing AdRoll's interest targeting, a streaming service managed to place their newest action-packed series right in front of these enthusiasts. The result? A significant uptick in series views and subscriptions, proving the power of connecting with audiences through their passions.

Eco-Friendly Makeup Enthusiasts
In the beauty industry, the trend towards eco-friendly products has been growing. A makeup brand specializing in sustainable products used AdRoll's demographic and interest targeting to reach women interested in both beauty and environmental conservation. Through tailored ads highlighting their eco-friendly ingredients and packaging, they saw a rise in brand engagement and sales. This approach not only attracted customers but also built a community around shared values of beauty and sustainability.

Brand Awareness with AdRoll

New Visitor Attraction & High-Quality Traffic
Attracting new visitors and ensuring they are the right fit for your brand can be challenging. However, AdRoll's advanced targeting options make this task more manageable and effective. By focusing on contextual and demographic targeting, brands can showcase their products or services to a new audience while ensuring relevance. This targeted approach leads to attracting high-quality traffic that is more likely to engage and convert, boosting brand awareness and sales.

These examples highlight the effectiveness of AdRoll's audience targeting capabilities. From affinity audience targeting that taps into specific interests and passions to strategic brand awareness campaigns aimed at attracting high-quality traffic, AdRoll offers a suite of options for brands looking to make a significant impact in their marketing efforts. By understanding and leveraging these tools, brands can craft successful campaigns that not only reach but resonate with their desired audience, driving engagement, conversions, and, ultimately, customer loyalty.

Leveraging AdRoll for Shopify Success

When it comes to e-commerce, Shopify stands out as a powerful platform for online stores. However, even the most well-designed Shopify stores need a boost to reach their potential customers effectively. That's where AdRoll comes into play, especially for those looking to optimize their e-commerce efforts. First Pier, a leader in Shopify development, emphasizes the importance of integrating advanced marketing tools like AdRoll to not just attract, but also retain customers.

First Pier and Shopify Development

First Pier specializes in Shopify development, offering insights and strategies to maximize the platform's capabilities. Their expertise suggests that leveraging AdRoll can significantly enhance the visibility and performance of Shopify stores. By utilizing AdRoll's audience targeting and retargeting features, Shopify store owners can ensure their products are seen by the right people at the right time.

E-commerce Optimization with AdRoll

E-commerce optimization involves more than just attracting visitors to your site; it's about converting those visits into sales. AdRoll's dynamic ads and marketing automation capabilities are game-changers in this aspect. Dynamic ads automatically showcase products that potential customers have previously shown interest in, making the ads more relevant and increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Shopify Success Stories

A notable success story highlighted by First Pier involves the use of AdRoll for Shopify by the brand Leonisa. Through AdRoll's Brand Awareness solution, Leonisa managed to not only bring new visitors to its site but also significantly increase engagement. This was achieved by driving high-quality traffic, a testament to AdRoll's targeting capabilities.

AdRoll's Marketing Automation and Analytics

For Shopify store owners, time is precious. AdRoll's marketing automation saves valuable time while ensuring a personalized experience for customers. By targeting specific demographics with tailored ads, the relevancy and engagement levels soar. Additionally, AdRoll's robust analytics and reporting tools provide invaluable insights, allowing store owners to understand which ads are performing well and why. This data-driven approach ensures continuous optimization of ad campaigns for better ROI.


Integrating AdRoll with your Shopify store opens up a world of possibilities for e-commerce optimization. From creating visually appealing, high-performing ads to utilizing advanced targeting strategies, AdRoll offers the tools needed to elevate your Shopify store's success. With the support of experts like First Pier, leveraging AdRoll for Shopify becomes a strategic move towards achieving your e-commerce goals. Understanding the intricacies of AdRoll audiences will further empower Shopify store owners to harness the full potential of their online presence.

Frequently Asked Questions about AdRoll Audiences

Navigating AdRoll audiences can be a game-changer for your marketing strategy. Let's dive into some common questions to help clarify this powerful tool.

What are the targeting options for AdRoll?

AdRoll provides a rich suite of targeting options to ensure your ads reach the most relevant audience:

  • URLs: Target users based on specific pages they've visited on your site.
  • Fixed Page: Focus on visitors to a particular page.
  • Event: Target based on actions taken on your site, like form submissions.
  • Pages Viewed & Impressions Served: Engage users based on their interaction depth.
  • CRM List: Re-engage your existing customers or prospects by uploading a list from your CRM.
  • Contextual Targeting: Place your ads next to relevant content.
  • Demographic Targeting: Reach users based on specific demographic details.
  • Interest Targeting: Connect with users who have shown interest in similar products or services.
  • Lookalike Targeting: Use AI to find new users who resemble your existing customers.
  • Retargeting: Keep your brand in mind for users who've previously visited your site but didn't convert.

How do I create an audience in AdRoll?

Creating an audience in AdRoll is a straightforward process:

  1. URL-Based Audience: Navigate to the 'Audiences' section, click 'New Audience', and select 'URL Visited'. Enter the unique URL rule that applies and give your audience a descriptive name.
  2. CRM Audiences: To re-engage past customers, go to the 'Audiences' section and choose to upload a CRM list. Ensure your list is in the correct format as specified by AdRoll. This method is perfect for sharing promotions or news with those already familiar with your brand.

The key to effective audience creation is understanding your ideal customer's journey and tailoring your audiences to match different stages of that journey.

What is an example of an affinity audience?

An affinity audience is a group of users grouped based on shared interests or lifestyles. For instance, if you're selling eco-friendly makeup, an affinity audience could be "eco-conscious beauty enthusiasts". This audience shares a passion for sustainability and beauty products, making them more likely to engage with your eco-friendly makeup brand.

Another example could be targeting "action movie lovers" for a new release in that genre. By understanding the interests that bind your audience, you can craft more compelling and relevant ad campaigns.

By leveraging AdRoll's targeting capabilities, including affinity audiences, you can ensure your ads are not just seen but are also meaningful to the viewers. This strategic approach leads to higher engagement, more conversions, and ultimately, a successful online presence.


In wrapping up our journey through the intricate world of AdRoll audiences, it's clear that this powerful tool is more than just a means to an end. It's a bridge connecting your brand with individuals who are most likely to engage, convert, and become loyal customers. Through precise targeting, retargeting, and a suite of advanced options, AdRoll empowers us to not only reach our audience but to resonate with them on a level that truly matters.

Customer engagement is the heart of any successful marketing strategy. In the digital realm, where distractions are plentiful and attention spans are short, the ability to capture and hold this engagement is invaluable. AdRoll audiences facilitate this by allowing us to tailor our messaging and ads to the specific interests, behaviors, and demographics of our potential customers. This personalized approach ensures that our content is relevant, appealing, and, most importantly, effective in driving action.

When it comes to Shopify optimization, the synergy between AdRoll and Shopify creates a formidable duo for e-commerce success. Leveraging AdRoll within the Shopify ecosystem amplifies our ability to not only attract high-intent buyers but to also understand and anticipate their needs. This understanding is crucial in crafting campaigns that not only attract but also retain customers, boosting both immediate sales and long-term loyalty.

In the context of e-commerce, where competition is fierce and customer expectations are changing, tools like AdRoll provide us with the agility and insight needed to stay ahead. From creating compelling brand stories to retargeting cart abandoners, the potential for growth and optimization is boundless.

As we continue to navigate the complexities of online marketing, let us harness the power of AdRoll audiences to not only meet but exceed our e-commerce goals. Through strategic targeting, engaging content, and continuous optimization, we can transform casual browsers into loyal customers, one ad at a time.

For those of us looking to dive deeper into AdRoll and its integration with Shopify, First Pier's expertise in Shopify development and e-commerce optimization is an invaluable resource. Let's embark on this journey together, leveraging cutting-edge tools and strategies to drive success in our digital storefronts.

AdRoll audiences are not just a tool but a catalyst for meaningful engagement and sustainable growth in the e-commerce landscape. By understanding and applying these principles, we can unlock the full potential of our online presence, creating a thriving ecosystem where customers feel valued and brands flourish.

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