How to Set the Right Targeting Lookback Window for Every Audience

October 28, 2015

It’s good strategy to periodically review your retargeting campaigns to make sure you’re hitting your volume and performance goals. An important part of that is setting the right Targeting Lookback Window for each of your audiences.
This post discusses targeting windows, why they’re important, and how to set or change them in SharpSpring Ads.

What is a Targeting Lookback Window? How is it different from Audience Duration?

A “Targeting Lookback Window” is a campaign setting determines how far back in time to target users for that campaign.  This is similar but different from an audience’s “Duration”, which is a setting at the audience level that determines how long users will remain within an audience once added.
Duration lets you figure out how big your audiences should get.  Should users stay in them for 5 days?  10 days?  30 days?  90 days?  Targeting Lookback Windows let you choose which users to target within a given audience for a given campaign: Users added within 10 days?  30?  Having both settings is unique to SharpSpring Ads and gives marketers a great deal of flexibility.  You can easily make adjustments to your targeting without destroying the data stored in your audiences.
Targeting Lookback Windows are not to be confused with Conversion Lookback Windows, which let you decide how to attribute conversions from your campaigns.

Why are Targeting Lookback Windows important?

Targeting Lookback Windows play a substantial role in your campaign’s impression volume and spend, as well as performance metrics like click-through rates (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and adjusted cost-per-acquisition (aCPA).
If you’d like to increase your campaign’s reach, consider lengthening its windows. That’ll allow you to retarget its audience for greater lengths of time and increase your impression volume. However, keep in mind that your CTR may start to drop if you set too long of a window.
If your campaign’s reach is limited by your budget – or if you’d just like to give a boost to your CTR, CPC, or aCPA numbers – consider shortening your lookback windows. This will eliminate impressions you’re serving to your most distant visitors. As you free up budget to retarget your most recent and engaged visitors, you should begin to see more clicks and conversions in your campaigns.

How do I set my Targeting Lookback Windows?

When creating or editing a campaign, your first task is to select the audiences you’d like to retarget, and set your Targeting Lookback Windows for each audience. In the box labeled “Targeting”, look for the “Lookback Window” fields and enter a value for each audience you’d like to target or exclude:

You can set Targeting Lookback Windows for a specific number of hours, days, or months. If you’re new to retargeting, or have recently started retargeting a brand new audience, we recommend starting with a window between 30 and 60 days to get a feel for performance.
Targeting Lookback Windows work for exclusions, too. In the example above, we’ve created a cart abandonment campaign that excludes customers who’ve made purchases. If you’d like to exclude your customers from your campaign for a specific amount of time before potentially retargeting them for repeat purchases, you can use a window to achieve that goal.
For more information on Targeting Lookback Windows and campaign setup, check out our knowledge base.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Customer Success Team. If you’re new to SharpSpring Ads, try it for free and get a $100 credit toward your first retargeting campaign.

Scott Danielson

Scott Danielson

Scott is the Customer Success Manager at Perfect Audience. He holds a degree from Illinois State University and has over 13 years experience working in the customer service/tech support field.
Post categories: Articles
Post tagged with: lookback windows

Resource Categories

Want to get the latest in online advertising original research?

Web Retargeting

Retarget lost customers across all major display exchanges with ease.

Facebook Retargeting

The easiest way to retarget lost customers across Facebook.

Shopify Retargeting

Set up dynamic retargeting for your Shopify store in minutes.

Dynamic Retargeting

Get more sales for your online store. Bring browsers back with a product-specific ad.

Cross-Device Retargeting

Retarget lost web site visitors across mobile phones and tablet devices.

Mobile Retargeting

Discover the effortless way to re-engage lost mobile users across smartphones and tablets.

Twitter Retargeting

Harnessing the power of Twitter ads with your existing audiences.


Team up with marketers to retarget each other’s visitors and acquire new customers.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting keeps them coming back for more.

Product Tour

Take a product tour of SharpSpring Ads, the easy retargeting platform for advertisers.


Set your own campaign budgets and spend as much or as little as you like!

Getting Started

Design precise, effective campaigns in minutes.

Get a Demo

Learn how to optimize and scale programs with a cross-channel, multi-device approach.

Success Stories

Helping our customers run a better business every day, our success is directly linked to our customers’ success.

Success Stories

American Apparel

Clothing retailer increases ROI by 400% with Facebook retargeting. Read Success Story ›


Design platform gets a 134% boost in incremental revenue. Read Success Story ›


Online educator sees a 20% drop in facebook retargeting CPA. Read Success Story ›