This paper studies a targeted energy transfer (TET) mechanism for a two-degree-of-freedom (TDOF) model in free vibration. The model comprises a primary linear system and a secondary system in the form of an energy sink which can be nonlinear. The free vibrations are considered subject to an impulsive excitation exerted on the primary system, leading to a nonzero initial velocity. The goal is to obtain the spring parameters in the nonlinear energy sink (NES) so as to maximize an energy dissipation measure (EDM) representing the percentage of impulsive energy that is absorbed and dissipated in the NES. A global optimization algorithm is used for this purpose. The optimal performance is assessed for the purely linear, linear-cubic, and purely cubic configurations of the spring connecting the primary and secondary systems. The corresponding results are compared with each other. The optimization process is performed for the EDM averaged over given ranges of the initial impulse and natural frequency in the primary system. It is shown that the type of the optimal configuration can vary depending on these ranges.