What Is Remarketing?


Have you ever looked at a website, only to find that the very next day, you see an advertisement for the same site but in a completely different location? If so then this means that you have been retargeted. If you want to find out more then look below.

What Exactly is Remarketing?

Remarketing is otherwise known as retargeting. It’s common and it’s a valuable digital marketing strategy. It gives you the chance to serve advertisements to users who have landed on a specific page of yours. This is especially useful if they have not taken the action you wanted them to. This is great because the visitor has already shown interest in either your business or your brand. So why is it called remarketing instead of just marketing? The main reason for this is because you are targeting past visitors or even existing customers. It gives you a second chance to convert. If you have never remarketed before then you’ll be glad to know that there are several ways that you can do it. There are also various platforms that you can use to remarket as well. Some of them include Google ads or even Facebook ads. It doesn’t even matter which option you decide to go with either if you are making some effort to focus on remarketing.

Retargeting or Remarketing?

Retargeting and remarketing are often used interchangeably. You do however need to know that there are some big differences between the two, and a lot of it comes down to strategy. Retargeting is about serving advertisements to your potential customers. This is usually done through cookies. Remarketing, on the other hand, is based on email most of the time. When you remarket, you will be collecting as much information as you can about your users and then create lists, which you can then use to send out sales emails in the future. Remarketing and retargeting are both fantastic methods, and if you want to get the best result out of your strategy then it’s vital that you use both. This will boost your bottom line while also making sure that you are using your resources to their full potential.

Remarketing Example

Imagine Ben, who’s really interested in buying a new football jersey from a site called Football Jersey Superstore. He goes onto the site, clicks the one that he likes, but quickly changes his mind. Later, that day, or even the next day, Ben then visits a completely different site. In this instance, let’s make it an entertainment site that focuses on movies and film reviews. Ben then notices that there’s an advertisement on the site showing the exact same jersey that he was looking at on the Football Jersey Superstore.  The aim here is to remind Ben of the purchase he was once interested in so that he is tempted to go back and make the purchase.

The Cost of Remarketing

It should be known that remarketing is incredibly effective and it’s also very cost-efficient when compared to other marketing strategies. A lot of this is since you’re able to target people who have already shown an interest in your product. So, what determines the cost of remarketing? Remarketing normally works in a CPC, CPM and CPA format. This translates to cost-per-click, cost-per-impression and finally, cost-per-acquisition. The great thing about this is that it gives you a great deal of control over how much you spend. If you want to run a huge campaign that is effective, then you can adjust your bid accordingly. If you want to run a small campaign for products that aren’t necessarily your best sellers, then you can offer a lower bid and spend a lot less.

How does it Work?

If you’re not very savvy when it comes to the world of digital marketing, or if you are a small business owner who’s never really looked into the concept of retargeting before, then you should know that it’s not difficult for you to set up a campaign at all. When you do create a campaign with an advertisement network, you will be given a small piece of code. This is called a pixel tag. You then need to add this to your site. When you’ve done that, every time a user goes to your site, the code will drop a browser cookie (which is anonymous). The user will then be added to your very own retargeting list. If that same user then visits another site, you will then be able to show them native ads from your provider so that you can push your site. This will keep on happening as long as you continue to run your campaign. When you stop your campaign, your advertisements will immediately stop.

What are the Pixel Tags?

Pixel tags are small pieces of code that can be found on a website page. They allow the site to place cookies. If you’re not 100% sure what cookies are then they are essentially crumbs which your website visitor leaves behind. Every visitor has a unique ID that is anonymous. This means that their website activity can be followed, or tracked by using the “crumb” trail, or cookies. If you were to establish a remarketing campaign then the advertisement server would then be able to access these cookies, before saving it and binding it to the remarketing list they have.

What’s a Remarketing List?

As mentioned above, cookies can be saved and bound to a remarketing list. This is all the data that your customers have left behind when browsing your site. Your remarketing list is a huge list of every customer who has performed a set action when using your site. You could have a home page list, which will have every visitor who clicked on your home page over a certain period. So, let’s use the above example again. Ben visits the home page for Football Jersey Superstore. He then clicks off and doesn’t click on a single product. If he was to do this, then his data would be added to your homepage list for remarketing. When this happens, you’ll be able to remarket to Ben and anyone else who visited the home page. If Ben clicked on a product, however, he wouldn’t be added to the homepage remarketing list. He’d be added to a different one so that you can show him advertisements that are relevant to whatever he viewed.

The Incredible Benefits of Remarketing

The great thing about remarketing is that it gives you the chance to capitalize on any website traffic that you might have lost. You can also target those who have shown interest in your site but who have not converted. Lastly, you can keep your brand at the forefront of their thought process by reminding them of who you are, every time they browse the internet.

Suitable for Every Industry

Sure, your site may be generating a lot of traffic and this is great, but are you really converting? Studies have shown that the average conversion rate for a first-time visitor is low. In fact, it’s around 1.6%. So essentially, even though you are getting traffic, you are not getting sales. Remarketing really is your best option if you want to capitalize on the 98.4% of the traffic you are losing out on. The great thing about remarketing is that you can target those who have already taken an interest in your business. This is the most effective way for you to encourage them to come back to your site and it can be used across nearly every single industry.

When should you Retarget?


A lot of marketers don’t fully know when they should retarget and when they shouldn’t. Some have their campaign always on, which means that they have a campaign for everyone who visits their site but doesn’t convert. This could include someone who didn’t check out with their purchase or even those who didn’t complete a form. If you want to take a more advanced or even personalized approach, then this is more than possible. For example, you may want to run a marketing campaign for those who land on certain pages. This could be a product that you’re going to make a lot of profit on or your best seller. You might also want to target customers who visit your site at a certain point in the day. When it comes to remarketing, you’ll want to avoid overkill. You wouldn’t want to risk annoying your customers by showing them far too many advertisements. Put a cap on how many advertisements can be seen to each one of your users. Ideally, you’ll want to limit this to two or three per day.

Where can you Retarget?

There are various platforms that you can use to remarket.  Simple display marketing is very simple and it’s a very popular strategy if you want to give it a go. Just display an advertisement so that your customers see an ad for your site when they visit someone else’s. There’s also native remarketing which is where you can re-engage your visitors with valuable content. This is normally recommended for those who are premium publishers or those who have native advertisement placements. Search remarketing is a feature that lets you customize your advertising campaign for those who have visited your site, and finally, you have social media marketing. This is where your advertisements will show up on social media.  Remarketing is a fantastic way for you to increase your ROI if you have a very limited budget or if you want to have complete control over your marketing efforts in general. If you want to get the best result out of your marketing efforts, then you need to dig deep into your data and find out where your users are coming from. Are they coming from a desktop in Cincinnati or a phone in Manchester?  Either way, if you can home in on your audience then you can decrease your total expense while also increasing your conversion rate.

Conversion Rate

You may never know why your user didn’t convert the first time. Maybe they got distracted and left, or maybe they didn’t have enough money to complete the purchase. It may even be that they are waiting for a discount code, or because they found something they didn’t like about your product after all. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know that with both retargeting and remarketing, there are huge benefits and the more you give your user the chance to come back, the more you’ll be boosting your marketing success overall.

Won’t People Come Back on their Own?

Remarketing can be defined as being a follow-up. Everything you do is done in a way that helps you to reconnect with other people. When someone comes to your site, you might have hopes that they are going to come back on their own. This isn’t always the case and most of the time you will see your customers disappear into the void- to the point where you never get to see them again. This can be frustrating, but remarketing gives you the chance to remind them about the action you want them to take. You must know that remarketing alone isn’t a good strategy. You need to make sure that you use it with other marketing efforts because if you don’t then you won’t be able to use it to its full potential. Take abandoned shopping carts for example. With eCommerce sites, 75% of carts get abandoned every single year. Studies have also shown that over 60% of lost revenue can be recovered if you were to remarket. If you have a strong marketing campaign combined with remarketing efforts, then you can encourage people to come back and finish what they started.

A lot of businesses use giveaways to try and collect as much contact information as they can. With a giveaway, you need to know that the information you gather won’t magically turn into a customer. You need to work what you have, and you also need to turn the information you have into a paying customer. Remarketing is a fantastic way for you to do this.

Sales Funnels and Remarketing

Sales & Marketing Funnels

It doesn’t matter whether you work in marketing or whether you work in sales because you need to understand the concept of having a sales funnel. At the top of your funnel, you have your least qualified leads or your broadest leads. As they work their way through your pipeline, the number of leads decrease but they will become more qualified. Eventually, you will end up with a paying customer. This concept is very similar to a pyramid scheme, with the largest amount being at the bottom, and the top being the most desired. If you don’t have a good strategy, then it doesn’t matter how good your funnel is because you are going to be losing leads. A poor strategy will poke holes in your funnel, and it will cause you to lose out on a significant amount of leads. The leads you lose, you might never see them again, or even worse, your competitors might end up picking them up. Every time you try to push your leads to that next step in your funnel, most of them won’t do it. Take the following. Ben visits the Football Jersey Superstore and gets the offer to sign up for a newsletter. This gives the site access to Ben’s email and therefore benefits the site. Ben then views a jersey that he’s been after, added it to his cart, but quickly clicks off the site. In this situation, Ben did move down the funnel but didn’t convert. If you don’t remarket, Ben’s sale might be lost forever.

Now let’s say that the Football Jersey Superstore did remarket. They sent Ben an email reminding him about his cart abandonment and then attached a discount code along with it. Ben views the email but still doesn’t revisit the site. Again, Ben still isn’t moving down the funnel.

If the Football Jersey Superstore put up a remarketing advertisement on Facebook a few days later, however, this would show Ben the jersey he wanted originally, which would then remind him about the discount code he got sent in his email. Let’s say Ben revisits the email, clicks the link and then makes the purchase.

This is just one example of how when remarketing efforts are combined, they can bring about fantastic results. The more remarketing efforts you make, the more you can plug holes in your funnel and the less likely you are to lose a customer entirely. It’s amazing how you can bring leads that would have otherwise not been quantifiable.

Abandoned Carts

You should never assume that just because someone abandons their shopping cart, doesn’t mean that they don’t want to buy from you. It may be that they were forced to create an account before they were able to buy, or even that they were still in the research phase of making a purchase. It’s even possible that they simply forgot, or that they were waiting to talk to a friend about it. This concept is covered earlier in the article, but it’s time to delve deeper into the world of cart abandonment and how remarketing could make a huge difference. Before you start putting your cart abandonment emails on automation, you need to do a survey. You need to find out why people are abandoning their carts and you also need to understand your customer pain points. You may come across something that reduces your cart abandonment rate entirely, and if you are able to do this, you can then cater your remarketing campaign to a more niche set of users. This is just one example of how remarketing can be used in conjunction with other marketing strategies. Remember that remarketing doesn’t just apply to website advertisements. It can be used in many ways, and when you do start to explore them, you will soon find that it’s easier than ever for you to increase your overall conversion rate.


Upselling is another fantastic way for you to get your customers to buy more from you. Let’s say that you know that your customer has already bought something from you. If this is the case, then you can easily use remarketing to try and offer them some complementary products or even some services. They might not have been open to the idea of buying something at the time of making their first purchase, but after a short period of time, they might be. Remarketing gives you the chance to tell them that your product is, in fact, worth it and that they should come back and buy from you. If you want an example of how this can be applied to your own business, then imagine someone buying a television from your store. They might have been given the option to take out insurance on top of this, but they didn’t do it at the time. Remarketing gives you the chance to try and get that customer to come back and take out that policy from you later.

Lead Capture

If you know that someone hasn’t made it too far in the buyer’s journey, you might not have much luck if you use remarketing to ask them for the sale. This is especially the case if you have an expensive product or if you know that their journey is going to be a bit long. At the end of the day, remarketing is ultimately a fantastic way for you to get your foot in the door and keep it there. If you didn’t manage to get any contact information from someone’s first visit to your site, then retargeting advertisements would put you in a very strong position. Use these ads so that you can offer white papers or even webinars. It’s also a good idea for you to offer popular blog posts so that you can refill your funnel and continue to engage them in the future. There are so many various types of contact information that would be very beneficial to your organization and if you employ a good marketing tactic then you can easily dig deeper and find out even more information that you might need.

How do you Remarket?

Just take a second and think about all the places your customers and your leads are going to interact with your brand. What information are you able to collect here? Are there opportunities that you can collect even more information that might benefit? It might be that phone numbers are way more valuable to you, or that you need to focus on email addresses instead. Either way, you need to use this information so that you can then employ other channels to collect even more details from your potential customers. Setting a goal is so crucial in the world of marketing and the main reason for this is because if you don’t then you will never know how far you have come. It’s another tactic that will help you to complete your objectives and it can also help you to set new goals that will heighten your success even more. So, it’s important that you assess the type of contact information you have in terms of your goals, as this will help you to channel your campaign.

Facebook Retargeting

When you delve deep into the world of Facebook retargeting, you will soon find that this gives you the chance to combine the data from the pixel list (as mentioned above) along with your Facebook network. Facebook gives you a relevance score and this is rated from 1-10. This will essentially affect the cost of having your advertisement delivered. Your relevance score is based on how people interact with the ad that you choose to put up. This could be based on likes, reports, hides, comments, and clicks. If you want to find out more about this, then you need to make sure that you do your research and that you also make sure that you are 100% confident in your decision before you push forward.

Twitter Remarketing

Another popular option is Twitter remarketing. Twitter advertisements don’t normally get as much attention when compared to Facebook or even AdWords. They can provide you with some unique benefits and marketing opportunities. You can even choose to show advertisements to influencers that are present in your industry. If you are an active user on social media, then this is certainly something that you should be looking into because there could be some untapped potential that you are not fully aware of.

Other Platforms

Of course, there are so many advertising platforms out there that you can use to try and retarget. Some of them will give you some unique bonuses, such as Quora or even LinkedIn. You may even be able to bundle your services together and then advertise them across multiple channels, such as websites, email and finally, social media.


If you have an e-commerce store, then you need to be sending out cart abandonment emails. If you don’t then you may be leaving cash on the table. This is a go-to strategy when it comes to marketing but there are plenty of ways that you can capitalize on this. You can send someone an email based on the actions that they have taken in-person, through the app or even on your site.  Some email providers give you the chance to do what’s called a soft opt-in. This essentially means that if someone has purchased from you, it’s okay for you to email them. In the eyes of marketing, you have permission to do this in some ways, but you do have to be conservative with this. You might want to do a double-opt-in, which is when you give your customers a box to check at the end of the buying process. Either way, it doesn’t matter what you want your audience to do because, at the end of the day, you can easily send a marketing email to prompt them to do whatever you need them to do.


It’s a known fact that phone calls are much harder to scale when compared to other marketing channels. If you have a one-to-one conversation, then this can create a ton of unique opportunities that can help you to learn more about your audience. It may even help you to provide a level of personalized messaging too. This is very valuable for brands that want to build long-term relationships with all their customers, or those who rely on the sales rep to close the deal. If you want an example, then imagine a real estate company that really values getting sales over the phone. They will collect phone numbers whenever someone signs up for a free resource, and then call them half an hour later. This is still an example of remarketing even though it’s not done in the traditional advertising sense of the word.

Direct Mail

Have you ever been to the dentist and then received a personal card saying that it was nice to hear from you? This is essentially direct mail marketing. The company wants you to remember your last experience as this will create a positive association and it will also help you to build a positive relationship too. If you work in the industry of healthcare or even as part of a garage that offers automobile repairs, then this can be a very valuable option.

Remarketing really is a fantastic way for you to get leads and if you follow the above guide, you’ll soon find that you have absolutely no problem getting the best result out of every campaign you operate.


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