Retargeting, also called remarketing, is an online advertising strategy of reaching out to prior visitors of your website or app, often by presenting ads or sending emails. Retargeting offers an opportunity to recapture potential leads or customers if they have left your site without converting or meeting a marketing goal.

For example, if a prospective customer abandoned their shopping cart without checking out, you can use retargeting to show an ad for the product they recently viewed on another website they visit. By exposing your ads again, you have the opportunity to reel the customer back to your site, leading to better conversion rates and working closer to your marketing and revenue goals.

How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting can be applied to multiple digital marketing channels, including paid search, display, email, and social.

For retargeting to work effectively with many of these channels– such as search and displaying advertising–browser users must enable cookies. Cookies are small files that are stored on user devices and allow you to track user behavior and analyze traffic. Storing cookies tag users with a unique identifier, which allows you to determine whether users completed a goal for conversion like checking out a shopping cart or filling out a form when using analytics platforms. If they have not achieved a set conversion goal, retargeting will show your ads again on the next website or mobile page they visit.

Retargeting on Search & Display Channels

Google AdWords has tools for remarketing campaigns so brands can pay for ads that appear on the Display Network and the Search Network–the text ads on search engine result pages. In order to create a remarketing campaign using these two networks, add the remarketing tag on every website or mobile app page and make a remarketing list in AdWords by compiling cookie IDs.

Retargeting With Email Marketing & Social

If you have the email addresses of potential customers, use list-based remarketing to customize their experience with your specific brand. Once you collect a list of email addresses, upload these lists into a customer relationship management platform or to the custom audiences list on social networks.

Pros of Retargeting

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The pros of retargeting include:

  • Connecting with potential customers repeatedly. Increase the number of customer touchpoints during the buyer’s journey so your brand is frequently exposed to prospects who are evaluating their purchasing options.
  • Increasing conversion rates. When customers are deciding whether to buy, retargeting helps brand visibility when they are ready to convert.
  • Personalizing marketing. Rather than show ads at random users, targeting previous visitors and creating a personalized buying experience will lead to better conversion.
  • Reaching out to prospects on sites they frequent. Retargeting allows brands to display ads where users like to visit, including popular social networks.
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