Did you know that according to a study, approximately 92% of people who visit your website for the first time leave without purchasing anything? And they never come back… Getting people to visit your website is one thing, but how will you bring those visitors back and convert them into paying customers?
This is exactly where you need to use Retargeting Marketing.
In this article, we explain retargeting marketing, the way it works, compare it with remarketing, benefits, and different types of retargeting.
What Is Retargeting Marketing?
Retargeting Marketing is a digital advertising strategy used to re-engage with website visitors or potential customers who have previously interacted with a brand’s website, app, or digital content but did not complete a purchase. It involves displaying targeted ads to these individuals as they browse other websites or social media platforms, reminding them of the brand and encouraging them to return and take action: typically to proceed with a purchase. Retargeting aims to benefit on the interest a user has shown and increase the likelihood of conversion.
Retargeting keeps your products at top of potentials customers’ mind as they continue browsing the internet, whether they’re on social media, their favorite news site, or even when they are researching your competitors.
Retargeting campaigns have the power to convince hesitant visitors to give your brand another chance if they are optimized the right way. Also, retargeting gives current customers the chance to take advantage of new offers. According to stats retargeting campaigns can increase conversion up to 150%.
Who should use retargeting?
- Brands suffering from high cart abandonment rates,
- Those who want to build brand loyalty among existing shoppers,
- Brands which want to personalize marketing messages,
- Brands that want to encourage bottom-of-funnel shoppers to convert,
- Brands that experience large numbers of browsers and window shoppers who aren’t purchasing,
- Those who have a huge opportunity to cross-sell and upsell products.
What’s the difference between remarketing and retargeting?
If you are confused about the difference between remarketing and retargeting, do not worry, you are not alone. These two terms are often used interchangeably in marketing discussions, but in some contexts, they have slightly different meanings. To keep things simple, here are the most common definitions of each strategy:
- Remarketing is a term that refers to using email to re-engage with your customers or audience that have already shown interest in or done business with your brand. It often refers to the practice of re-engaging with customers through email marketing. These emails can contain personalized product recommendations, promotions, or reminders.
- Retargeting is a term that describes delivering paid online and display ads using a user’s activity on your site or social media profiles. It’s frequently used in online advertising to re-engage potential customers based on their online behavior.
When it comes to marketing goals, retargeting focuses on leading past visitors to your site or social media platforms back to your site to convert them. On the other hand, remarketing is more about re-engaging your existing customers and maximizing customer lifetime value.
How Retargeting Works?
Here are the steps of how retargeting works:
1- User visits a website, search for products, add them to shopping cart, or takes some other action that indicates interest in the brand’s products or services.
3- User leaves the website without making any purchase (or any other desired action).
4- As the user continues to surf the internet, the retargeting platform identifies the retargeting cookie in the user’s browser.
5- Based on the user’s past interactions with the brand’s website, the retargeting platform displays customized and targeted ads to that user. These ads can appear on a wide range of websites, search engines, social media platforms, or mobile apps that are part of the retargeting network.
6- They remember the brand or what they put on their shopping cart, return to the website, and complete the purchase.
Imagine this: In September when you are scrolling on Instagram, you see an ad for a website which sells autumnal home décor. You click the ad, look for the products but cannot decide what to buy and leave the website. The next day when you were watching a YouTube video, or reading news on web, you see ads of the website and autumnal home décor you checked earlier. This ad reminds you the products you liked, you go back and complete the shopping.
Retargeting is so effective because it focuses your advertising spend on people who are already familiar with your brand and have recently demonstrated interest. By showing relevant, targeted, timely ads to interested customers, you increase brand awareness and often total conversions. (Next chapter, we will detailly discuss all the benefits of using retargeting).
There are many platforms that allow you to set up retargeting, such as Google Ads, Facebook retargeting, AdRoll, Criteo, Facebook, LinkedIn Ads, etc.
Apart from Pixel-Based Retargeting, there is also List-Based Retargeting. This type of retargeting works when you already have someone’s contact information. To use it, you should collect e-mail list of your current clients or prospects and upload it to a retargeting campaign platform. It requires maintaining and updating contact lists manually but offers the advantage of reaching a specific and potentially receptive audience. List-based retargeting is effective for various scenarios, such as encouraging subscribers to take specific actions or promoting upgrades to free trial users.
List-based retargeting has a lot of options for customization, but it’s less timely and more difficult to automate than pixel-based strategies.
The Benefits of Retargeting
Retargeting offers lots of benefits for businesses looking to improve their digital marketing efforts. Here are some of the key benefits of retargeting marketing:
- Increase Brand Awareness: One of the biggest benefits of retargeting is increased brand awareness and recognition. There are obviously many challenges to online marketing, one of which is that people can get distracted very quickly. Plus, there are lots of brands in the world all trying to promote their own products online. In such clutter, it’s easy for people to forget about your products or services even if they liked them. Retargeting keeps your brand visible to potential customers even after they’ve left your website. This repeated exposure helps reinforce brand awareness and recall. Users are more likely to remember and consider your brand when they’re ready to make a purchase.
- Reach Interested Prospects: Reaching the right audience is one of the most critical elements of marketing. Your target audience needs to be interested in what you are selling. Retargeting helps you avoid situations in which you are shooting ads all over the web.With retargeting, you display your ads to people who already have a clearly vested interest in your products or services. Since these potential customers already showed an initial interest in your offering, you just need to remind them or nudge them to take the next step.
- Higher Conversion Rates: The more traffic to your website, the higher your chances of increasing your conversion rate. Remarketing offers a distinct advantage in that it can lead to higher conversion rates because it focuses on users who have already expressed interest in your brand or products. Since your ads remind users to return to your site, targeting just the right people who are more likely to making purchase, this targeted approach often results in higher conversion rates. Retargeted display ads had a click-through rate (CTR) that was 10 times higher than standard display ads. This indicates that users are more likely to engage with retargeted ads.
- Cost-effective: Since your audience has been narrowed down to people who already have an interest, retargeting is a cost-effective advertising strategy. As we said, conversion rate for retargeting is high, so you are much likely to get the value out of money spent on the ads. On the other hand, according to WordStream, display and social remarketing ad clicks cost 2-100x less than search ads. This makes the overall ROI (Return on investment) for retargeting much higher and increases cost efficiency.
- Cart Abandonment Recovery: Retargeting is a highly effective strategy for Cart Abandonment Recovery. Cart abandonment occurs when users add items to their online shopping carts but leave the website without completing the purchase. And it is common: 69.8% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts for various reasons. Retargeting ads serve as a reminder to those users about the items they left in their cart. Also retargeting campaigns can include special offers, such as discounts, free shipping, etc. And timing is also crucial in reducing cart abandonment. Retargeting can deliver ads shortly after the abandonment occurs, capitalizing on the user’s recent interest and intent to purchase. These incentives encourage users to return and complete their purchases. The best news is, 26% of retargeted prospects return and complete an online checkout.
- Personalization: Retargeting allows you to deliver personalized ad content based on users’ past interactions with your website. Personalized ads are more engaging and can lead to higher conversion rates.
When Should You Use Retargeting Campaigns?
Retargeting is a long-term strategy suitable for established brands which already have a large following, typically receiving at least 100 monthly website visitors. These campaigns should be part of your long-term marketing plans, and they can be strategically used in different scenarios:
1- For building brand awareness: Retargeting ads are crucial for fostering brand familiarity, encouraging potential customers to make future purchases when their needs align with your products or services. They help maintain your brand’s top-of-mind presence, reinforcing initial interest and boosting brand recognition.
2- For introducing new products or collections: When launching a new product or collection, it’s effective to target website visitors who have already shown interest in your brand with retargeting ads. These ads capture their attention across various online platforms, guiding them back to your store to explore the new products.
3- For promoting best-sellers: Retargeting campaigns are a simple and effective way to showcase your best-selling products, increasing the likelihood of converting website visitors into customers and improving ROI. Promoting popular items through retargeting ads is key to leveraging the appeal of bestsellers and creating a sense of urgency among prospective customers, encouraging them to make a purchase.
4- For spotlighting slowly selling products: If you have inventory that’s not moving quickly on its own, retargeting can be helpful. It is an effective, budget-friendly way to boost sales of slow-moving inventory. This strategy helps address the common challenge of stagnant inventory while minimizing marketing expenses.
To understand it more clearly, here are some other specific scenarios you can consider using retargeting campaigns:
- You can use retargeting to show complementary products or upgraded versions to existing customers, increasing the average order value.
- If you’re promoting an event, such as a webinar, conference, or workshop, you can retarget people who have shown interest but haven’t registered or purchased tickets.
- If users started filling out a lead generation form but didn’t complete it, retargeting can remind them to finish the form submission.
- For mobile app developers, retargeting campaigns can target users who have downloaded your app but haven’t used it or completed certain in-app actions.
- During holidays, special occasions, or seasonal sales, retargeting can be used to remind previous customers or interested visitors about limited time offers.
Types of Retargeting Marketing
There are several types of retargeting marketing and each of them allows you to reach different audiences and pursue different marketing goals. You should decide which type will suit your business the best. Our recommendation is to implement a combination of retargeting ads to get as much benefit as possible from your digital marketing efforts.
Here are the 5 most used retargeting marketing types:
1- Search Retargeting: Search retargeting is one of the most common types of retargeting marketing and I believe anyone who ever searched something on the internet has experienced this. It involves tracking and collecting data on users’ search queries and keywords they use during their online searches. It captures leads actively searching for products or services related to your business. And then it lets you show ads that include specific products that potential clients have searched before. This approach leverages platforms like Google Ads to display ads on various third-party sites within Google’s network, reaching a wide audience.
2- Email retargeting: We are sure you’ve all experienced this type of retargeting marketing before as well: you added products to your online shopping cart but did not complete the purchase. Next day you received an email reminding you that those items are selling out fast. Yes, this is email retargeting. Abandoned cart emails are perfect examples of email retargeting.
An email retargeting campaign allows you to send personalized ads via email to people who have provided their contact information to your business but haven’t completed a purchase yet. It’s an effective method for re-engaging potential clients and reinforcing trust in your brand by delivering targeted promotions across various platforms. Plus, it helps you empower your overall email marketing campaigns.
3- Social media retargeting: Social media retargeting involves sending targeted ads to users on social media platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube) who have previously interacted with your website, app, or content but didn’t complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. It leverages data collected through website tracking tools, cookies, and social media pixels to create custom audiences based on user behavior.
This strategy helps drive traffic to your website and convert potential customers who were previously browsing without making a purchase. Video-based ads on platforms like YouTube are particularly effective for capturing users’ attention with dynamic content.
4- Website retargeting: Website retargeting (it is also called site retargeting or web retargeting) is what most people think of when they think of retargeting campaigns. And again, this type of remarketing is something that almost everyone who uses the internet has encountered. While you are reading a blog post or an article on a website, if you see an ad for a product you’ve just browsed on a different website, that’s retargeting in action.
It works by placing a tracking pixel or code on the advertiser’s website, which collects data about user behavior and interactions. Then this data is used to display personalized ads to those users as they browse other websites or platforms across the internet.
5- Cross-channel retargeting: Cross-channel marketing is a combination of various marketing channels to create a more cohesive customer journey for your target audience. It lets you leverage one channel’s targeting strengths in another.Cross-channel retargeting involves targeting users across multiple digital marketing channels, such as display ads, social media, email, and search, to provide a consistent message and increase conversion chances.
Cross-channel retargeting enables brands to engage with their audience across diverse platforms, optimizing ad content for each platform’s unique characteristics, and maximizing brand exposure and conversion opportunities.
Retargeting Marketing Goals
Retargeting marketing serves several key goals. These are:
1. Boost Conversion Rates: Website visitors are 70% more likely to convert on a retailer’s site when retargeted with ads after leaving a page. One of the primary goals of retargeting is to boost conversion rates. Retargeting allows you to funnel potential customers who have previously shown interest in your products or services back to your website, increasing their likelihood to convert. Increasing sales is one of the main goals for a retargeting campaign, but it’s not the only conversion goal. Retargeting can also increase metrics like your click-through rates (CTR), website clicks, or number of forms submitted.
2. Increase Brand Awareness: A retargeting campaign can help you build a stronger relationship with your current and potential customers by increasing their awareness of your brand. With retargeting ads, your current and potential customers continue to see your brand even if they are not on your website. This ongoing exposure helps build brand awareness and recognition with both existing and potential customers, making them more likely to consider your business for future purchases.
3. Maximize Customer Lifetime Value: Customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV) is a metric that represents the total net profit a company can expect to generate from a single customer throughout their entire relationship. With retargeting you can remind your customers of your brand and persuade them to make continuous purchases from you. The more purchases a particular customer makes from you, the higher is their customer lifetime value. By retaining and re-engaging customers, retargeting contributes to maximizing their lifetime value, which is essential for long-term business success.
4. Reduce Cart Abandonment: Cart Abandonment happens when a user adds your products to their online shopping carts but leave your website before purchasing anything. Retargeting can help reduce cart abandonment rates in e-commerce. It helps recover customers who have left products in their shopping carts by reminding them of these items and potentially offering discounts or incentives to encourage them to complete their purchases.
How to Get Started with Retargeting?
Getting started with retargeting can be confusing if you haven’t done it before. Setting up a retargeting campaign involves several steps. We can briefly summarize these steps as follows:
Step 1: Define Your Goals: First things first, you need to be sure why you need to use retargeting for. As we mentioned before, retargeting has several different benefits you can leverage from. Are you aiming to increase conversions, reduce cart abandonment, boost brand awareness, or achieve another goal? Define the specific goals of your retargeting campaign.
Step 2: Choose a Retargeting Platform: As a next step you need to decide three things, And all three of these affect each other;
1- Retargeting types you want to use,
2- Retargeting platform to use (Common platforms for retargeting include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.)
3- The budget you can spare for all of these. The amount a retailer spends on retargeting efforts can change over time, though statistics show that 71% of marketers spend between 10% and 50% of their online advertising budgets on retargeting.
The scale of retargeting marketing can vary greatly depending on the business area and the size of the brand, so it is personal to the company.
Step 3: Segment Your Audience: First, determine your target audience (who are you trying to reach?) and then segment your website visitors into different groups based on their behavior and interests, such as demographics, what products they gravitate toward, their browsing history, and so on. Many retargeting platforms have simple ways to segment your audience, allowing you to send customized, relevant ads to the people who are most likely to engage with them.
Step 4: Create and Optimize Your Ad: Design eye-catching and persuasive ad creatives that resonate with your retargeting audiences. You should use personalized content and visuals to grab their attention and encourage action. Don’t forget to add eye catching and clear CTA’s that encourages viewers to click and take a specific action like making a purchase or filling out a form. You should also determine your retargeting ad timing and frequency be aware that, retargeting ads can feel creepy and intrusive if you see them everywhere.
Step 5: Track the Results of Your Campaign: Once you’ve defined your campaign’s goals, chosen a retargeting tool, segmented your audience, and created your ad, then your retargeting ad campaign is ready to launch! But your work here is not done yet. To be successful, you continuously need to review the performance of your retargeting campaign. Track key metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS). Make data-driven optimizations to improve results. Don’t forget to conduct A/B tests to identify which ad elements perform best with your retargeting audiences.