The LAB | December 23, 2021

What Is Retargeting?

What is Retargeting by Accentuate Web Design and MarketingIt would be ideal if a customer purchases from your website the first time they come and visit. However, the reality is only as little as 4% to 8% of first-time visitors end up making a purchase.

Marketers now have a dilemma on how to make the 92% to 96% convert into sales. You know that they are interested, but not quite ready yet to convert or purchase.

More often than not, customers do consider purchasing after they are continually exposed to your products. So instead of asking, “How can I make first-time visitors convert into sales?” Instead, the question you have to ask yourself is, “How can I make past visitors return and eventually make a purchase?”

This is where you, as a marketer, employ retargeting.


What is retargeting?

Retargeting is a marketing strategy of serving ads to customers based on their previous browsing history on a business website. It’s a way to re-engage site visitors with your brand.

Your ads will remind your visitors of more cool stuff you have to offer, to bring them back to your site and entice them to make a purchase.

Citing myself as an example, I browse products from an online shopping website or app. If I come across an item I’m interested in, I usually click and just add it to the cart. Without purchasing it, I decided to keep it for reference or purchase it later.

A few days later, I began receiving ads on my mobile device. It reminds me that I have item/s in the cart that I have forgotten to check out. Along with this “reminder” are products that I may also be interested in.

That dear reader, is retargeting in action.


Why is retargeting important?

Earlier, we have mentioned that 92% to 96% of first-time site visitors do not convert into sales. There is importance in spending money to drive new customers to your site. However, it is much more beneficial and oftentimes economical to target those who are already further down the funnel.

Though a balanced approach works best, the power of retargeting can’t be put aside. It’s a proven and successful strategy employed by thousands of marketers daily. It targets near-organic customers with ads and messages, centred on guiding them to the next stage of the process.

Remember that interest does not guarantee conversions, retargeting does help to keep your brand on top of your customer’s minds. Eventually, this may prompt them to get to the point of conversion when they are already that close.


How retargeting works.

Now that you have a fair idea of what retargeting is, you ask yourself, “How does retargeting work?”

Google says: “It tracks what people do on your website, and then creates an audience based on their actions. Letting advertisers design specific ads for people who have or haven’t done specific things.”

If you constantly browse the web or engage in social media, you have already experienced retargeting. Visiting websites, looking around for products or services, even watching videos on YouTube. You’ll notice ads follow you around the web on other sites, YouTube recommends similar videos based on your previous views. That’s retargeting.

There are two forms of collecting data for retargeting campaigns. You have Pixel-based and List-based. Each has its own set of advantages that will suit what kind of campaign you’re running.


Pixel-based retargeting.

Pixel-based retargeting is the most common form of gathering data from your prospective customers.

It works by adding or placing a JavaScript code of a pixel on your website or landing page. With this “pixel,” whenever a visitor comes to your site, it drops a cookie.

Part of its function apart from storing preferences on websites you visit, it also records your browsing history. Google’s conversion tracking feature also uses cookies.

Once a user leaves a site, the cookie on that site transmits data back to that site’s pixel that alerts providers such as Google, Facebook, or any other site to start showing ads.

Think of a pixel as a private detective. It monitors site activity and reports its findings back to the source.


List-based retargeting.

A list-based retargeting is sustained by already existing contact information a particular business already owns. A list-based retargeting is executed by uploading a contact list to a retargeting campaign.

These are usually done on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The platform then scans these contact lists and then cross-checks them against users on their platform.

The platforms would then serve the targeted ads to people whose email addresses match the ones on that list. Being not behaviour-based, list-based retargeting allows you to implement strict criteria on who might see your ads.


To retarget or to remarket?

Retargeting and remarketing may seem similar on the surface. Both are used to achieve the same goals: increase brand awareness, drive consumer engagement, and target potential customers.

The difference between these two terms is how each strategy goes about achieving those goals.

Retargeting engages those shoppers who have already visited a particular website or social media using paid or sponsored ads. This is accomplished by either collecting information on audiences using pixels or a list.

If customers repeatedly see your products or services, they become more acquainted with your brand. Ultimately, it can ensure that your brand stays on top of their minds.

Remarketing, on the other hand, uses your customer’s owned channels. Channels like their email, or SMS, to communicate to those who have subscribed to your brand’s content.

This information is gathered via sign-up forms on your site, through the checkout process, or in your transactional emails. Think of it as re-engaging or coaxing your past customers to revisit your brand. It can also be used to target customers familiar with your brand but who haven’t converted yet.


Benefits of retargeting.

There is no doubt that retargeting is a valuable online marketing tool and strategy for various reasons:

  • It reminds customers. Continuous exposure to an ad puts your business in front of customers. It reminds them of the value of your brand or the appeal of specific products or services.

This enhances the chance of converting customers. Retargeting provides a reminder of that shirt, or that pair of shoes in the cart, and reignites their desire to purchase these items.

  • It encourages return visits to your website. Research has shown that retargeting enhances the likelihood that customers will return to a business website. This is even when the ad itself has no other new information than what the customer gained during their first visit.
  • Retargeting can increase sales and revenues. Each return visit to your site is an opportunity to sell and bring in revenue.
  • It helps you win over the competition. Retargeting reduces the reach of competitor ads by serving your business ads on external websites.

Is retargeting worth it?

We already know that most businesses today own a website and have an online presence. If you are one of these companies and do get organic or paid traffic, you should consider retargeting your visitors. You should go after or retarget visitors who leave your website without taking the actions you wanted them to take on their first visit.

With retargeting, you remind your customers that you exist after they leave your website. This can then generate your desired call to action, and gain you a second chance to persuade or sell to someone already familiar with what you offer.


There is no single approach or solution for marketing success. There are various marketing strategies and tactics that build brand awareness and drive sales.

Retargeting is a tool that you can employ with your target audience and keep interest around your high. But, it is not the only avenue you should be exploiting to showcase your brand’s offerings.What is Retargeting by Accentuate Web Design and Marketing

Using retargeting in conjunction with the rest of your marketing initiatives: email, SMS, lead acquisition, content creation, etc. You can create an atmosphere of ease and delight for your customers in each stage of their interaction with your brand.

Do you want to implement marketing campaigns for your brand? By now, you must know the power of Google. Chances are, your customers are using this search engine to search for products or services.

We can get you on the 1st page of Google with the help of our Google Marketing Certified Experts. Get in touch with us today.

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