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

For example, if a prospective customer abandoned a 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 showing your ads again, there is a greater chance for better conversion rates and to meet your marketing and revenue goals.

How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting works with 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, which are small files that are stored on user devices and allow you to track user behavior and analyze traffic. Through storing cookies that tag users with a unique identifier, you’ll 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, use retargeting to 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 pay for ads that appear on the Display Network and the Search Network–the text ads on search engine result pages. 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 personalize their experience with your brand. Once you have a collection of email addresses, upload these lists into a customer relationship management platform or to the custom audiences list on social networks.

Pros of Retargeting

The pros of retargeting include:

  • Connect with potential customers repeatedly. Grow the number of customer touchpoints during the buyer’s journey so your brand is in mind when prospects are evaluating their purchasing options.
  • Increase conversion rates. When customers need time to decide to buy, retargeting ensures brand visibility when they are ready to convert.
  • Personalize marketing. Rather than display ads at random users, target previous visitors and create a personalized buying experience.
  • Reach out to prospects on sites they frequent. Retargeting lets brands display ads where users like to visit, including the most popular social networks.