Remarketing (Retargeting)

All you need to know about Remarketing (Retargeting)

Have you ever come across ads from a website right after you visited it? If your answer is yes and you are wondering why it happened, the answer is pretty simple. You were being retargeted. “But what exactly does it mean? What is retargeting and why is it directed at me?” you might ask. Let us explain,



Retargeting is also known as remarketing. It is a marketing strategy aimed at the recent visitors to a website. The goal is to gently lead a prospect down the sales funnel after he’s shown interest in the brand or business. The process is pretty simple and very popular in the world of digital marketing. You may have experienced it at some point as well.

The reason behind it being called “re” -targeting, or “re” -marketing lies in the fact that it is aimed at people who have already visited the website and are well-aware of what it offers. Its focus is on the existing customers and the people who exited the website without taking any action. There could be many reasons behind that. It isn’t always about the lack of interest in the brand.

Hence, a remarketing or retargeting strategy helps grab the attention of existing customers and recent visitors once more. You can treat it as a second attempt to win over a prospect or to retain a customer through online advertisements or remarketing campaigns. There are multiple ways for you to run your remarketing campaigns and various advertising platforms for you to run them on. Examples of these advertising platforms include Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, and Google Ads, etc.
Regardless of how you run your remarketing campaigns or where you run them, they are an essential element of the marketing plan of almost every marketer.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting

Even though these two terms do end up being used interchangeably, they are not as synonymous as one might think. Each term has its own unique set of characteristics distinct from the other. Although they are similar in many ways, their differences aren’t minor either.

The major difference between remarketing and retargeting lies in the strategy. Retargeting makes use of the information provided by cookies to show targeted ads to highly-qualified prospects. Remarketing, on the contrary, collects user information through fill-in forms submitted by consenting clients and prospects. It generates email lists from that information and sends sales emails to the email addresses included in those lists.

Both remarketing and retargeting are highly effective and efficient in their own unique ways. Hence, using them together will serve as an excellent strategy to not only improve your digital marketing activity but also boost your business’s bottom line.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting

Behavioral Retargeting

Behavioral retargeting is just another way of saying retargeting. It can be defined as the process marketers use to target online customers or prospects depending on their online behavior. Online behavior can be defined as the history of one’s online activities. For example, previously visited websites, or web pages; the frequency of those visits; time spent on each page, or any links that may have been clicked on, etc.
Retargeting is no different since it is also directed at people based on their online activities. It directs the remarketing campaigns towards people who have either clicked on a certain link or visited a certain website, or performed similar actions. The digital marketing and remarketing of today are mainly focused on the customers’ behaviors and interests.
Ultimately, these two are probably the most effective ways to understand the customers’ needs and apprehend their mindshare.

Remarketing Explained

To help you better understand how remarketing works, let’s consider this example. Suppose, a person, let’s call him Damon, visits a certain website called “S watches”. He browses through the website checking out a few watches and then exits the site without placing an order. He visits a news website the next day. While doing so, he comes across an ad from “S watches” showing the watches his checked out the day before. This is what remarketing does. Here’s what’s happening here. “S watches” is making use of the ad network working with that site to run its remarketing advertising campaign.

Retargeting ads are meant to serve as a reminder of the products a person checkouts to gently nudge them into making the purchase. On seeing the retargeted ads, Damon might recognize the watches he checked out and end up clicking on the links. After checking out the products once more, the chances of him making a purchase would increase. He may not choose the same products he checked out before but he might find something he just couldn’t resist buying.

Remarketing Costs

Remarketing is not only budget-friendly but also quite effective and efficient in grabbing customers’ attention. This is because the people being targeted by this campaign are already interested in what you’re offering.

The right budgeting and targeting measures will ensure that your KPIs, also known as Key Performance Indicators, show positive results. Generally, remarketing is based on the CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions), CPA (cost-per-acquisition), and CPC (cost-per-click) models. Consequently, you will not only be in complete control of your expenditure but also be highly capable of adjusting your bids in accordance with the remarketing campaign or list.


Remarketing: How it works

Building a retargeting campaign for a website is not as complicated as you might think. While working with an ad network to build your ad campaign, add the pixel tag to your website. A pixel tag is a short piece of code issued by the ad network you’ve chosen to collaborate with. This code will help you add every new visitor of your website to your retargeting list by dropping anonymous browser cookies. Later on, if someone listed on that retargeting list ever visited a partner website of your ad network, they will see your ads.

This is how retargeting works. You build a remarketing campaign in collaboration with an ad network. The ad network provider then collaborates with other websites to have them either host or display native ads from the network. So, when the retargeted visitor from your site visits any other collaborating website, they come face-to-face with your ads. As long as your retargeting campaign stays active, the prospects continue to be retargeted.

Remarketing Pixel Tags

Pixel tags can be defined as the short pieces of code present on a webpage. They play an important role in the placement of cookies by websites. Cookies can be defined as text files containing a limited amount of data about a user (the name of the website, the unique user ID) and their online behavior. Cookies are often referred to as “crumbs” as they serve as a trail for tracking the online activities of a user.

When someone visits a website, it creates cookies that are saved by the user’s web browser. On the user’s next visit, their browser would share those cookies with the website’s server. The server would then recognize the user through those cookies and show content similar to their preferences. Similarly, in terms of remarketing, ad servers can use these cookies to access your unique user ID. This ID can then be added to the appropriate remarketing lists.

Remarketing Lists

The list of a website’s visitors who have performed a certain action on the website is called a remarketing list. For instance, the visitors of your website’s homepage within a certain time period will be added to your “homepage remarketing list”. Every time someone visits your website’s homepage, their cookie gets saved to the relevant remarketing list. This list will only allow you to direct your remarketing ads at the visitors of your website’s homepage. Similarly, you could create multiple remarketing lists targeting different kinds of visitors and customize your remarketing ads accordingly.

Perks of Remarketing

Remarketing offers a vast number of perks to businesses. For instance, a well-designed remarketing campaign will help you:

  • benefit from the website traffic that would, otherwise, have been lost;
  • Focus on the existing visitors of your website who are already interested in your brand;
  • Focus on the audiences with the highest potential for conversion; and
  • Keep your prospects aware of your brand through a strategic display of targeted remarketing ads to the relevant audiences.

Moreover, remarketing is an affordable marketing strategy highly suitable for all industries and verticals. In addition to that, it can be availed at various channels and platforms.

However, regardless of how much traffic your website is receiving, not many of the first-time visitors will make a purchase. A study conducted on e-commerce sites suggested the average conversion rate for first-time visitors to be no more than 1.6%. This means that despite the huge amount of traffic received by your website, there is no increase in your sales. Under such circumstances, remarketing is the best way for you to capitalize on the lost traffic.

Targeting the people already interested in your brand is an excellent approach to reminding them of what you’re offering. This reminder would encourage them to take a look at your website one more time. Although known for being an essential e-commerce strategy, retargeting can work well with industries as well as verticals.

Why should remarketing be used?

By now, you must already be well-aware of the perks associated with retargeting. The next point for you to consider is the right time for retargeting. When exactly should remarketing be done? Not only is it an important question but also quite a complicated one. The answers vary from marketer to marketer. Some marketers believe in the “always on” approach while others prefer an advanced and customized approach.

The “always on” approach involves the remarketing campaign being run continuously to reach non-converting visitors of a website. Non-converting visitors are the visitors of a website who don’t perform any major actions like making purchases, filling-in forms, or downloading assets, etc. The second approach to marketing involves the remarketing campaigns being run based on certain predetermined criteria.

For instance, this approach could be used to target specific kinds of visitors, i.e., visitors of specific webpages, etc. Moreover, you could also use these approaches to target the users visiting the website during specific hours, days, or months, etc. You could choose either one of these approaches based on your overall remarketing strategy. Moreover, your decision might also depend on whatever you’ll have going on at a certain point in time.


If you are in search of highly qualified marketing professionals to work on your remarketing or retargeting campaign, hire us! The retargeting experts here at Marketing By Ali will help you set up the whole campaign as well. Therefore, contact us today to set up an appointment.