Everything You Need to Know About Retargeting

by Tijana

Marketing is everything nowadays (well, and quality content, but we’ll get into that some other time). Creating a great product or giving an excellent service on its own will not generate sales or draw customers. That’s where advertising jumps in. Advertising your products and/or services is vital in letting your potential customers know you are on the market. What’s more, determining your audience and knowing how to target a specific group is a crucial step in advertising. After all, you don’t want to market your products/services to the wrong group and make zero sales.

However, what happens to those who click on your advertisement and arrive on your sales page, but fail to make a purchase/register? Maybe they needed a bit more convincing? Google Analytics tells you the number of people who landed on your page but left before completing the final step. But how do you target those people, without having to advertise to everyone again, and as a result spend more money than you should?

That’s where retargeting comes in!

What is retargeting?

Did you know that 97% of people who visit your website leave without making a purchase? And once they leave, you can consider them lost forever. So how can you retain those potential customers and make them come back to finish registering or completing their purchase? With a simple technique called retargeting.

Retargeting is a vital tool that helps you connect with the customers (you would otherwise lose) and increase your target goals. The power of retargeting comes down to a simple, yet powerful technique of advertising to those who have either:

  • Clicked on your initial ad but have not completed the goal
  • Visited your website and left without completing the goal

With retargeting, you can reach out to those website visitors who have clicked on your ad or have visited your website through some other medium but did not convert. That being said, retargeting helps you increase your conversion rates.

Retargeting tools use cookie-based technology in order to ‘follow’ around the internet (anonymously!) the visitors who did not convert and serve them your ads.

How Does Retargeting Work?

There are two ways one can conduct a retargeting campaign. One entails placing a pixel on your website, while the other, referred to as a list retargeting, entails having the contact information of those you want to target. Let’s explore the differences between the two.

Pixel Retargeting

To put it in simple terms, in order to retarget your selected audience and show them your carefully selected ads that will attract their attention, you need to place a small piece of unobtrusive code on your website. This small piece of unobtrusive code is also referred to as a pixel. Once you place the pixel, you can rest assured that it won’t affect your website’s performance, nor will it be noticeable to your website visitors.

So, how does the pixel retargeting work?

Let’s imagine a new visitor lands on your website. The code (or pixel) will place an anonymous browser cookie. Your new visitor then leaves without converting to your end goal. Later, as they browse the internet, the new visitor who left, the cookie will communicate to your retargeting provider when to place your retargeting ads. The ads will of course only be served to those who have left your website without converting, i.e. making a purchase, registering, or another goal you have set.

Pixel retargeting has an almost immediate effect in reaching your targeted audience.

List Retargeting

Although much less common than the pixel retargeting, list retargeting is more customizable, since it targets the specific people whose contact information you already have. That is, you know who these people are, and as a result, you can place highly customizable ads.

So, how does the list retargeting work?

List retargeting is quite simple. Unlike pixel retargeting, it does not ask you to place a piece of code on your website. Instead, the ‘secret ingredient’ is the contact information you have in your database. All you have to do is upload your email list to the retargeting campaign (whatever the platform might be, Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc.). Here your work ends. The platform you’ve chosen will do the work for you, by searching through its database and linking the emails you’ve uploaded with the accounts under that list. Once it does that, it will place the ads just to those people.

The often downside to the list retargeting revolves around those emails you upload. You see, list retargeting campaigns are not as successful since people don’t usually use the same email (i.e. for shopping and social platforms). However, if the email addresses match, the list retargeting campaign can be extremely successful.

Why is retargeting important?

There are so many ways in which we can state why retargeting is essential for your increased ROI. But let us start with this: think of retargeting as a digital reminder to your prospective clients. After all, nowadays we are all spending more time online, so that is a perfect place to remind your website visitors of your brand. Regardless of whether they are scrolling down their social media feed, catching up on news or checking on your competition. In doing so, you are also encouraging them to come back and well to put it faintly, seal the deal.

Retargeting can also help you raise brand awareness of your business, thus keep being on the minds of your customers.

When it comes to effectively managing your marketing budget, retargeting is the way to go. It allows you to target those who already have shown a degree of interest in your brand. This will show benefits on the ROI.

You can easily implement a retargeting campaign into your overall marketing strategy. This refers to anything from Google Ads, social media platforms to targeted display.

The beauty of retargeting lies in being able to filter the audience, modify and personalise ads to the chosen audience and tailor each ad in accordance to the behaviour displayed by the visitors who are browsing the internet. This allows you to gain more conversions i.e. purchases.

How effective is retargeting?

Wouldn’t it be a wonder if we lived in an ideal world where customers would make their purchase upon visiting your website for the very first time? We think so too, but unfortunately, that is not what is happening in the real world.

That is why retargeting is effective. It lets you focus your advertising on the people who are in the loop when it comes to your brand. And they have visited your website, therefore, they have stated their interest in your product or service. They only need one more carefully planned push, in order to come back and finish what they have already started.

Marketers around the world receive higher ROI through retargeting campaigns than from other types of campaigns. Its effectiveness has been proven again and again. But if you won’t take our word for it, think about the number of times you’ve visited a website and didn’t make a purchase. However, after some retargeting ads that followed you around the web, you’ve changed your mind and ended up converting.

When should you implement retargeting?

There are two different goals you can achieve when it comes to running a retargeting campaign. So far, we’ve spoken about reaching out to those who have visited your website in order to drive conversions. Besides the conversion driven retargeting campaigns, there is also the awareness retargeting campaign.

So what is the difference?

With awareness campaigns you want to reach out to the audience you have already engaged with on the previous occasions. The example would be advertising your products, services, announcements and more to those who have already visited your website due to previous campaigns or other occasions. For this type of campaign, marketers usually use pixel retargeting.

Since you are advertising to the wider audience to remind them of your brand, your ads will be less targeted, so the click-through-rate (CTR) might prove to be lower. However, consider this as a public proclamation to your previous visitors that you have a new product/service/feature and so on. Therefore, metrics you should also take into account are impressions and engagement.

When it comes to the conversion campaigns your sole goal is to acquire a new sale and a new customer! A great thing about these campaigns is that you can generate information on how many people have gone through the funnel, who has completed the final step.

How well executed retargeting can help your business

The key to every successful retargeting campaign lies in audience segmentation, regardless of what the goal is. Knowing this is essential because it also allows you to segment the audience by time, behaviour or for already being customers. If you know to whom you should advertise, when you should advertise, and where you should advertise, whereby excluding the already paying customers, the return on your investment is guaranteed. A well-executed retargeting campaign can help you reach out to those who are most likely (if not certainly) to convert.


Retargeting, Business