What is remarketing and how it works

Have you ever visited a website and then, the next day while browsing online, seen an ad for that same site? Or, have you browsed an online store, added products to your cart, but didn’t complete the purchase? Then, the next day while surfing the web, did you see an ad featuring the products you left in the cart? Congratulations, you’ve been ‘retargeted’!

What is Remarketing

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is a very common and popular form of digital marketing where marketers display ads to users who have visited their website or a specific webpage, and have taken or not taken a specific action. It’s an effective way to reach people who have already shown some interest in your business or brand.

Since you’re targeting previous visitors or existing customers, it’s called ‘re’-marketing. Think of it as a second chance to convert, boost sales, or retain customers with online ads or campaigns. You can do remarketing in various ways and with different advertising platforms, such as Outbrain, Google Ads, or Facebook Ads.

Whichever way you use it, remarketing is absolutely essential.

Why Remarketing is Important

Remarketing is a very important digital marketing strategy because the customer’s purchasing process takes time. Most shoppers don’t discover a new brand, pick some of its products, and complete their purchase all in the same session. Many potential customers will take time to consider a brand or product, browsing elsewhere online or reading other customers’ reviews, before making a decision.

During this process, you want shoppers to remember your brand, so that when they decide to make their purchase, your brand is the first thing that comes to mind. With remarketing, relevant ads appear on other sites and apps where your audience spends time. You can include messages about the unique features of your products or provide a discount promo code to encourage shoppers to keep considering your brand.

In addition to sales, remarketing can also help with brand awareness, consideration, and loyalty. Perhaps a shopper is starting to research home improvements, and you’re a company that sells tools for DIY projects. The shopper reads an educational article on your brand’s website but is still far from the point of choosing a project and buying tools. If your article is helpful and informative, they likely have a positive impression of your brand. Remarketing ads on other websites, apps, or social networks can help remind them of your brand and may encourage them to visit your site again to read more of your articles. Although they’re still far from the point of conversion, this step is important for expanding your audience and reaching potential future customers.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting

Although sometimes used interchangeably, the terms ‘retargeting’ and ‘remarketing’ have some important differences.

The primary difference between retargeting and remarketing lies in the strategy. Retargeting is mainly about serving ads to potential customers based on cookies, while remarketing generally relies on email. Remarketing works by collecting information from users and creating lists that are later used to send sales emails.

Both retargeting and remarketing are effective methods in their own right, but a combination of both could be the best strategy to boost your digital marketing activity and improve results.

Benefits of Remarketing

Many people won’t convert on their first visit to your website, but that’s okay. The good news is that they are now familiar with your brand and should easily recognize it. This is where remarketing comes into play.

With remarketing, you can:

1. Create More Personalized Ads

Since you know the actions people took on your website, you can target them with ads unique to them. The more personalized an ad, the more likely people are to identify with it.

For instance, say you have an e-commerce store and a user adds some items to their shopping bag but leaves your website without paying.

You can target this user with a one-time limited discount offer to try and get them to complete their order.

2. Increase Your Conversions

Statistics show that only 2% of first-time visitors convert. This means that out of every 100 people, only about 2 are likely to take the action you want.

What about the remaining 98%? They might return or never do.

However, you can use remarketing to get these people back to your website. According to WordStream, many more users convert after seeing an ad multiple times.

Sometimes, all it takes is a gentle reminder to get people to convert.

3. Increase Brand Awareness

As a business, it’s always important to stay top of mind with your customers and potential clients. By continually targeting your users through remarketing, they are consistently aware of your brand.

Potential customers are more likely to become clients, and existing customers are also more likely to buy from you repeatedly.

Sure, here’s the translated and enhanced version for an English-speaking audience:

**How Does Remarketing Work?**

Setting up a remarketing campaign for your website isn’t difficult. It requires the installation of a pixel.

When you create a campaign with a particular ad network, they will provide you with a small code (known as a pixel tag) to add to your website. Each time a new user visits your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie, and the user is added to your remarketing list. When the same user visits another site hosting display or native ads from your ad network provider, the system will show your ad to this particular user. This will happen as long as you have an active campaign running.

Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies will affect marketers’ ability to do remarketing. That’s why it’s important to advertise on platforms that allow tracking using first-party data.

**When Should I Use Remarketing?**

That’s a great question, and a tough one. Some marketers use the “always-on” tactic, meaning they constantly run a remarketing campaign for all users who visit their website but don’t convert (i.e., don’t make a purchase, complete a form, or download an asset).

However, many marketers opt for a more advanced and personalized remarketing approach. You can tailor your remarketing campaigns based on predefined criteria. For example, you may want to run remarketing campaigns only for visitors who reach certain pages, like a specific product page, or only for users who visit your website at a certain time of day or year (e.g., during a special sales period). It really depends on your overall strategy and what’s happening at any given time.

Pro Tip: With remarketing, it’s very important to avoid “overkill”. You don’t want to risk annoying potential customers by showing them too many ads.

Where Can You Do Retargeting

There are different platforms and channels you can use for remarketing, and here they are:

  • Display Remarketing: The simplest and most popular type of remarketing. It’s just about showing an ad to people on other sites after they’ve visited yours, on display ad networks like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Native Advertising: Marketers can re-engage visitors to their website with valuable content, recommended in native ad placements on premium publishers.
  • Search Remarketing: Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) is a feature that allows you to customize your search network ad campaign for people who have previously visited your site.
  • Social Media Remarketing: Display your remarketing ads to people on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok after they have already interacted with your brand or business.

Remarketing is a great way to increase ROI on your advertising spend. If your budget is limited, or if you feel you’ve already paid enough for that first click, you can experiment and fine-tune your approach for remarketing purposes.

Pro Tip: Analyze your data and find out which devices, operating systems, and even geographical locations give you the highest conversion rate. Create remarketing campaigns according to these segments and see how they perform. You might be able to reduce your costs and increase your conversion rate at the same time.

The reason why visitors to your website didn’t convert is something you’ll never know for sure. Maybe they got distracted and simply left. Maybe they didn’t like the offer. Maybe the offer was out of their budget range. Maybe they’re just browsing now but plan to buy in a few months. Whatever the reason, retargeting/remarketing is an excellent way to keep your business or brand at the top of their minds. Keep giving them reminders and reasons to come back. Eventually, you’ll make it! Then you’ll be on your way to generating more leads, conversions, and sales for your business.

How Much Does Remarketing Cost

Remarketing typically works on a Cost Per Click (CPC) model, as well as CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions) and CPA (Cost per Acquisition). This means you define how much you’re willing to pay per click, impression, or conversion, giving you control to manage your spending and adjust your bids according to the specific remarketing list or campaign.

Remarketing is an effective and cost-efficient way to attract customers. This is mainly due to the fact that you’re targeting people who have already shown interest in what you have to offer and have already started their journey in the funnel towards conversion.

With the right targeting and budget, you can achieve good results with your KPIs.

Juan Esteban Yepes

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