Retargeting vs. remarketing – two terms we hear about often in digital marketing. This guide explains the difference between these two types of campaigns and when you can use each one.
Retargeting and remarketing are two digital marketing tactics that may sound very similar but achieve two different things. It’s important to understand the difference between these two tactics, as they can help any kind of brand achieve some awesome things.
In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between remarketing and retargeting and discuss when and why you might use one strategy over the other.
- What is Retargeting?
- What is Remarketing?
- Retargeting vs Remarketing: Key Differences
- When to Use Retargeting
- When to Use Remarketing
- Retargeting and Remarketing Best Practices
- Running Remarketing and Retargeting Campaigns
What is Retargeting?
Retargeting is a type of online advertising that involves displaying ads to users who have previously visited your website or have already interacted with your business – like joining your mailing list.
You get two types of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based.
Pixel-based retargeting works by placing a cookie on the user’s browser, which then allows you to show them ads as they browse other sites.
List-based retargeting is when you set up campaigns to send to people whose contact information you already have. This is generally done via email marketing.
The goal of retargeting is to bring users back to your website and encourage them to complete a desired action – which would be making a first-time purchase.
Ever looked at a product online and then received ads about it on another site? Or have you engaged with a brand on social media and then gotten targeted with ads for their products? That’s retargeting.
What is Remarketing?
Remarketing, on the other hand, is focused on re-engaging customers. This is generally done via email.
If you have a list of existing customers who have stopped engaging with your brand, remarketing campaigns try to get them to re-engage and hopefully drive some repeat business.
The goal of remarketing is to stay top-of-mind with your audience and encourage them to continue engaging with your business. These are people who have already trusted your brand – now your job is to get them interested again. This is often done through strategic promotions and discounts or offers the customer can’t refuse.
Retargeting vs. Remarketing: Key Differences
Now that we have a basic understanding of each tactic, let’s dive into the key differences and elements between retargeting and remarketing.
As mentioned above, the main difference between retargeting and remarketing is the audience that each tactic targets.
Retargeting is focused on people who have shown an interest but have not purchased from your business. Remarketing is focused on users who have already converted to customers in the past.
This means each audience has different desires and different expectations and perceptions of your brand.
Another key difference between retargeting and remarketing is where and how the ads, or marketing messages, are displayed.
Remarketing, on the other hand, is a more direct approach and generally involves targeting the prospect via email instead of paid advertising.
The frequency at which ads are shown to users is another area where retargeting and remarketing differ.
With retargeting, the goal is to show ads to users as often as possible in order to increase the chances of them completing a desired action. As a result, retargeting ads may be shown to users multiple times per day.
Remarketing, on the other hand, is typically less aggressive and aims to target users at a more reasonable frequency.
Both retargeting and remarketing allow for some level of customization in terms of the ads that are shown to users. However, remarketing typically offers more flexibility in terms of targeting specific segments of your audience.
For example, you might create a remarketing campaign that targets users who have made a purchase from your online store but not a second purchase. With retargeting, it is more difficult to target specific segments of your audience in this way as you have less data available.
When to Use Retargeting
Now that we’ve covered the key differences between retargeting and remarketing, let’s discuss when and why you might use one strategy over the other.
Bring Users Back to Your Website
The main reason to run remarketing campaigns is to bring users back to your website. If you have a high bounce rate (meaning users are leaving your site quickly without engaging) or you want to encourage users to complete a specific action on your site, retargeting can be a powerful tool.
By showing ads to users as they browse other sites, you can remind them of your business and encourage them to return to your site.
Retargeting is incredibly powerful for eCommerce sites because you can display ads to people who have already viewed your products or even added them to their carts. Clearly, the user has shown an interest in your brand or product, so the right retargeting ad could be just the push they need.
You Have a Clear Conversion Goal
You need to have a specific goal in mind, such as getting users to make a purchase or sign up for a newsletter when running a retargeting campaign.
Because retargeting is focused on bringing users back to your site, you need to know how you’re going to utilize that traffic. Remember, you’re not just getting fresh traffic – you’re trying to retarget people who already know about your brand.
Of course, you also have to pay for any retargeting ads that you run, so you need to make sure your ROI makes sense for retargeting campaigns.
When to Use Remarketing
Here are some of the main reasons and situations when your brand should run a remarketing campaign.
To Stay Top of Mind
Remarketing is a great way to stay connected with your audience and keep your business top-of-mind. By showing ads to users who have already interacted with your business, you can remind them of your brand and encourage them to continue engaging with you.
A good remarketing strategy is an excellent way to increase brand loyalty and maintain a connection with your existing customers. Of course, effective remarketing campaigns will also help you to drive repeat revenue.
You Want to Target Specific Segments of Your Audience
As mentioned above, remarketing allows for more flexibility in terms of targeting specific segments of your audience. This can be especially useful if you have a large and diverse customer base.
Using a good lead management database and marketing automation strategy can help you be very specific about what remarketing messages and content you send to certain people.
You Want to Cross-Promote Products or Services
Remarketing can also be a powerful tool for cross-promoting products or services. For example, if a user has purchased a product from your online store, you could use remarketing to show them ads for related products or accessories.
This can be a great way to unlock more value from existing customers. It can cost up to five times more to gain a new customer than to sell to your existing customers, so cross-promotion strategies are always a good idea for businesses.
You Want to Build Brand Awareness
Remarketing can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness because it allows you to show ads to users who have already engaged with your business in some way. By staying top-of-mind with your audience, you can increase the chances of them returning to your site or making a purchase in the future.
This can help you create a more engaged and loyal fanbase. Remarketing can also help you to turn your customers into brand advocates and supporters.
You Have a Limited Budget
Remarketing can be a cost-effective way to reach users because it allows you to target a specific group of people who have already expressed some level of interest in your business. This means that you are more likely to see a return on your investment compared to other types of advertising.
Retargeting strategies and ads are a great way to boost sales, but they can also be expensive if not properly managed.
Retargeting and Remarketing Best Practices
Whether you’re running retargeting campaigns through Google Ads or plan to send out remarketing emails, there are a few important best practices to keep in mind.
Have a Clear Call-to-Action
For retargeting or remarketing to be effective, it’s important to have a clear call-to-action in your ads and messages. This could be something like “buy now” or “sign up for our newsletter.”
Without a clear call-to-action, users may not know what you want them to do, and your retargeting efforts may be less effective.
As we mentioned earlier, no retargeting ads or remarketing campaigns can be successful without clear conversion goals. Your CTA is what will help you achieve this.
A Well-Designed Website
Retargeting can be a great way to bring users back to your site, but it won’t do much good if your website is poorly designed or hard to navigate. Make sure your website is user-friendly and visually appealing in order to get the most out of your retargeting efforts.
Check out our guide on how to optimize your website to increase sales for some excellent conversion rate optimization tips and tactics you can use.
Offer Something Special
Whether it’s a retargeting ad or you’re running remarketing strategies via email, you need to offer something of value to your audience. You’re targeting people who already know about your brand and products but have decided to disengage with your business. This means they might just need an extra push to make a purchase.
Offering discount coupons or special offers is one of the best ways to gain more website visitors through a remarketing or retargeting campaign and turn them into customers.
Running Remarketing and Retargeting Campaigns
It’s worth noting that both retargeting and remarketing can be used together as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
For example, you might use retargeting to bring users back to your site and encourage them to complete a desired action. Then, use remarketing to continue engaging with those users and building brand loyalty.
It’s also important to consider the potential downsides of both tactics. One potential concern with retargeting is the possibility of annoying users by showing them too many ads. It’s important to strike a balance and only show ads to users at a reasonable frequency.
Remarketing can also have its drawbacks. One potential concern is the risk of alienating users by showing them ads that are not relevant to their interests or needs. It’s important to segment your audience and create targeted campaigns to avoid this issue.
Overall, both retargeting and remarketing can be powerful tools for reaching and engaging with your audience. By understanding the key differences between the two tactics and when to use each one, you can effectively reach and engage with your audience and achieve your marketing goals.
It’s important to consider the potential downsides of each tactic and to be transparent about your use of tracking in order to respect users’ privacy and avoid alienating them. By using both retargeting and remarketing as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, you can effectively reach and engage with your audience and achieve your business goals.
Both retargeting and remarketing are valuable digital marketing tactics that can help you reach and engage with your audience. However, they serve different purposes and should be used in different situations.
Retargeting is best for bringing users back to your website and driving conversions while remarketing is better for building brand awareness and targeting specific segments of your audience.
By understanding the key differences between the two strategies and when to use each one, you can effectively reach and engage with your audience and achieve your marketing goals.
- 15 Low-Cost Alternatives to Paid Advertising
- What is Paid Media? And How to Use it for Your Small Business
- Why is SEO Important for Your Small Business?
- 15 Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses