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What Is Remarketing? How and Why Does It Work?

Remarketing written on a sticker with graphs behind it

Ever wondered why those shoes you checked out online seem to follow you around the internet? Or why that abandoned shopping cart keeps popping up in your peripheral vision? The answer lies in the art and science of remarketing. 

Businesses are continually exploring innovative strategies to capture the attention of their target audience and drive conversions because it’s always cheaper to retain customers than to gain new ones. One such powerful tactic that has gained prominence is remarketing.

Here, we’ll delve into what remarketing is, how it works, and the compelling reasons behind its effectiveness. 

Table of Contents
What is remarketing?
How does remarketing work?
Why does remarketing work?
Where can you retarget customers?
Remarketing strategies for e-commerce businesses
Final thoughts

What is remarketing?

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is a digital marketing strategy that involves targeting users who have previously interacted with your website or online content but did not complete a desired action, such as making a purchase.

How does remarketing work?

Remarketing works through the following few simple steps:

  1. Visitor interaction: A user visits your website but leaves without making a purchase or completing a specific goal.
  2. Tracking: A tracking code, usually a cookie or pixel, is placed on the user’s browser during their initial visit. This code allows you to track their behavior and actions on your site.
  3. Targeted ads/Targeted response: After leaving your site, the user sees targeted ads on other websites or platforms they visit, reminding them of your products or services. Remarketing doesn’t just happen through ads; it can also occur through email or SMS.
  4. Encouraging action: The goal of remarketing is to bring back these users and encourage them to complete the desired action, such as purchasing, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a form.

Remarketing can be implemented through various online advertising platforms, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or other display advertising networks. It’s an effective way to re-engage potential customers who have shown interest in your products or services, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Why does remarketing work?

Remarketing works for several reasons, leveraging psychological and strategic principles to increase the likelihood of converting potential customers. 

Here are some key reasons why remarketing is effective:

  • Targeted advertising: Remarketing allows advertisers to target users who have already shown interest in their products or services specifically. By tailoring ads to this specific audience, marketers can increase the relevance of their messaging.
  • Reminder effect: Users may not always make a purchase or complete a desired action during their initial visit. Remarketing serves as a reminder, keeping the brand or product fresh in the user’s mind and encouraging them to return.
  • Increased familiarity: Repeated exposure to a brand can build familiarity and trust. Users seeing a brand multiple times across different platforms can create a sense of trustworthiness, making them more likely to convert.
  • Personalization: Remarketing allows for personalized content based on the user’s previous interactions with the website. This personalization can include showcasing specific products they viewed, offering special discounts, or tailoring the message to their interests.
  • Timing and intent: Users who have already visited a website and shown interest are often further along in the purchase funnel. Remarketing capitalizes on this by reaching out to users when they might be more ready to make a decision.
  • Multi-channel presence: Remarketing can be implemented across various online channels, including display ads, social media, and email. This multi-channel approach ensures that the brand stays visible to users across different platforms, increasing the chances of re-engagement.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Remarketing can be cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising. Advertisers target users who have already shown interest, which may lead to a higher conversion rate and a better return on investment.
  • Adaptive strategy: Remarketing campaigns can be adjusted based on user behavior. For example, if a user visited a specific product page but didn’t make a purchase, the remarketing campaign can focus on that particular product to encourage completion of the sale.

Overall, remarketing is a powerful tool that leverages behavioral data and targeted advertising to re-engage potential customers, nurturing them through the conversion funnel.

Where can you retarget customers?

Person clicking on a digital screen that says DIGITAL MARKETING

E-commerce businesses can retarget customers across various online platforms. Here are some popular channels where you can implement retargeting strategies:

  • Google Ads: Google Ads offers a robust remarketing feature that allows you to show targeted ads to users who have previously visited your website. You can create custom audiences based on specific pages visited, shopping cart activity, or other user behaviors.
  • Social media ads: Utilize social media advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, and LinkedIn Ads for retargeting efforts, creating custom audiences based on user behaviors, and delivering visually compelling and personalized ads to reconnect with potential customers.
  • Email marketing: Use email retargeting to reach users who have abandoned their shopping carts or shown interest in specific products. Craft personalized and targeted email campaigns to encourage conversions.
  • Native advertising platforms: Explore native advertising platforms like Outbrain or Taboola. These platforms can help you promote your products or content on other websites in a non-disruptive manner.

Remarketing strategies for e-commerce businesses

E-commerce businesses employ various remarketing strategies to re-engage potential customers and encourage conversions. Here are some of the most common remarketing strategies:

Cart abandonment

Target users who have added products to their shopping cart but abandoned the checkout process. For example, send reminder emails or display ads featuring abandoned products with incentives like discounts or free shipping.

You can also target abandoned browsers by targeting users who have browsed multiple pages on your website but left without taking a specific action.

Product page views remarketing

Focus on users who have visited specific product pages but did not make a purchase. Show ads that highlight the viewed products, emphasizing their features and benefits.

Dynamic remarketing

Utilize dynamic ads that automatically display products a user viewed on your website. Customize ad content based on users’ interactions, showcasing relevant products and encouraging them to complete the purchase.

Cross-sell and upsell remarketing

Target customers who have made a purchase with ads featuring complementary or higher-value products. Encourage additional purchases by showcasing related items or offering exclusive bundles.

Learn more about upselling and cross-selling as e-commerce selling strategies. 

Email remarketing

Implement email campaigns targeting users who abandoned their carts or browsed specific products. Use personalized and compelling emails to rekindle interest and guide users back to your website.

Learn more about email marketing and how to use it to promote your blog. And here are the 10 best email marketing platforms

Customer loyalty remarketing

Engage with existing customers to encourage repeat purchases. Offer exclusive discounts, early access to promotions, or loyalty rewards to foster long-term customer relationships.

What is a customer loyalty program? They are a marketing strategy that rewards buyers for being loyal. Learn more about why you should have a customer loyalty program and five programs you can implement. 

Re-engagement campaigns

Target users who haven’t visited your site in a while. Use special promotions, new product announcements, or personalized content to rekindle interest and bring them back.

Seasonal and holiday remarketing

Create campaigns tailored to specific seasons, holidays, or events. Feature seasonal products, promotions, or limited-time offers to capitalize on increased consumer interest during these periods.

Social media remarketing

Utilize social media advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to retarget users. Leverage user engagement data on these platforms to create highly targeted and visually appealing ads.

These strategies can be combined and customized based on your specific business goals, target audience, and the nature of your products or services. 

Remember to regularly analyze performance metrics and adjust your remarketing approach to optimize results over time.

Final thoughts

By targeting individuals who have already shown interest, whether by exploring product pages or abandoning carts, remarketing provides a tailored and personalized approach to converting customers. Its effectiveness lies in serving relevant content at the right time, fostering familiarity and trust, and, ultimately, converting. 

So, understanding the intricacies of remarketing unveils a valuable key to unlocking success in the digital marketplace.

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