Whoever said there’s no such thing as second chances didn’t know about remarketing. Also known as retargeting, this popular business technique creates personalized ad campaigns that follow website visitors who have visited a particular site. As a business owner, the goal of remarketing is to acquire potential customers and convert them to make an actual purchase online. 

And when you consider the continuing rise of e-commerce, not to mention that more than 2 billion people are expected to make purchases online in 2020, the opportunity to capture new shoppers is staggering.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this type of digital marketing and explain the different forms it takes. We’ll also share some examples of how to implement top remarketing strategies that can help grow your business.

What is remarketing?

As mentioned, remarketing is a form of online advertising that is geared toward a target audience based on their previous activity. The process involves adding remarketing tags (called pixels) to place a cookie in the user’s browser. The cookie then lets the remarketing platform (for example, Google Ads or Facebook Ads) show ads to the user.

Here’s a quick breakdown to explain the remarketing process:

  • An internet user visits your site
  • That user then leaves your site
  • Your ad (namely, your retargeting ad) will then appear on other sites that the user visits
  • Your retargeting ad recaptures the user’s attention
  • The user then converts and turns into a customer (and hopefully a loyal customer)

For instance, say you were online browsing men’s shirts. After scrolling through different styles, let’s say you found a few that you liked and added them to your shopping cart. But then maybe you got distracted with a Slack message, email, or a phone call. 

Or perhaps you decided that you wanted to do a little comparison shopping, so you did a Google search to see if you could find the same products at a lower price before making your final purchase. Before you know it, you’ve abandoned your shopping cart and you’ve gone on to other things.

But then later that day or the next, you start seeing different ads for those shirts or that retailer. Maybe there’s even a discount being advertised. That’s remarketing in action. You can think of remarketing as digital billboards—except that instead of having to go out to see the advertisements, the ads find you online. 

5 types of remarketing

Remarketing can be a useful and cost-effective way to boost your sales because it’s based on targeting specific audiences who have already shown an interest in your product or service. Here are the main types of remarketing ads for you to consider.

  1. Standard remarketing: This type of remarketing displays targeted ads to users based on the sections of your site that they visited.
  2. Dynamic remarketing: A step beyond standard remarketing, this offers more personalized ads to past visitors based on specific pages they were looking at on your website. This can also be applied to mobile apps.
  3. Email remarketing: This type of advertising targets people on your company’s email list or customer list, such as those who have subscribed to your newsletter or have bought something from your business in the past.
  4. Video remarketing: As its name suggests, this type of remarketing is based on user behavior related to YouTube videos, such as when someone likes, dislikes, or shares your video. The ads are displayed on YouTube as well as other sites and mobile apps.
  5. Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA): Also known as search engine remarketing, RLSA is a Google Ads feature that lets advertisers customize search campaigns based on whether a user has visited their website or mobile app before, as well as which pages the user browsed.

6 ways to use remarketing to your advantage

Now that you know more about remarketing, it’s time to put that knowledge to good use. Here are a handful of ideas to start using a remarketing campaign to strengthen your brand’s bottom line.

Know your remarketing audience

Whatever your business is, different people end up on your site for different reasons. For instance, if you offer home repairs, one visitor might be interested in flooring while another is browsing window replacements. Set up different segments of your audience so you can create ads that specifically target their interests and needs.

Rotate different ads

Whether it’s a TV commercial or a display ad, people don’t want to keep seeing the same ad over and over again. Switch up your ads with different images, text, and calls to action to prevent banner blindness, or even worse, turning off potential customers from ever wanting to buy from your brand.

Be mindful of ad frequency

This goes hand-in-hand with rotating your remarketing ads. Nobody wants to get bombarded with ads, so be mindful of how often you target your audience with advertising. According to Google Ads community support, capping your frequency at two ads per day is recommended.

Know when to untag visitors 

Once a website visitor is converted, you don’t want to show them the same remarketing ads promoting the products or services they just purchased. Just like showing too many ads, this can be a major turn-off for users. While you can untag converted customers with a burn pixel, it’s also worth considering using this for visitors who have already reached your frequency cap

Incentivize your visitors

Discounts, free shipping, free gifts with purchase, and other promotions are a great way to entice potential buys and improve your conversion rate. For example, Neiman Marcus does a good job of email remarketing with follow-up emails that offer deeper discounts. For example, there’s the “Last Chance to Reveal Your Deal” email that encourages the user to engage by clicking on a card to see what sort of discount percentage they’ll receive on their next purchase.

Target high-quality visitors

To increase your chances of converting visitors, consider setting up specific criteria that will help you target more high-quality users. This approach might mean excluding first-time visitors who bounce right away, users who don’t sign up for your newsletter, people who don’t visit specific product pages, or those who don’t add any product to their shopping cart.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Remarketing is a popular and proven digital marketing strategy that can promote your products and services to online users who didn’t convert the first time around. With billions of online shoppers and e-commerce showing no signs of slowing, being able to target customers and remarket to them is an essential part of growing your business. 

Along with using some of the remarketing strategies in this guide, be sure to check out Podium’s Google merchant center to learn how you can turn browsers into buyers.

Matt Boyce
Matt Boyce Head of SMB Marketing

Matt Boyce is a marketing and business professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

Adapt the way you do business. Press send.