Retargeting vs Remarketing: What, Which, and Why?

Published by Kristian Curcio on Feb 24, 2021 4:42:37 PM

Retargeting and remarketing are two of the most profitable marketing strategies in the world today and in this article, we’ll explain what they are, how they’re different from each other and how you can leverage them for success.

“These ads are following me!” my partner whispered as we sat down to watch our next Netflix binge last Tuesday night.

“Don’t panic” I replied. “You’ve just been added to a retargeting campaign.”

“Well” She smiled, “It’s actually kinda helpful. I totally forgot about this new chair I wanted to buy and now here it is!”

Now we have a new wicker chair, plus a lesson learned; retargeting is extremely powerful.

And unlike other marketing, it’s actually useful to consumers; a gentle reminder to buy that thing you wanted.

How does Retargeting actually work?

Retargeting uses a pixel to track who visits your website or interacts with your ads and automatically shows them more ads about the thing they were interested in.

When you purchase ads, you’re paying for reach and responses. Statistically, most people won’t respond to your ad with a purchase right off the bat but will, however, click your ad, visit your website and maybe even add something to their cart or fill out a form. Retargeting these people with more ads is a simple and effective way to follow up and move them closer to the sale.

Who uses retargeting, and how?

Not only can you retarget people based on whether they clicked or commented on your ad, but also based on the pages they visited or how much time they spent on your website.

This can be extremely effective for multi-product eCommerce stores or businesses that provide multiple service categories and packages.

Whether you’re advertising content or offers, retargeting allows you to see what people are engaging with and tailor your follow up ads to speak more directly to their needs and interests in order to move them closer to the sale.

So what’s remarketing then?

Remarketing has the same goals as retargeting, but instead of targeting people who have only interacted with your content or ads, it focuses on people who have actually completed a transaction with your brand.

And, instead of using ads to follow up, it typically uses email instead for a more personal, intimate experience to develop deeper relationships with your customers.

In short, remarketing is aimed at previous or past customers and re-engaging them in meaningful ways.

For example, you might send Sally promotional emails about wicker chairs because she purchased a wicker table last month.

Or you might send Andy a full sequence of emails that promote a $199 course on Email Marketing after he just purchased your $10 book on running better Google Ads.

The possibilities are endless.

Retargeting vs Remarketing: Which strategy should you be using?

Retargeting and remarketing are not mutually exclusive. While retargeting delivers more customers, remarketing increases the customer’s spend over time (LTV.) So it makes sense to use both, simultaneously.

How can remarketing and retargeting campaigns help your business grow?

  • Increase your advertising ROI - by targeting people who have already shown an interest in what you offer and nurturing them through the buying cycle
  • Boost CLV (customer lifetime value) - by following up with current and past customers with related offers via email
  • Build strong brand awareness and recognition - by becoming omnipresent and showing up wherever your prospects go online

Is remarketing and retargeting worth the time, effort and money?

Nobody can guarantee a specific ROI or any results at all with retargeting or remarketing, but when you hear that 68% of marketing agencies and 49% of brands have a dedicated budget for retargeting then I believe this speaks volumes about the power of this new advertising strategy.

And statistics also give us insights into why retargeting and remarketing works so well.

  1. It’s useful to audiences. 25% of online viewers enjoy seeing retargeted ads. They act as a useful reminder of the things they wanted to buy or learn more about. This would also explain why website visitors who are retargeted are more likely to convert by 43%.
  2. It builds brand affinity and trust. Most people need to be exposed to a marketing or sales message between 7-9 times before making a purchasing decision. Which explains why prospects who see your retargeting ad are 70% more likely to purchase your product over your competitor.

And for your brand, there’s at least 3 good reasons to get excited about retargeting and remarketing.

  1. Cheaper clicks. Retargeted Website Visitors are 8 times cheaper to reach per click.
  2. Higher response rates. CTR of retargeting ads is 10x higher compared to typical display ads.
  3. Works in your industry. In its infancy, the industry that relied most on retargeting was eCommerce however, a wide range of industries are now using it to increase ROI, build their brand and increase customer spending. A study by the IAB shows the industries who are using retargeting the most are:  Media (17%), Tech (10%), Healthcare (10%), Finance (9%), Education/Government (8%), Travel (5%) and Agencies (4%.)

Retargeting (displaying ads to people who have interacted with your previous ads or website) and remarketing (following up with current or previous customers via email) are both proven strategies to help your company gain market share, brand recognition, more customers and better ROI from advertising.

By combining both retargeting and remarketing, you can position your business for success, by reaching more prospects through higher-performing and more affordable advertising…

… and by increasing CLV through strategic email follow up sequences to customers who have already spent money on your products or services.

As the old adage goes, it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than it is to gain new ones. And if the research shows us anything, it’s that the internet is making it easier and more affordable than ever to just that on a bigger scale than we’ve ever seen before

Ready to leverage retargeting and remarketing strategies to grow your business in 2021?

If so, 500 can help. Book a strategy session today to find out how we can approach remarketing and retargeting for your specific industry, products and services.

Claim your free, no obligation strategy session today.

During this strategy session, we’ll cover retargeting, remarketing and other critical strategies you may wish to consider for 2021 including:

  • How to use the daily insights Facebook are giving us for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies online
  • How to reach more customers online and deliver your message straight to their handheld device
  • How to funnel and nurture cold traffic into people hungry to buy
  • Boosting your conversions without any additional ad spend

After the consultation, we’ll also provide you with a free social media funnel that will show you exactly what you need to do to convert cold traffic into highly engaged traffic and sales for your brand in 2021.


Hit us up with your deets, and we’ll give you 30 mins of free marketing gold.

Let’s do this!

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