Remarketing VS. Retargeting

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There is often confusion between the terms remarketing and retargeting. They sound very similar, and while they have the same goals, there are a few key differences. The one thing these approaches do have in common is that both of these strategies focus on marketing to people who’ve already come in contact with your business. Whether they visited your website, saw an ad someplace else, or clicked on a PPC ad, you now can market yourself to them again. They both are strategies used to convert traffic into customers. They share similar end goals but are both unique.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting centers around using online ad placements and display ads based on a user’s activity on your website. These ads will be placed on sites that a user visits after visiting yours for the first time. Retargeting is all made possible by the use of cookies. When a person visits your website, a cookie is dropped, and you can now target ads to them on other sites they visit. A cookie is a data piece that embeds itself in the browser of the user. Cookies enable tracking of the websites that users visit.

The purpose of retargeting is to market to the 98% of people who landed on your website but did not make a purchase or complete a call to action such as completing an ebook or filling out a form. The average conversion rate for first-time visitors to a website is only 2%. So while you’re site might be getting much traffic, those people are not becoming customers. Below is a step by step process on how retargeting works:

1. Someone visits your website for the first time.

2. The user leaves the site without completing any call to action on your page.

3. The user goes on to browse other websites.

4. Your ad then appears on another web page that the user is visiting.

5. The user clicks on the ad and returns to your website, where they make a purchase or complete any other call to action.

With retargeting, the online ads or display banners only target users who have previously visited your site but haven’t yet made a purchase. Hence the term “retargeting.” You are targeting the people who have expressed interest to get them to make a purchase.

What is Remarketing?

While retargeting primarily focuses on display ads and online ads, remarketing concerns with email marketing. In our world, remarketing is used to describe “shopping cart abandonment” email campaigns and upsells/cross-sell emails. An example of this is when you get an email from Amazon reminding you of the products in your car that you have not purchased. It’s a quick and useful reminder to go and buy the item you’ve put in your card. When it comes to upsell and cross-sell emails, marketers will use these to show things that a user might be interested based on their browsing history.

Bottom Line: What is the difference between the two?

When it comes to the terms retargeting vs. remarketing, the main difference is in the strategy that they use. Retargeting is mostly about delivering ads to potential customers while remarketing is focused on email marketing through browsing history. The remarketing strategy works by collecting the information of users based on browsing history, which is used later to send reminder emails for the user to complete a transaction.

Retargeting and remarketing are both effective marketing methods. A combination of both may be the best strategy to boost your digital marketing efforts. If you implement both approaches, you have a better chance of retaining a wider audience and having those followers purchase with you.