What is Retargeting/Remarketing?

Retargeting/Remarketing: General Marketing Explained

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a powerful digital marketing strategy that allows businesses to stay connected with their audience even after they leave their website. Retargeting marketing has been designed to remind potential customers of products or services they viewed or showed interest in to encourage them to return to the website and complete a purchase.

Remarketing is a highly effective way to increase conversion rates and ROI, as it targets individuals who have already shown an interest in a company’s offerings. Remarketing makes them more likely to convert compared to first-time visitors. This article will delve into the intricacies of retargeting and remarketing, providing a comprehensive understanding of the remarketing strategy.

Understanding the Basics of Retargeting/Remarketing

Retargeting, or remarketing, is a marketing strategy that involves showing ads to people who have previously visited your website or mobile app. It’s a way to re-engage people who have shown an interest in your product or service by visiting your website. Using a small piece of code on your website, known as a pixel, visitors on your site can be tracked and allow you to retarget them later with ads.

Remarketing is a highly effective way to keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert immediately.

Types of Retargeting

There are two main types of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based. Pixel-based retargeting is the most common type and works by using a JavaScript code (the pixel) to follow your audience around the web anonymously. List-based retargeting, on the other hand, works by using lists of email addresses that your company has collected. It’s a more personalized approach, but it requires an extensive email list to work effectively.

Both types of retargeting can be effective, but they serve different purposes and work best in different situations. Pixel-based retargeting is a great way to re-engage visitors after they leave your website, while list-based retargeting is best for upselling or cross-selling to existing customers.

Benefits of Retargeting/Remarketing

Retargeting has many benefits for businesses of all sizes. It increases brand exposure, leading to higher conversion rates over time. It also allows you to engage with your audience in a more personalized way, showing them ads for products they’ve shown an interest in rather than generic ads that may not be relevant to them.

Retargeting can help to increase your return on investment (ROI). By focusing on people who have already shown an interest in your products or services, you’re more likely to convert them into customers, potentially leading to a higher ROI for your marketing efforts.

Implementing a Retargeting/Remarketing Strategy

Implementing a retargeting strategy involves several steps. The first step is to add the retargeting pixel to your website. The retargeting pixel is a small piece of JavaScript code that goes in the footer of your website. It allows you to track visitors to your site and serve them retargeting ads later.

Once the pixel is in place, you can create retargeting lists. These are lists of people who have visited your site that you want to retarget with ads. You can create lists based on specific criteria, such as people who visited a certain page or people who put items in their shopping cart but didn’t complete a purchase.

Creating Effective Retargeting Ads

Creating effective retargeting ads is crucial to the success of your retargeting campaign. These ads should be highly relevant to the viewer and should offer some sort of incentive to get them to return to your site. Options like a special discount, a reminder of items left in their shopping cart, or a product recommendation based on their browsing history could be highly beneficial.

It’s also important to test and optimize your retargeting ads over time. Testing requires different versions of your ads, analyzing the results, and making changes based on your findings. By continually optimizing your ads, you can increase their effectiveness and improve your ROI.

Setting Up Campaigns on Different Platforms

Many platforms offer retargeting capabilities, including Google Ads, Facebook, and Twitter. Each platform has its process for setting up a retargeting campaign. Still, they all involve creating a retargeting list, creating an ad, and setting up the campaign parameters, such as the budget and schedule.

It’s important to understand how each platform works and to choose the one that best fits your business needs. For example, if your audience is primarily on Facebook, it may make sense to focus your retargeting efforts there. On the other hand, if your audience is more spread out, you can use a platform like Google Ads that allows you to reach people across multiple websites.

Best Practices for Retargeting/Remarketing

While retargeting can be a powerful marketing tool, it’s essential to use it responsibly. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make with retargeting is overdoing it, leading to ad fatigue and a negative perception of your brand. It’s important to limit the number of times a person sees your ad and to ensure that your ads are relevant and valuable.

Another best practice for retargeting is to segment your audience. Segmenting your audience involves dividing it into groups based on their behaviour or characteristics. By segmenting your audience, you can create more personalized and relevant ads, leading to higher conversion rates.

Frequency Capping

Frequency capping is a technique used in retargeting to limit the number of times a person sees your ad. The frequency capping technique is important because seeing the same ad too many times can be annoying and lead to a negative perception of your brand. Most retargeting platforms allow you to set a frequency cap for your ads.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how often a person should see your ad. It depends on your audience, your product, and the nature of your campaign. A good rule of thumb is to cap your frequency at around 15-20 monthly impressions.

Digital art to represent the concept of best practices for retargeting/remarketing in digital marketing. This visual embodies a modern, semi-animated style with a light, warm-coloured background, utilizing symbols and imagery to convey a data-driven marketing strategy without text.

Segmentation and Personalization

Segmentation and personalization are key to creating effective retargeting ads. By dividing your audience into segments based on their behaviour or characteristics, you can create more personalized and relevant ads. For example, you could create a segment of people who visited your website but didn’t make a purchase and target them with ads for the products they viewed.

Personalization goes a step further by tailoring the ad to the individual viewer. An example is showing them a personalized message or a product recommendation based on their browsing history. Personalization can make your ads more engaging and increase the likelihood of conversion.

Challenges and Limitations

While retargeting can be a powerful marketing tool, it has challenges and limitations. One of the biggest challenges is privacy concerns. With the increasing focus on data privacy and the introduction of regulations like the GDPR, businesses need to be careful about how they collect and use data for retargeting.

Another challenge is ad blocking. Many internet users use ad blockers to prevent ads from being displayed, which can limit the effectiveness of retargeting campaigns. There are ways to overcome this challenge, such as creating high-quality ads that offer value and are less likely to be blocked.

Privacy Concerns

Privacy is a significant concern when it comes to retargeting. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their data is used and demanding more control over their personal information. Fortunately, this has led to regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, which requires businesses to obtain consent before collecting or using personal data.

To comply with these regulations and respect user privacy, it’s essential to be transparent about how you’re using retargeting and to provide users with the option to opt-out. Providing this information through a privacy policy on your website and through the settings in your retargeting platform would be a sufficient option.

Ad Blocking

Ad blocking is another challenge for retargeting campaigns. Many internet users use ad blockers to prevent ads from being displayed on their devices. As the name suggests, ad blockers can limit the reach of your retargeting campaign and reduce its effectiveness.

There are ways to overcome this challenge. One way is to create high-quality ads that offer value to the viewer. These types of ads are less likely to be blocked by ad blockers. Another way is to use native advertising, which is a type of advertising that matches the form and function of the platform it appears on. Native ads are less intrusive and are less likely to be blocked by ad blockers.


Retargeting, or remarketing, is a powerful marketing strategy that can help businesses increase their conversion rates and ROI. By targeting individuals who have already shown an interest in your products or services, you’re more likely to convert them into customers, but it’s important to use retargeting responsibly and to respect user privacy.

With the right strategy and execution, retargeting can be a highly effective tool for driving conversions and growing your business. Whether you’re a small business just getting started with digital marketing or a large corporation looking to optimize your marketing efforts, retargeting can help you reach your goals.

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