Categories: Strategy|By |3.3 min read|

What is Retargeting?

Having invested huge amounts of time, effort, and capital trying to generate traffic, there’s nothing more frustrating for a business owner than customers who leave their website empty-handed.

Unless, of course, they come back later to complete the purchase.

Enter the power of Retargeting.

This popular digital marketing strategy allows you to promote your products and services to website visitors after they leave your site. As your ads follow them around the web, they become more likely to return and buy something.

Keep reading to learn more about retargeting and how to utilize it in your digital advertising campaigns.

What Is Retargeting?

In simple terms, retargeting’s a method used by digital marketers to recapture visitor attention. The goal?

Sales, pure and simple.

Imagine running a brick-and-mortar store.

Now imagine that every time a potential customer walks in and out without purchasing anything, you can accompany them home, gently reminding them of your brand and the products they’d considered buying.

Retargeting is that exact process, just in digital form.

This time, they enter your online store (i.e. your business website). They browse around and maybe even add something to their basket, but then get distracted, have second thoughts, and click off your site.

With retargeting campaigns in place, this isn’t a total disaster.

Thanks to some clever tech we’ll explain in a moment, that same visitor will continue seeing relevant ads for your business on other sites, social media platforms, and apps they go on throughout the day.

In so doing, you remind them of your products/services, reintroduce them to your brand, and build up the trust that’s so essential to sales.

Ultimately, retargeting’s one of the best ways to reach, engage, and regain contact with potential customers who, for one reason or another, didn’t convert the first time around.

How Retargeting Works

You can incorporate retargeting campaigns into your approach in two slightly different ways: list-based or pixel-based. Let’s dive a little deeper into both to outline how they work alongside their relative merits:

List-Based Retargeting 

Do you already have a database of email addresses for past customers and site visitors? Maybe they subscribed to a newsletter, for example, or you collect such details at checkout? Either way, list-based retargeting’s an option if so.

By uploading these email list(s) into a retargeting platform, your ads will start populating across the internet for those individuals (assuming they used the same email address when signing up to the platform in question).

Pixel-Based Retargeting

This type of retargeting places a piece of JavaScript, called a tracking pixel, onto your website or landing pages. The pixel then drops a “cookie” into each visitor’s web browser, enabling you to continue showing ads to them across the net.

In terms of benefits, pixel-based retargeting guarantees your visitors see your ads, which start showing immediately after they leave your site.

Retargeting Isn’t Remarketing or Prospecting

It’s also worth noting that retargeting isn’t the same as remarketing.

Although it’s entirely understandable why people confuse these terms, remarketing’s a process of re-engaging old customers (via email, for example), whereas retargeting involves reaching new prospects with relevant ads.

In other words, remarketing aims to re-ignite someone’s interest when they’ve already purchased something from you. For retargeting, the goal is to show someone (who may have never heard or bought anything from you before) that your brand fits their lifestyle and can solve their problems.

Start Retargeting Today

Consider always-on retargeting ads. These ad campaigns are ongoing, 24/7. Ongoing ad campaigns like this are excellent for retargeting existing and potential customers at all points of the customer journey. Gourmet Ads currently offers an always-on retargeting program with a minimal starting budget to get you started.

Retargeting Resources