Digital marketing has become a promotional channel of choice for many businesses due to its flexibility, reach and ability to influence and measure the whole customer lifecycle.

There has been a rising star in the digital marketing world over the last couple years, which is now a key priority for many advertisers.  Retargeting is a new opportunity for business to be visible to their targeted audience and re-engage with warm prospects and visitors.


How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting usually requires a retargeting tag, which is a small piece of JavaScript code, to be placed on your website.  This could be placed on your entire website or just a subsection of the website depending on how you intend on segmenting and retargeting your website visitors.

Once the retargeting code is deployed, an anonymous browser cookie will be dropped to visitors’ browsers who have visited these pages on your website.  This can then be used to identify these visitors when they visit other websites and tailored ads can be shown to these targeted visitors based on their previous behaviour on your website.


What are some of the benefits?

Most industries can benefit from retargeting and businesses should include retargeting as part of the digital marketing plan.

Retail Ecommerce  is an industry that uses retargeting more frequently.  Retargeting has been known to achieve fantastic successes bringing back bounced visitors and recovering abandoned shopping carts.

Retargeting can help B2B businesses to be seen  in front of their potential and existing customers by showing highly relevant ads with messages of product updates and upcoming promotions.  This also serves to engage with and build long term relationship with customers.

Based on the objectives and of the businesses, different types of retargeting methods can be employed.


6 Types of Retargeting

Site Retargeting

Site retargeting is the most popular form of retargeting. This allows advertisers (you) to retarget people who have visited your site through relevant ads on 3rd party websites,  and is an opportunity to increase brand awareness and encourage these visitors to return your site for an offer or to complete a purchase.

Search Retargeting

Search retargeting allows advertisers (you) to retarget based on people’s online search behavior. You can choose to advertise to and retarget people who conducted searches (on various 3rd party search engines)  using  keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business.  As with site retargeting, these ads appear on supported 3rd party websites. With search remarketing, the visitor does not have to have visited your website first. The total retargeting pool for search retargeting is likely larger than site retargeting.  Search retargeting will assist to find people close to the top of the funnel, whereas site retargeting can  be very focused at the bottom of the funnel with people you know have already engaged with your brand..

Email Retargeting

Email newsletters still play a big role as a digital marketing tool. Email retargeting allows you to retarget your email newsletter subscribers via ads on 3rd party websites. A line of code will be placed in your email  HTML, and those who open your email will be tracked. This can be a very powerful of re-engaging visitors you know well.

CRM Retargeting

Interacting with offline customers or potential prospects who have never visited your website has been a great challenge, if not near impossible for businesses, but not now. CRM retargeting helps you find your offline customers or potential prospects online and bring them to your website. A company’s rich offline data can be married against other databases to identify matching data.  This can provide highly targeted online segments to pursue.

Google AdWords Remarketing

Google remarketing has been available for a few years and marketers are often more familiar with it than the other forms of remarketing. Google remarketing works similarly to other remarketing methods by placing a piece of JavaScript on your website and the visitors can be segmented into relevant groups. The targeted visitors will served  ads when viewing websites on Google Display Network.

To improve the end user experience with remarketing, Google recently launched ‘dynamic remarketing’ globally, as a new product. This allows businesses serve potential customers display ads dynamically based on their previous behaviour on the website such as ‘products viewed’.

Businesses that run Google dynamic remarketing must have a Google merchant account which Google uses to pull out products to automatically generate dynamic display or text ads.

Social Retargeting

Participating in social networks have become part of daily routine for many, including your customers. Social networks are another channel to engage with your bounced traffic and potential prospects. Facebook was the very first social network  to offer retargeting, which was launched via the Facebook Ad Exchange in 2012, working with a number of DSP (Demand-side Platform) partners.

Facebook Exchange offers cookie based site retargeting through their approved DSP partners, allowing advertisers to use their own real-time customer insights data to reach their site visitors on Facebook with more timely and relevant ads.

In late 2013, Facebook extended their retargeting to open access to its custom audiences ad targeting tool, which allows advertisers to leverage custom audience via Facebook’s ad interface to find existing customers and reach new prospects on Facebook.


Twitter joined  the retargeting revolution in late 2013 and offer cookie based retargeted ads, which works same way as site retargeting and Facebook retargeting. Advertisers (you) are able to target site visitors and while on Twitter with targeted promoted tweets and promoted accounts.


Retargeting Best Practices

Once you decide to run a retargeting campaign and choose the type of retargeting methodology that fits your business needs, the next step is to run a successful retargeting campaign. Here are some retargeting best practices that will help you to achieve your goals.


Use Frequency Caps

For your retargeting audience, seeing your ads absolutely everywhere while browsing online may be very annoying and  may lead to  them ignoring your ads completely or forming a negative association with your brand.

17 – 20 impressions per user per month is recommended cap, which will limit overexposure and maximise the campaign results.


Segment Your Audiences

Audience segmentation plays a big role in the campaign success, which ensures you serve relevant ads to the right people based on their behaviour on your website.

You can segment your audience by product categories or the steps of shopping funnel based on goals you want to achieve.


Use Demographic, Geographic, & Contextual Targeting

You may refine your target audience further by serving customized ads based on demographic information (e.g. age, gender where applicable)

You can also retarget your audience geographically or contextually to improve the relevancy and performance of your campaign.


Optimize Your Creative

The creative you use will also determine your campaign success. To win attention from your audience, results are best achieved by keeping ad copy minimal and design simple. Bold colour, concise copy and a clear call to action make your ads memorable and have the desired impact.  Multiple versions of ad creative should be tested to achieve the best results.

In Summary…

Retargeting is a powerful tool to bring back your website visitors and improve your ROI by recovering abandoned shopping cart. It can generate amazing results when working with other online and offline campaigns as the rest of digital marketing strategy.

If you would like to know how retargeting can help your business grow and how it can fit in your big marketing strategy, let’s chat!