[Beginner - 103] Are Retargeting and Remarketing the Same Thing? What is the exact definition and how does retargeting marketing work?

While your website might be great at attracting visitors to your website, only two percent of web traffic converts to a sale on a first-time visit. This means that even if you’re getting a lot of web traffic, you may not be getting a lot of sales. As such, the purpose and definition of retargeting is finding a way to reach out to the other 98 percent of people who don’t make a purchase on their first visit to your site. While retargeting and remarketing are often used synonymously, there are also a few differences that are important to point out.

How does retargeting work?

Retargeting marketing works by following your website visitors, or your audience, as they travel throughout the web. When a person visits your site, a browser cookie is dropped. (A browser cookie is a small piece of data that embeds itself in a user’s browser, making it possible to see what websites the user is visiting). After the cookie is dropped, the cookie will follow the user as they travel to other sites on the web. Then, the cookie will implement retargeting strategy by putting out an ad for your business, encouraging the user to return to your site. The ads are only dropped, or targeted, for users who have already shown interest in your site, but haven’t yet made a purchase.

Here’s a basic, more succinct version of how it works: 1) a potential customer visits your website → 2) the customer leaves your site without making a purchase → 3) they continue surfing the web → 4) your ad is displayed on a different webpage → 5) the ad draws the potential customer back to your site, where they then make a purchase.

The Difference Between Retargeting and Remarketing

We just explained what retargeting is, but you may be curious about what remarketing is, and the differences between the two. The biggest difference between retargeting and remarketing is the strategy that’s used to reach potential customers who have left your website without making a purchase. While retargeting typically relies on cookies dropping ads, as described in the explanation above, remarketing usually uses email. So, remarketing collects a user’s information, and then uses it later to send them an email (or, in the days of old, direct mail).
Both retargeting and remarketing can be effective, and a combination of both might be an effective strategy for improving your overall profits.

How effective is retargeting, anyway?

As nearly all website traffic that visits a website for the first time leaves without making a purchase, retargeting can be very effective in recalling those visitors and getting them back to your website with buying in mind. However, if you’re still not convinced about the power of retargeting, here are some statistics that might convince you otherwise:
  • According to CMO, retargeting marketing represented 1,046 percent of lift in trademark search behavior in a study that analyzed various strategies for lifting search activity.
  • Only 11 percent of consumers feel negatively about retargeted ads. On the other hand, 89 percent feel either positive or neutral about them, according to eMarketer.
  • Retargeting can boost ad response by a whopping 400 percent.
  • Jeff Jarret, the VP of Digital Marketing at Kimberly-Clark, the corporation known for its personal and healthcare products, has stated that it sees a 50 to 60 percent higher conversion rate amongst customers who have been retargeted versus those who haven’t been.

Tools and Resources to Help You Retarget

While retargeting is clearly one of the best strategies for reaching out to customers who haven’t yet made a purchase, retargeting shouldn’t be approached without a strategy. Instead of retargeting without a plan, retargeting is most successful when paired with a great ad campaign, wonderful content marketing, and other strategies for driving customers to your site (they can’t be retargeted if they never made it there in the first place). As such, you need to think about retargeting as one part of your overall marketing strategy, not something that should be pursued independently.
To help you along the way with your retargeting marketing efforts, you should consider enlisting the help of a professional service. Retargeter, Perfect Audience, and Google Remarketing are all a few examples of retargeting services that can help jumpstart your retargeting campaign. Not only can each service help get you set up with great ads, but can also teach you all about cookies, help you to track customers, and then provide you with customized data about what’s working for who, and how effective the ad campaign is.

Who should use retargeting?

The answer to this question is simple: everyone. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, if you’re trying to sell a product or service, you need to be using retargeting. The research couldn’t be more straightforward - retargeting will help you to turn potential customers into happy customers.

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