Is Retargeting The Same As Remarketing?

While the two terms are often used synonymously, there is actually a big difference.

Do you sell products and services online? If so, you might have learned that for most websites only 2% of web traffic converts to a sale on a first-time visit.

This can be the case even though you are attracting a lot of new visitors to your website. For this reason, retargeting is a smart and cost-effective way to reach the other 98% of people who don’t buy on their first visit.

If you’re new to online marketing then you’ve also likely heard about remarketing and wondered: Is it the same thing? While the two terms are often used synonymously, there is actually a big difference.


Retargeting basics

Let’s start with explaining how retargeting works. Basically, retargeting technology helps you follow your target audience, study browsing behavior and then send personalized messages in order to speed up the acquisition process.

Simply put, a browser cookie (i.e. a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing) is dropped every time a person visits your website. Then once a visitor leaves your site it will share ads along their online browsing journey, encouraging the visitor (who hasn’t yet converted) to return to your website.

This is a great online advertising strategy because you can specifically target people who have already shown interest in your products or services, thus giving you an improved likelihood of acquisition.


Retargeting vs. remarketing

While many marketers use both terms to describe the same concept of re-engaging those 98% of visitors who leave your website without buying anything, there is an important difference between the two — and it lies in the strategy of reaching your target audience.

Retargeting relies on cookies dropping ads, while remarketing primarily uses email. “Remarketing is used to describe shopping cart abandonment email campaigns, upsells/cross sell emails (think those very personalized Amazon emails you get after you’ve bought a product) and lifecycle marketing emails.”

Both retargeting and remarketing are very effective so a combination of the two is often recommended.


How effective is retargeting, anyway?

If you’re not convinced about retargeting, then bear in mind that it can boost ad response by 400 percent. Critics of retargeting liken it to online stalking, but research shows that only 11% of consumers feel negatively about retargeted ads. Meanwhile, companies that have tried retargeting report a 50%-60% higher conversion rate among customers who have been retargeted.

However, retargeting shouldn’t be approached without a clear strategy. First, segment your audience, target the right visitors (i.e. your ideal clients), use frequency caps, offer incentives, refresh your creatives, use A/B testing and last, but not least, upsell and cross-sell.


Final Thoughts

A well-thought-out online marketing strategy allows you to benefit the most from marketing automation tools and maximize ROI. So, keep in mind that retargeting should be part of your overall marketing strategy (and not something you should use independently, given marketing automation tools work stronger together).

For example, “Strategies involving content marketing, AdWords, and targeted display are great for driving traffic, but they don’t help with conversion optimization. Conversely, retargeting can help increase conversions, but it can’t drive people to your site. Your best chance of success is using one or more tools to drive traffic and retargeting to get the most out of that traffic.”

Whether you’re running a small online store or a large e-commerce site, developing a short list of retargeting companies and asking for a free trial is a good start. You’ll soon realize that retargeting will help you turn potential customers into happy and loyal clients.


This article has been edited.

Andreea Paul is the Marketing Manager at Retargeting.Biz, with over 9 years experience in Online Marketing, especially in Email Management. Retargeting.Biz was launched in 2013 and represents a unique tool that does retargeting from a different approach, other than the one we are used to from Facebook and Google AdWords. This software helps online stores grow their revenues through personalized and automated communication with their clients. Retargeting.Biz has now over 400 clients worldwide and it has generated over 7 million euros. Connect with @retargeting_biz on Twitter.


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