Retargeting Basics: 101

targetDid you know that only 2% people of convert on their first visit to an online store? That means 98% of people either decide that they no longer want to make a purchase, or go elsewhere to find a better deal. There’s also a chance that the checkout process looked too tedious to bust out the credit card. Fortunately, there are a range of retargeting tools that can help you reach the 98%.

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting, sometimes referred to as remarketing (which is the official name of the retargeting campaign launched by Google AdWords), is a form of online marketing that displays ads to people who have visited a website. These displays are designed to remind site visitors of a specific aspect of your brand that they have interacted with, or of your brand in general.

You’ve likely been the focus of a retargeting ad before. All it takes is visiting a website, leaving without making a purchase, and searching the web again. Ads will then show up on your social media feed, search, or other websites. If the ad is effective, it will recapture your interest about a specific service or product, and force you to return and make a purchase. There’s a big chance you’ll save money, too. The most effective ads offer a deal or incentive.

Knowing Your Target Audience

If you are considering using retargeting as part of your online marketing efforts, it’s critically important that your ads are designed with a specific buyer in mind. Whether you’re using retargeting ads on Facebook, Twitter, or Google, you need to know which stage your customer is at in the buying process.

People Who Are Interested

People who are interested in your service or product have likely visited a specific part of your website more than once or have opened emails from your company, and that can only mean one thing: they’re interested, but need a nudge. The key thing here is precision. They don’t need a reminder about who you are or what you’re all about, they need a reminder about what they want and need. You’re not speaking to a generalized audience here, you are speaking to a specific person about a specific product. Induce a sense of urgency. Be sure to let them know they are going to miss out on that thing they’ve been eyeing if they don’t act fast.

People Who Are Not Interested

You needn’t retarget everyone who has visited your website. Displaying an ad to a visitor who was on your website once for less than 10 seconds is a waste of money. It is unlikely that they are interested, and showing them a product that they don’t want or need is only going to hurt your brand in the long run. Eliminating low-quality leads from your retargeting efforts is an important aspect in maintaining brand integrity.

People Who Want More

Cross-selling is the practice of selling an additional product to an existing customer. If you sell a product that comes with accessories, you will want to incorporate this as part of your retargeting efforts. Show customers who have already bought your product how an accessory will enhance it.

People to Reward

Your loyal customers deserve rewards. Loyal customers aren’t just the ones who buy your products, but the ones who share information about your company on their social media pages. Be sure to offer these customers incentives so they continue to use  your products and spread the word about your brand.


As with all online marketing marketing strategies, use analytics to determine what’s working and what isn’t. This ensures that your best content is getting out there and reaching people who want to see it.

Take advantage of the holiday season by reminding people who have shown interest in your product why it is the absolute best Christmas gift, or inform them of an ongoing promotion. Now is the time to act!


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