What Is Retargeting and How Does It Work?

By Jonathan Matlock
Jul 31, 2020

Think of retargeting as a (digital) reminder for people who engage with your brand but for some reason did not convert. The end goal is to turn potential customers into paying customers by keeping your brand or offer in front of them after they leave your site.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting

If you ask most people, they are going to tell you that retargeting and remarketing are the same, and while they both aim to re-engage with potential buyers to get them to convert, they utilize different strategies.

For example, remarketing often uses email campaigns to further engage with your “window shoppers” and move them through the sales funnel. And retargeting uses cookies to show them ads across different platforms in an ad network.

How does retargeting work?

Let’s say a potential customer does a quick Bing search for “gluten-free bakery.” They find your website because you have an awesome SEO strategy in place and they spend a good amount of time looking around and seem to be interested in ordering some gluten-free cupcakes online, but never actually make the purchase.

What went wrong?

While many factors could have caused this, like a complicated checkout process, the reason might just be that they weren't ready to buy yet.

And that’s where retargeting comes in.

Once that person leaves your website, they may see online ads on Google or Facebook (or other display networks) that keeps your brand in front of them, making it more likely that they will come back and purchase those delicious cupcakes.

Why we love retargeting

Did you know that the majority of people who land on your website aren’t ready to buy?

Yep, it’s true.

Which is why retargeting (done right) is the “in” of digital marketing right now.

If done the right way, retargeting can:

-Build better relationships and establish authority

-Re-engage lost customers visiting your site

-Leverage your content marketing efforts

-Close more sales

-Increase your ROI

How not to use retargeting

Retargeting should be cost-effective but lately, we’ve been seeing an increase of retargeting strategies that are not getting the best ROI.

In short, retargeting strategies done wrong waste money.

And while retargeting can help build a better relationship with your potential customers, if done wrong, it can actually do the opposite-- resulting in loss of trust.

Below are a few ways that retargeting can actually lose money and customers.

1. Retargeting website visitors who have already bought your offer

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the retargeting campaigns we’ve seen that didn’t exclude people who’ve already converted.

This doesn't mean that you can’t retarget them for a different offer or product, but just make sure that you aren’t showing ads to people who have already taken advantage of the offer or made the purchase.

2. Too much retargeting

Showing ads to people too often can cause them to become annoyed, resulting in the loss of authority and trust. That means they will likely not engage with your brand or buy from you in the future.

We’ve personally experienced too many ads for the same offer before and it was irritating. So when thinking about the best way to re-engage people with ads, be careful not to overdo it.

3. Retargeting everyone

Make sure you’re only re-engaging with people who have shown a good amount of interest in your products or services. Remember you are spending money on ads to retarget, so you don’t want to waste money on retargeting people who are not really interested in buying.

How to know who to target?

A good way to determine who is interested in buying from you is by looking at the amount of time site visitors spend on your website and how they engage with your products or services. If they show interest in purchasing items, then they are probably a good person to re-engage with.

Another way is to look and see who ended up on your order form and didn’t purchase. If they ended up on your order form or added items to their cart, they had an intent to buy and those people are great to show retargeting ads to.

How Rocket Park can help you engage customers

Having a digital marketing agency on your side will ensure that you are using retargeting in the most effective way possible.

Here at Rocket Park, we are always analyzing and optimizing your digital marketing strategy (yes, this includes your retargeting) to make sure you aren’t losing money or customers.

If you are interested in having Rocket Park help you with your retargeting efforts, give us a call at (214) 225-2011 for a free consultation.

A cost-effective marketing strategy, build better relationships and close more sales with Rocket Park.