Remarketing vs Retargeting: Which is Better for Marketing
April 24, 2021
The terms remarketing and retargeting is often used interchangeably as they are seen as similar marketing practices with little to no difference. If you’re an aspiring marketer who is struggling to distinguish between the two, you’re not alone.
In this blog, we will unearth the subtle differences between the two and help you understand both concepts more closely. Beginning with a brief overview of both marketing practices, we will dig deeper and show you how you can leverage these practices to your advantage.
Remarketing is the practice of re-engaging current and past customers for generating sales. Remarketing typically uses email correspondence to reconnect with users. A business needs an email list to unleash the full potential of remarketing emails.
In simple words, we can say that the practice of reconnecting with past and current customers through email is called remarketing.
Remarketing is done when the prospect already has the intent to purchase a product or service. More specifically, remarketing emails include cart abandonment emails, up-sell and cross-sell emails, personalized discount announcement emails, etc.
Retargeting Meaning: What is retargeting in digital marketing?
Retargeting is the practice of identifying users who have interacted with your website in the past and targeting them / advertising to them using online ad placements and display ads.
Simply put, retargeting means re-approaching past users that you see as potential customers. With retargeting, customer-business interaction is not limited to a one-time engagement, and the location of remarketing display ads is not limited to your website alone.
Amongst others, retargeted display ads are shown over third party networks like Google Display Network and Facebook. As such, we can say that you can target your potential customers anytime and anywhere with remarketing display ads. Its beauty lies in helping you reach out to your users on other platforms long after they have left your website and stopped interacting with your brand.
To learn the similarities between remarketing and retargeting, read on.
What are the similarities of Remarketing and Retargeting?
We have outlined the similarities between remarketing and retargeting here:
- Objective: Retargeting and remarketing may have different short-term goals. But in the long-term, they are equally focused on increasing sales conversions for a business. More specifically, both marketing practices seek to:
- Advertise to audiences who have interacted with your brand/business in the past.
- Engage qualified audiences who are likely to make a purchase from you.
- Build brand recognition and leave a lasting impression on target customers.
To learn the differences between remarketing and retargeting, read on.
What is the difference between Remarketing and Retargeting?
We have outlined the difference between remarketing and retargeting here:
- Primary medium: Retargeting uses display advertisements as the primary medium, whereas remarketing uses email as the key platform for advertising.
- Objective: The goal of both retargeting and remarketing is generating sales. However, the more immediate goal of retargeting is scaling website traffic and building brand awareness by redirecting past users to a website through retargeted display ads. Remarketing re-engages past customers through strategic emails with the sole motive of generating sales.
- Cost: Remarketing display ads cost money while remarketing email campaigns can be executed without incurred costs. Unless you automate your email campaigns, Google remarketing proves to be highly cost-effective when compared to retargeting.
Types of Retargeting: On-Site and Off-Site
Retargeting happens both on-site and off-site. Read on to learn more about some common examples of both on-site and off-site retargeting:
Examples of On-Site Retargeting
On-site retargeting involves targeting people who have already visited and interacted with your website in the past. Here are some examples of on-site retargeting that you can use:
- Target users based on how they arrived at your website: This can be social media, a Google search, or other inbound marketing channels. Once identified, target your users on these places for maximum traction.
- Target users based on the products they interacted with but did not buy: This can include products viewed, products abandoned in a shopping cart, email inquiries about specific products, products abandoned during checkout, etc.
- Target users who are interacting with your email campaigns: People who land on your website post interaction with your email CTAs are potential customers.
Examples of Off-Site Retargeting
Retargeting does not just happen on page. A boon in social media has made it possible for customers to interact with your brand even if they’re not necessarily active on your website.
Here are some examples of off-site retargeting you can use to reach potential clients:
- Target users who have interacted with your distributed content: This can include your Facebook page, a post on LinkedIn, social media, an expandable video, a podcast, etc.
- Target users who have visited competing websites in a similar niche: Targeting the existing customers and potential customers of competing sites who sell similar products and services is a marketing avenue you can and should explore.
What are the different platforms you can use for Retargeting?
Here is a quick list of the top platforms that you can use to run a retargeting display ad:
- Google Ads (Pay Per Click): Running retargeting Google ads is the most common practice.
- Facebook: Running retargeting Facebook ads is a tried & tested practice you can explore.
- AdRoll: Another impeccable platform for running ads.
Why is retargeting important?
If you’re not unleashing the full potential of retargeting in your online marketing strategy, you are losing out on conversions that can be yours. Among other things, here are some reasons explaining the importance of a retargeting ad campaign:
- No matter where past users who have previously interacted with your website may be, retargeting allows you to remind them of your unique products and services through well-curated display ads. They could be browsing the internet, scrolling through social media, watching a video. As long as they’re online, you can reach them through retargeting ads.
- Helps you create a relevant advertising experience for your users. All you have to do is create a remarketing audience group of your past users based on their unique traits and behavior and show them relevant remarketing ads strategically.
- Retargeting allows you to increase the scope for conversions as it enables you to show your ads to users who have indicated that they’re interested in your brand.
Of the many reasons that make remarketing a vital part and parcel of your online marketing strategy, here are some of the few points that stand out:
- Through remarketing email campaigns, you can steer audience action towards meeting a particular conversion goal. More specifically: it helps users finalize a purchase despite any moment of prior indecision they may have had.
- Through discount announcement emails, you can notify users of existing discounts on your website. This may trigger those users to make a purchase who were previously limited by their budget constraints.
- By sending out timely cart abandonment emails, you can remind a user of the products of their interest and spearhead an online purchase. This is a potent tool. It encourages users who may not have completed a transaction due to various reasons such as poor internet connectivity, lack of money in the present, etc., to make a purchase.
How effective is retargeting?
A study by ReTargeter shows that only 2% of website visitors convert during their first visit to a website. This means that first-time website visitors do not conclusively make a purchase.
You may not achieve your conversion goals the first time a user visits your website. This is where retargeting comes in to save the day. Retargeting allows you to drive audiences back to their website and into their landing page, thus increasing the conversion scope.
While a target customer (in this case: you) may not convert right away, the repeated ad displays will help build a sense of brand identification, encouraging you to make a purchase eventually.
Additional Read: Landing Page Tips
According to a study by eMarketer, 81% of customers are more likely to make additional purchases due to targeted emails. A similar research by Campaign Monitor has shown that segmented email campaigns could drive a whopping 760% increase in revenue.
Both these studies attest to the potential and effectiveness of remarketing services and its importance for businesses.
Tips to optimize retargeting ads:
Here are some quick tips to help you optimize your retargeted ads:
- Moderate ad frequency: How frequently are your retargeted ads being shown to your past users? Based on the behavior of your target audience, moderate the ad frequency accordingly. While reminding prospects of your brand is crucial for building awareness, overplaying it can irritate them too.
- Make multiple ad copies: When making your display ads, make a healthy mix of different ad content and creatives. Seeing various iterations of the same product will not only diversify your ads, but it will also get your target audience genuinely acquainted with your brand, its USP, product features, pricing, and more.
- Regulate ad recentness: Let’s say someone just visited your ad. How long should you wait before you retarget them on different platforms? Think along these lines while envisioning and executing search retargeting ads. Show them ads too quickly, and you run the risk of annoying them. Show them ads too late, and they may no longer be relevant.
Here are some quick tips to help you optimize your remarketing emails:
- Write compelling emails: Whether you’re writing cart abandonment reminders, pitching an email for a new product, or announcing a SEASON SALE, make sure that your emails are compelling, concise, and on-point.
- Send quick updates/alerts/reminders: Any new updates should be quickly communicated to a user. If a user has left an item on their cart for over a day, send them a swift email. Since your prospects already have the intent to purchase, you should encourage them to take quick action through perfectly-timed email alerts.
There is no such thing as a better marketing approach. Whether you choose remarketing or retargeting depends on your unique business needs and immediate marketing requirements.
Launch a search retargeting campaign on the following conditions:
- You are attracting site traffic but not triggering enough conversions.
- You want to build brand awareness and acquaint people with your brand.
- You want to convert people who have interacted with your website into buying customers.
- You want to nurture potential customers who are in the early stages of the buying cycle by keeping your brand identity fresh in their minds.
Run retargeting Facebook ads or a search retargeting ad through Google if your requirements fall within the above-listed criteria.
Launch a remarketing campaign on the following conditions:
- You don’t have a budget for advertisements to attract new customers.
- You have an active email list of current and past customers.
- To convert the customers who have reached the very bottom of your sales funnel, demonstrating strong buying intent signals.
Additional Read: How to Start PPC Campaign
In this blog, we have covered the A-Z of retargeting and remarketing in digital marketing. From uncovering what they are to discussing their importance, effectiveness, optimization tips, and the approach you should take for your business – we have covered the topic exhaustively in this blog.
While retargeting and remarketing are not identical to each other, they do go hand in hand. Implement both practices in your online marketing strategizing to make the best of both.
If you’re looking for retargeting or remarketing services, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are a leading SEO and digital marketing agency that specializes in these services and deliver consistent results.
Take a look at our case studies and our digital report card to get an overview of the results we have delivered to similar businesses.
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