What Is Remarketing And How Does It Work




People always ask me, "What is remarketing, Tim?" I say that it is an excellent online tactic for increasing sales, brand awareness, or whatever you want to grow. I know it's a vague answer; that's why I want to illustrate how remarketing works in this article.

Let's pretend that you saw an ad about a watch two weeks ago. You clicked the ad but didn't continue until the end for whatever reason.

Now, why did the same ad reappear or kept reappearing on your desktop or mobile device? Why does it look so much better and more exciting now than it was two weeks ago? What changed?

That's the power of remarketing. It follows you until you make a purchase.

However, not everyone likes ads. Here's proof.

What is remarketing - Number of people who dislike ads

What's the point of even launching a remarketing campaign if most customers hate ads. Given the numbers above, I understand if you have the same sentiment. However, with the benefits you can get from it, remarketing must be a part of your online strategy.

What Is Remarketing?

Remarketing uses ads or follow-up emails consumers get from businesses after checking out a website but don't necessarily buy. However, not all of those customers disappear because they're not interested in the offer.

Sometimes these customers are either taking their precious time to think about the offer, aren't sure if they want to spend, or they just ran out of time and had to go.

ReTargeter perfectly illustrated what Remarketing is and how it works:

What is remarketing

There are five types of remarketing:

  • Offline (e.g., TV, radio, and billboards)
  • Phone (e.g., teleshopping - once you call, they already have your phone number)
  • Email (e.g., MailChimp, ActiveCampaign) 
  • Social media (e.g., Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads - ask simple questions, increase engagement, or offer discounts)
  • Online Retargeting (e.g., Google Ads, Yahoo, Bing)

You have experienced a remarketing campaign one way or another. You just didn't know what it was.

A lot of people still confuse remarketing with retargeting. Both marketing concepts, although different in so many ways, have the same goal – to help you reconnect with customers who have shown an interest in your brand.

Remarketing is about re-engaging people through emails and other channels. These marketing emails are triggered by actions that people have taken to engage with your business in some way.

Retargeting, on the other hand, is a subset of remarketing where you re-engage people with online ads or display ad campaigns that target customers who have already interacted in some way with a website.

As Neil Patel says:

I see Remarketing more as an umbrella term for marketing to the same prospect multiple times, whereas Retargeting really is targeting online ads at the same traffic again and again.

Click to Tweet

Now that we know what it is and how it's different from Retargeting let's talk about how Remarketing works.

How Remarketing Works

No matter how significant it is, there’s always an interest in your brand, product, or service when visitors check out your website.

Remarketing reminds visitors of that interest. It reminds them of what they already need or want.

Here's how Remarketing can build your brand's visibility:


Remarketing Allows You To Personalize Your Incentive Offers

You can remarket to customers no matter how far along they have gotten in the sales funnel when you promote a specific product or service.

If customers leave right before they click through or read anything, you can regain their interest with a remarketing ad that showcases a product or service that you offer.

You can also send customers a promo or discount code to make the product or service more affordable. It's especially vital if potential customers put it in their carts but then drop off before they check out.


Remarketing Is A Cost-efficient Tactic

You need to pay approximately $2.28 to reach 1,000 viewers in the Google Display Network.

CPM Budget per thousand views

On the other hand, it costs $35.09 to reach the same number of viewers when you buy pay-per-click ads (PPC) on Google's search result pages.

Google pay-per-click ads in 2018

These charts show that the Google Display Network is the go-to platform for many advertisers because they can save more than $32 per 1,000 views in a remarketing campaign budget.


Remarketing Drives Results

Today 3 out of 4 consumers notice remarketing ads; more and more of them are becoming responsive.

According to Digiday+,

The average click-through rate online for display ads is .07 percent, and the average click-through for retargeted ads is about .7 percent.

Also, visitors who click through are 50-60 percent more likely to convert and become paying customers, which proves that remarketing drives excellent results.

Okay, so remarketing works. What's next? Create a remarketing campaign.


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What Is A Remarketing Campaign?

A remarketing campaign is an essential strategy for converting visitors to customers on your website. However, when mishandled, this campaign can backfire and destroy all of your Remarketing plans. A strong campaign guarantees that you understand your business needs.

So how do you or your website know who to target in a campaign? You need to create a remarketing list.

A remarketing list is a database of target users for all your campaigns.

A tracking cookie marks and includes a potential customer in the remarketing list when a customer gets to your website and performs actions like adding an item to a shopping cart or simple page navigation.

To create a tracking cookie, you need to get a remarketing tag from Google Ads and then paste it on the HTML code of your site pages.

Each list that you create on Google Ads will ultimately determine the following:

  • Which remarketing labels it is connected with.
  • How long users will remain members.
  • How often they will be shown the ads on display.

Google Ads only allows a user to be in a remarketing list for a maximum of 540 days. Also, take note that Google Ad's Remarketing lists will only be activated when you get more than 100 monthly visits.

Now, let me show you how to set up a remarketing campaign in Google Ads.

How To Set Up A Remarketing Campaign

Setting up a remarketing campaign involves a set of unique ads for a particular list.

These unique ads are as customizable like the one you see on Google or Facebook Ads campaigns and are focused on the following:

  • Displaying the same product which the potential buyer showed interested in.
  • Showcasing a similar product.
  • Presenting a new product line to a potential buyer who already purchased something.
  • Displaying popup sales promotions to encourage prospective buyers to buy a product they were already interested in.

To set up your Remarketing campaign in Google Ads, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  • Step 2: Click Audience Manager under the Shared Library option.
  • Step 3: Select Audiences.
  • Step 4: Click Set-up Remarketing.
  • Step 5: Select View Tag for websites.
  • Step 6: Copy the Remarketing tag code.
  • Step 7: Paste the Remarketing tag code at the bottom of the site pages you want to use for your campaign.
  • Step 8: Save and publish your page.
  • Step 9: Click Continue.
  • Step 10: Select Return to Audiences.

Congrats! You have successfully created a Remarketing campaign. But wait, your Remarketing job just started. You still need to measure the performance of your campaign.

Head on to the next section to learn more.

Key Performance Metrics You Need To Measure

Just like any other marketing campaign, it's vital to measure the success of your remarketing campaign.

Here are key performance metrics you need to measure:


Lead Conversion

This metric shows the number of leads that come directly from your Remarketing ads. These leads are in the form of conversions on your remarketing landing page.

A high lead conversion indicates that your Remarketing ads were successful at bringing visitors in.


Nurture Touches

This metric pertains to the engagement from your current contacts with your Remarketing display ad campaigns regarding late-stage or mid-stage ads and offers.

Nurture Touches helps you distinguish which lead is ready to click the call-to-action or CTA button and buy your product. It helps identify untouched and idle leads that are ready to buy from you.


View-through Conversions

View-through Conversions shows when users view your remarketing display ad, but don't click, and go back to your site or click to your post-click landing page on their own.

This metric is vital because it helps you complete the conversion funnel puzzle. It also allows you to decode all the possible ways your marketing funnel can take to get a conversion.

A tracking pixel installed on your post-click landing page can measure View-through Conversions.


Page Visits

This key performance metric measures the number of potential customers that visited your Remarketing post-click landing page from your ad.

You can also measure page visits for your site with the Remarketing campaigns because visitors may go back to your website. It can be because of brand awareness, and not necessarily by clicking your display ad.


Email Opens

Communicating with potential customers via email is a powerful kind of Remarketing.

Measuring open email rates allows you to gather data that will help you write better email subject lines and create effective email marketing systems.


Marketing Qualified Leads

Marketing Qualified Leads, or MQL are qualified leads determined by the marketing team as more likely to buy than other idle or dead leads.

The MQL values are derived from the following:

  • Lead scoring
  • Audience behavior
  • Specific prospect activities
  • Firmographics

And that's what Remarketing is and how it works!

I compiled a list of Remarketing resources that you can check out to learn more about this topic. As always, don't be shy to TALK TO US TODAY if you need help creating and managing your remarketing campaign.

Recommended Remarketing Resources

5 Proven Ways Remarketing Can Improve Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Why Your Remarketing Campaign Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)

The 3 types of remarketing you should be trying

So what do you think about this article? Are you ready to launch a Remarketing campaign?

Leave a comment below and let's discuss.

It will be a great honor if you think this article is worth the SHARE.

Are you looking for more online advertising help? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising for Small Businesses.


Have you tried one marketing tactic after another, and nothing seems to work?

It doesn't have to be this way. Get instant access to our on-demand masterclass now.

Header image courtesy of JumpStory.

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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