Ecommerce Special – Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting

If you’ve ever looked at the number of site visitors you receive each month and dreamed that at least five percent more of them would turn into paying customers, you’re not alone. On average, only about four percent of website visitors want to make an immediate purchase. The rest click on your ad, add items to the cart, get distracted by something else, and then come back a few months later to complete the purchase. They also sometimes give up on the idea of ​​making a purchase from you eventually. Retargeting defined as a marketing tactic that allows companies to reach consumers with relevant messages based on their previous behavior. This technique can increase ad engagement by 400 percent. Frankly, there is nothing strange about companies thinking that consumers who come to their online store will not only complete the purchase cycle in one fell swoop, but also remain loyal customers. However, it is not:

  • Some visitors may come to the site , scroll a bit, and then leave.
  • Some can only access through the blog .
  • And some may put the product in the basket, and then get distracted and leave. (Ay, abandoned carts !).

This is where retargeting comes in – to help your potential customers visit your site more often and buy more of what you sell.

How does retargeting work?

Retargeting is a hyper-focused marketing strategy . It tracks all the activity of potential customers, i.e. how long they viewed your site, what products they paid attention to, whether they returned a second time. The collected data helps you stay in the ear of these consumers by delivering relevant ads in a timely manner until they make a purchase. Basically, retargeting uses cookie and pixel technology to track visitors to your site and then re-show ads to them after they navigate to other sites. For example, if user A spends some time browsing ModCloth, but doesn’t buy anything and leaves, then the online store may use cookies to mailings A of the same products that he viewed – as shown below. You’ve probably experienced this yourself when you’ve been bombarded with advertisements for products you’ve previously viewed, haven’t you?

Increase brand awareness and increase conversions with retargeting

Did you know that retargeting solves the problem of 98 percent of visitors who leave the site without making a purchase? Online shoppers who encounter a brand’s retargeted ad are three times more likely to click on it than those who have not interacted with the brand before. According to eMarketer, three in five online shoppers in the US alone increase their shopping carts based on similar products offered in retargeting ads. Retargeting helps reduce cost per impression and cost per click , improves ROI , and lowers branding costs. Undoubtedly, retargeting increases the presence of a business on the Internet and attracts “distracted” potential customers to it, thereby increasing the coefficient conversions up to 150 percent if done right! For retargeting to work for you, it must be goal-driven. Most retargeting programs are centered around two main goals –  raising awareness  and increasing  conversions . Let’s look at them in more detail:

Raising awareness

Given that most consumers are not ready to buy when they first visit your site, retargeting can help build awareness of your business so they come back and buy later. By staying on the radar of your potential customers, your products and services stay in their memory. And when they are ready to buy, they will most likely remember you.

Conversion boost

The ultimate goal of any marketing activity is to increase sales revenue, and retargeting can help with this. For example, pixel-based retargeting helps more potential customers complete lead forms . In contrast, list-based retargeting helps you increase downloads of your content, webinar registrations, or even direct purchases. Let’s take a closer look at these two ways that retargeting campaigns reach potential customers:


A pixel is a small line of code on your website. When someone visits your site, the pixel adds a cookie to their browser that keeps track of all their browsing activities. This way, they will see your ads wherever they are and wherever your ads can outperform other ads that perform better. Pixel-based retargeting works instantly, and you can also set special cookies for specific pages on your site. However, you have no control over who you retarget. It could be a client or a competitor . But the great thing about pixel retargeting is its instantaneousness. Once someone visits your site, they may start seeing your ads.


List-based retargeting targets your existing list of customers. All you have to do is upload your customers’ email IDs to the retargeting platform, which will then serve ads to clients with matching IDs. This form of retargeting allows you to target exactly the consumers you want to convert. However, the IDs they may enter when filling out your contact forms don’t always match the ones they use for their social media profiles, so the percentage of ID matching can end up as low as 20%.

Commonly used retargeting platforms

The entire internet space is your oyster when it comes to retargeting. You can choose between a range of platforms to generate leads. But these ” big three ” platforms take the top spot:

Google Display Network (GDN)

This network spans over 1,000,000 platforms, allows you to run YouTube video ads, and is the best option if you have an AdWords account. All you have to do is add the Google Remarketing Pixel to your site, design your ad, and set up your campaign. Done right, it will help you advertise over 10 percent of the internet. Also, if you run text ads, you can use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) and customize ad content and keywords for people who have already visited your site.


With around 1.3 billion daily active users, Facebook is another great retargeting platform. In addition, he owns Instagram. Therefore, Instagram ads can also be run through Facebook. Setting up a Facebook retargeting campaign is very easy. However, it must be remembered that conversions will not be as high as through GDN , given the large number of distractions in the feed of social network users.


The Twitter retargeting platform is similar to the Facebook platform in many ways, and adding a Twitter retargeting pixel to your site is very easy. Twitter remains a useful platform for building awareness of your company and maximizing exposure in major marketing campaigns.

Retargeting Best Practices You Should Follow

To successfully retarget consumers who have previously visited your website/online store, follow these steps.

Segment Audiences

Remarketing the same message to different categories of site visitors is unlikely to work. Instead, set different criteria (such as geographic location or time spent in the browser) and different pixels on each page of your site so you can target ads to specific needs.

Set windows to transform view through

A great way to track the actual impact of your brand awareness campaigns is to install view-through conversion videos. They link a customer who sees your ad to their conversion, even if they never clicked on your retargeted ad.

Launch of rotated advertising

If you keep repeating the same ad to your audience, banner blindness will set in sooner or later, even if they were originally interested in your product. Therefore, it is important to constantly change advertising depending on how your audience reacts to it . A/B testing is helpful in this regard .

Decide on a frequency

To avoid annoying your potential customers with too many ads, keep your highest ad frequency for about 1-2 weeks after a client visits your site. Over time, the chance of a customer returning decreases, so reduce the number of ads you show.

Use the burn code

Continuing the above, add a burn pixel to your thank you or checkout page. Thus, customers who have already purchased your product or used your service will be prevented from seeing further advertising for what you are selling.

Writing ad copy for retargeting campaigns

Now that we’ve discussed everything there is to know about setting up a retargeting campaign, it’s also important for you to know what ” content sells.” If your copy isn’t engaging enough, you won’t be able to attract potential customers for long. Let’s analyze the brands whose retargeting copy is inspiring.


Expedia’s retargeting strategy is based on the immediate need of the consumer. In this example, a travel company targets a visitor with a Facebook ad and uses an eye-catching scenery image that instantly piques the user’s interest. His CTA , “Book now”, is simple and has a sense of urgency! So, are you actively looking for a long weekend beach resort? Don’t worry, Expedia will take care of you with Flash Sale! “last minute bookings” and “50 percent discounts”.


Are you challenged to find a new helpdesk system for your team? Freshdesk is the solution to your problem! Highlighting the key customer benefits of “the world’s easiest customer support software ” and “trusted by over 30,000 companies”, the company is implementing a retargeting strategy to increase brand awareness . While Freshdesk’s “30-Day Free Trial” CTA copy doesn’t create a sense of urgency, the generic banner copy captures the essence of the software, prompting the confused consumer to return to the site and sign up for a free trial.


A popular online survey tool, SurveyMonkey has over 20 million customers including Facebook, Salesforce , and Samsung. How do they retarget potential customers? Highlighting its main advantage for customers, i.e. reliable data. Why do companies conduct surveys ? To get new data and make better decisions based on it. That’s what SurveyMonkey’s retargeting strategy is based on! The banner copy uses phrases such as “FREE” which grabs attention instantly. His CTA is straight forward and straight forward and asks the consumer to take an action, which in this case is “click here”.

Tools offering retargeting services

If you want to maximize your remarketing efforts , you should consider using tools that allow you to reach more sites on the web and help you optimize your retargeting campaigns from a single dashboard.


This is the perfect tool if your site is getting good traffic (the tool is designed for sites with 30,000+ unique visitors per month) and if you can afford the high fees. You can access a huge number of sites and customize the target audience as you see fit.

Ideal Audience

This tool simplifies the process. All you have to do is add some code to your site, create some lists of target consumers, create some ads, and Perfect Audience will do the rest. However, this tool only offers you basic control over what your ads do.


AdRoll is one of the leading names in the retargeting space and subscribing to their service gives you access to 98 percent of all websites on the web. Even though their services are not cheap, they are easy to use and provide excellent ROI.

Don’t Forget About Email Marketing

Email is still considered a highly converting platform for target audience outreach ; despite the digital noise that social networks have managed to create over the past few years. If you want to increase the ROI of your business using email, then the ideal option is to complement your mobile-responsive email marketing campaign with retargeting. In this case, you will be retargeting those consumers who not only visit your site, but are also your email subscribers. Place the line of code in the signature of the letter or in the HTML file of the letter. Serve ads to those who open the email in their browser.

At your service

Therefore, if a potential customer left your online store without buying anything, this does not mean that you cannot return him back. Creating retargeting campaigns is a fun activity that requires you to properly study visitor behavior. A/B test your ad campaigns to find out what works for you and what doesn’t.

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