Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

What is Remarketing and How Does it Work?

By Berta Ventura, on 12 June 2019

If you want your digital marketing campaigns to give good results, you have to be able to offer visitors a second chance to become customers. This second chance is an opportunity, also known as remarketing.

If you want to increase your conversions and increase the return on your lead generation efforts, this is your chance. What it is retargeting, how does it work, a few tips to improve your campaigns, and 10 remarketing strategies that you may not know of yet.

Having a retargeting strategy in place means, being able to reminds users that we are there for them. In this article I want to to help you design yours.

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What is remarketing_


What is remarketing?

In a nutshell, remarketing (also known as retargeting) is essentially creating personalized ad campaigns (generally display ads) for users who have previously visited your website or other content. 

The basic idea behind remarketing is to reach out to users who already know your brand or products and, for that reason, have much higher chances of converting. It’s all about targeting the user on several occasions, personalizing them as we go along, and encouraging the user to move along the conversion funnel. 

The most popular remarketing tool at the moment is Google AdWords, which is what I will focus on in this article. In any case, the basic concepts can, of course, also be applied to other tools. 

The process can be narrowed down to three steps:

  • The user visits our website or consumes our brand’s content. 
  • This user is then tagged with a cookie and is added to a remarketing list. 
  • We then launch a campaign with ads shown only to users on this list.

Depending on how the users are included into this list, and in the types of ads they are shown, there are different types of remarketing:

  • Standard. Shows display ads to people who have previously visited a page. The ads are shown in websites and app in the display network (With Google AdWords, this network includes over 2 million websites). 
  • Dynamic: similar to standard remarketing, but with the difference that the ads are personalized depending on the products and services the users were looking at on the website. 
  • For mobile apps: in this case, the ads are shown specifically in app and on mobile websites. 
  • For search engine ads: this kind of campaign does not include display ads, but are shown when users who have already visited our website are searching on Google. This let’s us narrow down our target significantly: not only are they people who have already visited our website, but they are even still searching for things related to our products and services. 
  • Video: in video remarketing, we do not create our remarketing list based on people who have visited a website, but rather people who have interacted with videos or a YouTube channel. The ads are then shown within YouTube itself, on websites and in apps. 
  • By distribution list: Here, we can choose to have our ads shown to a specific list of previously collected emails addresses, such as, for example, the people who have subscribed to our newsletter. 

How does remarketing work?

If you are interested in creating your own remarketing campaigns, you should know that they are quite simple! All you have to do is follow these steps:

  • Access your Google AdWords account (or equivalent advertising tool) and get your remarketing tag. This tag is a piece of HTML code that you have to insert into the body of all the pages of your website (before </body>). 
  • Create a remarketing list (or several!).  These are lists made up of all the people who have carried out a specific action on your website, so you can configure it according to your goals. You can build a list with all your website visitors from the last month, for example, or with all the users who have visited a specific page. You can even segment them depending on which phase in the conversion funnel they are in - such as people who add a certain item to their shopping basket but never purchase it. Once you have configured your list, you might have to wait a few days or even weeks to have the minimum number of users needed. 
  • Activate your campaign. Create a new remarketing campaign and target it at one of the lists you have created. You can also play around with the normal settings: language, geographic location, bid, etc. 
  • Create one or more variations of your ad. If you're just getting started, you can try out different creativities using A/B Testing. It will help you optimize your campaign by sticking with the ones that work best. 
  • Your campaign is ready!

The advantages of retargeting for your brand

  • Maximum personalization. Personalizing your remarketing lists offers an endless amount of possibilities for you to make the most of. There are essentially two key factors you can use: an action carried out by a user (visiting page X, for example) and the amount of time passed since that action. Like this, you can target users with different interests at different moments in the purchasing process and offer them maximum personalization. 
  • Increasing your reach. As we’ve seen, Google’s display network have over 2 million websites and apps. Other retargeting tools, like Facebook Ads, also offer truly impressive outreach abilities. In other words: you will definitely be able to reach out to users who are potentially interested in your brand, no matter where they are. 
  • Brand reminder. How many times have we visited a website that we liked but then simply forgot about it? With remarketing, we can make sure we remain in our users’ thoughts, and can maintain a relationship with them. 
  • Meeting your marketing goals. Thanks to the several options you have in creating lists, in places to capture your users and places where your ads are shown, remarketing adapts itself to a great variety of situations and goals. 
  • Increase in conversions. This model makes it possible to reach out to users right when they are most likely to convert, as they will already have shown interest in your brand. By carefully choosing the places where our ads are shown, we can personalize our points of contact to have a greater impact.


How to improve your remarketing campaigns

If you really want to make the most of this technique, be sure to follow these tips: 

  • Limit the frequency with which your ads are shown. You want to be sure your messages are received, but you don’t want to overwhelm your users. Use tools to limit how often your ads are shown, and be sure to limit the number of impacts per user.
  • Don’t be afraid to create different lists. Remember: personalization is key! Users visit your website for different reasons and are interested in different things, so the more segments you create, the more you can get it just right. 
  • Create specific lists for users who have already purchased. If you create a special list for the users who have viewed the thank you for your purchase page, you can communicate directly with your actual clients. Treat them with discounts and promotions so they feel special. 
  • Experiment, measure, repeat. You have a world of analytics tools for your remarketing campaigns, so use them! Establish regular checks, find out which options work best and start making changes using them. With a bit of practice and patience, you will definitely find the perfect remarketing campaign for your goals.


10 remarketing strategies and how they work

If you want your digital marketing campaigns to give good results, you have to be able to offer visitors a second chance to become customers. This second chance is an opportunity, also known as remarketing.

The more we know about the behavior of users on the internet, the more we realize how complex the journey of the client can be and how necessary it is to have several points of contact with the same user over time. When users come to our website for the first time, 98% of visitors are still not ready to convert ... but that does not mean that we have lost them forever.

The solution, of course, is to have a retargeting strategy in place that reminds users that we are there for them. To help you design yours, in this article I want to share 10 remarketing strategies that you may not know.


What are 10 ways to retarget and how to recover your customers

1) Generate a personalized audience on Twitter

On instagram ads, as with other online advertising solutions, segmentation is very important to generate valuable content and hit the target of our target audience.

Various social networks allow you to create different types of audiences for your ads, some of which are very interesting to do retargeting campaigns. Let's see two of them and how to implement them on Twitter:

  • Custom audience: this option allows you to create an audience for your ads on Twitter from a list of emails, for example, the contacts of your CRM. Once you have uploaded it, Twitter will compare the emails with those of your user base and, after a few hours or a day, it will create a personalized audience with users that were on your list.
  • Remarketing tags: with this option, you can implement a code on a specific page of your site to collect the data of the users who visit it. After a while, a remarketing list will be generated that you can use in your ad campaigns on Twitter. In this way, you will know that you are targeting users interested in a specific topic and who already know your brand.


2) Generate a personalized audience on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook Ads also allows us to generate audiences "made to measure" through the Business Manager platform. With this tool, we can upload our email database and the platform will take care of the rest. Since Facebook and Instagram ads are integrated into the same solution, we can use it to reach our ideal audience on both platforms.

Now, Facebook Ads offers a unique functionality for remarketing, and it is the possibility of expanding our database of users through similar audiences. This option is particularly interesting if we see that our database is still small and does not generate enough critical mass to make a campaign.

To implement similar audiences, we will create our personalized audience from the database of emails and then we tell Facebook to find the users that most resemble those of our base.


3) Generate a personalized audience on LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s advertising solution is often overlooked when it comes to designing remarketing strategies, but it has a lot of potential for companies dedicated to B2B or related in some way to the world of work.

On LinkedIn, we can find all the options for remarketing under the umbrella of "Matched audiences". When targeting specific audiences, these three possibilities are of interest to us:

  • Import our contact list in .csv format and direct the ads directly to them.
  • Insert a pixel on a specific page of our site to create an audience with visitors to it.
  • Direct the ads to people who work in a specific list of companies.


4) Launch remarketing campaigns in Google search

Remarketing lists for Google Ads is a feature that allows you to create search ads specifically for users who have already visited your site (or a particular page).

To create a remarketing list in Google Ads, we have to install the Google remarketing tag (in this link you will receive a step by step explanation of how to generate and install it) on the target page and wait for the time that we have set to collect data.

Once we have our list, we can incorporate it into the search campaigns with one of these basic strategies:

  • Upload the bid for the existing keywords when the user is on our list of retargeting.
  • Show a different ad to users of a certain remarketing list (for example, those who have left a product in the cart and have not completed the purchase).
  • Bid for different keywords by targeting users on the remarketing list, for example, with broader terms than you would normally use.


5) Launch email retargeting

Email remarketing consists of sending personalized emails to people who have already interacted with our website, with the aim of encouraging them to take some concrete action. Here are some strategies we can use:

  • Send users from your database an email that leads to a landing with an integrated tracking pixel, to then show them personalized display advertising.
  • Send a reminder by email to users who have left an abandoned shopping cart.
  • Contract an external service to send emails to users who have interacted with your website, but have not left their data.


6) Combine cart abandonment campaigns with display

Abandoned cart campaigns are one of the most useful applications of retargeting, since users who are very advanced in the conversion funnel are targeted. They may have added the same product to their cart in different places to compare prices, or potentially some distraction has arisen that prevented them from completing the purchase. In any case, it is a very juicy audience to offer them some extra incentive that encourages them to finalize the purchase, such as free shipping.

To make display campaigns specifically aimed at users who have abandoned a cart, you have to configure it in Google Ads by adding users who have visited the cart page and excluding those who have reached the page of thanks or confirmation of the order.


7) Target users who have searched the website

With this option of Google Ads, configure the audience include any entry in the search field and to exclude any conversions. We can choose to address users who have done any search, or focus on those whose searches match our product offerings. In this way, we can create ads that focus on a product specific of interest or similar or complementary items.


8) Target users who have seen a specific page on Google

This feature is especially relevant if we see that we receive a lot of traffic on a specific product page, but the conversion rate is lower than expected. This can be due to several causes:

  • Information about the product is not enough, especially if it is new in the market.
  • The presentation of the product is not attractive to users.
  • The prices are not competitive enough.

Once we have identified and solved the problem, we can use remarketing to get users to give a second chance to the product in question.


9) Target users who have converted to Google

Getting repeated conversions is essential to build user loyalty, and loyal user are cheaper than attracting new customers. Therefore, this can be one of the most profitable ways of doing remarketing.

In particular, companies that offer frequent purchase products, such as clothing or makeup, have found that users who make conversions more frequently at the beginning of their relationship with the brand end up being more valuable throughout their life cycle.


10) Target high value users in Google

Thanks to retargeting options, we can go beyond simple conversions and focus on our most valuable customers.

To do this, we will create remarketing lists that combine several parameters, for example, users who have made at least X visits, purchased in the last month and have spent a minimum of X euros. Once we have defined these parameters, we can encourage them to buy again remembering products they have seen recently but not bought, showing them products related to those that already have or presenting them the novelties of our catalog.

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Berta Ventura

Social Account Manager at Cyberclick. Le apasiona el marketing, las redes sociales, leer y escribir. _______________________________________________________________________ Social Account Manager at Cyberclick. Passionate about marketing, social media, reading and writing.