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Written by Caroline Cox on Sep 25 , 2020

When done correctly, remarketing lets you tastefully follow your audience and create valuable touchpoints to turn leads into customers.

Here, you’ll find:

  • What remarketing is
  • How to leverage this ad strategy the right way
  • Ways remarketing benefits your business
  • How it can save you money

Picture this: you’re walking around a shopping mall (OK, so maybe think a few years — or decades — back). In a window, you see a nice sweater that catches your eye. You check out the price tag, feel the fabric, but you’re not sure you’re ready to lay your credit card down.

You decide to keep walking around. As you’re heading towards the exit, you pass by the sweater again. You’ve had some time to think about it, and you decide to buy. 

That’s essentially how remarketing works — except online.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing (often used interchangeably with “retargeting”) is a method for connecting your product or service with people who have already visited your site or mobile app. 

While the terms can be used interchangeably, they have slightly different meanings. As Search Engine Journal explains, remarketing is more often about re-engaging customers via emails, while retargeting generally refers to third-party online ads that target users who have interacted with your site without purchasing.

Put another way, remarketing is typically based on email lists and CRM data. Retargeting, on the other hand, is based on pixel data (most often from unknown potential customers).

Remarketing can be done using many platforms, from Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Google and Microsoft also offer remarketing lists for search ads, or RLSAs. These vary from traditional remarketing, since they require users to be actively searching Google with the campaign keywords you’re bidding on.

Remarketing can be a highly effective tool for multiple industries and verticals — not just e-commerce. It’s a way to remind people about you, which is especially crucial since studies report that as much as 98% of consumers don’t make a purchase during their initial visit to a brand website, and more than 76% of people abandon online shopping carts. 

As Mailchimp explains, that’s because your audience needs to feel like they know you first. With that in mind, here are just a few ways remarketing can benefit your business.

HawkSEM blog: 5 Ways Remarketing Can Benefit Your Business

Through remarketing, you can increase your chances of turning that warm lead into a closed deal. (Image via Unsplash)

1. It keeps you top of mind

There are plenty of reasons why people navigate to your website without converting. Maybe they had to jump on a work call, were just casually browsing their options, or wanted to take their time before making a decision.

CMO by Adobe reports that 30% of consumers react positively or very positively to retargeted ads (vs. just 11% who react negatively — you can’t win ‘em all!). With the magic of remarketing, you can remind people about their past interest through these targeted ads — particularly if they’re searching for similar offerings again.

2. It ups your chances of converting a lead

If someone found their way to your site or app and was exposed to your brand, you’ve already overcome the big business hurdle of connecting with your audience. Through remarketing, you can increase your chances of turning that warm lead into a closed deal. It offers that nudge they need to further pursue what they were looking for from you in the first place.

Consumer-packaged goods company Kimberly-Clark saw 50-60% conversion rates for consumers who were served retargeting ads, according to Digiday.

Not only do these ad types remind users about you, but they can be programmed to take the user directly back to the page they bounced from. If they last visited your pricing page, for example, then the remarketing ad can route them back there once they click. The result: a seamless experience that tees them up to convert.

3. It allows you to hyper-focus your ads

One big benefit of remarketing ads is how they directly target those who have taken various actions to express interest in your product or service. According to Google, you can create various remarketing lists that apply to specific cases, such as those who added something to their cart but didn’t check out.

After all, who doesn’t love scoring a good old-fashioned deal? You can create remarketing ads that offer a special discount to a segment of users who have completed certain interactions with you. This way, the prospect has even more incentive to return to your site.

HawkSEM blog: 5 Ways Remarketing Can Benefit Your Business

You can combine remarketing with contextual targeting to ensure you’re getting in front of relevant prospects at the right time. (Image via Unsplash)

4. It lets you leverage mobile and video

Another thing that sets remarketing apart: its reach. With these ads types, you’re not just limited to the web. You can reach people browsing more than 2 million websites and apps via multiple devices. 

Consider targeting past website visitors on YouTube (or people who have watched your videos on YouTube) with video or display ads as they watch other videos. You can also use things like text and images in your remarketing ads themselves on the Google Display Network.

5. It saves you money

Cha-ching! That’s the sound of saving money with remarketing ads. These ads are some of the most cost-effective options out there. By targeting people who have already shown interest in what you have to offer (making them more qualified), you spend less than you would if you were starting from scratch and casting a wider net.

Though the total cost will depend on your overall marketing strategy, there are other ways to save as well. You can combine remarketing with contextual targeting, for example, to ensure you’re getting in front of relevant prospects at the right time.

Get started with remarketing

Now that you know all the advantages to using remarketing, you can start making this digital marketing tactic work for you. To remarket on Google, you first need to choose a support campaign type: display or search. 

For display remarketing, you need to choose a marketing objective or goal (if you have one), then create an ad group. Expand the “Audiences” areas of “People: who you want to reach,” then select the remarketing lists you want to target under the “Remarketing” audience.  

For search campaigns, the process is similar. You manage the audience of your ad by selecting your campaign, then adding your remarketing audience list to the ad groups you choose. From there, you can choose your audience targeting setting for the selected ad groups. 

Pro tip: If you don’t have a remarketing list created, you can use the ones Google Ads automatically creates for you.

For paid search remarketing on Microsoft Advertising’s Bing search engine, you start by placing a Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag across your site. You can then create remarketing lists, based on user activity and visited pages. Similarly to Google, you associate your remarketing lists to ads groups, then optimize to fit your Bing audience accordingly.

The takeaway

People understand that ads are just part of the package when it comes to being online, whether they’re shopping, reading, or being entertained. 

By meeting interested users where they are, you can turn that reminder into a click. That can lead to a conversion, which will, ideally, become a happy customer and brand evangelist down the line.

We’re no strangers to remarketing at HawkSEM. See how we can put this service to work for your company by requesting a consultation.

This article has been updated and was originally published in October 2019.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

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