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What Is Retargeting And How It Works?

What Is Retargeting And How It Works?

If you sell products or offer services online, you know advertising plays a critical role in driving people to your website. But what if they aren’t ready to engage when they first find you? Retargeting is here to help!

97% of people who visit your site for the first time leave without buying anything, and then they’re lost forever. Unless you can bring them back.

Retargeting is a powerful way to market your business and close more sales. Retargeting involves displaying your ads to people who have already interacted with your brand in some way but haven’t converted into paying customers.

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses simple Javascript code to anonymously ‘follow’ your audience all over the Web. Once a visitor browses your site, they will start to see your ads while reading an article, listening to music, or visiting other stores online. Your ads will remind them of all the cool stuff you have to offer and bring them back to your site when they have decided to make a purchase. You can retarget people who have visited a specific page on your site, followed you on social media, or even added an item to their cart.

That’s why retargeting is so powerful — it allows you to get granular with your ad targeting and since the audience is already familiar with you, they are more likely to take the next step in their buyer journey.

There are numerous ways to go about creating a retargeting campaign but, in this post, we’ll focus on 5 effective retargeting strategies that work so you can see the results.

According to Google, combining retargeting ads with the other advertising you already do can help you sell 50% more stuff.


  1. Target People Who Visited A Specific Page On Your Website

Target People Who Visited A Specific Page On Your Website

One of the biggest mistakes people make with retargeting is displaying their ads to everyone who visited their website. However, that strategy isn’t effective, especially if your conversion rates are low.

It’s much better to set up your retargeting campaign to display ads to people who have visited a specific page on your site.

For example, if someone visited a blog post about the best camping stoves, you could target them and show them an ad for an affordable camping stove. Chances are, they are looking for a camping stove and your ad could be the last push they need before becoming a paying customer.

Similarly, if you offer services, you could target everyone who visited your services page and show them an ad to download a case study that also invites them to book a consultation call.

The case study could show them the results you get for your clients as well as explain your process in great detail. This gives them a sense of what it’s like to work with you. Conclude the case study with a call to action that invites them to book a consultation call and watch your pipeline get full of qualified leads.

  1. Retarget Existing Customers

Retarget Existing Customers

Just because your customers already bought from you, that doesn’t mean you can’t retarget them. It’s easier and cheaper to get existing customers to buy from you again than it is to acquire new customers.

You can create an audience that consists of previous buyers and show them relevant offers. For example, it’s a good idea to offer them a discount for their next purchase.

Another idea is to show them ads for products that are related to their original purchase. Taking our previous example into consideration, if someone bought a camping stove, you could show them ads for camping tents or other camping gear.

If you’re selling services, you could target your existing clients and show them related services.

If you sell both services and products, you could target them with ads for complementary products and vice versa. For example, if you’re an accounting firm with proprietary software, you could display ads for your accounting program to clients who are already using your services. Alternatively, you could market your tax preparation services to customers using your accounting software.

  1. Reduce Cart Abandonment

Reduce Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is the bane of every online shop owner. According to the Baymard Institute, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is around 70%. This means 7 out of 10 shoppers will abandon their cart and that’s a lot of lost revenue.

There are numerous ways to reduce your cart abandonment rate. One of those ways is to retarget people who were in your store, added items to their cart but then abandoned it, thus never completing their purchase.

Instead of leaving money on the table, win those potential buyers over by displaying ads showcasing products they left in the cart. Your ad copy could point out features that are easy to miss or include reviews from past buyers.

One thing to keep in mind with retargeting campaigns involving cart abandonment is that you need to track visits to your purchase and thank you pages as well as add to cart button clicks and add to cart pages. This is needed so you can exclude people who completed the purchase.

  1. Use Dynamic Product Recommendations

Use Dynamic Product Recommendations

Another way to retarget potential buyers is to use dynamic product recommendations. In this scenario, you’re not targeting people who have abandoned their cart. You’re targeting people who visited specific product pages but never added anything to their cart.

If you have proper tagging in place, it will track user’s activity on your website and how they navigate through specific product pages. Also, it will track their activity on competitor’s websites and gather all that information into a string of products.

You can use that data to create a retargeting campaign that shows your customers the products they viewed on your site and remind them about the products’ benefits and features. You can also show them your products that are similar to products they viewed on a competitor’s website.

For example, if users visited your competitor’s online store and viewed black noise-canceling headphones, your ad could show similar headphones.

If you decide to run this type of campaign, you’ll need to create a lookalike audience and target people who have shown interest in any of your competitors. Make sure to set the condition that they have visited product pages that are similar to your inventory.

  1. Retarget People Who Have Engaged With Your Social Media Profiles

Retargeting isn’t reserved only for people who have visited your website or interacted with it in some way. You can also retarget people who have engaged with your social media profiles.

For example, let’s say you want to retarget people who interacted with your Facebook page. You can create an audience that consists of people who have visited your page or sent a message to your page. Or you can create an audience of people that saved any of the posts you shared.

Since they are already engaging with your brand, the next logical step is to convert them from social media followers to leads. The best way to do that is to offer them something in return for their email address. This can include a case study, a report, a white paper, or a checklist.

Remember to grab only the most important information and make it easy for them to fill out the form.

Plan Out Your Retargeting Campaign

Retargeting can be super effective when done right. With these five strategies, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful retargeting campaign and getting potential clients and customers to convert. Good luck!

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