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Remarketing and retargeting are both effective strategies, but they work differently.

Remarketing and retargeting: both are used interchangeably, yet they are not exactly alike. How are you to know the differences?

Here is a brief overview to help you understand each of these important marketing strategies.

But first, what do remarketing and retargeting have in common?

They both help you increase conversions for individuals who are most likely to buy from your brand.

With that said, let’s explore the differences between remarketing and retargeting, so you can use them to boost your business revenue.

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing typically refers to email campaigns that attempt to re-engage consumers who have:

  • Abandoned their shopping cart without making a purchase
  • Added an item to their wish list
  • Searched for an item on your website
  • Marked an item as their favorite
  • Looked at an item on your website

Sending remarketing emails to these consumers can be an effective way to complete the conversion because these individuals have already interacted with your site in a meaningful way.

In fact, this chart shows the sooner you send an email to those who abandoned their shopping cart, the better:

Contacting someone within one hour after they leave your site results in 10x better response than if you wait two hours. That’s compelling.

Here’s one I just received from GAP after leaving without making a purchase:

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting refers to online ads or display ads targeted at individuals who have either:

  • Already visited your website and interacted with your products or services but did not complete a sale
  • Not previously interacted with your website but have similarities with your existing customers

You can see the common thread between remarketing and retargeting showing through here: the goal is to help consumers complete a conversion.

However, retargeting is a different strategy than remarketing because it applies to ad placements rather than email campaigns.

It also approaches consumers in two separate ways:

  • On-site – This applies to individuals who have already interacted with you in some way, whether they looked at a product, found you via social media, or are a part of your email list (and now you want to target them with an ad).
  • Off-site – This applies to individuals who have not previously interacted with you; however, they share similarities with your previous customers (think lookalike audiences) and you want to add them to your marketing funnel (or flywheel, as I like to use nowadays).

In essence, you can target your ads to on-site or off-site individuals with retargeting. You can show ads on other websites they visit or on social media where they spend their time.

Remarketing and Retargeting: A Match Made for Conversions

While remarketing and retargeting have their differences, they can be used together as an effective strategy to increase conversions. By combining these approaches, you not only have the opportunity to re-engage with consumers you know are interested but also those who are likely to buy (even if they don’t know it yet).

Have you tried remarketing or retargeting yet? What are your experiences with each strategy? I’d love to know about it, so please leave your comments below.