Retargeting vs . Remarketing: What’s The?

retargeting vs remarketing

Retargeting vs . remarketing: are they various or the same? Which one is better?

If you’re a marketer, it’s a discussion you’ve likely heard before. Retargeting and remarketing are in reality different tactics, but the truth is the distinction between the two is not always clear. They can overlap, and their shared objectives often means they’re both section of the same strategy.

To earn the highest ROI from retargeting and remarketing efforts, it’s crucial to understand the terms separately and know you can optimize every. That’s what we’re likely to cover in this article.

In the sections that follow, we will:

  • Describe the differences between retargeting and remarketing
  • Talk about why so much confusion is present about the two tactics
  • Walk through when to use retargeting and when to make use of remarketing

Let’s get started.

Quick Takeaways

  • Retargeting and remarketing each aim to re-engage users who alreay have interacted with your brand.
  • Retargeting happens primarily through display ads, while remarketing utilizes email.
  • Technology tools have blurred the line between the two concepts (like display advertisements targeting customers from an email list).
  • Retargeting is effective with regard to increasing brand awareness plus maximizing ROI on a restricted ad budget.
  • Remarketing works well for re-engaging inactive past customers and converting homeless cart users.

Retargeting vs . Remarketing: Breaking Down the Differences

First thing’s initial: what is the real difference in between remarketing and retargeting? I find it most effective to delineate the two using two key factors: audience and station.


The audience for retargeting efforts is customers who have interacted with your brand name but have not yet made an actual purchase. They may possess visited your website, read your site content, followed you upon social media, or clicked on the display ad.

Remarketing, on the other hand, aims to engage current and past customers who have already made a buy and have either become inactive or may be interested in brand new offers.


Retargeting primarily happens through display ads. Brands can use a small piece of code (called cookies) on their website to track user action while they’re on your site and elsewhere on the internet once they leave. Based on their activity, you show them an ad that’s relevant to their passions and makes them more likely to transform.

For example: in case a user spends time browsing a certain product on your internet site, you may show them an advertisement with that product and even provide an additional discount offer in order to incentivize them.

Remarketing happens primarily via email. Since brands are reaching out to current customers, they could use their contact details to send hyper-relevant offers, like product recommendations based on past purchases.

Why the confusion?

There are a few reasons that determining retargeting and remarketing because separate concepts has become so confusing. First, they do possess a common goal: to engage those who have already interacted with your brand name and/or are exceptionally likely to convert to paying customers. It’s easy for brands seeking this goal to blur the lines between the two similar strategies.

Second is that the terms are utilized so interchangeably and inconsistently. A quick Google search explains a lot of the confusion — most of the articles tell a slightly different story about how retargeting and remarketing are every defined and different from each other. If resources on the subject aren’t in total agreement, it is no wonder there is no wider general opinion on it.

But the most significant reason behind the retargeting vs . remarketing concept is the fact that modern technology tools have enabled the two strategies to bleed directly into each other in new ways. Most notably is the ability to add email lists to platforms such as Google Display Network or Facebook Ads and show focused ads to audiences you typically interact with through email remarketing.

Brands can upload a list of customer email addresses to Google Ads.

Image Source: Search Engine Journal

It begs the question: what is the true defining factor between retargeting and remarketing? Is it the level of connection users have had (i. e. interacted with your brand versus already made a purchase) or is it the channel through which you’re engaging them (email vs . ads). If we’re using the standards that will originally dictated each strategy, it’ s the level of user interaction.

All those display ads shown to individuals on the email list a person uploaded to Facebook Ads, then, are technically a kind of remarketing.

I expect, however , that the retargeting vs . remarketing debate may continue to evolve as tactics behind each strategy be sophisticated and integrated with each other. My advice is to worry less about the exact definition of each plus instead hold a general knowledge of the two concepts. Then, focus on which approaches from every fit best into your technique.

Which one should you use?

The shore answer: both! Retargeting and remarketing each possess a role in moving potential prospects down the funnel. The real query, then, is not if you should make use of both strategies, but when you need to use each.

Let’s take a look at specific situations ideal for each strategy.

When to use retargeting

Increase brand awareness

Retargeting ads are an extremely effective method to keep your brand and products top-of-mind for your audience. This is very important for two important reasons. 1st, if someone visited your site but didn’t take action, the retargeted ad can be the nudge they need to make a purchase.

Second, even if someone isn’t quite ready to make a purchase, retargeted ads make them more likely to remember and choose your equipments while it’s time to buy.

Steal leads through competitors

One of the ways you can retarget ads is to people who have viewed brands plus products similar to yours. Gain a competing advantage more than your competitors by targeting their website visitors and showing all of them ads for your own products. You may also offer special discounts to incentivize people to choose your products over other options.

Make the most of a small budget

If you’ve got a limited budget to dedicate in order to ads, retargeting can get you the most bang for your buck. Sellers using Fb Ads, for example , earn $8-12 on every $1 they spend. That’ s a 10X ROI (or more) at 33% lower cost than the industry average.

Facebook retargeting ads earn a 10X ROI at 33% less cost than the industry average.

Image Source: Socioh

When to make use of remarketing

Upsell and cross-sell

Remarketing to customers who alreay have purchased your products offers the perfect opportunity to both upsell (getting customers to update current products) or cross-sell (sell items that complement the products your customer already owns).

Warm up cool leads

Remarketing emails can reengage users who made a buy in the past but have since been inactive in your pipeline. They have high levels of customization and customization that make it simple to show hyper-relevant product suggestions and other offers that attract customers back to your brand name.

Reduce credit card abandonment

Nearly 70% of all online buggies are abandoned by customers without making a purchase. When you consider cellular users only, that price is even higher — a whopping 85%!

Nearly 70% of online carts are abandoned by users without making a purchase.

Image Source: Sleeknote

Remarketing email messages to remind users regarding products they’ve abandoned have an open rate of 41% and a click rate of 9. 5% — considerably higher than standard marketing email messages.

Retargeting versus Remarketing: Putting it all Collectively

Let’s summarize what we know about retargeting versus remarketing. We know that retargeting is used to reach users who have interacted with your brand, but haven’t made a purchase. Remarketing is used to re-engage present and past customers. Retargeting is mainly executed through display ads, and remarketing usually happens by email.

While the strategies are usually technically different, they have the shared goal: to engage customers most likely to convert .

The best way to leverage retargeting plus remarketing is to use them both, optimizing use cases for each to increase conversions and get new customers.

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The blog post Retargeting vs . Remarketing: What’ s The? appeared very first on Marketing and advertising Insider Group .

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