Why (and How) to Incorporate Retargeting into Your Digital Strategy


Retargeting, the practice of serving ads to people who have previously engaged with you online, has become a darling of the digital marketing world, and for good reason: it’s incredibly powerful and extremely cost-effective.

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Retargeting, in its various forms, can serve as a complement to an existing digital strategy, and can help you get more out of the campaigns you’re already running. In this post I’ll cover a few ways marketers can leverage retargeting to amplify the power of the channels they’re already using. But first, here’s a little more background on the technology itself:

How and Why Does Retargeting Work

In its simplest form, retargeting uses a simple, anonymous browser cookie to serve ads exclusively to people who have visited your website but left without making a purchase. It’s so effective because it focuses your ads on people who are familiar with and likely to be interested in your product or service. This allows you to increase conversions among interested parties and to keep costs low by saving your ad dollars for your most qualified audience.

The same technology can also be applied to various other customer interactions, such as opening an email, and can be an incredibly effective complement for other marketing tools you use to reach out to new clients or interact with current ones.

Retargeting for Search Marketers

If you devote significant budget to PPC search, retargeting should almost certainly be added to your digital arsenal. Search ads are one of the most powerful means of driving initial traffic to your site, but how much of that traffic converts on the first visit? If you’re like most marketers, a significant majority of the people you bring to your site don’t convert right away, if they convert at all. This is where retargeting comes in. Retargeting helps you increase conversions among the valuable prospects who have visited your site, but haven’t made a purchase.

If you’re relying heavy on PPC search, you’re paying good money to bring people to your site, and retargeting can help you maximize that spend. If you use dedicated landing pages for your paid search traffic, it’s incredibly simple to retarget visitors from your landing page(s) as well.

Retargeting for Content Marketers

One of the biggest challenges for content marketers is turning regular readers into customers. Even though content marketing is an incredibly effective way to encourage new web visits, a positive ROI is often very difficult to achieve. Encouraging email sign-ups and consistently adding value can help, but may not always be enough. If you’re successfully driving traffic to your content, but you aren’t seeing the conversions you’d like, retargeting can help.

You can retarget visitors who head to your site to read your content, and encourage them to check our product and service pages. Content builds a relevant audience for your business, and retargeting can help you convert that audience into customers.

Retargeting for Email Marketers

Email marketing is a staple tool for many digital marketers. If you’re focused on email, it may not be obvious how a display advertising tool like retargeting can effectively help, but email retargeting is the perfect tool for email marketers.

Email retargeting allows you to serve display ads to anyone who opens an email, whether or not they click through. Imagine if everyone who opens your emails could see your brand while browsing the web later? That’s exactly what email retargeting can do. You can only send so many emails without exhausting your lists, and email retargeting provides an opportunity to stay in front of your email recipients without overwhelming them with excessive email messages.

If you’re hesitant to begin a display campaign because you’re already running successful marketing campaigns, your fears may not be justified. Retargeting can help you get more out of the channels you’re already using, whatever channels those may be.

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