A simple guide to remarketing and retargeting

Remarketing and retargeting should play an important role in any company’s marketing strategy.  By targeting users who have opened your email or visited your website, you’ll have more of them returning to their purchasing funnel.

Remarketing vs retargeting

Despite the fact that these two terms sound similar, and are sometimes confused, remarketing and retargeting are different marketing strategies.

The term remarketing is used to describe a marketing strategy aimed at re-engaging customers with email. For example, sending customers an upsell or cross-sell email, or an email reminding them of an abandoned shopping cart.

Retargeting, on the other hand, describes a marketing strategy that consists of targeting display ads to an anonymous user who left your website.

When to use remarketing?

You can use behavioral triggers on your website, to send your customers emails whenever they:

  • abandon a product view
  • abandon an order
  • buy a product
  • haven’t logged in for a while

These messages can be sent automatically.

Industry intelligence shows that abandoned cart emails sent within 3 hours get open rates of 40% and click-through rates of 20% on average.

  • Remarketing emails can generate nearly 4x more revenue and 18x greater net profits – Forrester Research  – learn more about this in our 2018 Email Marketing Trendbook
  • Email remarketing conversion rates can reach 41%, while normal eCommerce conversion rates are between 2% and 4% – Moz
  • 35% of Amazon’s revenue is generated through recommendation services – McKinsey – learn more about this in our 2018 Email Marketing Trendbook.

How does retargeting work?

An essential part of any retargeting campaign is the cookie.

A cookie assigns a unique identification number to a user. It lets us use technology platforms to give us information about website visitors and their behavior. Cookies don’t personally identify users, all they reveal is a user’s browsing behavior.

When a user visits your website or an email is opened, a cookie is downloaded by either the browser or the email client. These cookies are stored on the user’s hard drive.

Thanks to these cookies, you can start building your retargeting list or send triggered messages. You can either use cookies collected from your website to send relevant messages to your email subscribers or display ads to your users on publisher’s websites.

remarketing scheme retargeting how it works cookies
retargeting scheme

How does ad placement work?

When a user visits a website, the publisher’s server sends content back the visitor’s computer, where they see the fully assembled webpage. If an ad is meant to be placed on this webpage, the process of “ad calling” occurs. The process of ad placement might differ depending on different circumstances, but in many scenarios, the request will be sent to an ad exchange. At this point, the “ad call” gives the exchange access to cookies stored on the customer’s browser. In this way, an exchange knows which kind of ads display for individual users.

Retargeting campaigns should consider industry specifics, but in general, they shouldn’t be scheduled after a period longer than 30 days after an event happened on your website or 30 days after a subscriber opened your emails.  Finally, you should ensure your customer still remembers the event, otherwise, your remarketing campaign might be less effective.

Want more? We have created a 2018 Email Marketing Trendbook. Download it for free!

Email Marketing Trends 2018
Written by
Alicja Ptak
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