We all know that retargeting works: 92% of marketers compare retargeting favorably to search, and 92% say that retargeting performs the same as or better than other display campaigns. But how, exactly, does it do that magic?

What is retargeting?

Retargeting lets you selectively advertise to consumers who have already visited your site with a message that’s tailored to the type of interest they’ve shown, keeping your brand top of mind and bringing the right customers back to your site for critical repeat visits that add up to a purchase. In recent years, it has become a must-have tactic for reaching and converting potential customers, similar to search or email marketing.

1 - Retargeting

How retargeting works

By adding a snippet of code called a “pixel” to your website HTML, you can collect non-personal data like which pages a user visited on the site, the date and time they stopped by, and their approximate geographic location based on IP address.

The way a consumer interacts with your site speaks volumes about their interests and shopping habits. We call this “intent data,” and it lets you target highly relevant ads to your customers wherever they go online.

Retargeting Refresher

The types of retargeting

An average consumer switches between browsers, platforms, and devices several times a day. Marketers who take a cross-platform approach to retargeting will find far more success than those who only pursue a single audience. That’s why we recommend that all advertisers make themselves familiar with the different types of retargeting they can use to reach customers:

  • 1-2Web retargeting: Traditional web retargeting refers to targeted display ads bought on ad exchanges and served on news sites, blogs, and other locations online. The combination of tailored messaging and targeted ad placement helps keep your brand top of mind, improve engagement, and bring customers back to complete a transaction or start a new one. Web retargeting works well for e-commerce, tech B2B, media and entertainment, travel—any brand interested in engaging current or prospective customers online—and is a strong foundation for any retargeting program.
  • 1-3Retargeting on Facebook and Twitter: 80% of consumers look to friends and family for product recommendations and, for many, paid ads in popular social platforms serve the same function. Not only does retargeting on social give you access to some of the largest audiences online, it also lets you take advantage of native social tools, such as share, like, and comment. By adding retargeting on social, AdRoll’s advertisers have seen up to 3.05x boost in clicks, a 2.84x lift in impressions, and 2.18x more conversions. Since only 8.1% of potential customers will see both the site retargeting campaign and the social campaign, adding Facebook and Twitter to your retargeting program can extend your reach significantly.
  • 1-4Mobile retargeting: Consumers today are more likely than ever to browse and buy everything from shoes to software on a mobile device. By 2018, there will be more than 2.5 billion smartphones around the world and m-commerce sales from smartphones should reach $34.8 billion. With mobile retargeting, advertisers can retarget desktop site visitors as they’re browsing Facebook and Twitter on their mobile devices, or retarget mobile site visitors directly as they browse other mobile sites. Mobile retargeting can be a useful channel for any brand with a mobile-optimized site or mobile app. It’s especially popular with mobile app developers who can drive downloads by retargeting desktop audiences with mobile app install ads that direct users to the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Ready to learn more about retargeting? Download our free guide: Next Level Retargeting.