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Ever wonder how some brands seem to have a sixth sense, popping up at just the right time with that pair of shoes you admired but didn’t buy? That’s digital marketing wizardry at work, leveraging the power of remarketing vs retargeting to turn casual browsers into happy buyers.

Let’s talk about two superheroes in the world of digital marketing: remarketing and retargeting. They’re like the Batman and Robin for your online strategy, swooping in to save potential lost sales. But hold on—aren’t they the same thing? Well, not quite, and mixing them up is like confusing a caped crusader with his sidekick.

There’s a bit of a mix-up of these terms. It’s time to clear the air! Understanding the difference between remarketing and retargeting isn’t just splitting hairs—it’s about unlocking their unique superpowers to keep your audience coming back for more.

So, grab your cape (or just a comfy chair), and let’s unravel this mystery together. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to harness the full potential of these strategies and see those conversion numbers soar!

Remarketing: The Smart Way to Reconnect with Your Audience

Remarketing is a savvy digital marketing technique that targets individuals who have previously engaged with your website or mobile app. It’s about reaching out to those who showed an initial interest but didn’t follow through with a purchase or sign-up.

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing vs retargeting is a common confusion, but there are subtle differences. While both aim to recapture the attention of potential customers, remarketing typically refers to re-engaging customers through emails based on past interactions, whereas retargeting usually focuses on serving ads to users as they browse the web or social media platforms.

Crafting a Remarketing Strategy That Works

To harness the full power of remarketing, consider these strategies:


Four Types of Market Segmentation
Four Types of Market Segmentation

Segment your audience based on their site behavior to create more targeted messaging.

Example: If a user frequently browses a specific category of products on your website but hasn’t made a purchase, you can create a segment specifically for them and tailor your ads to showcase similar products.


Customize your ads to display products or services that users have previously shown interest in.

Example: If a user has added items to their cart but abandoned it before completing the purchase, you can personalize your ads to showcase those exact items, along with a special discount or promotion to incentivize them to return and complete the purchase.

Frequency Capping

Balance ad exposure to maintain interest without overwhelming or annoying users.

Example: Instead of bombarding users with the same ad repeatedly, set frequency caps to limit the number of times a user sees the ad within a specific time frame. This ensures that your ads remain impactful without becoming intrusive.


Time your Google ads strategically to catch users when they’re most likely to engage and you will be impressed with the results.

Example: If you know that your target audience tends to browse your website during specific times of the day, schedule your ads to appear during those peak hours to maximize visibility and engagement.

By implementing these remarketing strategies, you can effectively re-engage with users who have previously interacted with your brand and increase the likelihood of conversion.

Tools to Enhance Your Remarketing Efforts

Google Ads

Leverage Google’s network to place ads in front of past visitors as they use Google Search or browse websites within the Google Display Network.

Example: Suppose a user visits your online clothing store but leaves without making a purchase. With Google Ads, you can retarget them by displaying ads for the products they viewed as they continue to browse the web, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Facebook Pixel

Utilize this analytics tool to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.

Example: If you’re running a fitness blog and want to track user engagement, you can install Facebook Pixel to monitor when users sign up for your newsletter or download a free workout guide. This data can help you tailor your ad campaigns and content to better resonate with your audience.

Email Automation Platforms

Send targeted emails to users who have subscribed to your list but haven’t made a purchase.

Example: Let’s say a user signs up for your weekly newsletter but hasn’t made a purchase from your online bookstore. With an email automation platform like WolfPack CRM, you can send personalized follow-up emails recommending books based on their interests or offering exclusive discounts to incentivize them to make a purchase.

Dynamic Product Ads

Implement dynamic product ads to retarget users with personalized content based on their past interactions with your website.

Example: If a user visits your travel website and searches for flights to Paris but doesn’t complete the booking, you can use dynamic product ads to retarget them with ads featuring flight deals to Paris or related travel packages. This tailored approach increases the relevance of your ads and encourages users to revisit your site and complete their purchase.

Why Remarketing Should Be Part of Your Marketing Mix

Improved Conversion Rates

Remarketing can significantly increase conversion rates since it focuses on users already familiar with your brand.

Example: A user browses an online clothing store, adds items to their cart, but leaves without purchasing. Through remarketing, the store targets the user with personalized ads showcasing the abandoned items and a limited-time discount, encouraging their return to complete the purchase.

Enhanced Brand Recall

Regularly appearing in front of your audience helps keep your brand top-of-mind.

Example: A user browses a travel website for vacation destinations but doesn’t book a trip. Through remarketing, the website can continue to display ads showcasing popular destinations or travel packages, reinforcing the brand’s presence and encouraging the user to revisit the site when ready to book.


Targeting interested users can lead to a higher return on investment compared to broader advertising strategies.

Example: A software company provides a free trial of its project management tool. Through remarketing, it targets users who downloaded the trial but didn’t upgrade. By showcasing benefits and offering a discount, it achieves higher conversion rates and cost-effective acquisition.

Actionable Insights

Analyzing user behavior from remarketing campaigns provides valuable data for optimizing future marketing efforts.

Example: An e-commerce store runs remarketing ads for a new product line. By analyzing which products users clicked on or added to their cart, the store gains insights into customer preferences and can adjust its inventory, pricing, and marketing strategies accordingly to better meet customer demand.

Tailored Campaigns

Adjust your campaigns based on user interaction to improve performance continually.

Example: A real estate agency runs remarketing ads targeting users who visited property listings but didn’t inquire about a specific property. By analyzing which properties users showed interest in, the agency can tailor future remarketing ads to showcase similar listings or offer virtual tours, providing a more personalized experience and increasing engagement.

Incorporating remarketing vs retargeting into your digital strategy allows you to maintain a connection with potential customers who are already halfway through the door. By reminding them of what they’ve left behind, you can turn lost opportunities into successful conversions and foster lasting customer relationships.

What Exactly is Retargeting?

remarketing vs retargeting

Imagine you’re browsing through an online store, eyeing a pair of sneakers that you’re not quite ready to buy. You leave the site and go about your day, only to see those same sneakers pop up in ads as you scroll through your social media feed later on. That’s retargeting in action! It’s a clever digital marketing technique that reminds you of what you were interested in when you visited a website but didn’t make a purchase or take another specific action, highlighting the effectiveness of remarketing vs retargeting strategies.

Retargeting isn’t just throwing ads out into the void and hoping for the best. It’s a focused approach that reconnects with potential customers who have already shown interest in what you have to offer. The scope here is vast, covering various platforms from Facebook to your favorite news website.

Screenshot from Facebook Ads
Screenshot from Facebook Ads

Strategies That Make Retargeting Tick

Get Personal

Craft ads that speak directly to the user’s interests. If they looked at kitchenware, show them that fancy blender they left behind.

Example: A user browses an online home decor store for living room furniture. Through remarketing, the store can display ads featuring the exact sofa or coffee table the user viewed, along with complementary items such as throw pillows or area rugs, creating a personalized shopping experience that resonates with the user’s preferences.

Keep It Fresh

Don’t overdo it. Seeing the same ad too many times can be annoying, so set limits on how often your ad appears.

Example: A user visits a travel website to research vacation destinations. Through retargeting, the website displays ads featuring various destinations and travel packages. To prevent ad fatigue, the website sets frequency caps to ensure that users don’t see the same ad too frequently, maintaining interest and engagement without overwhelming the user.

Know When to Stop

If someone’s already bought your product, they don’t need to see the ad again. Use a burn pixel to remove them from the campaign.

Example: A user purchases a subscription to a streaming service. Through remarketing, the service may continue to display ads for new content or subscription upgrades. However, once the user completes the purchase, the service utilizes a burn pixel to exclude them from further remarketing campaigns, ensuring they aren’t shown irrelevant ads for a product they’ve already acquired.

Additional Tools for Retargeting Success

Native Platform Tools

Many social media and advertising platforms offer built-in retargeting tools beyond Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Example: Twitter Ads and LinkedIn Ads provide retargeting capabilities that allow advertisers to reach users who have interacted with their content or visited their websites, expanding the reach of retargeting campaigns beyond just Google and Facebook.

Dynamic Product Ads Platforms

Platforms specializing in dynamic product ads offer advanced retargeting features tailored specifically for e-commerce businesses.

Example: Dynamic product ads platforms like Dynamic Yield or Nosto enable e-commerce businesses to create personalized and dynamically generated ads showcasing products that users have viewed or added to their carts, optimizing the retargeting process for maximum conversion potential.

Behavioral Analytics Tools

Behavioral analytics tools provide deep insights into user behavior, helping marketers understand customer intent and preferences.

Example: Hotjar and Crazy Egg offer heat-mapping and session recording features that allow marketers to visualize how users interact with their websites. By analyzing these insights, marketers can identify areas for improvement and optimize their retargeting campaigns to align with user behavior effectively.

Real-World examples of Effective Retargeting

E-commerce Clothing Store

Imagine browsing an e-commerce clothing store for a new winter coat but leaving the website without making a purchase. Later, as you’re scrolling through your social media feed, you see an ad from the same store featuring the exact coat you were eyeing, along with a limited-time discount. Suddenly, that coat seems like a must-have, prompting you to revisit the website and complete your purchase. This scenario exemplifies the effectiveness of both remarketing vs retargeting strategies in re-engaging potential customers and driving conversions.

Online Fitness Program

Suppose you visit a website offering online fitness programs but hesitate to sign up for a subscription. After leaving the site, you start seeing ads promoting the same fitness program, highlighting success stories and testimonials from satisfied users. Seeing these ads repeatedly reinforces the value of the program in your mind, ultimately convincing you to give it a try and sign up for a subscription.

Travel Booking Platform

Picture planning your next vacation on a travel booking platform but abandoning the booking process before completing it. Later, you receive an email from the platform reminding you about the unfinished booking and offering a special discount or bonus incentive, such as a free room upgrade or excursion. This personalized offer reignites your excitement for the trip and motivates you to return to the platform to finalize your booking.

Reasons Why Businesses Love Retargeting

Expanded Reach Beyond Google and Facebook

While Google Ads and Facebook Ads are popular choices for retargeting campaigns, businesses can also explore other platforms to expand their reach.

Example: Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn Ads or Twitter Ads allows businesses to retarget users who have interacted with their content or visited their websites, tapping into additional audience segments beyond the traditional Google and Facebook user bases.

Cross-Device Retargeting Solutions

Cross-device retargeting solutions enable businesses to target users across multiple devices, ensuring consistent messaging and engagement.

Example: Platforms like Active Campaign or Criteo offer cross-device retargeting capabilities, allowing businesses to reach users who switch between desktop, mobile, and tablet devices seamlessly. This ensures that users receive relevant ads regardless of the device they’re using, maximizing the effectiveness of retargeting efforts.

Personalization Beyond Product Recommendations

Retargeting offers opportunities for personalized messaging beyond just product recommendations, enhancing user engagement and conversion rates.

Example: Beyond showcasing specific products, businesses can personalize retargeting ads based on user behavior or demographics. For instance, a travel agency could tailor ads to highlight destination-specific travel tips or cultural insights, adding value and relevance to the user experience.

Sequential Retargeting Campaigns

Sequential retargeting campaigns allow businesses to deliver a series of ads tailored to different stages of the customer journey, guiding users toward conversion.

Example: A retail brand could implement sequential retargeting by first showcasing general brand awareness ads to users who have visited their website, followed by product-specific ads highlighting items users have viewed or added to their carts, and finally, offering limited-time promotions or discounts to encourage purchase completion.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting: What’s the Difference?

Ever find yourself scratching your head over the terms remarketing and retargeting? You’re not alone! They sound similar, but in the digital marketing world, they’re as different as apples and oranges. Let’s dive into what sets them apart so you can use them to their full potential.

Approach and Methodology

Imagine you’ve got a friend who visited your house once but hasn’t been back since. Remarketing is like sending them an invite to your next party via email—it’s personal, direct, and reminds them of the good times they had. It’s all about rekindling that connection through email campaigns that nudge past visitors of your website who might have browsed around but left without saying “I’ll take it!”

Now, think of retargeting as those little flyers you see around town that catch your eye because they’re related to something you’ve shown interest in before. This strategy places ads in front of folks who have checked out your site as they surf the web, keeping your brand top-of-mind and enticing them to come back for another look.

Target Audience

With remarketing, you’re reaching out to a digital Rolodex of people who’ve already handed over their contact info. They’ve engaged with your content or services in some way—maybe by downloading a guide or leaving a pair of sneakers in their online cart.

Retargeting casts a wider net. It’s for those window shoppers who peered into your store (aka your website) but walked away without committing. They haven’t given you their details yet, but thanks to the magic of cookies (the internet kind), you can still remind them what they’re missing out on. This distinction between remarketing vs retargeting highlights the different approaches to reaching potential customers at various stages of engagement.

Channels Used

When it comes to channels, remarketing vs retargeting is pretty cozy with email. It’s all about crafting those messages that pop up in your audience’s inbox, offering them a reason to return—think special deals, product updates, or just a friendly ‘we miss you’.

On the flip side, retargeting is the king of paid ads. Whether it’s banners on other websites, sponsored posts on social media, or those ads that seem to follow you around after you’ve visited a site, retargeting makes sure your brand stays in the limelight across the digital universe.

So there you have it—the lowdown on remarketing vs retargeting. Both are powerful tools in their own right and when used wisely, they can turn those ‘almost customers’ into loyal fans. Ready to give them a try? Your audience is waiting!

Remarketing & Retargeting: The Perfect Pair in Digital Marketing

Have you ever noticed how some online ads seem to know exactly what you’ve been looking at? Or how your email seems to remind you at just the right time about a product you were considering? That’s not a coincidence; it’s the power of remarketing and retargeting working together.

How They Complement Each Other

Remarketing vs retargeting is like getting a gentle reminder via email about something you are interested in. It’s direct, personal, and taps into an existing relationship. This strategy reaches out to customers who have already shown interest in your brand but didn’t make a purchase.

Retargeting, meanwhile, keeps track of those same customers and shows them relevant ads as they browse other websites. It’s a bit like seeing little signposts pointing back to something you liked as you travel across the internet.

When these two strategies are used in tandem, they create a comprehensive approach that can significantly increase the likelihood of turning browsers into buyers.

Examples of Remarketing and Retargeting in Harmony

  • E-commerce Store Boosting Sales: You visit an online store, and add a watch to your cart, but leave without buying it. Later, while reading an article online, an ad for that exact watch appears. The next day, you receive an email from the store offering a 10% discount on your next purchase. This one-two punch makes it hard to resist going back to complete the purchase.
Creating a sense of urgency
  • Service Provider Reducing Stir: Let’s say you signed up for a free trial of a project management tool but haven’t committed to a subscription. You start noticing ads highlighting its features on various websites you visit. Then, an email arrives in your inbox with testimonials from satisfied customers, nudging you towards making a decision.
  • Event Promotion: You looked at a page for a tech conference but didn’t register. As you continue your web browsing over the next few days, ads for the conference keep appearing, reminding you of the event. Then, an email lands with a special offer for early registration, prompting you to take action before it’s too late. This scenario illustrates the combined power of remarketing vs retargeting strategies in guiding user behavior and driving conversions.

Best Practices in Remarketing and Retargeting

Remarketing and retargeting are powerful strategies used to reconnect with users who have previously interacted with your brand. Below are insights on maximizing the effectiveness of these strategies.

Tips for Effective Remarketing

  • Segment Your Audience: Tailor your ads by creating specific audience segments based on their behavior. For example, segment users who abandoned their carts differently from those who simply viewed a product.
  • Personalize Your Ads: Use the data you’ve collected on your visitors to create personalized ads that resonate with their interests and past interactions with your brand.
  • Frequency Capping: Limit the number of times your ads are shown to the same user to avoid ad fatigue. A balanced frequency ensures you’re not overwhelming your audience.
  • Optimize for Conversions: Include clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons and ensure landing pages are optimized to convert. Your remarketing efforts should guide users through a seamless conversion funnel.
  • A/B Testing: Regularly test different versions of your ads to find what resonates best with your audience. Analyze the performance and iterate accordingly.
  • Cross-Device Targeting: Ensure your remarketing strategies encompass multiple devices to reach your audience wherever they are active.
  • Timing Is Key: Adjust your ad displays based on time-sensitive data. Understanding when your users are most likely to make a purchase can greatly increase the effectiveness of your ads.

Tips for Successful Retargeting

  • Use Specific Product Pages: Direct users back to the exact product or service they showed interest in, rather than a generic homepage, to increase the likelihood of conversion.
  • Offer Incentives: Provide special offers or discounts as part of your retargeting ads. This is to encourage users to return and complete a purchase.
  • Maintain Brand Consistency: Your retargeting ads should be consistent with the overall messaging and aesthetics of your brand. This is to maintain trust and recognition.
  • Use High-Quality Creative: Invest in high-resolution images and compelling copy to capture attention and differentiate your ads from competitors.
  • Leverage Email Retargeting: If a user has provided their email, use personalized email campaigns. This is a part of your retargeting strategy to bring them back to your site.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Lack of Ad Variety

Displaying the same ad creative repeatedly can result in ad fatigue, as well as, reduced effectiveness. It’s essential to diversify ad content to maintain user interest.

Example: A clothing retailer continuously shows the same ad featuring a single product to users who have visited their website. Instead, they could showcase different products or highlight seasonal promotions to keep the ads fresh and engaging.

Poor Landing Page Experience

Sending users to generic or irrelevant landing pages can lead to high bounce rates and lost opportunities. Ensure that your landing pages align closely with the ad content and offer a seamless user experience.

Example: An online electronics store runs a retargeting campaign promoting a specific laptop model. Clicking on the ad leads users to the store’s homepage. This redirects them away from a dedicated landing page for the advertised laptop, causing confusion and frustration.

Inconsistent Messaging Across Channels

Inconsistencies in messaging and branding across different channels can create confusion and diminish brand credibility. Maintain a cohesive brand identity and messaging strategy across all touchpoints.

Example: A fashion brand presents a trendy and youthful image on social media. However, it uses formal language and imagery in its retargeting ads. This inconsistency may alienate younger audiences and dilute brand authenticity.

Ignoring Customer Feedback

Tips for Customer Service

Neglecting to listen to customer feedback and address concerns can damage brand reputation and hinder campaign effectiveness. Actively monitor feedback channels and incorporate user insights into campaign optimization efforts. This approach is crucial for both remarketing and retargeting strategies, ensuring that customer preferences and concerns are taken into account to enhance overall campaign performance.

Example: A software company receives multiple customer complaints about intrusive retargeting ads interrupting their browsing experience. Instead of adjusting the ad frequency or targeting parameters, the company ignores the feedback, leading to increased user frustration and ad blocking.


Remarketing vs retargeting are distinct yet complementary strategies essential for a holistic marketing approach. Remarketing re-engages past customers while retargeting focuses on converting website visitors into buyers.

At Wolfpack Advising, we understand the intricacies of both approaches and their impact on your business growth. For a tailored consultation on how to effectively implement remarketing and retargeting, visit our contact page. Let Wolfpack Advising guide you in harnessing these powerful tools to achieve your marketing objectives.