6 min read

In the dynamic realm of digital marketing, one thing is clear: Keeping customers engaged is not just a passing trend — it’s the cornerstone of a successful online business. 

Whether your customers are browsing on their laptops or scrolling on their mobile devices, capturing their attention and keeping them engaged is paramount. Two powerful strategies have emerged to fulfill this need: remarketing and retargeting.

But what exactly are these strategies, and how do they differ from each other? More importantly, which one is the right fit for your unique business needs and objectives? The world of digital marketing can often feel like navigating a maze, but at TNT Growth, we’re here to guide you through the intricacies of remarketing and retargeting so you can achieve success.

Whether you’re a seasoned digital marketer or a beginner just getting your bearings, this guide will empower you to make informed decisions that drive growth and success. Let’s get started!

What Is Remarketing?

If you’ve ever received an “abandoned cart” email, you’ve experienced one of the most typical remarketing strategies. 

At its core, remarketing involves reaching out via automated email campaigns to potential customers who have previously interacted with your brand. In the world of e-commerce, this interaction involves a potential customer visiting your site, offering their email information, and leaving your site to shop elsewhere. It’s easy to think of remarketing as the digital equivalent of a friendly nudge, a gentle reminder to customers that your product or service is still available and waiting for them.

For example, imagine you’re running an online clothing store. A customer visits your site, browses through various items, and even adds a few to their cart. But, for some reason, they leave without making a purchase. 

This is where remarketing steps in. Using cookies or pixel tags, you can track this customer’s interaction with your site. Once they leave your site, those tracking devices will trigger an automated remarketing email journey to remind them of what they left behind.

3 Reasons Remarketing Is an Effective Ad Strategy

The advantages of remarketing are numerous, but let’s narrow down to the top three reasons why the strategy is so effective. 

  1. It allows you to re-engage potential customers who have shown an interest in your product or service, making it a highly targeted strategy. 
  2. Remarketing helps increase brand recall and keeps your brand top-of-mind for the customer, enhancing the chances of conversion. 
  3. By targeting customers who have already interacted with your brand, remarketing can often yield higher ROI than targeting new customers.

Another thing to note is that reaching customers by email is still a highly effective marketing strategy. In fact, email marketing has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing strategy at an average of $36 earned for every dollar spent.

Now that we’ve touched on the basics of remarketing, let’s move on to retargeting.

Key Takeaways:

  • Remarketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves re-engaging potential customers who have previously interacted with your brand.
  • Examples of remarketing in action include showing personalized ads to a customer who has abandoned their shopping cart on your site.
  • Advantages of remarketing include re-engaging interested customers, increasing brand recall, and potentially yielding higher ROI.

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is another powerful strategy used to reconnect with potential customers. However, it operates slightly differently from remarketing. While remarketing generally involves email campaigns, retargeting primarily refers to online ad placements targeted at individuals who have interacted with your website or app.

Consider this scenario: A prospective customer visits your website, perhaps perusing your blog posts or exploring your product pages. However, they leave without making a purchase or completing a desired action. 

With retargeting, you can “follow” these users as they continue their journey across the internet, showing them ads that remind them of your products, services, or content. This strategy leverages cookie-based technology and typically uses third-party networks, such as Google Display Network or Facebook, to deliver these targeted ads.

Advantages of Retargeting Campaigns

The key advantage of retargeting is its precision. By focusing on individuals who have already shown interest in your brand, you’re investing your resources in an audience with a higher likelihood of conversion. 

Furthermore, retargeting can significantly increase brand exposure, keeping your brand front and center as potential customers browse other sites. This increased visibility can reinforce your brand message and encourage customers to return to your site when they’re ready to make a purchase or take another action.

Key Takeaways:

  • Retargeting is a strategy that uses online ad placements to reconnect with individuals who have interacted with your website or app.
  • An example of retargeting in action is displaying targeted ads to a user who has visited your website but left without making a purchase or completing a desired action.
  • The advantages of retargeting include precise targeting, increased brand exposure, and potentially higher conversion rates.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting: Key Differences

Despite their similarities in purpose, remarketing and retargeting are different strategies with their unique characteristics and strengths. To choose the right path for your business, it’s essential to understand these differences and consider several key factors.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the method of engagement varies between the two strategies. Remarketing primarily involves reaching out to potential customers via email, usually targeting those who have already provided their contact information or made a purchase. 

On the other hand, retargeting involves displaying targeted ads to users as they browse the internet, reminding them of your products or services. This could be through social media platforms or across various websites. So, while remarketing feels more personal, retargeting offers a broader reach.

Secondly, the scope of audience targeting differs. Remarketing usually involves a smaller, more targeted audience — those who have already had substantial interaction with your brand. Retargeting can cast a wider net, targeting anyone who has visited your site or engaged with your app, even if their interaction was minimal.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Re-Engagement Strategy

The choice between remarketing and retargeting will depend on several factors. What is your goal? If you’re looking to re-engage customers who abandoned their carts, remarketing might be the better fit. If you aim to increase brand visibility and reach potential customers across various online platforms, retargeting may serve you better.

Your choice will also depend on your audience size and the resources at your disposal. If you have a smaller audience but access to their email addresses, remarketing could be an effective strategy. However, if your website attracts a large amount of traffic, but you don’t have much customer data, retargeting might be a better option.

Key Takeaways:

  • Remarketing and retargeting differ in method of engagement: remarketing is email-based, while retargeting uses online ads.
  • Remarketing typically targets a smaller, more specific audience, while retargeting can reach a broader audience.
  • Choosing between the two strategies depends on your specific goals, your audience size, and the resources you have available.

When to Use Remarketing in Your Paid Marketing Strategy

Remarketing shines in situations where you’ve already established a certain degree of interaction or relationship with potential customers. For instance, if you have a list of email addresses from customers who’ve made past purchases, signed up for a newsletter, or abandoned their shopping carts, remarketing is an effective way to re-engage them.

One of the most common use cases for this re-engagement strategy is addressing cart abandonment. When someone leaves items in their cart, remarketing steps in to help bring people back to your site via email. This strategy also gives you a chance to offer incentives such as discounts or free shipping to encourage completion of the purchase.

Another effective use of remarketing is following up after a purchase. A business might send an email thanking a customer for their purchase, recommending related products, or offering a discount on their next purchase. This not only improves customer relations but also encourages repeat business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Remarketing is particularly effective when you have already established some interaction with potential customers, such as past purchases or cart abandonment.
  • Examples of successful remarketing campaigns include sending reminders about abandoned carts or following up after a purchase with recommendations or discounts.
  • Choose remarketing when you have access to customer email addresses and want to nurture existing relationships or encourage repeat business.

When to Use Retargeting in Your Paid Ad Strategy

Retargeting is a powerful strategy when your goal is to increase brand awareness and visibility among potential customers who have visited your website or app but have not necessarily taken any substantial action. It’s a way of casting a wider net, reaching users as they browse other websites or use social media.

One of the most effective applications of retargeting is to nudge potential customers along the sales funnel. For instance, if a user visits your website and browses a particular product category, you can use retargeting to show them ads featuring products from that category as they navigate other websites or platforms.

Another useful retargeting strategy involves targeting users who have read your blog posts or other content but haven’t made any purchases or given any contact information. By displaying targeted ads to these users, you can keep your brand at the forefront of their minds and encourage them to return to your website when they’re ready to buy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Retargeting is ideal for increasing brand awareness and visibility among a wide audience of potential customers who have visited your website or app.
  • Successful retargeting campaigns can include displaying ads to users who have browsed specific product categories or consumed your content.
  • Choose retargeting when you want to reach a broad audience and keep your brand top of mind for potential customers as they browse other sites or platforms.

Choose TNT Growth to Build Your Ad Re-Engagement Strategy!

As we navigate the labyrinth of digital marketing, knowing the difference between remarketing and retargeting can empower your strategy, helping you reach your customers more effectively. Be sure to consider the size of your engaged audience, how you want to reach them, and the intent of your campaign before selecting one or the other.

At TNT Growth, we believe that the key to a successful digital marketing strategy lies in understanding and using these tools to their full potential. We’re here to simplify the process for you, helping you craft effective paid search campaigns that resonate with your audience to drive your business growth.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you exponentially grow your paid advertising efforts!