What is Retargeting?

Quick summary – this blog covers:-

  • Retargeting continues to deliver great results
  • Advertisers are increasing their budgets to increase conversions on the lower end of the buying funnel
  • Retargeting as a tactic strengthens brand awareness, engagement, lead nurturing and customer loyalty
  • It’s used on a wide range of platforms, with mobile devices and social media retargeting gaining in popularity
  • Helps you get ahead of your competition in increasingly competitive markets


Retargeting is the process of advertising to people who have been on your website and left without taking a desired action.

Depending on the nature of your business, this action could be making a purchase, completing an enquiry form or a call to your sales department. After visiting pages on your website, retargeting allows you to advertise your product or service to users when they visit other websites. You can use Google Ads, Facebook Ads Manager or a retargeting advertising platform to deliver your campaigns.

Average first-time conversion rates are low, so this tactic becomes an essential part of your digital strategy, to remind people of your offering and drive ROI.

The Tech:

The first step is to add a snippet of code, also known as a retargeting pixel, to your website. If you have a WordPress website, this can be done very easily by using the insert headers and footers plugin. The pixel collects data from anyone who visits your website. Information such as the duration they were on your site and where they are in the world can be collected. Once the user leaves your website, the pixel drops a retargeting cookie in their browser.

Cookies are files that store information about online behaviour. They are stored on devices and can be used by websites or apps to personalise your online experience. The cookie leaves a trail of crumbs as users surf the web moving from website to website allowing marketers to target them with display ads on the sites they visit.

Marketers can use this data to serve relevant ads to users. By showing hyper relevant, targeted ads to visitors who have previously shown an interest in your products/services, you increase brand awareness and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

What is first-party data and why is it increasingly more important?

First-party data is the data you collect from your own sources, for example, when users visit your website. When a company collects 1P data directly from their audience or users, they own this data. Remember though, an individual must provide their consent to allow an organisation to lawfully collect and use this data. This can include email addresses, how long they spent on your website, which pages they visited and survey results.

First party data allows marketers to make data driven decisions rather than decisions based on assumptions. Let’s say a user visits your website, adds a product to their basket and leaves without making a purchase. In it’s simplest form, first-party data allows you to show ads for the product they didn’t purchase as they surf the web and scroll through social media.

Why is retargeting effective?

It allows you to target highly relevant audiences, at scale, which you have already invested in attracting.

This tactic increases online sales by keeping your brand, product or service in front of people until they are ready to buy. A general rule of thumb in marketing is that it takes 6-8 touch-points before a customer takes action. The best way to achieve this is to utilise retargeting. Every time a potential customer sees your adverts, your brand gains more recognition which increases the likelihood of a engagement and purchase.

Why is retargeting a fundamental part of a marketing campaign?

In an ideal world, customers would make a purchase the first time they visit your website, unfortunately, this only happens about 2% of the time. Retargeting is essential to lure back the 98% of people who left your website without taking the desired action.

You can build brand awareness and nurture leads after consumers leave your website, by posting ads on social media feeds, websites they visit on a regular basis, or use PPC ads when they search for your competitors.

Create a hyper-relevant advertising experience using audience segmentation to increase the performance of your advertising. Target people based on their online behaviour, interests, age, gender and geographic location. Regardless of which segments you choose to market to, you’re displaying ads to people who have expressed interest in what you’re offering, making them much more likely to convert.

What is the difference between static and dynamic retargeting?

Static retargeting is where marketers create groups of ads to be displayed to people depending on which pages of your website they visited. For example, if you start a marketing campaign for running shoes and create three sets of ads. Each ad is triggered when users view a product page, read an article or review.

One ad may target people who viewed the product, the second ad may target people who are researching running trainers and the third may target people who are interested in running. Static retargeting is a good strategy for when you want to target a certain audience but not specific individuals.

Dynamic retargeting creates custom ads for every user. It requires sophisticated ad tech to tailor ads to individual user preferences and determines when to serve which ad to increase the likelihood of a conversion. It is recommended for companies who operate in B2C markets and have a large product portfolio. Due to the complexities of the variables involved in these types of businesses, running retargeting campaigns manually would be too big of a task and is best done dynamically.

Different way to utilise retargeting

Retargeting campaigns and programmatic advertising can run across social media platforms, multiple websites, YouTube and apps ensuring you can reach your target audience wherever they go online.

On social media

Social media allows marketers to target extremely engaged consumers who have a high intent to purchase and are at the bottom of the funnel. Not only does it give you access to large audiences, it lets you take advantage of trends to further expand your reach and increase brand awareness.

On websites

Website retargeting allows marketers to tailor messaging and ad copies to user’s previous online behaviour using display advertising. The best way to start, is to use a digital advertising platform.

Using a digital advertising platform allows marketers to create ads at scale in multiple sizes at the same time, synchronise your stock inventory so you don’t pay to advertise products that are out of stock, geographically target your audience and get advanced reporting so you can make data driven decisions for the best performance gains.

On mobile devices

Retargeting on mobile devices is a fundamental aspect of retargeting campaigns and allows you to retarget desktop visitors on mobile devices. They are an integral part of the online shopping experience with people using them for every part of the journey, from researching products, to making a purchase and leaving reviews and feedback about products.

Remarketing and retargeting – what is the difference?

Often used in conjunction with each other, however, they’re not the same thing:

  • Retargeting is a term used to describe the process of showing ads to customers after they have left a website. Retargeting uses cookies to store information about website visitors.
  • Remarketing is a term used to describe the process of collecting contact information from customers to run email marketing campaigns.

Audience segmentation and targeting

Audience segmentation is an important part of the retargeting process. It allows marketers to put users into groups based on where they are in the funnel. For example, someone who only visited your homepage and left the website would be higher up the funnel than someone who browsed multiple pages, added a few products to the basket and left without making a purchase.

By grouping users together based on where they are in the funnel, marketers can target them with different funnel-level strategies.

Contextual targeting

Contextual targeting is a form of targeted advertising. Marketers choose websites to advertise on that have similar content to their own website. Whilst contextual targeting can be used when retargeting, it is also used by marketers to increase their reach to people who visit websites that have content related to their own website.

Behavioural targeting

Behavioural targeting is a form of targeting that allows advertisers to target people based on their online behaviour. Retargeting is a commonly used form of targeting because it involves targeting people who have already visited your website and expressed an interest in what you’re offering. For example, someone who visited a specific service page on your website would be targeted with ads displayed on other websites with the specific service they viewed on your website.

Use the right technology for you

There are many digital advertising platforms available to choose from, but they do differ greatly. Choosing the right platform is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Fluid Ads platform is an all-in-one solution to retargeting and offers every function that you need to successfully run campaigns.

Target visitors with high intent

The best audience segments we recommend to choose when retargeting are cart abandonments, contact form completions and users who visited several product or service pages on your website. This segment of users are more likely to lead to a conversion than people who have just visited one of your pages and bounced off the website.

Frequently change ad creatives

By changing ad designs on a regular basis you can keep your target audience engaged, keep your advertising message attractive and avoid banner blindness.

Appealing call-to-actions

Having a clear and concise call to action is a proven way to increase the performance of marketing campaigns. You want to make it obvious to users which action you want them to take and by designing a call-to-action that is appealing and users want to click is an essential part of designing ad creatives.

How to start a retargeting campaign?

Starting is easy, especially when you use the right tools. The Fluid Ads platform has all the functionality you need to create, manage and monitor retargeting campaigns. The Geofencing Ads feature allows you to retarget in the physical world by creating geofences on maps where your target audience go.

Flexible solutions to suit your business