Definition of Retargeting

Retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that involves targeting individuals who have previously interacted with a brand, website, or advertisement but did not complete a desired action, such as making a purchase. By using tracking tools, such as cookies, marketers are able to display customized ads to these potential customers as they browse other websites or use social media platforms. This technique increases the chances of re-engaging the audience and driving them to take the desired action.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword “Retargeting” using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is: /ˌriːˈtɑːrɡɪtɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Retargeting is a highly effective marketing strategy that allows businesses to re-engage with website visitors who didn’t convert during their initial visit, increasing the likelihood of conversion on subsequent visits.
  2. Retargeting campaigns primarily utilize cookies and ads on third-party websites, social media platforms, or search engines to deliver personalized, relevant content tailored to the interests and browsing behaviors of individuals who have previously visited the company’s website.
  3. When implementing retargeting, it’s crucial to segment the audience for better targeting, set up proper frequency caps to avoid overexposure, and continually analyze and optimize campaigns in order to maximize ROI and achieve desired business outcomes.

Importance of Retargeting

Retargeting is an essential digital marketing strategy that enables businesses to re-engage with potential customers who have previously shown interest in their products or services.

By utilizing tracking tools, such as cookies or pixel tags, marketers can effectively tailor their advertising efforts to target users with relevant and personalized ads based on their browsing behavior and online interactions.

This focused approach increases the chances of converting these users into paying customers and sometimes helps with customer retention, resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI) for businesses.

Moreover, retargeting not only contributes to brand awareness and recall, but also demonstrates a deep understanding of user preferences, thus nurturing brand loyalty and fostering long-term relationships with customers.


Retargeting, as a digital marketing strategy, primarily serves the purpose of re-engaging potential customers or website visitors who have previously shown interest in a brand, product, or service but did not complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter. It plays a significant role in reminding users of the products or services they once interacted with, and capitalizes on the fact that a familiar brand has a higher chance of conversion than random advertisements.

The technique is employed to increase brand visibility and reinforcement, driving people who were initially interested back into the conversion funnel with the hopes of attaining customer loyalty and ultimately increasing overall sales. Retargeting operates based on a code or pixel placed on a company’s website which allows them to follow the users who have visited the site as they continue browsing on other web pages.

This enables the company to serve targeted ads using display networks, social media platforms, or search engines, depending on the chosen retargeting strategies. It is a powerful way of personalizing ad content and creating a tailored user experience, as people are served ads more relevant to their interests or needs.

By focusing on individuals who have spent time browsing a company’s offers, retargeting reinforces the initial marketing efforts dedicated to driving traffic to the website, ultimately improving the return on investment (ROI) and transforming one-time visitors into loyal customers.

Examples of Retargeting

Online Retail Store: A customer visits an online clothing store and browses through various products, adding a pair of jeans and a shirt to their shopping cart. However, the customer doesn’t complete the transaction and leaves the website. The store’s retargeting campaign then uses display ads on various websites or social media platforms, reminding the customer about the items left in their cart, and offering an incentive, like a discount, to encourage them to return and complete the purchase.

Travel Agency: A user searches for a holiday package on a travel agency’s website, spends some time exploring different destination options, but doesn’t book a trip. The travel agency uses retargeting to show the user personalized ads across the web, which highlight the destinations they previously viewed along with special offers to entice the customer to return and book a trip via their platform.

Software as a Service (SaaS) company: A visitor signs up for a free trial of a project management tool but doesn’t upgrade to a paid plan after the trial period ends. The SaaS company uses retargeting to serve targeted ads promoting the benefits of the tool’s paid features and sharing success stories from other happy customers. These ads are shown on various websites and social media platforms the prospect visits, nudging the user to reconsider upgrading to the paid plan and highlighting the advantages of doing so.

Retargeting FAQ

What is retargeting?

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a type of online advertising that helps businesses target visitors who have previously visited their website but left without making a purchase or taking any desired action. It uses display ads and follows these visitors across the web, aiming to bring them back to the site by showing relevant ads based on their browsing behavior.

How does retargeting work?

Retargeting works by placing a small piece of code called a pixel on the website. When a visitor lands on the site, the pixel drops an anonymous browser cookie. If the visitor leaves without taking any desired action, the cookie allows the retargeting platform to recognize them as they browse other websites. The platform will then show relevant ads to the visitor, enticing them to return to the initial website and complete the desired action.

Why is retargeting important for businesses?

Retargeting is important for businesses because it allows them to re-engage with visitors who have shown interest in their products or services but have not converted. It helps in increasing brand exposure, recalling visitors’ attention, and potentially leading them to complete the desired action or make a purchase. This can result in increased conversion rates, return on ad spend, and overall business growth.

What types of businesses can benefit from retargeting?

Businesses across various industries, including e-commerce, B2B, and service providers, can benefit from retargeting. If a business has an online presence and is looking to increase its conversion rates, retargeting can be an effective and valuable marketing tool regardless of the industry.

How do you measure the success of retargeting campaigns?

Success of retargeting campaigns can be measured through metrics like click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), return on ad spend (ROAS), and overall return on investment (ROI). Analyzing these metrics can help businesses identify the performance of their retargeting efforts and optimize campaigns to achieve the desired results.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Pixel tracking
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Remarketing
  • Ad segmentation

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