What is Remarketing? - Instapage Guide

What is Remarketing?

Chapter 1

What is Remarketing?

Do you ever feel like you’re being followed by ads online?

Consider this scenario: You remember researching for a workflow management tool. You recall clicking through to a bunch of relevant websites about workflow management tools. However, since no tool in particular really stood out to you, and because your need wasn’t that urgent to begin with, you decided to continue searching at a later date.

You resigned from your decision to purchase a specific tool, but some of the websites you visited had other ideas.

By some magic, the websites exactly what you were looking for. They knew you requested their help and tried to grab your attention by not just one, but multiple ads that continue following you online.

One of the ads addressed a specific qualm you had about buying a tool and you were convinced to click. The ad directed you to a landing page that gave you the exact information you needed to commit — but you didn’t convert.

That sequence of events is known as remarketing:

Remarketing occurs on the Google Display Network or Bing paid search network when internet users search. It involves using technology like marketing tags and tracking pixels to deliver highly personalized ads to people who have already visited your website or landing page but have not converted yet.

Remarketing helps keep your brand in front of your potential customers’ eyes (and on their mind) even after they navigate away from your website — persuading them to revisit your offer when they need it.

This visual by Retargeter aptly explains how remarketing campaigns work:

A visual representation of how remarketing campaigns work

Why are Remarketing Campaigns Important?

According to Marketo, 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy. That’s a huge chunk of website visitors that you’re essentially losing out on since they aren’t converting.

Remarketing campaigns allow you to target these visitors with specific ads with the specific goal of convincing them to convert for your offer. With remarketing campaigns, you’re reminding and convincing visitors that weren’t initially ready to convert yet.

These types of ads work because they allow you to serve people with ads who’ve already expressed an interest in your product. With the help of social media channels, search engines, and email you can remind them that they wanted to solve a problem and why your product offers the best solution.

To that point, WordStream claims that conversion rates increase the more online users see an ad within remarketing campaigns:

A chart showing remarketing conversion rates increasing with more ad impressions

Chubbies experienced that firsthand when they launched a Fourth of July themed remarketing campaign that targeted past and present customers. The campaign included animated ads and custom landing pages that featured time-sensitive promotional codes that changed every hour:

An example of an ad being used in Chubbies remarketing campaign

The campaign saw huge success, resulting in 35.5% ROI and 4.6 times the above average conversions within 12 hours.

Clearly, remarketing campaigns have the power to convince hesitant visitors to convert on your offer and get present customers to express interest in new offers.

What’s the Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting?

Both retargeting and remarketing are two marketing terms which are usually used interchangeably. This next section will focus on explaining whether or not they refer to the same concept of reaching out to users who’ve already interacted with your brand.

Retargeting is most often used to describe the online display ads that are shown to visitors who’ve landed on your website and then exited without performing an action. This type of marketing is done using tracking pixels or cookies that follow the user around after they’ve left your website and show them targeted ads.

Retargeting ads are served to visitors through third party networks such as Google Display Network and Facebook etc., giving you the opportunity to reach out your potential customers on a multitude of websites.

For example, this is Pardot’s remarketing ad shown on Forbes, which attempts to persuade visitors who aren’t ready to sign-up yet, to download their ebook instead:

An example of Salesforce's remarketing ad being shown on Forbes' website

While retargeting involves reaching out to visitors via third party networks using display ads, remarketing refers to reaching out to visitors via email. So, to run your remarketing campaigns you need your visitors’ email addresses, which isn’t required for retargeting campaigns.

This is an example of a Fossil remarketing email, sent to a visitor who placed some items in a shopping cart, but then abandoned the website:

An example of a remarketing email sent out by Fossil

Most marketers, however, loop the two methodologies of remarketing and retargeting and simply refer to them as remarketing campaigns. The primary reason they do is because this is how Google defines remarketing:

Remarketing lets you show ads to people who've visited your website or used your mobile app. When people leave your website without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads across their different devices.

The search engine giant groups retargeting display ads and email remarketing under a single terminology i.e. “remarketing”, which is why most marketers also do the same thing.

Remarketing campaigns have the power to improve brand recognition among potential visitors, recall them back to your landing page, and convince them to perform the desired action.

The remaining chapters in this guide will focus on explaining how remarketing campaigns work in more depth, how to set up your own campaigns on various platforms, and why you should always connect your remarketing ads to relevant landing pages. Finally, the guide concludes by discussing the success metrics to calculate for your remarketing campaigns.

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