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Bring Back Your Website Visitors with Retargeting

Bring Back Your Website Visitors with Retargeting

When you post an ad online, hundreds of thousands of people might be exposed to your brand. But how many of those people actually want or need your product? The old model of static display advertising and bidding on search engine keywords is not only hit-or-miss, but also time consuming and potentially expensive.

The latest trend in online marketing is retargeting, which can provide great benefits because it focuses on marketing your brand to people who have already demonstrated interest.

Retarget Your Website Visitors

Retargeting provides a more effective use of marketing dollars, because you aren’t spending money on ad space for viewers who have no interest in your brand. By focusing on people who already have a demonstrated interest in your brand, you can greatly increase ROI, saving money while generating more business. AdRoll’s clients saw a 30 percent increase in ROI after implementing retargeting campaigns. The major forms of retargeted advertising include the following:

  • Site Retargeting: The most popular form of retargeting directs ads at people who have previously visited your site, but haven’t made a purchase. When visitors leave the site, a retargeting pixel places a cookie in their browser. Platforms achieve targeted marketing by tracking these users and real-time bidding on open ad space; when a cookied viewer loads a page with available ad space, the retargeting company bids on the space as the page is loading.
  • Email/CRM Retargeting: This is a great way of reaching potential customers who are on your mailing list but aren’t active buyers. Users who receive and open an email from your company are marked and tracked, even if they don’t visit your site. CRM retargeting from ReTargeter offers a great way of recapturing old buyers who have not visited your site or clicked on a link in a while. Upload your mailing list to ReTargeter, and they work backwards to find those accounts online, then mark them with a cookie so you can start sending ads to remind them of how much they loved your brand.
  • Search Retargeting: This does not require prospective clients to visit your site – it tracks them anonymously when they use keywords in a search engine. Currently Chango is the only provider that offers a comprehensive search retargeting program, and it’s worth checking out if you need to increase site traffic, not just sales.

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Many retargeting companies have found new, innovative ways to help you reach your perfect audience by integrating behavioral targeting into your advertising to better read customer behavior and yield an even better rate of conversion. For instance, Salesbump ads only show up when users visit relevant sites, e.g. the user sees Nike ads when visiting a sports blog, but not when they’re browsing through cooking sites.

This behavioral targeting attempts to catch prospective buyers in the right mood, increasing the chances that their passive interest in your brand will convert to a purchase. Salesbump also brings “social” aspects to retargeting, by making their ads sharable on Facebook and Twitter.

Build Your Brand with Caution

The flipside of retargeting for advertisers is that customers don’t always love being tracked. It makes them feel like they’re being stalked by their favorite sites, as discussed in the  NY Times a few years ago. Retargeting providers stress that the names and personal information of users are never shared or used; browser cookies are used as a marker for tracking, and cookies can easily be cleared if the individual doesn’t want to be tracked.

Some providers have taken further measures towards alleviating consumer fears. Criteo, the marketing mastermind behind’s highly successful campaign, marks its targeted ads and links them to an info page on retargeting, letting viewers know exactly how they are being tracked and how to opt out if they’d rather not receive customized advertisements.

An example of Criteo’s targeted ads.


Marketing is already heading towards customization; the idea of having ads tailored to a customer’s interests promises to improve user experience on the web. Retargeting isn’t just another advertising venue that you can drop your existing ads and marketing protocols into and forget about. The ideal retargeting campaign will have fun, eye-catching ads that entice your audience to revisit your site, and don’t appear frequently enough to make the customer feel harassed.

If you’re going to make the dive into retargeted advertising, make sure that you can invest the time and creativity into making it an effective campaign. Executed with thought and creativity, retargeting can vastly improve your conversion rate and give you more bang for your advertising buck.

Retargeting Solutions Worth Checking Out


Need more information on retargeting and marketing software? Try exploring our full archive of retargeting software blog content.

  • Top Expert

Ashley Dotterweich
Expert in Enterprise Software Selection
Ashley Dotterweich is a former marketing team member who writes about tech industry trends and the software selection process. She was on the marketing team at from 2012-2014.