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Are you convinced your phone is listening to you?

While we can’t prove it isn’t, there’s a more logical reason why you feel like the ads you see are reading your mind.

Consider this scenario. You’re in the market for a set of roof racks. You visit a range of websites looking at different types of roof racks, and find a few that might be suitable. Since it’s not an immediate priority you decide to save some money and put off buying any roof racks

While you might have decided against your purchase, the websites you visited have other ideas.

As you’re scrolling a news website on your desktop, you suddenly see roof rack ads on the top and side of your screen –  even in the middle of the article. Even after leaving that website, you see ads for roof racks everywhere you look.

After seeing 10 ads, one of them grabs your attention and prompts you with a 10% discount code. That’s a huge saving!

It piques your interest, so you click-through and land on the perfect product at the perfect price. It would be rude not to make a purchase at this stage.

Even though you planned to delay your purchase, the ad you see is for exactly what you’d been looking for and the price is right, so you decide to pull the trigger. While you thought you’d moved on, you still committed to the purchase.

That’s the power of remarketing.

Table of Contents

What Are We Trying To Show In This Guide?

The objective of this guide is to try and help you understand:

  • what remarketing is
  • the difference between remarketing and retargeting
  • the problems many businesses face when they don’t have an effective and comprehensive remarketing plan
  • the range of different types of digital remarketing available to your business
  • how remarketing can help plug your revenue leak and how, when done right, it can considerably boost your revenue
  • the value in remarketing beyond the conversions or sales you can directly attribute to it

What Is Remarketing?

Remarketing is the ability to continue to market to someone after they’ve left your website. Essentially, you’re targeting the same prospect multiple times. The idea behind this strategy is to target people already familiar with your business. Because they have a much higher chance of converting.

Remarketing and retargeting are not the same thing. They’re often used interchangeably but they represent different styles of marketing.

Neil Patel defines it quite well below.

“Retargeting is a subset of remarketing and remarketing is more of an umbrella term”.

Retargeting mostly focuses on delivering ads to people who’ve already visited your website. In its simplest form, it tags website visitors with a cookie, adding them to a remarketing list, which then allows you to serve ads only to that list.

In 2018, 41% of marketing allocation was dedicated to retargeting showing just how valuable business owners and budding marketers see retargeting as part of their overarching strategy.

For this article, we’ll primarily focus on retargeting as it’s the most effective form of remarketing. We’ll also touch on email remarketing and how that can be implemented via digital marketing.


So What’s The Problem?

Before we embark on this journey, it’s important to recognise the problem that many companies face, possibly even your own.

Put simply, 97% of people who visit your website for the first time leave without buying anything.

That’s right, the vast majority of people who visit your website won’t convert. That’s a massive amount of people who you successfully get to your website but fail to close.

Chances are you probably paid for those visitors in the either with Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or perhaps a traditional marketing campaign like TV or radio advertisements.

The problem is failure to plug your leaky ship could eventually mean your ship – your business – sinks due to continued revenue loss, ever-decreasing ROI, and an inability to communicate your marketing effectively with potential customers.


Why Does This Matter?

You might’ve been told that remarketing doesn’t work, or perhaps you haven’t seen success in terms of direct conversions. Honestly, that’s not surprising. Remarketing does, however, play a critical role in your overall marketing strategy.

Without looking at your assisted conversions in Google Analytics, it’s hard to get an accurate picture of the multiple touchpoints it takes for a user to convert.

Very rarely do people receive one single ad and convert. In fact, on average it takes 8 touches to generate a conversion. That’s 8 different places someone has interacted with your brand or seen your advertisements.

All this matters because an effective remarketing campaign might be the difference in securing a sale ahead of one of your competitors. Proactively filling these gaps in your marketing strategy will give you a competitive edge. Over time, this will separate your business from others operating  operate in your space.

Your marketing strategy is a lot like a recipe. Remarketing is a crucial ingredient without which your dish just won’t be the same.

If you are doing remarketing already but not seeing the results you hoped for, there’s a high chance you’re not doing it well enough. What’s the opportunity cost of not remarketing successfully? How much are you potentially wasting every month without seeing a return? And how long can that go on for?


What’s The Solution?

Harness the full power of remarketing! Dive right in and take advantage of all the amazing tools at your disposal.

We know most people who visit your website leave without converting. But we also know that remarketing is a trialed and proven way to help bridge that gap and reengage people who’ve shown interest in your product or service.


Google Display Remarketing

Google Display Remarketing is often the first thing people think of when they think of a remarketing or retargeting strategy.

It allows you to serve ads on what’s known as the display network to people who have previously visited your website. According to Google, the display network is a group of more than 2 million websites, videos and apps where your ads can appear, reaching more than 90% of internet users worldwide.

In its simplest form, Google Display Remarketing works by having a piece of remarketing code, known as a tag or a pixel, added to your website, to begin building a list of visitors. You can customise the tag based on different pages of your website to help refine your targeting.

You can take this one step further and define your audience by selecting membership durations and setting frequency cap. This can help prevent audience fatigue from people seeing your ads too often.

This is what lets you to follow users around the internet and continue to serve them ads long after they’ve left your website.

On average, retargeting ads show a 10x increase in click-through rates (CTR), since people can already relate to your ad.

There are so many different ways you might consider leveraging Google Display Remarketing. For example, if a user has visited your website for an apartment complex perhaps you might use your remarketing campaign as an opportunity to promote a visit to a display suite.

You can see some visual examples below. The choice of creative can vastly differ however commonly you see static images and animated images.

Remarketing diagram exmaples

Remarketing Lists For Search Ads

Keywords are the most traditional targeting method for delivering search ads. They work by showing ads for your products or services when a user searches a relevant term.

Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSAs) are a more sophisticated introduction to the Google Ads platforms that can work in conjunction with keywords.

Similarly to Display Remarketing, RLSAs rely on a tag on your website to track website visitors and add them to your remarketing lists.

They work in 2 main ways:

  1. Making bid adjustments on your ad groups for users (remarketing lists) who are searching on Google using the keywords you’re bidding on.
  2. Setting up search ad groups to only be triggered and show ads if a user is on your remarketing list, and is searching with the keywords you’re bidding on.

RSLA ads offer a competitive advantage in that you have the ability to serve more curated ads to people already in the market for your products or services.

As they’re a relatively new development in the Google advertising landscape, chances are your competitors aren’t currently running them, of if they are, they’re not doing it well.

Here are some helpful tips to maximise the return on your investment (ROI) from RLSA ads if you plan on launching them on your own:

  • Make effective bid adjustments – look at how people interact with your website, on what devices and what times of the day.
  • Personalise the shopping experience for returning customers – only show users ads relevant to them, with products they might have been interested in or offers that make sense to them.
  • Get granular with your audience segmentation – isolate consistency in behaviour and segment lists based on that behaviour. Did they abandon their cart? Have they visited multiple times?

When it comes to implementing RLSA ads, it should be a fairly easy decision to make. Start leveraging a platform you’re likely already using to get more wins on the board for your business and generate a better return on ad spend.


Dynamic Remarketing

Dynamic remarketing takes your display remarketing to new heights.

It works in the same way as regular display remarketing in that your Google remarketing tag monitors website visitors to help build your audience. The advantage of dynamic remarketing is that it allows you to deliver more specified ads based on the exact products or services someone viewed on your website.

Product feeds are built to include all your products or services, along with all the unique details around each of them. This then pulls into a dynamic ad and is served to people as they visit other websites or apps.

This means instead of delivering generic messaging with traditional remarketing ads you can begin to hone in on specific things people were interested in, and try to get them to come back to your site and eventually convert.

We’ve included some specific examples of this.

Image of dynamic remarketing examaples

To get the sale over the line you might want to try adding a discount code to your ad or use your dynamic remarketing as an opportunity to cross-pollinate products with a similar item that the user might not yet have considered.

Dynamic remarketing can have so many benefits for different verticals. If you run an an eCommerce business in 2021 and aren’t using dynamic remarketing, you’re falling behind and losing out on a huge driver for revenue.


Facebook and Instagram Remarketing

Facebook and Instagram fall under the same umbrella, which means you can leverage remarketing for both platforms all from within the Facebook Business Suite.

While remarketing on Facebook and Instagram hasn’t reached the same depth of sophistication that we’ve seen on the Google display network, they both offer mammoth opportunities to connect with people on the platforms where they spend an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes of their day.

With about 3.85 billion people using Instagram and Facebook you’d be silly not to take advantage of these huge platforms from a remarketing perspective.

So how does remarketing on Facebook and Instagram work?

Similarly to Google,  you need to install a piece of code on your website or specific landing page to track users who visit. We call this a pixel.

Your pixel monitors conversion activity and pages visited on your website. This then allows you to build audiences based on people who might’ve recently visited, or taken action, on your site.


  1. You need a minimum of 1000 users within 30 days to build your remarketing audience. We suggest installing the pixel on your website as early as possible to begin capturing visitors.
  2. If you want to only target people who did not convert on your website, you’ll need to create another audience of people who reached a “thank you” page, or are already in your CRM. You can add this as an exclusion to your campaign to make sure you’re only targeting people who haven’t converted yet. This ensures the most effective spend of your advertising budget.

Remarketing on Facebook or Instagram, like Google Search Ads. is very much a bottom of the funnel solution. By employing this strategy you’re trying to grab people close to finalising their decision-making process. What does that mean for you?

First of all you need to communicate with people differently to how you might have in your first campaign, where you cast your net very wide to capture the most amount of people. The copy and creative you choose needs to assume people are already familiar with your brand or product.

Image of Remarketing Funnel

You should leverage Facebook and Instagram Remarketing ads to answer pain points that may prevent users from converting, and offer more information about your product or service. Give them valuable information – pieces of content that answer questions that not only help in their customer journey but position your product front of mind.

If you’re still having difficulty shaking people out of the bottom of your sales funnel, try giving them a final push with a discount code or a free trial. You can present this to your remarketing audience only, which will give you a clear indication of whether your offer works.

Remarketing on Facebook and Instagram operates with the same ad variations as other campaigns in that you can choose from the same range of objectives and ad styles. These might include brand awareness, traffic, reach and engagement. But considering your audience is already familiar with who you are and what you do, they’re likely to be deeper in the sales funnel and at a stage where you can convert them.

Stronger campaign objectives such as lead generation, catalogue sales and conversions, might make more sense.

There are several advantages to remarketing on Facebook and Instagram. Aside from tapping into the largest social media platforms on the planet, you can expect to see a lower cost per click compared with search engines such as Google.

By nature, Facebook traffic is inherently less targeted than traffic that comes via Google. Users on search engines are actively looking for products and services, while Facebook users are reading the news or interacting with friends. But Instagram and Facebook Remarketing is still a great opportunity to get granular with your targeting and generally achieve more conversions at a lower cost per acquisition, with a smaller budget.


Email Retargeting

One of the simplest and most effective methods of remarketing does not require getting out the wallet at all for advertising expenses. Email retargeting campaigns come in many shapes and sizes, all of which are proven to get results and help get customers back to your website, pending you choose the one right for your industry.

According to Software Company Moz, the average eCommerce conversion rate is between 2% and 4%, but if you decide to reengage with email retargeting it can be as high as 41%.

There are several types of email retargeting campaigns:

Cart abandonment emails – so close, yet so far away. A potential customer got to the checkout, but something stopped them. Don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers. Follow them up with a light-hearted email, or offer a discount code to help close the cycle.

Low stock alert – let potential customers know when stock of a product they’re interested in is running low. If it sells out at least you have given them fair warning.

Back in stock – let your database know when a product is back in stock, perhaps they purchased it before or perhaps they missed out. This is your chance to sell out again.

Renewal reminders – are you offering a subscription-based service with a timeline? Remind your customers why they need to resubscribe to your incredible service before they lapse.

Customer support – did your customers run into issues while using your website? Follow them up with an email to win back some brand loyalty and potentially convert them.

Before implementing any form of email remarketing, you want to make sure you have an effective way to measure success. While Google and Facebook offer user-friendly dashboards, your email marketing might not. It’s essential to set up your own tracking so you can isolate what’s working and what isn’t before you make strategic changes. We do this with Google Analytics. If you’d like help with setting up your Analytics tracking, speak to our team today.

Email marketing extends much further than newsletters and offers. Retargeting can be a great addition to your toolkit to help reduce your outbound marketing spend, continue building relationships, and increase your revenue.

You can read more about email marketing in our dedicated article here.


Other Remarketing

Remarketing opportunities exist beyond purely Google, Facebook, and Instagram, and can provide a point of difference to your overarching remarketing strategy.

  • Microsoft Ads remarketing
  • Twitter remarketing
  • Snapchat remarketing
  • Pinterest remarketing
  • YouTube remarketing (part of the Google advertising family)
  • LinkedIn remarketing


Time-Delayed Retargeting

Time-delayed retargeting, or structured remarketing, is where you deliver different ads dependant on how long someone has been part of your retargeting audience.

Segment your audiences and advertising based on how recently they visited your website. For example:

  • Audience 1 = 1–14 days
  • Audience 2 = 15–30 days
  • Audience 3 = 31–60 days
  • Audience 4 = 61–120 days

Time-delayed retargeting offers you a unique opportunity to test different messaging based on how recently someone engaged with your website. Not only will this allow you to generate more conversions, it will also provide valuable insights as to what messaging is most effective in bringing people back.


What Are The Benefits?

After implementing your comprehensive remarketing strategy, you should see vast improvements almost immediately.

Short-Term Benefits

  • Extra brand exposure – the more you engage with your potential customer, the more likely they’ll buy from you or engage your services when they need to.
  • More conversions – remarketing is a trialed and proven marketing component. The time and effort you apply to your remarketing strategy will pay dividends in generating more conversions.
  • More revenue – more conversions equal more revenue, and more money in your pocket to grow your business.
  • Improve your ROI – every financial year begins with an idea of how much you’re going to spend on marketing. Leverage remarketing to extend your budget even further and start seeing a better ROI.

Long Term

  • Save money – remarketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing options available. More money in your pocket means you can spend more money on other objectives and scale up your operations.
  • Longevity of your business – no business can afford to continue to bleed money on ineffective marketing that’s not yielding results. Implementing the right remarketing strategy can tighten the belt on your bottom line, and help ensure you stay in the black for longer.


Start Your Own Remarketing Journey

Remarketing only works as well as the team that implements it for you.

If you’re looking for an experienced team that can show you how to effectively plug your leaky marketing strategy speak to the experts at Living Online, Australia’s marketing agency of the year.

We’ve worked with a host of unique businesses across a range of different verticals to help them achieve their goals with a remarketing strategy tailored to their objectives. We’re just a click away.

Let’s go.