Categories : Traffic


If you are asking yourself ‘what is retargeting?’ then this article will hopefully help you.

You may have heard about retargeting from other marketers or you may even have noticed those annoying adverts following you around following your visit to a particular website.

Traditionally ‘retargeting’ was (and still is) carried out via email marketing i.e. you opted to someone’s list and they followed up with you via email to persuade you to buy the next product in their sales funnel.

The business case for doing this is that only a small proportion of visitors to your website will buy on your first visit but if you follow up with your visitors you will substantially increase the number of buyers once they get to know, like and trust you.

Nowadays retargeting is much more sophisticated.

When you visit a web page that has a retargeting pixel on it (a small snippet of code), it drops an anonymous browser cookie so that when the cookied browser searches the web it lets the retargeting ad provider know and they will then serve your ads to people who previously visited your website or specific web pages.

This means that you can build ‘custom audiences’ either for people who visit your website as a whole or you can create separate audiences for each page they visit or category of page they visit.  This means that you can create extremely targeted audiences.

For example, if your visitor visited a page about video marketing and left without purchasing you can follow up with them via retargeting by serving your video product advert.

How will your retargeting provider know if someone purchased your offer or not i.e. only serve your ad to people who didn’t buy? Well you can set this up in your retargeting by excluding people who who landed on your thank you page or whatever page you identify.

You can also select how long the retargeting ad is served for – you may only want to serve up your retargeting ads for say 3 days after their initial visit but you can opt for up to 180 days if it is cost-effective for you to do so!

The technology is extremely simple and logical to set up – as I said, you just need to paste a piece of tracking code in your website page header and then select your settings when you set up the retargeting ad.

If you are setting up retargeting ads to push your website visitors through a sales funnel, then this post by Ryan Deiss’s team may help you to understand the process.

If you are not using Facebook then you can set up banner ads in for visitors that come to your site from places like Google – it is free to set up an account on Sitescout – presumably they are rewarded through your advertising spend via their site (- when you have tested their site you need to deposit a minimum of $500 with them for your initial advertising campaigns so they are effectively deterring the minnow marketers!)

Of course, you really need to test how cost-effective paid retargeting ads are by tracking your retargeting advertising costs versus the additional revenue generated and then perhaps to seek to increase your returns by split-testing for better conversions.

You may say to yourself that it is more cost effective to use email marketing but with low open rates and dummy email accounts, this may not be the case any more – you need to find out by testing this for yourself.

Hopefully this article helps you to answer the question ‘what is retargeting?’  If so, please optin to my list in the sidebar to keep yourself ‘in the loop’!


Mark Salmon is an internet marketing consultant. Mark creates digital information products about starting and building an online business. Prior to starting his online business, Mark was a corporate banker based in the UK, then ran a business consultancy for around 8 years before deciding that his future was internet marketing. You can connect with Mark at: Mark's Google Plus Page Mark's Facebook Fan Page Mark's YouTube Channel Mark's Blog

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