Use Retargeting For Improved Sales Conversions

Published: January 7, 2021

Mariah Raner


Back in the day, when an online customer showed interest in a product but abandoned the purchase, that usually marked the end of the encounter.  But what if you could virtually follow those previously engaged customers from your site with focused advertising?  This innovative marketing concept is now entirely possible through an advertising method known as retargeting. 

How Retargeting Works

Research demonstrates that most online visitors, 92% of them, do not purchase products on their first visit to a website. The challenge becomes to attract visitors back to the site for sales conversions. The motive behind retargeting is to re-engage customers who previously showed an interest in products on the website but left the site empty-handed. Retargeting essentially reminds the customer about the product through focused banner advertising as they surf the web. 

Retargeting is accomplished by embedding a pixel, or small unobtrusive coded command, within the business website. Visitors landing on the site automatically receive an anonymous cookie that stores in their browser. As the customer navigates to partner websites, the executed code displays banner ads reminding them to return to the advertiser’s site to make a purchase.

Advertisers bid on the placement of their ads throughout the internet. Many programmatic advertising platforms can facilitate this process. Website owners can select the audience to retarget based on specific factors such as the items viewed. The wording is edited to attract customers with statements such as, “quantities are limited,” “only 3 in stock,” or “sale ends tomorrow!” to help lure them back. 

This form of marketing can be an effective method for sales conversions. The Rule of 7  states that the average number of impressions a brand must make on a prospective buyer is seven times. Using this information, retargeting aims to display ad impressions throughout the visitor’s web experience.

Retargeting Versus Remarketing

Retargeting and remarketing are often used interchangeably to describe customer re-engagement techniques but differ in how they are executed. Remarketing uses ads on the Google Display Network and Google Analytics to monitor visitor behavior. From this data, personalized ads and links based on this behavior are sent to the visitor. Additionally, remarketing relies heavily on email contact to send out links about promotions on products customers have browsed on previous visits. 

Retargeting strictly refers to using the cookie-based approach with paid advertising and tracking. However, retargeting does fall under the one big umbrella of remarketing. 

Why You Should Consider Retargeting

Retargeting is a powerful advertising mechanism that can contribute to sales conversions. There are several good reasons to include this tool in your marketing campaign.

  1. Provides additional opportunities to attract previous visitors back to the website. This is an effective solution for first-time visitors who would otherwise never return. Retargeting uses subsequent, focused ads that can result in sales conversions. 
  2. Repeat visitor data from previous marketing efforts, such as SEO and SEM, are captured and put into the retargeting list. This strategy is especially useful for visitors who may have only visited one time. Retargeting is a useful supplemental tool to combine with other ad campaigns for a more robust marketing plan.
  3. Since retargeting increases the company’s visibility and recognition throughout the web, customers are more inclined to trust them. Brand awareness also continues to grow among the target audience, resulting in more sales. 
  4. This is a cost-effective tool resulting in a higher ROI. Retargeting can result in click-through rates (CTRs) three to ten times higher than the industry average. 
  5. Retargeting can result in return visitors purchasing additional products from the business. Special offers and complementary products are offered to the list of return audiences through retargeting, further increasing the value of the marketing campaign.

Using Retargeting with the Stages of the Marketing Funnel

The retargeting campaign is deployed to attract varying types of audiences for sales conversions in each of the marketing stages. 

  • First-time visitors who are in the awareness stage are classified as “cold traffic.” For this audience type, offering freebies for submitting their email address on a blog post page is a practical first step for future marketing campaigns. This collection of emails is used for remarketing ads on social media sites such as Facebook. If the visitor doesn’t submit the email, then using the added pixel technique for retargeting is a useful tool. 
  • The next classification in the marketing funnel is the “warm traffic” group. These visitors are those that show more interest in the site and continue to browse and research several products. The Facebook’s product carousel ad format is a great way to retarget this audience. By using the Facebook pixel to display the products they clicked on.  
  • The third type of visitor is known as “hot traffic.” This type of visitors is ready to purchase and may need that extra push to finalize the sale. A survey of shoppers shows that 97% look for a deal when they shop and 80% are willing to go out of their way for a deal. As a result, one way to retarget this group is by offering discounts, offers, and other promotions. 
  • The process doesn’t end with the final sale. By retargeting the customers again through more ads with similar products or add-ons, there is a greater chance of them returning for future purchases. This step also helps increase the customer lifetime value as they repeatedly convert into additional sales. 

Best Practices For Retargeting

While retargeting is a proven effective marketing tool, it can also backfire if not used properly. Here are some best practices to improve the chances of a successful retargeting campaign.

  1. Use simple, short, easy to click CTAs such as “shop now,” “learn more,” and “act now” on the landing page. These also convey a sense of urgency to the customer to not delay their visit. Not only does this strategy help with retargeting but also aids in the efforts
  2. Test two different versions of the same ad and deploy the one that drives the most traffic.
  3. Use a variety of ad types such as static, dynamic, or even video-based. This strategy keeps the ad content from becoming stale and attracts more attention. 
  4. Don’t overdo the ads as visitors may tire of seeing them repeatedly. Going overboard can backfire and cause prospective buyers to drop out for good. 
  5. Reassess and, if necessary, re-tune the retargeting campaign based on customer engagement data. What may work one month may not work the same in the next. 


Retargeting is a cost-effective, strategic method to bring visitors back to your site in an unobtrusive way for sales conversions. Since ads focus on the products that interest them, shoppers are likely to return to the site when gently reminded using this solution. 

Brandcraft can help your business achieve growth with a customized digital marketing plan. Contact us for more information on our complete line of strategic marketing solutions that will take your website business to the next level.

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