Your Guide to Choosing Between Retargeting or Remarketing

Francis Gary Viray

Author & Editor

Founder & CEO

Published on: Jul 5, 2022 Updated on: May 21, 2024

Retargeting versus remarketing – which one should you opt for when it comes to maximizing ad performance?

Digital advertising comes with many tools and techniques that you can use in combination to surpass your competitors online.

For one, an expert PPC management agency or someone tasked to manage your paid advertising campaigns have a vast range of options for digital advertising channels on which to run your campaigns. You can also explore a number of campaign optimization techniques, testing methods, and tools that supercharge your efforts.

With that, it's safe to say that businesses and advertising platforms alike are making a huge deal out of PPC, and for good reason.

Why is PPC management and advertising important nowadays?

It’s important to stay top-of-mind by future clients though, given how quickly things happen online. Retargeting and remarketing are two common strategies you can apply to your campaigns so that your clients don’t forget you in this fast-paced digital age.

These two strategies may seem similar at first glance. For one, these strategies both help to create and nurture leads for a company. They also both center on the same concept: to encourage a customer to purchase your product or service by reminding them of their initial interest.

However, you may need to choose from these two strategies to make your PPC management more effective. When planning out your pay-per-click company ads, you can use either or both of these strategies to engage with your clients more effectively.

If you want to maximize your PPC campaigns, you need to know about retargeting and remarketing. Here’s a run-through of how you can learn more about their differences to determine which strategy works best for your online campaign.

When planning out your online marketing strategy, you may need to choose from these two for your campaigns. To figure out which strategy will work best for you, check out the simple explanations behind retargeting and remarketing below.

What is ad retargeting?

Also known as just retargeting, it’s a form of PPC advertising wherein you target ads towards potential clients who already visited other pages of your website. When a customer checks you out online, you can track them, tag them, and retarget certain ads towards them so they remember to engage with you again.

How do ads retargeting work?

Let’s say a customer casually checks out your website. They browse through your products and services but do not purchase any of them. Then, they leave your website. If you do ad retargeting, you can still push ads about your business to the customer on other websites or apps, so that they remember to come back to you.

This is a very popular strategy because many third-party websites already track customer activities online anyway. For example, when someone goes on Facebook, the app already tracks their activities. If you want to benefit from that information, you can engage in Facebook’s retargeting options to promote yourself to those users.

Why is ad retargeting important?

Why is retargeting important? It’s important because it’s a great way to encourage more people to become contacts, who progress into leads and even buyers. It aids in the buyer’s journey and bridges gaps in your online marketing funnel. 

It’s also an immediate process. This low-cost, high-return strategy advertises sooner rather than later, sharing your ad to interested users once they do any activity on your website. It’s an affordable and accessible way to advertise your business online.

What is ad remarketing?

Many people often confuse remarketing with retargeting, talking about the latter when they mean the former.

The reason why they can be confusing is that remarketing also entails advertising to clients who already visited your website or showed interest in your services but with remarketing, you re-engage with users who did not follow through on conversion through different means and channels.

Generally, conversion refers to a product or service sale. However, a conversion could also simply mean gaining a lead. If you’re trying to just collect leads by having users join your email subscription, or follow you on social media, you can count those as conversions too.

As a business owner, you want those magical conversions. When you engage in remarketing, you want to remind potential customers of their interest in you and convince them to come back and complete the conversion.

What are the examples of remarketing?

custom audience example

A great example of remarketing is when a customer receives an email from an online store. If a customer browses a store, puts items in their basket, but doesn’t buy, the store can send them an email reminding them of those items.

Another example is when a food delivery app emails users during meal times. They can remind people during breakfast, lunch, or dinner time to buy food, through emails or notifications. This is a clear example of remarketing that you may have already experienced this 2020.

What’s the difference between ad remarketing and ad retargeting?

Both are smart strategies that can aid you in your digital marketing. They both entail following your customers’ activities so that you can engage with them again. But for all their similarities though, remarketing and retargeting differ in that they tackle the two opposite ends of the marketing funnel.

In using remarketing for your PPC campaign, you strategically send emails to customers who are at the bottom of the marketing funnel. These customers displayed great interest and have taken the strongest actions indicating a purchase or conversion, but simply have not done so yet.

In using retargeting for your PPC campaign, you strategically advertise to customers at the top of the marketing funnel. These customers may have only expressed a mild interest in your product or services, after browsing through your website or viewing your social media page. 

By tracking those types of information, you can target ads towards them on other platforms, like apps and third-party websites. This is where some social media channels stand out. For example, one Facebook ad optimizations allow you to upload a custom audience to promote your business to specific people and audiences.

custom audience example

Retargeting versus remarketing – which one is better?

With so many marketing terms out there, it's no wonder that retargeting and remarketing are often used interchangeably. But while they may sound similar, there are actually some key differences between the two.

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that allows you to target ads to users who have already visited your website. This is done by placing a tracking pixel on your website, which then allows you to serve ads to those users as they browse the web. 

Remarketing, on the other hand, is a form of email marketing that allows you to send targeted emails to users who have already engaged with your brand. This can be done by collecting email addresses from customers or subscribing them to your email list.

Both retargeting and remarketing can be effective ways to reach your target audience. However, retargeting may be more effective for driving website traffic and conversion, while remarketing may be more effective for building relationships and fostering customer loyalty. Ultimately, the best way to determine which strategy is right for your business will depend on your goals and objectives.

When should you try retargeting?

Now that you know the distinct differences between retargeting and remarketing, the big question still remains: which strategy will work best for your PPC campaign, and your company overall?

That choice really boils down to what your business needs. Here are some ways to tell if it’s time for you to try retargeting:

  1. You want to try multiple approaches to connect with your customers.
  2. You’re targeting customers at the top of the marketing funnel.
  3. You’re familiar with Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Google Analytics, and other predictive analytics tools.

If you and your business align with these instances, then it might be the right time for you to try out ad retargeting.

When should you try remarketing?

Maybe you’re a bit apprehensive about retargeting. If you’re still undecided about what your strategy will be, then think about whether remarketing will work for you or not. Here are some ways for you to tell if you should go for remarketing:

  1. You have an email list of interested prospects who are nearly converting or at the bottom of the marketing funnel.
  2. You have a team of talented email writers in your company that you can maximize.
  3. You want to reconnect with past or current customers to build long-term and valuable relationships with.

But just because remarketing works best for you, for example, doesn’t mean you throw retargeting out the window. Both of these strategies are great ways to repeatedly engage with your potential clients. 

By being critical and getting accurate analytics in your digital marketing, your business can soar to greater heights this 2020. Let your company shine online with the right tools and strategies.

Key takeaways

Choosing between retargeting and remarketing can be tricky without the right guidance. Whichever strategy you choose, it should be the one that is most effective for your PPC campaign and your business overall. Remember that:

  • PPC advertising is an effective way to reach customers online, especially with strategies like retargeting and remarketing that you can apply to your campaigns.
  • Retargeting engages customers at the top of the marketing funnel, using targeted ads to promote to users who casually browsed through your business.
  • Remarketing engages customers at the bottom of the marketing funnel, using targeted emails to remind users to complete their purchase or conversion.
  • Both are smart strategies you can use for your PPC campaign, depending on what your needs are as a company.

With the right advice, you can easily choose between the two strategies. Whether you want to retarget to drive traffic or engagement for your brand or connect to customers by remarketing, you’ll need the right kind of help to take your business to the next level.

Need help in strategizing your next digital marketing campaign? Feel free to message us for help on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn.