Remarketing vs. retargeting campaigns: which one should I focus on?


Focusing on the marketing strategy that is right for you

Acquiring new customers is expensive.

According to Business Insider, around 2/3 of all sales made by e-commerce companies come from returning customers, while almost 98% of website visitors leave without making an order.

Running ads on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pintrest, etc. all comes at a price, and in order to turn a healthy profit, you must

  • 1.
    maximize conversion rate for new customers viewing your ads, and
  • 2.
    maximize retention rate for the customers you have already acquired.
In this article we will discuss widely-used strategies for achieving both of these goals:
  • retargeting campaigns, for targeting the audience that already knows of your brand with your ads,
  • remarketing campaigns, for keeping existing customers with personalized ads.

Re-targeting campaigns help you increase site visitor conversion

Retargeting targets users who have viewed or somehow engaged with your website.

In practice, this means that instead of casting your marketing net randomly by just setting up e.g. a Facebook ads campaign, and hoping for the best, you create a special retargeting Audience with just the users who have visited your website.

Retargeting can be achieved with tools provided by Facebook or Google ads. While it can seem daunting at first, it is likely to yield strong results, as it

  • shows your products to users who have already visited your website and so definitely recognize your brand,
  • reduces the size of the marketing audience you need to market to, and hence you can expect a higher return on ad spend (ROAS), as more of the people targeted with ads will convert.

Retargeting can be made even more powerful with additional tools provided by Facebook and the likes, such as marketing to lookalike audiences.

This means that the marketing platform will use the profile data of the users who engaged with your site to create a marketing persona, and look for "similar" users in the network.

While "lookalike" retargeting campaigns might add to your marketing budget, they are a great tool for broadening your audience.

On the other hand, retargeting using the tools provided by Facebook, Google etc. is not without fault, as it:

  • requires you to set up a retargeting campaign for every platform separately,
  • does not work for Mac and iPhone users, due to Apple's data sharing policy.

Re-marketing campaigns help you increase existing customer retention

Retaining existing customers is significantly cheaper than acquiring new customers.

Reaching out to a customer who has already used your product and are happy with it can be very powerful, with as much as twice as high success rate as compared to generic reachout.

Remarketing campaigns are very often based on win-back emails. This means that we send emails with new offers, discounts etc. to the customers who have previously bought something from us.

Remarketing can just as well be achieved using any platform other than email, including social media. In a previous article, we share details of how you can create such remarketing audiences for use in e.g. Facebook ads.

While powerful, remarketing might be less straightforward to implement.

This is because remarketing needs information both about orders made (this comes from your ecommerce platform, such as Shopify) and the ad campaign (this comes from your ads platform, such as Facebook ads).

Because Facebook by default does not "talk" to your ecommerce store website, it has no way of "knowing" which customers who visited your website have actually made a purchase.

To address this within Facebook, you need to not only add the Facebook "pixel" code to your site, but also set up "events" (such as "new order") in Facebook itself, before setting up the Audience itself.

Then, you have to figure out the equivalent procedure for TikTok, Pintrest, and all the other platforms you use for marketing.

Remarketing vs. retargeting campaigns

To summarize:

  • Remarketing is about re-engaging customers who have in the past bought from you.
  • Retargeting targets on customers who have viewed or somehow engaged with your website.

While retargeting is usually likely to yield better return than just "cold advertising" to a completely random sample of the online audience, retargeting campaigns are still about capturing new customers.

As such, retargeting campaigns are designed to increase your store's conversion rate.

In contrast, effective remarketing can turn one-time buyers into zealous followers of your brand, and thus reduce customer churn.

In short:

Retargeting is great for increasing your top line, while remarketing boosts your bottom line.

Which one is right for me?

There is no one good answer to this question.

Retargeting and remarketing campaigns are both important and compliment each other.

Use retargeting when you are

  • building brand awareness. If you are new to the market and are approaching a new audience for the first time, it pays to market again to people who have already clicked on your ad once in the past.
  • promoting bestsellers. As top-selling products are proven to be popular among your customer base, showing them off to customers who visit your site is likely to increase the chance of them making a purchase in the end.

Use remarketing when you are

  • reducing customer churn. If your customers churn after buying just once from your store, the issue might be with visibility, and reminding them about your brand with targeted ads might just be the way to get them to come back to your brand.
  • building a loyal customer following. Your brand is more than just products: it's a community of people who use them. Remarketing campaign might be the right way to increase the ranks of your regular buyers.

Implement remarketing and retargeting campaigns automatically with Converge

Converge lets you automatically create retargeting and remarketing Audiences from one interface, without the need for copying any code snippets anywhere.

How it works:

  • You log in to Converge (a Google account is all you need)
  • You connect your online store
  • You select the type of marketing Audience you want to create (one-time buyers, likely churners, site-visitors, etc.)
  • You log in to your Facebook, TikTok, and all other marketing tools you use
  • You press OK - and that's it!

Converge is always on, and will create and update the Audiences for you dynamically, so you never have to worry about any manual updates.

Schedule a call with us to set up your Retargeting / Remarketing Pipeline and start maxing out your email marketing ROI today :)

We look forward to speaking with you!

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