Retargeted advertising is a powerful way to reengage customers who have interacted with your brand. It helps businesses reach visitors who don’t convert right away. While you want every person who interacts with your business to convert, that’s not always the case. This is because the buyer’s journey is not as linear as business owners would like them to be. Everyone has a different thought process and different consumer behaviors. This brings us to why businesses should use retargeted advertising. It’s estimated that three out of five online visitors consider purchasing products they viewed from another webpage. So, retargeted advertising can be effective over half of the time. But, how does it work?

Retar-GettingHow Retargeted Advertising Works

When someone leaves your website, your retargeting ads will remind them of what you have to offer. You can use advertising to track them after they leave your website to browse other webpages online. With the right retargeting methods, you can get their attention once again and they will likely think about your business if they need your services.

The two main types of retargeting are pixel-based and list-based retargeting. Both of these methods can be very effective when trying to retarget consumers. For optimal retargeting, consider practicing both, if your budget allows for it.


In pixel-based retargeted advertising, you simply put a tracking code on your website to target your visitors. The cookies tell the ad network that someone visited your webpages. With that information, you can target specific ads that are relevant to the pages they have visited and products they may be interested in. However, you can’t know the exact identity of the person you’re retargeting. Through the pixel, you can design an experience you would like them to go through. As a couple examples, this could include showing them a specific Google advertisement or having them receive an ad on Facebook, encouraging them to opt-in to your email list.


In list-based retargeted advertising, you use your existing email list to create a retargeting campaign and target a user based on their email address. And because it’s based on consumer behavior, you can choose who goes to a specific list. Depending on the platform, the match rate can be as high as 70 to 80 percent. Since you’re in charge of maintaining the list, this type of retargeting is less timely.

Why Choose Retargeted Advertising for Your Business?

Retargeted advertising helps generate greater online sales by bringing “window shoppers” back to your website when they are ready to buy. Every time they see the ads, your brand gains more recognition. This can be likened to opening a phonebook and calling prospects. Since these customers showed an interest in your products or services, you just need to nudge them a bit to take the next step. This keeps your business at the forefront of the customer’s mind.

Retargeting ads reduce the amount of time a prospect takes to make their purchasing decision. While they may not convert immediately, they will reconsider your brand the next time they want to make a purchase. Another benefit is that it’s cost-effective. Since you’re retargeting people who have already been to your website, you’ll often spend less before they convert. Instead of needing to achieve awareness and interest again, you can move through the marketing funnel, and into the consideration and intent stages. And as you bring more interested traffic to your website, your marketing efforts will likely yield greater results.

retargeted ads

Retargeting Example

Picture this: You walk into a clothing store to buy a shirt, but before you get to the cash register, you get an urgent call and leave the shirt in the cart. In the real world, this is where the story ends. But, online, you have a way to get the customer’s attention again. This is where retargeting ads come in. You can retarget the customers who got so far down your marketing funnel, and help them pick up where they left off. The latest research suggests that if you leverage retargeting ads with the other channels, you can sell 50 percent more products or services. This may be what your business needs to get to the next level of sales.

Effective Retargeting Advertising Strategies

A successful retargeting ad campaign should focus on getting the aware consumer to evaluate and purchase your product. In the graph shown above, you can see how a retargeting ad gets the consumer back to your website. As they see your ads, they will likely think of how they can use your product or service in their life. Then, they will return and hopefully initiate a sale. Here are the best practices to follow for your retargeting ad strategy.

Understand the Buyer’s Journey

Just like in the sales funnel, you must understand the buyer’s journey. Hubspot has an excellent graphic that provides a visual representation of this concept. Or, if you have one, set up a marketing funnel (also known as a buyer’s journey) that is specific for your business. This can help you to understand how to effectively retarget potential customers.

There are more customers in the awareness stage than in the decision stage. Retargeting ads can help you capture more customers as you go through the cycle. You can push people from the awareness stage to the decision stage by showing them more intriguing advertisements.


People visit your website for many reasons. This could be to buy products/services, to get information, and others may just stumble across it on a search engine. Therefore, you should use different criteria when retargeting your ads. More specifically, you must pay close attention to demographics, websites and webpages visited, and the time spent on the site. And to ensure you create a specific message that addresses the needs of the audience, you should use different tracking pixels on your site.


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Utilize Burn Code

There’s nothing more frustrating than retargeting an ad to a customer after he or she has made the purchase. You can avoid this problem by incorporating the burn code into your strategy. This will help you exclude your customers in your retargeting campaign. However, be sure to keep them in your pixel or list system, as you may want to retarget them for future sales or promotions.

Use Lead Magnets

What do your customers love? If you’re not sure where to start, you may want to analyze your website, including the pages or products they visit frequently. You can take it a little deeper by analyzing the conversion rates. In other words, you should consider the actual number of people that convert and not the number of visitors. A good lead magnet means a higher conversion rate.

Consider the Advertising Frequency

While this is an area that is often overlooked, it determines the overall performance in your campaign. Does the frequency of the ads give a positive or a negative outlook? If the ads are intrusive and annoying, the customers may become angry with your brand. This, in turn, affects future sales. The best practice is to set the ad frequency limit to two or three times.

retargeted advertising

What Kind of Campaigns Can Use Retargeted Advertising?

The goal of a retargeting campaign is to make a prospective user take action. This could be to fill an appointment form, book a webinar, or make a purchase. Before you start your campaign, think about the end goal. Below are the popular places you can retarget on the web.


You can use Facebook to target users who have visited your site. If you’re not running ads on the platform, you could be missing out. Since Facebook is phenomenal, you should start a campaign and place your ads in front of these folks. Just embed a piece of code on your website and track the visitors’ behaviors.

Google Display Network (GDN)

Some retargeting ads appear on sites that have a display network configured. Just like any other retargeting advertising campaign, GDN uses a tracking cookie. But what makes Google Display Network unique is the fact that you can calculate the best bid possible. And because it has more than two million websites worldwide, you can reach a wider audience.


If someone has expressed their interest in your brand, why not reach them on Twitter? The ads allow you to connect to relevant users based on interests, demographics, and followers. You can target these consumers by using a pixel, as mentioned above. Then, you will be retargeting people on Twitter who may be interested in your business.

Key Takeaways for Retargeted Advertising

While retargeting ads may sound like a simple concept, there are many aspects to consider in your campaign. Take time to make your lists, determine the best platforms to use, and set goals in your campaign. And because retargeting reminds your customers that you exist before leaving the site, you can lead them to buy the product or service.

Of course, retargeted advertising works well in conjunction with other marketing strategies. You may want to use one or more tools to ensure you have the best chance of success. If you need help with your marketing strategy, please feel free to contact us. We would love to help you implement your marketing strategies, or consult you on the best practices.


Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More



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