Here’s How Retargeting Is Different From Remarketing!

Here's How Retargeting Is Different From Remarketing!
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Are you a paid media advertiser? If yes, terms like retargeting and remarketing shouldn’t appear exotic to you.

It’s a fact that most advertisers often use these terms interchangeably, however, it’s not right to do so! Besides several similarities between the two, there are some crucial differences too that can play a vital role in your digital marketing strategy. Further, understanding these differences becomes a lot more vital considering these two as important digital marketing ploys with a common goal in mind. Hence, let’s dive deeper into remarketing, retargeting, and explore them in detail.

What is remarketing?

According to Outbrain, just 2% of the consumers will purchase your product or service on their first visit to your site. Quite surprising, isn’t it? That’s where remarketing comes into play and involves utilizing the potentials of email marketing to re-engage the visitors.

Note that these emails are based on the actions taken by the visitors on your site. For a better understanding, consider this.

If you have ever abandoned your cart or added any product to your wishlist, you’ll receive an email from that business and that’s called a remarketing email.

The reason why businesses pick email marketing for remarketing is due to its prowess as depicted through the following image.

In brief, a remarketing email serves as a reminder for the customer of where and what they’ve left on your site. Since the customer has already shown interest in your business, its products, and services, a little reminder through an email can influence their purchasing decision and allot you a deserving lead.

Let’s take an example.

You visited the Nike online store for a new pair of sneakers. After browsing on their website for a while, you came across your desired sneakers and added them to the cart. However, suddenly, a call from your buddy distracts you and forces you to withdraw from the shopping.

Soon enough, the following mail will land in your inbox.

This example depicts how effectively websites use remarketing to reach back to the visitors who took off without completing their purchase due to any reason. Some reminder emails also include special incentives for the visitor to get provoked enough to act immediately.

Further, some businesses take advantage of remarketing emails to upsell or cross-sell by listing products under “You might also like….” to entice the customer of similar or complementary products. For instance, Kade Spade uses this tactic very often.

So, that’s all about remarketing every paid media advertiser should be aware of. Let’s understand retargeting next, another digital marketing tactic.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting exploits the power of online ads or ad campaigns to re-engage the visitors who have already interacted with the website. Hence, one major difference between remarketing and retargeting is that:

● Remarketing uses email marketing for re-engagement.
● Retargeting utilizes strategic ad campaigns for the same.

In another sense, while remarketing is localized on a single platform (email), retargeting isn’t localized to one platform and involves advertising on multiple outside platforms like various search engines and social media platforms.

Let’s understand retargeting through an example.

Similar to remarketing, here also the visitor needs to take any action to launch the retargeting ads. For example, click on a certain product, add a product to the cart/wishlist, etc.

Following any desired action from the visitor’s end, the cookie that’s set in their browser enables businesses to retarget the user through ads. Note that similar to the emails, ads are too specific and based on the visitor’s actions. That is, the ad triggered for an item lying in the wishlist won’t appear for the product added to the cart.

Additionally, businesses can also advertise on other third-party sites through the Google Display Network that allows them to catch up with the visitors on their favorite sites after they have departed the business’s site.

This way, you also increase your visibility on other platforms or sites where your potential visitors often visit. As a result, you get a golden opportunity to attain more conversions.

Another approach to retargeting!

So far, I only discussed the trigger actions on the business’s site for retargeting, however, here’s another approach for the same. This comprises retargeting the visitor following the action(s) taken off-site.

The above approach is beneficial if you intend to catch new leads by driving them to your website. Here, your search engine presence will come in handy!

Remarketing v/s retargeting: Which Is Better?

Though the goal of each of these marketing tactics is the same i.e. to incite more conversions from the interested visitors, both use different strategies to achieve this.

As remarketing uses the email approach, it’s best when the message you’re trying to send can be transmitted best via an email only! Also, emails offer you more space to add whatever content you wish to send to attract more conversions. This isn’t possible through ads used in retargeting. However, remarketing is localized to just the email platforms.

On the other hand, if you want more flexibility in the platforms to reach out to a wider base, you’d not look beyond retargeting. This is because you can place your ads on multiple platforms.

Not to forget, while remarketing only permits interaction with the previous site owners, retargeting allows you to catch up with the new audiences.

The final takeaway!

To sum up, there is no one-size-fits-all digital marketing solution or tactic that’s better or the best. Both remarketing and retargeting fulfill a common goal in different ways. Now, which one should you use over the other would depend upon your marketing goals. Hence, both are promising in their perspective and won’t let you down if executed properly.

We are web design, web development and search engine optimisation specialists who believe in fostering long term professional, mutually profitable relationships with our clients. Our services include website design, website development, e-commerce, search engine optimisation, database development, mobile application development and software development.


We are web design, web development and search engine optimisation specialists who believe in fostering long term professional, mutually profitable relationships with our clients. Our services include website design, website development, e-commerce, search engine optimisation, database development, mobile application development and software development.

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