Understanding Retargeting vs Remarketing: What's the Difference?

Retargeting vs remarketing are two essential strategies to engage with current and potential customers while keeping your company at the forefront of their minds. In order to understand the difference between them, it is crucial to have a clear comprehension of each term's meaning. To get a simple and accurate explanation, take a look at Viindoo's article on the topic!

What is retargeting?

Retargeting aims to reconnect with online visitors who previously engaged with your brand but didn't complete a purchase. Since only 2% of web traffic typically converts during the first interaction, a retargeting strategy is needed to reach the remaining 98% of your target audience.

Retargeting operates by using cookies on your website, which collect data on visitor actions, including products viewed, drop-off times, and abandoned items in the shopping cart. This data enables you to create personalized PPC ads on platforms like Google or Facebook that showcase specific products viewed and tailored ad copy.

For instance, have you ever been browsing a website and then later on saw an ad for the same product on Facebook? This is a classic example of retargeting, which should not be mistaken for remarketing. Advertisements for these types of products may include phrases such as "Still interested in this dress?" or "Remember this?" to re-engage potential customers and increase the likelihood of them completing a purchase.

Retargeting vs Remarketing

 Definition of Retargeting (Source: intomarket)

You can also retarget individuals who engaged with your social media posts, display ads, or other online ads. For example, if someone clicked on your ad in their Facebook newsfeed or viewed your Facebook page, you can create a segmented campaign for that entire audience. If you recently hosted a Facebook Live event where you discussed a specific product, you can target viewers of that event with a specific campaign.

To retarget those who clicked on your previous PPC ads, you can add pixels to your website. Pixels will track your site visitors, allowing you to retarget them accordingly based on where they came from.

But won't people find it annoying to see ads for something they didn't want to purchase? Actually, 25% of online viewers said they were happy to see retargeted ads. Perhaps the potential customer was interested in buying the product but didn't have the time or their credit card available. Or maybe they were on the fence about purchasing and a retargeted ad will remind them of their interest. Without retargeting campaigns, only 8% of these potential customers will return.

When they see the ad again or a new ad for the product, they are more likely to click. A retargeted ad gives them another opportunity to purchase something they want. Customers who see retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert.

In summary, retargeting is about bringing back individuals who showed interest in your brand but did not complete a purchase. It helps increase their awareness of your brand and moves them further down the sales funnel. Note that retargeting is often confused with remarketing, which is incorrectly referred to by Google as targeting people who previously visited your website via PPC ads. If you use Google ads to retarget potential customers, you can add a remarketing tag to ensure those who clicked on previous ads will see new retargeted ads on Google.

What is remarketing?

To re-engage customers based on their past purchases, businesses often use remarketing, which is a crucial aspect of customer retention strategy, and email marketing is a common method. To implement remarketing, a monthly newsletter can be sent to subscribers informing them about the company's latest developments or deals on products related to their previous purchases.

For instance, if a website sells baby products and a customer bought diapers, they might be interested in buying more diapers, baby wipes, or formula in the future. Thus, the company can notify them about diaper sales or new product offerings via email. Additionally, if a customer hasn't made a purchase in a while, companies can offer coupons or other incentives to boost sales.

Retargeting vs Remarketing

Definition of Remarketing 

Remarketing aims to re-engage customers who have already completed the sales funnel by maintaining their interest and engagement with the company. As per a recent eMarketer survey, 81% of customers stated that they are likely to make a purchase from remarketing emails. By personalizing emails according to past purchases, businesses can witness revenue growth of up to 760%.

Overall, remarketing is an effective way of leveraging content marketing to keep current and previous customers interested in the brand and remind them of why they initially chose the business. By doing so, companies offer more opportunities for customers to purchase their products.

Retargeting vs Remarketing: What is the Difference?

To put it simply, the difference between retargeting and remarketing lies in their approach:

  • Retargeting involves using paid ads to recapture the attention of visitors who have previously engaged with your website or social media profiles.
  • Remarketing, on the other hand, involves using email to reach out to past customers who have already made a purchase from your brand.

When it comes to marketing objectives, the focus of retargeting is to bring back visitors to your website with the goal of increasing conversions. As we know, the conversion rate for pay-per-click (PPC) ads is generally low, with the best campaigns reaching around 9%. Therefore, retargeting provides an opportunity to lure back visitors and close the deal, ultimately increasing the return on investment (ROI) for your PPC ads.

Retargeting vs Remarketing: What's the Difference?

What's the difference between remarketing and retargeting?

Meanwhile, remarketing is more centered on engaging with current customers to build brand loyalty, encourage repeat purchases, and increase customer lifetime value.

The following simple comparison table makes it clear what actions should be taken for retargeting and remarketing:



Convert new customer

Remind people about abandoneed carts

Tell customer about a deal

Give customer coupons

Engage someone who visited your social media

Show someone a product they showed interest in

See if a customer is interested in related products

Connect with someone who attended an online event

Remind someone about a previous purchase

Retargeting vs Remarketing: Which Strategy is Best for You?

With the knowledge of the difference between remarketing and retargeting, it is important to note that both strategies are essential and should not be chosen between. Implementing both of them in your marketing campaign is necessary for engaging with current and potential customers, and for keeping your brand top-of-mind.

Retargeting vs Remarketing which is better?

Retargeting vs Remarketing which is better?  (Source: intomarket)

As with every aspect of your digital marketing strategy, it is important to analyze your retargeting and remarketing efforts. This involves calculating your PPC conversion rates and optimizing your campaigns based on the data you collect.

It is also important to keep in mind that these campaigns should not be compared with other PPC efforts, as retargeting and remarketing typically have significantly higher conversion rates.

The above article from Viindoo has provided an explanation and a means of differentiation between Retargeting and Remarketing. Hopefully, this content has furnished readers with valuable insights into the topic of Retargeting vs Remarketing.

Understanding Retargeting vs Remarketing: What's the Difference?
Viindoo Technology Joint Stock Company, Yen Nguyen March 30, 2023