Remarketing and Retargeting : How do they work?

Remarketing and Retargeting are two remarkable tools for marketers. Some would think of them as the same thing but they are actually different. Let’s learn more about them and especially, how they differ.

Remarketing is about e-mail marketing, utilizing social media to run campaigns and more, while retargeting deals with the website traffic by popping-up ads to people again and again. So, we can say that retargeting comes under the umbrella of remarketing.


Remarketing is done for the products or services that the potential customers are already aware of. For instance, imagine your dad owns a Fiat and you’ve been seeing the same car since kindergarten. And once, you’re old enough to drive, there is 80% chance that you’ll get a Fiat too. Now, that’s the psychology behind remarketing. However, as good as remarketing can be for your brand, timing is always an important facet or it will affect adversely. Here we discuss two common forms of remarketing: e-mail and social media.

  • e-Mail Marketing

Every form of email marketing is remarketing. There are different ways by which you can send emails to your potential customers.

  1. It says “If you liked X, why not look at Y”
  2. Shopping card abandonment email






You know, out of 30% of people who visit your site, only 3% people actually check out. It means 27% of your potential customers turn around. So, for every 3 people who buy your product, you can email other 27 of them for reminding them to “complete their purchase”.  To fetch emails, we can simply, put a pop-up on our website saying “enter email to get surprise coupon code”.

What are the different formats of emails?

  1. A generic branded prompt to finish their order
  2. A personalized email with a timed coupon (72hours)
  3. A personalized email with a timed coupon (48 hours)







Experience has told us that the first one helped in generating 10% more sales while the second one doubled the sales. Keeping the code for an even shorter period in the third case increased the sales by 200%.

Now, let’s have a look at some good examples of abandoned cart emails.

  1. One that says “Let me teleport you back to your shopping cart.”
  2. Showing the exact product that’s been left in the cart
  3. Offer 10% discount to the abandoned item

Also, engaging with the potential customer within 1 hour after abandonment shows a 10x increase over waiting for even as little as 2 hours. As important as remarketing is, email marketing is still underused and only 25% of the “top 100” retailers use it.

  • Social Media

Here are some of the examples of how social media can be utilized as a tool for remarketing. A Pizza company has been doing a great job on social media in engaging customers and also remarketing their products to their existing ones. They often introduce a new pizza for a limited time and after some time they bring the same pizza back and ask people to tweet “how do they feel about it”. UK Domino’s Pizza used this brilliant tactic in which, they asked people to tweet with #letsdolunch. For every tweet, they reduced 1 cent from the original price of the pizza that was 8.79£. Setting up the minimum price slab to 6.59£, they generated attention through the tweets on their hashtag and a higher conversion under a marginal price difference.

You can also do the similar contest in which, only 10 lucky people win a prize and rest of them get 20% discount. That’s how you can make your customers contented and build engagement through remarketing.


Retargeting is all about re-engaging with your website visitors who did not convert. Data says, 98% of the website traffic does not convert. These 98% don’t give you their email, contact or follow you on any social media. That might sound depressing but retargeting is the only solution.

  • What exactly is Retargeting?

It is a cookie-based technology that uses java-script code to anonymously follow your audience all over the web.

  • How does it work?

We place a small code (pixel) on our website. This code is un-noticeable to our site visitors & won’t affect site’s performance. Every time a new visitor comes, code drops an anonymous browser cookie and this cookie helps our ads to be shown to the people who previously visited our site.

Potential Customers ---> Visit your site ---> Leave without checking ---> Later they surf the web---> Your ad recaptures their attention ---> Potential Customer becomes Happy Customer

For more conversions, Retargeting works well with Content Marketing/Adwords which assist in driving traffic to your website. Retargeting shows 10x increase in CTR (Click through rate) and hence, it is indeed an important method along with traffic generating techniques.

Here we discuss Google Adwords and Facebook as channels for retargeting.

  • Google Adwords

Traditional Retargeting Approach:

  1. Assume that a user has visited your site before.
  2. Retargeting pixel helps you to advertise.
  3. Go to Google Adwords> Go to Share Library > Audience > Remarket to people who visited your site before.
  4. Set up Remarketing
  5. Keep the dynamic ads unchecked.
  6. Use Google Analytics Tag
  7. Once you’re through, you can click on Remarketing list and set up a new list for website visitors.
  8. Choose “visitors of a page with a specific tag”
  9. Select New Tag
  10. You’ll get a new code to put on your page.
  11. Set the maximum duration.
  12. Click SAVE.
  13. You’ll be redirected to the page with “code snippet”
  14. Add the code just before </body> tag.
  15. Then your list will start growing.
  • Facebook

  1. Use Pixel.
  2. Add Pixel Code.
  3. Add conversion tracking
  4. Copy the code in your website header.
  5. In interests, add all your competitors.

For a detailed procedure to learn ‘how to use Facebook pixel for retargeting’, refer to this guide.

Hope this article gave you a detailed insight into what is what and how to get started with remarketing and retargeting to enhance your business effectively, attract more visitors and at the end, create more conversions.

Published by

Alok Paul

Co-Founder of Prime Seller Hub.

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