This one meme sums up the whole concept of retargeting and remarketing.

97% of people who visit your website for the first time leave without making a purchase.

Chances are they couldn’t find what they were looking for. The price didn’t fit their budget. They wanted to explore their options. They aren’t sure about your brand. Or there could be a million other reasons.

No matter what the reason is, you cannot let them go.

Retargeting and remarketing are two excellent marketing tools. They help bring back these lost leads.

These tools work on a straightforward concept. It is simpler and easier to persuade people to buy from you if they already intend to buy that product or service.

Searching for a particular product/service or visiting your or your competitor’s website is a sign of intent. It shows that the user is interested in what you offer.

You now just need to convince them to come back and shop with you. That’s what retargeting and remarketing do.

Retargeting vs. Remarketing

When you search for remarketing, the Google Knowledge Graph returns the following result –

Even Google is getting confused between retargeting and remarketing. And we don’t blame you for having used them interchangeably.

Both these methods help you target and market to people who have already entered your buying cycle. But they are different techniques.

They have the same goals. And overlapping techniques. But their basics are different.

To make things clear, we have explained both the terms.

What is Retargeting?

Using user behavior on your website as the basis for online ad placement and display is retargeting.

Someone visited your website. But they did not make a purchase.

So you show them online ads on other sites that they visit. And if your ads are correctly designed to overcome the buyer resistance, your retargeting efforts would be successful.

The user would come back and complete the buying cycle by making a purchase.

But that does not mean you bombard your audience with ads. If you retarget potential customers with ads on unrelated sites, it generates negative sentiment.

55% of respondents in a survey said they were less likely to make a purchase if they came across an ad multiple times.

The key to effective retargeting is in knowing the right balance.

If used the right way, retargeting leads can drive in a 147% increase in conversion rates. And 26% of retargeted customers return to complete the purchase.

Also, consumers are four times more likely to be encouraged to make a purchase when they see relevant ads during their research phase.

With practice or with an experienced SEM company, you can retarget and convert leads with the most potential.

What is Remarketing?

When a user adds something to their cart, you can be almost sure that they would like to buy that product.

But, if a visitor leaves your site without hitting the Checkout button, what is it that you do?

You send them a cart abandonment mail, right?

That, right there, is remarketing. You know the visitor is interested in a particular product. You know they want it.

So you remind them.

Or you try to up-sell or cross-sell. You send them emails that read something on the lines of –

“People who are interested in X also viewed Y.”


“Those who bought A also bought B.”

How is it different from retargeting then?


Retargeting is mainly focused on online display ads. Remarketing uses email as the channel of communication.

When your prospective lead is just looking around for options, you make sure they keep you in consideration.

That’s why you show your ads on other sites that the user visits.

But when you are sure that your lead wants to make a purchase, you send them a customized email. This email helps persuade the visitor to become a buyer.

The first situation is retargeting, and the latter is remarketing.

The Relationship Between Remarketing and Retargeting

SEM agency and experts also often use remarketing and retargeting as synonyms. They are different concepts, but the lines of difference are blurring.

When we talk about search engine marketing services, it is usually the display ads we are talking about. And it is the email campaigns that have a remarketing segment.

However, with the advancement in technology, both these tools work hand in hand.

Earlier emails and online display ads were different things. That’s changing now. Google and Facebook now let you target ads to specific email addresses.

With that, it is safe to say that retargeting and remarketing have become overlapping concepts with similar end goals.

How Retargeting and Remarketing Work?

Let us explain this to you with a simple example.

You have an online store that sells chocolates. A visitor, let’s call him X, visits your website. You use cookies to track that visit. Now you know that X is interested in chocolates. You retarget specific ads to him on other sites that he visits.

But remember relevant sites. And not bombarding him with ads.

This keeps your brand on the top of X’s mind. When he is ready to make a purchase, he knows where to start. The ads build brand recognition.

From being outside the sales funnel, X has now entered your sales funnel. With retargeting efforts.

Now X comes to your website, adds a couple of chocolates to his cart. But he doesn’t buy anything.

Just like 27% of all people who add things to their cart but don’t buy anything.

So, you send him an email. Preferably within an hour. (Remarketing efforts within the 1st hour of interaction are likely to result in 10 times more engagement than those done later).

That email could invite him to come back and complete the purchase. Or it could offer a discount. Or it could also be showing what other stuff he can buy from your site.

This remarketing effort increases your chances of making X make the purchase. After all, 66% of cart conversions come from emails, according to research by Internet Retailer.

And the efficacy of retargeting and remarketing is not limited to just hypothetical examples and research stats.

Uplers, an SEM services company, helped a Sydney-based wedding band increase conversions. And a part of the strategy was using remarketing and retargeting.

Increase conversions by how much? By 750% in just 10 months.

Now, that brings us to another important question…

How To Integrate Retargeting and Remarketing into Your Marketing Strategy?

Retargeting and remarketing are essential aspects of search engine marketing.

They are not standalone concepts that can be implemented and integrated into your marketing strategy without proper planning.

To be able to retarget and remarket, you first need initial leads.  And for that, you need basic SEM services too.

Either you can start from scratch. And carry out integrated SEO and PPC efforts (SEO+PPC=SEM).

Once you are done with basic lead generation and optimization, you can remarket and retarget past visitors.

Or you can get in touch with experienced agencies like Uplers that offer SEM services.

The downside to starting from scratch on your own is that you will have to spend more time understanding the basics.

This would not just come at a cost but would also make you lose immediate opportunities.

With expert service providers, you can trust experienced personnel and their market knowledge. And focus on what you do best.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.