Retargeting: How to Turn Abandoned Leads into Customers

Most of us have had it happen before…you visit a site and browse a few items–whether it be a memory foam mattress, high-quality video camera, or perhaps access to an online course teaching elements of graphic design.

Maybe you didn’t have your credit card handy.

Maybe you got distracted.

Or, maybe you weren’t entirely sure the offering was worth the cost.

Whatever the reason, you left the site and continued surfing the internet.

The next thing you know, as you’re browsing another website or scrolling through your Facebook timeline, you suddenly see an ad for the exact site or specific product you were previously visiting or considering.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is retargeting, also known as remarketing.

It’s a digital marketing strategy that creates an efficient return path for your potential customers.

In a perfect world, the majority of visitors to your site would stay and follow through with your desired action, whether it be purchasing a product or signing up for a virtual seminar.

However, we don’t live in such a world– 98% of visitors to your site, especially if you are an online retailer, will leave without converting.

Return path tactics such as exit offers and retargeting were created to give you a second chance at attracting and securing a potential conversion.

With retargeting, your other marketing efforts are amplified, your brand awareness is heightened, and your brand recall is strengthened. All of these things work together to guide potential customers further down the funnel through conversion.

How retargeting works

Retargeting may sound like an interesting and intriguing concept, but before committing to including it in your marketing strategy, you may naturally want to know how it works.

Hint: it’s not internet telepathy. Or magic.

Essentially, here is what happens…

A small piece of code is added to your website, instructing it to place what’s known as a cookie on the browser of each visitor that ends up on your site, whether they get there via organic or paid marketing.

A cookie is a colloquial (and delicious-sounding) term used to describe a tracking pixel.


This may sound very Big Brother-esque, but cookies can be utilized for a variety of responsible and helpful reasons.

For example, it’s the same element that makes it possible for a person to remain logged into a site they’ve already logged into in the past, as the site will remember their browser upon return.

It’s also what helps autofill sections when you fill out a form online, saving you time and effort.

The cookie segments your audience by adding your visitor to an audience list. That way you can retarget using a specific campaign aimed just at that segment.

Marketers use real-time bidding technology to purchase individual ad impressions that will specifically target the audience lists they have compiled.

The fact that these ads are more highly targeted makes the ad purchasing more efficient.

Once a visitor leaves your site for other sites, your targeted display ad will be served in the ad blocks of those other sites, versus random advertising that the visitor might otherwise come into contact with.

Unlike this random advertising, your brand and product are already in the mind of the person whom the ad is being served to, which causes a sort of “double take” reaction upon noticing the ad over and over again on the various web properties users visit down the line.

Since they are more qualified and likely to be persuaded by the ad, this experience of déjà vu can be the factor that reels your potential customer back in.

Putting your marketing budget toward a PPC search campaign, in which you would be spending money to serve ads on sites within certain costly verticals, can be effective in specific ways, but be sure to save room for remarketing as well.

Remarketing not only serves highly specific ads to viewers who have already expressed past interest or intent to convert, but the cost tends to be a lot more reasonable.

Retargeting network providers

The facts speak for themselves.

26% of customers will return to a site via retargeting, and retargeted customers are three times more likely to click on your ad than visitors who have never interacted with your business (source).

If you don’t already have retargeting included in your paid media strategy, we highly suggest you consider it.

The first step will be finding a retargeting ad network.

These retargeting network providers have relationships with hundreds of thousands of sites that allow them to show your ads in all corners of the internet–from USA Today, MTV, and YouTube, to thousands of smaller and lesser known sites.

We’ve profiled a few below for you to start the vetting process…

1. Perfect Audience

Perfect Audience is a self-serve network that puts you in control.

It’s up to you to optimize campaigns, and their customer support reps are there to help if needed.

Additionally, they…

  • Provide tutorial videos to help you learn how to set up a campaign.
  • Don’t charge a high margin on traffic.
  • Allow you to show ads all over the web or inside Facebook.

2. AdRoll

Perhaps the most recognized and known retargeting network provider, AdRoll is used by over 30,000 advertisers worldwide.

It’s similar to Perfect Audience, though they charge a high margin on the traffic and past users have complained of too many restrictive rules.

According to marketing guru Justin Brooke, AdRoll may be the right fit for you if you are seeking a “great dashboard, aren’t planning to use redirect links, and are planning to use retargeting for one site.”

3. Google Remarketing

If you use Google Remarketing, the integration with Google Adwords and Analytics accounts is a big plus. They also own and control some of the best websites out there.

The downside is that the ads are only served on Google’s properties. Which means restriction from placement on Facebook or sites that don’t have Adsense codes on them. Conversely, providers such as Perfect Audience have access to Google’s traffic, Facebook, and other non-Google property sites.

When it comes down to it, retargeting is the tactic that converts window shoppers into buyers. It keeps your brand top of mind–the more times people see the same ad over time, the more likely they are to convert.

And who doesn’t love conversions?

Interested in learning about other return path strategies?

Click here to read up on the magic of exit offers. 



    15 Nov

    Best eCommerce Practices to Stand Out in a Saturated Market

    Smart Insights 2016 trends show that online shopping is up 45% this year, with online sales up to $327 billion. And global eCommerce transactions are expected to jump over...

    23 May

    How to Create an Email Marketing Promo Calendar

    Your email list is a valuable and impactful asset for your business. It’s your direct line of communication with prospective and current customers and has significant potential for accessing...

    03 Jan

    Digital Marketing Tools for a Successful 2017

    “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new year…and I’m feeling good!” Ok, so maybe those aren’t Michael Bublé’s exact words, but as 2017 begins, we...

    30 May

    Why Offline Relationships Drive Digital Marketing & How to Embrace Them

    Nomads, lone wolves, trailblazers, self-made… why is the world of digital marketing filled with images of lonely individuals slogging away at their jobs without any help? Nothing could be...

    28 Jul

    5 Digital Marketing Musts

      According to Hubspot, companies gain 54% more leads if they use inbound marketing instead of paid, old-school marketing. No wonder everyone wants to jump on the digital marketing bandwagon....

    04 Aug

    5 Digital Marketing Mistakes to AVOID

    We’ve all been there. It’s 2016, and, per usual, we THINK we know what we’re doing when it comes to digital marketing. Sound accurate? We think so. Here’s a...

    20 Sep

    7 Steps to Customer Value Optimization

      Customer value optimization, or CVO, is more than a marketing buzzword. CVO is the method that maximizes the monetary value of each customer that comes through your sales...

    20 Jun

    4 Mobile Marketing Trends You Cannot Avoid

    Mobile marketing trends seem to evolve and change faster than New York City fashion. If you aren’t taking it upon yourself to stay current, you risk losing out on...

    14 Mar

    4 Landing Page Errors That Squash Conversions

    Swipe right. Swipe left. Ahh, Tinder…the magical world of being able to find your soulmate with nothing more than a picture and a few lines of text. Ridiculous, right?...

    03 May

    10 Digital Marketing Opportunities You’re Missing Out On

      The Internet opens up numerous doors for businesses to successfully engage in digital marketing opportunities. As we move forward in the digital era, businesses who don’t embrace digital...

    Search This Blog



    Latest Tweets

    Follow @writtenbysumer on twitter.

    We Recommend

    [wp_social_sharing social_options='facebook,twitter,googleplus,linkedin,pinterest,xing' twitter_username='arjun077' facebook_text='Share on Facebook' twitter_text='Share on Twitter' googleplus_text='Share on Google+' linkedin_text='Share on Linkedin' pinterest_text="Share on Pinterest" xing_text="Share on Xing" icon_order='f,t,g,l,p,x' show_icons='0' before_button_text='' text_position='' social_image=''] Close