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It’s Not Stalking, It’s Retargeting

How many times have you been browsing the Internet and thought, “Man, I see that company’s ads everywhere!”? That company is probably using retargeting (also known as remarketing or remessaging), which allows them to show ads to people who have visited their site while they’re browsing the web. When you use retargeting, a code snippet on your website activates tracking that helps your ads “follow” a user across the Internet. Online Ad Retargeting

With search advertising, your goal is often to reach new customers. However, with retargeting, you can use online ads to reach those already familiar with your products or services.

Product-specific Remarketing

Is it coincidence that after you get done looking at a product on Amazon, you see an ad for it on Facebook? No, no it’s not. It’s retargeting. Amazon isn’t the only one that can do that. Any e-commerce site can take advantage of product retargeting. If you’re not set up for e-commerce, you can still tailor your ads based on what visitors viewed. For example, we can target custom software ads to visitors who spent time on the software development section of our website.

Platforms with Retargeting

Retargeting is available through:
  • Google
  • Yahoo!
  • Bing
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • And more
Currently, each of these platforms requires a unique tracking code and has a separate ad platform. However, third-party tools are available to help consolidate efforts.

Is Retargeting Right for Me?

As with most things in our industry, the answer is, “It depends.” The biggest factor in whether retargeting will work for you is your website. If your website isn’t set up for conversions (purchases, registrations, forms, downloads), your retargeting dollars will go to waste.

Retargeting Privacy

Through retargeting, you don’t have access to users’ personal data. You don’t know who the website visitors are, but you know that they’ve been to your site and what they’ve done on it.

Will Customers Get Annoyed?

If you do your retargeting right, your customers will notice your ads—after all, that’s the point, right? Might some get annoyed? It’s possible. But if you set up your campaign correctly, you can avoid a lot of the annoyances:
  • Remove users from retargeting after a certain time period of inactivity on your site (default is 30 days).
  • Show users ads they would want to see based on what they browsed. $10 off that product I was just looking at? Sold!
  • Be careful not to advertise to users who have already converted. If I just bought a product, I don’t want to see an ad for it.

Hit the (Re)target

Whatever you call it—remarketing, retargeting, or remessaging—it’s a targeted way to reach a unique audience with an action-driven message.