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Remarketing: what is it and why should I use it?

Buzzwords regularly pop up (excuse the pun) in marketing, and it’s often difficult to determine which ones deserve your attention. Remarketing is more than just a buzzword. It has revolutionised digital marketing. So, it’s certainly something you should consider integrating into your marketing strategy.

Remarketing, also known as retargeting or behavioural remarketing, is a method of internet advertising whereby adverts are marketed or targeted to users based on previous online behaviour.

How does remarketing work?

Remarketing tags or marks online users by embedding a tracking code on the target web page to which you want users to return. The tracking code unobtrusively, and mostly invisibly, checks that a user has accessed the particular web page. Once this is confirmed, a cookie is set in the user’s browser and an advertiser can now advertise to users elsewhere on the internet on various networks, such as Facebook and Google.

What types of remarketing exist?


Advertising to people who have previously visited your website.


Advertising to people who have visited a web page via clicking on a link that has been shared on an online channel.


Advertising to people who have read an email that you have sent them.

Custom event

Setting up an event, which tracks an action on a website, e.g. playing a video, adding a product to a cart and downloading a document.

Why use remarketing?

Because people have already visited your web page or read your email, remarketing is an effective way to remind them of your brand, keep it top of mind and encourage them to engage with your brand again. It is also a great way to encourage users who have “fallen off” a specific user journey to rejoin the user journey at the appropriate point. For instance, an abandoned shopping cart or a registration process. If you are looking for ways to convert users into customers, remarketing is a great tool!

What is remarketing best practice?

If discretion is not exercised in a remarketing campaign, adverts can become annoying to those who are on the receiving end. With this in mind, it is important to stick to remarketing best practice:

Once users are converted, stop advertising to them

This obviously depends on the remarketing strategy and the goal you are trying to achieve (e.g. brand awareness vs performing a specific function). Either way, don’t overdo it. Overdoing it isn’t a very effective use of your marketing budget and it can just as quickly convert people back to non-consumers if you annoy them too much.

Determine advertising frequency limits

Don’t bombard people with your advertising. We all know how irritating it is to frequently watch the same TV ad or listen to a repetitive radio ad, and this is no different. You can set limits as to how many times people see your advertising per day, per week, etc. so it would be wise to make use of these boundaries.

Accurately target your remarketing campaigns

It is not always effective to target everyone who has ever visited your website. Build a custom audience and target within that group. Try narrowing it down to specifics, like particular web pages visited or website actions. Remarketing can also be used in conjunction with more traditional digital targeting methods, such a user demographics, interests or geographic locations. So, create specific audiences and target specific ads to them. Ring-fence your remarketing efforts according to parameters that narrow your audience down to age, gender, interests, etc.

Protect people’s privacy

Bear in mind that networks don’t reveal an individual’s identity and they have minimum audience sizes, so you cannot infer who someone is. This is to help protect people’s privacy and to prevent marketers from honing in on an individual. Protecting people’s privacy should be as much the marketer’s goal as it is the networks’, so don’t try cut corners.

If you are trying to improve your return on investment by increasing your conversion rates then remarketing is your new best friend. When it is done correctly, it can be an incredibly effective brand-building, user-converting tool. Are you keen to get a campaign going? Give us a call today.

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Charles Mackenzie

Guest Author

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