Remarketing vs Retargeting - icons represneting conversion journey

Remarketing vs. Retargeting: How to increase your conversions

Nov 10, 2020 | Online advertising & SEO

Have you heard about Remarketing vs. Retargeting before? Have you ever wondered what they are for and what the difference between the two is? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Today we’ll talk you through the essential differences between Remarketing and Retargeting. Learn how you can efficiently use these tactics to increase your conversions. Let’s dive in!

Remarketing vs. Retargeting

So, Remarketing vs Retargeting – two different beasts with a common denominator. Both tactics help you engage with customers that have come in contact with your brand before. 

The beauty and effectiveness of these marketing tactics lie (mainly) in the following two factors: 

  1. You can market to customers that have expressed an interest/purchase intent towards your product or service. For example, by visiting your website or engaging with your brand via Social Media, PPC, and so on… 
  2. Your ROI can be incredible as these tactics are pretty inexpensive.

Remarketing vs Retargeting: how are they different? 

Remarketing refers to the action of targeting existing customers or leads again: “Re-marketing”.

It’s a chance to:

  • Up-sell and cross-sell your product or service.
  • To retain your existing customers.
  • To convert customers that are still in the conversion phase of their purchase journey, etc.

You can do Remarketing in different ways and through different channels, for example, Social Media, emails, etc. You should think of Remarketing as an umbrella term

Retargeting, on the other hand, refers to the method of serving ads to people that have visited your website based on Cookies.

An HTTP cookie is a small piece of data stored on the user’s computer by the web browser while browsing a website. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information or to record the user’s browsing activity. They can also be used to remember pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields, such as names, addresses, passwords, and payment card numbers”.


“Retargeting” is nothing but a Remarketing technique that allows you to target customers based on their online behaviour. For example:

  • The website pages they have visited
  • The time they’ve spent on a specific page
  • The call-to-actions they have engaged with, and so on. 

How to leverage the power of Remarketing 

As we said earlier, Remarketing is an efficient and cost-effective way to attract/convert customers that have already engaged with your brand. You can reach out to this audience through many online and offline channels, for example: 

  • Emails are the most popular (and certainly one of the most effective) Remarketing tools. Many clever brands use emails to re-engage with customers that have browsed their website but didn’t complete an action. Have you ever received an email from an e-commerce website about a lonely item abandoned in your shopping cart? What about an email from Amazon cross-selling another product: “Customers like you have also bought…”..?
  • Brands remarket to their customers via Social Media on a daily basis! Followers see their favourite brands’ content over and over again. Discounts, polls and competitions are all ways to engage with your customers and keep them coming back. 
  • What about traditional direct mail? Have you received your monthly Sainsbury’s/Tesco’s flyer yet?
  • Have you ever received a call from your mobile network provider with an offer you absolutely can’t refuse? You often see ads on Facebook encouraging users to give their contact details in exchange for a freebie. Phone calls (and emails) are a popular way of following up with existing and potential buyers. Careful though! It’s a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirement to get your customers’ consent if you want to use their personal details for marketing purposes.
Remarketing vs retargeting. Remarketign column reads: users that have given their contact details and are targeted via emails, social and offline channels. Retargeting column reads: users that have been on your website and/or have engaged with other online channels are targeted via online ads

These are only a few examples, but the list goes on!

How to leverage the power of Retargeting

Let’s move on to Retargeting! This is probably the newest and most advanced Remarketing tactic. Marketers use Retargeting to re-engage with their website visitors.

Did you know that only a very small percentage of users convert into customers during their first website visit? 

An article from Small Business Sense states that an average website conversion rate is 2.35%. Leading companies generally convert at approximately 5.31%. This means that 95%-98% of your website visitors leave your site without taking proper action. For example, without giving their details, completing a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, etc. 

Here’s where Retargeting comes into place! First things first, you need to set up a Retargeting Pixel (e.g. Google Pixel for Google Ads, Facebook Pixel for Facebook & Instagram ads, etc.). 

What’s that? A Pixel is a simple snippet of code to add to your website to save your visitors’ Cookies. When a user visits your website, their info/behaviour is saved to the user list (on Google, or Facebook for example).

This allows you to serve ads to users that have been on your website and have engaged with its content. Not only, you can really tailor your ads to make them super relevant to the action taken by the customer on your website. People that are familiar with your brand are more likely to convert with personalised ads.

Remarketing journey: potential customers visit your site and therefore are targeted with your retargeting ads. This will bring them back to your webiste to complete the purchase.

What are the best channels for a Retargeting campaign?

Google and Facebook are two amazing channels to run your Retargeting campaigns. Through these channels, you can successfully re-engage audiences that have previously visited your site. You can also reach out to new customers that have never visited your site before. 

  • Retargeting on-site: This method allows you to reach out to people that have visited your website already. The purpose here is to retain your existing customers and/or convert new users. How? You can show them your tailored ads through Google banner ads placed on other websites (for example). Or you can show them sponsored posts on their Facebook and Instagram feeds. 
  • Retargeting off-site: This approach allows you to reach out to people that haven’t been on with your website yet, but that have engaged with your brand through another channel (e.g. Social Media). You can do this by uploading your customer list to Facebook and creating audiences that “look like” your existing clients. Or you can create ads to target users that have engaged with your Facebook page or a YouTube video and drive them to your site. 
Retargeting off-site vs retargeting on-site

Want to know more about Remarketing vs. Retargeting?



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