What Is Retargeting and How Does It Work?

You may be led to believe that online marketing works in a simple, linear way- the ad is seen by a user on similar sites, the user clicks on it and buys the product straight away, all in one go. In reality though, buyers do not take simple journeys when shopping online. Think about your own shopping habits- how many times have you seen something online, liked it and either bought it a few weeks, or even months later after searching for better prices or alternative products… or forgotten about the product entirely! I can guarantee the amount of times this has happened to you is probably quite high. This is not unusual behaviour, as 73% of purchase decisions begin with online research before the decision to convert is made.

This is where retargeting comes in. Retargeting focuses highly on customers who have viewed your product before but have not converted (yet). They are different to banner ads, in that they are shown only to people who have previously visited your site, or are in your database having done business with you before. SeeLocal is a local online advertising platform designing bespoke, eye-catching ads that can be re-targeted to potential customers to help increase sales, directed towards those most likely to convert and generate highly positive results. Retargeting can be especially effective within local online advertising, targeting customers based on local postcodes as well as previous activity on the site, adding an extra targeting element for better results.

Pixel-Based Retargeting

This is the most common form of retargeting used, using ‘cookies’ to record customers views and re-show them after they have left the website without buying. These timely advertisements are highly effective as they can be seen as soon as the user leaves your site, while the thought and intention to buy is still prevalent in their mind. It can also work by acting as a reminder to buy; being shown a few hours after the user leaves your site could then prompt them to purchase- they’ve already viewed the product, they just need to be convinced to buy!

List-Based Retargeting

This form of retargeting works after you have the customer’s details- perhaps from a previous sale or contact form. Although slightly less common than pixel-based retargeting, this form can still be highly effective, but tends to work best with a large list of data; as the ads are targeted towards individuals, it is best to have a large sample in order to gain maximum results. List-based retargeting allows for a highly customisable advertisement criteria based on much more than just behaviours, such as pixel-based retargeting. However, there is the issue of retaining email addresses that are different from the customers’ social media email addresses, as it would not be possible for them to see the ads on their social media platforms. Unfortunately, this can be quite a common issue with match rates varying drastically from as high as 80% to as low as 20%- so it’s a risk to take.

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