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How Does Remarketing Work?

How Does Remarketing Work?


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Remarketing is a way to reconnect with visitors who came to your website but didn’t make a purchase.

So, why should you use remarketing?

Not everyone will buy on a first visit. People may be looking at products they’re thinking of buying, or just browsing and looking for ideas. In fact, around 96% of visitors will leave your site without buying anything.

However, by browsing the site, or adding items to shopping carts without buying, these visitors are declaring an interest in your products.
It’s a bit like window shopping. People might not buy there and then, but by taking the time to stop and look, they’re telling you that your products appeal to them.

Whether online or in stores, these are shoppers who might well make a purchase with the help of a gentle nudge or reminder, and this is what remarketing is all about. Remarketing is sometimes confused with retargeting, but they are basically the same.

Whether it’s through email, SMS, direct mail or display ads, both of these terms refer to re-engaging with visitors who have shown an interest in your products or services.

Before we look at the benefits of remarketing and the range of different types, you might be wondering what’s the difference between remarketing and retargeting?

What are the benefits of display, SMS and email remarketing?

Let’s look at some examples of remarketing. Firstly, display remarketing uses banner ads to remind visitors of products they’ve viewed.
For example, having looked at some boots, I might see them again when reading sports news on another site.

By using behavioural data, these ads are more effective. The average click through rate for display ads is around 0.07%. For retargeted ads, it’s 0.7%.
Email remarketing is about reconnecting with customers who have visited your site and either browsed products or abandoned a purchase.

It works because the potential purchase is still fresh in the customer’s mind. It ‘s about reminding them of the items they looked at, and using the data from the customer’s visit helps to create a more personalised and relevant email message.

There are other forms of remarketing, using different channels to reconnect with website visitors. So customers can be targeted through SMS messages, video, or with messages shown on-site as they are about to abandon a purchase.

Whatever channel is used, remarketing can be a highly effective way of reconnecting with customers and driving more conversions. Ker-ching!


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Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.