May 13

How to turn prospects into customers with a retargeting campaign

E-Commerce Marketing, Funnels, Lead-Generierung


Surely the following situation seems familiar to you: you look at a pair of shoes at Zalando and still days later they meet you all over the net. The strategy behind it is clear: the respected product should no longer be out of your mind. It keeps you on the internet until you decide to buy.

This marketing strategy is retargeting. Such retargeting campaigns will target interested parties who have been on your website before. There, however, they did not buy or book anything, but only clicked through various products or services. A retargeting campaign reminds them of these products and is ultimately intended to encourage them to buy.

Hand on heart: hasn’t it worked for you before? 

If you also offer products, services or services online, it is important to integrate a retargeting campaign into your marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll show you what it brings and what types of retargeting you can use. And don’t worry, the effort is low and it doesn’t get too technical. It is not for nothing that retargeting is considered to be the “easiest targeting strategy”.

Retargeting vs. Remarketing

Surely you have put a lot of time and energy into building your website and you are looking forward to every single visitor who finds their way to your page. Unfortunately, the initial euphoria will settle over time. 

Let’s take the example of e-commerce stores: they achieve a conversion rate of just 3%. This means that only 3 out of 100 visitors actually buy an item on the page immediately and convert from mere buyers to high-purchasing customers.

However, if you visit your website again, the chances of them buying something increase dramatically – by 70 percent.

What is a retargeting campaign?

With a retargeting campaign, you can use targeted ads to target the very users who have already visited your website. They clicked on a specific product or put it in the shopping cart, but still didn’t buy or book anything with you.

Once viewed on the net, you will be following the Internet until you decide to buy.

On their way through the World Wide Web, these users are now confronted again and again with your advertising banners. On them are again depicted the products or services for which they have been interested. This happens regardless of whether you are surfing on your PC, tablet or smartphone. 

And the goal behind it? A conversion that usually boils down to a purchase when:

But how does it actually work? Due to the data protection regulations, you do not simply get the personal data of the users…

Quite simply: a retargeting campaign uses tracking pixels and cookies to place targeted ads.

What is a remarketing campaign?

However, the technology of remarketing is now also circulating on the internet. This is often incorrectly equated with retargeting. However, there are serious differences: while you are retargeting interested users back to your website, you send “reminder emails” to the subscribers of your email list during remarketing. 

You also remind users that they have visited your website or that there is something in their shopping cart. You can even tailor the emails to the individual phases of the customer journey. 

This gives you the opportunity to run up-selling or cross-selling via email campaigns. In this way, you offer your “old” customers new products based on their previous purchases. Maybe in the course of these mails you even give them a small discount on the preferred product or service.

While retargeting interested users to your website, you’re sending “reminder emails” to your email list subscribers when remarketing.

Both methods are aimed at luring former users back to your page. However, the strategies used are different:

  • Retargeting motivates former visitors to return to your website via ads 
  • Remarketing uses email to remind potential customers of the unfinished purchase 

The objectives of a retargeting campaign

The probability of users who have already been on your website is significantly higher than that of first-time visitors. Targeted retargeting campaigns can therefore work.

This results in clear advantages through a retargeting campaign in online marketing:

  • Increase in traffic 
  • Increase conversion rate and CTR (click-through rate)
  • little effort and costs
  • Maximize sales and profit
  • Reduction of scatterlosses
  • Building brand awareness through the purchase reminder
  • Precise and personalized control across all channels and devices
  • Good evaluation by the ROI (return-on-invest)

If these benefits convince you, you should definitely try retargeting. However, there are many variants for this.

Retargeting campaigns using a pixel

Simply like this, you will not get any contact details of the interested users. Therefore, you need to use a tracking pixel and cookies to run the retargeting campaign. Pixels are inconspicuous lines of code in the source code of your website. These set a cookie when loading the page. This means that data is forwarded to your server and is finally available for evaluation or further use.

This will mark your website’s visitors and you can now confront them with tailored ads. This happens no matter where they are online.

To do this, you’ll install a day on your website. It tracks the activities of your users and tracks them via cookies or pixels. Be sure to point this out to your website visitors in the Privacy Policy. You should also ask them with a cookie banner for permission to see if they agree to the collection of their data.

With the help of tracking pixels and cookies, visitors to your website are marked accordingly. Now you can show them tailored ads.

Next, you’ll start your retargeting campaign. This is only aimed at visitors who exhibit a certain surfing behaviour and are therefore relevant to you. These are the people who have shown interest in your site and specific products. This audience is already warm with you. Through a past expression of interest, it has already confirmed that it suits you and your company.

Retargeting campaigns with Facebook

The most common form of retargeting campaigns is to remind former website visitors of you via social media within 30 to 90 days. This usually takes the form of classic advertisements.

A simple way to do this is to use Facebook or Instagram. You can use these platforms to generate new conversions through retargeting campaigns. To do this, you need to include the Facebook pixel, a code generated by Facebook, in your page. It also works without cookies. 

In the so-called Custom-Audiences you can now organize your target groups. You also have the option to choose who your ads will address, and you can determine how long visitors will be tracked on Facebook or Instagram. Tracking on Facebook still works up to 180 days after visiting your page.

You can successfully generate new conversions via retargeting campaigns via platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.

Now potential customers are getting ads. You pay for them according to the CPC procedure. The great thing about Facebook retargeting: the platform has one of the most advanced targeting tools out there.

This gives you the opportunity to address not only people who have already shown interest: the Custom Audiences. You can now reach similar people who are similar to your customers with targeted ads via Facebook or Instagram. This group is called Lookalike-Audience.

Retargeting campaigns with Google Ads

Of course, Google also offers a method for retargeting via Google ads (formerly Google Adwords). You can define specific cases where your custom banner appears. For example, if products are already in the shopping cart of users, but no purchase has been made yet.

However, it makes much more sense to re-address website visitors who have entered one of your products into the search mask on Google. It doesn’t even matter if they ended up in your online store at all or decided on a different Google search result.

These users are stored in a so-called remarketing list for search ads (RLSAs). In this you can segment the relevant people. You can include or exclude these segments in future retargeting campaigns.

For users who surfed your site only a few days ago, you can, for example, use a higher CPC. They are much more likely to convert and therefore worth more. Existing customers can also be excluded, saving unnecessary costs and scatterlosses.

Retargeting campaigns using an email list

Retargeting using an email list is remarketing. For this, of course, you have to find out the relevant e-mail addresses for the time being. You also need permission from users to send them emails.

Whether you use coupon codes, sweepstakes, samples of goods, discounts or shipping refunds is entirely up to you. However, such small incentives are always a great way to generate new newsletter subscribers. Since these users provide you with their personal data in return, they will meet you with confidence and genuine interest. These factors, in turn, speak to the high relevance of the e-mail list.

However, there are also several methods for remarketing.

Trigger e-mail retargeting 

Triggered email retargeting sends emails to your users. These are automatically sent by a specific case, the trigger. There are time-related and action-related triggers. If there is a fixed time for sending the email, it is a time-related trigger. For example, you can remind your subscribers to buy a gift from your store at Christmas.

Triggers can also be linked to fixed user actions, i.e. concrete actions. If a customer hasn’t bought anything in your shop for a long time, they will receive a reminder e-mail. For example, you can add a discount coupon to them. This allows you to keep existing customers at bay. This method is called up-selling.

Triggers can be triggered at a certain time, e.g. christmas or your customers’ birthdays, or at fixed user promotions, such as the click of a product.

However, remarketing can’t just encourage customers to re-purchase. Shopping cart dropouts can also be recovered by automated reminder emails. These are also identified by cookies.

Whether this mail arrives at the customer’s office 15 minutes after leaving the shop or only a week later is up to your strategy.

Of course, these contacted users must give you explicit permission in advance to send them emails with commercial intent. This must be recognizable when you enter it in your newsletter. And they must also consent to the collection of data and its use for marketing and advertising purposes.

E-mail retargeting through retargeted ads

Retargeted ads go one step further. Here, too, you can use cookies to identify the behaviour of your users. Based on this data, you first supply users with relevant content via e-mail so that they can convert to buyers.

If that doesn’t work, you can link the email campaign to retargeting via Facebook, Instagram, or Google. Users receive additional advertisements via these platforms. This further increases the chances of them buying now. With this method, you link remarketing and retargeting with each other. This gives your online marketing an extra boost.

That all sounds a little too technical and complicated to you?

With the e-mail tool Mautic, remarketing is easy: you add a trigger link to an email. If this is clicked, the user receives further mails about the relevant product or topic – completely automatically.

You can also easily contact cart dropouts with this tool. So you supply them with the offer, which has ended up in the shopping cart in the past, but has not been purchased. This increases the conversion rate in a cost-effective, simple and data protection-compliant way. 

It’s best to try it out. The more you automate, the more often you can sit back. Freely following the motto: “Simple is effective“.

How your remarketing campaign will be a complete success

When retargeting, you can focus on only one target. You’re only moving those who are actually interested in your products and your brand to a conversion. If necessary, you can simply exclude those who have just bought or have not shown any interest for a long time.

Nevertheless, be careful not to annoy lost users and remain cautious in the number of pop-ups. Otherwise, retargeting can also lead to a rejection of the advertising message by your users.

Any questions? Learn how to run a modern retargeting campaign with Mautic in our newsletter.

Have you had experience with retargeting? And if so, can you hardly save yourself from customers or has the great success of retargeting so far failed? We look forward to your feedback and wish you a successful start with retargeting!

Über den Author

Natalia Dziadus-Hammerschmied

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