The difference between Retargeting and Remarketing

< Blog
Updated on: January 9th, 2023Sharon Sexton5 min read

One question we are asked quite regularly is about retargeting and remarketing. Some clients are confused by the terminology and incorrectly assume they are the same thing. While that is understandable as they both fall within the realm of marketing, they represent different concepts. As a top digital marketing agency, we wanted to discuss the difference between retargeting and remarketing along with explaining the importance of each in online marketing.

Understanding retargeting

A website does not convert all the people that land there. While it would be nice if that happened, the truth of the matter is that conversion rates on average are very low. Based on a report from Monetate, for retail businesses in the 2nd quarter of 2018, the global conversion rate was 2.86%.

That means on average you miss on converting 97 out of 100 visitors that arrive on your website.

Retargeting is the name for the process used to reach out to that 97% of visitors your site didn’t convert to get a percentage of them to visit again and actually convert. By using cookies your business can retarget them with ads that appear while they are browsing other pages to entice them to visit your site again.

When you consider the sheer number of strikeouts the average website has when it comes to converting, it makes sense why retargeting is an appealing idea.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is similar to retargeting in that it involves trying to entice people into coming to your website and completing a conversion. The difference between the two has to do with the strategy and execution.

For remarketing, email is a common vehicle for execution. Information from users is collected over time, organized, and then used to send out targeted sales emails. One example would be emailing customers after they add an item to their wish list but leave the site without purchasing it. Another example would be sending an email to a customer that abandoned a shopping cart. For remarketing, you will be sending emails to both people who have converted in the past as well as those who haven’t, which is a difference compared to retargeting.

A great resource for learning more about Email Marketing is B2B Data Guy’s B2B Cold Email Crash Course.

One reason there is confusion in the industry is because some businesses use the term ‘remarketing’ when they should use ‘retargeting’. For example, Google talks about remarketing in Google Ads, however by standard definition what they are doing is retargeting.

At the end of the day what this means is a lot of people are saying remarketing but meaning retargeting.

How well does retargeting work?

There have been numerous studies over the years about retargeting and continually the numbers don’t lie; re-targeting is effective:

  • In a 2015 survey of 1000 marketers, 91% who have used retargeting said it performs as well or better than search, email, or other display ads.
  • The Incite Group found that 68% of marketing agencies and 49% of brands have a dedicated budget for retargeting.
  • More and more industries are incorporating the strategy outside of retail according to a state of the industry release in 2016.
  • Only 11% of consumers surveyed feel negative about retargeted ads while 30% have a positive or very positive reaction.

Remarketing is also very effective but much more difficult to measure from a survey aspect, often because of the confusion in terminology as well as some remarketing gets lumped into standard email marketing.

Traditionally speaking, email marketing has always been an effective tool because of the cost, reach, and open rates:

  • According to a DMA Insight report in 2017 the average deliverability rate for email was 98.3%.
  • In just the U.S. more than 85% of adults send or read email and 99% of those users check mail every day.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that the difference between retargeting and remarketing really isn’t very big and it is rather forgivable that people misuse them. At the end of the day, they are both effective methods to use existing customer data to attempt re-engagement and increases conversions. Our recommendation is to use a combination of both approaches rather than just one to effectively increase site re-visits and thus create more conversions and boost your bottom line.

Be sure to check back every week for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.

Published on: January 1st, 2019
Blog cta banner bg


Related articles

7 min read

Social media community management – Grow your pages organically!

January 5th, 2023

Community management is very important for those brands that utilize social media as a primary contributor for both sales and marketing. As a top digital marketing [...]

Is SEO worth the Long-Term Investment? visual
6 min read

Is SEO worth the Long-Term Investment?

January 10th, 2023

Is SEO worth the long-term investment? That question, along with subtle variations, has been asked constantly over the past half-decade as businesses consider the results compared [...]

An SEO Strategy for Long-Term Amazon Marketing
8 min read

Amazon Holiday Tips: Winning More than Just the Buy Box

January 10th, 2023

While making a sale is a primary goal when selling products online, your strategy should be about winning more than just the buy box if you [...]

How to get ecommerce sales for the holidays
5 min read

How to get more E-commerce Sales during the Holidays

January 10th, 2023

While some might say it is the most wonderful time of the year, for those websites which rely on retail sales this can be one of [...]

Online Review Building Tips for 2019
6 min read

Online Review Building Tips for 2019

January 10th, 2023

The role which online reviews play in a buyer’s decision-making processes has steadily increased over the past few years. In a 2017 survey by Podium, it [...]

Top 5 worst website designs of 2018 (Blog Post)
7 min read

Top 5 Worst Website Designs of 2018

August 23rd, 2022

Your website is the first impression many customers will have of your business, so it makes sense that you want to put your best foot forward. [...]

The difference between Retargeting and Remarketing
Share On:
Newsletter Sign Up

"*" indicates required fields

0 of 60 max characters
0 of 60 max characters

Ready To Grow Revenue?

Digital Experiences That’s Driven Growth Since 1998

"*" indicates required fields

Help My Business*

New York City
112 West 34th Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10120
Long Island
991 Main St.
Suite 200
Holbrook, NY 11741
Washington D.C.
1101 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 450
Washington, DC 20036
424 Church St
Suite 2000
Nashville, TN 37219
Los Angeles
1100 Glendon Avenue
17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90024
1221 Brickell Ave
Suite 900
Miami, FL 33131
170 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
919 E. Main Street
Suite 1000
Richmond, VA 23219
We have an important message from our
Co-Founder Ken Braun.
Video popup poster
Please fill the form.

"*" indicates required fields

Exit popup final