What The Heck Is Remarketing Advertising?

Christina Jones, Boss Lady, Blacktype Digital

06 March 2017

Have you heard of remarketing advertising? Even if you haven’t, you’ve certainly been exposed to it. Go & browse on the website of a major retailer and leave without buying. Suddenly as you read a newspaper online and then go & check your Facebook profile you find yourself being followed around by adverts for the products you were just looking at.


Slightly irritating? Perhaps, but it’s a devastatingly effective strategy because 98% of visitors to a site won’t buy on that first visit. You do all the hard work to get them onto your website in the first place, often spending good money on advertising, only to see leads trickle through your fingers.

Remarketing allows you to get highly targeted, relevant adverts back in front of these hot leads just as they are thinking about buying your product & service.  You’ll also see it described as retargeting advertising, same thing, just two slightly different names!

So how does it work? There’s 2 main ways of getting in front of people through remarketing.

1. They visit your website

When a prospect visits your website, their browser has a small piece of code placed on it (commonly known as pixels or cookies depending on what platform you want to show your ads on e.g. Facebook, Twitter).  When the user continues to browse around the web, this small piece of code on their browser is recognised & you can then show ads through the platforms to these people, even though they’ve left your site.

Plus you can get more a bit more sophisticated with these ads. Want to show ads to people who viewed a certain product category? Perhaps you want to target people who’ve visited a webinar signup page but not registered. For the ecommerce folk, you’ll want to get ads in front of the 70% of people who add to cart but don’t complete their purchase.

Where can you show the ads?

There’s a lot of different ad platforms that you can show remarketing content on. They include


  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Pinterest
  • Google (including the Google Display Network which can show your ads on over 2 million websites)

2. By uploading your database of emails & mobile (cell) phone numbers

You can do this on Facebook, Google & Pinterest. You upload your database of lead & customer emails & the ad platform matches it to customer accounts that are using those email addresses & mobile numbers for their accounts. You as the advertiser aren’t given the identity of the personal profiles on the social networks & ad platforms but that doesn’t stop you getting great adverts in front of them!

Combine these two methods and you have a really powerful way to show hyper-targeted adverts once people leave your site.


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