What Is Remarketing? Best Practices & Examples for 2022

March 8, 2022

You might find yourself wondering “what is remarketing?”, but chances are you’ve already experienced it. 

Think of a time you purchased something online and then received a follow-up email a few weeks later. Usually these emails will thank you for your purchase, and then recommend new products you might like — that’s remarketing! 

Many ecommerce businesses are leaning into the benefits of remarketing, because retaining customers is far more profitable than gaining new ones. Returning customers have a conversion rate of 4.5%, which is almost double the 2.4% conversion rate of new customers.

With remarketing, you are targeting people who have already shown interest in your products. These are the people who are most likely to buy what you’re selling.

Remarketing can be used in a number of different ways, and it’s important to understand how it works so that you can use it to its full potential. 

In this guide, we’ll look at how remarketing works and some of the best ways you can use it to reach your target audience.

What is Remarketing?

how remarketing works

Remarketing is a form of online advertising that targets people who have previously shown interest in your website or mobile app. 

It is a very effective way to re-engage previous customers, or connect with new visitors who have shown interest in what you have to offer, but haven’t yet made a purchase.

Remarketing works by collecting data on people that have viewed your site, and then later using that data to send targeted ads or email follow-ups.

For example, if a customer puts a product in their shopping cart, but then leaves your site without purchasing, you can later remarket that item through a different ad. 

Remarketing is a very effective marketing tool, with some amazing statistics to back it up. Data shows that it leads to a 10x increase in click-through rate (CTR) and a 50% reduction in cost-per-click (CPC). It’s also been shown to increase brand awareness and drive more sales.

The Difference of Remarketing vs Retargeting

Both remarketing and retargeting are very effective ways to reach your customers. However, there are some key differences between the two:

Remarketing: Uses email campaigns to re-engage visitors that have interacted with your site. 

Retargeting: Uses paid ads to target people who have previously visited your website or social media profiles.

Remarketing specifically targets people who have already interacted with your website or app, which can mean they’ve bought an item in the past, signed up for a membership, or joined a mailing list.

Retargeting works by placing a small piece of code on your website or app, which then drops a cookie on the user’s computer or mobile device. This cookie stores information about the user’s interaction with your website or app, such as what pages they visited, what products they looked at, and how long they spent on your site.

Remarketing Characteristics

  • Email is the primary channel
  • Must collect email through online forms or product purchase
  • Targets existing customers through email

Retargeting Characteristics

  • Targets people who have viewed your website or mobile app
  • Uses a cookie to store information about the user’s interaction
  • Shows targeted ads for your business on different websites and apps

3 Practical Applications

Whether you’re a big brand like Best Buy, or a smaller ecommerce store or app, this tactic can help to increase your engagement, sales and brand awareness.

Below we will look into a few brands that are using email remarketing:

Example #1: Best Buy

best buy remarketing

In this example, we can see that Best Buy is using strategies to entice the buyer into completing their “online gaming set-up.”

Best Buy is pulling information from the customers’ past purchases, and using it to market new products that will complement the products they already own.

Example #2: The Gap

the gap remarketing email

This campaign is using a sale as a means to capture the interest of a previous customer. 

Example #3: Ultimate Guitar App

ultimate guitar remarketing email

Here we can see that previous subscriber to the Ultimate Guitar App is receiving a reminder and promo for a new membership. 

4 Common Types of Remarketing

Remarketing is a term used to sum up multiple different marketing strategies, so let’s look into the many different types of remarketing, and how they’re used.

1. Email

Remarketing via email uses previously collected emails to retarget customers and keep your business top of mind.

This channel is successful for remarketing because it relies on customers that have already given you their contact information. This means they are already familiar with your brand, and are more open to making future purchases.

This style of remarketing is quite cost-effective, since you are using data you already have and can easily compile. 

If you’re planning to use an email remarketing strategy, it’s best to invest in a sophisticated remarketing tool. Remarketing tools and software come with multiple automation features that will make campaign management much easier.

2. Social Media

social media remarketing

One of the benefits of using social media for remarketing is that you can access detailed analytics about your followers and customers. 

This information can be used to target ads more effectively, and can also help your business measure the success of marketing campaigns.

Social networks are a popular platform for remarketing because they offer a wide audience,  and a high level of engagement. By putting your brand front and center on social platforms, you’ll be much more likely to catch a customer’s attention.

In addition, social media platforms offer sophisticated targeting options that allow businesses to target individuals based on a variety of factors, including demographics, interests, and past behavior.

3. Search Engine

Search remarketing, or search retargeting, is a type of paid advertising that targets people as they search for specific keywords on Google. 

These Google ads focus on ranking high on search engine result pages (SERPs). The ads used for search remarketing will appear the same as a regular search result, but will often sit at the top of the page with an “Ad” label beside it.

Search ads are a fantastic way to use Google AdWords to your benefit. In fact, some businesses have increased their sales by 22% thanks to their higher placement on SERPs.

4. Display

Display remarketing is a very common type of remarketing ad. These ads are highly personalized, and use the Google Display Network to appear on websites other than your own.

When someone visits a website that participates in Google’s ad network, they may see targeted ads based on their previous Google searches. 

Advertisers create lists of keywords and phrases related to their products or services, and these lists are used to target relevant searchers.

5. Dynamic

dynamic remarketing

Dynamic remarketing helps you reach potential customers by showing them customized ads that are relevant to what they’ve already been interested in.

For example, if a customer visits your site and browses a specific product page, you can later remarket items from that page through a dynamic ad.

Dynamic ads appear different to every viewer, and this personalization is a great way to increase conversions and engagement. 

Think about it — wouldn’t you be far more receptive to an ad for an exact product or service you’ve been considering? Of course you would! When it comes to marketing, it pays to personalize.

The Core Benefits of Remarketing

If you’re looking for a more effective way to market your business, then remarketing is a strategy worth considering. With so many benefits to offer, it’s no wonder that this form of marketing is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes.

That’s why over 90% of marketers say that their retargeting campaigns perform the best out of all their marketing efforts.

I. Better Conversions

Remarketing can be an incredibly effective way to improve your conversion rates – especially if you run an eCommerce business.

Remarketing campaigns like display ads have been shown to increase conversions by almost 150%

You might be wondering — why is display remarketing the most effective ad campaign for conversions?

Display remarketing campaigns are specifically designed to target people who have already shown an interest in what you’re selling. This means that they’re much more likely to convert than people who are seeing your ads for the first time. 

II. Ad Personalization

Marketers find success through remarketing primarily due to how they use audience segmentation to create incredibly personal and specific ads. 

Have you ever been shocked by an incredibly specific Facebook ad? You were experiencing ad personalization, which was most likely part of an in-depth remarketing strategy. 

Most marketers use Google Analytics to create these personal ads. With Google Analytics you can track information on past visitors, including their age, location, buying habits, and which hours they’re active online. 

III. Improve Engagement & Reach

abandoned cart push notifications

Did you know 60% of marketers use remarketing and retargeting ads to increase brand engagement? 

This is because remarketing ads have much higher engagement rate, because they target people most likely to recognize and remember your brand. 

A study by Google found that remarketing led to a threefold increase in the number of people who clicked through to a company’s website. This means that you’re not only getting more sales, but you’re also getting more leads.

As well as driving sales and leads, remarketing can also be an effective way to raise brand awareness. By targeting those who have already shown an interest in what you offer, you can reach a larger audience and create more awareness for your brand.  

IV. Cost-Effectiveness

With remarketing, you’re building remarketing lists using information you already have. You already understand what your website visitors may be interested in, which makes remarketing a much more affordable advertising route.

Remarketing allows you to increase conversions at a fraction of your basic cost-per-lead, lowering the cost per acquisition by almost 50%.  

What that means, is the return on investment (ROI) for remarketing campaigns is often much higher than traditional marketing strategies. In fact, studies show that remarketing can generate up to 10 times the ROI of other forms of online advertising.

V. Reduces Cart Abandonment

reduce cart abandonment

Remarketing is one of the most effective ways to reduce cart abandonment and improve brand exposure. Statistics show that when someone visits a website, there is a 60-70% chance that they will leave without making a purchase. 

However, with remarketing, retailers can target those customers who have already shown interest in their product and convince them to come back and complete the purchase.

An automated cart abandonment tool is the best way to build these campaigns. Cartstack is an excellent tool for remarketing as it allows you to target customers based on what they have added to their cart but did not purchase. 

With CartStack you’ll have access to a variety of tools and features that make it easy to create targeted ads. To learn more, read our in-depth guide on cart abandonment emails.

How To Execute A Highly-Effective Remarketing Campaign

So, you’re probably feeling that it’s time to commit to a remarketing strategy, but how can you be sure to get the best results? 

Let’s break it down step-by-step!

Step 1 – Choose the type of remarketing you want to focus on

The first step is to decide what type of remarketing campaign you want to run. Remember, there are five types of remarketing: 

  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Search
  • Display
  • Dynamic

These days businesses find the most success through either display ads or social media.

Any type of remarketing can be successful, but it’s important to focus on building campaigns one at a time. No matter which you choose, each will have different strategies and tricks for success, which is why you need to give your full attention to every campaign.

Step 2 – Set up the necessary tracking codes on your website

The next step is to set up the tracking codes on your website. These are what will allow you to track who has visited your website and what they’ve done there. Without these codes, you won’t be able to target your ads to the right people.

There are a few different ways to set up tracking codes, depending on what platform you’re using. For example, if you’re using Google Analytics, you can use the Google Analytics tracking code to collect data about website visitors.

Or, if you’re using Facebook Pixel, you can use that to track website visitors and target them with Facebook ads.

Step 3 – Create your remarketing lists and target audiences 

The next step is to create your remarketing lists and target audiences. This is where you decide who you want to target with your ads.

Your remarketing lists can be based on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Who they are (e.g., all visitors, past customers, current customers, website subscribers)
  • What they’ve done (e.g., visited certain pages on your website, made a purchase, signed up for a mailing list)
  • Their location (e.g., people in the United States, people in California)
  • Their age or gender

Step 4 – Create ads using audience segmentation to target relevant site visitors

The next step is to create your ads and target them to the right audience. This is where you decide what you want your ads to say and what they should look like.

Your ads should be targeted to the interests of your audience and should match the tone and style of your branding. You also need to make sure that your website is ready for remarketing, with clear calls-to-action and a smooth user experience.

Remember to always A/B test your campaigns, so you can be sure you’re putting your ads in the right place!

Step 5 – Launch and monitor your campaign. 

The final step is to launch and monitor your campaign. This involves setting a budget, defining clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and scheduling and launching your ads. 

You’ll also want to keep track of how your campaigns are doing so you can make changes as needed. This includes tracking things like click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall ROI.

When To Use Remarketing

when to remarket

If you find that you have a sizeable pool of website visitors who haven’t yet made a purchase, remarketing is a great way to push them towards making that sale. 

Because you are targeting these individuals with laser precision, you increase the likelihood that they’ll return to your site and buy what you’re offering.

Remarketing is also great for any businesses struggling with high cart abandonment rates. Cart abandonment is when a site visitor browses products, places them into a shopping cart, but never completes the purchase. 

There are many great cart abandonment tools on the market, like CartStack, that can help you set up automated emails that will trigger when a cart is abandoned. 

Does that sound familiar? Well, you guessed it — that’s a form of remarketing!

If you checked off any of these boxes, then remarketing is likely a good fit for your business. If you’re unsure about any of these factors, it’s best to consult with an experienced team of digital marketing professionals before moving forward.


Remarketing can be a great way to boost your sales and revenue, but it’s important to do it right. By following these steps, you can set up a successful remarketing campaign that will help you reach your target audiences and achieve your business goals.

It has been shown to have a significant impact on CTR and CPC, and increases brand awareness and customer engagement. Remarketing is also a fantastic way to retain the customers you already have — all it takes is a little push.

Lucky for you, the CartStack team knows a thing or two about remarketing! 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you re-engage, retain and recover your customers.