Breaking Down the Basics of Retargeting

| October 23, 2018

Retargeting provides a great opportunity to reach potential customers who have shown interest in your products and services, and give them multiple opportunities to convert.


It’s probably happened to you before. You’re looking at a pair of shoes online, then suddenly … those shoes are everywhere. They’re on your favorite websites, they’re in your social media feeds, and they’re even in your inbox, complete with an email reminding you of all the reason you want to buy these shoes.

How is that pair of shoes able to follow your online footsteps?

It’s called Retargeting, and as an advertiser, it’s a great opportunity to reach customers who have shown interest in your products and services with second, third, and fourth chances to convert.

What is Retargeting?

In technical terms, Retargeting is a piece of JavaScript code (which can also be referred to as a Pixel) that is placed in the footer of a website and leaves a cookie in the browser of every visitor to the site. For example, if a website visitor looked at a pair of high heels, a cookie from will be left in their browser.

Next, the website visitor will be tracked as they browse through other sites. Because they are being retargeted, they will see ads for those high heels on their Facebook page, and on other sites they visit. If they clear the cookies and cache, however, these ads will no longer appear.

Different Types of Retargeting

There are a few different types of retargeting used by marketers to increase brand awareness online and attempt to convince a potential customer to convert into an actual customer.

Site Retargeting – As seen in the example above, site retargeting is the process of a specific website being visited, dropping a cookie, and then tracking the visitor across other sites.

Email Retargeting – Email retargeting is an effective way to convince a customer that’s one click away from buying something to push “Complete Purchase.” Email retargeting occurs when someone adds items to their online shopping cart but doesn’t follow through on the purchase before leaving the site – a.k.a. Shopping cart abandonment.

If they are a registered user of the site, after a few days, the company will send an email reminder of the items in their cart – and might even offer a discount on those items to encourage the purchase. For example: 

Search Retargeting – Also known as SEM/SEO retargeting, this is similar to site retargeting because it’s based on user behavior. However with Search Retargeting, ads served to users are based on recent search queries, not recent site visits.

For example, if someone were to search for “gold heels,” they could be served ads similar to the Zappos ads, without ever visiting the Zappos site.

Why Use Retargeting?

It’s super important to find ways to encourage visitors to come back and make a purchase on your site. In fact, the stats from Digital Information World are pretty favorable. It turns out:

  • Retargeted ads increase the chances of conversion by 70 percent.
  • Click-through rates of retargeted ads are 10 times higher than display ads. Meanwhile, email retargeting click-through rates are anywhere from 3 percent to 5 percent higher than standard site targeting.
  • Retargeting can lead to a 147 percent higher conversion rate.
  • Nearly 72 percent of online shoppers will abandon their shopping cart. With retargeting, 26 percent of those shoppers will return to complete their purchase. Without retargeting, only 8 percent return.
  • An average of 30 percent of shoppers will react positively to retargeted ads. What’s more, 25 percent of those shoppers say they enjoy retargeted ads because they serve as helpful reminders.

About TEGNA Marketing Solutions

TEGNA Marketing Solutions offers Retargeting though Audience Marketplace. With our extensive targeting capabilities, you’re able to reach an audience that is highly likely to interact with your brand. Target audiences based on demographics and behaviors, a specific location, an event taking place, or through retargeting. Then, accurate data provides actionable insights to maximize campaign effectiveness. Learn more about Audience Marketplace and how it can work for your business. Contact a TEGNA Marketing Solutions expert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

“TV has been incredibly effective for us. It’s helped us position ourselves as a leading brand in the Denver marketplace. It’s really been instrumental in helping us be successful.”

Lifetime Windows and Siding Director of Marketing, Phil O’Dell

“Working together, serving together has been one of our mottos, and we’ve been able to do that with WXIA for years.”

Maurice Baker, Manager of Community Relations, Georgia Natural Gas

“As a result of our Partnership with TEGNA, we’ve seen a substantial increase in our website traffic, and we’re receiving a lot more stories. We have also seen an increase in our social media following – which has really helped us get our message out – and we know it is a direct result of our relationship with TEGNA.”

Points Of Light President and CEO Natalye Paquin