3 min read

Not using retargeting ads? Here's why you should be

If you've got a steady stream of traffic to your website but no one's buying, it might be time to look into using retargeting ads. Given that around 92% of people who first visit your website aren't yet ready to purchase, retargeting ads are a great way to remind them why they should come back and engage with you. So what exactly are retargeting ads? And how should you use them?


How retargeting ads work

When website visitors leave, they’re likely checking out the competition and may not remember to come back and purchase from you. Setting up retargeting ads allows you to essentially 'follow' people who have visited your website, showing them ads for your business on other websites they land on. As your visitors move around the web, partner hosting sites will show them your ads to remind them about your brand and keep you front of mind.


Because you can really personalise your retargeting ads, you're likely to have much more cut-through if you set this up right. In fact, statistics show that website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website.


Isn't that just remarketing? What's the difference?

Although people tend to use either term, there is actually a difference between retargeting and remarketing. With retargeting, the focus is on paid ads to engage your website visitors who haven't made a purchase but who have interacted with your site in some way.


Remarketing tends to focus more on email campaigns and outreach to those who might have already purchased or moved further along the sales funnel than those who were just dropping in on your website.


Pixel-based vs list-based retargeting

There are two main types of retargeting that are often used - pixel-based, and list-based.



Pixel-based retargeting is the most commonly used form, focusing on targeted ads to an anonymous site visitor based on a pixel placed on their browser (think cookies). When they leave your website, that pixel or cookie lets retargeting platforms know to display ads based on the pages they visited on your website.


With pixel-based retargeting, you can target people as soon as they leave your website with ads specific to a page they visited, or behaviour they engaged in on your website. It can be tricky to get the right cookies set up on each page of your site, so it's a good idea to get the professionals involved here.



You'd use list-based retargeting if you've already got someone's contact information from when they submitted a contact form, or signed up to receive email newsletters. List-based retargeting is usually used in social media marketing - you can upload a list of email addresses and the platform will find the user who has that email associated with their account and display retargeting ads to them.


This kind of retargeting is pretty specific, but it's possible that someone gave you a different email address than the one they use for their social accounts, which means they won't see your ads. Because you need to upload and maintain the email list, this kind of retargeting can take more time and might be a bit more of a hassle than pixel-based.


How to use retargeting effectively

Say a website visitor was looking at a particular product on your website - rather than just showing them ads with images of that same product and hoping they'll come back and purchase, you could customise your ad copy to create a sense of urgency. You can use terms like "only 4 left in your size" or "now 20% off" to encourage purchase.


You can also use sales analysis to create retargeting ads that will appeal to a certain segment of your audience. If you know that you have particular products that appeal to Gen Z audiences, you can create a carousel ad of these products and display it to your website visitor who clicked on one of those products.


The versatility of retargeting ads

Even if your website visitors don't click on one of your retargeting ads straight away, the more they're reminded of your brand, the more they'll make it their go-to when looking for that product or service in future.


As we said, you can switch up your ad copy at any time to sweeten the deal, or even to tone it down with some simple brand awareness messaging. You could even offer something of value in exchange for their contact details - for example, a free guide or e-book. Adding their details to your database allows you to get more targeted with your email marketing campaigns and get to know your leads that little bit more.


There's so much to be gained from having retargeting ads set up to maximise every website visitor. Just because they haven't converted today, doesn't mean they won't tomorrow, but you need to remind them why you are the best solution for their needs. If you want to get started with retargeting, or even tweak your current set up, we're here to help! Let's get coffee sometime and see what we can do to up your retargeting game.

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