Types of Retargeting Explained

If you have ever visited a company’s website (typically an e-commerce site), left without purchasing one of their products, then started seeing ads from the company when browsing on almost every other website you visited online, you have encountered retargeting.

Retargeting is a marketing strategy that aims at following potential leads and converting them into customers. Most site visitors online do not convert on the first visit, and retargeting ads are important in reminding or persuading them to take action even after they have left a website.

Several types of retargeting that are highly effective for marketers include:

• Search Retargeting

This is a relatively new type of retargeting marketers have started to utilise.  With Search Retargeting marketers serve subsequent banner or video ads to people who have searched for something specific and relevant via a search marketing campaign on Google or Bing.  It is a powerful way to leverage the visual and persuasive power of display but targeted to people based on their keyword search activity.

• Site Retargeting


Site retargeting is mainly what we have mentioned in the introduction. It involves targeting website visitors who left without buying or perhaps left items in their shopping cart. Marketers tag site visitors and follow them around with ads and messages with the aim of making a conversion.

Site retargeting is a good tactic because it involves targeting persons who are more likely to convert. You can also use it to remind a customer to take action such as follow up on their abandoned shopping cart.

• Email Retargeting

This method involves targeting individuals who are interacting with your email campaigns. The specific actions taken by an individual upon receiving your emails informs what marketing action you take.  This strategy is powerful because it retargets individuals who are more likely to be interested in your ads having already received a copy heavy email communication.

• Cross-Channel Retargeting

Cross-Channel retargeting involves reaching out to customers on different channels with unique messages tailored to resonate well with each platform. This method is superb as it allows marketers to have ads on multiple platforms – with their content adjusted to meet the consumer experience desired on each platform.  For example we retarget people that have seen a video ad on a desktop computer with a banner ad on mobile that is call to action focused and designed to drive people into store or similar.

• Account-based Retargeting

It involves acquiring target prospects by pooling and analyzing data by your marketing and sales team to identify target accounts that visit your website. With this information, you can personalize retargeted ads for each. It’s an excellent option to help you classify “top of the funnel” target accounts.  There are numerous account based targeting solutions that use IP addresses at the company level.

• Video Completion Retargeting

VCR involves targeting site visitors who completed watching a video ad.  The general use of VCR is storytelling.  We serve a video ad to someone and knowing they watched 100% of the video we then serve them a follow up banner ad.  Often brands will use the multi sensory appeal of a video ad to capture attention and basic awareness then use the banner ad to sell something or try and convert them.

Different types of retargeting are excellent for specific situations. It’s vital to understand how and where to use each method.  It is usually based on how well a specific type of retargeting helps identify a customer then what type of follow up ad is most relevant.