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Increase Your Conversion Rates by +20% Using Retargeting

By September 8, 2016May 22nd, 2018Digital Marketing, Retargeting
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One of the biggest challenges digital marketers face is low conversion rates. Average conversion rates are 2.35%. But many of our clients come to us with conversion rates as low as .5% to 1%. That’s pretty disappointing. I’ve also seen and helped our clients attain 10% to 40% conversion rates.

Many factors contribute to why visitors don’t convert, like poor design, bad content,  lackluster offerings, a bad match (visitor is expecting something different), etc. Moreover, there are many ways to increase conversion rates. One of them is retargeting. In this article we’ll cover what retargeting is, the various types of retargeting as well as who and when you should it use it.  But first, let’s review some of the benefits of retargeting.

  • Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70 percent more likely to convert on your website. (B2B Mentor)
  • CPG company Kimberly-Clark relies on retargeting, saying it is seeing 50 to 60 percent higher conversion rates among consumers who have been retargeted. (Digiday)
  • Wysong, a holistic pet food brand, experienced the following using retargeting: “With Google AdWords, we get a 1-2% conversion rate. With retargeting, at roughly the same cost, we get a 20% conversion rate.” (AdRoll)
  • When combined with prospecting, retargeting can boost conversion rates 147%. (Mediapost)

Why Retargeting?

You just read some awesome stats on how retargeting can significantly boost conversion rates. But why? One reason is humans require a ton of reinforcement to even begin paying attention. In fact, it takes  6 to 8 touchpoints to generate a viable lead (Salesforce).  Some believe it’s even more. Each industry is different, but the bottom line is we all have information overload, and retargeting is an effective way to stay in front our your target, who has already shown interest in your product or service.

When done right, retargeting can be an invaluable channel that fosters better awareness, conversions and sales. For more info on the benefits of retargeting, read 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Remarketing.

What’s Retargeting?

According to Wikipedia, “Behavioral retargeting (also known as behavioral remarketing, or simply, retargeting) is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions. Retargeting tags online users by including a pixel within the target webpage or email, which sets a cookie in the user’s browser. Once the cookie is set, the advertiser is able to show display ads to that user elsewhere on the internet via an ad exchange.”  Here’s how it works, on a general level:


Retargeting has been around for since 2010 and has evolved significantly. Today, digital marketers have a number of options available to them. Here are the main three options: Google, Facebook and Third Parties:

Google Retargeting Lists

Also known as remarketing lists, this is a service provided by Google Adwords and Analytics. It gives you the ability to show new ads to people who have already seen your Google ad or who have visited your website before. Google Adwords lists allow you to retarget with both display and search ads, while the Google Analytics lists are limited to only display ads.  With Google Ads you can run traditional display remarketing ads, but the real benefit is using the Remarketing List For Search Ads (RLSA’s) option. According to Google, “Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) is a feature that lets you customize your search ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they’re searching on Google and search partner sites.”

For a deeper dive into understanding Google Analytics and Adwords remarketing lists, read Remarketing Gladiators: Adwords Vs Analytics Lists Dissected, by PPC Hero.

Pros to Google Retargeting Lists:

  • It’s invaluable for testing and getting a true sense of what’s working, especially when Google Analytics retargeting is used.
  • It can keep click-costs lower because you’re bidding against a smaller group who’s already been on site.
  • When setup the right way, it can deliver custom messages and images to the users you retarget.

Facebook Retargeting

Facebook retargeting is similar to Google retargeting. However, in place of showing ads via search ads or display ads across the web, Facebook ads are shown directly to people in their Facebook timeline.  Here’s how it works: visitors go to a website or interact with an app where they’re tagged with a code to track them. Then, when they’re scrolling through their Facebook timeline, your ad shows up to remind them what they’re missing.

The other, perhaps more powerful option, is Facebook’s Customer List, where ads are personalized to a list of contacts you’ve already acquired.  According to Wordstream, “With customer lists, Facebook ads becomes more like email marketing by targeting specific people with personalized messages. Whether it be email addresses, phone numbers, or even Facebook user IDs, you can pull a list of contacts from your CRM or wherever your customer data is stored, upload it directly to Facebook, and target people with ads that are relevant to where they are within your sales funnel.”

Pros to Facebook Retargeting:

  • It covers almost every audience because of the ubiquity of Facebook — who’s not on Facebook? Very few.
  • People, on average, look at their timeline eight (8) times a day. This gives you ample opportunity to get in front of them.
  • Sharing and the ability to gauge social interactions. Meaning, not only will your ad be seen, it may be shared, liked and shared again and again.
  • It’s less expensive than Google.

Third Parties

There are a number of other great options beyond Google and Facebook, like Adroll, Chango and reTargeter.  And while not as well known or popular as Google and Facebook, they do provide some great advantages. Here are some  of the pros to using third party networks:

Pros to Third Party-Services Retargeting:

  • Many specialize and/or provide unique advantages. For example, Perfect Audience integrates with Hubspot.  
  • You can target audiences across multiple ad exchanges. Adroll works with 500 exchanges, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Many have better customer support because they’re smaller and want to provide a great experience.


So, as you can see, retargeting is a remarkable channel. Aside from helping boost conversions, it’s especially good at complementing Inbound Marketing to produce even a better outcome and ROI.  There are so many options available for today’s marketer who wants to try retargeting. But, we tend to recommend Facebook. Why? It’s more affordable and has better targeting. And while Google is still a good choice, it has become saturated and highly competitive. Facebook also collects more user-specific data and information while making it extremely affordable and easy to get started and see almost instant results.

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