Retargeting vs Remarketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Guest Post by Carol Soriano, Content Strategist, Spiralytics
Retargeting and remarketing are two buzzwords that marketers often hear and use interchangeably. While they may have some similarities, they are different concepts and are applied in a variety of ways, too.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is used to describe online ad placements, in text and image format, often based on a user’s activity on your website. Once a user visits your site, a cookie is set on their internet browser, and this cookie lets you serve targeted ads on other websites they visit.

Part of the appeal of retargeting is it can be done through large third-party networks like the Google Display Network and AdRoll—allowing advertisers to reach users on millions of websites.

According to Search Engine Journal (SEJ), retargeting consists of both “on-site” and “off-site” events. On-site interaction is a more popular form of retargeting because it involves serving ads to individuals who have already visited and interacted with your website. These visitors already expressed interest, but have yet to make a purchase. This type of retargeting is often done by retailers by displaying an ad on a product page the visitor has viewed.

Alternatively, off-site interactions target customers who have not yet interacted with your website, but are similar to previous customers. These potential purchasers are targeted via their web searches or interactions with distributed content such as your Facebook page or mobile app.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is specifically the process of re-engaging customers using email campaigns. Google may have caused much of the confusion between the terminologies, as they named their retargeting tools “Remarketing Tools.” But in a sense, remarketing is still a form of retargeting, as its primary goal is to bring back traffic to your website.

According to a survey study by AgilOne, the most effective marketing emails are a result of remarketing tactics. Some of these include personalized emails on discounts to check out an abandoned cart and new customer welcome offers.

The takeaway here is remarketing email campaigns must be focused on increasing conversions for those who have already made meaningful interactions with your website. Meaningful interactions include adding items to their cart, downloading a white paper, or signing up as a user.

So which strategy do you need?

Here’s a handy table that outlines the differences and similarities of the two marketing strategies:


Retargeting vs Remarketing Infographic by Spiralytics


As Mike Arsenault of Rejoiner said, “there’s really no reason to choose” between retargeting and remarketing. It is clear that both tactics can work well together—with display retargeting nurturing potential customer’s interest and email remarketing converting customers who are already in the later stages of your sales funnel.


Carol Soriano is the only girl among the content strategists at Spiralytics. Her varied career included exciting stints as a news researcher, creative TV writer, and web news producer. This lady enjoys reading books, watching indie films, and procrastinating her life away. She does her best content ideas on bus rides to work and in between EverWing games. The content in this post originally appeared on the Spiralytics blog in May 2017 and is excerpted here with permission.



About Spiralytics

Search Engine Journal, What’s the Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting?

AgilOne Consumer Survey: Marketing Personalization Preferences of Shoppers Worldwide


Further Reading:

Book Review – Buyer Personas

So You Want to Start a Marketing Blog?

3 Ways to Give Back Through Marketing



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