Have you ever visited a website and noticed that after you leave you tend to see their ads everywhere you go? Spooky, huh? (Cue scary music.)

Well, actually, there’s nothing supernatural about it at all. This is called remarketing and it’s a technique used to reconnect with individuals who have already visited and interacted with your website or your mobile application.

In short, remarketing is the ability for an ad to follow you around the internet. It places your ads in front of those who’ve already been browsing your site at least once to remind them of that interaction, which can also help increase your brand awareness. In addition, it can entice them to take some sort of action, like make a purchase or do further research into whatever it is you offer.

Why is remarketing important?

Whether your goal is to increase sales, promote brand awareness, or perhaps draw more registrants to a membership site, remarketing is a very powerful and cost-efficient way to advertise, largely because your advertising will be very targeted. You’ll be advertising only to people that have been on your website at some time in the past, which means they’re probably interested in what you’re offering.

Benefits of remarketing include:

  • Large-scale reach – You can reach those on your remarketing list as they browse literally millions of websites.
  • Prompt reach – Remarketing can be set up so that your add will pop up immediately after someone has visited your website, likely when they are still shopping for the same item or searching the same topic. This means they’re more apt to take action.
  • Focused advertising – You can target your remarketing list to focus on very specific visitors, such as the person who almost bought something from you but left it in their shopping cart without checking out.
  • Cost-effective – Remarketing has proven to be one of the most efficient uses of website management funds, perhaps even the most efficient type of pay-per-click you can choose.

How is remarketing accomplished?

Technically speaking, remarketing is accomplished when the website you visit places a “cookie” in your browser on your laptop or your computer so that when you end up at another site where this company is advertising, it knows that you have that cookie, which – in turn – indicates that you have visited their website in the past. Because it recognizes the cookie, it then displays an ad for you.

All of this provides you with a second chance opportunity to snag that visitor. It reminds your visitors that you are there for them and are eager to share information or offer them a great deal on a product or service.

Types of remarketing

There are several different types of remarketing available:

  • Standard – Simply, this type of remarketing shows display ads to those who visited a particular page, perhaps your homepage. The ads will appear in other websites and on mobile apps.
  • Dynamic – Ads will appear as they would in standard remarketing, but the difference is that the ads become more personalized. For example, if you were looking at a new dishwasher on a website that sells various appliances, the remarketing ad will include that product or family of products.
  • Mobile applications – In this instance, the ads will only be shown on mobile websites or in-app.
  • Search engine ads – This particular type does not include display ads. Rather, ads are shown when the person who has already visited your website returns to a search engine to continue to search for things related to your product or service.
  • Distribution list – Perhaps you’ve already collected a list of emails from individuals who have interacted with your site in some way, such as subscribing to a weekly newsletter or joining a forum. You might choose to have ads shown to the individuals on that list only.

Managing your remarketing campaign

Of course, you or your site manager will control your remarketing and make necessary adjustments as you/they monitor results. You can change the type of remarketing you use and you can make adjustments within each type.

For example, you can make modifications so that your ad would only display x number of times to a particular person over a pre-designated period of time. So, if you’re using Google AdWords and you’re setting up a remarketing campaign, you could determine that you only want the user to see your ad three times in a 24-hour period and only for 30 days before it stops.

Once you activate your campaign and gauge its success, you can make adjustments by varying your marketing lists, creating variations of your ads, and much more. The goal, of course, is to meet your marketing goals, increase your conversions, increase your reach, and keep your brand in front of potential customers. With a solid remarketing campaign, you can meet all of those goals in a timely and cost-effective way.