Are you curious about the difference between remarketing and retargeting? You’re not alone. These terms are often used interchangeably, yet they don’t have the same application. Talk about confusing. 

Let’s remove the mystery once and for all by first defining what each of these terms actually means, and then we’ll go from there.

What Is Remarketing? 

Remarketing is the process of using email marketing to re-engage individuals who visit your website but do not complete a conversion. This includes abandoning a shopping cart without making a purchase, searching for or looking at an item, marking an item as a favorite, and adding an item to a wish list.

Here’s an example of what a remarketing email looks like:


Notice the subject line and body copy refer to the user’s previous activities on the Target site or app. When using remarketing, you want the reader to recognize this as a reminder — and encouragement to come back.

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What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting uses online ads or display ads to target individuals who have done one of two things: already visited your website and interacted with products or services but did not complete a sale, or did not previously interact with your website but have similarities with your existing customers. 

You can use retargeting ads to engage or re-engage users, which typically depends on cookies placed on your website or app. The cookie then follows users all over the web to gather data about preferences, behaviors, and activities. Retargeting uses this data to serve relevant and targeted ads.

Here’s an example of a retargeting ad served to someone who abandoned a shopping cart:



How Effective Are Remarketing and Retargeting?

Now that you understand the difference between remarketing and retargeting, you may be wondering if the extra steps are worth it. Because not only is ROI important, but you likely have to report new strategies (and then the data on it) to a leadership team. I think these numbers will make everyone feel confident.

According to data from Moz, email remarketing conversions can reach up to 40 percent, compared to an ecommerce average of two to four percent. 

Retargeting ads are 76 percent more likely to be clicked on than a regular display ad, according to Wordstream.

Both of these strategies share the same goal: to get individuals to convert. And there’s not just one way to do it. Here are some ideas for encouraging users to click on your email or ad to complete the action you want them to do.

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Getting the Clicks and Conversions 

Whether you’re planning a strategy for remarketing emails or retargeting ads, you’re likely reaching people for different reasons. For example, the messaging you use for someone who abandoned a shopping cart is going to be different than someone who browsed through products. Your goal is to create language and visuals that are highly relevant to the individual, as this increases your chances of getting the click and the conversion.

Check out these examples for some ideas on how you can approach remarketing and retargeting.

Remarketing Email #1: Reminding the reader of an unused offer


Remarketing Email #2: Thanking the customer with an offer for future purchase

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Remarketing Email #3: Inviting customer back with additional choices on a favorite item


Retargeting Ad #1: Showing users a product they viewed + a discount


Retargeting Ad #2: Showing products you know they’re interested in


Retargeting Ad #3: Create Urgency to Entice the Customer


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Do More With Remarketing and Retargeting

Now that you have an idea of how both these strategies work, why not try them out? You have everything to gain by reaching out to people who have already shown an interest in you — or are similar to those who have — and enticing them with effective messaging, interesting visuals, and maybe even an offer they can’t refuse.

If you’re starting a career in digital marketing or want to supercharge your existing one, check out Simplilearn’s extensive offerings in this exciting and lucrative field. For beginners, you can choose the Digital Marketing Training Course. If you are ready to take the full plunge, the Post Graduate Program in DIgital Marketing, offered in partnership with Purdue University, might be the right path for you!

Our Digital Marketing Courses Duration And Fees

Digital Marketing Courses typically range from a few weeks to several months, with fees varying based on program and institution.

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