Retargeting For Affiliates: Everything You Need To Know!

We believe that in an ideal world, every client entering your website buys a product, signs up for your newsletter, downloads your ebook, or does whatever else you consider a goal. Unfortunately, reality is tough. Converting leads into satisfied customers is a long and sometimes painful path. But wait…we have good news actually! Retargeting makes it much easier!

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a way to make the ads “follow” those customers who, for some reason, have left your store without making a purchase. In other words, retargeting allows you to keep your brand in front of your potential customers after they have left your website — persuading them to reconsider your offer when they need it.

People don’t necessarily visit stores to make the purchase immediately. More often than not, a visitor to an online store would pop in to simply research whatever they want to buy, or compare the features and price of an item with other products.

While the idea to make the purchase is slowly budding in their heads, the ultimate decision may not necessarily be made on the site. This is why it is so important for a retailer to be present when the client has finally made up their mind.

Retargeting Vs Remarketing

Both terms are often used interchangeably, so it’s quite natural to assume that the two represent the same concept.

Retargeting is most often used to describe the online display ads that are shown to visitors who came to your website, but navigated away without acting. This type of marketing is done with the help of tracking pixels or cookies that follow the user around after they’ve left your website.

Retargeting ads are served through third-party networks such as the Google Display Network and Facebook, which give you the opportunity to reach out your potential customers on a multitude of websites.

Remarketing, usually refers to reaching out to lost visitors via email so you need visitors’ email addresses.

So, why are the terms used interchangeably?

The fault lies with Google AdWords because this is how Google defines remarketing:

Remarketing lets you show ads to people who’ve visited your website or used your mobile app. When people leave your website without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads across their different devices.

Google essentially groups retargeting display ads and remarketing emails under the single terminology of “remarketing” and most marketers follow the same definition.

How Does Retargeting Work?

Technically, retargeting boils down to following anonymous visitors who have previously visited your website, and showing them ads for the products or services viewed. This works across different channels, including social media, display, and email.

Such advertising serves as a kind reminder to finalize the purchase. In order to identify users across the web and show retargeted ads to them, a third-party cookie from a retargeting ad service must be saved to their browser. It’s commonly referred to as third-party because it’s stored in a retargeting service’s domain.

Retargeting is implemented by adding a piece of JavaScript code or a pixel (literally a 1×1 image) to your website’s pages, typically in the footer. This pixel is small enough so it’s not seen or noticed by the user. It allows the retargeting ad service to send a request and drop a cookie. Since every pixel contains a unique code, the cookie helps recognize you in the retargeting process, although you don’t see it on the site.

Why a Pixel?

The easiest way to implement retargeting is by sending a request to retrieve a file — an image, for example — from that retargeting service’s domain when the page loads, but the retargeting ad service wouldn’t necessarily want to show some random image to the user, so instead they show the smallest image they possibly can — a 1×1, transparent pixel that is actually never seen by the visitor.

For this reason, a retargeting tag (i.e. JavaScript code) is often referred to as a retargeting pixel.

Benefits of Retargeting

  1. Immediate effect.
    Once set up, it’s automated and needs no human interaction to work properly. Your website’s visitors can start seeing displayed ads as soon as they’ve left your site, but you can configure the settings to change this.

2. Efficiency.
Retargeting helps to streamline the cost of your campaigns. It allows you to target just those users who have, implicitly or directly, expressed interest in your product or service.

3. Effectiveness.
There is evidence that retargeted ads are not only more visible to internet users, but also more effective than regular ads. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they noticed the ad, just because they had researched the product before. Around 90 percent of surveyed users have either a positive or neutral reaction to retargeted ads. This is partly due to their higher relevance compared to the traditional spray-and-pray ads — i.e. ads with little or no targeting parameters.

Final Thoughts

There are so many reasons to use a retargeting campaign, but the most obvious goal is better conversion, i.e. making people take a particular action on your website. So make sure to try it out! Check out our comprehensive guide for retargeting!

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