Over the next couple weeks I’m going to publish a 4-part series about retargeting advertising. Why? Because retargeting is one of the most cost-effective, laser-targeted forms of advertising for small businesses.

If you’re already advertising online, then retargeting will help you increase your return on ad spend.  If you’re not yet advertising, then retargeting is a great way to get started with very little risk.

Before we dive too deep, let’s get the basics out of the way first.



What Is Retargeting Advertising?

Retargeting advertising allows you to display ads to specific prospects who have completed a certain action online.  This is a form of what’s called “behavioral advertising” because you’re targeting your ads based on your prospects’ previous online browsing behavior.

One of the most common forms of retargeting is to display ads to prospects who have already visited certain pages on your website.  For example, you could advertise to only the prospects who visited the checkout page, but did not complete their orders. Or you could advertise to the prospects who requested a demo or a quote, but did not end up signing up for your service.

Since the ads are only targeting prospects who have already expressed interest in your product or service, retargeting advertising tends to have a lower cost per lead or sale than other forms of advertising.


How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting may sound complicated, but it’s actually fairly simple once you understand browser cookies.  A browser cookie is just a small file that is stored on your computer and it can include information like which webpages you have visited.

Therefore, retargeting ad networks can read these cookies, determine within a split second if you have visited a certain webpage in the past, and then display the correct ad.  If you have ever noticed a certain ad “following you” as you surf around online, then you’ve experienced retargeting ads.


Why Should You Use Retargeting?

Whether you’re already advertising or not, I recommend launching a retargeting campaign for the following reason:

  1. To increase conversion rates of all of your marketing
  2. To increase your digital marketing reach


1. Increase Conversion Rates

Essentially, retargeting advertising is a tool to follow up, and we all know the importance of follow-up in order to close more sales.  The vast majority of website visitors are not going to purchase right away, so it’s absolutely critical to follow up in order to increase your conversion rates.

The beauty of retargeting advertising is that you can use it to increase conversions across all of your marketing channels.   If you’re using SEO, social media, online advertising, email marketing, TV, radio, direct mail, and/or any other channel to drive website traffic, then you can add retargeting to boost performance.


2. Increase Marketing Reach

The next benefit is to increase your marketing reach with minimal additional investment.  With traditional online advertising, your ads are displayed on a limited number of contextually relevant websites.  And if you’re using search advertising, then you’re targeting a small handful of relevant keywords.

But clearly your prospects are visiting other websites and searching other keywords.  With retargeting ads, you can profitably expand your reach to more websites and more search keywords because you’re taking into account the fact that the prospect has already expressed interest by visiting your website in the past.  This is how small businesses can get premium ad placement on large, popular websites at a fraction of the cost of traditional media buys.


What’s Next?

As I mentioned from the start, this article is the first of a 4-part series about retargeting advertising.  The next 3 articles will dive deep into the 3 main types of retargeting:

  1. Display retargeting
  2. Search retargeting
  3. Social media retargeting

And if you want to get even more step-by-step instructions, then register for our upcoming live training, How to Profit with Retargeting on Friday, April 24 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time.