What is Remarketing? And how to prepare for it.

What is Remarketing? And how to prepare for it.

Get Started Remarketing Today! Part One

This is a two-part series designed to help you get started remarketing today! Keep reading or skip ahead to Part Two: Create your first Remarketing Campaign now.


Remarketing or retargeting is one of those things which many marketers mean to do. But so often with marketing departments under pressure to deliver more and higher quality leads sales teams are left alone to the job of converting those leads.

Remarketing should not be put off no matter how small or overworked your team is. Get started today – your business can’t afford to miss this opportunity!

What is remarketing?

So what exactly is remarketing? Is it the same thing as retargeting? Basically, yes.

Remarketing and retargeting are often used interchangeably. Remarketing describes the process of marketing to someone who has already interacted with your brand. Some people use ‘remarketing’ to describe pre or early digital era activities such as e-mail marketing to warm leads and reserve the term ‘retargeting’ for online activities only.

Different types of remarketing

There are various different types of remarketing including the following:

Site Remarketing: This is the practice of tagging users with cookies based on their visit to and behaviour on a website. Users can then be targetted using this information.

Email Remarketing: The most common form of email remarketing is simply sending emails to people who’ve previously registered on your website. Sharing email lists with other advertising platforms is a less used form of this.

Link Remarketing: Link remarketing involves placing a tag in outgoing links controlled by the advertiser such as links in social media posts. It’s particularly useful when directing users away from owned content onto a third-party page, for example, a news site.

This article will focus on the most powerful of these three types – site remarketing.

Why you need remarketing

If marketing or advertising is defined as the method used by businesses to be seen by an audience then remarketing, by the same token, is how a business remains visible.

In today’s world where people spend a considerable amount of time researching online before making a purchase the ability to keep your business top-of-mind is very valuable. For brands with a high level of repeat business retargeting is used to keep customers loyal and to reduce the threat of competition. Retargeting can also be used to up-sell, which is to sell additional or higher value products to existing customers.

A business can target their advertising to an individual who has previously visited their site, opened a specific page or performed an action such as clicking a link. Remarketing is often used to target website visitors who didn’t perform a specific action. For example, people who added items to a website shopping cart but didn’t checkout.

Remarketing is a highly cost-effective form of marketing, as it involves advertising to a pre-qualified audience while leveraging previous advertising spend.

How to prepare for remarketing

Before you can begin to remarket you must first prepare for it. You can not do this too far in advance. Even if you are not sure how or when you will begin remarketing by preparing now you are opening your business up to future opportunities.

It's never too early to prepare for remarketing.

#1 – Create a remarketing cookie

I know, cookies sound terrifying (and also oddly delicious 😉 but really they are not that complicated. Basically, a cookie is a small piece of data sent from a webpage that’s stored on your computer by the web browser, such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

The primary usage of cookies is not in fact advertising, or even analytics, but simply function. Cookies allow you to stay logged in to a website when you switch between different webpages, retain items in your shopping cart and remember your password.

To remarket on the Google Display Network, Google Search or YouTube you need to create a Google Ads global site tag. To create this tag in your Google Ads account, select Audience Managerfrom the Tools menu, navigate to the Shared Library, select Audience Sources and follow the steps to create a tag. For more details visit Google Ads Help.

To remarket on Facebook you need to create a Facebook Pixel. To create a Pixel you will need a Facebook Page and a Business Manager account. In Business Manager, go to Events Manager and select Add New Data Source, then follow the steps to create a Facebook Pixel. If you have any trouble check out Facebook Ads Help Centre.

Other advertising platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn have similar systems for creating a file which will drop a remarketing cookie to your website visitors.

#2 – Drop a remarketing cookie on website visitors

Now that you have created your remarketing tags it’s time to put them on your website. Once these files are on your site they will be able to drop cookies on your site visitors.

The best way to do this is to set up a Google Tag Manager account and ask your website developer to put the Google Tag Manager code on every page of your site. You can then log in to Tag Manager and put the Facebook Pixel, Google global site rag and any other tracking files onto your site without the need of a developer.

The alternative method is to simply ask your developer to install the Facebook Pixel and Google remarketing tag files directly on your site. With this method, if you want to make changes in future you will need the help of your developer again.

To check that your Facebook Pixel is present add the Facebook Pixel Helper extension to your Chrome browser. Then go to your website and click on the </> icon beside the URL

To check that your Google remarketing tag is present add the Google Tag Assistant extension to your Chrome browser. Then click on the blue tag icon beside the URL.

#3 – Create remarketing audiences

Now that you are dropping cookies on your website visitors you need to build audiences based on their behaviour. The most basic audience type is All Website Visitors. Next, you should create a range of audiences which indicate the level of purchase intent.

For an e-commerce business, one audience can be made up of everyone who visited a certain product page. A higher intent audience would be everyone who visited the checkout page. For lead generation, you would create an audience containing everyone who visited the thank you page following successful completion of an enquiry form.

To ensure you don’t waste money or alienate your audience with irrelevant advertising it is essential that you also create audiences to exclude from your advertising. These would be people who have already purchased a certain product or converted etc.

To create remarketing audiences in Google Ads navigate to the Audience Manager from the Tools menu. On Audience lists tab click the plus symbol and select Website Visitors. Audience for Google must be the following sizes before you can start advertising:

  • Google Display Network: 100 active visitors or users within the last 30 days
  • Google Search Network: 1000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days
  • YouTube: 1000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days
  • Gmail: 100 active visitors or users within the last 30 days in the Display Network

To create remarketing audiences in Facebook visit the Audience Manager within your Facebook Business or Ads Manager account. Click Create Audience and select Custom Audience. Choose Website Traffic as your source and follow the steps as relevant.

  • Facebook recommends audiences of over 1000 members

So, now you have audiences ready and waiting it’s time to start – your audience is waiting!

Get Started Remarketing Today!   Part One | Part Two