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"Hey, you were going to buy that" - What is remarketing?

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Poke as a strategy for more sales.

Who hasn't experienced it? You're surfing the Internet and end up in a store you didn't know existed, but the products are kind of cool and you browse around. You put one or the other product in your shopping cart, look around a bit and leave the site again. 

Maybe you continue on a social network or search for something else. And then a few days later you suddenly see advertising for the product that you had put in your shopping cart, but didn't buy. And also in the next few weeks you see the product again and again. 

What happened there? Can the Internet read my mind? A well-known and effective strategy from online marketing - remarketing - was used here. Don't you know it yet? No problem, let's take a look now.

So, what is remarketing? 

Remarketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves targeting ads to people who have previously interacted with a brand, product, or website. This is usually done by using cookies or other tracking methods to track the behavior of website visitors. Targeted ads are then delivered to these individuals when they visit other websites or browse social media. Remarketing is most commonly used in e-commerce because, as described in the introduction, an online store can investigate who has already added which products to their shopping cart and then simply left the store. 

The idea behind remarketing is to retarget potential customers who have already shown interest in a product or service and encourage them to interact or buy again. A digital reminder, if you will, to increase sales. 

This strategy is quite clever, because people already know the product and had already considered buying it. If you then see advertising again, the conversion rate can be significantly higher, because you are already familiar with it and the hurdle to buying is lowered in the head.

What types of remarketing are there?

Oh, if you ask us: a lot! 

We have already described and shown the classic or standard remarketing in the explanation. Targeted ads are served to people who have previously visited a website. These ads can appear in the form of display ads, text ads or other advertising formats.

But it also works quite dynamically: in dynamic remarketing, personalized ads are displayed based on specific products or services that a user has viewed on the website. We described this in the introduction and also teased it out in the explanation. While in classic remarketing the brand continuously pops up in your feed, in dynamic remarketing you actually see the product you had added to the cart. 

Remarketing on social media is also an option, of course: platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow advertisers to play remarketing ads to people who have previously interacted with their brand or content.

And not to be underestimated and forgotten: Remarketing via email. This refers to sending targeted emails to people who have previously performed certain actions on a website, such as leaving a shopping cart without making a purchase. The emails are designed to encourage users to return to the website and complete the desired action. This is a common strategy for online stores, but it is also not without its legal implications, as data protection is naturally an important issue here. 

What do you need to keep in mind? Don't be too pushy, pay attention to relevance, don't neglect data protection and the collection and storage of data, and don't overdo it with the frequency with which your content is played out.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

How could it be otherwise, there are always aspects that speak in favor and those that speak against. Let's take a look. 


  • Possible increase in conversion rates: Since the interest is already there with the selected people, the probability of a purchase can increase. 

  • Improve ROI: Since remarketing ads are delivered to an already interested audience, the cost per conversion can tend to be lower, which can lead to a better return on ad spend.

  • Personalize: With the help of dynamic remarketing, this is definitely possible, and the acceptance rate is also usually higher than with traditional advertising.

  • Increase brand awareness: even if a conversion doesn't happen immediately, remarketing can help keep a brand or even a message present among users, which can lead to more awareness in the long run.

  • It's measurable: remarketing campaigns usually offer extensive data and analytics, so you can measure a lot and learn even more from it.

The disadvantages:

  • Over-saturated users: if you remarket too much, you run the risk of users becoming fatigued and ignoring or even blocking the ads. 

  • Disruption: The already short attention span can be disturbed by other content (especially in social media), even with ads that are personalized. 

  • Disadvantages for perception and image: those who advertise too obtrusively can create a negative connotation or be remembered negatively. 

  • The cost: sure, this is always a disadvantage, especially for companies that have to pay close attention to their own budget.

  • Limited reach: remarketing only appeals to people who have already visited a website. You don't reach new potential customers.

  • Privacy concerns: collecting and using user data for remarketing requires compliance with data protection regulations such as the GDPR in Europe. Violations can have legal consequences and this should be well addressed in advance.

Remarketing in Google Ads 

Yes, who would have thought it - remarketing can be used within Google Ads and is not an uninteresting tool in search engine advertising performance marketing. Using remarketing in performance marketing can be extremely effective, as it aims to maximize the performance of advertising campaigns and achieve measurable results. 

In performance marketing, the focus is on generating conversions, whether in the form of sales, leads, or other desired actions from the target audience. Remarketing allows you to target people who have already shown interest in your product or service, increasing the likelihood of a conversion. This works especially well with Google Ads ads for online stores.

You can segment remarketing campaigns based on the behavior of users on your website. This makes it possible to target subgroups, such as people who viewed certain products or abandoned the shopping cart. 

Attention: Customer retention. Remarketing allows you to retarget existing customers. Giving special offers, discounts or exclusive content can also have a positive effect.

In performance marketing, budget control is crucial, and with remarketing you can use the budget very efficiently via Google Ads, since the ads are only delivered to a predefined target group that has already shown interest. 

Remarketing only to customers who were active via smartphone or tablet is also feasible via Google Ads. And of course, the possibilities of measurement and the resulting optimization options via Google products should not be forgotten.


An effective strategy, a not entirely uncomplicated approach (due to data protection, among other things): Remarketing is probably most like a coin with two sides. The advantages are clear, but despite all this, a strategy needs to be well thought out, especially for companies that are clearly focused on lead generation, new customer acquisition and growth. 

Despite everything, remarketing is not "reheated cold coffee" in the least, but arguably one of the most effective strategies in marketing. 

And it doesn't exclude the "growth" strategy either: If you have a clever one for it, you can also double-track and, in addition to addressing new leads, drive a strategy to increase sales among the existing target group. 

Other and further articles can be found in the Flanke 7 blog.

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