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Retargeting Ads- Do they work?


Have you ever visited random websites through search engines and returned without purchasing anything? Yes, we all do right. 

And then this happens. Out of the blue, you’ll find the same ad for the store suggested in your social media feed. So what do you think? This sounds more like stalking, but that’s what Retargeting Ads actually do. 

Let’s dig deeper into what Retargeting Ads mean, how they work for your business and many more.

What are Retargeting Ads?

Retargeting Ads are especially for those who visit a website and leave the store without giving room for conversion (completing a purchase, filling out a sign-up form, etc.). Statistics show that 97% of people who visit your store for the first time leave without buying anything, and sometimes they are lost forever. 

Here are Retargeting Ads for the rescue!

Retargeting Ads are usually retargeted again to potential leads in so many ways that they may stumble across at least once. This includes both old and new users who show little interest in your product or service.

Before getting to know Retargeting Ads in detail, let me clarify the difference between the terms Retargeting and Remarketing for a better understanding.

Retargeting Vs. Remarketing

Most of the time, people confuse these two terms. But both terms have quite a lot of similarities. Retargeting means reaching out to new customers in the form of Ads. Retargeting is targeting new customers to visit your store, whereas Remarketing is rekindling the interest of old or inactive customers.

How do Retargeting Ads work?

Retargeting Ads targets only those customers who have shown interest in your products and services. But wondering how to find them. Here’s the technology behind it.

So to identify these particular customers and to display ads, especially for them, you’ll need to drop a third-party cookie that anonymously works with Retargeting Ads company. A cookie is nothing but a small file that gets saved in your browser, and it keeps collecting information about which site you’ve visited, items viewed, added to the cart, etc. It’ll track every activity of the person. Cookies can only track if the person allows dropping a cookie on their browser. These cookies can be edited based on your preferences. You can collect information on what products were viewed, the time spent by a user on a product, etc.

Once the cookie collects all the information, it alerts Retargeting Ads tools like Google Ads. Then the person can view the product they viewed on other channels.

For example, most of the population uses Google as their search engine. Let’s say you search for Nike shoes on Google and then visit their store, window-shop for some time, and leave the page. The next time you open your Instagram or Facebook, Nike will get back to you with their ads. This is because a Retargeting Ad company named Google Ads is always linked with your Google search engine. 

Here’s an infographic showing how retargeting ads work.

How do Retargeting Ads work

When can you use Retargeting Ads for your business?

1. Create brand awareness

create brand awarness

Retargeting Ads help you reach out to new people every day. So automatically, your brand gets noticed by new potential leads. These visitors can also turn into customers someday and be a part of your community. But the key is doing this right, and Retargeting Ads will help you create brand awareness to potential visitors for your business.

2. Promote best-selling products

promote bestsellers by retargeting ads

Retargeting Ads help display best-sellers and abandoned cart details to the targeted audiences effectively. This is the cheapest way to reach customers who help in conversion. These Retargeting Ads help with conversion and increasing ROI.

Research by Costello in 2019 suggests that Retargeting cart abandoners have resulted in a potential increase of 26% in conversion rates. 

3. Focus more on the target audience

retargeting ads for targeted users

Retargeting Ads help you focus on the targeted audience who shows a bit of interest in your products or services. These Ads give you an opportunity to reach them on multiple platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. So when you use Retargeting Ads for your business, you can retarget visitors and turn them into customers.

4. Showcase newly launched products

newly launched products

New launches are a milestone for every brand. So to create awareness about your product or service, Retargeting Ads are a great way to do that for you. You can target a person and note down the choice of products they search for. And then, you can reach out to them through multiple channels and showcase your newly launched products in a creative way. To do all of this, you might need a good Retargeting Ads platform like Google Ads for your business.

Types of retargeting Ads

1. Pixel-based Retargeting Ads

Pixel-based Retargeting Ads retarget those who leave the website without purchasing anything on the website. Pixel-based ads are the normal ones where the cookies notify Retargeting Ad tools like Google Ads when the user leaves the website without performing any activity. After this, if the user browses something else or switches to any other social media platform, the user can see these as specific ads displayed on their window.


The advantage of using Pixel-based Ads is that they can show specific ads based on a particular brand’s webpage or product they visited earlier. But it is time-consuming as it needs to provide specific code on a website.

2. List-Based Retargeting Ads

List-based retargeting ads are more personalized ones, as it targets only a limited number of people who are genuinely interested in a product or service. These ads are sent based on specific lists generated from the user activity. So these Ads are done with an existing list with information on the user’s activity on a website. 

With this list, retargeted ads are sent out, and this can be limited to a few users only. This is very time-consuming, but to meet the budget for small businesses, this type of ad work well.

3. Retargeting Ads on Social Media

Social Media Retargeting Ads are usually filter-based ads. There are also ways in which you can track a person’s social media search details, their favorite place, food, clothing, etc. Again these data can be used by Ad platforms to retarget ads on social media pages as well. Retargeting Ads can be seen on platforms like Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.

Benefits of using Retargeting Ads for your business

  • Low-budget and Low-effort 
  • Generate brand awareness
  • Create personalized Ads 
  • Well tailored lists
  • Get to learn more about your audience
  • Retain customers 

Challenges of using Retargeting Ads

privacy matters

  1. Cookies can be a trouble at times: Every internet browser will have the option to allow or disallow cookies, and if someone rejects the cookie or does not give access to cookies, then retargeting ads is not possible.  
  2. Privacy concerns: Most of the time, the data is being tapped from the user’s browser history. So people might distrust search engine apps as they breach their data to retargeting Ad software. So there are times when people can turn down their privacy settings, and this can be a hindrance while tracking a user’s activity, and it’s impossible to send targeted Ads.
  3. Multiple people using the same search engine: Many families use the same search engine. So different people in the family search for different things. Kids might search for barbie dolls, whereas adults search for furniture, handbags, etc. So in this situation, the retargeting Ads will be only based on the device’s history and not based on the user. So this might be a challenge where barbie doll advertisements might end up when an adult uses the browser. This might be ineffective and a waste of time as it does not benefit the viewer.

Best Retargeting Ad Tools/Software in 2023

1. BayAds

targetbay homepage

BayAds is a retargeting Ad tool exclusively created to reach different audiences and to build brand awareness. BayAds is a product of TargetBay. It helps in retargeting three different types of Ads. They are

  • Ads with product reviews
  • Coupons in retargeting Ads
  • Add product recommendations while retargeting Ads

With these three things, you can bring back potential buyers. TargetBay helps you drop a cookie to track your user’s behavior and retarget them in multiple marketing channels to regain their attention.

What else you can do with BayAds?

  • You can create both static and dynamic ads. Static Ads help in achieving up to 4X the results than dynamic ads.
  • BayAds offer full service to manage the entire process of retargeting ads. Right from designing the ad to tracking weekly reports of the ads. 
  • Help you refresh ad design once in a while 
  • TargetBay drops a cookie on the shopper’s browser

2. Google Ads

google ads

Google Ads is a one-stop solution for online advertising. You can use Google Ads on platforms like Youtube, Google search, and other web pages. You can set the ad preferences, and you have complete control over the run time of ads. You can start and pause it anytime. This tool is suitable for websites with more than 100 visitors daily.

2. Instagram retargeting Ads

instagram ads

Instagram Ads are the trending ones exclusively designed for users who run businesses. These ads are especially to boost the views of a post or reel you’ve posted on your Instagram account. You can promote a post after paying a certain amount to Instagram. This can help you create brand awareness and reach out to new people through reels, stories, and posts.

The budget for this changes with the number of posts you want to promote and the number of people who can view your ads. These ads are successful as they mostly target those interested in a particular product or service. 

Wrapping Up!

In conclusion, Retargeting ads can greatly increase brand awareness and reach your target audience. They are highly targeted, cost-effective, and have the potential to deliver better ROI than traditional online advertising methods. However, it is important to monitor the performance of these campaigns and adjust them accordingly so that they remain relevant and engaging for consumers. With the right implementation strategy, retargeting ads can be a powerful tool for any business looking to boost its online success.


Picture of Jerusha Carolin

Jerusha Carolin

Jerusha Carolin is a Content Marketer at TargetBay, an eCommerce Marketing Cloud used by thousands of online stores across the globe. She loves content research and enjoys writing content on anything related to email marketing. She is a lisztomanic who loves to listen to music to keep herself lively and optimistic about life.

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