the difference and when to use each strategy – WAU

Planning and executing the most appropriate digital marketing strategies according to the characteristics of the business is a constant challenge. For that, it is necessary to know the applications of each one and the best practices, as in the case of remarketing and retargeting.

Remarketing and retargeting can bring many benefits to your business, from engaging customers and increasing conversion rates to better perception of your brand on the internet.

However, these strategies are constantly confused, causing managers to fail to take advantage of the full potential of results that the solutions offer.

Thinking about it, in this content, we will detail what differentiates them and also give valuable tips on how to develop these strategies for the success of your business digital marketing actions. Stay with us and enjoy reading!

What is remarketing?

Initially, let’s understand what remarketing is. Despite the similarity between the strategies, this is related practices developed to reengage people who are interested in the brand, using the e-mail marketing.

This means that they are already leads or even customers, and that this audience already has a clearer interest in the products or services that the brand has to offer.

For example, imagine a customer who enters the site and browses the pages. He adds items to the cart, but abandons the purchase before finalizing it. Later, he receives an email inviting him to complete the order. This is a traditional example of remarketing.

Therefore, this strategy consists of using email to interact and engage your potential customers – a central difference in relation to retargeting.

The advantages of this strategy

According to E-commerce Trends 2017 remarketing enables an 11.3-fold increase in website visits, in addition to allowing a 3.1-fold increase in the number of e-commerce customers.

With this data in mind, the remarketing strategy makes all the difference in the company’s digital practices. Below, we highlight the advantages of using it in your business. Check out!

Customer engagement

The relationship between brands and customers should not be one-sided, so it is essential to seek channels for interaction in order for a customer loyalty strategy to be viable.

Remarketing works as a channel that allows this engagement with the customer and increases the chances of retention, because, in addition to impacting the consumer again, it also keeps them active.

The engagement of customers via email marketing makes them return to the site, increasing the browsing time and, in many cases, increasing sales itself.

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Brand perception

When a consumer buys from a company, even if their experience is positive, building a relationship will depend on the brand’s efforts to maintain active contact.

If he never interacts with the company again, the tendency is to start the buying process from scratch the next time. On the other hand, if she keeps the relationship active using e-mail, there is more chance that he will look for her when he is interested in a product, because he had a better impression about the brand.


A remarketing strategy can highlight an abandoned cart or even invite the consumer to discover a new product line, among other actions. In all of them, this solution makes it possible for the user to return to the site and have a new opportunity to buy, increasing the site’s conversion rate.

Best practices for using the strategy

Like any digital marketing strategy, there are some applications of remarketing that provide a more satisfactory return to brands. Below, we highlight the solution’s best practices that will help enrich your online performance!

Cart abandonment

As in the example given initially, using remarketing to suggest shopping cart redemption is one of the most common (but also effective) uses of the strategy.

According to E-commerce Trends 2017, 97.9% of consumers said they had already abandoned the shopping cart. For this reason, remarketing is a necessary strategy, given the great potential for reversing this scenario.


The promotions carried out on the website are good opportunities to engage customers again, making that consumer a little “gone” to interact again.

So, when planning a sale on the site, don’t miss the chance to engage old customers, in addition to efforts to attract new consumers.


E-mail is an excellent opportunity to maintain a close and active relationship with customers. The same research from Websites Are Us showed that the solution is used in different ways in e-commerce, being that:

  • 71.1% use e-mail to inform about promotions;
  • 54.4% offer discounts for future purchases;
  • 50.5% inform about the abandoned cart;
  • 21.6% use it to offer discounts in exchange for referrals from new consumers.

Therefore, building the relationship can be based on different actions, including offering materials from the company’s content marketing strategy if the goal is to nurture the lead until a new purchase.

What is retargeting?

Now that you know what remarketing is about, you may be thinking: what about retargeting? It consists of show targeted ads to users who have already interacted with the brand, either on the website or in other diverse channels, such as search engines, partner sites and social networks.

Imagine again a visitor who accesses your e-commerce. When he performs this action, the website (which must be correctly configured for this strategy) installs a cookie on the browser and, with that, the brand is able to collect the user’s browsing data.

If he accesses a product page, but does not complete the purchase, retargeting allows him to find him later, triggering the cookie.

Thus, tools like Google Ads and Facebook Ads know which ad to show, according to the behavior previously demonstrated. The strategy allows a high segmentation of the ads, which increases its effectiveness.


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An important issue that motivates the confusion between the concepts is that, at Google, the retargeting tool is called “remarketing”, increasing doubts in understanding the strategies, only that they are different and serve different purposes.

The benefits of using this solution

Like remarketing, retargeting also offers different benefits that make strategy one of the most recommended for businesses in different segments. Among them, the following can be highlighted.


By impacting again a user who has previously shown interest in the brand or a specific product, the company has real chances of increasing sales.

For this objective to be achieved, however, a well-targeted strategy is essential, making an advertisement compatible with the previously demonstrated interest, in addition to directing the user to a relevant landing page.

Purchase cost

When you know who entered your site and what that user saw, it becomes much easier to make a campaign more relevant. This knowledge used correctly reduces the customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Rather than developing a campaign based on a keyword or audience profile, retargeting targets ads according to buying behavior, increasing the efficiency of the strategy.


Branding, which is how users perceive the brand, is one of the relationship building factors that benefit from a retargeting strategy. The solution allows users to see that their brand has an active presence on the internet, improving their perception of it.

Ways to use retargeting in online presence

The main use of retargeting is to impact users who abandoned the cart or who accessed the site showing interest in a certain product or service, but did not advance in the purchase process.

In addition to this classic application of the strategy, it can be developed in different ways, according to the purpose of the brand. Retargeting can be divided into two types:

  • on-site: works as a solution to re-engage users who have already accessed the site and were interested in specific items, enabling the segmentation of ads;
  • off-site: used for prospecting customers, addressing users who interacted with the brand through other channels, such as social networks.

The use of these different aspects of the same strategy allows to diversify the online presence, which contributes to leave less gaps in the performance of the brand.

How to combine remarketing and retargeting strategies?

Just as it is recommended to use on-site and off-site retargeting, the brand can also adopt this strategy in conjunction with remarketing. The combined action between the solutions positively impacts the consumer and makes the online presence more complete.

Even so, to combine remarketing and retargeting, it is essential to develop the good practices of both strategies, avoiding an ostentatious presence that becomes aggressive to the user. Check out the main precautions below!


When joining the strategies, it is necessary to check if the actions are being complementary. For example, sending multiple emails and being on all websites and social networks accessed by the user is excessive and can cause him to disavow the brand.

Thus, if the maximum number of times the user should be impacted by an ad is around 10, ensure that remarketing and retargeting together do not exceed this amount.

Also determine the duration of the campaign, seeking to be more relevant to the consumer. Another good practice is always measure results, checking how the customer responds to these actions and which are most successful.


Segmentation is what ensures that your strategy will be accurate. There is no point in directing your efforts to an integrated remarketing and retargeting campaign and advertising products that are not of interest to the consumer.

The more targeted the campaign, the greater the chances that the customer will be satisfied with the action, which increases the conversion opportunities and sales of the brand.


The quality of the campaign is directly influenced by the targeting, but not just by it. Check if your ads and approaches are conducive to the customer’s moment in the purchase journey. In addition, the calls, texts and images used must be appropriate, considering the persona and also the flow of nutrition.

As we saw, together, remarketing and retargeting have great potential to increase business sales and assist in building a stronger consumer brand. The strategies, however, must be planned to offer quality and relevance to the customer.

Want to know how to develop a more effective email strategy? So, check out the post: after all, what are the differences between a Nutrition Flow and a Newsletter?

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