Resources Hub » Knowledge base » Is Remarketing the Same as Retargeting?

Every time a customer comes in contact with your products, there’s an opportunity for a sale—even if that person doesn’t buy anything at first. With so much marketing technology available at your fingertips, there are many methods to reach potential customers who’ve already interacted with your brand.

Whether someone clicked your PPC ad, visited your website, filled out a form, or opened an email, you have the opportunity to market to them again. Since these individuals have expressed interest in your brand, they’ve already entered your buying cycle. This not only grows your brand awareness, but also allows your company to stay in the forefront of that customer’s mind and, hopefully, entice a sale.

So how exactly do you market to potential customers again? Your answer is remarketing and retargeting.

But what’s the difference?

What is remarketing and retargeting?

While these two terms may sound exactly the same, the differences lie in the strategy needed to reach those engaged customers.


Remarketing typically refers to re-engaging customers through email. These tactics include welcoming customers after subscribing, promoting up-sells/cross-sells, submitting review requests, and other lifecycle email journeys.

Take this example from Asics. The company not only sends a cart abandonment email, but also upsells products the customer could be interested in. By receiving this email, Asics reminds the customer about finishing the purchase and pushes them a step closer to a final sale.

By receiving this email, Asics reminds the customer about finishing the purchase and pushes them a step closer to a final sale.

Source: Really Good Emails


Retargeting often describes display ads, placement ads, and emails targeted to a user after they visited your website. When a user visits your website, clicks on products, or takes a specific action, a cookie can be set in the browser so you can use this information to target them with similar ads, based on their web history. These ads are through third-party networks, like Google, which allow you to target users across millions of different websites.

Similarly, you can use a tracking pixel to collect data for email retargeting to send out corresponding campaigns, based on the user’s website activity.

Eighty-one percent of online shoppers who receive targeted emails based on shopping habits were likely to make a purchase.

There are two types of retargeting interactions:

  • On-site—As the most common retargeting method, this targets those who’ve already visited your website or interacted with your products.
  • Off-site—Similar to lookalike audiences, this is a group of individuals who haven’t interacted with your website but have similar qualities as your previous customers. Not only are you targeting their characteristics, but also their online search history.

How to measure remarketing and retargeting

Measuring the success of your retargeting or remarketing efforts is imperative in order to maximize your overall ROI. For both remarketing and retargeting, pay attention to the following metrics:

  • Lead conversions
  • Email opens
  • Page visits
  • Email unsubscribes
  • Marketing qualified leads

By analyzing your campaign’s success and shortcomings, you’ll be able to tweak your campaigns in the future for even better results.

Does it really matter?

Know the difference is vital, as one might be better for your marketing strategy than the other. If you’re looking to build brand loyalty through email, remarketing might be your answer. However, if you want to reinforce your brand across different websites and platforms, then retargeting is your best bet.

Both strategies, when used correctly, can not only give insight into customer behavior, but can increase brand awareness, consideration, and revenue.

What now?

Now that you know the differences, you may be wondering which strategy to choose. The truth is, it depends on your marketing goals. But you can use both simultaneously to create a solid marketing campaign. The more you nurture your sales funnel, the better results you’ll receive.

Are you ready to get started? Learn more about creating a customer journey to achieve your marketing goals.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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