Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting

Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting: Which Strategy Works Best in 2024

In the digital marketing world, remarketing targets prospects who previously engaged (probably a customer) in your website, app or other social media content. 

Retargeting is the same, but you will target the prospects who engaged but didn’t complete a desired action like purchasing your service, subscription, or product. 

It’s the simple way to understand them. However, there is more to the story! 

Understanding digital marketing key elements can be tricky, so we share with you all the key difference between remarketing and retargeting and how you can utilize them to 99% for your online advertising. 

Let’s get started! 

  • What is Remarketing and Retargeting? 
  • 7 Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting 
  • 5 Digital Marketing Areas Where You Can Use Remarketing and Retargeting
    • E-Commerce Store
    • SaaS (Software as a Service)
    • Travel Service 
    • Event Management and Marketing 
    • Healthcare and Wellness
    • Which One Should You Use 
  • FAQ

What is Remarketing and Retargeting? 



In brief, remarketing is a strategy that involves reengaging your already existing customers who might have lost their interest in your product or service over time. This can happen in 1 to 3 weeks or even months, which can greatly hinder your business. 

Here’s how a remarketing process happens, 

  • Your already existing interested customers lost interest in your services. 
  • So, you try re-engaging with them through emails or other social media platforms. 
  • You prioritize focusing on the people who have already interacted with your brand.
  • In this process, your objective is to nurture leads for purchase repetition from your customers. 
  • You might have to analyze customer data and their feedback to gather more important information. 
  • Use that data to innovate different types of discounts, bundles, and time-limited offers. 

Are there any other elements that involve remarketing? Yep, the final thing about remarketing is its connection to retargeting. You must combine your remarketing and retargeting strategies for the best outcome. 



In retargeting, you will target new prospects who might have abandoned carts from your site after showing interest in your products or services. From an expert’s perspective, retargeting is difficult and more expensive than remarketing and requires more precise content to attract customers.  

Here’s how a remarketing process happens, 

  • You will target the prospects who showed interest but didn’t convert. 
  • Instead of sending them personalized messages, you made ads to bring those prospects back and influence them to take the desired action. 
  • However, you must also gather their information by analyzing user behaviour through cookies and pixels.
  • Your goal will be turning potential prospects into customers. 
  • In retargeting, you are totally independent on which platforms you will select to show your ads, which includes social media or other websites.

Retargeting is all about capturing lost opportunities and converting them into paying customers.

7 Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting 

Remarketing and retargeting has many key differences, but these ones are the most notable ones. 

Points Remarketing Retargeting
Primary ChannelsIn remarketing, you will re-engage with users generally through email, encouraging them to complete a specified action.You are primarily trying to re-target the audience through ads posted in different social media channels. 
2User IdentificationThis strategy depends on gathering email addresses by interactions from the past. It can be, purchases sign-ups, or content downloads, to create targeted lists.For retargeting, you will use cookies and monitor your site’s user behaviour to identify those specifically targeted users and their actions and interests.  
3Content and MessagingThis can include brief, personalized messages or contents, or you can use effective CTA (call-to-action), like reminders, offers, and detailed product information. You will focus on visual ads and send them engaging messages, reminding them of their old interest in your products or service. 
4Goals Remarketing targets its interested (Yet to be customers) prospects and turns them into customers. The goal is to create a long term relationship with them. Retargeting prioritizes the most recent engagements and focuses on immediate conversations. Your aim is to turn interests into action. 
5Cost Remarketing has a lower cost because of its initial email system, but you may need to invest in an email marketing platform or other system.Retargeting can cost, depending on how unique and interactive your ads will be. Also, you may need to consider the time duration of these ads or contents. 
6Prospect reach It’s limited to the prospects who provided email addresses on your email campaigns. Ads and contents from retargeting can reach a broader audience or a long period of time.
7Performance TrackingIn remarketing, you can track users by knowing different states like email open rates, click-through rates, and conversation rates. It’s easy because you are only monitoring specific email campaigns.You will track retargeting performance through ad impressions, views and click-through rates. This may require a good web analytics tool for perfect analysis.

4 Digital Marketing Areas Where You Can Use Remarketing and Retargeting (with live examples) 

You can’t use any of these strategies if you don’t know don’t know where to see them. So we curated some below. \

1. eCommerce Store

Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting

If you are an eCommerce store owner, you can easily boost your sales by making these retargeting eCommerce store ads. A simple 10%-20% discount banner ad can influence a user to re-engage in purchasing a product, which is pretty great for users who might abandon their carts anytime.  

2. SaaS (Software as a Service)

Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting

It’s an ad for a Saas product on Facebook

You can use these types of ads or any content to influence prospects to visit your site and make a desired action. Also, if you keep up your retargeting campaign then, you can convert many trail users to paying customers easily. 

3. Travel Service 

A great example of a retargeting ad by Airbnb – Source

Most travel agencies make decisions after extensive research because most customers might not take the next step in your business. This is what happens, any potential customers will look at your site for flights, hotel room bookings, vacations packages but suddenly leave without booking anything. 

This is why try to make those personalized ads and special promotions or last-minute deals to influence them for a purchase. 

4. Event Management and Marketing 

Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting

It’s a design for a event management ad on Facebook – Source 

Creating an event management ad for retargeting prospects can be tricky, but you can write the post or ad description in ways that can make the user feel they are getting the best deal from your events. 

You can encourage these prospects by giving them early bird discounts, percentage off, or a well-detailed event info page to influence them to sign up for your email newsletter. 


Why should you use remarketing?

You should use remarketing when you are dealing with users who are interested in your service or products but have not made the final decision. You should send them engaging personalized emails to remind them about their purchase. You can also message them directly on other platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp. 

Which tools should you use for remarketing?

Remarketing is all about emails and personalized messages, so the tools you can use, MailChimp, Constant Contact, or GetResponse, are pretty great email marketing tools. You can use them for incredible remarketing strategies and long-term successful email campaigns. 

What’s a failed remarketing?

Failed remarketing is when prospects are not converted, making the entire marketing process fail. You will calculate remarketing failure by dividing the total number of unsubscribed prospects by the total number of targeted users, 

Remarketing failure = {1 – (total number of unsubscribed prospects ÷ total number of targeted users)} х 100 

Is remarketing cheaper than retargeting? 

In remarketing, you will only invest in successful email campaigns and prioritize personalized email messages. This lets you invest less than in retargeting because you will probably have to make thoughtful and interactive ads, content, and specialized messages, making you spend more to invest for a successful retargeting strategy. 

Why is retargeting useful for digital marketing?

Retargeting can be more useful than remarketing because its impact is more visible, and you primarily focus on ads and other visual elements. So, your chances of conversations increase up to 10-fold. 

Final Thoughts 

The main difference between remarketing and retargeting a prospect is interest and willingness. So, you must design your campaigns, ads, and personalized messages in particular ways. 

If you plan to make your online campaigns successful, focus on emails and social media campaigns to re-engage existing customers. 

Finally, to be successful in your goal, try to integrate both strategies and maximize your customer engagement and conversion rates. What we meant is to apply both strategies simultaneously. 

You can do it! 

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