How to Use Remarketing to Increase Sales

June 5, 2023 Julio Romero

Reading time about 16min

The Remarkable Power of Remarketing: How to Use It to Increase Sales

How often have you visited a website and left without buying anything? We’ve all been there. It feels like you had every intention of making a purchase but for whatever reason, the moment just slipped away and you leave the website.

But wonder of wonders, you suddenly see images of the item you left in your cart everywhere you go online: social media, on news websites, blogs, and more! It’s like you’re being followed! And the more you see the item, the more you feel like you definitely have to make a purchase!

Then you receive an SMS saying you’ve left an item in your cart and that you can simply click a link to go back and complete the purchase. It’s like the last straw and you eventually click and buy.

This is the power of remarketing.

Table of Contents

What is Remarketing?

Benefits of Remarketing

How Remarketing Works

Remarketing Strategies

What to Avoid on a Remarketing Campaign

Different Ways to Remarket to Potential Customers

Email and SMS Remarketing

Remarketing Apps for Shopify


One of the biggest challenges for any online business is convincing visitors to make a purchase. Over 97% of people who visit a website for the first time leave without making a purchase. When these people walk away, you risk watching a valuable source of income leave as well – unless you can figure out a way to draw them back to your website. That’s where remarketing comes in.

What is Remarketing?


Remarketing (also known as retargeting) involves advertising to users who have already visited your website but have not made a purchase. This allows you to provide customers with personalized ads and keeps your brand fresh in potential customers’ minds even when they leave your shop.

Because you are targeting existing customers or people who have already visited your website, this marketing method is known as “re”-marketing. It is essentially a way of providing you with a second chance to fulfill your goals and convince people to take the desired action, whether that be making a purchase, signing up for a course, or something else.

You can retarget customers in various ways, including through email campaigns, SMS marketing, social media marketing, push notifications, and more.

Remarketing can be surprisingly effective. Consider these statistics:

  • The average click-through rate (CTR) for remarketed ads is 0.7%. While this may seem low, it is ten times the average CTR for display ads, which is 0.07%.
  • Retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert.
  • Remarketing can see your advertisement engagement stats rise by up to 400%.
  • 60% of consumers are neutral on the topic of remarketing, while 25% of people like such ads. This demonstrates that there is significant scope for remarketing without causing customer discontent.
  • 26% of users are likely to complete check out after abandoning their carts when targeted with remarketing ads, compared to 8% of people in general.
  • Retargeting ads are more cost-effectivet han search ads and require about half the investment that search ads do.

Given these numbers, it’s easy to understand why brands and online businesses use remarketing as a strategy to boost sales and conversions.


Benefits of Remarketing

Some advantages of using remarketing as a strategy include:

  • Timing

Remarketed ads can be displayed when the target audience is either looking for your business on a search engine or is searching for another product and is primed to make a purchase. Both these strategies increase the likelihood of customer conversion.

  • Relevance

This strategy allows you to show customers advertisements that fit their needs. Additionally, you can personalize your remarketed ads, including by segmenting your audience so you can tailor your ads to their requirements, which can also boost the chance of re-engagement and conversions.

  • Reach

Unlike other types of ads, you are not just limited to web ads. You can also target people visiting other websites, including YouTube. Additionally, SMS retargeting allows you to reach customers even when they are away from their computers.

  • Cost-Effective

As mentioned above, retargeted ads are much more budget-friendly than search ads. Additionally, these ads are usually available on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, so you don’t have to worry about paying until and unless a user clicks on your advertisement.

  • Helps Users to Travel Further Down the Sales Funnel

Remarketing can help you guide your users down the conversion funnel. When customers leave your website, they are in either the awareness or interest phase. You can draw them back to your website and incentivize them to move to the desire and action phases through remarketing.


How Remarketing Works

Most websites you visit will ask you to allow them to use cookies on your computer. This permission request shows up in the form of a banner and looks similar to this.

In the simplest terms, by allowing cookies, you are permitting a website or store to reach out to you for remarketing purposes.

The cookie is, essentially, a few lines of code that the website places in your browser. It acts as a small file on your computer and stores information about your activity, including your actions on the website. It’s essential to keep in mind that no sensitive data like your name, address, or payment details are stored on your website.

This information is then transmitted from the cookie to an ad platform when you leave the site in question. It also lets the platform know when you visit another site so they can target you for remarketing ads.

This is, however, only one form of retargeting. More personalized forms of remarketing, such as email and SMS remarketing, requires you to have access to a customer’s personal data – in this case, either their phone number or email address.

With existing customers, this is easy – you probably have access to this data already. However, remarketing is also used for new customers and those who have not provided you with this data previously.

In order to do this, you need to solicit customers to provide you with the relevant information. Depending on the country in which your business is located, you may also need them to provide explicit consent that you are permitted to send them marketing messages.

This method is, undoubtedly, significantly more time-consuming than retargeting with display ads. However, the simple fact is that retargeting with emails and text messages is a far more effective strategy.

While the conversion rate for display ads is about 1%, the conversion rates for email marketing is 3% and for SMS campaigns is a whopping 45%!

It’s always best to opt for remarketing via text messages!

However, most businesses find that a hybrid strategy offers the best results, as display ads allow you to target the people who are hesitant to provide you with email addresses or are hesitant to subscribe to SMS messages.


Remarketing Strategies

If you’re considering taking advantage of remarketing to reach out to your customers, you should have a clear strategy before you invest in ads.

Remarkable Power of Remarketing: How to Use It to Increase Sales

Here are some tactics you can incorporate into your marketing strategy:

1. Consider Your Industry

If you are selling products that are usually used immediately – for example, groceries and other eatables – retargeting people months after their visit will no be effective.

On the other hand, certain products, such as books and movies, are relatively evergreen, and there’s a chance retargeting can work even once some time has passed.

2. Use Remarketing to Upsell

Retargeted ads are not only useful at convincing visitors to return to your store and complete an abandoned purchase, but they can also be used to convince them to upgrade their basic subscription to a premium one.

This can be useful in urging them to upgrade their level in a membership program or in turning free subscribers into paying ones.

Upselling may also mean encouraging the user to add more of the same item to their cart using package offers, or related products that will “completely” fulfill their needs (based on the initial product they intend to purchase).

3. Use Tailored Offers

One good way to convince people to click on remarketing ads is to provide them with offers they will be unable to find elsewhere on your website and social media.

This can include specific discounts and free shipping, as long as they click on the provided link (or advertisement).

4. Remarket to People in Existing Databases

Many eCommerce websites allow people to sign up to receive product updates and information. The people who do so can either be previous customers or new visitors considering a purchase.

No matter which, however, you know one thing about these website visitors – they are interested in your products. Targeting them with remarketing ads can help boost conversions since they are already considering a purchase and may be swayed with special offers.

5. Make Use of “Negative” Segmentation

“Negative” segmentation helps determine what parts of their audience they want to exclude from seeing their ads. This can be an important part of effective remarketing.

Make Use of “Negative” Segmentation

For example, if you are running a two-week campaign, you may want to prevent people who have visited and made a purchase by using your advertisement link. This can be an important part of preventing overexposure to your brand, and also reducing the cost of advertising.

However, this must only be used if your product or service is not the type that can be “consumed” within just a couple of weeks. Also, do this if your goal is to attract new customers using this promotion.

6. Reach Out to People Opting Out of the Service

Is someone deciding against renewing a service after the free trial period is over? Have you noticed a regular customer canceling a subscription? Remarketing to these customers with a tailored offer can help change their minds.

Remember, there were interested in your product to begin with, which means that a bargain may result in them deciding to continue with your business.

7. Consider the Friction Causing Customers to Back-out

Is there a reason that you can think of that a customer may have decided against a purchase? Answers to this question can include a desire to compare prices with competitors, a product that is difficult to understand, and more.

Once you identify the tipping point, you can then use tailored remarketing ads to address these concerns and point out benefits of buying from you they may not have identified immediately, helping you increase sales.


What to Avoid on a Remarketing Campaign

Remarketing is a great way for you to increase your ROI on advertising spending and can be an especially useful option for businesses with a limited advertising budget. However, it’s also essential to make sure that you avoid going overboard.

Don’t Follow Them Everywhere

What to Avoid on a Remarketing Campaign

While it may feel like employing all kinds of remarketing techniques possible can produce the best outcome, it can actually be counterproductive to be almost “omnipresent”.

Your customers might actually be freaked out at being followed everywhere and would refuse to ever visit your website.

Limit the Frequency that Ads Show Up

Showing too many can result in annoying potential customers and reduce the chance of conversions. In order to ensure that you aren’t showing too many ads, you should consider limiting your remarketing advertising to two to three ads per day.

Time them Properly

When it comes to sending remarketing messages for abandoned carts via email or SMS, space them out properly. Not too closely, but also not too far apart as to make the customer forget that he has ever shown interest in your product.

Additionally, make sure that you don’t remarket too long after a person’s initial visit or interest in your store and products. If you wait weeks or months, there’s always a chance that a person’s interest in a product has waned, or they have found a better-priced option.

The suggested message sequence is as follows:

  • an hour after cart abandonment
  • a day after cart abandonment
  • three days after cart abandonment

Timely ads and messages are key to a successful remarketing strategy.



Different Ways to Remarket to Potential Customers

There are numerous ways in which you can retarget existing and potential customers. These include:

1. Banner Ads

Different Ways to Remarket to Potential Customers

These ads are essentially digital billboards that are strategically placed on a given webpage to ensure that they grab a user’s attention. They are placed on high-traffic locations on a page and (aside from being a source of conversions) help businesses create brand awareness.

These ads can be useful for remarketing as they are often strategically placed to improve click-through. Since your brand is front and center, people already interested in your business are more likely to click the ad.

2. Native Ads

Native advertising involves the use of paid ads that are designed to match the look and feel of the webpage on which they show up. They are non-disruptive, and unlike traditional online advertising, don’t stick out like a sore thumb.

The advantage of this type of advertising for remarketing is that they look like they are part of the natural flow of the page. Since audiences easily miss the “advertisement” aspect of such ads, they are more likely to trust and click on them, especially when they are already interested in the product showcased in the ad.

3. Video Ads

These ads are ones that are displayed before, during, or after an online video, such as those on YouTube and other similar websites. These ads are great for grabbing customer attention and allow you to reach out to an audience primed for remarketing.

If you opt for advertisement videos as part of your retargeting strategy, you also have the opportunity to step outside conventional text ads and connect with your customers and explain your products in detail, rather than being limited to about 70 words.

However, you must be able to capture your audience’s attention within the first 10 seconds of your video (or less!) to prevent them from clicking the dreaded (for advertisers) “Skip Ads” button.

4. Push Notifications

These ads are essential pop-up notifications that appear on a web page. Push notifications are clickable and can be seen across devices and browsers. Some push notifications can also be permission-based, requiring consent from the viewer before they are provided with more information.

These notifications can be personalized depending on the customer segment that is seeing them and can also be extremely versatile. They may be used for everythingfromabandoned cart reminders to rewards program reminders, shipping alerts, and more.


5. Social Media Ads

Social Media Ads

Today, there are tons of different social media options you can choose to have a presence on, depending on the type of business you run and the customer base you are looking to connect with. However, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram remain the most popular options among brands, markets, and consumers alike.

Aside from advertising to new customers, you can also use these channels as remarketing tools to connect with visitors and customers who have already connected with your brand on social media, as well as those whom traditional remarketing campaigns would target.

This method is great for reaching a wide audience base – Facebook and Instagram combined boast over 3 billion monthly users combined, and this potential audience base means that businesses cannot afford to ignore or overlook social media when considering a remarketing strategy.


6. Email


Email remarketing is precisely what it sounds like – using email to reach out to people who previously engaged with your store in order to convince them to make a purchase and convert them to customers.

There are numerous advantages to using email remarketing, including reducing shopping cart abandonment rates and boosting your ability to reengage with “lost” prospects.


7. SMS Messages

Like with email remarketing, this channel is fairly simple to use – it involves sending your customers retargeting ads via text message. Other options available include discounts and other special offers like free gifts.

The biggest advantages of this form of marketing are its reach and itsopen and conversion rates. With a 98% open rate and 14% conversion rate, SMS messages are by far the best form of advertising, whether due to a retargeting strategy or other reasons.

An important to keep in mind that email and SMS remarketing requires a level of audience consent. They need to freely and knowingly provide you with either your phone number or an email ID (or both!), so you continue reaching out to them.


Email and SMS Remarketing

While banner ads and social media marketing can be effective remarketing tools, email and SMS messages are undoubtedly among the best options available for your retargeting strategy.

Email Remarketing

Email remarketing can be highly effective in certain common situations, including:

  • When you’re looking to address cart abandonment
  • When you’re remarketing to people who have already accessed or downloaded your lead magnet
  • When you need to get inactive viewers’ attention

Email marketing allows you to send customers highly tailored campaigns, which can effectively convert to sales. However, it’s important to remember that this retargeting strategy first requires customers to provide you details of their email addresses.

Depending on which segment of your customer base you are targeting, you can get this information from existing customer databases, from information people input during the checkout process (this is a great way to reach out with abandoned cart messages), and through pop-up requests.

When using email remarketing, it’s essential to remember to send out emails fast. Ideally, an email should be sent within an hour of a potential customer leaving your website. This ensures that the products they were viewing are still fresh in their mind, which increases the chances of conversion.

Email remarketing can also be a highly effective option. This strategy:

  • Can offer up to41%conversions (versus the normal conversion rate of 2-3%)
  • Can help you make four times your usual revenue

Additionally, retargeting emails can have a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate if sent within three hours of cart abandonment. More than that, customers sourced via email marketing are valuable – research indicates that they bring in11%more revenue than those sourced from other channels.

SMS Remarketing

Like email remarketing, SMS remarketing first requires customers to provide you with their phone numbers. You can gather this information from various channels, including existing databases, pop-up forms that offer discounts if a person signs up with their phone number, and information input during checkout in the case of cart abandonment.

SMS Remarketing

This remarketing strategy allows you to grab customers’ attention as soon as possible – not only does SMS have a 98% open rate, this open rate is measured in the 10 seconds after they receive the message. If you send your remarketing message quickly, you’ll be able to ensure that customers still have your store and products fresh on their minds when they read your message.

Situations in which SMS remarketing can be effective include:

  • Abandoned cart messages
  • Review requests
  • Purchase follow-ups, including shipping updates and offers on similar products

WinBack, a Shopify app used for SMS Marketing, is able to recover 34% of abandoned carts. A third of your lost customers, how great is that?

One of the biggest advantages of this form of remarketing is accessibility. Most other forms of retargeting, including banner ads, social media marketing, and even email retargeting, require customers to be connected to the Internet. In the case of social media marketing and email marketing, customers must be browsing specific sites (social media channels Facebook and Instagram in the case of social media marketing, their email provider in the case of email retargeting).

However, with SMS marketing, all you need is for your customer to be within reaching distance of their phone. Given what a major part of our lives these devices are, the chances are better than not that message receivers will, indeed, be able to easily access their phone and read your message as soon as possible.

Additionally, the SMS format necessitates short messages, unlike emails. This means that there is less information that the customer needs to parse, and you are forced to provide all the relevant details in limited characters. This reduces the amount of attention a customer has to pay to your message and increases the chances that he will click on the link provided.

Read our Complete Guide to SMS Marketing to learn more.

Some considerations to keep in mind when using SMS messages for remarketing include:

  • Schedule Carefully

One aspect of SMS marketing that can be both a positive and a drawback is that phones make a sound when a message is received. This helps customers open your messages as soon as possible. However, if messages are sent in the middle of the night or during the peak of the workday, this can be an issue.

Make sure you schedule sending times carefully. If you have international customers, you may have to segment your receivers to ensure that messages are received at the appropriate time in each time zone.

  • Segment as Much as Possible

While SMS marketing is relatively underused by businesses, spam can still be an issue. Effective segmenting means that customers will only receive messages that are relevant to their needs and reduce the risk of brand overexposure and fatigue.

  • Use a Conversational Tone

Though you may use an automated app to send your SMS messages, ensuring the tone you use in your messages is conversational and easy to relate to makes it easier for customers to connect with your business.

  • Make Access Easy

Messages should not just provide information, they should also have a call to action along with an easily clickable link that customers can use to complete the action you want them to take. The less complicated it is for them to meet your needs, the more likely it is that they will convert.

  • Make Unsubscribing Easy

Unlike banner ads and other forms of online advertising, SMS marketing is a relatively personal form of marketing. After all, you are reaching out to customers on their phones, using sensitive personal information (their phone numbers).

This means that, in order to build trust with your clients, it’s essential to make it easy for them to unsubscribe from your SMS list. Make the steps they will need to take to unsubscribe clear when they first sign on and have a clear data privacy policy that indicates what you will do with their data after they unsubscribe.

Knowing that the personal information is protected will not only make customers more comfortable subscribing and remaining subscribers, it will also ensure that they remain customers, even if they opt-out of your SMS list.



Remarketing Apps for Shopify

If you are a Shopify store owner, there are a few apps you can use to make remarketing easier. These include:

1. Carts Guru Automated Marketing

This app allows you to make use of several different remarketing channels, including SMS, email, and Facebook Messenger. You can also combine all of these channels in one campaign, which can help boost returns.

Additionally, the app allows you to automatically target consumers based on which channel they respond to best. This helps you optimize both spending and ROI and increases conversions. Other features include customizable templates and smart segmentation for your audience.

Carts Guru offers a 14-day free plan, after which you can upgrade to the plan of your choice. All plans offer free Facebook Messenger marketing services.

2. AdRoll

A multi-channel app, AdRoll allows you to remarket to customers through a variety of channels, including:

  • Social media, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Banner ads, native ads, and more via Google Ads
  • Email, via MailChimp

Additionally, they will help you create custom integrations if you want to access channels they do not yet offer.

Due to the variety of options it offers, AdRoll is one of the most popular marketing and remarketing apps available for Shopify. They offer both free and paid plans, with paid plans starting at $19 per month.

3. WinBack

WinBack allows you to automate abandoned cart recovery messages, with additional features including SMS for browser abandonment, post-purchase follow-up, and Facebook contact integration.

This app is great for businesses looking to capitalize on the benefits of SMS remarketing at an affordable price. It is also very easy to use, which is a huge advantage for one-man businesses and those with a small team.

Paid plans start at $59 per month and include a 14-day free trial to help businesses get the feel of the app first. Integration is easy, just click on the app install in Shopify apps and it’s ready for use.

4. PushOwl Web Push Notifications

Web push notifications from PushOwl can generate as much as 126 times ROI and have a click rate three times that of emails. The app allows you to get started with unlimited free subscribers and lets you schedule notifications while also providing you with in-depth analytics so you can track how well your remarketing strategy is working.

Types of push notifications available include:

  • Abandoned cart recovery messages
  • Shipping alerts
  • Stock updates
  • Price drop alerts

Additionally, notifications are available in multiple languages, and the app allows you to incorporate images, emojis, and more in your push notifications. Both paid and free plans are available, with paid plans starting at $19 per month. Additionally, they also offer enterprise plans if you are looking for custom offerings.

5. Pushnami

This app allows you to reach out to customers through both email and web push notifications, with push notifications available on both mobile and web browsers. The features available on this app include:

  • Machine learning helps you automate message selection, target individual customers better, and more.
  • Automated campaigns that you can schedule ahead of time
  • Space for personalizing notifications
  • API feeds that allow for easy integrations

Integrations available include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Everflow
  • Outbrain
  • Taboola
  • Hastraffic

Additionally, the team offers free help in building any custom integrations you may need.

Pricing packages are priced based on subscribers and start at $0.01 per subscriber. They also offer enterprise and revenue sharing plans for businesses that are looking to target high volumes of customers.

6. Sixads


Sixads allows you to remarket to customers using Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads. The app is easy to set up and use and allows you to boost your sales and drive your profits with targeted ads without requiring much effort on your part.

Additionally, automated ad management ensures that you are never running ads for products that are discontinued or out of stock, helping you save money. Paid plans start at $14.99 per month if you pay yearly and $29.99 per month if you pay monthly. Paying yearly offers you the advantage of the equivalent of three free months.


Ready to Retarget?

As you can see, there are multiple ways to get customers to come back to your site. You can even use several of those advertising options outlined above and you will see tremendous results!

However, if you don’t have that big of a budget like many large companies do, then it would be best to stick to one that is economical and is known to deliver success, like SMS Marketing.

Done correctly, retargeting can be one of the most powerful marketing strategies available to small businesses. More than that, it can also help boost your sales and reduce page and cart abandonment rates.

Add WinBack to your Shopify store, get the 14-day free trial and experience the power of SMS remarketing.

Topics: SMS Marketing, Email Marketing, Shopify Marketing, eCommerce, Push Notification Marketing, Cart Abandonment