6 Types of Retargeting Every Marketer Should Know

When it comes to retargeting, most marketers instantly think of search retargeting. But highly effective marketers explore other types of retargeting. Here are six different types of retargeting to acquire and engage a potential audience.

Date published
August 20, 2012 Categories

bar-code-foreheadWhen it comes to the topic of retargeting, most marketers instantly think of search retargeting, which they happen to already be running at least one campaign for. Hard to blame them, since search retargeting is, in fact, the fastest growing type of retargeting and has proven to have some of the highest returns.

But the truth of the matter is, highly effective marketers explore other types of retargeting to acquire and engage potential audience. During the “PPC Beyond Search” panel at SES San Francisco 2012, Dax Hamman broke down six different types of retargeting every marketer should know.

1. Search Retargeting

When using search retargeting, you’re essentially going after individuals on search engines who have searched using keywords or phrases relevant to your business. Keep in mind that when deciding to use this type of retargeting, you’re making assumptions based on the searcher’s intent.

Just because they searched a term that is relevant to your business, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ready to make a purchase or be bombarded by “buy now” banners. Be sure to take intent into consideration and serve your creative accordingly.

2. Site Retargeting

Think of site retargeting as one step closer contact, since the searcher has actually landed on and visited your site at this point. Once they do so, you can tag them and follow them around the internet with your messages.

The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding to use site retargeting, is to identify certain actions as “tag-worthy.”

Let’s say you sell PPC management software. Would you tag someone who visits your blog to read a post and someone else who watches a video of an online demo the same way? Would you tag the blog reader at all?

3. SEM/SEO Retargeting

SEM/SEO retargeting is closely related to site retargeting and has to do with the search terms used prior to clicking to or arriving on your site. Couple someone’s search term used to land on your site with the actions they take on it and you have given yourself a whole new level of insight into their intent. Use this to refine your creative and perfect your message to them.

4. Email Retargeting

As apparent from the name, it allows you to retarget people based on actions they have taken on your emails. Engagement levels are important to take note of in this case, since someone opening an email should not be treated as someone else who clicked a link, forwarded it, or didn’t even open it at all.

5. Contextual Retargeting

In all the sessions I’ve moderated, never have I heard an “oooooh” from the audience as when contextual retargeting was introduced. In essence, it involves exchanging pixels between sites that are highly relevant to a searcher and targeting to each others’ visitors. For example, think of an airline and local hotel site targeting each other’s audience based on destinations that were searched or booked.

6. Engagement Retargeting

Perhaps the least commonly used by the average advertiser, this type of retargeting works exceptionally well with those who offer channels of engagement like videos, rich media, Flash games, etc. Based on the type of action the user takes, advertisers can infer things like intent and level of engagement to serve highly targeted display ads.


With so many different types of retargeting, advertisers are finding more ways (and more importantly, a second chance) to reach their target audience. When used correctly and with the right creative, advertisers can expect large boosts in CTRs and conversions for their campaigns.

Apart from search, have you used any of the other forms of retargeting? Which ones have proven to be the most effective for you? Share your thoughts and comments below.

Exit mobile version