How frequently do you see potential or revisiting customers visit your website, show wall the signs of conversion, and yet…. nothing? Your answer to that is probably “every single day”.

You can find them checking out your products or services, browsing through various landing pages and then moving on, instead of making a purchase or contributing to other conversion parameters, like downloading an ebook, filling a form, or signing up for a newsletter.

As a business owner, understanding that a customer's journey is not a straight, orderly path is extremely important. You can’t expect someone to discover your platform and share their contact details right away for your sales representative to initiate the lead generation process.

In fact, according to an Episerver study, almost 92% of people are not actively looking to make a purchase when they visit a website for the first time, which means, they are more likely to take a cursory glance at what you have to offer and leave. Two months later, they might come across your blog online and go through some of your posts. Maybe a week later, they will get in touch with your team to inquire about a possible purchase and make a decision after the back-and-forth.

Therefore, the biggest question is, how can you ensure that people who've checked out your website not only come back, but also go through with the actions you want them to perform?

Targeted online advertising, also known as retargeting, is a cookie-based technology that allows you reach out to customers who have previously shown an interest in your business.

Here’s how it works: You embed a small, unobtrusive piece of 'tracking' code (often called 'pixel') on your platform which remains invisible to your visitors and doesn't affect user experience. Every time a new customer lands on your website, the 'pixel' places an anonymous 'cookie' in their browser. Now, whenever a 'cookied' customer surfs the web, your retargeting provider or ad network identifies and serves them with ads based on the specific pages they visited on your platform.


20% marketers in the U.S. now have a dedicated retargeting budget for acquiring new customers (33%), improving site engagement (16%) and creating brand awareness (12%).

On an average, people around the globe spend nearly 135 minutes every day on social media, so it comes as no surprise that for 95% marketers, Facebook and Twitter not only play a critical role in a customer's journey to conversion, but also brings in the highest ROI compared to other digital marketing tactics. For retargeting, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer the following approaches:

  • Customer list: With list-based retargeting, you can upload your CRM database containing customer contact details, such as phone numbers or email addresses, and create a 'custom audience'. Your display ads will be then delivered only your 'custom audience' list, if they’ve used the same personal information to register on Facebook.


Your 'custom audience' can be existing customers you're trying to retain, new customers who created an account on your platform without making a purchase, existing customers who left after adding a product to their cart, new customers who signed up for your newsletter but haven't made a purchase and so on.

  • Website Traffic: Using 'Pixel' or the 'tracking code' on Facebook or Twitter, you can monitor not only customer behaviour on a landing page, but also create retargeting ad campaigns for the specific things that your audience has demonstrated an interest in. For example, you can target people who visited the pricing page by showing them an ad about an upcoming discount or who have spent more than 20 seconds on your homepage with a ‘sign up’ ad.   Facebook allows you to choose from 9 standard conversion events to track, including:
  1. ViewContent: When a visitor views a specific landing page on your website.
  2. Search: When a visitor makes a certain product search query.
  3. AddToCart: When a visitor adds a product to the cart.
  4. AddToWishlist: When a visitor adds a product to the 'Wishlist'.
  5. InitiateCheckout: When a visitor clicks on the 'checkout' button with or without the implication of actually making a purchase.
  6. AddPaymentInfo: When a visitor adds their payment information during the checkout with or without the implication of completing the checkout process.
  7. Purchase: When a visitor completed the checkout process and purchases a product.
  8. Lead: When a visitor expresses interest in what you have to offer by signing up for a newsletter, filling a form or spending a reasonable amount of time on the pricing page.
  9. CompleteRegistration: When a visitor completes the sign-up or subscription process of a service.

You can also add custom conversion events to your Facebook pixel when the standard events are not relevant to your platform or you want a combination of both standard and custom conversion events.

The Facebook pixel can also be attached to your ad campaigns to track the conversion events that take place as a direct result of your ad. For example, when the customer clicks on your ad (attached with a Facebook pixel), he’s redirected to your sales landing page (embed ViewContent pixel), so you can track the number of people who visited that particular page from the ad, in addition to any other conversion events.

Based on the conversion events from a Facebook ad, you can segment your target audience for retargeting campaigns.

  • App engagement: Facebook and Twitter provide an SDK Setup for businesses who want to re-engage customers to their mobile application. For example, you can operate a retargeting campaign for people who downloaded but haven't opened your app in 30 days. The Facebook SDK that's available for both Android and iOS, gives you an insight into the way people interact with your app.  

    After implementing and verifying SDK for your platform, you can add the standard conversion events that you want to monitor, that include: Achieved level, App launched, Added payment info, Added to cart, Added to wishlist, Completed registration, Completed tutorial, Initiated checkout, Purchased, Rated, Searched, Spent credits, Unlocked achievement and Viewed content. You can also customize conversion events to track parameters that are unique to your mobile app.

Facebook mobile app ads follow the same setup process as website ads, where you create 'custom audience' using your CRM database or segment target audience based on their app activity.

  • Dynamic Ads: Suitable for eCommerce businesses, dynamic ads help you promote the specific products that a customer has shown interest in, whether it was on your website, mobile app or anywhere else on the internet. Once you're done uploading your product inventory on Facebook (or Instagram) to launch a retargeting campaign, it will proceed to locate a relevant audience for every product with the latest pricing.


The product catalogue that can be used to show off eCommerce items, hotel listings, real estate properties, flights, vacation destinations and more, requires six fields including the product ID, product title, link to the product page, a short description of the product, availability (in stock, out of stock, preorder, available for order or discontinued) and product condition (used, new or refurbished).


You can choose to retarget potential customers who have either visited your platform to check out a product or who've demonstrated an interest in other products on the web similar to yours. Additionally, Facebook also lets you create a custom combination of audience based on their interaction with your product. For example, you can target people who viewed and added a product to the cart but did not follow through with the purchase.

With diverse custom audience options, social media is an excellent, cost-effective way to get customers eyes back on your brand. While a majority of customers (almost 59%) remain neutral towards behaviorally retargeted ads, 30% admit to having a very positive reaction towards them.

Retargeting is so efficient because it directs your advertising spend towards consumers who already know about your business and have recently shown interest. Most marketers observe a higher ROI from them, as opposed to most of the other digital channels.

Remember that your products or services can be the absolute best in the industry, however, consumers might not make a purchasing decision right away. For most platforms, only 2% of website traffic converts when they first visit, however, with retargeting you can reach out to the 98% of users who didn't convert immediately. Unless they are encouraged multiple times to revisit your brand, chances are they will move on and forget about your platform.

Therefore, depending on your budget and the type of business you're in, you should definitely consider investing in a retargeting campaign that best meets your marketing goals and KPI requirements.