Retargeter Blog

How Retargeting Works for Your Startup


When it comes to your startup, every decision and every dollar counts. Each marketing initiative is incredibly powerful in the startup stage, helping to define your future marketing strategy, build brand awareness, and generate quality leads that can ultimately grow your company. Retargeting can take your marketing efforts to the next level, and ensure your startup stands out from the competition.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with retargeting, it is an effective, high-ROI marketing tool that helps advertisers focus their digital advertising efforts, and dollars, by serving display ads to users who have already engaged with their brand.

Here’s how retargeting can help your startup make an impact:

Building Community

Many startups employ a content marketing approach to boost SEO, inbound leads, and their status as thought leaders in a new space. Social media provides an affordable and effective channel for startups looking to build community, engage with new customers, and increase brand awareness, and content can inform your social media sharing and engagement strategy.

As you tweet, post, blog, comment, and engage, where are you directing prospects? Sharing your content via social media channels means you can direct your online community to various landing pages that house said content. Once a person clicks through to a landing page, you can retarget those visitors accordingly. For example, if you tweet about your new blog post and someone clicks to read the post. You can pixel that user when they land on your blog and serve them relevant, retargeted ads. It’s important here to not jump to the sale. This is someone who is interested in reading a blog post, so your retargeted ad could encourage them to download a whitepaper or an eBook. Similarly, if you posted on LinkedIn about an upcoming event or promotion, you can assume the user who clicks through is a warmer lead than a blog reader, and show the retargeted ads that encourage signing up for a free trial or making a purchase.

Engaging Your Email List

Building an email list is a crucial step for any startup. Emails provide an opportunity for thoughtful, targeted messaging to both re-engage existing customers and nurture leads further down the funnel. Though a perfect email marketing formula has yet to be determined, the importance of email as part of your marketing strategy remains clear — 77% of Internet users surveyed prefer email messages over any other form of communication, and users will continue to open emails days, and even months, after hitting their inbox. Email retargeting is a simple and effective way to supplement your email marketing efforts. Email retargeting works by serving display ads to people who open your emails, drastically improving campaign reach, and ensuring your brand stays top of mind.

At a time when 56% of Americans proactively research companies before buying, according this recent Harris study, your ability to create additional marketing touchpoints can make the difference. With consumers holding off on purchases until they’ve explored their options, you can make sure your business stays in front of them while they comparison shop with display ads. By segmenting your email list and serving users the display ads that make sense for where they are in the funnel, email retargeting provides an opportunity for highly targeted and relevant messaging that can lead to the conversion faster. For startups, the sooner you can shorten the purchase cycle and get money in the door, the better.

The Power of Freemium

Your freemium product or free trial is a great way to increase sign-ups and encourage purchases from the start. But, we all know that a free trial does not always lead to conversion. Free trials get people through the door, and retargeting reminds them to take additional steps. Retargeting your trial users and freemium customers can push prospects further down the funnel. Don’t make the mistake of asking users to take an action they’ve already taken, however. Nothing is more annoying than seeing ads across the web for the item you just purchased. Your retargeted display ads should add value–  highlight the benefits of your paid product, remind users that their trial is coming to an end, or inform them of a limited-time offer or promotion to increase upsells.

Digital Brand Building

Building brand awareness and recall is arguably the most important goal for a startup. If people have never heard of you, they are less likely to trust your brand and will go with the competitor who has been more successful with branding. Luckily, retargeting has proven highly effective for brand lift and recall. Imagine a user lands on your site as a result of content you have distributed or a PPC ad, but leaves shortly after. By serving display ads to that user across the web on prominent sites like The New York Times and CNN, your brand will not only be associated with these premium publishers, thus increasing your trustworthiness, but you will also be remembered because users will have seen your ads multiple times.

In addition to bringing back site visitors and helping people remember your brand, retargeting can increase your online visibility, and at a fraction of the price. While your largest competitor may be able to afford an ad buy on all of the major ad networks, your startup budget is most likely much smaller. With retargeting, you can create the impression of online ubiquity because you are focusing your spend on people who have already interacted with you in some way. Instead of an expensive direct ad buy, you can achieve the same result of impressive online reach; it is simply a more targeted approach.


Retargeting provides startups with a huge opportunity to increase engagement, boost brand awareness, nurture prospects, and ultimately, drive more conversions. The next time your startup is set to launch a marketing campaign, consider what you could be missing by not using retargeting.

Leave a Comment