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Retargeting Hack: How to Retarget People Who Haven’t Visited Your Website

Wasiq Naeem
7 minutes
retargeting hacks

We won’t be lying if we call retargeting ads as digital marketer’s best friend.

The reason you might ask?

Only 2% of website visitors convert on the first visit to your website but more than 70% of the same people convert and buy from your business when you remarket your product or services to them.

Isn’t it crazy?

Therefore, it is important to get the share of memory in your consumer’s minds while always reminding them of your brand’s presence, so they chose you when they are ready to make buying decisions.

But, how will you make people buy your product? – the answer is to you need to PREPARE them to buy.

retargeting hacks


That’s where the retargeting comes in!

But why you should focus on retargeting when you have relatively small traffic on your website?

This article will tell you how to target any popular website’s traffic who have never visited your website. With this hack, you can even target Amazon’s traffic.

So, let’s dive in!

 Let’s refresh some basics before jumping into the technicalities of the retargeting hack.

Retargeting is the most effective way to keep your brand on top of your consumer’s minds even if they are researching for other options.

It is one of the online advertisements that let you target people who have landed on your website through an ad on any platform. They might have come across any of your display ads on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, or Twitter.

These visitors might not have bought anything from their first visit to your website but they leave an opportunity for your business to re-engage with them and remind them about your brand or product they wanted to buy, thus boosting your conversion rates.

How Retargeting works?

When a user visits your website, technically what’s happening in the background is that they are being tagged as a certain audience once they have clicked on the website, which already had a piece of javascript code which is called “pixel”.

You use this data from pixel into Google AdWords, Facebook pixel, and other advertising platforms like Twitter or Quora to run retargeting campaigns so you can show them your products and services ads for recall.

Why Consumers Convert Better with Retargeting?

Before getting into the hack for retargeting people who have never been to your website, it’s important to understand the consumer psychology behind the effectiveness of retargeting campaigns.

With unlimited options for the same item, today’s consumer wants to do proper research before they finally make a purchase. So, a lot of times first-time website visitors are just visiting your website for research purposes and are drawing their comparisons.

Therefore, being at the forefront and reminding them of your presence and being there while they are on their journey to explore offerings is important. This is to convert them into return visitors. Since more familiarity, the higher the chance of them becoming your customers.

types of retargeting


Retargeting Hacks for Non-Visitors

You might be thinking about what we had been smoking when we talk about retargeting people who have not been on your website?

Since retargeting is supposed to be for people that have been to your site but how can you target people who have never been to your website. To top it off how can you bring someone else’s traffic to your website with retargeting?

It is a 2-word hack that will take your retargeting to another level

Retargeting Hack # 1:  Link Retargeting

Link Retargeting is basically retargeting people who clicked on a shortened link you shared through email, or on social media platforms.

The unique thing about these links is that it doesn’t have to be the link of your own content or products or website. You can share the link to any page, or article thus decreasing the cost of your content creation. And, then later retargeting the audience who have clicked on those links.

Link targeting offers you significant benefits:

          Share the links to articles and content from the archive

          Allow your audience to self-select which topics interest them

You can create custom sets of audiences based on who clicked on related links.

How does Link Retargeting Work? What Kind of Audience will Link Retargeting Bring In?

Link retargeting is when you put your retargeting pixel code in a shortened link and share it on any platform – such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Newsletter. The retargeting pixel tags the people who clicked on it even if it’s not directed to your website.

It’s perfectly legal and allowed, in fact, it serves additional value to your audience, reducing your cost of content creation if used strategically.

Link retargeting allows you to go above and beyond for your audience reach by enabling you to add a retargeting pixel to links created by Replug.

This removes the limitation of only retargeting people who have visited your website and you can target people through links to curated content.

From posting news, articles from partners and customers, referral links, any YouTube video or the link to Amazon product, you can interact with anyone who interacts with 3rd party content.

Now, the retargeting audience doesn’t have to be people who visited your website instead the opportunities to grow your retargeting audience are endless, leading to more conversions across the brand.

How Can I Target People through Link Targeting? 

You can re-target audiences through link retargeting. You can share 3rd party content in your content marketing strategy. This way you are not only selling your products but also offering valuable solutions to your customer’s problems. 

An inbound marketing funnel and strategy in place are very important. It saves your cost for Google display ads or Facebook ads. Instead, your content strategy and link sharing do all the work for you.  

Case Study: Link Retargeting Campaign by Pampers

Pampers is a globally very popular brand that has a variety of diapers available from newborns to toddlers. But, parents of newborns are only interested in diapers of newborns. There are also soon-to-be parents who are looking for parenting advice. They are also going to be Pampers’ potential buyers in a few months. 

Now, pampers strategy was to make custom audience sets based on their interests and the parenting stage they are at. So, they can show more targeted ads to specific audiences.

Therefore, Pampers started sharing curated content using Retarget links. They would use relevant content for different parent groups. Such as parents of newborns, expectant parents, parents of toddlers so the resulting audience sets are highly focused.

They used parenting content from other websites, which was uniquely suited for their audience but through shortened retargeting links by some of the best URL shorteners.

For example, they would use an article from Parents.com on their feed with a shortened link for their readers. 

Once the reader has clicked on the link and read the article, the pixel in that link will tag them interested in a certain kind of content, and then eventually with their retargeting campaign for a certain audience set, they’ll show the specific ads to them.

link retargeting

Source: Growth Marketing Conference

Retargeting Hack# 2: List-Based Retargeting

Another way to retarget people who haven’t visited your website is list-based retargeting. List based-based retargeting uses custom audience sets. That’s why it is also called custom audience retargeting. This type of retargeting uses email addresses or contact details that people have either shared when they signed up for updates through your Facebook page or came through any other separate campaign.

For list-based retargeting, retargeting vendor uses different data partners for tagging people and retargeting through email addresses. 

How List-Based Retargeting works? 

  1. Upload your mailing lists to a CRM 
  2. The retargeting vendor will find your users from the list on the web 
  3. People on your mailing list will be assigned cookie by the retargeting vendor automatically 
  4. These users will begin to see your ads all over the web and will be brought back to your site.

This retargeting strategy will help you regenerate the cold leads to bring traffic to your website. List-based retargeting is a powerful strategy for all stages of the sales funnel. 

Retargeting Hack#3: Search Network Retargeting 

This type of retargeting uses information about what people were previously searching for. It then serves tailored retargeting ads based on their interests and related to what they had previously searched for.

This is good if you want to alter your bids for certain keywords and search intent for PPC campaigns. Google ads offer the feature RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads). This feature will identify if the user has previously visited your website or not. If they have visited the website which pages did, they visit.

You can use this retargeting strategy in two ways which are as follows:

  1. Adjusting bids for your keywords which users are using
  2. Setting up search ad groups. These ad groups will only be triggered if the user is on your remarketing list and is also searching the keywords you are bidding for.

With RLSAs you can adjust your search campaigns to reach more qualified and valuable users who are already aware of your website. Strategic use of RLSA will bring more efficient results in terms of ad spend, conversion rates and ultimate ROI.

Final Thoughts: 

Using link retargeting techniques, brands and businesses put together successful strategies using helpful content. They share content and articles their audience is willing to read through newsletters, social media content. Based on this they segment their readers into custom audience sets. 

There are endless creative ways you can make the best use of a link retargeting strategy. You can re-engage people who are potential buyers but are in the buyer journey to evaluate their options. Link retargeting will take your strategy one step further by reaching people who haven’t even visited your website. You can use any 3rd party relevant content to leverage retargeting for your brand. 

To reach a wider audience, increase the touchpoints or your potential customers. This will help you win brand advocates to convert them into paying customers. 

Replug is a link shortener that gives you access to stellar link retargeting, branded link shortener, and lead generation tools. It’s a great tool for your business to grow your audience or to increase brand awareness. With its easy-to-use dashboard,  you can create custom audience sets to retarget with relevant products and services. 

Let us know how you are using retargeting strategies in the comments! 

Wasiq Naeem
Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

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