Internet Marketing
Published November 18th, 2016 by

Remarketing Strategies for the Holiday Season

As a business that sells online, you probably already know that you need to take advantage of the holiday season. Now is the time when consumers most willingly part with their money in order to buy gifts for their loved ones, and even themselves.

How do you make sure that you are closing as many sales as possible? The answer is remarketing. Remarking is a tactic you must be using to its full potential for the next 2 months. Here we will give a quick overview of what it is (for the uninitiated), how it works, why to use it, and specific strategies for the holiday season.

What is Remarketing?

Are you receiving plenty of site traffic at this time of the year but for some reason, people fall short of checking out? Aside from lessening your shopping cart abandonment rate and improving your conversion rate optimization, another thing you can do to improve your online business’ profitability is remarketing.

In online marketing, remarketing is the process used by online business owners to follow up with previous website visitors who did not complete the desired action on their websites. The target for remarketing strategies are usually those that have abandoned their shopping carts, so did not push through with the check-out process.

Think of it this way: you use SEO, social media, and content marketing to bring traffic to your website. If your site visitors end up not making a purchase on your website, you use remarketing to bring them back until such time they become paying customers.

How Does It Work?

According to Neil Patel, remarketing is “the act of advertising to the same person more than once.” On average, 30% of site visitors put something in their shopping carts, but only 3% manage to complete the checkout process. That means 27% of people who are ready to buy, change their minds at the very last minute. There are many reasons for shopping cart abandonment, but the most common of which are visitors that are “just browsing around” or “not yet ready to make the purchase yet.”

Remarketing to these former site visitors is a great way to create conversions. Have you noticed a trend whenever you visit a site and you see a banner or a pop-up message asking for permission to allow cookies while you browse? This is what is called a cookie consent notice.

Remarketing works by using these online cookies that have been left on a site visitor’s computer, allowing you to track that person’s online search habits and giving you the ability to show online ads to sites that this person will visit in the future.

Why Should I Be Using It?

Most people do their holiday shopping online in order to avoid the crowds and inconvenience in physical stores. Take advantage of this gift-giving season by using remarketing strategies and see for yourself the following benefits:

Higher conversion rates.

The great thing about remarketing is that it gives you the chance to target people who are already in your sales funnel and have previously expressed interested in your product or service. This means that the chances for a conversion are higher and more probable than marketing to new customers that have not been exposed to your offering.


Remarketing is a cost-effective way to convert customers who are already interested in your products or services. Online advertising can be super expensive—especially if you are buying highly competitive keywords. On the average, keywords can cost you a couple of dollars per click—with some costing as high as $50.00 per click.

On the other hand, placing remarketing ads is ridiculously cheaper when compared to other types of digital advertising, with some cost-per-click campaigns costing as little as below $1.00. Look at it this way: what if you can pay just 1/4th of what you originally paid for a person to visit your website? And what if you manage to convert that same person the second time around? Wouldn’t you do it? Of course you would.

Granular segmentation.

Remarketing offers you the chance to show advertisements to previous website visitors based on their level of engagement with you. A thoughtfully created, segmented, and personalized remarketing ad is effective simply because people are likely to respond to personalized messaging.

While creating PPC ads is mainly a numbers game, it is important to remember that segmentation by product, service, or webpage visited should be observed. Creating a highly segmented ad allows you to target customers as granularly as possible, resulting in improved click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates.

Remarketing allows you to create segments so that different ads can be shown to different people who visited your site, depending on which page of the site they viewed. For instance, if you are a clothing retailer, you can show a specific ad for people who visited your pants page and then show a different ad to people who viewed your sweater page. Creating custom ad content allows you to increase your conversion rate, as opposed to wasting your marketing resources by placing ads on the wrong prospects.

Increased brand awareness.

You can also use remarketing to create more exposure for your brand. Remarketing allows you to place ads so that you are constantly on top of your prospects’ minds while they are browsing online.

Since remarketing operates using a cost per click basis, you can have your ad continually placed for free until such time they are clicked. You get to constantly show your brand on the internet and receive free impressions for your product or services.

However, using remarketing to increase brand awareness should be implemented cautiously and in moderation as you don’t want to overdo it. If you choose to go down this route, I highly recommend setting up a frequency cap to avoid annoying a potential customer.

Holiday Strategies

Now, how to do it most effectively for the holidays. The upcoming months are going to be more hectic than most for businesses and retailers. It pays to be prepared by implementing the following remarketing strategies:

Get pre-approval.

Google reviews all PPC ads before approving them in order to make sure you’ve followed the guidelines. In order to save time, determine the timeframes for your ads, create them using your Google AdWords account, pause them, and submit to Google right away.

Doing this allows you to avoid wasting time waiting for your ads to be approved by Google. Take note of the dates for your campaign and when that date arrives, unpause the ads.

Don’t segment heavily.

While segmentation is a highly recommended remarketing strategy, be wary of overdoing it during the holiday season. While segmentation improves an ad’s efficiency for most of the year, overly segmenting your site visitors at this time will mean limiting your potential consumers into seeing a smaller set of ads.

Remember that during the holidays, we aren’t just shopping for ourselves, but for others, too. So during this time of rampant consumerism, it doesn’t make sense to put a limit on your ads. For now, this is the best time to put everyone on your list: the people who simply browsed your site, the people who abandoned their carts, and the people who checked out. They may need to shop again!

Make a remarketing calendar.

The holiday season is the perfect marketing opportunity to sway undecided customers who are still browsing for gifts and to reinforce your brand among already paying customers.

This is why it is important to put together a remarketing calendar that will focus on big promotional events such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Free Shipping Day. Within this short timeframe, you need to run your holiday specific remarketing ads in order to stay on top of the mind of your customers during these days.

Increase frequency caps.

One of the tenets of remarketing is to make sure not to annoy your customers with the frequency of your ads. However, during the holiday season, consumers become more receptive to it; in fact, they want to be marketed to.

You will be making their lives easier by placing ads more frequently to help them, especially those who are doing their 11th-hour shopping. Just make sure not to forget to decrease your frequency caps after the holidays.

Use Facebook remarketing.

Take advantage of your social media channels with remarketing. Facebook has an option for you to create custom audiences so that previous site visitors get to see your ads once they log in to Facebook.

It is a fact that not every website visitor will complete your desired action the first time they visit your site. However, during the holidays, you want to make sure that you are reducing the number who slip through the cracks. We all know this is the busiest time of the year so make the most of it with these remarking tactics. Do you have any other remarking strategies you use during this time of year? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

For more help with remarketing, please reach out to me with any questions on Twitter @CazBevan or visit the Boost U for several ebooks, whitepapers, and how-to topics I’ve helped produce for that will help you get your Social Media and PPC campaigns working the way you want them to.

Caz Bevan

VP of Product Operations & Marketing at Creatives Scale
Caz is the VP of Product Operations & Marketing at Creatives Scale for freelance marketers and Co-Founder of Anhelaré startup advisory. Caz has extensive experience blending business goals and marketing tactics into comprehensive company strategies. Her creative innovation and expertise has helped shape customer experiences and drive continual engagement for a variety of companies and products including Sony Music Entertainment and SpeedTV. Connect with Caz: @CazBevan | Linkedin

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