Web marketing seems to be ripe with new buzzwords everyday. The problem with marketing buzzwords is that as they get thrown around they quickly lose their meaning.

The same is true for retargeting. Retargeting is among the most powerful web marketing tools, and comes in many different colored stripes. But with its overuse as a web marketing buzzword, it has all but lost all meaning.

In most cases, when a web marketer is talking about retargeting, they’re really just limiting the discussion to site retargeting. While this is among the most popular retargeting tools, there are actually many ways to utilize retargeting to boost your conversion rate.

Retargeting operates on the idea that no customer will make a purchase or convert in any way on the first interaction. In fact, it can take upwards of seven interactions before any customer will convert.

In a nutshell, retargeting is the process of using previous interactions with potential customers to move them down the conversion funnel. For instance, site retargeting involves leveraging data from previous site visitors to build powerful display ads.

Let’s dive into the seven most popular retargeting strategies out there.

1. Search Retargeting – When a user performs a search on any major search engine, what they are really doing is raising their hand, and telling you exactly what they want. When it comes to display advertising, these programs can often times run their course. This is where search retargeting comes in. With Search Retargeting, you can actually engage those users who have not yet visited your site, but have searched for terms related to your product.

2. Site Retargeting – As we mentioned before, Site Retargeting is among the most popular and powerful retargeting tools out there. You start by placing a snippet of code on your website, usually in the form of a pixel. This means that whenever a user lands on your page, cookies are dropped into their browser to remind them about your product while they’re out surfing the web.

Many web marketers make the error of placing a pixel on each of their web pages. The best way to incorporate site retargeting is by only tagging pages relevant to the conversion process. This includes pages like shopping carts, products or download pages. This helps ensure your site users don’t feel like they’re being stalked by your brand.

If you look at the history of site retargeting, it’s not hard to see how it has evolved and matured over the years. But it’s evolution is far from complete. Enter Programmatic Site Retargeting (PSR), which is now being hailed as the latest and most innovative brand of site retargeting out there.

The main distinction between PSR and traditional Site Retargeting has to do with the type of information collected from visitors to a web site. PSR relies on so many more data points from a given publisher. Keywords searched for before coming to the site, time spent on site, value outcomes (video views for instance) and pages visited inform a visitor score. The visitor score determines how valuable is an user and how often should we serve ads to that user. By managing user activity in the cloud, you can query site visitors in real time.

This means web marketers can simply look at user profiles in the cloud and make display advertising decisions based on the likelihood that user will convert.

3. Social Retargeting – This brand of retargeting is highly underused, yet highly effective. In the early days of social retargeting, it simply looked at how users interacted in their social circles. Now, it monitors micro-content consumption. That is, new forms of social retargeting keep a close eye on what users are reading, clicking on and sharing.

4. Email Retargeting – For those that say that email marketing is dead, you may be in for a reality check. Email is still very much the preferred medium for business communications. In fact, billions upon billions of emails are transmitted all over the world on a daily basis. This means email retargeting for your email campaigns can really come in handy. Email retargeting gives you the power to leverage subscriber data to further segment your media investment. For instance, you can place a pixel on someone that hits the unsubscribe button, and exclude them from your retargeting efforts.

5. SEO/SEM Retargeting – At first glance this seems like a no-brainer, but just like social retargeting, this is often underused. SEO retargeting gives you better insight as to why a user visits your site

6. Contextual Retargeting – One of the most beneficial aspects of contextual retargeting is its ability to bring in new prospects. Yes, this means you can actually use retargeting in other ways than engaging existing users. With contextual retargeting you are simply leveraging data on your site users’ interests. Simply put, this allows you to design display campaigns that are custom-tailored to things users are already interested in.

7. Engagement Retargeting – Finally, there’s engagement retargeting. This involves delivering high-quality, engaging content for previous site users or like-minded web searchers. This can be anything from an interactive game to a helpful tool that increases productivity on the web.

As you can see, there are several strategies for retargeting site users. Even if you were to stick to site or search retargeting, your ROI would improve dramatically. Start the retargeting conversation with your team, and select a vendor that will reduce waste in your display advertising campaign.

Read more: