With the recent release of SendGrid Ads, you can now leverage display ads to grow your business and increase website engagement. One of the best ways you can do this is through display ad retargeting.

What is display ad retargeting?

Retargeting, also called remarketing in some circles, refers to the common digital advertising practice of targeting your website visitors with ads when they’re on websites other than your own.

You’ve most likely experienced some form of retargeting yourself! For example, have you ever been doing some online shopping at a clothing retailer, leave the site before you purchase anything, and then see ads on other sites for the products you were looking at? That’s retargeting.

The ads you see from the original site are referred to as display ads, and they act as an online reminder that you showed interest in a website or product. Below, this online article from The Denver Post has a few different display ads promoted for The Home Depot:

Why is retargeting effective?

Retargeting is one of the most effective advertising strategies available. When a potential (or previous) customer visits your website, they’re giving you a signal that they’re interested in your product or offering, and they’re considering the purchase.

Potential customers will leave your site for many different reasons, maybe they had a meeting, or had to pick up their kids, or they saw a notification about Ryan Gosling and had to read the article right away. It happens.

The fact is, they showed you that they spent the time to look at your offering and thought about making a purchase. This is a really strong indicator that they’re interested in your company or products. Providing them with a display ad increases the probability that they’ll return to your website and finish that purchase.

How does retargeting work?

The nuts and bolts of retargeting are fairly simple. From the website or company’s perspective, this is what happens:

  1. A visitor comes to your website either by entering your URL directly into their browser, or by clicking a link.
  2. Your website sends a small amount of data to the visitor’s internet browser. This small piece of code is called a “cookie.” At SendGrid, we refer to this cookie as the SendGrid pixel.
  3. The cookie allows your website to track what pages and products the visitor views while browsing.
  4. With the cookie stored on the visitor’s browser, you can then set up a display ad campaign that will identify that visitor on other websites.
  5. With the visitor and the cookie identified, you can then determine what type of ad to show them.
  6. Ideally, the visitor sees the display ad and is reminded to go back to your website and complete their purchase.

From the visitor’s perspective, they simply visit your site, consider your products or offerings, and then see ads for those same products or offerings, or for your brand in general, elsewhere on the internet.

How do I create a retargeting advertising campaign?

Creating a retargeting display ad campaign is very easy with SendGrid Ads. There are just a few steps you need to take in order to create yours:

  1. Sign up for the SendGrid Ads Beta.
  2. Place the SendGrid pixel on your website.
  3. Create your retargeting campaign!


Warren Duff
Warren is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at SendGrid, specializing in email and content best practices, he develops many of the new guides you see SendGrid release as well as other pieces of content, including blogs, videos, case studies, and emails.