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Remarketing vs. Retargeting: Which Works Best for Your HVAC Company?

Home » Digital Marketing Resources » Remarketing vs. Retargeting: Which Works Best for Your HVAC Company?

Have you ever had a potential customer visit your HVAC company website, only for them to leave without booking a service or filling out your contact form? If so, remarketing and retargeting may be right for you.

Your HVAC company can use these strategies to reconnect with website visitors, giving you a second chance to turn them into paying long-term customers. Keep reading to learn the differences between remarketing vs. retargeting from HVAC marketing experts at ServiceHawk.

Remarketing and Retargeting Explained

It’s common to confuse the terms remarketing and retargeting. After all, they certainly sound alike. But while these techniques have the same goal – to retain customers who previously interacted with your HVAC company – the strategies involved differ somewhat.

Remarketing is a strategy based on email campaigns. If a potential customer browses your HVAC website, adds a service to their cart, and then abandons that cart, you can use remarketing campaigns to reach out and prompt them to complete their purchase. Remarketing is a smart strategy for cross-selling and upselling services to existing customers, too.

Retargeting uses cookies to show ads to people who have already visited a website. These ads remind visitors of you and your service offerings, which can make them more likely to convert into customers.

Sometimes, you may see remarketing referred to as “retargeting,” but you should note that they’re not the same thing. Both techniques ultimately have the same goal, but the difference is in how you use them and at what point in the buying cycle they work best.

Retargeting Advertising Strategies

You may wonder how your HVAC company can display ads to visitors once they have left your website. Your options include:

Pixel-Based Retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting works through the use of cookies. When a visitor comes to your website, you can place a small piece of code, called a cookie, in their browser. The cookie then tracks the user’s website visits throughout their browsing session.

Next, your tracking cookie communicates with search engines and social media platforms as the user browses the web. The user will see ads based on pages they’ve visited from your website. For instance, if they viewed a page about HVAC services, they might see an ad reminding them to book an HVAC maintenance appointment today.

Search Retargeting

This method is similar to pixel-based retargeting, except that it retargets users who found your HVAC website through a keyword search. Search retargeting works even if a user has never heard of your company or visited your website before.

How does it work?

Let’s say that a user searched for “air conditioning repair near me.” You’ve set up your Google advertisements to display an ad to people who search for that phrase. The user will see your ad and, hopefully, feel interested enough to click through and see what your HVAC company has to offer.


If you already have email lists from users who have visited your website, you can send targeted ads directly to your users on Facebook or any other social media platform of your choice.

This method of targeting users tends to be highly effective because these are warm leads, meaning they’re leads who have already shown an interest in your HVAC services. However, some people may have used different email addresses when signing up for your list, which means your ads won’t reach them as intended.

Remarketing Advertising Strategies

Something important to remember about remarketing vs. retargeting is that remarketing is an email-based promotional strategy, which means you’ll need a list of customer email addresses if you’d like to use it. You can use this method to send advertisements to users who have purchased your HVAC services or signed up for your newsletter.

A few remarketing strategies to try include:

  • Emailing customers to remind them it’s time to schedule regular HVAC maintenance
  • Sending customers an interesting newsletter to keep your company fresh in their minds
  • Sending a message that says “We’ve missed you” if a customer hasn’t visited your site in a while
  • Giving customers a discount, such as free shipping, if they complete their purchase

Remarketing vs. Retargeting Challenges

Both remarketing and retargeting come with challenges, and it’s important to be aware of these before launching any new campaign.

Remarketing Challenges

Many people don’t open all of the emails they receive, and that’s especially true if the emails come from a business that’s trying to advertise to them. Use strong, eye-catching subject lines to entice your customers to open emails instead of ignoring them.

When writing your subject lines, though, take care not to use words that spam filters commonly flag, such as “free,” “cheap,” “buy,” and “earn,” among others. Emails that contain any of these words will likely go straight to your customer’s spam boxes.

You should also send your emails to the right customers. Not every customer will respond to an email for HVAC cleaning, for instance. Your email marketing program should have a segmentation option that enables you to send emails to specific groups of people while excluding others.

Retargeting Challenges

Retargeting works by showing potential customers ads, but if they see the same one too many times, there’s a risk that they might simply ignore it. Remember to switch out ads for new ones every now and then.

Cookie length limits is another challenge to watch out for. If you set your cookie length limit too low, you might miss out on customers who weren’t ready to purchase from your company yet. You may need to adjust your cookie length limit depending on your customers’ buying behaviors and preferences.

Remarketing vs. Retargeting: Which Strategy Makes Sense for Your HVAC Company?

If you’re tired of losing out on customers who visit your HVAC website once and never return, let our experts at ServiceHawk help! We offer tailored remarketing and retargeting solutions for HVAC companies just like yours. If you’d like to learn more about digital marketing trends for the HVAC industry, give us a call at 985-888-0455 for a free strategy session today.

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