Posted On July 08, 2021

What Is Retargeting and Why Is It Important For Drug Rehabs?

What Is Retargeting and Why Is It Important For Drug Rehabs? -

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is when an ad of your center is shown to previous visitors of your website. It is a key step in the marketing funnel for drug rehab centers. For example, if someone visits and then later they go over to, they could see an ad for if you’re running such a drug rehab retargeting campaign.

Retargeting ads show on any type of site, but you’ll most likely see them on non-brand websites. i.e you won’t see them on but you might on And of course, it’s not set in stone and you’re always in control where your ads show; if you prefer to not show your rehab ads on, it can be done.

And say you saw red shoes on, you will definitely see that same pair of red shoes show up as ads all around the internet – Facebook,,, etc. You’re being followed! You’re being retargeted.

Why Is Retargeting Important To Businesses In General?

Retargeting is a technique that helps remind someone of a product/service as they continue browsing the internet, whether they’re on social media, their favorite news site, or researching your competitors. You can even choose to show these ads to segments of your website visitors based on their traits or behavior and target them accordingly, which allows you to create an experience for them as they travel around on the internet.

To understand it’s importance in today’s digital marketing strategies, we need to look at a little history. In the 80s, 90s, and even the early 2000s, here’s what things looked like:

  • SMS messaging existed on old mobile phones, but they cost a pretty penny so they wouldn’t send or receive as many.
  • Speaking of old mobile phones, only the “businessmen” had access to those portable bricks of technology because they were expensive. So they were not as commonplace. Communication for most of the non-business-people meant landline phones and sometimes emails.
  • News was often consumed on the television or radio during set times, or people read the paper when having their morning toast before rushing off to work
  • Businesses were found through the yellowpages, or the more up and coming search engine of the time called Yahoo whose chief rival was AskJeeves (now
  • If people tried the likes of Yahoo though, only a few businesses would show up because hell, only a few businesses believed in the idea of a website
  • Email didn’t come to your phone; you had to make time and sit in front of a computer to check it
  • There was no Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc
  • They didn’t have “smart phones”

Today… well:

  • 9 out of 10 people have smartphones that receive constant notifications., including news-as-it-happens
  • Amazon boxes get delivered to the door with doorbells
  • Nest Camera chimes to let you know that
  • At work, there is Slack chat or a lot more interruptions now because a lot more is done for the same job and same pay
  • Music or sounds automatically playing because one of your family members pulls up their phone and watches Instagram videos or Youtube videos on the cough
  • Schools send out emails and SMS messages for every announcement or activity of child
  • It’s pet treat time, so smart-feeders like Furbo will dispense treats for your pet and notify you no matter where you’re in the world so you can see your pet happily eat it all up
  • Credit card transactions are real-time which can also notify you if your credit card got charged
  • And many, many other things that happen in ones day

Now that this history is covered, we realize that distractions these days are 100 times more than what they were years ago. Attention is something we’re just not able to hold/keep for long. This is why, attention is a currency that you need to get from your prospect before actual dollars.

what is retargeting for drug rehabs

And as a brand, you need to ensure you always have their attention in the running for the product or service a prospective customer is looking for and not get beaten down by them when they get pulled away by something. Retargeting is the digital equivalent of the billboard you see on the interstate every day when you’re in traffic on your way home from work. This is what allows you to keep regain attention lost whenever the ad shows. The consistency of retargeting is what often helps drive more favorable outcomes for a business.

Reach Only Interested Prospects

Have you ever seen ads that are not at all relevant to you? The best example that comes to mind is gender-based attire. If you’re a female, you would find it strange that you’re seeing ads for men’s workboots. You would not only not click on it, but chances are you would completely gloss over it.

But let’s say you were shopping for your husband as he was complaining about his workboots starting to feel tight. And then you see an ad for men’s workboots that you were looking at on a website. You would notice it. You might even click on it. That’s because it was relevant to you at the right time.

It’s no secret that most of the treatment centers run some form of digital marketing (often PPC or SEO) alongside outreach. If people come to your website voluntarily, doesn’t that signal an interest however mild? These visitors could be classified as interested prospects. And when you retarget them, you’re showing ads only to those people who expressed this interest initially by coming to your treatment center’s website!

You’re not shooting in the dark. You’re showing up only to those who visited your brand. You’re surfacing and regaining their attention.

Increase Brand Awareness & Brand Recall

There are plenty of studies conducted about the contribution of retargeting to brand awareness and almost all of them show high numbers. According to this study by the IAB (PDF), it’s used by about 70% of marketing professionals for that reason. And there’s also that elusive Google study that says brand awareness gets lifted by 61% due to retargeting. Fox Networks also conducted a study (with Comscore in 2010) about how it impacts not only branding, but also contributes to organic SEO’s growth. retargeting for drug rehab centers

Retargeting also allows you to reach consistent traffic because you’re showing your ads to people who are already familiar with your brand. It has very high clickthrough rates, and the visibility of your logo consistently also helps with rememberability & brand recall. Like those billboards on the interstate we talked about. There’s an added bonus that retargeting cost per clicks are very, very low!


Gain Insights About Those Visiting Your Website

Retargeting also helps develop business insights by helping you measure how your returning visitors behave with your website.

You can view the demographics of who clicks your ads and how many times they’ve been seen to help you refine your strategy and identify the best audience. You could also check the efficiency of the messaging used on your creative. All the ads can be tagged by UTM parameters to help you analyze this returning traffic further in your analytics app like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture), etc.

Why Is Retargeting Important In The Treatment Industry?


Because seeking treatment is not simple and straightforward. Did you ever hear the stat that only 1-2% of the people who come to a website actually convert? That’s because only 1-2% are actually ever looking directly for what you offer.

Conversion for a drug rehab via digital marketing would mean a phone call or a form submission, but really the true conversion is converting that lead into an admission.

Addiction to substances is a very complex subject. Seeking treatment for it? A lot more complicated.

There are plenty of emotions that play into it. An addict or a loved one of that addict will simply not make a decision like they were buying a pair of shoes. A lot of thought, discussions, arguments, fights, research, procrastination, fear, etc go into it over an unpredictable length of time.

When the person who needs to be admitted finally agrees to treatment, you as a treatment provider get an extremely short window of opportunity where the admission needs to be secured before a change of mind happens or denial sets in.

It’s an on-again-off-again journey that the person goes through. And whether they’re on or off, you as a treatment center need to be center stage in their memory and keep their attention. So the moment they’re ON, your treatment centers name just rolls off their mouth effortlessly and they make the call to discussion admission.

Does This Work With LegitScript?

Yes it does. LegitScript certification for rehabs states you engage in marketing tactics that are permitted by a marketing platform and are lawful. Like PPC, Retargeting has been used by various companies for more than a decade. We go a lot more in-depth into this topic here.

Where Does Retargeting Fit In A Drug Rehab Marketing Plan?

Typically most addiction treatment marketing strategies like Google Ads PPC and SEO. All this delivers you website visitors often search for drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

That’s what we call hot traffic. But in a marketing “funnel” so to speak, PPC and SEO of this day is just a tactic in an overall strategy and more often than not, this tactic is only executed on something we call bottom funnel keywords. These are keywords like:

  • drug rehabs near me
  • rehab centers in <city name>
  • alcohol detox clinics

People who use these keywords are not researching anymore. Their mind is almost made up – treatment is the solution. So when they come to your website via those searches, they are exposed to your competitors websites too. And, the recovery industry has been on an evolutionary path for the last decade. There are many more operators now therefore increased competition which is increasing the cost per lead and cost per admit, among other things.

Utilizing Retargeting (or Remarketing) in your drug rehab as a tactic in such a marketing plan is the missing foundational block that will position you for sustained growth in the future.

Is There A Difference Between Retargeting And Remarketing?

There are plenty of blog posts out there in the wild that try to make it something it’s not and come up with differences out of thin air. But at the end of the day, they are the same. Remarketing is the word Google went with years ago. Other ad platforms began popping up later that provided the same functionality. But they didn’t want to get into any kind of a copyright infringement spat with Google so they all used a non-Google word – ReTargeting.

Curiously though, both the words are trademarked by other unheard-of corporations.

Bottom line: Google uses the word “Remarketing” whereas everyone else uses the word “Retargeting”.

What Are Some Ways A Rehab Center Can Use Retargeting As Next Steps?

Retargeting uses cookies to track a person’s visits on a website. So you’ll need to install a Pixel on your website. These pixels are provided by platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

There’s no “universal pixel” so to speak that allows you to show ads everywhere and on every social platform and app to everyone who visited your website. For example, say you install Twitter’s Pixel. People visit your website and some of them go to Twitter – that’s where they’ll see your ad provided you’re running a retargeting campaign on Twitter. Just because you installed Twitter’s Pixel however, doesn’t mean your Retargeting ads will start to show on or Facebook too. You’ll need the Facebook Pixel for that, and a corresponding Retargeting campaign running on Facebook Ads.

So, find a platform you like and get their Pixel to get started. Just a heads up, Google doesn’t allow (hasn’t since a brisk cloudy morning in December 2015) healthcare brands to run retargeting campaigns even if they have LegitScript. In fact, most platforms are a little spotty for healthcare – sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Having Google would have been great because you would have been able to show your Retargeting ads across most of the popular websites on the Internet.

Google’s not the only sheriff in town though. Check our proprietary strategy of Cascaded Retargeting for Drug Rehabs. It shows ads on 90% of the internet’s websites and ads where ads can be bought.