Facebook Ads can be used to accomplish a variety of objectives; you can effectively drive app installs or engagement, get more engagement on a post, and send traffic to your site. You can also use Facebook Ads to drive eCommerce sales to your site.
There are plenty of tools advertisers can use on Facebook Ads in order to increase eCommerce sales; the call to action button “Shop Now,” for example, has proven to be highly useful, as has the image carousel ads. One of the best tools advertisers can use to get eCommerce sales quickly has nothing to do with the composition or format of the actual ad and has everything to do with targeting.
Facebook’s custom audiences are an excellent way to drive eCommerce sales when used correctly. Whether you’re a small business, a nonprofit organization, or a large corporation, we’ve got 5 actionable strategies to boost eCommerce sales with custom audiences.
What Are Facebook’s Custom Audiences?
Facebook’s custom audiences allow you to target specific users that currently have a relationship with your business. The types of custom audiences include:
- Customer lists. You can create a customer list custom audience by uploading users’ emails, phone numbers, or mobile advertiser IDs and they’ll be matched with Facebook users.
- Custom audiences from a website. These audiences are automatically created by Facebook’s tracking pixels, and will target users who have visited your site or a certain page on your site in a set amount of time. (Note: if you’re on WordPress, the easiest way to create a wide variety of these are with our 100% free Facebook Pixel plug-in)
- App activity. This allows you to create and target a list of users who have taken a certain action in your app or game, like made a purchase or used a certain feature.
Each type of custom audience has their own unique benefits and best use cases. Custom audiences from a website is perfect for remarketing when users have abandoned carts, for example (which we’ll discuss below), and uploading segmented customer lists can allow you to deliver highly targeted messages to the right people (also discussed later on).
Why Custom Audiences Matter
In general, custom audiences are going to have higher conversion rates than the majority of other ads, while simultaneously having a lower cost per conversion.
The reason for this is simple; every type of custom audience you can target will automatically be familiar with your brand and might have even purchased from you in the past, greatly increasing the chances they’ll buy from you now. The lower cost per conversion will come with those increased clicks, thanks to Facebook’s relevance score.
You’ll be selling more and paying less to do so, with the right strategies in place; this makes Facebook’s custom audiences a powerful tool to drive eCommerce sales.
5 Strategies to Drive eCommerce Sales with Custom Audiences
While custom audiences can be highly effective when used to generate eCommerce sales, it’s important to have the right strategies in place to maximize the ROI and sales potential. Here are 5 tried-and-true actionable strategies to drive eCommerce sales with custom audiences.
1. Target Users Who Never Open Your Emails
With the exception of one or two brands, I rarely open any mass emails sent to me. It doesn’t matter what I’m being promised or how valuable the content may be; if I’m swamped with a lot of emails from different brands at once, they’re likely to all go to the virtual trash bin. Unfortunately for all marketers everywhere, there are plenty of users just like me.
This is where custom audiences comes in. Even if they don’t open your emails, you can still show them exciting offers on Facebook Ads and remind them that you’re there. This can help generate sales from an interested audience by eliminating the need for them to open anything—it’s right there in front of them in the center of their Newsfeed.
If you have their email, after all, they’re familiar with and almost certainly interested in your brand.
Some email services allow you to segment your email list into those who open your emails; the reverse of this enables you to see those who rarely open your emails. Upload this list into a custom audience and target them with Facebook Ads.
Not only can this help increase conversions and eCommerce sales, it gives you another chance to connect with an audience that is or has been interested in your brand, but may not have purchased from you lately.
2. Show Clients a Complementary Product
There’s a good chance that no matter what business you’re in, you’ll have multiple products that work well together and complement each other. Sephora, for example, sells both facial cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and more, many of which come in the same scent. Many content writers sell blog posts, email campaigns, and social media content—all of these are different products, but they work well together. The more Sephora products you use, the more beautiful your skin could be; the more services you purchase from a content writer, the stronger your overall marketing campaigns can be.
If a client has purchased from you once, you have your foot in the door. Upload customer lists of users who have purchased certain items and show them ads featuring complementary products. If they just bought an iPhone from you, show them an iPhone case (or have a carousel ad that shows them the case, the screen protector, and the phone charger).
This is also your chance to upsell complementary products; happy customers will be more likely to spend more money on future purchases with you. The key is to keep it relevant, showing them products that you know they’d be interested in based on their past purchase history.
3. Test Content on Custom Audiences
This strategy will help boost initial sales among your custom audiences, but will give you the information you need to increase eCommerce sales on Facebook Ads outside your custom audiences, too.
Your custom audiences are the perfect guinea pigs to test content on; they’re already familiar with your brand, so they’ll be more likely to interact with your ad and purchase from you. This allows you to test different and varied highly targeted messages on your custom audience and see what works best for them.
Testing four different campaigns that each present an offer in a unique way will help you to create the ad that will best perform overall—and not only with an audience that’s already familiar with you.
Once you’ve completed split testing and have identified your strongest ads, create a lookalike audience of the specific custom audience you tested it on and run those particular campaigns on them. This can help increase your customer base and get sales from a highly relevant audience that you may not be connected to yet.
4. Target Abandoned Cart Owners
With Facebook’s custom audience with a website, you can target users who have visited a specific page. This means that you can target users who have added items to their online cart but didn’t actually check out.
I consider abandoned cart owners among the lowest hanging fruit for sales potential as they come. These are users who went through your site, viewed products and actually added them to their cart with the thought of purchasing. They’re right there, and all they need is a bit of prompting to return and actually hit the checkout button. This is why email campaigns send out follow up emails with subject lines like “Did you forget something?”.
Target abandoned cart owners by showing them the items that they’ve viewed and added to their cart; by reminding them not only that you’re there, but that the specific item they’re interested in is, too can help drive that conversion. The more they’re exposed to it, after all, the more likely they are to purchase.
5. Segment Your Audience Based on Purchase History
Long term, one of the best strategies you can implement not only with custom audiences but Facebook Ads in general, is to segment your audience based on both interest and purchase history (the two of which are often tied together).
Let’s say you own a bookstore. Some of your customers will only buy children’s books, or romance books, or graphic novels/comic books, or classics. Similarly, a fitness app like Daily Burn might have customers who are only focused on strength training, or those who are only focused on cardio or yoga. Being able to identify which customers are which (often possible based on their purchase history), you can deliver them the content that’s most relevant to them.
This is where focusing on the use cases even of a certain product can help you sell more of it. By creating highly targeted ads that feature relevant offers, images, and text that are catered to that particular segment of your audience—advertising the products or features that will benefit each of those unique segments or personals—you’ll drastically increase engagement and sales.
Again, this will open up a possibility of expanding sales further by creating lookalike audiences off the custom audiences and running those same campaigns again.
Custom audiences is one of the greatest targeting features Facebook has brought to us; whether you’re uploading a list of customer emails or targeting users who visited a certain page on your site in the past 30 days, you’ll know pretty much exactly who you’re targeting and what their relationship is with your business. Combining this with highly targeted messages, utilizing custom audiences with our 5 strategies can help boost eCommerce sales quickly and affordably.
What do you think? How do you use Facebook’s Custom Audiences to drive eCommerce sales? Have you used any of these 5 strategies? Share your thoughts, experience, and knowledge in the comments below!