Facebook retargeting ads are one of the platform’s powerhouse advertising features. They allow you to reach out to users who are already familiar with your brand, whether it’s through an established customer list or activity on your site that was captured by a tracking pixel.
Since users are more likely to engage with ads from brands they know and trust, it’s pretty much a win-win situation for both the advertiser and the customer.
In this post, we’re going to take a close look at why you should be using Facebook retargeting ads and six reliable strategies you should be using to maximize your ROI and increase conversion rates.
What Are Facebook Retargeting Ads?
Facebook retargeting ads are ads that allow you to reconnect with users who have already interacted with your brand in some way (on or off Facebook).
This includes users who have:
- Shared their email with you as leads or customers
- Followed your Facebook Page or interacted with it in some way
- Interacted with a Facebook Event
- Watched a certain amount of your on-platform videos (ad videos included)
- Interacted with your app
- Viewed certain pages of your site or taken certain actions on it
- Interacted with your Instagram Page in some way
You can create custom audiences for each of the above criteria by finding “Audiences” under your business manager. From there, create a custom audience and choose who you want to retarget to.
Since they allow you to connect with warm audiences, retargeting ads can result in higher conversion rates and lower cost-per-click averages than other types of ads.
These ads can also help you create more complex and well-targeted ad funnels that are more likely to convert.
6 Facebook Retargeting Strategies You Need to Try in 2021
There are plenty of different options available for retargeting, as you can see, so let’s take a look at some of the best strategies to use retarget potential customers using Facebook Ads.
Each of these strategies are flexible, allowing you to add on additional targeting criteria, like age-based or interest-based targeting, to generate better results if needed.
1. Creating a Non-Rushed Sales Funnel
People aren’t going to convert the first time they see a new ad from your brand. Most won’t, at least.
Instead, remember that slow and steady always wins the race (and the customer!). That’s where ad funnels come into play, where you can push users into the next stage of the funnel with retargeted ads.
Setting up funnels is one of the most common reasons brands create retargeting ads on Facebook.
Start with a brand awareness ad that’s simply meant to introduce you to your audience. Sure, some may click and convert immediately, but there’s a good chance many won’t. That’s ok though. You can run a retargeting campaign that shows your ad to users who saved or engaged with your previous ad afterwards.
At this point, you can focus on conversions or lead generation a little more heavily.
How to Execute This Strategy
A great way to do this is to use a video ad for your first ad, as it gives you a great medium to tell your brand’s story.
Then, create a custom audience off of users who watched at least half of your video (indicating strong interest). This can be found by clicking on “Engagement” when creating a custom audience, and then choosing “video.”
Now you can hit them with a retargeting ad that contains more offers that can entice them to click.
You can also create custom audiences with users who have engaged with Collection Ads and show them specific products.
You can find these options under the “Fullscreen Experience,” which is categorized under the “Engagement” custom audience category.
2. Showing Customers Items They Loved
What’s the last thing that you were oh-so-tempted to buy, but held off despite really, really, really wanting to go ahead and buy right now?
I think we’ve all been there, whether it’s a new pair of shoes (guilty), a new cooking appliance (also guilty). Maybe we’re just trying to stick to a budget, and we may initially resist the item at first. But then it pops up in our Facebook feed and it’s just a little too tempting.
When customers have visited different product pages of your site, that indicates strong interest and purchase intent. If they linger on the page and add it to their cart, even better.
How to Execute This Strategy
Using dynamic ads and custom audiences from site or app activity to dangle that proverbial apple in front of the customer is an excellent way to keep you at the forefront of their mind. It can drive conversions quickly, especially when combined with a discount or coupon code.
To make this strategy most effective, target users who visit specific pages, but exclude those who purchased. You can do this by excluding users who “visited” your order confirmation page.
Note that you shouldn’t omit users just for viewing a cart, because this is an excellent opportunity to push abandoned cart users to convert, which is an enormous source of untapped revenue for almost all businesses.
3. Re-engaging Lost Customers
There’s a lot of room for customer growth with re-engagement campaigns.
All businesses have clients who seem to have drifted off, but plenty may be waiting off in the wings, ready to convert. They just need the right nudge.
Retargeting campaigns explicitly designed to connect with users who haven’t purchased from you or engaged with your site within a set period of time is the way to go for this particular strategy.
How long will depend on your audience and business; I’ve seen retargeting campaigns in this category as soon as three months after the last purchase, and as long as one year.
How to Execute This Strategy
However long you decide, though, you can upload a custom audience of users from your email list who haven’t engaged or opened your emails recently. This is information that many CRMs and email service providers can give you, and you can use it to your advantage.
Don’t worry about being subtle here!
A nice big headline of “We miss you!” can actually be exceptionally effective for this strategy, especially if you combine it with a tempting offer that’s good enough to change disengaged users back into enthusiastic customers.
4. Reminding Customers of Abandoned Carts
The global cart abandonment rate is currently sitting at around 75% depending on the industry. Using retargeting campaigns can help you convert a solid chunk of those abandoned carts, preventing you from missing out on potential sales.
If customers have added something to their cart and then left without converting, there may be several reasons for this:
- They got distracted and forgot to purchase
- They wanted to do more research
- They wanted to price the item
- They wanted to see if they could trigger a coupon code
Creating retargeting campaigns for these users with a coupon code or an offer like a free sample can capture those almost-lost conversions quickly.
How to Execute This Strategy
As long as you have a “view cart” option on your site, this is an easy custom audience to set up.
You can set up inclusionary and exclusionary targeting, ensuring that people who have seen your “View Cart” pages (and even preliminary checkout pages, if you choose) but have not seen your order confirmation page will see your ad.
Add an introductory offer to these ads, either with a hefty discount of 15-20% or with the offer of free shipping.
This can convince users to purchase for the first time and help you to drive conversions that you would have lost otherwise.
5. The “Achievement Unlocked” Strategy
Have a mobile app? That can be part of your retargeting strategy.
Apps can do everything from offer value to make it easier for users to purchase.
How to Execute This Strategy
Use in-app activity to create retargeting campaigns that will move users to the next step of the digital sales funnel.
If someone has viewed a product but not converted, try showing them the products again.
One fantastic use of this that I saw was whenever someone looked at the “upgrade” page in the app, they were hit with a retargeting campaign explaining why they needed the next level of app service.
You can also opt to target your most active users, or users who purchased the most, with high-value exclusive offers, including first access to sales or new release products.
6. Sequencing Ads
There are times where a single follow up ad just isn’t going to cut it. In some instances, a user may need to see multiple ad campaigns in a series before they‘ll have gained enough exposure to your brand and what you offer to be comfortable enough to move to the next stage of the funnel.
If you believe this is the case for you, it’s time to look into sequencing ads.
This retargeting strategy works by setting specific time windows on each individual ad in a multi-ad series, ensuring that users within your target audience are most likely to see those ads in the order you designed to get them to convert.
Decide what windows work for you, and what your most high-value offers are. Then, set up a retargeting campaign from website traffic, and create different individual ads for different timelines.
How to Execute This Strategy
Let’s say you’re working on the ad campaign targeting days 5-8. Include users who have visited your site in the past 8 days, but exclude users who have visited your site in the past 4 days.
This will ensure the right users are seeing the ad.
In our retargeting webinar, our ad expert Paul Fairbrother shared a case study of how this would work from an AdEspresso client GlobeIn. It’s a simple (but smart) 3-steps strategy.
- The first four days would have an ad campaign focused on selling a 3-month subscription to their Artisan Box with the help of a discount.
- Days 5-8 then works on users who are interested but don’t want that big of a commitment, so the client might offer them a one-month subscription.
- If this still doesn’t work, days 9-12 can focus on a one-time sale.
This sequence prioritizes high-value sales, but doesn’t do so at the risk of isolating other potential revenue, too.
You can see the ad examples in our webinar here. The webinar is from 2018, but the strategies are still relevant!
Pro Tip: Don’t Forget About Lookalike Audiences
Retargeting is all about reconnecting with users who are already familiar with you. Once you’ve successfully set up retargeting campaigns that are bringing in high-value customers, however, you can leverage them further.
You can create lookalike audiences off of high-value custom audiences. Facebook’s algorithms are truly exceptional, so they’ll look for users who are most like your high-value customers and find new users who are similar.
If you want to reach new cold audiences, this is a great play to do so.
To create a lookalike audience, head to your Audience Manager and then click “Create Audience.” Select “Lookalike Audience.”
On the next screen, choose which custom audience you’d like to create a lookalike from. In this example, we’re using customers who have purchased. You can also upload a custom audience from a list, or optimize for other event values.
Choose a more similar audience percentage (3% or less). Quality over quantity is definitely the play here.
This will keep pushing new users into your funnel, which every brand needs.
How to Automate Your Retargeting With Data Sync
AdEspresso’s Data Sync is going to be your best friend if you’re regularly running retargeting campaigns, especially if you get tired of constantly trying to upload your new customer lists to your ad campaigns.
Data Sync will take care of this for you, automatically and frequently syncing up with integrations ranging from Facebook to Constant Contact.
These integrations allow you to upload email lists from your CRM software and/or send information from your Facebook lead generation forms straight to your CRM software.
It’s a win-win, with an automated flow of information going between two platforms so no one slips between the cracks.
To access Data Sync, click on “Tools” in AdEspresso, where you’ll see it listed as an option.
To update and set up new custom audiences, choose your platform from the “Custom Audience” section.
You’ll be asked to choose which accounts you want to sync up.
Next, determine where you want the information to go.
Next, choose the ad account, and the custom audience you want the information to be linked to.
You can also create a new custom audience if one isn’t already there.
You’ll then set up your mapping field, which spells out what Facebook will receive from your source CRM.
The sync will then proceed, and you’ll be all set.
Facebook retargeting ads can yield higher ad engagement, brand ad lift and awareness, click-through rates, and conversions, all at a lower CPC than the majority of campaigns targeting cold audiences.
This is an incredible opportunity that brands should spend more time focusing on instead of exclusively trying to create ad campaigns for cold audiences.
Interested in learning more about how to use custom audiences to create powerful retargeting campaigns? Watch our full webinar here.
What do you think? Which retargeting strategies have you used for your business? Which has worked best for you? Let us know in the comments below!
Nicole Landberg says
Looking at FB create an audience, it doesn’t appear that you can remarket to users based on engaging with an ad. You certainly can for users that engage with a video, but it’s unclear on FB if that’s a video ad or just an ad posted on a brand page. Can you confirm that an advertiser can remarket to users that engage with their ads?
You can’t retarget based on an image ad, it’s only video at this point. The engagement retargeting would be all inclusive – Facebook Page engagement.
I had the same question – it’s well hidden!
Try this…. Custom Audience > Engagement > FB page > “people who engaged with any ad or post” or “Clicked CTA button”
It looks to me that that is the way…
FSC India says
Hi Asi, I really appreciate your article regrading facebook retargeting tactics. Facebook retargeting is a great way to attract visitors to your website again and also turn your site visitors into the converted user as the returning visitors show more interest in your services. This creates a engagement of visitors to your website.
Michael Lewis says
On facebook add retargeting strategies. I totally agree with this article.
Thank you for sharing your great knowledge with us.
Looking forward to your further tips on similar topics Thanks…
I have a question for the audience. Is it possible to add low-quality users to an ad group so that they do not show ads? For example, for people who were on the site only 2-3 seconds.
Great Article, thanks Ana, Such Useful Method to website visitors into converted clients
Loved your article the content is really great and the strategies are awesome. I am going to use the strategies, thanks for sharing.
Digital Santhosh says
very detail explanation about facebook retargeting. Thanks for those screenshots related to facebook retargeting. It is very helpful for me.
Chris Martinson says
Thank you for a very detailed breakdown of how various retargeting campaigns strategies can be deployed.
I think this information is a great starting point for small business owners that are still bewildered and intimidated by the idea of creating and engaging in these effective methods.
I know that I will personally refer to this guide while helping clients with their retargeting ad campaigns.
vaibhav sharma says
Your article gives me excellent knowledge about Facebook ad retargeting and the pictures also helps to make it understand very quickly. Great piece of work and will look forward to more articles related to the same topic.
Thanks for the comprehensive guide.
I’ve a question; does retargeting audience (people who visites my website in the last x days) updated automatically? Will it increase the number as the website receives visits?
It was really informative. And the strategies were so well explained with images which made our understanding more easier. Thank you so much.
Brands Martini says
Hi Asi, I really appreciate your article regarding Facebook retargeting tactics. Facebook retargeting is a great way to attract visitors to your website again and also turn your site visitors into the converted user as the returning visitors show more interest in your services. This creates an engagement of visitors to your website.
Sara Khan says
Hey Admin !!! Looking at FB create an audience, it doesn’t appear that you can remarket to users based on engaging with an ad. You certainly can for users that engage with a video, but it’s unclear on FB if that’s a video ad or just an ad posted on a brand page. Can you confirm that an advertiser can remarket to users that engage with their ads?
Mill Ex says
Wonderful tips. But I am searching – which type of ads we should show for the retargeting ad? If you have any examples. Please share. Thanks