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The Ultimate Guide to Retargeting Using Facebook Ads

At some point, it’s likely that we’ll all have experienced an ad in our News Feed from a company that we have purchased from, follow online or visited their website. However, advertising-savvy businesses won’t have picked you within their advertising audience as a coincidence – they use a method called retargeting.

Simply put, retargeting is a technique that advertisers use to convert warm leads into customers. It can be a list of people who’ve subscribed to your mailing list, visitors to your website or even people who have engaged with you on social media. All of these people are aware of your brand; retargeting will help to remind them that you’re there.

In this guide, we’ve shared the variety of ways that your business can retarget using Facebook advertising, along with the strategies that you can use to convert these people into customers:

Website visitors

The simplest way to retarget using Facebook ads is to target the people who have already been on your website. These are people who are interested in what you’re offering, so retargeting them on Facebook can help push them over the edge and be reminded that they visited your website.

Once you’ve installed the Facebook Pixel on your website, this audience can be set-up using a Custom Audience and selecting ‘Website Visitors’:

retargeting website visitors facebook

When retargeting the people who have previously been on your website on Facebook, you’re able to select the timescale in which they last visited.

If your site has minimal traffic, it may be best to select a larger range. On the other hand, if your website sees hundreds of visitors each day, you may want to decrease the duration of the targeting period to ensure that the audience is big enough to run an effective campaign.

People who visited certain pages

Using data from your Pixel and the Website Visitors option, you’re able to target people who visited certain pages on your website but not others. This is ideal for segmenting your audience and showing different ads depending on what the person viewed on your website.

For example, let’s say that a fashion retailer wanted to promote their range of dresses to people who had been on that page of their website. Instead of targeting their entire website visitor audience, they can segment their audience and show a dress-related ad that is more relevant to the group.

Similarly, you’re able to use a combination of ‘visited this page but not this one’ when you’re retargeting on Facebook. So, if the audience of dress visitors only visited the dress page and not their shoe page, the fashion retailer could promote their footwear range to them with text such as “don’t forget to pick some shoes to suit your new dress!”.

facebook ad retargeting

People who spent lots of time on-site

You’re also able to use data from your Pixel to segment your total website visitor audiences by the time each person spent on your site. Facebook offer this data in percentiles and you’re able to select the group of people who spent the most – or least – time on your website for retargeting on Facebook.

You can use this data to split your audiences into groups of people who are most likely or most-interested in your product.

For example, let’s say that the same fashion retailer wanted to promote their new range of clothes. They could create an ad set for the visitors within the top 5% percentile of people who spent the longest time browsing the site on their last session. These are the people who are more likely to purchase the products as they’ve shown a clear interest in the website and brand beforehand.

The same business can also assign less budget and create another ad set to run alongside the previous one to target people within the 25% percentile. These people will have spent less time than the others browsing the website, but are still likely to be interested in the new launch if they’ve spent a sizeable chunk of time on the website.

Abandoned basket

Did you know that retailers lose 67.45% of their sales by people who add an item to their online basket but abandon it without purchasing?

Fortunately, if you’ve uploaded a product feed to Facebook and have your Pixel working correctly, you’re able to catch people on Facebook and show the exact items that were left in their cart.

Abandoned basket campaigns usually have the highest success rates as the person being shown the ads were almost about to purchase the product. Sometimes, a little push is all that the person needs and as soon as they’re reminded of the product that they added to their basket, they’re given a nudge to purchase.

This type of Facebook ad can be made by selecting the “Product Catalog Sales” option as your campaign objective.

abandoned basket facebook ads

Customer lists

Facebook also offer the option to upload and use a customer list when retargeting a list of people who are already aware of your brand. This can be done by:

Uploading customer files

The simplest way to retarget on Facebook is to upload a list of your customers using a Custom Audience. These can be details of people who have purchased your product, subscribed to company updates or have entered their address to receive letters from you.

To do this, upload a CSV file of your audience to Facebook and map the identifiers such as First Name, Last Name, Email Address and Phone Number. Facebook will then use these details to find profiles with matching qualities, allowing you to reach and retarget to those exact people on Facebook.

Importing from MailChimp

Because Facebook offer integration with MailChimp, you can import the email addresses of subscribers on your mailing list to retarget using Facebook ads.

Retargeting the subscribers on your mailing list is a fantastic way to reach to people who have opted-in to updates about your brand.

For example, let’s say that an online training course provider created a mailing list for the launch of their new product. They hosted a landing page on their site and encouraged people to subscribe to the list to know when the launch date was confirmed.

By integrating their MailChimp account with their ad account, the company are able to use the list of people wanting to be informed to retarget on Facebook. So, when it comes around to launching the course, they can run a campaign to reach these people, remind them about the course and encourage them to purchase it.

App activity

If your business has a mobile app or game, you can also retarget the people who’ve used or opened the app through Facebook advertising. Similar to the audience of website visitors, Facebook offers the option to segment the total users by the activity they did within the app.

app activity retargeting facebook

Most active app users

Because Facebook are able to split the users of your app by the amount of time they’ve spent using it, you’re able to segment and retarget your audience to reach the people who are most interested in your app.

You can exploit this feature by promoting certain products to these most-active users as a reward for them using your app repeatedly. You could also retarget and encourage your most-active users to complete another action, such as like your page on Facebook or sign up to a mailing list, so they can be informed of news relating to the app elsewhere.

Highest-value app purchasers

With the option to target people who have spent the most money through your mobile app, you’re able to segment the people who are more likely to purchase something through a retargeted Facebook ad.

For example, if you have an app that sells products, you can filter the people who spend the most money and promote your pricier products to them. Because they have already spent a lot of money with you before, you may have more success with up-selling more expensive products when retargeting on Facebook.

facebook ad retargeting

Engaged with a post or ad

By using the Custom Audience setting on Facebook, you’re able to create an audience of people that have engaged with something that you’ve previously posted on your business’ page. This can be anything from a video, canvas or status update that somebody has liked, commented or shared.

Retargeting people on Facebook that have already engaged with something that you’ve posted is likely to be successful because the person has already gone out of their way to complete an action. It shows that they’re interested in what you’re sharing, so retarget these people to convert the audience into customers.

The simplest way to do this is to target people who have previously engaged your Page on Facebook. Within your normal campaigns, set-up an ad set that targets only these people and exclude the Custom Audience from your other ad sets to ensure that they’re not overlapping.

By doing this, you’re able to clearly see whether or not this Facebook retargeting method improves your current campaign success rate.

If you’d like to learn more about retargeting with Facebook advertising, contact our team today. From Pixel installation to assisting with segmenting your audiences for the best results, we’re able to offer Facebook Ad support to convert people already interested in your brand.


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