6 Things to Know for Creating the Best Retargeting Ads

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Published 
March 15, 2022

Retargeting ads are crucial to any ad campaign. Essentially, it allows you to reconnect with potential customers that just weren’t ready to buy the first time. To truly maximize your ROI, it’s important to fully understand how they work.  


6 Things to Know for Creating the Best Retargeting Ads


Imagine you meet someone for the first time, have a brief interaction, and like them. Your relationship with them has gotten off to a positive start, but you're not best friends skipping off into the sunset yet. Most of the time, it takes another interaction, sometimes several, before you officially consider yourselves friends. 

Essentially, that's what running a Facebook retargeting ad campaign is. Facebook retargeting is a marketing strategy that allows you to re-engage potential customers who didn't convert after visiting your page. 

Going back to the earlier analogy, think of the best retargeting ads as a great second meeting with your potential friend, then a third and a fourth. After a few interactions, you and your friend get comfortable around each other. This is the equivalent of a marketing sale.

Why Retarget Website Visitors?

Increase Conversion Rate

The most significant benefit of incorporating retargeting into your marketing campaign is increasing sales. Did you know that only 3 out of 10 visitors to your page are ready to purchase your product? The best retargeting ads can turn these window shoppers into paying customers.

Additionally, it generally takes 8 touchpoints (this could mean website visits or brand appearances) before a consumer makes a purchase making retargeting even more crucial. 

Maximize Cross-Selling 

Repeat customers are vital to any business. Once your brand builds trust among its customer base, cross-selling can become one of your primary sources of sales. Retargeting ads help you maximize this by marketing similar and new products to previous customers. 

A customer with a positive experience with your brand is more likely to convert. Think of it as asking your friend out to a new restaurant. They might be skeptical, but the odds of them saying yes are high due to the trust and familiarity they've built with you. 

Laser-Targeted Marketing

One of the downsides to traditional Facebook advertising is that you can’t control who sees your ads. Reaching your target audience is more of a hope than expectation. Retargeting ad campaigns solve this problem. They allow you to set up your ads to target specific audiences, like users who visited a certain page or viewed a particular product. 

Now, let’s dive into important things to know. 

1. Customers Want to See Items They Loved, Again

There are many reasons why a customer might love one of your products but resist purchasing. They are very tempted, but they back out at the last second. Perhaps they're sticking to a budget, or they are keeping their options open. Retargeting is designed to give them that all-important push toward the purchase button. 

How to Pull it Off


Here’s how you can set up a retargeting ad to target website visitors who didn't convert.

Step 1: Create a Custom Audience

If you’re sure your retargeting pixel is in place, the next thing you need to do is to set up your custom audience. 

  • Sign in to your business’s Facebook account and click on “Ads Manager” on the homepage’s sidebar to create your audience. 
  • Click on the hamburger icon and select “Audiences” from the pop-up box. 
  • Select “Create New Audience” and then “Create a Custom Audience”. This can also be done in the ad set level. 

Step 2: Choose Your Traffic Source

When you're done with step 1, you’ll be asked to select a traffic source. Your options are website, customer list, app activity, offline activity, and Facebook sources.

Choosing “website” allows you to build your target audience around Facebook users who have visited your business’s web page. This is the best way of pulling back customers who loved your product but refrained from making the final purchase. Social media engagement makes a great retargeting audience as well as those people are familiar with the brand. 

Step 3: Narrow Down Your Target Audience

Laser-targeted marketing is the best way to retarget customers. By narrowing down your audience, you retarget your products to the demographic most likely to convert into sales.

Thankfully, as the final step of setting up your retargeting campaign, Facebook gives you all the toys to play with in terms of customizing who gets your retargeted ads. With this, you can wire your ads to any select group of your choice.

Some of your retargeting options include: 

  • A custom audience for people who visited your homepage
  • An audience for people who viewed a particular product
  • An audience for people who made it to the checkout page but didn't make the final payment (cart abandonment)
  • Ads for people who read your CTA blog

2. Lead Gen Facebook Ads Work

Lead ads are Facebook’s way of streamlining the lead generation process. Before this feature came along, converting leads was tedious and took the customer away from Facebook to a landing page where they manually filled out their information. This often led to low conversion rates because users were unwilling to leave the platform to an unfamiliar external site. 

Lead gen ads mitigate this problem for both marketers and customers. Instead of taking users off the platform, when users click your call-to-action button, a pop-up form appears with their info already filled out from Facebook’s database. They have to confirm the details in just two clicks, and voila! You have a new lead.

By incorporating lead ad forms into your retargeting strategy, you not only remind your previous visitors of your business and products, but you offer them an easy “sign-up” option that leads them right back to your landing pages with a purchase just a couple of clicks away.…again. You also gain information such as email addresses that you can also use to retarget future products. 

How to Pull It Off

Step 1: Create a Custom Audience

 Follow the steps from earlier to create a custom audience.

Ads Manager > Audiences > Create a custom audience

Step 2: Facebook Page Custom Audience

When you make your custom audience, you'll see the page prompting you to choose your traffic source. Instead of selecting “website” this time, click on the “Facebook Page” option.

From here, you have an array of retargeting possibilities depending on who you want to see your retargeted ads. You can choose people who engaged your ads previously or clicked on your CTA without converting.

Step 3: Create a Lead Gen Ad

After you've sorted out your retargeting metrics, go to the Facebook Ads Manager page, select “Lead generation” as a marketing objective and select your preferred ad format. 

The most important part of your lead gen ad is creating compelling ad copy. This is where you get to convince users to click on your CTA, fill in their info, and potentially make a purchase. 

Pro Tip: Remember, you compete with other marketers. You need the best retargeting ads to increase your conversion rate, so hitting this section out of the park is pertinent. To do this, you should include a lead magnet in your ad. This will serve as an incentive for them to click on your CTA. IT could be a discount, free ebook, coupon, or anything that will increase the likelihood of conversion. 

Step 4: Set Form Questions

For the final part of your lead gen ad, you'll need to set the questions that pop up on the user’s lead gen form. The goal here is to collect leads quickly and easily, so make sure you limit the questions to only the relevant things like name and email address. 

3. You Can (and Should) Target Specific URLs 

A common mistake among social media marketers is the lack of a specific audience for their ads. The wider your net is, the more fish you’ll catch, right? Wrong! When it comes to marketing, laser-targeted ads (aka casting a few smaller nets in the right direction) is the best strategy to improve and maintain healthy conversion rates.

Now how does this apply to Facebook retargeting? When setting up their custom audiences, many marketers retarget the same ad to everyone who has visited their page and website. This is casting a big net, and while it will pull in some fish, it won't provide optimal results. Here’s why:

Let’s assume you have two visitors on the same day. We’ll call them visitors A & B. Visitor A viewed your homepage briefly and left; meanwhile, visitor B made it to the product page and even added a product to their cart but refrained from purchasing at the last second. 

Both of these users qualify for retargeting, but they're at different stages of the buyer’s journey. If your ad contained a “product and services” description, that ad wouldn't make sense to visitor B because they're already aware of your product, but they need an incentive to buy. But if your ad contained a free product trial instead, that doesn't suit visitor A with no prior idea of your products. 

Solution? Creating two different custom audiences based on specific URL visits. This means ads will only be delivered for specific audiences depending on their last URL on your website. 

How To Pull It Off

Step 1: Create a Custom Audience

Follow the same steps from earlier to create a custom audience.

Ads Manager > Audiences > Create a custom audience

Step 2: Choose a Traffic Source

After your custom audience, the next page will ask you to choose a traffic source. Select “website”. Selecting this will help advertise to people who visited your website only. 

Step 3: Narrow Down Your Target

Many marketers stop at step 2 by marketing the same ads to anyone who interacted with their site. Facebook allows you to go even further. When you click on “website”, click on the “events” box and select “People who visited specific web pages”. Now you can enter the URL of any page on your site, and Facebook will send your retargeting ads the way of those people who interacted with that specific page.

4. Overexposure Can Be a Good Thing

In some cases, a single retargeted ad isn't enough to convert a visitor into a paying customer. Remember our analogy about making a friend? Sometimes it takes a long time to warm up to each other's company. This applies to retargeting too. It could be the second retargeted ad that does the trick, and it could be the 7th.

This is what Facebook’s sequencing ads feature does for marketers. It allows you to set time windows on up to 50 separate ads, ensuring that your target audience can see your ads in any order you wish. This gives ample opportunity to include a strategy such as offering a special promotion or discount to help convert customers who are on the fence. 

With sequencing ads, you can organize your ad campaign to show different ads to your audience in any order you feel will maximize conversion rates. Meaning Facebook will ensure your customers see ad #1 before showing them ad #2. Cool, right?

How To Pull It Off

For this guide, we’ll assume you want to sequence three ads across six days. The first ad for days 1 and 2, the second ad for days 3 and 4, and the final ad for days 5 and 6. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Create a Custom Audience 

To create a custom audience, go to Ads Manager, click on the hamburger icon and select “Audiences” from the pop-up box. After that, select “Create New Audience” and then “Create a Custom Audience”. 

Step 2: Create a Website Custom Audience

Click on “website” on the traffic source page and select website visitors from the last two days as your audience, and click create. This sorts out your retargeting ads for the first two days. 

Next, repeat the process by creating another website custom audience but this time, make your target audience visitors from the last four days. Finally, make a third website custom audience and target visitors from the previous six days. 

Step 3:  Create Your Ad Campaign

After saving your custom audiences, head back to your Ad Manager and select “create campaign”. Name your campaign and fill in the campaign objective. On the pop-up box asking for your ad set name, label your ad set “0-2” and save the draft. 

Step 4: Customize Your Ad Sets

Click on the ad set “0-2” you just created. On the page, you'll be asked to select a custom audience. Click on the first audience you made targeting visitors from the last two days. You'll also have to create your ad content to include videos, notes, and everything you want your visitors from the previous two days to see. 

Your first ad set is now completed, and Facebook is ready to retarget your visitors.

Now onto the sequence for your 4-day visitors. Go to your created ad set and duplicate it. Name the duplicated ad set “3-4” and select the corresponding custom audience you made earlier. 

Your second ad set is ready with this, but how do you sequence it to only appear to visitors who have viewed the “0-2” ad?

To sequence ads, you need to click on the “exclusion” button on the page. The exclusion feature allows you to prevent certain people of your choice from seeing an ad. Here, you need to exclude visitors from the first two days, and with that, a sequence has been created. New visitors to your site will see your “0-2” ad but won't see your “3-4” ad until the third day, after which “0-2” will stop popping up on their screen. 

Phew! Are you still there? Great! Creating sequential ads is a bit of a brain racker the first couple of times, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. 

To make your ads for days 5 and 6, repeat the process by duplicating the ad set, naming it “5-6”, and selecting your third custom audience. Fill out the contents of the ads you want your six-day-old visitors to see, and finally, exclude visitors from the first four days from viewing it. With all your ad sets customized, you are now ready to publish your sequencing ads. 

5. Retargeting Your Current Customers Can Decrease Churn Rates

An increase in churn rates is inevitable as your business gets older. Not every customer will be back to rebuy your products, so finding new customers to rejoin your sales funnel as some exit it is a part of the business wheel. However, retargeting helps you slow down your churn rate by targeting ads at unresponsive customers who haven't purchased in a while. 

You may ask why a business will turn marketing efforts towards customers who have completed their buyer’s journey and converted already. Why not focus on new leads? That’s because targeting existing customers is a low-risk, low effort and high reward triangle. In fact, returning customers spend 67% more than new customers and convert up to 70% more. 

People who have previously converted on your website will re-enter your sales funnel at the latter stages. Many obstacles like brand trust and lead generation are out of the way, and you have nothing to lose by marketing new products to them. 

Your reward for this is a sale for a fraction of the efforts you would put into getting a new customer to purchase that exact product. 

How To Pull It Off

You can set up your retargeting ads to target already converted customers in just a few steps. Here’s how:

Step 1: Create a Custom Audience

Follow the steps from earlier to create a custom audience.

Ads Manager > Audiences > Create a custom audience

Step 2: Select Customer’s List 

Select the “customer’s list” option from the traffic source page. This option will allow you to retarget based on your registered list of customers instead of website visitors or any of the other options. 

Step 3: Upload and Edit Your Customer’s List

Finally, you can import your list of customers and their info. To achieve the best results, you need to exclude customers actively engaging with your brand. Sort your consumer list by how unresponsive or “stale” a lead has become. This involves customers who haven't converted or responded to marketing emails in a while. 

6. Paid Social Experts Should Increase Conversions 

For new business owners, you might want to have your hands on marketing efforts–and rightly so. But as your business expands and leads multiply, the need for professionals to help you handle the workload will likely grow with it. Perhaps your marketing performance hasn't been excellent from the get-go, and you need an experienced set of eyes. There are many reasons you might need social ad experts to help you optimize your marketing.

Social experts are often lifesavers for businesses. Take Facebook, for example; an expert doesn't just look at your advertising strategy; they provide you with insight into best practices to increase sales on the platform. They stay on top of marketing trends and understand achieving the best results with minimal efforts and expenses. To put it simply, increasing your conversion rate is their job. 

Nevertheless, not all marketing experts are the same. Quality differs between agencies, and there are certain qualities you should look for in a marketing expert to give your business the best chance of succeeding. These include:

  • Transparency- Transparency is important to successful business relationships. Hiring a paid social expert is entrusting them with the “megaphone” of your business and handling some of its most fundamental facets, including customer relations and sometimes financing. An honest and transparent communication channel between you, the hired paid social experts, and your customers is an essential requirement. 
  • Understanding the industry/platform- If you're hiring social ad experts for Facebook, they must understand what it takes to raise conversion rates on the platform and have an understanding of your brand’s mission and goals. 
  • Adaptability- The consumer market is constantly changing. A great marketing strategy six months ago could yield unfavorable results in the current market; thus, hiring an adaptable and versatile team is vital. Recognizing market changes and adapting to them quicker than your competition is crucial in winning the race for new customers. Also, detecting an unsuccessful marketing strategy early on and knowing when to pivot to a new approach is necessary.  

Are you looking for an agency with these core qualities to help you stay on top of your marketing efforts? That's what we do at Social Ktchn. We are the mom-and-pop shop of paid social ads. Our goal is to help you manage your ad campaign and increase your business's conversion figures through innovation and data analysis. 

The success of your business is our goal. We are passionate, sales-minded, and we view ourselves as an extension of your team. Running a social media advertising campaign can be an uphill task, but it doesn't have to be. 


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