5 secrets to drive conversions with Facebook retargeting ads

Jonny Butler
by Jonny Butler on December 17, 2020

When Facebook ads launched in 2007, the targeting options were pretty limited. Marketers could target a handful of different audiences, but most ads relied on the social actions of friends and brands each user followed. 

Things have changed. 

Facebook is gathering more information than ever, video is a huge deal, influencers are taking over the platform, and there are dozens of social media tools that make it easier than ever for brands to stay engaged with followers. 

Now, Facebook ad targeting is incredibly precise — so precise that one marketing pro managed to drive his roommate crazy with hyper-targeted ads only he saw. 

You don't want to drive your customers crazy — but you can ensure the ads they see are personalized for their actions through Facebook's retargeting ads. These ads allow you to target users who have taken specific actions — such as looking at your contact page or viewing a blog post. 

Whether you're already using Facebook retargeting or are considering jumping in, there's a good chance you aren't making the most of these ads — which could cost you thousands in ad spend and lost revenue. 

So, why are Facebook retargeting ads so useful, and how do you make them work for you? 

Why Facebook retargeting works

Facebook is, by far, the most popular social media platform in the world. With more than 2.7 billion active users, you can be sure your audience is on Facebook — no matter who they are. 


The problem is you aren't the only business on Facebook. Not even close. 

According to Facebook, three million businesses are actively hawking their services and products on the social media giant. 

So, how does your company stand out in a sea of businesses vying for consumer's attention? 

By offering personalized ads based specifically on users' behavior in the form of Facebook's retargeted ads. 

For example, you can target Facebook users who visited a specific page on your website, added an item to their cart but never checked out, or viewed one of your Facebook marketing videos

As an added benefit, retargeting ads actually cost less. The average cost per click for Facebook ads is around $1.72, while retargeting ads cost an average of .75 to $1.25, depending on industry and targeting. 

Cheaper and more effective? Yes, please. 

5 secrets to making Facebook retargeting ads work for you 

Now you understand why Facebook remarketing is so powerful — but how do you make it work for you? Here are five tips for making sure this powerful ad option drives revenue, not just clicks. 

Create a Facebook retargeting group for website viewers 

Facebook allows you to target just about anyone in the world — from middle managers in Dubai to moms with preschool kids in the Midwest. But, Facebook retargeting ads let you dig in even deeper and target people who have taken a specific action on your website. 

For example, you could target people who have visited your website but didn't actually convert, like this ConvertKit Facebook ad example

Make sure to target site visitors who are most likely to covert. For example, you might target people who have visited your pricing page or viewed two or more service pages. 

Visitors who have taken at least two actions on your website (or other actions that indicate they are almost ready to buy) are more likely to convert. 

Use a website visitor tracking tool like Leadfeeder that turns anonymous website visitors into companies you can then target on Facebook. Then, upload your site company visitors email list to Facebook and create a new custom audience

Now, you can show specific ads to people who have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer. 

Target current customers 

When it comes to low-hanging fruit, current customers are the best of the bunch. These are people who already know who your brand is, the value of what you have to offer, — and they trust you. 

But, they are already customers. So, what's the point of targeting them? 

Well, there's a good chance you have more than one type of offering, right? 

Instead of spending the time to convert new prospects (which can also take forever if you have a long sales cycle), look for ways to turn current customers into even more valuable customers. 

To do this, upload your current customer list and create a Facebook audience to retarget them with carefully crafted ads. Consider creating ads to: 

  • Upsell current customers to higher software packages.
  • Sell add-on items, such as a social media monitoring tool to people who already use your SEO tool.
  • Sell related products by promoting items that often go together, such as a comforter set to customers who already bought a bed frame.
  • Launch new products or services by promoting them directly to people who already use your brand.
  • Show current customers items they added to their cart but didn't purchase (You'll need to add in dynamic ads to make this happen!) 

Keeping current customers happy — and increasing the amount they spend with your brand — is cheaper and often more effective than working to convert new prospects. 

Get the timing right 

Ad fatigue is an issue with all ads, but especially with hyper-personalized retargeting ads. While some ads actually get more effective the longer you run them, retargeted ads tend to lose efficacy in just a few days.  

Luckily, Facebook allows you to adjust the length of your retargeting campaign. For example, you can choose to remarket to people who engaged with your Facebook page for two weeks, then stop showing them the ad. 

The amount of time you'll want to target customers depends on your sales cycle. If your sales cycle is short — say a few days — you'll want to stop retargeting to those prospects a week or so. If they were going to buy, they would have made their decision already. 

However, B2B companies often have longer sales cycles — often as long as several months. If you have a longer sales cycle, then consider adjusting your frequency window to 30 days. This will give your prospect enough time to make their purchase decision. 

Use dynamic ads 

Dynamic Facebook ads are ads that automatically adjust the content users see based on actions they've taken or other targeting features. The goal is to show users products they are most likely to be interested in. 

Here's how it works: say two different customers search your product page and add a chair to their cart. Customer 1 adds a blue chair, and Customer 2 adds a red chair.  

Then you set up retargeting ads to show ads to people who have added an item to their cart. Rather than showing both customers the same ad, Facebook will show Customer 1 an ad with the blue chair they added to their cart and Customer 2 an ad with the red chair. 

Dynamic ads allow brands to target customers with personal ads — which can increase conversion rates by 5X

Leverage Facebook's lookalike audiences 

Another way to leverage retargeting data is through Facebook's Lookalike audiences, which create custom audiences filled with people who share similar interests, likes, and demographics to your target audience. 

It's an easy (and affordable!) way to reach users who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. 

For example, you could upload a list of your current customers and then create a Lookalike audience from this, which will be based on the common qualities customers share. Facebook uses this information to find other users who are likely to be in your target audience. 

To create a Lookalike audience, sign into your Ad Manager (or Business Suite), create a new Audience, then choose Lookalike Audience from the dropdown menu, and choose the source  data. 

Keep in mind that your source audience must be at least 100 people in a single country to create a Lookalike audience. 


Most customers don't convert the first time they visit your website — they might not even convert the second or third visit. Facebook retargeting ads allow you to reel those prospects back in using careful targeting and dynamic ads that adjust to your audience's actions. 

Keep in mind that showing customers the same retargeting ad for weeks on end is annoying. Don't be that brand. However, a thoughtfully created, time-sensitive campaign will give visitors the nudge they need to take the plunge.

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