How to Retarget Like a Pro and With a Purpose

. 7 min read

By Nick <span data-sheets-userformat="{"2":2817,"3":{"1":0},"11":4,"12":0,"14":[null,2,4539717]}" data-sheets-value="{"1":2,"2":"Nick Appaluccio is a media manager at Jump. 4 years ago (while still in college) he began freelancing his own clients for media management and never looked back. He has been involved in everything from campaign strategy and consulting to execution and media buying. He is even a product owner, having rolled out over 1 million units of products to big box retailers like Walmart through the As Seen on TV industry. He applies his entrepreneurial experiences to every client he interacts with at Jump. Having generated tens of millions of sales online, he has become an expert at being tactical on all digital platforms — which turns into profit for his clients. Outside of work his favorite things to do are golf and watching any sporting event around."}">Appaluccio | Media Manager

We’ve all experienced it. You visit a website, maybe view a few products, leave the website and BOOM. You get targeted with a Facebook ad. What I’ve realized is most of the time people usually just brush over that ad and say ‘wow that was creepy’ (I don’t think it’s creepy because as a marketer I understand how it works, but the other 99.99% of people likely don’t).

Where business owners are missing the mark is on retargeting these users with relevant content at every step of the customer journey. Most marketers will simply put an ad up towards their retargeting pool and hope the user visits the website to purchase knowing that they are far down the funnel. The problem is marketers assume these people will convert and get lazy when it comes to tailoring their ads to these audiences.  

What they don’t understand is that someone who visits the site once is at a completely different step of the customer journey compared to someone who has visited a few times, viewed specific items, added an item to their cart, or even initiated a checkout. Nielsen research (below) shows that as ad frequency goes up, purchase intent increases, which means when you retarget someone, if you put the right message in front of them, you can push them across the finish line to purchase. The quicker you can do this, the lower your retargeting cost-per-acquisition rates and overall CPAs will be.

When the right brand shows itself, with a properly thought out retargeting strategy, that customer will be psychologically invested in this brand so they have a much stronger impulse to purchase.

Where to Start?

Where we like to begin is by prospecting customers who have never seen our brand. This is what is called the “First Time User Experience” (FTUE). The type of content we feed these prospects is different than the creative that we would send to someone that is already aware of the brand. We then make sure that we have the proper audiences built and refreshed for exclusions as people move in and out of the different stages of the funnel.

Keep in mind that these people have likely never seen your brand on your chosen traffic source. We want to initially show these customers more general branding type videos with ad copy that describes the story of your brand or highlights a common problem that one might have. Remember how we said intent increases through multiple exposures? Play it cool. Don’t try to sell them yet — the customer journey has never been more important than it is today.

Simultaneously, we will now have people engaging with your content, visiting your website, adding to cart, and hopefully contributing a few purchases. Now that the front end is taken care of, we need to begin remarketing to all these customers to ensure they don’t fall off into the ether. We already paid for them once to view our content, and since often times people need multiple interactions to purchase, the more tailored we can make our creative based on what stage a user is in for their unique consumer journey, the more likely we can shorten the path to purchase.

What Audiences Will We Need?

We typically set up 5 custom audiences in Facebook to start, with unique content for every single audience.

**25% Video View: **Someone who viewed at least 25% of the video we are promoting

**Page View: **Someone who landed on our site — any page

**Add to Cart: **Someone that has added any item to cart

**Initiate Checkout: **Someone who has begun the checkout process, usually by pressing ‘proceed to checkout’

**Purchases: **Someone who has already bought a product that we wish to target again for a repeat purchase

How to Create These Audiences?

All of these audiences can be created in the audience tab of your Facebook Business Manager.

For video views you will click create audience based on engagement, and then choose the video asset we are marketing.

For Page View and other website audiences, you would click create custom audience based on website traffic and then choose the corresponding event (assuming the Facebook pixel is set up correctly).

One of the ‘Golden Nuggets’ SHHHH

Okay! So now that all our audiences are set up, we want to begin creating ad sets and filling the correct pieces of content in to serve to them.

The key here is that with every ad set you will want to exclude the next step of our customer journey. This maintains remarketing integrity throughout the entire process, and you should see ROI increase with each step. One key factor to improve your remarketing process is by checking in to see if any subsequent step of remarketing is bringing in lower ROI than any previous step. Identify these steps and revisit the creative being fed; and if needed, test more.

So for our 25% video view adset we will exclude the Page View audience. If you are paranoid, you can exclude all subsequent audiences here as well, but we find this usually does the job. We’ve also found Facebook performance to be negatively correlated to the amount of exclusions added.

For our Page View audience we will exclude Add to Cart.

And for our Add to Cart Audience we will exclude Initiate Checkout.

Finally, the Initiate Checkout audience will exclude Purchases.

Video View

Let’s take a step back and really start to think. This person has viewed at least 25% of our initial marketing video but has yet to visit our site. This video wasn’t enough to get them to view our site. We need something DIFFERENT. At this step we like to begin feeding either images or content showcasing product benefits and features on how this product can be right for you.  

Website Page View

This customer is a little further down in the customer journey by already visiting your site. What is going to push them over the edge to possibly revisit, add to cart, and purchase? User-Generated Content (UGC) is the type of content we like to feed this person. Depending on the economics, we also like to incentivize this person to come back and purchase with some sort of discount.

Add to Cart and Initiate Checkout

These users are RED HOT! We just need to bring them back in to complete their purchase.

We scour our happy customers for UGC testimonials and start promoting this to customers who have added our item to cart. Unboxing videos are also HUGE at this step in the funnel. Whatever is going to push them over the edge and have them really TRUST your brand with their hard earned money. Remember to constantly revisit this and any steps where you think ROI can improve by testing different creatives.

We want our customers to get into the mindset of owning our product already and these types of assets do just that. We also want to market a discount to these customers. This particular tactic can be held in your back pocket as card to play if you still need that extra push after testing this site without it.

We have ran thousands of split tests on different types discounts. What we’ve found works best is a ‘percentage off’ discount for the Add to Cart audience and a Free Shipping discount for the Initiate Checkout audience. If Free Shipping isn’t logical for you to run, we run a larger discount compared to the Add to Cart discount. In other words, these discounts may be flipped depending on your shipping prices. As a general rule, the more you keep retargeting someone, the better the offer you will send them (i.e. if they didn’t convert with a 10% offer, try 15% or 20%).

What’s Next?

Scaling up the front end to run a massively profitable Facebook advertising campaign, but that will be a future blog post!

Take action and apply this to your current campaigns These tactics are battle tested at Jump, and can help you capture the low-hanging fruit from customers down the funnel. These often forgotten consumers could help you see revenue increases of over 20%, which could be the difference between profitability and unprofitability, or from keeping your spends stagnant to scaling to the moon.