How to Leverage Facebook Retargeting For Your Business

Category: paid advertising

February 21, 2019 | 2 COMMENTS

One of Facebook’s biggest advantages is that almost everyone uses it. That makes it an optimal platform for retargeting. If 80,000 people visit your website in a month, you have the ability to show ads on Facebook to a large percentage of those people.

Let’s look at how Facebook Retargeting works and how you can use it to leverage your marketing efforts.

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Facebook Pixel Setup

The first step in being able to use Facebook retargeting is setting up the Facebook Pixel. The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code that goes on all the pages of your website.

Every time someone visits a page on your site, the code fires and sends information back to Facebook letting them know a visit occurred. This creates a pool of people that Facebook knows has visited certain pages that you are able to create segmented audiences for.

There are a few different ways to install it. The code can be placed directly into the header section of your site. You only have to do that once and it will automatically be on all pages that use the same header code.

Or if you use a tag manager system like Google Tag Manager, you can place the pixel code directly into that platform without having to directly edit any website code.

Finally, you could manually place the code on every single individual page of your website. This option, of course, is not recommended as it would be a lot of tedious work.

Even if you don’t plan on setting up retargeting campaigns right away, it’s in your best interest to set up the pixel on your site as soon as possible. Facebook doesn’t start recording any information until the Pixel code exists on your website. The Pixel keeps information for up to 180 days. So if you put the code on your site 4 months ago, you can retarget any of the people who have visited your website since then.

Create Website Custom Audiences

Once you have the technical aspect in place, the next step is to create your custom audiences. Here are some general ones you might consider creating:

  • All Visitors – 180 Days
  • All Visitors – 30 Days
  • Blog Visitors
  • Category Visitors
  • Specific Product Visitors
  • Opt-ins
  • Buyers

For all of these suggestions, you could create multiple variations with different lengths of time. If you have a ton of traffic visiting your site every day, it might make sense to have an audience of people who have just visited your site in the last 7 days, or even 3 days, or 1.

To set up these audiences by URLs, choose “people who visited specific web pages” in the past X amount of days.

Then put in what the URL has to contain. Do not include anything before the domain like “https://” or “www.”

For example, if I’m setting up an audience for people who have visited any page on the Brian Tracy International site, I would just put “” in this section. Or if I wanted to create an audience of all the people who have visited any blogs, I would put

Other Retargeting Audience Options

In addition to retargeting audiences based on website visitors, you can also create audiences based on interactions on the Facebook platform. All of these options can be used without needing the Facebook Pixel installed. Instead of being limited to a 180-day time frame, the max time frame for these is 365 days.

When creating a new custom audience, instead of choosing Website Traffic, select Engagement.

From there, you have the ability to create retargeting audiences based on the following options:


Create audiences based on people who have watched your Facebook or Instagram videos within a certain timeframe. You can select one specific video or multiple videos. You can choose from a few different video durations like:

  • People who viewed at least 3 seconds of your video
  • People who viewed at least 10 seconds of your video
  • People who have watched at least 25% of your video
  • People who have watched at least 50% of your video
  • People who have watched at least 75% of your video
  • People who have watched at least 95% of your video

Lead Form

If you utilize lead forms on Facebook or Instagram, you can retarget based on interactions people have taken with your forms. This is the only one of the bunch that limits the time frame to just 90 days max instead of 365.

You can select one or multiple forms, and create audiences based on the following actions that have occurred within a past time frame:

  • Anyone who opened this form
  • People who opened but didn’t submit form
  • People who opened and submitted a form

Full-Screen Experience

Similar to lead forms, if you utilize full-screen experiences including collection ads or Canvas on Facebook, you can retarget based on those interactions. Pick one or multiple Instant Experiences, set a time frame, and choose from these interaction options:

  • People who opened this Instant Experience
  • People who clicked any links in this Instant Experience

Facebook Page

Create audiences based on people who have interacted with your Facebook page within a certain period of time. Options here include:

  • Anyone who visited your Page
  • People who engaged with any post or ad
  • People who clicked any call-to-action button
  • People who sent a message to your Page
  • People who saved your Page or any post

Instagram Business Profile

This is the same as the Facebook Page option, where you can create audiences based on interactions with your Instagram business page within a certain period of time. Options for this one include:

  • Anyone who visited your business profile
  • People who engaged with any post or ad
  • People who sent a message to your business profile
  • People who saved any post or ad


This option deals with Facebook events your page has created. You can select one or multiple events in a certain time frame and choose from the following options:

  • People who responded Going or Interested
  • People who have responded Going
  • People who have responded Interested
  • People who have visited the event page
  • People who have engaged
  • People who have engaged with tickets (they entered the purchase flow and either bought or abandoned)
  • People who have purchased tickets
  • People who had the intention of purchasing tickets (they entered the purchase flow but did not complete)

Craft Your Retargeting Messaging

When writing copy for your retargeting ads, make sure you know who you’re talking to. Adjust the messaging to speak to someone who’s already familiar with your brand or product. Also, be aware of what point they might be at in the funnel.

What you want to avoid is making the messaging too personal. People find it creepy and off-putting if you show that you know too much about them and their specific interactions with your website.

Here’s an example of an ad that’s just a little too personal, sharing exactly how long it’s been since these users have visited his site.

Remarketing Campaign Strategies

Abandon Cart

One of the easiest campaigns to set up and usually the lowest hanging fruit is a simple abandon cart campaign. This retargets anyone who has started the checkout process but didn’t complete their order. The ads should be simple reminders of what they were looking at.

To take these a step further, you could show ads that show different appeals of why they should buy the product. That could include product benefits, lifestyle images, different use cases, testimonials, or showing how to use the product.

Another consideration would be to offer a discount code if a certain amount of days have passed and they still haven’t bought. For example, if someone abandoned their cart 10 days ago and still hasn’t bought, you can show them an ad with a 15% off code.

Visited Sales Page or Landing Page but Didn’t Convert

The next best thing would be someone who has visited your sales page, product page, or landing page, but didn’t take the next step of action. The people at this step may not be as ready to buy as the people who made it to the checkout phase, so keep that in mind with messaging.

This also doesn’t have to be just for sales. This could be for retargeting someone who hit your landing page but didn’t subscribe to your email list or opt-in to a free offer. Whatever the page, they showed some interest so they might just need a reminder to take that next step.

Visited Site But Hasn’t Opted In

This would be an even broader and general version of the previous example. In this scenario, rather than focusing on just one specific page, you can target anyone who has visited any page of your website, but isn’t on your email list.

This is a great way to get subscribers from a pool of people who are already familiar with your brand so you can continue to engage with them.

Dynamic Retargeting

Dynamic retargeting is a more advanced strategy as it requires more setup, but will also save time in the long run. These ads run based on Facebook’s product feeds. Once you sync up a list of your products from your store with Facebook, there are multiple ways you can utilize that connection. One example is that these feeds power the “shop” section of your Facebook page.

And here’s an example below of how the dynamic retargeting ads look. It will show the products someone viewed within a certain timeframe. As you’ll notice, we didn’t call anything out in the copy that directly says we’re showing these products to you because we know you already looked at them.


In all of these examples, it’s important to exclude audiences that shouldn’t see the ad. This includes people who have already completed the desired action.

If you’re selling a pair of shoes, you don’t want to keep showing ads for them to people who already own them. It annoys your customers, and it wastes your ad spend.

In cases where you have a recurring product where someone might buy the same thing every month, or multiple times a year, that rule doesn’t apply. The rule can be adapted, however, to achieve the same goal. You can exclude people who have purchased within the last 14 days or however long makes sense for your product.

That means after a purchase, a customer won’t see an ad for that product for 14 days. Once 15 days pass, they are now eligible to see those ads again as they might be ready to make another purchase.

What are your favorite retargeting strategies to use in campaigns? Share with us in the comments below.

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