How To Implement and Optimize a Facebook Retargeting Campaign


Retargeting has been the buzzword of the digital marketing world in recent years. In essence, retargeting is showing relevant ads to the audience who have visited your site, and/or have triggered a certain action.

Facebook Retargeting. How it works.

Facebook, along with Google AdWords, is one of the best platforms offering retargeting options, and as with their regular advertising, Facebook does offer various targeting options to maximize ROI. 

Yet, these options might also confuse us marketers, especially for those who are not familiar with retargeting campaigns. Here, we will share 5 different Facebook retargeting tactics to ensure more conversions.

Let us begin. 

1. Retargeting Blog Readers

To effectively retarget blog readers, we should truly understand their behavior. More often than not, blog readers came to our site through a Google search. Others might come through email marketing, referrals, paid advertising, or other marketing channels.

If your content marketing is good, you can get a lot of blog visitors each month. Yet, not all of them will convert. So, the main idea here is how we can optimize the conversion rate of your blog readers.

To maximize ROI, the key here is to only retarget blog visitors that matter: those with the highest chance of becoming qualified leads, and even better, those with the highest chance of conversions.

How can we determine them? Here are some key indicators:

  1. Visitors that visited more than one piece of content
  2. Those who also visited a landing page after the content
  3. Those who checked the price list page, indicating interests

Here are some tips to retarget your blog readers:

  • Avoid hard-selling. Retargeting ads that push readers to purchase products right away are generally not effective
  • For the audience who haven’t visited any landing page, a campaign promoting another content is more effective. Pair this with soft-selling approaches
  • Use Facebook’s Boost Post feature to optimize reach
  • Exclude visitors who have downloaded your gated contents to maximize cost-efficiency

2. Retargeting Free-Trial Users

An example of retargeting free trial users

If your business offers free-trial demo (i.e. SAAS businesses), there are many advantages in retargeting your free-trial users.  Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Offering discounts and/or special offers if they purchase within the free-trial period
  • Offering free-trial extension
  • Remind them when the free-trial is about to expire, while encouraging them to make the full purchase
  • Make sure to include an easy option to enter their payment details (i.e. credit card) when encouraging purchase
  • You can combine content marketing with retargeting here, such as providing informational contents to encourage purchase
  • This guide by KissMetrics also shows a variety of options in remarketing to free-trial users. Definitely worth the read.

So, here are some key principles to follow:

  • Your goal is to educate your audience about the true value of your product/service, to encourage them for a full purchase
  • Offer incentives for users who make a purchase before the free-trial expired
  • Provide informational contents like case studies, tutorial, white papers, and research reports

3. Retargeting Site Visitors

Probably the most popular retargeting option, and also the easiest one to apply. Arguably, this type also provides the most benefits.

Yet, generally retargeting site visitors is more effective when your website and/or business is relatively new. Why? Because the number of visitors is quite low, and so the cost for a retargeting campaign will be more affordable.

If your website already has a lot of daily visitors, you will need to be more specific when targeting your audience to maximize ROI. We will need to segment our visitors, and determine which segment(s) will have the best chance of conversions. For example, we can only retarget site visitors who have already visited the price list page, or have browsed several product listing pages. Also, for visitors who have browsed several pieces of contents, consider retargeting them with even more contents while also encouraging purchase.

It is generally more effective to retarget site visitors of the past month or below 30 days. 

4. Retargeting Past Customers

Repeat purchasers are really important for most businesses, as studies have suggested that they often bring more money than new customers. Repeat customers are 60% to 70% easier to convert compared to new ones. So, don’t put all your focus on lead generation and customer acquisitions, maintain past purchasers and increase their retention.

Here are some examples in applying retargeting to past customers:

  1. Remind past customers of your brand
  2. Promote new products and/or services
  3. Up-sell and cross-sell offers
  4. Give special incentives to encourage return purchases
An example of retargeting past users

Retargeting past buyers is relatively simple compared to other options discussed above, and here are some key principles to follow:

  • Timing is a very important factor here. If your product is seasonal, consider retargeting these customers when that specific season returns. If you have a new product and/or features, offer them immediately
  • Promote items related to what they have purchased in the past

5. Retargeting Inactive Users

Studies have suggested that increasing retention by just 5% can drive an increase in profit from 25% to as high as 95%. 

When users become inactive, obviously there’s an increased chance of churn, and this is where a Facebook retargeting campaign can target these users to prevent loss. Simply create custom audiences based on the inactive users’ email addresses. You might also want to include those with no recent in-app activity if you have an app.

There are several different approaches you can take here: you can share tutorials and tips about your product, encouraging them to sign-up for your free-trial. You also give special offers and incentives here, while you can also push your contents to provide information. Introducing new products and/or features might also be effective. The idea is, the better you can understand their needs and issues, the better your chance to capture their attention.

Here are some key considerations:

  • Provide news about product/service updates regularly
  • Combine Facebook retargeting with email marketing
  • Reintroduce your brand and product values


There are definitely other Facebook retargeting options that can be beneficial for your business, depending on your industry or niche. These five tips we have shared above can be a great starting point, as similar principles will also apply to other applications. The key, however, is to make the most of your investments by carefully segmenting your audience: only target those with the highest chance of conversions. 

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