Most marketers know that only about 2% of visitors are likely to buy on their first visit to your website. Which leaves 98% of visitors that are essentially saying that they don’t trust you enough to part with their hard-earned cash.

So how can we engage with those that leave empty-handed, build their trust and encourage them to come back?

A proven method being used by many brands is to use a specific type of advertising that reaches out to these people, called retargeting.  Facebook is one of the most popular advertising platforms in this area.

Before we go into the details of retargeting, let’s consider why you might want to add it to your marketing mix.

The great advertising mistake

It’s natural for businesses to always be on the look out for ‘new blood’.  Their advertising often focusses on reaching new people.  And that’s a mistake. This type of advertising is doomed to a 98% failure rate.

A different advertising approach would be to focus more on people who have already visited your website or interacted with your business in some way. These people have already metaphorically put their hand up and said ‘I’m interested in what you’ve got’.

Your advertising can then start building both recognition and trust.  Brands that have learnt to carefully nurture this relationship with potential customers are more likely to achieve sales.

Advantages of retargeting ads

Retargeting ads are only shown to a ‘warm’ audience that already know you.  If you’ve done a good job of providing value, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.

This is a much more effective way of using your marketing budget compared to general ‘blanket’ advertising.

How to do retargeting right

We’ve all been followed around online by ‘stalker’ ads. Done with little thought, retargeting ads can be annoying.  It’s also expensive for the advertiser if the visitor is clearly not interested.

But if you mix up your ad creatives and show the right messaging to the right people at the right time, your ads are much more likely to succeed.

Luckily, Facebook allows you to present a variety of different adverts, so that your audience will not suffer from ‘ad fatigue’.

4 Types of retargeting advert

  1. Basic stay in touch
  • Targeted at: Visitors that have not purchased on website before
  • Creative: Testimonials from existing customers or restating of the primary offer

facebook ad


  1. Specific ecommerce store products
  • Targeted at: Recent visitors to specific products
  • Creative: Dynamic product adverts – Visitors are shown exactly the product that they were browsing on the website. These can be single product image, or a ‘carousel ‘ of products.

facebook ad - dpa


  1. Abandoned cart
  • Targeted at: Visitors that have entered products in the basket and left without purchasing
  • Creative: Reminder that they have an unfinished shopping experience. Could experiment with offering a discount, although shoppers can get wise to this and deliberately abandon their carts.

facebook advert


  1. Existing customers
  • Targeted at: Customers that have previously purchased with the intention of encouraging them to reorder. You could also target your best customers, e.g. those who spent a certain dollar amount or made multiple transactions.
  • Creative: The latest products or new collections that you’ve added to your catalogue. If you want to re-engage with lapsed customers, you could use current special offers e.g. free shipping, 3 for the price of 2 etc. You could also seek to turn your best customers into evangelists by using special offers that are difficult to put a price on. For example, a store selling Paleo diet treats could run an offer of a free Paleo book signed by the author for visitors that spend over £100.

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Retargeting ads in the marketing funnel

Retargeting ads can be some of the highest ROI advertising that you can do.  But there is one problem that develops for many SME’s.  It’s difficult to scale a successful campaign because there are not enough new people coming into the top of the company’s marketing funnel that can then be retargeted.

To get around this issue you can also run a Facebook advertising campaign to a cold audience.  This campaign is unlikely to have such a high ROI, but it’s important as a ‘feeder’ to your retargeting campaign.

Used together, this type of advertising funnel can be a very effective way of reaching new customers and following up with only those that show an interest in your products or services.

Call us to discuss how you could use Facebook advertising for your business – 01865 595260