Facebook ads are one of the easiest and cheapest ways for a business to market itself. That’s because companies with even the smallest ad budgets have the opportunity to purchase ads and reach customers.

However, the smaller your budget is, the more concerned you are about converting the people you reach.

That’s where Facebook retargeting ads come into play.


What are retargeting ads?

“Retargeting ads allow your business to show targeted ads to the users who visited your website and didn’t complete a conversion – purchase an item, fill in a contact form, download a file, etc. … With retargeting ads, your brand and products stay at the forefront of past visitors’ minds,” writes Google.

In other words, you’re targeting customers that have already interacted with your business or website. These aren’t cold targets. They’re at least a little warm.


What do Facebook retargeting ads cost?

Retargeting ads on Facebook are no different than any other ad that you purchase on Facebook. That means they don’t cost any more or any less either. (Source: Facebook)

The real benefit of a retargeting ad on Facebook is that your opportunity for conversion is better.


How do I create a Facebook retargeting ad?

Creating a Facebook retargeting ad starts the same way you create any ad in Facebook:

  • First, you go to the Facebook Business Manager:
  • Once you’re there, you will select a “Custom Audience.”
  • In “Custom Audience” you get to choose what kind of custom audience you want.
  • You have a few options. A “Customer File” is a list of email addresses that you already have. These are the people on your mailing list.
  • While “Website Traffic” is people who have visited your webpage.
  • App Activity” refers to people how have taken a specific action in your app or game.
  • Engagement on Facebook” is a list of people who have engaged with your Facebook content.
  • In most retargeting cases, you’ll want to retarget website traffic.


How do I retarget website visitors on Facebook?

To retarget people who visit your website with a Facebook ad, you must first download Facebook’s pixel code.

According to Adroll, “A pixel code [is] a piece of javascript code or an iframe that marketers can add to their website or email’s HTML code. If the target user clicks on the ad, visits the destination website, or opens the email, their browser opens the invisible graphic, which then registers their data and sends it to the server. The pixel then leaves a cookie in the users’ browsers, which can then be used by brands to serve retargeting ads.”

Facebook provides a pixel code, and it will tell Facebook who has visited your website so that they can be retargeted.


Is it okay to use Facebook’s pixel code in California?

Recently, California has taken several measures to deal with this kind of website data tracking. That’s why Facebook has created a unique code to ensure that it’s compliant with California’s data safety measures.

If you want to know more about that, check out what Facebook posted about the issue here.


How do I retarget YouTube viewers on Facebook?

Retargeting YouTube viewers is a little more difficult for Facebook, but it’s not impossible. Social Media Examiner walks you through how to create a list of YouTube viewers that you can target. The list will be made for Google AdWords, but it should be possible to export for use on Facebook.

If you want something that will directly target your YouTube viewers on Facebook, then there are third-party apps that will help you do this, such as PixelMe or RetargetKit.


How do I use Facebook for abandoned cart retargeting?

Using Facebook for abandoned cart retargeting is very similar to retargeting website visitors. All you need to do is add a few pieces of code to the original Facebook pixel.

Fly High Media covers how to set up abandoned cart retargeting. Under “Website Traffic” you can choose “People who visited specific web pages” and select the URL for a specific product or cart.


Facebook Retargeting Ads Best Practices

While retargeting ads are great, it’s important that you follow some guidelines. These will help you get the most out of your retargeting campaigns.


Retarget High-Value Targets

The team at Linear Design says it is important to target high-value targets.

These include:

  • Website visitors in the past 30, 60, and 90 days;
  • People who visited the pricing page in the last 30 days;
  • Repeat blog visitors;
  • Visitors to specific pages or blog posts;
  • Past customers;
  • Abandoned cart shoppers;
  • People how have looked at specific products or categories of products.


Segment Visitors

Adroll says you will have the best success retargeting customers when you segment your customers into smaller, very specific groups. Someone who is looking for pants isn’t going to be interested in the shoes you’re selling and vice versa.

That said, don’t retarget too much. As Linear Design points out, Facebook’s algorithm only works if you have a large enough audience to work with in the first place.

“All of your Facebook retargeting audiences should include at least 1000 people,” writes Linear Design.


Create Scarcity in Your Ad Copy

Databox suggests that when you retarget, your ad copy creates a sense of scarcity with your customer. Don’t let the customer think they have all the time in the world to act. Make the customer feel like there’s a limited time to act, or they’re going to miss out.

For more details on how scarcity works and how it can be an effective sales tool, check out this previous post here.



Facebook retargeting ads are a great way to turn lukewarm leads into warm leads or even repeat customers. If you’re not using them yet, then you’re missing out on a very large section of your target market.


Written by Erika Towne