The step-by-step Facebook retargeting guide: Get more conversions from your existing traffic

Kyle’s note: Over the last month we have been working on incorporating retargeting into our content strategy. Tony Rulli has shared this great guide on a simple and powerful approach to Facebook retargeting.

Ogilvy on advertising

One of the founding fathers of modern advertising, David Ogilvy, didn’t believe advertising had to be complicated and neither should you. If you stick with me to the end of this article, you’ll be ready to dominate your first successful Facebook ad campaign using the exact process I outline (without the need for any pretentious jargon getting in our way).

Too much time and effort is spent in getting traffic to your site that ultimately leaves before they even convert into email subscribers or customers.

It’s the constant battle of an entrepreneur – always feeling like no matter how much we do, we’re not doing enough. Its definitely something I struggled with in my first business and something I still struggle with now.

I actually discovered Facebook ads when I was trying to grow my first business and I waited too long to set them up because I didn’t feel like I had the time to devote to it.

Facebook ads intrigued me because of how much detail Facebook knew about my target customers.

I could target my ads to a specific group based on almost anything I could imagine: new parents, if people liked specific cooking Facebook pages, the last time they had visited my website, etc. (kind of creepy – but also an amazing opportunity for business owners).

While my original business ultimately didn’t work out, I eventually did learn more about running Facebook ad campaigns and I began helping other entrepreneurs.

Facebook ads can be an incredible tool to build an audience, but where they really shine is when you leverage Facebook ads to dramatically increase the attention you get from your existing audience – this is called retargeting.

Now I try to have everyone I work with quickly leverage Facebook retargeting ads so that they can turn already existing website traffic into more conversions with very little additional work.

What exactly is Facebook retargeting?

Ever checked out a product on Amazon and then seen it on Facebook later?

That’s retargeting.

Facebook knew that you visited Amazon because Amazon placed a small bit of Facebook code on its site. This then let Amazon automatically show you an ad based on the URL you visited.

So even though you didn’t buy the product, Amazon still has a chance to turn you into a customer well after your visit their site.

While Amazon has tens of millions of monthly visitors, this strategy will work for any amount of traffic – even if you only have 100 visitors per month.

Why use Facebook retargeting?

Because you are already working your ass off trying to get as many people to visit your site as possible.

But what happens when they leave and don’t subscribe by email or buy?

They are just GONE.

By using Facebook retargeting ads, you get another chance to turn that visitor into a subscriber and a customer. Plus, because you already attracted them once to your site, you know what they are interested in and can more easily create ads that speak to their needs. This creates more engagement, more likes, higher conversion rates, and more sales.

Your Facebook advertising roadmap – Start here

Despite my revelation at how powerful retargeting can be for entrepreneurs and their businesses, most people I speak to either:

  • Launch a few Facebook campaigns on their own and don’t see success, so they quit
  • Attempt to set up a campaign, but get too confused by Facebook’s ad platform
  • Don’t have time to educate themselves on how to do Facebook ads correctly and never even try

You work so hard to get people to view your website through guest posts, email outreach, social media, and networking, but only a small percentage ever convert to customers or email subscribers on their visit. By using Facebook’s retargeting capabilities, every website owner can see big wins by recapturing the people they initially didn’t convert.

So if you’re ready to dive into it and get your hands dirty, by the end of this step-by-step guide you will be running your first campaign and turning all of those one-time site visitors into lifelong customers.

(Note: I’ve put together a bonus resource at the end of this post that will show you an additional 37 dynamite Facebook ads that you can copy)

Getting technical (even if you’re not a techie)

Setting up Facebook retargeting means you are going to have to handle a little bit of code, but not to worry, you don’t have to be a programmer or have any programming knowledge to set this up yourself.

So what is this code you’re going to have to use?

Facebook calls the code they require you to use “pixels” and there are two types of pixels.

The first is an “audience pixel” that when placed on your website, lets Facebook track visitors from your site back to Facebook so you can advertise to them (the whole point of retargeting).

The second is called a “conversion pixel” and this lets you track when a goal is reached based on someone taking action from your ad (like when someone clicks on an ad then signs up to your email list or buys your product.

The audience pixel

The audience pixel is crucial to any retargeting campaign and the earlier you get it set up, the better. This is because Facebook can only track your visitors when the pixel is on your site, so every day it isn’t live means you will have fewer people to advertise to when your ads go live.

The main thing you need to understand about the audience pixel is that you only get one per ad account. This means even if you have multiple websites, you still only use the one audience pixel. The lesson here is to place the same pixel on every website you would like to advertise on Facebook.

Once the audience pixel is set, you can specify which site you want to advertise for by creating an audience based off of the exact URL you want to use. For example, you can create an audience out of YOURFIRSTWEBSITE.COM visitors and a second out of YOURSECONDWEBSITE.COM visitors.

The audience pixel should be placed between the <head> tags on every page you want tracked (usually this means every page, as you can always get specific later). I promised you that you wouldn’t have to be a programmer to set this up – and you definitely don’t! Here is a simple WordPress plugin called “Header and Footer” that let’s you just paste the code in once and be done with it.

So let’s get started:

  1. Go to your ad manager in Facebook
  2. Click on “audiences” in the left sidebar of your ad manager
  3. Click on the green button at the top of the screen that says “create audience” and select “custom audience” from the dropdown that appears
  4. Select the “website traffic” option and then select the audience to be for “anyone who visits your website”
  5. Name the audience & copy the code
  6. Upload the “Header and Footer” plugin to your wordpress
  7. Paste your “audience pixel” code into the <head> section of the plugin and hit save

That’s it!

Do you want to make more specific audiences than just all traffic to your website? Create another audience by following the steps above (you only have to place the pixel once), but instead of targeting all traffic in step 4, click the dropdown box and choose “people who visit specific web pages” – then paste in the url of the pages you want to target!

If you need more help, follow along with this short tutorial:

The conversion pixel

If you’re advertising for page likes, don’t worry about the conversion pixel. This is used so that Facebook can track off site activity – like someone signing up to your email list.

But if you are using ads to drive people to an email signup page or a sales page, then DEFINITELY use conversion pixels. How your ads perform based on their cost per conversion will be the only real metric you care about.

The conversion is pixel is placed on a specific page on your website and when someone lands on it after seeing or clicking on your ad, Facebook recognizes which ad sent that conversion. It is important to note here that the “conversion pixel” should be placed on the page people are sent to immediately after purchasing. No pixel is needed or should be placed on the page you send people directly to from Facebook.

If you are slightly comfortable with dealing with code, feel free to paste the “conversion pixel” code right in between the <head> tags of the confirmation page. Otherwise, upload the “Facebook Conversion Pixel” plugin into wordpress and then navigate to the post/page edit screen in wordpress and find the box the plugin added where you can paste in your “conversion pixel.”

So how do you create and place your conversion pixel?

  1. Within the ad manager in Facebook, click on “conversion tracking” in the left sidebar
  2. Click on the green button that says “create pixel”
  3. Choose your category of conversion (registration, checkout, lead, etc)
  4. Name your pixel something easily identifiable
  5. Copy the “conversion pixel” code
  6. Paste the conversion pixel on the post/page within wordpress (either manually or by using the plugin) that people will see right after they convert

How do you know everything is working?

Facebook makes it easy by placing a little green dot with the word “verified” next to your pixels when they are up and working. In order for them to register as verified, all you have to do is visit a page where they are placed and then check again in Facebook. As long as someone has visited a page where your pixels are placed within the last 24 hours, they will show as verified when you’re in the pixel section (audience or conversion) of Facebook.

Want to follow along with another short tutorial? Just watch below:

Now that everything is set up, we’re ready to start your first retargeting campaign!

Creating the perfect ad

David Ogilvy quote 1

“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”
― David Ogilvy

You don’t have to be David Ogilvy (legendary ad man and the inspiration for Don Draper) to run successful ads. Even if you have ZERO experience with creating ads, you should have some insight into what exactly speaks to your audience.

You know what websites they might like (and what content on those sites they find appealing), what their fears are, what their biggest problems are, and what some solutions to those problems might be.

How do I know this?

Because we are targeting people who have already been to your website – You obviously did something right the first time to get them to visit!

With this foundation, you have everything you need to start creating ads.

We’re going to focus specifically on newsfeed ads (some people call them “dark posts” because they don’t show up on your actual Facebook page – just other people’s newsfeeds), since they look just like regular Facebook posts and are the simplest place to start.

There are two main parts to each ad – the copy and the ad. Let’s start with the copy.

The copy – You don’t have to be Don Draper

David oglivy 2

When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. – David Ogilvy (CLICK TO TWEET)

Are you more focused on business operations than you are with creative tasks like creating ads? No worries! Being clever is much less important than keeping things simple, intriguing, and to the point.

There are 3 parts to the copy in a newsfeed ad:

  1. The main text that appears above the image
  2. The headline that appears directly below the image and in larger font
  3. The tagline that appears under the headline in smaller font

For the main text portion, try starting with a question that eliminates anybody who wouldn’t convert anyways. This way you eliminate as many clicks that don’t convert as possible (since you will possibly be paying for every click).


  • “Are you always trying to figure out ways to spend less on airfare?”
  • “Do you struggle with email overload and get stressed by all of your unread emails?”
  • “Do you always hear about how effective Facebook ads are but are intimidated to try them yourself?”

The common thread with all of these examples is that if anyone answers the question with a no, they immediately move on and don’t click your ad. This reduces unnecessary traffic and makes everyone who does click much more targeted.

Additionally, try testing different lengths of messaging in your ads. Have some be short and to the point (with just one pain point or benefit mentioned). Try others that are much longer and maybe even use bullet points to articulate more benefits. You won’t be sure what your audience reacts to until you try both.

For the headline, make the benefit people will receive if they click on your link dead simple. Are you looking to collect email signups and are offering an awesome free guide? Spell it out with the headline so it’s impossible to ignore.

The tagline portion is less critical than the main text or the headline, but try diving into a little more detail about what people are getting and tease them with some additional info. This way they feel compelled to at least click the link to learn more about the offer.

If you’re looking for even more knowledge, here are some articles that really dive into the nitty gritty of copywriting for Facebook ads:

Creating awesome ad images – even if you failed to draw inside the lines in Kindergarten

I definitely never won any art awards in elementary school (drawing inside the lines was hard enough) and my art appreciation rarely goes further than saying, “hmmm, that’s nice…”

But you don’t have to be artsy and awesome at design to create ad images that generate a ton of conversions.

While being a great designer can help, if you focus on creating images that stand out, you will still be way ahead of the game. Instead of trying to create an image from scratch using lots of graphics, use an interesting photo of yourself in action with bold text overlaid. Or even just an interesting image of your product where it looks enticing will go a long way towards grabbing your audiences attention.


Just be sure when using text on your images that you follow Facebook’s guidelines of not having more than 20% of the image contain text. You can use Facebook’s free grid tool to see how your ad measures.

Not a wiz at photoshop? Don’t fret. There are lots of great free options and these are three of my favorite:

Starting the campaign (ready, fire, aim)

The only way to learn Facebook ads effectively is to just try it. So start small, watch what is working, and double down on the winners.

Ready to start?

In the left hand sidebar of your ad manager, you might have noticed something called the “power editor.” Now, you don’t HAVE to use it to create your campaign, but I highly encourage it.

The power editor is a little tricky, but once you have it figured out, it lets you add more text to your ads and easily duplicate ads so you can test a bunch of variations at once. Learn more about the power editor and it’s benefits here.

The mechanics of creating a campaign are a little different in the ad manager vs the power editor, but the same strategies work for both.

So not matter what you decide to use, let’s dive in to how to set up your retargeting campaign.

The basic structure

There are three parts to every campaign:

1) The campaign

You will only have one campaign for your first retargeting attempt. Campaign’s are based off of objective – and your objective in retargeting will most likely be conversions (either email signups or direct sales). For our purposes, we will focus on sales, but the mechanics will be the same for either.

2) The ad sets

You might have multiple ad sets, as ad sets are where you set your audience and your bidding. If you want to target more than one audience, you should create an ad set for each.

We will just focus on targeting all website traffic, but you can also try targeting people who have been to your checkout page, but haven’t bought anything.

If this is your first retargeting campaign, choose to only show your ads on the desktop newsfeed. You choose this at the ad set level as well.

Once you see some success on the desktop newsfeed, then expand to mobile and sidebar ads. You will have to tweak your copy and ad images for each different display platform, so it is best to start with one and expand from there if you are stretched on time.

(Helpful note: For the bidding, unless you have an audience of over a few hundred thousand visitors per month, you should bid for clicks. This mean you will pay each time someone clicks on your ad, even if they are just clicking the like button and don’t actually visit your page. You will also want to choose your own bid price and have it be above the maximum Facebook suggests.

You won’t pay this amount as Facebook only charges you the amount it would have taken to win the placement – but you bid more to ensure your initial ads get seen. Once they start to perform well and at a cheaper level than your starting bid, you can lower your maximum and decrease costs further.)

3) The ads

Start with 2 versions of the main text and 2 images. Then create 4 ads by swapping which images get which text and you have a simple A/B test to start your campaign.

Facebook does not currently let you automatically run A/B tests on your ads, as they spend more of your daily budget on the ads that are converting better. However, they do this very early so you are best off to let your ads run long enough to get a decent sample size before you make any decisions. My recommendation is at least 500 impressions, but even better if you can wait until 1,000 impressions before pausing the underperforming ads.

One final note about your ads – Double down on your winners

David Ogilvy 3

“Concentrate your time, your brains, and your advertising money on your successes. Back your winners, and abandon your losers.” ― David Ogilvy (CLICK TO TWEET)

Once you see an ad that is not only having a decent click through rate, but also converting, you can create different versions of it and test them all again to improve upon the best result. Keep repeating this process and your ads will gradually improve over time.

Basic metrics (the scores to beat)

David Ogilvy 4

If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” -David Ogilvy (CLICK TO TWEET)

First, let me say the obligatory, “everything depends on your industry and there are no exact benchmarks to follow.”

However, I hate when reading articles like this myself and not coming away with even general targets, so let me do my best to set some goals for you so you can quickly know if a campaign is working.

The scores to beat:

  • CTR for desktop newsfeed = 1%
  • CTR for mobile = 2%
  • CTR for sidebar = 0.1-0.2 %
  • Cost per email signup: $1-$3 (although if you have done the math on how well your email sales funnel converts, you should know exactly what an email subscriber is worth to you)
  • Cost per sale: Start by aiming for a 2X ROI. This means if you make a profit of $30 on the sale of your product, you should be looking to spend no more than $15 in getting the sale. Ultimately you want a 3X ROI or better.

Resources to learn even more about how to measure the success of your ads:

Next steps – Follow the roadmap

But now you know why you should start with retargeting and exactly how to create your first successful Facebook ad campaign:

  1. You already attracted these people to your site once, so you know what language and images might attract them again
  2. They are much more likely to click on your ads and to buy from you (since they already know your brand) compared to new traffic
  3. A retargeting campaign is the perfect addition to your current organic traffic initiatives as it enhances the work you are already putting in

So are you ready to get started?

For easy access and to recap, below is a checklist of the exact steps you need to take in order to get everything running. Use this checklist when creating your campaign and start turning those visitors that leave your site after one visit into long term customers.

The Facebook retargeting checklist

  1. Place your audience and conversion pixels on your website / pages
  2. Create your campaign based on your conversion objective
  3. Create an ad set based on your site visitors that have not yet converted (exclude existing email lists)
  4. Create your ads
    1. Create two different versions of your copy
    2. Create two different images
    3. Combine copy+images for 4 total ads
  5. Spend $5 per day – If you start seeing success, you can increase your spending later
  6. Optimize for CTR to start (then move to cheapest conversions when you have more data)– aiming for better than the minimum CTR
  7. FB will run the better performing ads more, but they decide early so try to let each ad get to at least 500 impressions before making your decision
  8. Take the best performing ad and create 2-3 new variations of it – rinse, repeat, convert

Want to win free Facebook ad coaching? Comment contest time… (Contest Closed)

The prize: Win one hour of free Facebook ad coaching ($200) to either get you started or to help improve any campaign you are currently running.

cat-mopWhat you need to do: Create the main body text and a headline for a Facebook ad promoting the revolutionary new “cat mop.” It’s the environmentally friendly next generation competitor to the roomba powered by your favorite feline friend.

The best ad copy will be chosen based on what we think would get the most number of people (who might actually buy it) to click on the ad. Take the lessons learned from this article and don’t be afraid to have some fun… let’s get to it!

Comments must comply with the current Facebook design recommendations.

  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Text: 90 characters


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As a special thank you to WPCurve readers, I have also put together a few special bonuses, including a download of the 37 Facebook ads I use as templates when creating my own ad campaigns - get your bonuses here. My goal at is to help business owners by making complex business topics overwhelmingly easy to understand and to implement. I also work directly with clients to improve theirs sales funnel so that they can extract more value from their existing traffic.

89 responses to “The step-by-step Facebook retargeting guide: Get more conversions from your existing traffic”

  1. Great article – summarising in detail what to do and how.

  2. Tony Rulli says:

    Thanks, MJ 🙂 Would love to hear your #1 tip on how you use Facebook ads in your business!

  3. Awesome article, Tony! The only thing I disagree with is the $1-3 score to beat for email signup costs. Not sure we could really put a number on that since there are several different factors that will lead to different CPA’s. A higher number may make sense for a business where a lead is worth a lot more once they’ve ran their numbers.

    For example: if each paying customer is worth $1,000 and you have a 5% lead closing rate, you need to acquire leads at $50 to break even. In this case, even paying $10-15 per lead would be great!

  4. Oh, and in case anyone reading this is looking for the ad manager, you usually can find it on the homepage of Facebook on the left sidebar.

    Here’s a direct link:

  5. Tony Rulli says:

    Very true, Vincent! I tried to mention that people should go ahead and actually do the math, but I know some people who are trying out FB ads might not yet even have a product.

    People should do definitely do the math because with retargeting it is a no brainer if you can get ads to convert at anything less than half of your profit!

    For people without a product though and just starting out, don’t you think $1-3 is a good range to keep people out of trouble? The last thing I want is someone charging ahead and spending hundreds of dollars without some kind of goal for their conversion value 🙂

    Really appreciate you taking the time to give this a deep read!

  6. Nick says:

    Great article Tony! This is going to be super useful.

  7. Awesome resource, Tony. This is going to come in handy for my next Facebook ad campaign!

  8. Great article. Lots of details I wouldn’t have known otherwise. BTW, what size image should be used for these ads? Here’s some ad copy for ya:

    Hate walking barefoot on your own floor because furballs and fuzzbunnies tickle your toes?

    See The Amazing Cat Mop!

  9. Artur Kiulian says:

    Love the contest idea 🙂

    Main text:

    Woah, seems like this can be called… Pussy Cleaner?


    10 reasons your cat is better than vacuum cleaner

  10. Lucie says:

    Tony, this is a fantastic summary. Having worked with agencies previously who’ve handled all of my FB ad implementation for me in response to my strategic direction, I’m now part of a much smaller team and having to delve into the ramifications myself. This is such a useful starting point to demystify the whole process and get started. Huge thanks from a (sort of) newbie FB ad girl.

  11. #dntmb says:

    Gorgeous, fully detail.

    Thanks Tony

  12. Tony Rulli says:

    Thanks so much! Love the name of your site 🙂

  13. Tony Rulli says:

    Love to hear that, Lucie! Like most things, you just have to get started – but there are so many options with FB ads that I know it’s overwhelming. I would definitely suggest trying out retargeting as you can start small and talk to an audience that already knows you. Feel free to reach out if you ever get stuck!

  14. Tony Rulli says:

    Well played… but be careful what you name it. Don’t want to get flagged for a policy violation on your FB ad account 🙂

    I like the headline though. Instead of directly promoting a product, you package it as content which is what FB audiences are looking for. Very nice!

  15. Tony Rulli says:

    1200×628 is the ideal image size for a newsfeed ad (it will be displayed closer to 470 wide). The key is keeping the aspect ratio the same so that it will automatically get resized to the right dimension while maintaining quality.

    Furballs and Fuzzbunnies is a great phrase. Great use of a question to start the ad copy!

  16. Tony Rulli says:

    I appreciate that, Clint. Would love to hear how your first campaign goes!

  17. Clicks Geek says:

    Awesome read! Also, whats pretty cool is the retargerting that Facebook offers now, we have had some complications in the past with services like Adroll. Who knew FB would blow up this much!

  18. Tony Rulli says:

    Adroll and Perfect Audience have a ton of functionality, but a lot of business owners are definitely not comfortable enough to try them out. The great thing with doing it directly in FB is that so many people are somewhat used to it already from just their own personal accounts.

    I agree about not seeing the FB ad explosion coming… but it just gives so much detailed targeting that it’s hard to ignore!

  19. Hey Tony! I had no idea about the pixel. None. Thanks for turning the light on. I would so like to try working on something together. So many of our clients need something like this!

  20. Tony Rulli says:

    Love seeing a friendly face 🙂 FB retargeting is really the first place I would suggest any business test out for their first ad campaign. It removes a lot of the guess work of identifying potential audiences because you’ve already reached them once!

    Feel free to email me or hit me up on twitter @unrulli

  21. Mike says:

    HEADLINE: Mittens earns her keep! (23 char)
    BODY: Exercise the cat. Save on vet bills. Annihilate crumbs. And entertain guests. A-meow-zing! (90 char)


    HEADLINE: Make your vacuum jealous! (25 char)
    BODY: Your floors will glow. Yes, this is for real. No, you’ll never wrap a vacuum cord again. (88 char)

    (oh man, this is fun!)

    HEADLINE: Because the old way sucks (25 char)
    BODY: The purrrrfect solution for self-cleaning floors. So easy to install, the dog could do it! (90 char)

  22. Tony Rulli says:

    Love these, Mike! This is a perfect example of 3 that I would split test as they all convey slightly different things. I’d want to see how my audience responds to each before deciding the next set of ads to test. Cat people love a good cat pun so I feel like a-meow-zing might do well 🙂

  23. Mike says:

    Haha. Thanks, @tonyrulli:disqus. If this is anything like every other business, we’d probably assume the audience is ABC, but it would turn out to be XYZ. I bet this thing would sell amazingly well to the SPENCERS GIFTS crowd. Anybody else entering the contest… definitely explore a gifts angle.

    Actually, don’t. *I* want to win! Lol.

    And while I have your attention, fantastic article. Thank you so much for the 10 hours it (probably) took to write it. Dan’s content is second-to-none and this definitely fits right in!

  24. Tony Rulli says:

    Really appreciate those kind words, Mike! Dan is definitely a machine at putting out insanely great content and has been a big inspiration for me. I’m just trying to keep up 🙂

  25. frenat says:

    Great post Tony! Very helpful info on a confusing topic.

  26. consider yourself followed!

  27. Her Packing List says:

    Just what I needed! I’ve got my pixel installed- now I just need to get my ads posted.

  28. Tony Rulli says:

    Oh yeah! Nice work 🙂 Getting the pixel installed is definitely the first step so you can start collecting visitors. Would love to hear how your ads do when you first get them running!

  29. Tony Rulli says:

    Appreciate that!

  30. Holy detail, Batman! Great job, Tony! Facebook ads in general are very underutilized IMHO. And retargeting is a great secret weapon!

  31. Clotilde Blanchet says:

    Seriously great article thanks !

  32. SocialQuant says:

    Kick butt post Tony.

    We placed the Retargeting pixel 30 days ago for our startup knowing we’d want to start this soon, but haven’t yet. We’ve only got an audience size of 4500 which is weird because our traffic is 4X that, guess it can’t track everybody?

    This was definitely helpful. Working on increasing our onsite conversions first before sending any paid traffic. Not sure if that’s the right decision, but would rather know we’ve got a healthy conversion rate to start with before spending money on driving more traffic.

    Can’t wait to start this. Cheers ~ Mike

  33. Tony Rulli says:

    Definitely agree, Cody. As is obvious by the article, I think FB retargeting should be the first thing any business owner tries. It can be so powerful!

  34. Tony Rulli says:

    Thanks, Clotilde 🙂

  35. Tony Rulli says:

    Great job posting the pixel, Mike. It’s definitely something everyone should do immediately even if they are on the fence – because you’ll want as much data collected as you can when you start.

    Are you using Google Analytics to track your site visitors? I’ve noticed the same difference for some of my clients between FB’s audience and gAnaltyics. No good info about it online so I actually have been going back and forth with FB to figure out why.

    Sounds like your strategy is sounds. If you’re already getting enough traffic to measure and improve conversions, then get them healthy so that when you drive FB traffic you will have a healthy margin to play with. Being able to strictly define the LTV of your customer and your max CAC will make you way ahead of the game!

  36. Dave says:


    Amazing article man. I learned a bunch of things in this article that apply to other non facebook targeting ideas as well. Like the header and footer plugin – I know, I’m a beginner. When I get ready for retargeting, I will be coming back to this post (note to self – copy this article and don’t forget where I put it).

    My question is, I am just launching a new site. I know you said wait until you have 100 visitors or so?, but are there other things to think about so I know when I’m ready to tackle this?

    Retargetting was super confusing to me before, but is now crystal clear. Very much appreciated.

  37. Tony Rulli says:

    So glad you were able to find the article helpful beyond the retargeting focus, Dave!

    If you think you will ever be interested in trying out FB retargeting ads, I say place the FB pixel immediately. What happens if you have a blog post go viral? You’ll be regretting that you can’t track those visitors if you only look to place the pixel after it happens…

    No harm caused by setting up the pixel – even if you don’t plan on advertising for awhile.

  38. Faith Watson says:

    Wow that answer is so useful. Thanks for breaking this down Tony. Now if only you made it easier to enter your contest. I have two cats and am a copywriter so I should be able to come up with something. But now I want to get the pixel on my new site first. I have kept 52 Permission Slips totally barebones so far, on purpose, but I believe Facebook is the next place for me to go and get some attention with ads and your awesome advice. I’ll be back with an entry.

  39. Incredible post, Tony. Well done!

  40. Tony Rulli says:

    You have until the winner is announced – May 26th. Excited to see what you come up with since you’re right in the target demo for the cat mop 🙂

  41. Tony Rulli says:

    Appreciate that, Alex! Thanks for the support 🙂

  42. Faith Watson says:

    Tony I placed my audience pixel on using Header and Footer — I watched your video and wanted you to know the Plug In interface looks diff. than what you have–just a bit, but it’s important because you direct us to put it in the middle sections but it’s actually the first box that now says head section of every page. The middle box is for the home page placement.

    Also: when I look at my site now there is pt> up in the top left corner, something that must have something to do with the header? I don’t know what I’m talking about but I know that didn’t used to be there. I have a really simple free theme…any thoughts on what I did wrong? I assume it’s from the end of script> or /noscript> ??

  43. Tony Rulli says:

    Hi Faith! Thanks for letting everyone know about the updated Header and Footer plugin. Looks like they just updated the config about a week ago. You definitely want to place it in whatever text box let’s it be placed on EVERY page – good catch 🙂

    I just emailed you about the phantom “pt>” with a screenshot and some details – doesn’t seem to be related to the FB plugin.

  44. Karen says:

    Headline: Convert BF into Cat Lover (25 characters)
    Body: BF hates housework & cats? CatMop mops as your cat roams.One more reason for kitty to stay (90 characters)

  45. Tony Rulli says:

    Nice, Karen! Great use of a question and you definitely played up the theme for those cat lovers out there – probably the core audience for the product 🙂

  46. Ryan Zaari says:

    Im assuming the “pt>” is a product of not completely copying and pasting all of the source code from facebook to WP.

  47. Tony Rulli says:

    Good thought, Ryan! I actually dove into Faith’s code thinking the same thing. I think what actually happened though was that the plugin wasn’t playing nicely with another plugin Faith had on the site. The plugin had been recently updated though so reinstalling it fixed the issue… another day in wordpress troubleshooting fun. We almost had to call in the WPCurve cavalry 🙂

  48. Greg Berry says:

    Super helpful. Thanks, Tony!

  49. Tony Rulli says:

    Appreciate that!

  50. Faith Watson says:

    I have two entries. Didn’t go for the environmental angle. Though I will say, the green people love their pets. Both of these have 24/89 char w/spaces. And remember you said have fun.

    This first one pays homage to lolcatz–such a popular site, I wonder if Cat Mop could target that audience on Facebook? B/c retargeting a cleaning supply audience might not work as well with this one (would like *her* to be ital.):

    I Can Haz Floor Nap Now?
    If Cinderella wants to sleep all day in the sun on your filthy floor, let her clean it. Cat Mop!

    Number two is for people like me who love their cats and yet kinda resent them too. Would work with retargeting an audience shopping for cleaning supplies, esp. to clean up pet messes:

    Cats are Naturally Clean
    They must hate to leave their hair, vomit & dingleberries everywhere. Kitty wants Cat Mop.

  51. Aaron Wrixon says:

    Thanks for the article, and to do some fun work for a change. Made me laugh—even if everybody knows cats sit around too much to replace a Roomba. You’d have better luck with a harness you could screw a broom handle into, but I digress.

    Here’s what I’d write for the ad.

    Put your cat to work
    Quiet, convenient, clean and green. No cord, no bags. Cats love Cat Mop—you will too!

  52. Great article thanks for taking the time to put it together, we are wanting to target an audience to come to repeating local market event. As there is no direct metric measurement as to how many people do turn up in response to the add, can you still get a result as conversion objective by sending them to like a page that is setup for the events.

    I have to ask what were you guys actually thinking of when you came up with the cat mop idea must have been a late night and some alcohol involved 🙂

    Here are 3 ideas ( remembering to be having fun with it )

    1st one speaking to benefits and cat owners

    Headline : Its the cats whiskers

    Body ; The new nimble “Cat Mop” just attach your Kitty and you are away, shiny clean floors are here to stay

    2nd speaking to the cat community and environmentally concious

    Headline : Hair we are, all sparkly clean

    Body : Environmentally and feline friendly, the cat mop sensation for every spilt milk occasion

    3rd speaking to the time poor, monied crowd

    Headline : Its The cats meow

    Body : Ditch the bucket and mop the next generation feline powered time saving eco friendly must have for your home

  53. Tony Rulli says:

    Great ad ideas for the Cat Mop, Russell… thanks for participating! No alcohol involved though in the cat mop idea… just punch drunk on too many hours staring at a computer screen full of FB ads 🙂

    To your question, you can set “page likes” as the end objective if that is what you want to accomplish. If you meant website page visits, you could also have the campaign optimized to get as many website clicks as possible and have that be your total objective.

    For a local event, you can also restrict the ad to within a certain # of miles of it’s actual location and then try and show it to many people as possible. That way you are gaining some brand awareness from as many local people as people. However, an “awareness” campaign won’t have the hard stats like optimizing for conversions.

  54. Tony Rulli says:

    Good point about the failings of the cat mop… maybe we didn’t think it through 🙂

  55. Tony Rulli says:

    Love these, Faith! Great use of a cat meme and knowing your audience. Bonus points for the use of dingleberries in an ad 🙂

  56. Tony Rulli says:

    Glad this helped, Greg. Thanks for taking the time give it a read 🙂

  57. Great post Tony

    We have been playing around with retargeting recently but have seen crazy roi (7000-9000%) on campaigns.

    We are using a few “Cialdini” esque triggers but the first test was on a low traffic page of 13 total viewers, with $600 in sales after $0.44 spend. Great results but nothing conclusive (Although its nice to see it work on a low traffic offer)

    So we ran with an ecommerce company for a flash sale. $89 in traffic generation, $14 in retargetting and over $18,750 in sales!

    I’m possibly onto something here but definitely needs more testing!

    I’m looking for high traffic volunteers for some ongoing promotions now, and testing as we speak!

    Retargeting is so under utilised its unreal


  58. Hey Russell

    If you are promoting online for a physical event, bar ticket sales etc its good to have a promotion attached to measure the campaign.
    Perhaps those who have seen the ad are aware of a special offer (Only available to fans of the site etc) and you can measure the response


  59. Try testing retargeting for segmented audiences at different stages of the funnel.
    Use different conversations to ascend your viewers to different sections of your funnel, not just a product viewer to sales page
    Home page viewer to a top of funnel article
    Article reader to middle of funnel
    Middle of funnel to email optin/demo
    Bottom of funnel to a service or offer
    Abandonment to an offer
    Customer to a cross sell offer
    Customer to a testimonial page to leave a review etc

    Seems a lot but its really small efforts and costs when only shown to the correct segments!


  60. SocialQuant says:

    Sorry just saw this and great reply. Yes we’re using Google Analytics and watching it closely for our startup the last 3 months. Thus far 6200 tracked on Facebook compared to 27,200 visitors to our site over the last 30 days. I thought it would be closer to tracking at-least 50% of visitors.

    Have one more page to change and will start running ads in June.

  61. SocialQuant says:

    Makes sense and great tip. Just installed adroll on the site also.

  62. Hey Daniel

    Yes great idea, I am in the process of setting up a mobile phone friendly coupon type promotion that only those who see the ad will be able to respond. I tried it first on a static post but did not have much result but I am going to try it in conjunction with the answer Tony came back to me with and target a very local local campaign Ad and mobile oriented.

  63. Tony Rulli says:

    Thanks for sharing those great results, Daniel! Retargeting is such low hanging fruit when done right – you’re advertising to people that were already attracted to your site previously so they are primed. Would love to hear how you do with even higher traffic 🙂

  64. Tony Rulli says:

    Hi Lucie! Facebook ads definitely make it easy to feel overwhelmed, but starting with retargeting is a great first step as you’re targeting very warm leads. Would love to hear how your ads are going as Facebook is constantly updating their platform so in the long run, we are all (sort of) newbies 🙂

  65. Thanks Tony!
    Yeah its pretty crazy right!? Definitely going to test it more (and marketing nerd< really looking forward to it!)


  66. Mike says:

    So who won?? 🙂

  67. Tony Rulli says:

    Awesome timing, Mike! We should be announcing the winner on twitter today or tomorrow… but you did! You can email me at to schedule our chat 🙂

  68. Tony Rulli says:

    Hi Donna! The winner has been announced and while you didn’t win the contest, your entry was great. Would you still be interested in a free 20 minute coaching call? Feel free to reach out to me at to schedule 🙂

  69. Reaching out for sure, thanks!

  70. Pavel Matvienko says:

    Useful, fun & simple guide on Facebook retargeting. Very good!

  71. Mandeep Singh says:

    How I will add my remarketing facebook pixel code on amazon? I want to show my facebook retargeting ads to only those people who had visited my amazon products before. How I can do that?

  72. Tony Rulli says:

    Hi Mandeep, I’m not sure if that is possible at the moment with FB ads. Here is an article discussing what Amazon allows for 3rd party tracking pixels:

  73. Thomas K says:

    Curious about retargeting and sites that offer multiple products: If Jane bought product #1 from me yesterday, how can I make sure FaceBook retargeting of Jane will only show her ads for products #2 and #3 or whatever other million products I carry (and not show her an ad for product #1 again)?

  74. Tony Rulli says:

    Hi Thomas – If you place an audience pixel on your site, you can exclude the webpage for product #1 from any of your ads. So the ads for products #2 & #3 would have an exclusion set to not show the ads to people who visit product 1’s page. Hope that helps!

  75. Mike says:

    @tonyrulli:disqus – Did you ever select a winner and pay this contest out?

  76. Katrijn Vets says:

    Nice! Thanks for the clear explanation…
    Say you are in Clothing sector – THis means you can easily also retarget e.g. those who only look at shoes, those who only look at pants or e.g. create a custom audience which have only bought shoes before, and then try and have them buy a jacket. Or Is Checkout and homepage still the best pages? It seems like you can also do Dynamic Retargeting as well on Facebook, or doesn’t Facebook allow this?

  77. Sean says:

    Excellent article!
    You said, “You will have to tweak your copy and ad images for each different display platform…” Does this mean I should create different ad sets for each display platform?

  78. toroktomi says:

    After we added Facebook pixel to our website and created custom audiences for further segmentation we saw really great results in engagement and user acquisition costs. Our segmentation is based on:

    Buyer journey stage (visitor, subscriber, customer)

    Interest (what pages did they visit)

    After that we started experimenting with Facebook pixel: we added to our partner’s site (targeting the same audience). In this way we are able to target new, relevant and still engaging audience.

    Our experiments are still running, but in this guide you will find more details on how to set it up:

  79. Sashka Hanna-Rappl says:

    Hi Tony,
    Thanks for the Header and Footer Tip for Retargeting – I’ve been trying to figure this one out for a while now 🙂
    I have a question to the Header and Footer Upload – I got a warning message that this plugin conflicts with Yoast SEO…see visual.

    Do you have any comments to this?

    And another: So I just need a FB Pixel (normal) on my “conversion page” ie the Thank you page and not on every page on my website?

    Thank you very much.

  80. Bill Giam says:

    Hi Tony, I am a IM newbie and would like ur advice is it possible to Retarget a FB ‘Post’? What I mean was is there a way when people clicked on my FB ‘Post’ Ad, I would want them to redirect to my FB page and be cookied to my FB page instead of my other url website.
    Best Regards!

  81. toroktomi says:

    I took it a step further and started experimenting with a more accurate retargeting. I simply segmented our audience according to lifecycle stage (visitors-subscribers-customers). Once a visitor subscribed she will be retargeted on Facebook. It’s like a subscriber nurturing campaign, but on Facebook. I put together a guide on how to set it up:

    Have you tried similar nurturing campaigns on social media?

  82. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of online marketing for all businesses. However, SEO needs vary throughout the stages of business growth. When you add the fact that SEO is ongoing and constantly changing, it makes it hard to determine when it’s time to hire assistance for your business. Even if you’re running on a small budget, it’s important to get help with SEO. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could unintentionally make mistakes that shoot you in the foot.

  83. Ellen says:

    This is really interesting information about retargeting. You were very informative and in-depth in your explanations. Thank you for sharing.

  84. Tony, great detailed post on retargeting, which is great for new customer acquisition!

  85. Great article!!! I need to prepare for a meeting that will discuss this issue and your article touched on all the bases!

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