How many times has a customer made it part way through your sales funnel, only to bail right when you’re about to make a conversion? Probably more times than you can count! And the holidays in particular bring in a lot of idle browsers and abandoned shopping carts. 

But what if there was more you could do than just let those lost customers slip through your fingers?

If you’re not marketing on Facebook, you probably should be. Facebook advertisements reach a wide audience, and they do a great job at turning browsers into fans. And by using retargeting tactics, you can get another shot at going through with a dropped sale.

Ready to turn those failed conversions into loyal customers? We’ll teach you all about Facebook retargeting campaigns so you can make the most of your traffic this holiday season.

What is Retargeting?

96% of your site’s visitors aren’t ready to buy. A vast majority of your visitors are simply looking around and lose interest after a page or two, but others get further into the sales funnel — even getting all the way to checkout — before deciding to drop out.

Some of that 96% is simply not interested and never will be, though a fair amount could be convinced to return and have another look, or even finish the purchase they started. But many sellers never make that suggestion, and they lose a customer forever.

Retargeted advertising pushes personalized ads to those key users. Normal ads serve as an introduction to your brand, but retargeted advertisements are specialized for those who have already engaged with you. And it’s pretty effective at its job.

How to Create a Retargeting Campaign with Facebook Dynamic Ads

To run an ad campaign on Facebook, you’ll first need to create a Facebook business account and add the Facebook pixel to your website. This is the web beacon that allows you to track users by their habits and send specialized ads to them.

With a business account set up, you’ll be able to create a dynamic ad to retarget customers. You can do this by going to your ad creation page and, while following the setup process, select “Use info from your pixel or app to create a retargeting audience” in the Audience section.

From there, you can choose to target people who viewed products or added them to their cart without purchasing, or upsell/cross-sell to those who visited a certain product page. You can also create your own combination of user actions,or target a custom audience.

Planning a Holiday Retargeting Campaign

Get your graphics made up and be ready to reel in those abandoned carts. A Facebook holiday retargeting campaign has the potential to turn the huge number of lost shoppers into faithful customers. Here are some tactics to consider as you draft up a remarketing plan.

1. Think Like a Customer

First step: Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and click through your site, thinking about what might turn people away. Why did they fail to complete the sale, and what could you do to bring them back?

  • Something about your website’s design may be turning them off, or it may be slow and difficult to navigate.
  • Your prices are too high, or other stores have better prices.
  • They left to check competitors’ prices.
  • They couldn’t find the product they wanted, or they didn’t like what they saw/it wasn’t relevant to them.
  • Shipping wasn’t free or was too expensive.
  • They lost interest or got distracted.

There are many reasons people decide to walk away, but you can sometimes guess by the pages they visit. A customer who left on a category page may not have been able to find what they want, while one who leaves a product page may have disliked the price. If they abandoned their cart, perhaps prices were too high or they got distracted.

Target your ad campaign to users who visit certain pages based on what might have driven them away.

2. Offer Incentives

Whatever reason someone decided not to purchase, one thing is for certain: They didn’t like your offer. You need to up the stakes and give them something of value to convince them to return.

That can be as simple as a discount site-wide or on the product they were viewing, an offer of free shipping, or the inclusion of an extra item if they make the sale. Throw something in to make your pitch more valuable to them.

This is especially important during the holidays, a highly competitive time where every store is knocking their prices down with huge discounts. You’re going to need a big incentive to convince them once they’ve left.

3. Specialize Based on Interest Level

The ads you serve to someone who almost completed checkout and someone who didn’t make it past your homepage should be very different. Always segment your advertising. 

Pay special attention to abandoned carts. 74.5% of carts were abandoned during Black Friday 2017, so a big part of your campaign should be focused on drawing them back in. You might have to throw in some big incentives to get them back, but it’s worth it to guarantee that sale.

You can also retarget past customers and fans of your Facebook page in the months leading up to your promotion.

4. Timing is Key

Holiday periods are hectic, and good timing is essential. During active holiday sales, you’ll probably want to show retargeting ads as soon as possible. You can space it out a few days to avoid annoying the user, but wait too long and they’ll have bought their presents somewhere else.

Between large promotions, adopt a more relaxed retargeting strategy, waiting 24 hours, a week, or even a month after their visit. For instance, if someone failed to buy during Black Friday weekend, they may still be willing to return come time for Christmas shopping.

And don’t make the mistake of not retargeting past customers once your promotions are over. The holidays bring in many one-time purchasers, but a well-timed remarketing campaign can capture their interest and bring them back for good.

The most important thing to remember is don’t overdo it. Being too persistent can actually damage your brand image and permanently turn someone away.

5. Make it Relevant

People respond best to ads that are relevant, targeting them based on actions they took. Show them the products they were looking at, or cross-sell similar items. If they were reading your holiday gift guide, advertise another holiday article or an item from that guide. Target category pages and pitch something from there.

Your ads don’t always have to be immediately and obviously relevant, but base it on their browsing and visit history. Once they’ve shown interest, you can capitalize on it to bring what they care about to them.

Use Strategic Retargeting to Recover Lost Sales

Even during the hectic holiday months, it can be discouraging seeing so many people just browsing and leaving. But don’t see this as a failure — see it as an opportunity.

It’s impossible to get everyone to purchase from your store, and inevitably there’s going to be people who don’t engage, or decide not to buy. But if even a fraction of those people are convinced by your retargeting campaign, you’ve made a huge victory.

Many stores don’t bother trying to win people back at all, and never follow up on a lost sale. Don’t be like them. This holiday season, take steps to create a retargeting campaign and turn the masses of disinterested seasonal browsers into loyal, long-term customers.