#35 – Facebook Retargeting For Growth And Profit

What you will learn

  • How to get cheap and engaged traffic with Facebook retargeting
  • When to start Facebook retargeting on your site
  • Our step by step process for launching retargeting
  • How to expand retargeting with lookalike audiences to grow cold traffic

Facebook retargeting is in it’s golden phase right now. Still relatively undiscovered and therefore cheap, it can really help you to grow your site and your sales.

Today we’re going to show you when and how to start using Facebook retargeting. We’ll also cover the lookalike audiences feature and how you can use this to grow your cold traffic too.

Full Transcript

Welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast, the place to learn field tested, no BS tactics to grow hack your online business, and finally, live life on your own terms. Now, your hosts, Gael and Mark.

Gael: Hey guys, welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about using Facebook ads and especially Facebook retargeting to boost your growth. In today’s episode Mark is here as well. How is it going Mark?

Mark: Hey, going good.

Gael: Cool, so let’s be honest with the audience here, this is something I have done a lot more than you, so I am probably going to talk most of the podcast.

Mark: I think a lot more is an exaggeration, I have never done this before. I have never done any Facebook retargeting before.

Gael: But I think it’s good, because I am going to be explaining stuff, and if it’s not newbie friendly you’ll be able to ask a question.

Mark: I am going to be asking a lot of questions, that’s for sure, yeah.

Gael: Alright, I think that’s good actually. I’ve done that quite extensively, and there is a pretty cool stuff that I wanted to share with you guys. And unlike some other podcasts, I’ve been listening about Facebook ads, this is going to be very actionable, we’re going to tell you exactly what you can do, and which tools we use to do this things. But before that, let’s start with the very basics. What is retargeting, what do you know about retargeting Mark?

Mark: So basically, you can somehow- like cookie user who has been to your site or clicked on a link or something like that, and anyone who has that cookie on their computer you are able to serve ads to them, somehow.

Gael: Yeah, essentially, clicking on the link, you can do that with some link shorteners, something like click meter will allow you to put cookies on people clicking links, which is quite interesting because you can retarget on the emails as well, you can actually put the cookie on an email and if someone opens the email you can retarget these people.

Mark: Is that because the imaging in the email that has the cookie?

Gael: Yeah, essentially it’s one by one pixel or something. And so, as long as you can put images somewhere, you can inject the code and Javascript, you can retarget someone whether it’s on your website or on someone else’s website. Or anywhere where people let you do that. And you could, with a link, if you use a specific link shortener, like click meter does it, and it’s pretty powerful because it allows you to have a very narrow audience and I think that is one of the reasons why reatrgeting is very good. First of all the audience is really narrow, when you do targeting on Facebook you often end up with half a million to ten million people in your audience is very broad. It’s the truth that has always existed in marketing, it’s like 80% of the money you spend id wasted, you just need to figure out which 80% it is. And, retargeting essentially reduces the waste and that’s why it’s so powerful and it usually has a very high retail investment, even if you are not a pay traffic guru, I am not a cold traffic guru at all, it’s like I have made very few cold traffic campaigns work, I’m way more of an inbound guy, and I make retargeting work very frequently. In our last launch for Authority Hacker pro just to get some numbers on the retargeting campaign, we spent 370 dollars on retargeting, and we made over 15,000 dollars of sales from this 370 dollars. So, that’s a pretty good return investment for someone who is definitely not a cold traffic/ppc expert. I have spent less than maybe 200K on pay traffic in my life.

Mark: So would you say retargeting is like the low the hanging fruit, the first thing you should do when you are going for a paid advertizing?

Gael: Well, it is if you have people to retarget. And so that is the thing, a lot of people that build authority sites they are growing their organic traffic, they are growing their social media traffic, they are building their SEO, they are building traffic, they are doing all these things to grow their sites. And, it’s hard to grow this organic traffic, right, it’s a lot of work etc. And, when you reach a certain point, when you get like a couple of hundreds of visits per day then launching some retargeting is usually a better use of your time than building more organic traffic because it’s so difficult, whereas with retargeting with even five or ten bucks a day, you can start getting result for the money you spent rather than if you spent it in buying more content, or building links or anything that is creating your organic traffic. It’s hard, I am getting to the point where I really see this balance it usually would be around maybe like 200, 300 visitors per day I would say, that is when I would definitely start playing with retargeting, to achieve whatever goal, and we are going to talk about a bunch of goals. And historically, retargeting has been quite complicated to set up, so initially it was just AdWords, and AdWords is really not user friendly, they are releasing a new interface and I’m quite curious to check it out; historically, AdWords has been expensive, more expensive than Facebook for sure, it’s been quite complicated to setup although it is very powerful because it plugs into your Google analytics, and so you are allowed to take any metrics in the analytics and retarget people based on that. Which is quite powerful. But, Facebook ads came in and implemented retargeting something like two or three years ago so it’s definitely no brand new. And, essentially it’s very easy to use, it’s very easy to launch, it’s much easier, and most importantly, it’s much cheaper, you can get clicks for pennies, what you would pay dollars on AdWords.

Mark: Why is it so much cheaper?

Gael: First of all, I guess it’s just there is less competition on Facebook per person, there is less ads, when you do retargeting you’re doing it an AdWords which is a much older platform so a lot of people have established campaigns, unlike Facebook, Facebook sees [06:02 inaudible] coming a lot faster than AdWords would, therefore the number of advertisers that want to show their ads on AdWords is always much higher than on Facebook, usually. For now. At time at which we’re recording this podcast, the market will even out, eventually but it’s just because the platform is less old. And I think, Google takes more money as well, than Facebook does. So, for now, it’s definitely much cheaper to retarget on Facebook.

So if you put all of that together, that is pretty exciting to actually grow your stuff, and what I like as well is that Facebook has this option called look alike audiences, and lookalike audiences is essentially, when you do Facebook ads you have this conversion pixel, on your thank you page. Let’s imagine that I’m doing a retargeting campaign for Authority Hacker pro which is our training program and essentially, I have a pixel on our thank you page that says to Facebook hey, that person bought right. So Facebook can tell which type of people bought and which type of people didn’t. And when you have a hundred conversions in a given country, you have the option to say hey Facebook, look at these hundreds conversions we got, can you find more people like these people, and it does, it actually creates that audience, where it’s finding people that haven’t visited your site in that case, or some of them might, but very few, and it creates the 1% of the population of that country, it creates an audience of the 1% of the population of that country that matches the most the audience that actually converted for you. And if you cross that with-

Mark: When you say match, you mean like demographically and things they like and-

Gael: Facebook has depending on how complete the profile is, depending on a bunch of things it’s going to vary but it’s going to take the 1% that matches the most with the people that converted. And so that is a good way to expand to cold traffic, that is a smart way to expand to cold traffic and usually you don’t just use this lookalike audience, you actually combine it with the interest, so for example, for us, that would be like people who bought Authority Hacker pro that are also fans of [08:07 inaudible] for example, like someone big in our niche and that would give me maybe like 50, 60 thousand people that are quite likely to be buyers, and these people, and I’ll talk about that later, but essentially these people I would start advertising my blog post to them to just introduce them to the brand.

So, retargeting is the starting point to all of that, right, which is kind of cool. And, as an added bonus, on any Facebook you do, you have this like button on the ad, right, so you tend to get a bunch of likes as you run these campaigns, and so that grows your Facebook page which in turn grows your social proof, it grows your organic reach, it gives you- your blog post you share on that page more likes, which makes them look more popular which inspires people to share, and it’s kind of like a nice little circle.

Mark: Are those, when someone clicks ‘like’ on one of your retargeting ads do you pay for that or is it just when they click on the actual ad?

Gael: Yeah, it’s kind of like free engagement thing, it’s free basically, it’s like you pay per thousand impressions anyway. So, whatever people do with your impressions, it’s up to them, but that’s why you are optimizing to lower your cost per click, cost per acquisition etc, and essentially it is just getting more people out of a thousand people that view your ad to take action.

So, that is pretty cool. Now, let’s talk a little bit about the setup that we’re using, which is not cost money, and it’s paid traffic anyway so it will cost money, but it’s not very expensive, the setup is you need two tools; first of all, we use AdEspresso to manage our ads, we don’t use the Facebook power editor, and the reason why I like it is because it plugs into the second tool which is active campaign, our email list. A lot of the business that we run is run through email, people need to opt in at some point, and so AdEspresso has this API integration that allows you to say, hey, people who have this tag should go in this audience on Facebook and people who have this tag should go in this other audience etc. It allows you to use the power of active campaign automations to essentially build your Facebook audiences. And I am going to give a bunch of examples, before example, if someone didn’t open our emails for 30 days then they get tag like disengaged and then they gain to a re-engagement sequence, and because that tag is edited, it also allows me to put them into a specific audience on Facebook, and show them different ads for example, right? So, these two things together are actually quite powerful and you can use the power of active campaign and of the crazy Marketing automation allows you to do, to also match the Facebook ads to whatever automation people are in, essentially it’s an extension of email. Does it make sense so far?

Mark: Sort of.

Gael: Okay, and now, I am going to talk about real life examples, right, I am going to talk about things you can do, and how they work so that it gives a more descriptive version of things. And I would say like when you reach this treshold which I say is around 200, 300 visitors per day on your site, what I would probably do is I would set up my default campaign. And that is the campaign that is going to be defaulting to people if I have no more targeted campaigns to show them in the future which I’m going to build in the future, but I’m just going to build my default one for Health Ambition that would be probably like seven tips to live ten years longer, for example, some kind of opt in, then probably would sell our 30 days to better life product that we sell on Health Ambition, and so I would retarget people most likely with an opt in page. So, I would take my Thrive landing pages, I would build a quick opt in page, I would have an image of the ebook, the pdf people can download, and essentially, if you have visited our site and you are not in our email list, because I can track the conversion on Facebook, then I would show you the ad that says hey, click here to download this free ebook, right, and people would land on the opt in page and join our list, and hopefully I’ll have some sale sequence that follows that, and that can be a very cheap way to grow your email list and basically get people.

And, to talk about someone that uses that, they don’t use it for a lead magnet, it’s Neil Patel uses it for his evergreen webinar on his website, he actually has an ad that follows you if you read the blog, and it says hey, come in and watch the webinar, and on the webinar he makes a sale and he has a sale sequence that is tied to that, that also works with for example an evergreen launch, like we have one live on Authority Hacker right now and one live on Health Ambition, the evergreen launch you can set up with the new thrive ultimatum plugin, and it works really well, it just allows you to say hey download this free lead magnet, then people download the lead magnet and essentially they enter the evergreen launch where they have like seven days to buy the product and you are going to be emailing them but at the same time, you have been catching them with the ads because they did an opt in on your site initially.

Mark: So basically, it’s just people who came to your site for a piece of content, and didn’t stay long enough to opt in for something.

Gael: Or did not see it or whatever, so many people have so many reasons, like the browser was buggy and didn’t show the pop up, or they didn’t reach the end of the content, they didn’t see the upgrade, all this people you can catch back and you can usually get opt ins for less than a dollar, doing that. I think we’re down to like 0.4 dollars when we were promoting webinar, that is very cheap, especially in some of the niches in which we are, it’s pretty easy to make a profit on that cost.

Mark: I see this a lot, whenever I visit Indiegogo as well, every popular campaign seems to follow me around Facebook as well.

Gael: Yeah. Essentially it’s like hey, you didn’t take action, go and check out,t hat is the default campaign, you should at least have one for your entire site, and then you will refine the strategy later, when you get to higher levels of traffic, when you have more offers to promote, that kind of stuff.

Mark: How do allocate a budget to it?

Gael: Well, to be frank, if you want to be scientific, you should look at how much you make per email from the people that actually opt in on your site, so like you look at how much money you made and how many emails you collected essentially, and you divide it, and let’s say you make 1.2 dollars per email, over two or three months, whatever it is, and then you just set that limit and you can see your cost per conversion on Facebook and essentially you keep tweaking your campaign until you get under that number.

Mark: And, do you find the amount of money you make from retargeting emails is usually similar to regular emails sign up?

Gael: To be honest, I haven’t tracked it yet. But right now, I’m just assuming it’s going to be the same and when you’re running these campaigns there is a mix of both so it’s kind of averaged.

So, I haven’t been tracking specifically retargeting emails, I know I need to do that, that’s going to be the next step, but because we have some campaigns that are like so profitable, they kind of, even if some of them are losing a tiny bit of money, would take a hundred years to actually make up for the profit you’ve made before it. So, it’s like pretty profitable venture, I’m not going to lie that we’ve tracked and we’ve noticed that 30% or whatever, no, we haven’t done that yet, but maybe in the next podcast. So, once you have your kind of like initial micro funnel, really, it’s a micro funnel, it’s just the opt in you have on your site that then puts people in the exact same sales funnel, so it’s just one page to build.

Once you have that, then that’s when you can start being a little bit more granular, the same way we do it with opt in pop-ups, it’s like when we launch a site, there is one opt in pop across the whole site, then when a category grows and gets a bunch of traffic then we’re like okay, if we actually make a specific opt in pop up for that page, it’s probably going to get usually triples of quadruples the opt in, right? Well, the same is true for retargeting. Essentially, it’s the exact same principle, so what you can do is instead of targeting your whole site, you can target a specific category and the way you do that on Facebook is you can choose specific rules that are in the url, so for example, on the Health Ambition retargeting, if there is juice or juicing in the email, you are in the juicing list and you get different ads.

Another thing I wanted to say for the default campaign is when we target people with the opt in usually for 14 to 45 days, if you have been seen the ads for up to 45 days, they haven’t opted in, I mean, they are probably not a very warm lead, so you might as well stop, but what we do is we are going to release a blog post that is of quality, then we retarget these people for up to six month actually, that gives them the occasion to keep engaging with the site that gives us more social signals when we do our reach for link building, it looks better, etc, and eventually, they might be opting in when they click through to the link, so that is what we do with the generic one.

Now, let’s go back to the specific one about the categories, that one is especially powerful with tripwire funnels, on niche affiliate offers. So if I take the example of juicing, there is one offer that works very well on juicing right now, it’s by Drew Canole, which we don’t promote right now but which we could definitely promote that affiliate offer by probably putting our free juicing opt in and just having a follow up that promotes the offer. Or in our case, we actually promote our juicing ebook. And we retarget the people that are not subscribers, once again, with that niche lead magnet we also retarget the people that opted in with the sales page. So, once you are in the sales funnel, what you can do is well, it’s like even though you have their email, it’s like it’s not guaranteed they will open and click their emails, however, you can also show them the sales page, on their Facebook feed, if you have enough people on your sales funnel. And, usually, you want to retarget people with your sales pages for as long as you are emailing about the offer, so if you are emailing for two weeks or for three weeks and that’s how long you want to be ratergeting as well, right.

And, what I like as well, is to actually put people into these more niche thing, so if like we want to put people in the juicing category on Health Ambition, if we want to put people, we have the affiliate group there on Authority Hacker, then what we like to do is actually creating in our auto-responder, I like to have after people have had the welcome sequence, they would be like what’s going on, where are we about- then we have a best of post sequence that is emailed every Friday, that essentially sends an email about an old blog post every Friday to people. And, what that does, is it gets people to even if they didn’t opt in the juicing category let’s say they opted in on apple cider vinegar video post for example. Then, I still email them like juicing for weight loss as a blog post and then when they click, they have the opportunity to actually download the lead magnet and enter the niche sales sequence. So, you can kind of like redistribute your entire list to all these micro funnels by having the best of sequence after people opt in and just emailing them a blog post or two every week, and so they have the opportunity to click and actually join them. Does it make sense?

Mark: Yes.

Gael: Cool, so that is essentially how we use the specific one, right. Now, that is how you essentially deal with cold traffic, but there is more that that; if you are going to be making sales, you need to also retarget your email subscribers a little bit differently, so as I said earlier, another automation that we use for example is people who don’t open their emails anymore, so if you don’t open the emails, for 30 days on Authority Hacker, by the way open them if you want to keep receiving them, essentially you get into a re-engagement sequence for a week where we like say what’s up, and if you still haven’t opened any emails you get unsubsrcibed. You’re just out of our email list, you won’t receive emails anymore and that helps us increase our open rate, click through rate, and get higher deliverability for the people that actually care about what we’re emailing.

And so, you send people all these emails to remind them to open your emails and show them some cool content etc, but you can also, with active campaign you can actually put this tracking code on your site and it tags people as active again when they visit your site as well not just when they open your emails, and so you can retarget people essentially with blog posts, you can say hey on Monday show them this, on Tuesday show them this, not exactly on Monday because you can’t do that on Facebook but you can say on day one show that, day two show that etc. So you can retarget people with your best blog post, when they are into this re-engagement sequence and if they click, they are retaged as active and they are back to your- they won’t be unsubscribed, because they seem to be engaging with your brand again. Or you can also retarget people with a link to update their email address, That is another opportunity. Does it make sense?

Mark: Yes.

Gael: Cool. Another thing you can do, with your email subscribers is you can take the very engaged people, the people that visit your site two or three times in a week for example, and for that you actually need a higher level of active campaign to have the contacts scoring, and you can essentially put sales in front of them, so imagine someone just discovered us and is reading three of our blog posts, they read one on Monday, they read one on Wednesday, and they read one on Thursday, well, from the point they read the third blog post, within seven days. I know they are super hot, right, so I can be like hey, authority hacker pro is closed right now. I’m going to let you in for whatever price this is for the next 24 hours. Click here to learn more. And then only this people will see this ad and because I know they are super warm they could actually be joining in and I don’t have to wait until the launch so that people actually are super, like people don’t get cold, they actually buy when they want. And so that is a pretty powerful way to retarget your email subscribers, as well.

And, finally, let’s talk about lookalike audiences actually. So once you’ve done all this stuff, which is essentially the stuff we use for retargeting, you can start doing your lookalike audiences. So what I recommend is that you don’t start this until you are actually making sales. So I recommend you make 100 sales of a product inside the specific country, so 100 sales of our ebook in the US for example, then you can create the look alike audience, and start promoting your blog post that get the highest opt in rate to this lookalike audiences.

Mark: Just a question- you are waiting for a hundred sales, is that to make the lookalike audience more accurate?

Gael: No, you cannot make it if you don’t have a 100 points of data.

Mark: Okay, it’s a limitation, I see.

Gael: Yeah, it wouldn’t be accurate, and even at a 100, it’s low accuracy. Like the more sales you make the more accurate it gets. So, That’s why you need to regenerate it regularly, it doesn’t do that automatically actually. Essentially you make your hundred sales through your classic retargeting, promoting of your email list, whatever it is and it needs to be within the last six months as well, after that it expires. and then you make a lookalike audience and then you start putting, we use thrive leads for that, and we see the opt in rate on each blog post, right. So you look at the blog post opt in rate and you are like ok, this blog post and this blog post gets the highest opt in rate, let’s open up to cold traffic and what you do is you take this lookalike audience, and you cross it with interest, right, if you just take the lookalike audience, you’re still going to be pretty broad it’s like in the US that’s like 1.2 million people I think. But if you cross it with if we are in juicing that’s going to be like Drew Canole who is like the big guy in juicing, basically we’ll cross it with big sites in the niche and that’s going to give us much more audience, that’s going to give us an audience between 50 thousand and 200 thousand people that are demographically similar to the people that bought the product and that are also liking the topic. And these are great people to actually promote your blog post to for engagement and then when they click to the link they get to your retargeting campaign as well etc etc so they essentially enter the funnel and that’s how you introduce cold traffic and you scale up with lookalike audiences.

Another thing I would also recommend is that you make a lookalike audience for the people that are disengaged, the people that stopped opening your emails, you can do negative audiences as well right, so you can say show it to this people but anyone that matches this criteria please don’t show my ads. So people that stopped opening your emails disengaged etc, they probably have some similar criteria as well whether it’s income, place where they live, whatever it is, and, you can make lookalike audience, and make them negative audience when you’re doing cold traffic and that removes a lot of people that will have the tendency to engage at the beginning and then stop engaging.

Mark: Do you do that for all of your Facebook ad campaigns?

Gael: When you get to actually promoting to cold traffics or look alike audiences, yeah, because by the time you’ve made a 100 sales you have a bunch of people that were disengaged already. And so usually you have that data, it’s pretty easy because you have a 100 people disengage if you made a 100 sales. That’s for sure. And so yeah, that allows you to improve the accuracy of your audience even more and that’s what you really want. And now there’s actually a new option in Facebook that allows you to cross two interests, so I could say target people who like Pat Flynn and Digital Marketer, and match this lookalike audience, that is going to be much smaller audience but these people are like the hard core blog readers. And these are the great people you want to target and that’s how you reduce your cost per lead cost per sale and essentially, make cold traffic work.

I’m going to be completing here, that was a long talk. People like these episodes packed with heavy information, so here you go guys, so the conclusion is well, Facebook ads do cost money, especially more than writing your own content but if you are outsourcing a bunch of stuff it actually makes sense to start investing in it pretty early, even if it’s five or ten or twenty bucks a day you can get much better results than investing five or ten bucks a day in content, when you already have it rolling, when you already have traffic. So, that is what I recommend, basically, grand your inbound, then start with retargeting, then expand to cold traffic, using the inbound you’ve built, and by the way, the social proof you get from the page likes is also great and all your blog posts will get more social signals which should help with the bunch of stuff, and overall, I think that’s why, it’s like we started full inbound, full SEO, and now we are kind of going like with the mix range we’re most of the paid marketers they buy the cold traffic then they do inbound to engage them, we do inbound for cold traffic then we use retargeting to engage that, that’s a little bit of a reversed model, but it is much more cost efficient than buying cold traffic right away. So, any questions?

Mark: Yes, just to clarify, you said after it gets about 200 visitors a day that’s the point you start looking at this.

Gael: Yeah, 200, 300, visitors per day. Before that you should probably just grind your inbound marketing.

Cool, well that was a long monologue guys, thanks for joining, thanks for listening, and remember, if you want one of our free trainings on affiliate marketing, you can go on authorityhacker.com/bonus and all you have to do is review us on iTunes, and you get a free 1+ hour training on affiliate marketing for that, so for everyone that review this thank you very much, I see the reviews are growing, so it’s going well, and thanks for listening, we’ll see you guys the next episode, bye.

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