Related Categories
Related Courses
Free Resources

How to Plug a Leaky Sales Funnel with Facebook Retargeting

Running traffic is exciting.

When you do it right — you acquire customers at breakeven or better…the most important function of your business.

When you turn on the traffic you’ve reached the moment of truth.  Time to find out if your hard work will pay off.

Time to find out if your offer has a pulse.

At Digital Marketer we build (and teach others to build) funnels.

(NOTE:  If you don’t know what I mean by funnel, stop now and read this article by Ryan Deiss.)

We run traffic to a landing page (usually paid traffic) and we make an offer.  Some take that offer, some don’t.  Those that take the first offer are made a second offer — and so on.

It looks like this…

  • X amount of individuals will opt in to the Lead Magnet,
  • X amount will purchase the Tripwire,
  • X amount will purchase the Core Offer,
  • X amount will purchase the Profit Maximizer, etc.

But what if they don’t opt in for the Lead Magnet?

What if they take the Lead Magnet but not the Tripwire?

What if they buy the Tripwire but not the Core Offer?… and so on.

Do we give up there?  Heck no.  🙂

What if you could REMIND them to move to the next step of the funnel?

What if you were able to push 5, 10, or 20% MORE people to the next step of your funnel?

Most marketers are leaving BIG money on the table because they don’t follow up with a prospect after they’ve left their funnel.

But today it’s easier than ever to follow up using ad retargeting.

Here’s what it looks like…


Here’s why this works…

If someone visits your Lead Magnet landing page but never visits the Tripwire sales page — it means they DIDN’T take the Lead Magnet.  Make sense?

Let me say it another way because this concept is critical to understanding this method…

The only way to reach the Tripwire offer is to take the Lead Magnet.  The smart marketer will set up a system to bring that prospect back to the offer they abandoned.

We call that system Funnel Retargeting.

Take a look at the YOU ARE HERE label on the image below — prospects that receive that Facebook ad have visited the Lead Magnet offer page but DID NOT opt in with their email address.


If a prospect visits the Tripwire sales page — you know they took the Lead Magnet.  But if they don’t visit the core offer sales page, an ad is run to those people to remind them to purchase the tripwire (see below).


If someone lands on the core offer sales page (which means they purchased the tripwire) but doesn’t land on the profit maximizer sales page, an ad is run to those people to remind them to purchase the core offer (see below).


If someone lands on the profit maximizer sales page (which means they purchased the core offer) but doesn’t land on the thank you page, an ad is run to those people to remind them to purchase the profit maximizer (see below).


Essentially, we are running 4 different ads to convert people to the next step of the funnel if they happened to have fallen out at any point.

With the help of Facebook Website Custom Audiences we’ve established a system that allows us to set up our funnel retargeting DYNAMICALLY.

What does that mean?

Gone are the days of having to upload the email addresses of everyone who opted in for the lead magnet as a data custom audience…

… and THEN uploading everyone who purchased the tripwire as a separate data custom audience….

…ONLY to have to create an ad in Facebook Power Editor that targeted the opt ins and excluded tripwire purchases (see below):


This method did the job, but it was hardly efficient.  Why? The address that someone uses to log in to Facebook may not be the same email address they opted in or purchased your product with.

Almost half of the email lists that we uploaded weren’t matching to Facebook profiles…. We were losing out on HALF of our retargeting possibilities!

So… how have we systemized the retargeting process via Facebook ads?

It’s all done with Facebook Website Custom Audiences. WCA was released earlier this year and is my favorite Facebook advertising feature.

Website Custom Audiences is a method for running ads to people who have visited your website and/or specific pages on your site.

Why is this so cool?

We can tell Facebook that we want an audience of people who have hit one page, but exclude those who have proceeded to another — therefore ONLY running an ad to the people who didn’t make it to the next step.

The best part… it’s dynamic and it happens in real time. So, if someone does go back and purchases the tripwire then they’re removed from that audience.

You can set these retargeting ads up and they run totally on their own, no more uploading email lists everyday.

To set up Website Custom Audiences, go to your ad manager and click “Audiences” in the left hand menu and then “Create Audience” and “Custom Audience” in the right hand corner.


A lightbox will appear, select “Custom Audience from Your Website”.


From here, Facebook will prompt you to install a pixel on your website.  A “pixel” is just a fancy word for a piece of code.

Don’t freak out.

Depending on how your site/web pages are built this installation will be different, but keep in mind all you need is to install the code into your header template.

This will ensure that the code is placed on ALL pages of your site. If you only have a few pages, it’s fine to manually install the code on each. Either way, a quick search on YouTube and Google will reveal a ton of resources and tutorials showing you how to install this code.

After the code is installed, it’s time to start creating your retargeting audiences.

We will use the second retargeting ad as an example, the ad that will encourage those who have opted in to purchase your tripwire (see below).


I’m going to use our 212 Blog Post Ideas funnel as an example.

These individuals would have opted in on this page (Lead Magnet Landing Page):

And therefore would have landed on this page next (Tripwire Sales Page):

If they purchased the Tripwire, they would have then landed on this page (Core Offer Sales Page):

This example will show how to target people who didn’t purchase the tripwire:


The image above shows how we create the audience for people who have not purchased the tripwire.

I use the naming convention of “Funnel Name – _________ Retargeting” — but you can name the audiences whatever you choose.

You’ll notice that we then selected “People who visit specific web pages but not others”. This is the beauty of WCA — it’s going to populate this for us dynamically!

Then, we copy only the portion of the URL that follows the .com, .net, .org, etc.  In this case we INCLUDE this page:


And EXCLUDE this page:


Facebook will let you keep the audiences for up to 180 days, so I usually select that time period, but you can create a variety of audiences (3 days, 7 days, 1 month, etc.) to get even more relevant with your retargeting.

Once you hit “Create Audience” you’ll see your audience in the dashboard.

Be aware, it may take a bit of time for your audience to begin to populate depending on your traffic volume. You need 20+ people to visit the specified pages before Facebook will begin building the audience.

From here, it’s time to set up the ad.

You can do so by clicking “Create Ad” next to the audience you want to target:


With retargeting ads, I usually optimize the campaign for clicks and also bid for clicks. This is because the audience sizes are usually smaller than a normal ad campaign and I find that optimization and bidding tactic more effective.

When creating the actual retargeting ad, no matter which step of the funnel you’re on, it’s important to maintain consistency.

For example, the individual may have come into the funnel from an ad to the lead magnet landing page that looks like this:


The retargeting ad they’ll see to encourage them to purchase the tripwire will look like this:


You’ll notice that the ads are VERY SIMILAR. You want to catch their attention by showing them something that they’re familiar with, but create a bit of variation so they don’t think it’s the same ad.

You’ll also notice that second ad says “1000 Blog Subscribers” –- this is because the tripwire teaches you how to get your first 1,000 blog subscribers.

The most important thing to keep in mind is the copy. We use “Did life get in the way? You forgot to take advantage of this deal?”.

This is the SAME COPY we use for EVERY retargeting ad. It saves you from writing a ton of copy and it is always applicable.

It also assumes that they didn’t say ‘NO’ the first time and there is an important psychological principal at play here.

The words ‘Did life get in the way’ and ‘You forgot…’  give the prospect a reason to reconsider the offer.  Because if they said “NO” to the offer — you’re asking the prospect to admit they were wrong the first time — and that isn’t easy.  With this ad — we assume they didn’t have their credit card last time, their children distracted them, they went to dinner and forgot, etc.

Here’s another example from a different funnel. This first ad is asking them to opt in for our Social Media Headline Swipe File:


The ad that we run to encourage people who opted in but didn’t buy the tripwire looks like this:


Take note that we used the SAME copy as we did for the 212 Blog Post retargeting ad…. “Did life get in the way? You forgot to take advantage of this deal?

Also, keep in mind that the first ad said “Steal Our Swipe File”. This ad says “Want More Social Traffic?” but looks VERY similar. The second ad says “Want More Social Traffic” because the tripwire is about increasing your social traffic using promoted posts.

By using Facebook Website Custom Audiences and the steps I outlined above, you can DYNAMICALLY retarget and move people step by step through your funnel.

These people may have never moved from subscriber, to customer, to another purchase, and possibly another if you weren’t able to remind them of your offer.

This process is easy to set up and is virtually maintenance free. Don’t leave money on the table, set these ads up today.

Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer stands behind its tagline, "It's Just Smarter", due to its frequent and widely focused delivery of tactical, test-based information and online optimization best practices, designed to show readers what's truly working and what isn't within online marketing.

Subscribe to the DM Insider Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter that delivers the most actionable, tactical, and timely marketing tips you actually need in 7 minutes or less. Get an edge over the competition, for free.