Facebook Ads : 5 Facebook remarketing strategies

Episode 7

Facebook Ads : 5 Facebook remarketing strategies

My name is Antoine Gagné and I’m very happy that you joined us today for a new episode of Social Selling.

If you’re an online business and you’re advertising on Facebook, I’m sure that you saw way better results with your remarketing efforts than with your cold audiences campaigns.

People who already have shown an interest in your brand are easier to convert than complete strangers.

Now, what kind of remarketing campaigns can you do for your company? It’s a question that a lot of people ask.

For that reason, we decided to explain to you today our 5 best remarketing campaigns.



(Antoine) My name is Antoine Gagné and I’m very happy that you [are joining] us today for a new episode of Social Selling. 

If you're an online business and you're advertising on Facebook, I'm sure that you saw way better results with your remarketing efforts than with your cold audience campaigns. People who already have shown an interest in your brand are easier to convert than complete strangers.

Now, what kind of remarketing campaigns can you do for your company? It's a question that a lot of people ask. For that reason, we decided to explain to you today our 5 best remarketing campaigns. 

Nate Ross, Senior Media Buyer at J7 Media is with me today. Nate, where should we start if we want to create great remarketing campaigns on Facebook?

(Nate) Hey, Antoine! Thanks for having me again on the podcast. I think [it’s] maybe the 10th episode we do together?

(Antoine) Yeah!

(Nate) So as you mentioned, we're going to take a look at 5 of our best remarketing strategies. Actually, we're going to really escape the usual paradigm of what people have in mind when thinking about remarketing. And I'm going to explain how we adapted our remarketing efforts in a particular context for one of our clients. And precisely, we're going to take a look at five different methods, strategies and funnels we used to get people further down the sales cycle.

So, the client used for the purpose of this podcast operates in the events industry. And I think, as you mentioned, a lot of people are asking questions about how to do remarketing properly.

I think doing your whole podcast on how to target people with a typical e-commerce product could have been very interesting. And there's plenty of things to talk about in that context. But people are more aware of how you can build a seamless and clean sales funnel for an e-commerce type store. And for this podcast, we really wanted to deep dive and see how we came up with remarketing ideas to really answer some of the main blockers people had before buying a ticket for this event or to leverage different opportunities that we noticed in areas where we thought there was untapped potential after a few months of actually working on the account.

So, this podcast is really about standard remarketing versus creative remarketing and how you can really think outside the box sometimes when it comes to remarketing to make sure it's really well adapted to your own context, your own sales cycle and your own blockers (the blockers that people usually have before buying your product) and to see how really you can leverage these types of remarketing to really adapt it to your own context. 

To give you a bit more context, maybe on the client itself – they're called MudGirl. The actual company is called Sportera. They have different kinds of events they run every year. One of them is MudGirl, for which we do advertisements. So what they do is they plan, they produce, and host obstacle course races dedicated to women across North America. 

In 2020, before the whole COVID-19 pandemic, they actually had events scheduled in more than 20 cities across North America for this MudGirl event. And this race is really all about empowering women in a fun, challenging, but safe environment. It's all about getting diverse women together, young, old, fit, athletic or not, whatever background. It's really all about getting people together and have them have fun and feel great together. 

And as you've probably guessed by now, selling tickets to this mud packed race event for women who probably never have run any type of obstacle course race in the past isn't the most straightforward thing. We're really far from the usual e-commerce, direct response marketing. And our challenge for MudGirl had never really been to get people to engage with our content or to build some interest with our audiences. It was always to convert people, have them actually buy a ticket. 

This is mostly related to the specific sales cycle for this business. People don't buy a ticket to MudGirl the same way they buy a t-shirt online. And our solution to that was to make sure we adapted our efforts, mainly our remarketing efforts, to make sure we answer our audiences’ main blockers, or to trigger some excitement and purchase intent in different ways. 

So, the 5 remarketing channels, funnels or ideas we came up with were for the middle funnel. We have three of them. So [by] middle funnel, what I mean by that is people who engage with our content, maybe visited some of our sales pages, definitely had some interest in the race, but weren't so far down the sales cycle. So not necessarily people who added to their cart or started the checkout process or anything like that, just people who basically engaged with our content.

We have three types of remarketing channels we used for that type of audience. The first one was the race guide. The second one was the quiz, and the third one was a Messenger campaign. And then for our bottom of funnel, mainly for people who already had purchased the ticket, we had two of them, which were the attendees remarketing (that’s what we called it) and the merchandise upsell/flash sale, which was really as I'll explain later, meant for people who already bought the ticket.

For each of these five strategies, basically, I'm going to quickly share the idea behind it, what it answers in terms of objective or what it answers in terms of blockers, the way we technically implemented the strategy, the channel and also the results that we got from each of them. Let’s jump right into it!

The first one, as I mentioned, is the race guide. So considering that our target audience is a standard woman who doesn't necessarily have any type of knowledge on, not necessarily MudGirl races, but obstacle course races in general. They don't have any history of doing obstacle races in general also. So we have to find a way to educate our audiences better. When you first see an image or footage of a MudGirl race, it may keep your attention for a while because of all the mud that you see and the way the track looks is pretty odd as well.

But this alone is not going to push you to buy a ticket. You'll just be engaged in the content, maybe have a little bit of interest. So we consciously asked ourselves what would keep our audience from maybe having a bit more interest in buying a ticket or at least what would [make] our audience maybe [have] more questions pop up in their mind, wanting to learn more about the [race]. So what are the fears, the blockers, the hesitations that someone may have?

And then we decided to basically build a guide on how to prepare yourself for your first obstacle course race. What it does is it answers most of these frequent questions or fears that people have before attending the event. And once again, we targeted people who actually engaged with our content, definitely had a little bit of interest towards the race, but weren't so far down the funnel. So, it's just a great way for them to basically learn a bit more about the race, [and] what they're getting into if they decide to buy a ticket.

And so in terms of implementation, we built the whole thing as a lead magnet. So you had an ad that was basically saying we saw that you had an interest in our race. Maybe you're wondering what it takes to be a MudGirl of what it takes to to run an obstacle course race of that type. And so that was the ad. And then people were opting in into an opt-in page and we sent them the guide afterwards. So it acted also as a lead magnet, which is pretty cool for us because we definitely needed to maybe engage with them more afterwards and it allowed for that. That was the way it was built out. 

And in terms of results, what we had is a lifetime ROAS of 13.30. So we definitely had to stop most of the campaigns because of COVID-19, but before we put a stop to them, the lifetime ROAS for this remarketing campaign was 13.30

(Antoine)That's pretty interesting. I think the point to mention here – and tell me what you think, Nate, on this – is from the moment you know that the client is interested in your brand, so you know the prospect has clicked on your ad, engaged with your content, commented on one of your posts...Whatever the engagement the client did at that point, the question that you need to ask yourself is, what is the next step that this person needs to go further and maybe buy our product?

And one of the things that we saw with this client was [that] people needed to know what kind of things they needed to prepare before the obstacle course, right? Because that's exactly the question that a lot of people had in mind. ‘Okay, maybe I can do it, but what kind of things do I need to prepare? Do I need to be completely fit? Do I need, you know,  to prepare three months in advance before this course?’ By providing this information in exchange for an email address, that became a very powerful remarketing strategy.

(Nate) Yeah, it was a powerful tool. And as you mentioned, we're kind of creating this first exchange with our audience. They’re actually giving us an email, which is a first little commitment that they're doing towards us. It's pretty cool to do [this] in any type of context when you're dealing with your audience.

And, yeah. As you mentioned, I don't think people are necessarily consciously asking all these questions whenever they see the content and engage with it. They're seeing women slide down into the mud and stuff, but they're not necessarily going to be triggered to ask all these questions. 

But, if you offer them the chance to learn more about the race just by reading through this ebook that we provide, it will answer all these fears that they may have, these questions that can be triggered when watching our content. And it's just a great opportunity to maybe push them a little bit further down the sales cycle and have them understand what the whole race is about. As you mentioned, I think it's just [the] right strategy to just maybe have people take the next step without necessarily converting right away.

But then you have their emails, so you can continue engaging with them, you know that they triggered the lead event on Facebook. So you can also retarget them directly on the platform.  So I think it was just – and as you saw from the ROAS as well – a lot of people were converting directly on this campaign too or in the days after reading the guide. So it just goes to prove that it's a really powerful tool to have people be more educated about your event. And, yeah, having more information, understanding the event better definitely helped a lot of people convert. 

(Antoine) And one thing to mention here, for people who are listening today, a lead magnet, most of the advertisers that I know will use this technique, especially for cold audiences campaigns. So you create a campaign for people who do not know your brand, you create an ad, you have this opt-in page, and then you provide the lead magnet that clearly can work on cold audiences, but also try it, like Nate mentioned, in the middle of your funnel.

That can become so powerful. Even me, I didn't know that. I didn't think it could work necessarily at the beginning. But when we tested it on warm audiences, the results were phenomenal. So I think, for people who are listening, lead magnets for cold audience campaigns are really, really good. But also think about the middle of your funnel. That can be powerful. 

(Nate) Yeah, definitely. 

Going on to the second campaign, the one I had mentioned, was the MudGirl quiz. So basically with the success that we had with our guide, we just decided to replicate the formula but by building something more ‘trivia’ and fun to make sure people would want to interact with it. Maybe target some different types of people who are going to be willing to read an ebook, different types of people are going to want to do a quiz. So you won't be speaking to exactly the same person. But it was just a way to replicate the winning formula that we had with the guide.

So basically what we did is we had this ad that was saying to someone, ‘Are you ready to be a MudGirl?’ And then that person was prompted to answer all these questions about maybe their history of running obstacle course races, if they're the type of person that works out a lot and stuff like that. And basically, you probably guessed it by now, but whatever answer they would provide, they would end up getting a positive answer back.

‘Yes, you are ready to be a MudGirl.’ We had different types of results, depending on what and how these women would answer the quiz to help them prepare in a better way, depending on if they're a very athletic and fit person or not, if they have history running these types of courses. But it was...the whole idea, the basic idea behind it was really to just replicate what we had with the guide. It's a great way to educate our audience. It's a great way to prompt people to learn a bit more about the race, but in a more trivial way. So we would basically manage to get in touch with different types of people.

And the results were also very interesting for this campaign as well, a bit less than for the guide. But we did have a lifetime ROAS of 5.86 on the quiz campaign. So I think maybe looking back on it, someone who downloads an e-book may have a bit more commitment towards learning more about the race and actually buying a ticket than someone who just plays a quiz. So I do get where the difference comes from in terms of results and return on investment. 

But, the whole idea behind it was, again, basically the same. And I think it really answered the same kind of blockers and fears that maybe people have. But it was just a different way to access these people. 

(Antoine) Yeah, people like to play, right? They can give you an email to get a guide..but most people, they like to play. Most people were on Facebook.

Remember, Facebook is a social platform. Nobody's on the platform to buy something. You don't have – nobody has, necessarily, a purchase intent when they go and they log on Instagram or Facebook in the morning. So, if you understand that you're talking to people on a social platform, you know, your campaigns, your lead magnet, [and] your funnels should also be social, right? And that's what happens with a quiz.

And also one of the things that’s very important, so people can understand here, is, you know, providing a guide to your audience has a value. So for that reason, you ask for an email and then there's a transaction between the person and the company. You give your email and then you get a lead magnet. The same thing happens for a quiz, right? The same thing happens for a quiz. You don't necessarily have and you don't necessarily need as a company to give the answer right away without asking for something.

For instance, here with MudGirl, we asked, I don't know, five, seven, eight questions, Nate? And then at the end, to get your answer, you know, you needed to give your email address. And for that reason, again, we're able to collect the email, [and] have people on the thank you page, where we make them an offer. But if they don't buy the offer, we can create a couple of different, you know, nurturing campaigns with our email marketing and then generate some sales. Remember, I think most people will give the answer easily, but you can ask for an email when you're doing a quiz for your clients.

(Nate) Definitely. A great tool. Again, quizzes, as you mentioned – I think the first thing you said was people like to play. That's definitely true, especially on social media, as you pointed out.

So, yeah, I think quizzes are a powerful tool on social media that can be used in so many different ways. So as long as you're a bit creative, you can definitely reuse that formula for your own context, build out a quiz your own way. And there's so many different platforms on which you can build a quiz that are great for it. So, yeah, I would definitely suggest [for] anyone who's doing any type of remarketing on Facebook to try out a quiz for sure.

Moving on to remarketing campaign number three, which was the Messenger remarketing. So the idea behind the Messenger campaign actually came from a different client of ours which also had a very high commitment, high-value product. 

And as I mentioned earlier, I think one of the most central things about all these remarketing campaigns that we're talking about is they answer a different type of need than a classic standard remarketing campaign. People who are buying a ticket for a MudGirl run are not the same  – they don't go through the same mental process as someone who's maybe shopping for a t-shirt or something that's super easy to get your hands on and for which there is no commitment. It's a low-value product.

People have to commit a lot to the MudGirl event; time, money, effort, discomfort, transport, you name it! So people need a high intent in order to buy the product or buy the ticket, actually. And you have to get them there. In this type of context, and however great your content is or your web pages are, people will have unanswered questions or even maybe just a need to get reassured in a company down the sales cycle as well. So I think implementing a Messenger campaign in that type of context is absolutely super valuable. It will definitely help you push some people down the sales cycle [that] wouldn't do it on their own. 

They definitely need to be reassured. They need to speak with someone who can answer their last-minute questions or anything that they might have regarding the race and in terms of implementation, that's super simple as well. You just need your ad, which basically prompts people to ask their question directly on Messenger if they have anything they're wondering about regarding the race. 

And for that campaign in particular, we had a lifetime ROAS of 11.22. And the number of conversations that we were triggering was insane as well. It was close to like 10 to 20 per day. And usually, we weren't running all our events at the same time. So 10 to 20 conversations per day was really good for us.

And the client was able to absorb it on their end. They had the bandwidth to do it. They had the personnel to make sure all these questions were getting answered. And yeah, it was just a super powerful tool because some people, not everyone, but a lot of people will need to speak to someone directly before buying online, especially for a high commitment event like that. So making sure that you have maybe a small team to answer these questions, it will get you to win sales that you wouldn't have in a different context.

(Antoine) And we're talking here about an event company. A company that is doing a lot of events in the United States, in Canada. But if you are an e-commerce owner, I always tell that to our clients here at J7 Media. For people who do not know J7 Media, we're a Facebook advertising agency. And, you know, most of our clients are e-commerce owners. 

One of the things we tell them is; usually, when you go to a retail store, what do you have? You have salesmen in front of you trying to help you to buy something in the store, right? They are asking you questions. ‘Okay, what are you looking for today? Are you looking for this product, this product? Give me the answer and I'll make sure that I'll show you exactly where the product is.’  So people are working as salesmen or saleswomen in the store. Your remarketing – your Messenger remarketing campaign – you can see it like a salesman or a saleswoman.

So basically someone goes to your website, they ask questions, someone goes into your store, they have questions. How can you answer these questions? And I think that's the most important thing to remember here. Your ad on Facebook, so the ad you created on Facebook for people who visited X, Y, Z pages, or engaged with your ad [are] the people you retarget. And the ad that they need to see is the questions that you get a lot.

Okay, so if you're getting the same question every single day by most of the customers that come to your site, this question needs to become an ad. You can create an ad saying, ‘Hey, you went on our website, you didn't buy. I'm pretty sure you didn't buy for this reason, this reason and this reason. If you had this question, just click here and ask me a question on Messenger.’ And if you're able to show to your prospects, to show to your clients the kind of question that they have, [then] automatically they think that you have the answer. Automatically, they'll think that you have the answer, and from there you engage in a conversation.

And like Nate told us, after that, it can generate a lot of sales for your company. So I think people need to see it like a salesman or saleswoman in a store - what they do when they're there. Your remarketing campaign with Messenger is acting [in] the same way.


(Nate) Great point, really. I think you can definitely just – and that's also the way we built it out – the ad itself was kind of a template which was showing a conversation between a future MudGirl and the support from the organization. And we would just, like, basically change the question on the creative and let Facebook optimize whichever ad or a question would work the best with our audience. And it definitely worked well.

And I think, yeah, as you pointed out, definitely if you have any sort of blocker [that] always pops up, any questions that always pop up, you can definitely use those in your remarketing campaigns and the results will be great for sure.

(Antoine) Point number four! What is it?

(Nate) Next campaign is the ‘attendees remarketing.’ This is honestly something we were proud of when we first launched the campaign. The results were actually great. In the first few days after we launched it, we were kind of feeling like we discovered something absolutely incredible.

As I mentioned earlier, the MudGirl Run is about getting people together, building a community. One of the things we definitely noticed before launching this campaign, and that's how the idea came to our minds, is we were having the best performance on the ads that had the most social proof and user interactions. And our idea was basically to force this interaction and leverage it to find new buyers. So to do it, we literally started retargeting people who had just bought their tickets and asked them to tag whoever should do the run with them.

This picked up, as I mentioned, super rapidly. The results were great as soon as we launched the funnel. And it's just, again, just a quick, creative way to... if you have anything particular in your sales cycle in that context. It's really about community, making sure people are together. ‘You're not going to do the MudGirl race on your own. You might have friends who are feeling hesitant towards it.’ [Make sure] you leverage your own purchasers who are probably the best salespeople that you can get out there.

You make sure you leverage these people to convince other people to buy the product. It can work great. And I think it could definitely work in different types of contexts as well. And in terms of results quickly for this campaign in particular, we had a lifetime ROAS of 9.84. And again, I think it was just such a great use of our best audience, which is people who just bought the ticket, and making sure we leverage these people to make sure they attract more people and push them themselves down the sales funnel.

(Antoine) I think it just goes back to logic, right? This specific event, and I'm pretty sure that people were listening today, they can apply that to their company, too, if they're a little bit creative. So this event, it's clearly not something that you're going to do alone, right? You're not going to do this obstacle race alone. So just by understanding that the product that you're selling is something that needs to be consumed with more than one person automatically becomes a great remarketing weapon.

Just asking, because that’s the basics, right? You just ask your purchasers to promote your event. And usually, as I mentioned, nobody wants to go to an event alone. So it will be in their best interest to have their friend, their sister, their mother with them. So I think it just goes back to basic logic. If you're an event company, usually you don't want people who are going or not going to get there alone. And I think this could be applied to most businesses right now.

You just bought a product. You're very happy with the product that you buy. I'm pretty sure that you have friends that could benefit from this product, too, right? So why not just ask these purchasers, ‘Hey, do you know someone who could buy and would benefit from this product?’ And usually, you'd be surprised by the kind of results that you can get.

(Nate) Yeah, 100%. I think, again, you're bringing up great points. 

You just go back to the base. How does your business work and how you can leverage these realities in your remarketing campaigns? Basically, we understood that one of the most powerful salespeople that were out there for this company was the purchasers, the people who already bought the tickets. As you pointed out, they're not going to do the race alone, so they're going to want to have people with them. So, they're the best people to convince other people to embark into the sales cycle.

At least, and as we saw, this was really a campaign that we ran with a pretty important scale, even though the audience was not that big. We managed to get a whole lot out of it and we were seeing it on the ads. The level of interaction, the level of engagement was phenomenal. People were tagging their friends. They had conversations in the comments. They were sharing the ads as well, telling their own experience about the race that they might have done last year. And this was really a powerful tool in terms of social impact, social proof. Really one of the most creative ideas I think that was part of these five campaigns. And definitely, we saw it in the results as well.

(Antoine) Yeah. And I think it brings us to point number five, where, again, we're going to talk about purchasers, because that's something that people forget, right?

(Nate) Yeah, definitely. 

Basically, campaign number five is what I call the Merchandise Flash Sale/Upsell. So what we started doing at some point – this was really an idea that was prompted by the client himself – he decided to launch just a basic Shopify store to sell some merchandise, some gear for the MudGirl race.

He had like hoodies, t-shirts, bandanas, you name it. And basically what we started doing is every time an event was happening in a city, we had these flash sales going on afterward. So, for instance, whatever event was happening, maybe Valentine's Day or Christmas, whatever was happening, we were using this as just a way to offer a flash sale to people who already had participated in the race. So it was basically just a way to upsell these people.

We were offering them a discount on the gear that was part of the Shopify store. And we got a lifetime ROAS of 18.41 on these campaigns. So it's super simple. We were targeting people who had bought the ticket in the past, which were part of the geographical location where an event had taken place. And every time there was something like Father's Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas, we were just doing a quick flash with a quick direct response offer and making sure people would buy the products basically.

And again, the response to this kind of campaign was great. ROAS of 18.41 lifetime just goes to show how you should definitely think about leveraging your most warmed up, your hottest audience. Basically, people who have already bought something from you are definitely way more willing or there's a great chance that these people will end up buying again from you, especially if they had a great experience. Or in the context of an event or a show, I think people might want to have something to remember that event or that experience.

And depending on the type of context, I think that was a great idea. And definitely the results, again, they just go to show how powerful of a tool it was.

(Antoine) Yeah. And I think for people who are listening today, here, the context was very good for us, right? We have merch that we wanted to sell. We just had big events. So the audience was quite interesting. When I'm talking about big events here, for people who are listening, we're talking about events the size of six thousand people, roughly, Nate – I think? That's the kind of event that we were having, for people who wanted to understand a bit the kind of audiences we were talking about.

Six thousand people who just purchased tickets and then we were showing them merchandise with specific promo. Now, the thing here to keep in mind for people who are listening, I think that's the key thing. Remember that people who just purchased a product from your company, they are way more willing to buy again than someone who does not know you. It's easier to buy from someone who trusts you.

Because let's say...okay, let's assume they had a great experience with your product. You already did the hardest thing, which is convincing them that you are offering something good. So why not just trying to leverage them after?

We see that with most of our accounts here at J7 Media. The best remarketing campaigns, the best results that we're getting are coming from people who already purchased the product. So we're able to sell them something different, to sell them something that they need because their product is now, you know, after three months, they need another item or the same product.

So, just keep in mind that from the moment you generated a purchase with your customer, the sales cycle is not done. Clearly not. The sales cycle is never done, right? As long as you have something to sell and it makes sense, why not just try to sell them [something] again and again and again? And that's how you serve your clients. So I think for people who are listening today, that's the most important thing to keep in mind. Remarketing is not only for people who added to [their] cart. Your content is for people who bought your product. And they need to buy again.

(Nate) Yeah, 100%. And I think one of the keywords as well for this podcast was definitely creativity. I think it's definitely worth just sitting down, thinking about your present remarketing campaigns, rethinking what your maybe classic sales cycle is for your products, your main products, [or] your best sellers, or your event – whatever it is that you sell. 

What's the sales cycle and how should you adapt your remarketing funnel to make sure that you answer the blockers that people have? [So,] usually the fears that they might have, [or] whatever doesn't convince them to buy, basically. And make sure you answer these blockers and fears. And also, as we pointed out in the last two campaigns that we spoke about, there's an immense value in reusing your purchasers, [in] whatever context. Again, I think we brought up two great ideas that fit very well into an event model.

But even for classic e-commerces, I think you can get creative, reuse your purchasers to prompt them to maybe do a review that you can then reuse on your warm audiences. Whatever it is. I think it's definitely valuable to just sit down, rethink your whole strategyy, and get creative with remarketing.

(Antoine) Yeah, it's all about mapping out your customer value journey. I think that's what people need to remember: to map out your customer value journey, see exactly where the customer is, in which, you know, stage, and make sure you create an ad for this specific stage each time. And then at the end, you'll see your remarketing – your old funnel, not only your remarketing – but your old funnel will be in good shape. I think that's the most important thing.

(Nate) Yeah. There's a kind of a common misconception that people have that your content from one stage of your funnel to the next can be the same. So basically, remarketing would be to just show some more ads to some people who actually made an action towards buying your product. But I think it's definitely a misconception. You should definitely adapt your content to the level of intent that the person has and to the blocker that they might have at this stage of the funnel and to make sure that it answers that. 

(Antoine) Yeah, totally. Nate, it was awesome. I really like the five different ideas that you got and that you shared with us today. Before I let you go, anything that crossed your mind that you think could benefit the audience?

(Nate) No, just to get creative. And don't be afraid to try some stuff in terms of remarketing strategies

(Antoine) And you'll see the client that we were talking about –you'll see in the podcast notes [that] they just got a case study from Facebook. So basically Facebook itself, they did a case study on this account. So when we're talking about remarketing here, let me tell you something. They were very, very fantastic not only with remarketing but their whole Facebook campaign. So you could see the case study is in the podcast notes.

Nate Ross, thank you very much for your time today. I hope the audience likes the content and maybe they will change their remarketing approach. So, see you soon for a new episode of Social Selling.