Thursday, February 25Digital Marketing Journals

Best Facebook Retargeting Strategy: The Conversational Remarketing Method


Every company that’s running ads on Facebook either is or should be running retargeting ads, period. And there’s a good chance that you are, considering remarketing ads convert at a much higher rate on average and come at lower CPMs. But, what is the best Facebook retargeting strategy?

Personally, I think it’s crazy in 2021 if you’re not including Messenger ads to some degree if you’re advertising on Facebook. And this isn’t just my opinion. There’s more than enough data at this point to support the effectiveness of Facebook Messenger advertising. 

But here’s something that some of you may find controversial, at first. For those of you actively advertising on Facebook, at a minimum, 15% to 30% of your Facebook advertising budget should be allocated to something I call “Conversational Remarketing.”

In fact, I have a full methodology to this, and to date, it has been hands down the best Facebook retargeting strategy that I’ve used. And that’s saying something considering I’ve spent nearly half my life dealing with Facebook and Google ads. 

The Conversational Remarketing Method includes serving two different types of ads via Facebook Messenger. And here are three reasons why you should start using them, immediately. Conversational Remarketing ads are:

  1. The most conversion-friendly ad format.
  2. At least 3X more effective than your “vanilla” Facebook ads.
  3. Most effective towards the bottom of the funnel, which means revenue.

So, if you’re going to make a list of New Year’s resolutions for your marketing strategy in 2021, #1 should be allocating a portion of your Facebook ads budget to the best Facebook retargeting strategy – The Conversational Remarketing Method.  

Here’s what I’m about to cover in this full guide to Conversational Remarketing:

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What is Conversational Remarketing?

Conversational Remarketing normally takes place at the lower stages of the marketing funnel, where your audience either knows who you are or has an idea of who you are and what you do. 

At this stage of the marketing funnel, you’re ready to exchange more formal introductions to your brand and its solutions. And one of, if not the, best way to do this is through a conversational dialogue via messaging. 

Starting a conversational dialogue that converts at the bottom of the funnel involves Messenger your custom retargeting audience. Your retargeting audience for Messenger is made up of website visitors, Facebook and Instagram page engagers, and the other retargeting audiences you’ve built-up over time. 

Now that you have your tools and audience, here’s where my best Facebook retargeting strategy, Conversational Remarketing, goes to work. Convert your remarketing audience into paying customers and/or persistent contacts via a combination of Click-to-Messenger ads and Messenger Sponsored Messages ads.

So, let’s dive deeper into what all these moving parts are and everything else you’ll need to understand why this works. Then, I’ll show you exactly how to execute the best Facebook retargeting strategy – The Conversational Remarketing Method.

Click-to-Messenger Ads

What are Click-to-Messenger ads? Ads that click to Messenger work with three objectives: Messages, Traffic, and Conversions. During ad creation, you’ll create both the ad and the welcome message people see in Messenger after they click on your ad.

You should use Click-to-Messenger ads to reach new audiences and to educate them about your product or service with interactive and engaging chat dialogues.

Here’s an example of what a Click-to-Messenger ad looks like:

click-to-Messenger ad example

You can experience this Click-to-Messenger ad for yourself, here!

As you can see, Click-to-Messenger ads are super cool because they start a dialogue where the user has multiple options to choose from. Essentially, with just one Click-to-Messenger ad, you can deliver information about your product or service that’s tailored to each of your target user personas, because they can choose a dialogue path and the content that is of the most interest to them.

Most importantly, however, the Click-to-Messenger ad changes the game because instead of Facebook ad clicks turning into anonymous website traffic, people become captured contacts just by interacting with your Click-to-Messenger-ad.

The moment someone interacts with your Messenger ad, you capture their name, email, phone number, and other contact information from Facebook.

The data doesn’t lie. There are some monumental benefits of Click-to-Messenger Facebook ads:

  • Reduction of CPL (cost per lead) at an average of 30-50X.
  • Turns every interaction into a named contact.
  • Drives users to a mobile-friendly and ultra-engaging conversion funnel experience.

And then here’s another great Click-to-Messenger ad example and how to create one so you can get an even better understanding of what they are and how they work.

Sponsored Message Ads

What are Sponsored Message Ads? 

Messenger Sponsored Messages could also be referred to as Facebook paid messages. In the simplest of terms, Facebook sponsored message ads are a great way to send a mass message to all your Facebook Messenger contacts at the same time.

Messenger sponsored messages let you send offers, promotions, and updates directly to the people your business talks to on Messenger. If you’ve already connected with your customers on Messenger, either through a bot for Messenger or live chat support, use sponsored messages to reengage them.

Here’s an example of one of our best performing Sponsored Messenger ads that we used to get 80% of our previous year’s Chat Marketing Virtual Summit attendees to register again the following year.

Sponsored Message ad example

You should use Sponsored Messages to send promotions directly to your Messenger contacts list or highly targeted segments of your Messenger contacts list. 

Sponsored Message ads are great for retargeting and keeping your engaged audiences up to date on the latest announcements from your business.

Here’s how to use Facebook Messenger Sponsored Messages ads and how to create one.

Lastly, Sponsored Message ads are your secret weapon to closing deals and converting your contacts into paying customers. And here’s how to use them when executing The Conversational Remarketing Method!

The Conversational Remarketing Method

Okay, now that we understand what everything is, here’s how to actually execute The Conversational Remarketing Method. 

First of all, with the high cost of CPMs, you should run as many remarketing ads as you can without drying up your list of contacts.

Again, this isn’t just my opinion. Website visitors who are retargeted are 43% more likely to convert, according to Criteo.

So, if you have a large enough contact list, allocate 70% to 85% of your Facebook ads budget to remarketing ads. These are the remarketing ads you’ve most likely run for years.

Then, allocate 15% to 30% of your Facebook advertising budget to Conversational Remarketing ads. Which includes a combination of Click-to-Messenger ads to start a conversation, and Messenger Sponsored Message ads as a secret weapon.

Here is The Conversational Remarketing process, step-by-step:

Best Facebook Retargeting Strategy Step #1: Build your custom audience 

First, you need to build custom audience lists. You can create custom audiences from website traffic, Facebook engagements, etc. 

The retargeting list you’ll build for Conversational Remarketing should be reserved for the people that you can retarget. However, you still don’t have their actual contact information, such as name and email address.

Again, these are people who are already in your custom retargeting audiences today, most likely. Maybe they’ve been pixeled or performed some action on your website, such as visiting your Pricing page. 

The point is, you can really only reach these people via retargeting because you don’t have their contact information.

The next step is a unique way of obtaining that contact information without needing to ask for it.

Best Facebook Retargeting Strategy Step #2: Target a custom audience with a Click-to-Messenger ad 

Next, select one of your retargeting custom audiences to send a Click-to-Messenger ad to. The ad itself will most likely resemble the retargeting ads you’re already accustomed to running. 

For this strategy, use Click-to-Messenger ads to showcase your product or service and to engage in a friendly conversational dialogue.

Why? Because the magic of the Click-to-Messenger ad portion of this strategy is closing that huge gap between an anonymous, un-contactable remarketing audience (i.e. website traffic) and making them a contactable lead.

best Facebook retargeting strategy: Use Click-to-Messenger ads to capture contact information.

However, we already covered why Messenger ads are quite different.

By simply interacting with a Click-to-Messenger ad, you’ll capture name, email, phone number, and other relevant contact information. And you’ve done so without the person providing that information or being asked to commit to anything. Simultaneously, you’ve started an engaging chat dialogue in Messenger that could educate, entertain, invite, offer a promotion, etc.

Best of all, now you’ve created a persistent Messenger contact that you can continue to reengage in chat and further educate about your product or service.

Best Facebook Retargeting Strategy Step #3: Send a highly personalized and relevant Sponsored Message

The final step is to send a Sponsored Message ad to the audience members who are now existing Messenger contacts. Choose your most promising audience segments to educate, nurture, and convert to a lead or paying customer.

best Facebook retargeting strategy: Personalized Sponsored Message ads

Take the Sponsored Message ad example above for instance. We’ve used the person’s name, and we know that he’s the founder of a marketing agency.

We sent this ad directly to the Messenger inboxes of our marketing agency contact list. 85% of the recipients replied. 

That’s double the average retargeting conversion rate. Proof as to why The Conversational Remarketing Method is the best Facebook retargeting strategy that exists.  

Why Conversational Remarketing the Best Facebook Retargeting Strategy

Today, I’m getting Messenger contacts for $3 – $5, despite +$100 CPMs. Honestly, I haven’t seen prices this low since 2014.

By the way, CPM stands for Cost Per Mille (CPM). It’s the amount advertisers are willing to pay for one-thousand impressions on a given website. For example, a $2.00 CPM means that 1,000 impressions at that rate would earn a payment of $2.00.

So, let’s put it this way. If you had a large enough remarketing audience, arguably you would spend 100% of your budget on that, right?

These are people who have visited your website and interacted with your brand in some way. And we’ve already established that your average retargeting audience is more than 40% more likely to convert.

Now, think about how much that percentage increases when those people have not only visited your site but have also interacted with your chatbot?

This should be like shooting fish in a barrel, seriously.

Facebook ads aren’t what they used to be

Remarketing is incredibly more effective than your vanilla Facebook advertising.

What do I mean by “vanilla” advertising? I mean running Facebook ads where you use Facebook’s filters to specify audience interests, behaviors, demographics, etc. Facebook’s targeting is amazing, yes, however, you can do better with retargeting custom audiences on both conversion rates and costs.

A lot of the time people are doing well with demographic ads, but when they get the data, they realize that well above 50% of the conversions already knew who they were. This is what we’ve seen on average, and I’ve seen my fair share of ads data over the years building up WordStream.

Think about it, if the size of the audience you want to go after is substantially larger than your ad budget, such as Democratic voters in the United States, you need to be picky. Why? Because you very likely don’t have a budget that can’t reach everyone in that audience.

Instead, forget about behaviors, demographics, and Facebook targeting ads, and focus your ad budget almost exclusively on retargeting.

Furthermore, costs are still going up, and even if remarketing is working, how do you double your leads in 2021 if you’re limited by the amount of traffic to your site?

Old Facebook Retargeting Strategy vs New Facebook Retargeting Strategy

Next, let’s explore how the Conversational Remarketing Method and Facebook ads, in general, should fit into your Facebook advertising budget.  

Honestly, every dollar you spend on Facebook ads should go to remarketing audiences. Why? Because it’s the lowest hanging fruit, and it’s the most cost-effective, without exception.

The Conversational Remarketing Method plays to the strengths of the latest ways to most effectively manage your Facebook ad budget. This is especially true for small businesses, but a slightly different allocation works just as well for much larger companies.

And if you’re a performance marketer in 2021, you need to be thinking about how to squeeze even more out of your remarketing ads, especially if you’re already doing well with them. So, I’m proposing to take your remarketing budget and invest in friendly remarketing ad formats. Especially the Click-to-Messenger and Sponsored Message ad formats. 

  • Old Facebook ad budget allocation = Roughly 85% regular (non-remarketing ads) and 15% remarketing ads. 
  • New Facebook ad budget allocation =  Roughly 85% remarketing ads and 15% Conversational Remarketing ads.
best Facebook retargeting strategy: New vs Old budget allocation

Now, if you’re having great success with some of the more common Facebook ad examples, I’m not saying to give up on those completely. In fact, once you exceed your remarketing audience size, then I give you permission to spend money on those vanilla Facebook ads.

A strategy like Conversational Remarketing may have been controversial 3 or 4 years ago when it was a new concept, but now that the CPMs on Facebook are so expensive, how can you expect to spend money on vanilla advertising and justify that ad spend? You can’t.

This is especially true if your budget is fixed at just a few thousand dollars a month. Because retargeting ads can get your CPMs down 40-50%.

Now, should you use your entire ad budget on Messenger? No, of course not.

I’m not advocating for that at all. Plus, I understand that not everyone that uses Facebook and Instagram, also use Messenger.

But the large majority of people on Facebook do have a Messenger account, and there are more than 1.3 billion active monthly users of Messenger. That means that every business on earth could easily support their company on Messenger users alone.

How to Build your Facebook Retargeting Lists

Now, of course, you don’t have to use this exact process to be successful with Facebook retargeting ads. This just happens to be the best Facebook retargeting strategy that I’ve tried to date. And I’ve tried a lot!

Here’s how to get even more out of your Facebook retargeting ads, and how to consistently add to your custom audiences.

First, use a multi-channel chatbot like MobileMonkey, which uses proprietary OmniChatⓇ technology to build up your contact lists via live chat, Messenger for Facebook and Instagram, SMS text message marketing, and other top performing marketing channels, all from one platform.

Adding custom greetings, such as a menu-based chatbot, to important website pages increases the number of inquiries, and therefore the number of contacts you can send Conversational Remarketing ads to.

And this is why it’s extremely important to have a chatbot on your website that includes Facebook Live Chat.

Here are some strategies to get more leads on Facebook, as well as how to use Facebook Messenger for business in general.

Getting Started With The Best Facebook Retargeting Strategy

I hope you’ve learned a ton from these Facebook advertising examples. Take what you’ve learned here to create the most successful Facebook Messenger ads for your business.

And now that you’re finished with our Facebook Messenger ads example, definitely check out these 10 Facebook ad examples for even more ideas!

If you’re looking for more amazing Facebook ad ideas, check out the Facebook campaign examples found in Larry Kim’s top Facebook ad hacks of all time.

Lastly, here are 5 Facebook Messenger Ad tips to help you get started with the best performing ads on Facebook!

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