Digital MarketingEmail MarketingFacebook Ads and Email – A Chance for the Perfect Fit

Facebook Ads and Email – A Chance for the Perfect Fit

By combining Facebook Ads with email addresses, automation, and predictive analytics, marketers can develop a strong social strategy.

Facebook is a great platform for lead generation and nurturing. In fact, according to many friends and clients who manage e-commerce businesses, it is one of the best tools, if not the best, to acquire new clients.

And we all know why – almost everyone and their mother are on Facebook (though mine isn’t…yet!). Further, the ability to open Facebook Messenger to advertising and direct communications from marketers provides almost endless opportunities to engage customers and prospects (although this ability still has some way to go before it is fully developed).

The challenge for digital marketers is of course the budget. About 60 to 70 percent of budgets (sometimes even more) goes toward acquisition. So the key question is: how to optimize ads to focus on the relevant audience, and not spend those dollars on prospects and leads that will never bring you business? In other words, how can I avoid retargeting Facebook users who repeatedly visit my website but simply don’t buy? How do I tie my ads to a specific call to action? How can I target customers who just purchased an item with ads for complementary recommended products, in a timely manner?

Yes, Facebook does give you the ability to optimize your ads, but only to some extent. There will always be the spray and pray element to your ads, unless you tie them into a wider strategy.

Facebook Audiences

If you’re not familiar with Facebook Audiences, it’s a great tool that lets you upload a list of customers/prospects along with a targeted ad, and then Facebook looks for user profiles with a matching identifier (e.g. email address). If any are found, Facebook bids for your ad on their timeline. For those of you who are using it, great. You’re linking your ads to who your customer/prospect is. But there are still some flaws:

  1. It’s a manual process that takes time
  2. Your ads won’t be linked to your customers’ desired items, aka their purchase pattern/behavior

Just last week a friend told me how he launches his Facebook Audiences campaigns: First he sends an email to his entire database, segments everyone who received the campaign, and waits a week. From this list he pulls out the clickers who did not buy, then resends the campaign, waits three more days, and segments everyone who still did not buy after the reminder. This final list is uploaded to Facebook with a generic ad that offers incentives for the product he is selling. End of process. And let me tell you, this process is neither fun nor rewarding.

Smart Work With Social Ads

Regular readers of my column will know I am an advocate of automation, unified profiles, and predictive analysis of your database. Marrying these elements with social ads provides a wealth of options to engage your customers and prospects in an automated manner.

Here are some examples of how to do it, saving your time and budgets and making your customers happier:

1. “Blank” Audiences

You don’t always have to start with a segment to create an audience – you can let the audience create itself based on customer behavior. To take my friend’s example, adding a social ads campaign to an omnichannel program lets you filter out gold customers (you don’t want to hassle them) from those who either have not yet bought, or who are serial bargain-hunters, and target each accordingly with short-term, carefully considered offers:

facebook-custom-audiences-flow-chart

This is the most advanced way to serve ads based on who your customer is and what they are likely to buy, while optimizing your ads budget.

2. Target Ads Based on Real-Time Segments

An excellent example would be cart abandoners who don’t respond to your cart abandonment emails. Filter for them each hour and target this audience with recommended products with a time-sensitive incentive. Contacts are removed after two days, for example, or after they purchase. Once again, full automation and integration between your systems is the key.

3. “Lookalike” Audiences

Harness Facebook’s own algorithms to extend your ads to a parallel audience similar to the one that you’ve just targeted.

In conclusion, Facebook Ads is a strong tool on its own, but to really get the party started and to make it truly powerful, you need to use your social ads in conjunction with your unified customer profile, omnichannel automation, and predictive analytics.

Happy hunting!

Until next time, stay tuned.

Ohad.

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