Using Facebook Ad Exchange FBX Retargeting to Bring Back Lost Customers


fbx retargeting

Have you found success with Facebook ads but are wondering if there’s more?

Well, what if you could use Facebook ads to chase after bounced traffic and get back in front of those users? What if you could bring back those customers that were lost before purchase?

You can – and this article will give you a step-by-step description of how it can be done.

FBX Retargeting is key. Learn what it is, how it works, and how you can implement it for your business to bring back your customers, and ensure they don’t bounce again.

Getting started with FBX Retargeting

The Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX) is a tool which allows advertisers to buy dedicated space on Facebook. Despite being only available through third-party platforms, this option has nonetheless taken over almost half of all the retargeted ad clicks on the web.

The Statistics

  • Retargeted ads often out­per­form search ad cam­paigns in dri­ving conversions.
  • The cost-per-conversion is, on average, 50% lower for FBX ads than it was for conversions generated by a search campaign
  • Since January 2013, average click-through-rates on FBX ads have increased by 58%, with a 18% lower cost-per-conversion (year-on-year)
  • And the big one: FBX ads have 20-40x higher CTR than standard Facebook Ads

There are many third-party retargeting software providers that are official partners of Facebook. Do some research and decide which provider is right for your business. The main obstacle that Facebook advertisers have is that (unlike Google advertisers) their audiences aren’t always actively interested what  is being offered. They haven’t necessarily searched for a particular brand  and aren’t necessarily thinking about buying their products.That said, FBX retargeting allows you to track a Facebook user from a specific page on your website back to Facebook. Only then is that user  shown a Facebook ad, resulting in far higher click through rates and (because you’re paying for so fewer ad impressions) substantially greater ROI.

How does it work?

  • Facebook’s official ad partner provides you with a short bit of code (called a pixel) that can be placed on any page of your website.
  • When someone heads over to that page and doesn’t click-through to the next page, but instead bounces off, the pixel is triggered.
  • A cookie (imagine it like a piece of gum on your shoe) attaches itself to their browser.
  • When they return to the Facebook Newsfeed, your prepared retargeting ad will appear, encouraging them to return to your site and convert.

A couple of examples that show the difference

A little background: I’m a male, 25-year-old digital marketer from Vancouver, Canada. When I’m perusing my Facebook newsfeed, how likely do you think I am to click on the ad below? Not very likely.

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However, if I’ve been looking for a winter jacket, I’ve probably been checking out different ecommerce sites for the jacket I want. I may head over to Rose Wholesale’s website, but, since I’m just looking around, I depart from the site before making a purchase. But, since they’re using FBX targeting, when I head back to my Facebook newsfeed (as 48% of users do every single day), I see an ad for jackets.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 4.07.24 PM.png

It may have even been the exact jacket I was considering purchasing (some retargeting software will allow you to place a retargeting pixel on each and every one of your product pages).

Now, how likely do you think I am to convert?

Creating a Retargeted Ad that Converts

Ecommerce sites typically have a high bounce rate  because consumers tend to shop around and may not necessarily have been sold on a specific product. This means retargeted Facebook ads should focus on offers. If you communicate how great a deal your customer is getting, they’ll likely be more encouraged to engage.

For online sellers, I recommend you use a Facebook ad that promotes an exclusive, 50% off first-time purchase of your product or an add promoting free shipping. Provide customers value that they may not have seen on your website and they’ll likely feel more inclined to make a purchase.

Here’s an example (with ad creative best practices as well):

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 4.32.27 PM.png

What’s important in your retargeted ad?

  • Bright color (like red) that stands out from the Facebook newsfeed and attracts the eye
  • Your brand name in the title (or your logo as the image) that is recognizable to your bounced website traffic
  • Make the offer exclusive or time-limited to encourage a conversion now (while your brand is fresh in their mind)
  • Use dollar values or percentage symbols to quickly and easily communicate value
  • A short call-to-action (“click here!”) that tells people exactly how to act on their interest

Remember, it’s vital that these retargeted ads are ready to go and seen immediately. The longer gap there is between your web traffic bouncing from your page and being retargeted, the less likely they are to engage.


Hopefully you now have a better idea of how, and why, FBX retargeting works. As it is only available through a third-party provider, do your research and choose carefully. Many providers will be able to help optimize your ads for you, ensuring you’re getting the best ROI possible.

Have you worked with FBX Ads before? Or are you still curious as to how exactly they work? Start the conversation below!

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About the Author:

Nick Steeves

This monthly Social Media for Ecommerce column is contributed by Nick Steeves. Nick is Chief Product Officer at Wishpond, a platform that makes it easy to run social contests and promotions on Facebook, Twitter, websites & mobile.
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