What’s New in Facebook’s Website Custom Audiences?

Marc-Olivier Meunier

All visitors to your website are not equal. Some visitors have a stronger buying intent than others and recognising who those customers are is not such an easy task. You may want to bid differently or even craft different creatives for these different types of visitors. Facebook’s new Website Custom Audience rules make this easier than ever before.

We’ve been beta testing Facebook’s advanced options for Website Custom Audiences for some time at Smartly.io and it’s now been launched publicly. This extension of the Website Custom Audience (WCA) rule set makes it possible to track indicators of website visitors’ buying intent and build retargeting audiences based on these actions.

Five new rules were introduced:

  • Frequency - The visitor completed the event more/less than N times
  • Aggregated value - Sum, Avg, Max or Min of <parameter> of the event is greater/less than N
  • Time Spent* - The visitor has spent more/less than N seconds on the website
  • Dynamic Date* - The visitor fired an event where the <parameter> contains a date more/less than N seconds in the future
  • Device - The visitor came to the website using a specific type of device (mobile phone, Android tablet, desktop, etc.)

* Currently not available in Power Editor

All these rules are available in the Smartly.io tool. Read more about Facebook Pixel Standard Events and their parameters here.

 

Here are some example of how these rules can be used:

  • A food delivery company could retarget very good customers with a coupon that they can share with their friends by e.g. targeting customers who fired the purchase event more than 3 times over the last 7 days. They could also retarget visitors who spent an average of $15 per order with similar offers, or with slightly more expensive offers in order to increase their average basket size.
  • An online retailer could exclude visitors who spent less than 10 seconds on their website from their DPA campaigns, as bounced visitors typically have low buying intent. They could also create two more new audiences: 1) An audience of visitors who spent up to 1 minute on the site and combine it with their DPA campaign and bid low. 2) Another audience of visitors who spent more than 1 minute and combine it with the DPA campaign and bid high.
  • An electronics ecom could retarget their customers who spent more than 500€ during the last 30 days or use this custom audience of valuable customers to make a Lookalike audience. Some would argue that you could retarget to valuable customers with CRM data or by hacking the pixel code and playing with triggers. But that’s complicated and it’s even harder to replicate the 30 day sliding window. Using a WCA as a seed audience means your Lookalike audience will be automatically updating on a weekly basis, which is the beauty of using website visitors to create Lookalikes instead of relying on your CRM.
  • A hotel booking site could retarget visitors who searched for hotel nights with a check-in date within the next 3 days but didn’t book yet. This way they retarget people with a high buying intent, probably planning a weekend trip or soon flying to a holiday destination.
  • An online money transfer company could retarget visitors who accessed their website and fired the purchase event by making a money transfer on their mobile phone with a Mobile App Install ad. These are actual customers who are already using the mobile version of the website, so it makes sense to offer them a better experience with a native app and claim some real estate on their home screen, improving the likelihood they will use the service again.

Generally the benefit of these advanced rules is not to increase reach but rather to better qualify visitors’ intent to take an action. They offer a wealth of opportunities for targeting website visitors more precisely and creating better Lookalike audiences that update automatically. What are you going to do with these new rules?


If you haven’t gotten started with the Facebook Pixel or Website Custom Audiences, it’s worth checking out this blog post.
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