You’re about to discover how to can create the best custom audiences for your Facebook Ads. Yes, that’s a bold affirmation, but there is a way to get the custom audiences that help you:

  • Stick to your goals,
  • Build more relevant campaigns for a well-defined audience, and
  • Maximize the outcomes of your paid efforts.

We’re sure you’ve already tested the classic recipes for eCommerce. So, in this article, you’re about to learn something new for your acquisition and retention efforts that you can try for your store.

We won’t bore you with tips about how you can create a custom audience on Facebook, as their guidelines are clear and helpful. Instead, we will show you a new way to generate these audiences by using the most valuable resource of your eCommerce business: your customer data.

What is a Facebook Custom Audience?

A Facebook Custom Audience is a targeting option you can choose when you create a new Facebook Ad campaign to reach people who are already familiar with your business, including here people who: 

  • Are your customers;
  • Visited your store’s website;
  • Used your store’s app;
  • Engaged with your Facebook account.

Besides reaching people from your existing audiences who have a Facebook account, you can also use Custom Audiences to create and target lookalike audiences – people similar to those already familiar or engaging with your brand.

Lookalike audiences are great when you plan to expand your business and attract new customers like the ones you already have. But there’s a trick. You want to use your resources wisely and attract more new customers like your returning and loyal ones, right? Then it would help if you kept in mind that better retention starts with better acquisition.

So, as Facebook guidelines recommend, you don’t want to include all your customers in this list if you aim for quality, not quantity:

You may get better results depending on your goals if you use an audience made from your best customers rather than one that includes all your customers.” 

How good you know your customers reflects in the results you get with Facebook ads. Understanding their behavior and building audiences around it becomes mandatory if you want to keep your costs under control.

Building Behavior Audiences in seconds based on your customer data

The best custom audiences are the ones built around customer behavior. With this approach, you are more likely to reach Facebook audiences with the right ads type at the right time.

Although Facebook allows you to create various types of custom audiences, the bad thing is that if you want to keep your audiences fresh and updated, you have to repeat the process at each campaign while this process could be automated.

With this thought in mind, we’ve built an Audience Builder tool that allows you to generate the custom audiences you need in seconds by using the customer data you already have as a REVEAL user.

If you’re totally new to REVEAL, you should know that it is a customer data platform that helps you use your customer data as a source of growth for your eCommerce store.

You have all the customer behavior data you need in your REVEAL account, so when you want to build a new audience, you just have to play with the filters in the Audience Builder:

  • RFM groups” filter helps you select only the RFM segments you want for your audience (learn here more about RFM and how variables like recency, frequency, and monetary value help online stores segment their customer base).
  • NPS pre and post-delivery scores” lets you filter the customer list based on how they rated their experience with your store. You can create a Facebook custom audience targeting promoters, passives and/or detractors (see here why it’s vital to measure NPS pre and post-delivery).
  • “Products”/ ”Categories”/ ”Brands” filters are helpful when you want to target people on Facebook that bought a specific product or from a particular category or brand.
  • “Time” allows you to select a specific time frame or create dynamic audiences that are updated daily.
  • “Location” comes in handy when you want to target customers in a specific region with a new Facebook ad campaign that you’ve prepared.
How to generate a custom audience in Audience Builder within REVEAL

The custom audiences you create are sent directly to your Facebook Business account, which brings you more time and energy to focus on other details that matter for your ad campaigns.

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How to create a Custom Audience for Facebook

Playing with the filters of REVEAL’s Audience Builder, you will be able to generate smart audiences that help you achieve the entire spectrum of goals you have as an online store, from acquisition to retention.

In the following sub-sections, we will frequently mention all RFM segments types (as you can see them named in the Audience Builder and REVEAL), so we want to give you a concise definition of each segment: 

  • Soulmates = ideal customers, with a perfect RFM score of 555.
  • Lovers = loyal customers who don’t spend as much as Soulmates.
  • New Passions = new customers with high monetary values.
  • Flirting = new customers who place their first order a while ago and don’t spend as much as New Passions.
  • Apprentice = new customers who placed a couple of low-value orders.
  • Potential Lovers = newly acquired customers with high potential of becoming Soulmates.
  • Platonic Friends = active customers that place a moderate amount of orders with average values.
  • About To Dump You = inactive customers who haven’t ordered in a while.
  • Ex-Lovers = lost customers who used to make high-value purchases frequently.
  • Don Juan = lost customers who placed one high-value order, then never came back.
  • Break-Ups = low-value customers who only purchased a few times.

> You can read all about the RFM segments in this guide.

Let’s see the different types of Facebook ad campaigns you can support with custom audiences when you want to encourage a specific behavior among your existing customers.

Onboarding new customers

You want to select only the new customers like New Passion and Apprentice customers that are not detractors. Unhappy customers should be approached by your customer support teams, not with Facebook ads. That would only annoy them, and you could lose them forever. 

Newly acquired customers deserve special attention. You are still new to them, too, so you need to win their trust before suggesting a second purchase. Think about a non-transactional offer that can make them feel unique and more willing to place a second order from your brand.

> Learn how you can encourage a second purchase in newly acquired customers

Nurturing high potential customers

To support this campaign, build an audience by choosing one or more segments from the following: Lovers, Flirting, Platonic Friends, Potential Lovers that have an NPS higher than 7. 

Customers don’t become loyal overnight. Nurturing a relationship will get you closer to your goal of achieving higher retention rates and Customer Lifetime Value. The message of a nurturing ad campaign shouldn’t be sales-oriented. What you could do instead is make them feel part of a community and invite them to your VIP member club.

Surprise and delight customers

You want to select your power customers: Soulmates, Lovers, Flirting, and New Passions with NPS scores over 7.

These four customer segments are the ones that bring the highest value to your store compared to any other RFM group. Therefore, they need special treatment. From limited and exclusive editions to priority at launching a new product, we’re sure you can think of ways to surprise and delight those customers.

Retargeting customers with better offers

The Product, Category, and Brand filters are beneficial for a retargeting campaign. Use the filters when you want to reconnect with specific groups through a particular offer. You’ll have to play with the filters depending on the segments you want to reach and what type of purchase you want them to make.

You can use the custom audiences generated for your cross-selling or upselling campaigns, promoting a new product, or getting rid of stock at the end of a season. Use better custom audiences to make sure your retargeting ads reach the right audience, and you’re not wasting money.

> Before creating your next sales-oriented ad campaign, read more about improving product assortment optimization.

Re-engaging existing customers

To win back dormant customers, you can create an audience that includes customers from About To Dump You, Ex Lover, and or Don Juan groups. It might be harder to generate a new purchase among those customers, so use everything you know about them to create an offer and a message strong enough to reactivate them. 

To prevent customer churn, you want to reach customers in the About To Dump You segment. In this group, you can find customers that used to be Lovers or Soulmates, but something made them stop buying from you. You want to segment them depending on their NPS and treat them differently if they are dissatisfied with the experience you provided. 

> Prevention is better than cure. Learn how to identify customer churn risk. Don’t let people who have engaged with your brand grow apart.

How to Create a Lookalike Audience

Targeting cold audiences that are more likely to convert helps you maintain the CPA as low as possible. This is why eCommerce marketers choose lookalike audiences for their acquisition campaigns.

Lookalike audiences allow you to reach cold audiences similar to your current recurring, loyal, and most valuable customers.

Ok, but how do you build an audience around customer value?

Facebook’s guidelines show that “to create a value-based lookalike audience, your source audience must be a mobile app, pixel, SDK, catalog or a Custom Audience that has customer value as a data type.

You could create this custom audience of people manually by exporting the data from your eCommerce platform or CRM, but you would have to repeat the process anytime you start a new campaign, and the list wouldn’t be up to date.

In the Audience Builder, you can generate your custom audience automatically that you use to create value-based lookalike audiences and have them constantly updated. 

Who should you include in the lookalike audience? 

It would help if you focused on customers with high customer lifetime value and high net promoter scores. We’re talking here about your power customers: Soulmates, Lovers, New Passions, Flirting. 

Having this process automated and constantly updated, you can focus more on creating the right messages for your offers and the best approach based on what works best among your existing valuable customers.

Wrap up

Creating a custom audience based on your existing customers allow you to leverage the power of your first-party data, which is a resource only you get access to, so you can see it as a competitive challenge.

The fact that cookies are dying shouldn’t affect your store’s Facebook ads. On the contrary, the end of the cookie era could make you more aware of who your best customers are, who you want to keep and who are the new people you want to target.

Tools like the Dynamic Audience Builder can help you generate the best custom audiences for your Facebook Ad campaigns and represent a healthy foundation for all the gold you wish to achieve through paid efforts.