Website Custom Audiences: A NatureBox Case Study

I was at my favorite coffee shop in Pacific Beach the other day waiting for my coffee to come up.

While waiting, I did what most smartphone-wielding person does and whipped out my phone to start flipping through my Facebook News Feed.

It’s what we all do when we’re waiting in line these days, right?  Head down, checking our phones? Sad, but true.

As I scrolled through, an ad from NatureBox caught my eye and being the Facebook ads nerd that I am, I clicked on it to see what their landing page looked like.

They were using a simple landing page that looked like this:

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I was impressed by the simplicity and strategy of the ad and landing page and wondered how the campaign was performing for them.

The holler from the barista that my coffee was ready brought my attention back and I was on my way.

The next day, I was back at the same coffee shop again flipping through my News Feed as I waited in line.

An ad for NatureBox caught my attention yet again but for a different reason than the day before. 

This time, they were showing me an ad that spoke directly to me.  

Here’s what this new ad looked like:

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Notice the ad copy?  Cool, right?

They were specifically targeting me because I had clicked on their ad the day before but hadn’t given my email address on their landing page.

They then took it a step further, and like a smart marketer, customized the ad copy to reflect the fact that I had clicked on their ad but not opted-in.

It’s a form a re-targeting, which I’ll cover in a later article.

Some might call it creepy but as a marketer it can be VERY effective.  

I smiled, gave a virtual high-five to the team at NatureBox for being so smart about their Facebook ads and grabbed my coffee from the counter.

Wanna know how they did this?  It’s pretty simple.

Here’s how you can do the same with your Facebook ad campaigns.

Step #1: Map Out Your Funnel

The first thing you want to do is brainstorm all the different ways you might want to segment people going through your funnel.  

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • People who come to your opt-in page but don’t opt-in
  • People who come to your sales page but don’t buy
  • People who come to your sales page, click your “add to cart” button but don’t buy
  • People who come to your website but aren’t already Fans of your Facebook page

See where I’m going with this?  The opportunities are only limited by your creativity and where you want to “capture” people in your sales funnel.

Step #2: Set Up Your Website Custom Audience

Facebook’s Website Custom Audiences allow you to build audiences of people who have visited your website (or specific web pages that you control).

This is done through the Website Custom Audience pixel that gets placed on your website.

If possible, I recommend placing the pixel across every page on your site.  The easiest way to do this is to place the pixel before the closing </head> tag of your website’s theme.  That way it tracks all the pages on your site.

If you’re a non-techie like me, email the code to your web guy or gal and ask them to place it for you. That’s what I did.

Here’s where you find the pixel in Power Editor: Ad Tools > Audiences

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Click the “Create Audience” drop-down…

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“Custom Audience”…

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“Custom Audience from your Website”…

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From here, you can view the pixel code, copy it and then paste it on your site. (Note: you only have to place the pixel ONCE on your site)

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Once you have the pixel placed, you’ll then want to start setting up your audiences that you want to track.

For example, if I want to track and create an audience out of the people who have visited my podcast page in the last 30 days, this is how I would set that up:

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Keep in mind that your audience will start building as soon as your pixel is placed and you’ve set up the audience(s) you want to track.  If you get a lot of traffic to your site, this audience will build quickly and thus you can start using it quickly.

Step #3: Set Up Your Ad(s) Using Your New Targeting Groups

Now that you have these “custom” audiences set up and they’re populating with people, you can start using them for your ads.

Here’s how to set up an ad to target, for example, people who have landed on your webinar registration page but didn’t register:

  • In Power Editor, after you’ve set up your Campaign and Ad Set, click on the “Ads” tab at the top.
  • Then click “Create Ad”.
  • You’ll set-up your ad in the “Creative” section (remember, ensure your ad copy “speaks” to your audience), and then click on the “Audience” tab. 

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Remember, in this example we are targeting people who have landed on the webinar registration page so my Custom Audience is “Webinar Registration Page” but I want to show my ad to people who DID NOT register.

So, I exclude the Custom Audience of people who registered and landed on my “success” page.

Once that’s done, you can then set the Location and Demographic targeting as you wish.

How Are You Using Website Custom Audiences?

And this, my friend, is what NatureBox did in the example I shared at the beginning of this article.

They created a Website Custom Audience for people who land on their opt-in page and another for people who land on their “thank you for opting-in page.”

They then targeted using the opt-in page Custom Audience, while excluding the “thank you” page Custom Audience.

See, that’s not so hard, right?

What creative ways are you using Website Custom Audiences?  Let me know in the Comments below.

Rick Mulready writes about how you can use Facebook advertising and marketing to grow your business. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love his free 4-part email series all about the 4 Biggest Mistakes Businesses are Making with their Facebook ads…and How YOU Can Avoid Them.  Just click here to get Free access to the series 

19 Responses to Website Custom Audiences: A NatureBox Case Study

  1. This is a great Case Study and example!

  2. Perry says:

    Thanks Rick, this is my first read of your blog and I’m excited to learn more. I think the most important question is whether or not you ended up with a NatureBox?

    Also I’m a PB local. Java Earth and Turquoise are a few on my favorite spots. Maybe I’ve stood behind you line, but we wouldn’t know, we were probably on our News Feeds a little loo much. 🙂

    • Welcome, Perry! Ha, I didn’t order NatureBox yet. Turquoise is my favorite place to work here and I’m there 3-4 times per week. Small world! How often you there?

      • Perry says:

        I’m only at Turquoise about once every two weeks, but at Java 3-4 times per week. Next time I’m at Turquoise I’ll make sure to introduce myself!

  3. Will Irish says:

    Hey Rick,

    This is perfectly laid out. Well done! To me it has changed the game.

    I’ll credit Jon Loomer for the list metaphor I use to train the technique. To me it’s much like writing ads as you would an email for autoresponder sequence. When done correctly, you are creating a virtual list to speak to without ever opting in. Very powerful.

    Thanks for the great example.

    Will

  4. Sherri-Lee says:

    Thanks Rick, this is great info on custom audiences. I’ve been using them for awhile, but you’ve given me some ideas of other ways to take advantage of them for me and my clients.

    Thanks!

    Sherri-Lee

  5. Jen Smith says:

    Great case study and article Rick! I love the different options and am anxious to start using this for my clients. I’m a big fan of AdRoll – have you seen any difference when running them yourself vs. 3 party provider such as AdRoll?

    • Hey Jen, thanks for the kind words. The website custom audiences really take the need away from having to rely on a platform like AdRoll although it’s still a great platform. I might use AdRoll like this instead: use FB ads to drive traffic to your site, then for those people who don’t “convert” you can retarget them across the Internet with banner ads. Then with FB’s WCA, you can also retarget them on Facebook.

      Let me know how it goes!

  6. Andreea says:

    Thanks so much for all the details here! I haven’t tried custom audiences yet, but I am definitely going to try it after reading this…

  7. Stan Dubin says:

    Had this post saved in my Evernote, but just now read it all the way through. Very helpful!

    A couple of weeks ago I inserted the custom website pixel on a few sites. One of the sites gets very little traffic, so I figured I’d have to wait awhile before I could use it. But a week later it had 1,900 people and there weren’t even 300 that had visited in that time period.

    Do you know what Facebook is doing on this?

    Yours,
    Stan

    • Hey Stan, I am assuming you’re getting your data from Google Analytics? If so, I’m not sure why there’s that big a discrepancy. Is your WCA pixel covering the whole site or just one page?

  8. Perry says:

    First retargeting ad up and running. Followed the easy steps here! Let’s see what happens. 🙂

  9. Abby says:

    Looking forward to trying this. Thanks Rick.

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