MECHANYSM | Digital Marketing Agency in London

Facebook Ads: Doing Retargeting Right – 5 Common Mistakes

Facebook retargeting
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Have you ever visited a website, left without purchasing, and then suddenly saw ads for that same product or service on your Facebook feed? That’s retargeting! It’s a powerful advertising strategy that allows businesses to reach out to people who have already shown an interest in their brand or products.

Retargeting has become an essential part of any Facebook Ads strategy, as it helps increase brand awareness, improve engagement, and boost conversions. However, there are common mistakes to avoid to ensure that your retargeting campaigns are successful and cost-effective.

In this article, we’ll cover the five common mistakes businesses make in their Facebook retargeting campaigns and provide tips on how to avoid them. Whether you’re new to Facebook retargeting or have been using it for a while, this guide will help you optimise your campaigns for better results.

Key Takeaways

  • Retargeting is a powerful strategy that allows businesses to reach out to people who have already shown an interest in their brand or products.
  • Avoiding common mistakes such as poor audience segmentation, neglecting frequency caps, ignoring ad creative optimisation, lack of proper tracking and analytics, and failing to exclude converted users is crucial for a successful Facebook retargeting campaign.
  • Implementing tips such as ad frequency, ad formats, personalised messaging, and leveraging the power of Facebook display ads can help improve the results of your retargeting campaigns.

What is Facebook Retargeting?

At its core, Facebook retargeting is a form of online advertising that targets people who have already engaged with your brand or website in some way. This can include those who have visited your website, added items to their cart, or even just viewed a specific product page. With Facebook retargeting, you can serve them ads that are tailored to their interests and behaviours, with the goal of encouraging them to take further action.

Retargeting is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, as it allows you to target people who have already shown an interest in what you have to offer. By showing them ads that are relevant to their interests, you can increase the chances of them converting and making a purchase. In fact, studies have shown that retargeting can lead to a 147% higher conversion rate compared to other forms of online advertising.

Mistake 1: Poor Audience Segmentation

One of the most common mistakes in Facebook retargeting campaigns is poor audience segmentation. When businesses fail to segment their audience properly, their retargeting efforts can result in wasted ad spend, ineffective messaging, and lower conversion rates.

Effective audience segmentation involves dividing your audience into smaller groups based on factors such as demographics, interests, behaviours, and purchase history. By doing this, you can target specific groups with tailored messaging and offers that are more likely to resonate with them.

To avoid the mistake of poor audience segmentation, start by gathering data about your audience and using Facebook’s targeting options to create custom audiences. These options include targeting based on website activity, customer lists, and more. You can also use lookalike audiences to find new users similar to your existing customers.

Once you have created your custom audiences, segment them further based on specific criteria. For example, you could segment them based on the pages they visited on your website or the products they added to their cart but did not purchase.

By taking the time to segment your audience effectively, you can create more personalised and relevant ads that are more likely to convert. This can help you maximise the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns and improve your overall ROI.

Mistake 2: Overlooking Frequency Caps

One of the most common mistakes in Facebook retargeting is failing to set frequency caps. Frequency caps limit the number of times an ad is shown to the same user within a certain time period. Without frequency caps, your retargeting ads may appear too often and annoy users, leading to ad fatigue and a decrease in effectiveness.

Frequency caps also prevent your ad spend from being wasted on users who have already seen your ad multiple times and are unlikely to engage with it further. By setting reasonable frequency caps, you can ensure that your ads are shown to a wider audience and optimise your ad spend.

Tip: When setting frequency caps, consider the length of your sales cycle and the nature of your products or services. A higher frequency cap may be acceptable for items that consumers purchase frequently, such as groceries, compared to luxury goods that may have a longer sales cycle.

Facebook provides several options for setting frequency caps, including daily, weekly, and monthly limits. You can also set frequency caps for specific ad sets or campaigns. When choosing your frequency cap, it’s important to strike a balance between maximising reach and avoiding ad fatigue and annoyance.

Overall, overlooking frequency caps is a common but avoidable mistake in Facebook retargeting. By setting appropriate frequency caps, you can ensure that your ads are shown to the right audience at the right time, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of your retargeting campaigns.

Mistake 3: Ignoring Ad Creative Optimisation

In the world of Facebook retargeting, creative optimisation can make or break your campaign. One of the most common mistakes we see businesses make is neglecting to put enough effort into creating compelling and relevant ad creatives.

Think about it – if someone has already interacted with your brand or product, they’re likely already aware of what you offer. So, in order to get their attention and encourage them to take action, your ad creative needs to stand out and offer something new or different.

When it comes to ad creative optimisation, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Firstly, your ad visuals should be eye-catching and attention-grabbing. This could mean incorporating bold colours or graphics, or featuring an engaging image or video.

Secondly, your ad messaging should be tailored to the specific audience you’re targeting. This means understanding their pain points, desires, and motivations, and crafting messaging that speaks directly to them.

Finally, it’s important to test different ad creatives to see what works best. Facebook offers a range of testing tools, such as split testing and dynamic creative testing, that can help you find the winning combination of visuals and messaging.

By investing time and effort into ad creative optimisation, you can make sure your retargeting campaigns are as effective as possible.

Mistake 4: Lack of Proper Tracking and Analytics

When it comes to Facebook retargeting, tracking and analytics are crucial to success. Yet, one common mistake I see many businesses make is neglecting to properly track and analyse the performance of their retargeting campaigns. This can lead to wasted ad spend and missed opportunities for optimisation.

That’s why it’s important to use Facebook’s analytics tools to track key metrics such as ad impressions, clicks, and conversions. By analysing these metrics, we can gain insights into what’s working and what’s not, and make data-driven decisions to optimise our campaigns.

Another important aspect of tracking is setting up conversion tracking. This allows us to measure the success of our ad campaigns in terms of specific actions taken by users, like filling out a form or making a purchase. Without proper conversion tracking, we can’t accurately measure the ROI of our campaigns.

To take tracking and analytics even further, we can use tools like Facebook’s Pixel to track user behaviour on our website after they click on our retargeting ads. This data can be used to create even more targeted and personalised ad campaigns that speak directly to the user’s interests and needs.

Key Takeaways: Use Facebook’s analytics tools to track key metrics
Set up conversion tracking to measure ROI
Use tools like Facebook’s Pixel to track user behaviour on your website

By avoiding the mistake of neglecting proper tracking and analytics, we can optimise our retargeting campaigns for maximum effectiveness and ROI.

Mistake 5: Failing to Exclude Converted Users

One of the most crucial mistakes to avoid in Facebook retargeting is failing to exclude converted users from your campaigns. When you don’t exclude users who have already converted, you risk wasting your ad spend on people who are unlikely to make a purchase again.

To avoid this mistake, it’s essential to track and analyse the performance of your campaigns regularly. By doing so, you can identify which users have already completed a desired action and exclude them from your retargeting efforts.

Excluding converted users will also help you optimise your ad frequency and prevent ad fatigue among your audience. When people see the same ad multiple times, they may start to feel annoyed and perceive your brand negatively.

Therefore, by excluding converted users, you can show your ads to people who are more likely to take a desired action and avoid annoying those who have already converted.

Tips for Successful Facebook Retargeting

At MECHANYSM, we believe that Facebook retargeting is a valuable tool for businesses to reach potential customers who have already expressed interest in their products or services. To ensure that your retargeting campaigns are effective, we recommend following these tips:

1. Set a Realistic Ad Frequency

Retargeting ads can quickly become annoying if displayed too frequently to the same user. We recommend setting a realistic ad frequency that will not overwhelm potential customers while still keeping your business top of mind.

2. Experiment with Different Ad Formats

Facebook offers a variety of ad formats for retargeting campaigns, including carousel ads, video ads, and dynamic product ads. We suggest experimenting with different formats to see which ones perform best for your business.

3. Personalise Your Messaging

MECHANYSM has found that personalised messaging in retargeting ads can be highly effective in driving conversions. Use customer data to tailor ad messaging to specific individuals or segments.

4. Use Social Proof

Social proof, such as customer reviews or ratings, can be powerful in convincing potential customers to convert. Consider incorporating social proof into retargeting ads for added credibility.

5. Test and Analyse

To continually improve retargeting campaign performance, we recommend regularly testing different ad variations and analysing the results. Use Facebook’s analytics tools to gain insights and optimise future campaigns.

By following these tips, your business can create effective Facebook retargeting campaigns that drive conversions and boost ROI. Remember to avoid the common mistakes discussed earlier in this article and stay up to date on best practices for retargeting on Facebook.

The Power of Facebook Display Ads

Facebook display ads are a powerful tool for retargeting campaigns. They allow you to reach users who have interacted with your brand previously and remind them of your products or services. Display ads consist of a combination of images, videos, and text, making them visually appealing and engaging.

One of the main benefits of using Facebook display ads is their ability to target specific audiences based on interests, behaviours, and demographics. This means that you can tailor your ads to reach the most relevant users and increase the chances of conversions. Display ads also have a higher click-through rate than other ad formats, making them an ideal choice for retargeting campaigns.

When creating Facebook display ads, it’s essential to use high-quality images or videos that are relevant to your target audience. The text should be concise and attention-grabbing, highlighting the benefits of your products or services. Personalisation is also crucial, so consider using dynamic ads that show products or services that users have previously interacted with.

Another advantage of using Facebook display ads for retargeting campaigns is their placement options. You can choose to show your ads on the Facebook desktop newsfeed, mobile newsfeed, right column, or even on Instagram. This allows you to reach users where they spend the most time and increase the chances of conversions.

Overall, Facebook display ads are a powerful tool for retargeting campaigns. By using visually appealing and personalised ads that target specific audiences, you can increase your brand’s visibility and drive conversions. So, don’t overlook the power of Facebook display ads in your retargeting strategy.


In conclusion, Facebook retargeting can be a powerful tool for businesses to re-engage with potential customers and increase conversions. However, it’s crucial to avoid common mistakes to maximise its effectiveness.

By properly segmenting your audience, setting frequency caps, optimising your ad creatives, tracking and analysing performance, and excluding converted users, you can create successful retargeting campaigns.

Additionally, implementing tips such as using personalised messaging and leveraging the power of Facebook display ads can further enhance your retargeting efforts.

At the end of the day, the key to success with Facebook retargeting is to stay vigilant in monitoring and optimising your campaigns. By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, we can ensure that our retargeting efforts are optimised for maximum ROI.


Q: What is Facebook retargeting?

A: Facebook retargeting is a marketing technique that allows businesses to target users who have previously interacted with their website or ads on Facebook. It works by placing a tracking pixel on the website, which then enables businesses to show targeted ads to these users as they browse Facebook.

Q: Why is Facebook retargeting important?

A: Facebook retargeting is important because it allows businesses to reach users who have already shown interest in their products or services. By targeting these warm leads, businesses can increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversions. It is a crucial part of any Facebook ads strategy.

Q: What are some common mistakes in Facebook retargeting?

A: Some common mistakes in Facebook retargeting include poor audience segmentation, overlooking frequency caps, ignoring ad creative optimisation, lack of proper tracking and analytics, and failing to exclude converted users.

Q: What is audience segmentation in Facebook retargeting?

A: Audience segmentation in Facebook retargeting involves dividing the target audience into different groups based on their behaviour and characteristics. This allows businesses to deliver more personalised and relevant ads to each segment, increasing the chances of conversion.

Q: What are frequency caps in Facebook retargeting?

A: Frequency caps in Facebook retargeting refer to the maximum number of times a user should see a retargeting ad within a specific time period. Setting frequency caps is important to prevent ad fatigue and annoyance among users, ensuring that the ads remain effective and engaging.

Q: Why is ad creative optimisation important in Facebook retargeting?

A: Ad creative optimisation is crucial in Facebook retargeting because it determines the effectiveness and engagement of the ads. By creating compelling and relevant ad creatives, businesses can capture the attention of the target audience, increase click-through rates, and improve conversions.

Q: How can I track and analyse the performance of Facebook retargeting campaigns?

A: Facebook provides analytics tools, such as Facebook Ads Manager and Facebook Pixel, which allow businesses to track and analyse the performance of their retargeting campaigns. These tools provide insights into metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions, and ROI, helping businesses make data-driven decisions.

Q: Why is it important to exclude converted users in Facebook retargeting?

A: Excluding converted users in Facebook retargeting is important because it enables businesses to optimise their ad spend and improve overall campaign performance. By not targeting users who have already converted, businesses can focus their advertising efforts on reaching new potential customers.

Q: What are some tips for successful Facebook retargeting?

A: Some tips for successful Facebook retargeting include setting appropriate ad frequency caps, using a variety of ad formats, personalising messaging based on user behaviour, testing and optimising ad creatives, and leveraging audience segmentation to deliver targeted ads.

Q: How effective are Facebook display ads in retargeting campaigns?

A: Facebook display ads are highly effective in retargeting campaigns as they allow businesses to use eye-catching visuals and engaging formats to re-engage users. Display ads can help increase brand recall, drive website traffic, and encourage conversions, making them a powerful tool in Facebook retargeting strategies.

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