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An effective customer funnel is more than a way to organize your account; if done right, it allows you to reach specific groups in your market at the right time in their customer journey to encourage conversions.

Though funnels vary in complexity across accounts because of different goals and objectives, I’ll be describing a general process to get you started thinking about your account’s funnel in a more efficient and effective way. I’ll start by describing the steps in identifying an effective customer funnel and then dive into social best practices for setting up your funnel with some copy and creative ideas tailored to each step. Let’s get started!

Identify Your Customer Funnel

The first step in identifying your customer funnel is to think about the customer journey from two perspectives: your audience’s and your client’s (which should take goals into account). I’ve included a three-segment example of a customer funnel that covers major steps in the buying process:

1) Acquisition: An audience that is not brand aware. Target new customers by various interest groups and lookalike audiences.

2) Retargeting: An audience that is brand aware, but hasn’t converted. Target email subscribers, website visitors, etc.

3) Retention: An audience that has converted. Target by past purchases or any individual who has completed your conversion goal.

Generally, the best way to think about your customer funnel is in terms of cold to hot – cold being someone who isn’t familiar with your product or brand, hot being a customer. Facebook is a large platform with a variety of different people and interests. The sooner you recognize the steps in your customer funnel and how to reach those individuals, the sooner you’ll be able to target specific messaging and creative and transition the “cold” customers to “hot”.

Customer Funnel Best Practices

Use Audiences to Your Advantage

Great audiences to utilize in your acquisition segment are “lookalike audiences,” or people who have similar interests and behaviors of your current “warm” and “hot” customers. Though lookalike audiences haven’t heard of your brand or product before, they have similar habits to your current customers, which makes it easier to tailor creative and copy. Creating a lookalike audience is fairly simple; you’ll need to choose a source for Facebook to find lookalikes from, an audience location, and a desired audience size.

Another great way to target your acquisition segment is by Facebook’s interest groups. Targeting by interest, such as competitors and other interests relating to your product, is a great start. After developing a series of interest groups that pertain to your market, you can test interest-specific copy that will relate to your audience and have the potential to increase conversions.

Create Campaigns for Each Segment

Setting up each segment as an individual campaign will allow for greater control according to the individual needs of each group.

I recently went a step further with this and broke down a single Acquisition campaign into two separate campaigns by audience: Lookalike and Interest. By separating Lookalike and Interest ad sets, I allowed Facebook’s conversion budget optimizer (CBO) to more effectively allocate budget to top-performing ad sets. Before the separation, CBO was pushing spend to Interest audiences instead of Lookalikes when they weren’t performing as efficiently. After the separation these audiences into new campaigns, the CBO was able to analyze performance better and push spend towards the top-performing ad sets.

In retargeting audiences, I previously had one ad set that targeted general “registered but not purchased” users. Though performance was good, I wanted to learn how to turn these already “warm” customers to “hot” more efficiently. I created a campaign just for Retargeting audiences and created multiple ad sets based on a pixel of registered users. These ad sets were organized by how long ago a user registered like “Registered 1 day” (a user who registered a day ago) and “Registered 30 Day” (a user who registered 30 days ago). By segmenting these audiences into individual ad sets, I was able to better analyze performance and see where the majority of our customers were converting. Diving deeper, I can now start introducing different types of ad copy to the “1 day registered” vs. “90 day registered” users to encourage conversions through the funnel.

Utilize Facebook’s Range of Optimization Options

After segmenting your campaigns, you can take better advantage of Facebook’s advertising objectives. Depending on your account’s goals, you can set optimizations to match the needs of your audience. For example, acquisition audiences may be better optimized towards registrations, whereas retargeting audiences would be better optimized towards conversions.

Facebook breaks these objectives down in a funnel structure:

  • Awareness: With a purpose to generate interest in your product.
  • Consideration: With a purpose to get users familiar with your business and want more information.
  • Conversions: With a purpose to get people to purchase.

Testing these different objectives in the appropriate customer segments can lead to significant performance improvement. It all starts with understanding your customer journey and structuring your account to reflect it. Soon you’ll have a smooth customer funnel with tailored objectives, audiences, copy, and creative and will be converting cold customers to hot.