Syncing to Facebook Audiences

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When creating Facebook Custom Audiences, keep in mind that Facebook and Instagram are complimentary channels on your customer journey. Syncing your first-party customer data to a Facebook Audience allows you to retarget people who have interacted with your brand on Facebook and/or Instagram. Understanding your customer’s current engagement with your brand, identifying special interest groups within your customer list, and determining how you want to approach your audiences on Facebook and/or Instagram should be at the forefront of your mind when designing Audience sync strategies.

Best practices always involve knowing your customers well, whether it be through engagement behavior or special interests. You’ll define specific customer groups through segmentation, and then sync your segments to Facebook Audiences. This process enables you to leverage your owned data in your Facebook Advertising. Once you’ve synced your segments to Facebook Audiences, you can create tailored ads for your audiences. You will engage hesitant or unengaged customers with a light touch, and approach engaged customers more overtly.

Assess your Customer’s Engagement Level

Customer engagement describes how people interact with your brand. Your customers’ engagement is a powerful insight you can leverage when creating targeted Facebook Audiences.

Customer engagement is assessed using several key factors:

  • Opening/clicking your emails
  • Browsing your website
  • Purchasing: amount spent, average order value

Consider the quality of each engagement factor by:

  • Recency
  • Frequency

Your customer list can be roughly split into engaged and unengaged profiles. Engaged profiles have already warmed to your brand; they’ve opted-in to your email communications, they’ve opened or clicked through your emails, and/or they’ve purchased your products. Unengaged profiles have not yet interacted with your brand recently either through email or purchases, or they've actively unsubscribed from your communications.

Keep in mind that investing in ads targeting custom audiences built from engaged segments will yield a much higher ROI than ads targeting unengaged customers. Although the examples below focus on segmenting engaged profiles, you can also target unengaged profiles. We generally recommend investing a larger portion of your ad spend on targeting engaged audiences, while investing a smaller spend on unengaged profiles. See how your ads for unengaged profiles perform and increase your spend accordingly.

Below are some examples of segments that assess brand engagement.

Potential Brand Enthusiasts

Potential Brand Enthusiasts have opted-in to email communications, purchased in the last 4 months, but haven’t spent a tremendous amount of money on products (tweak your segment to reflect your pricing.) Below is an example of a segment to sync to a Facebook Custom Audience so you can convert them to brand enthusiasts.

Engage this segment with ads featuring products related to the ones they previously purchased, and offer them a discount to push them to convert.

Lapsed Enthusiasts

Lapsed Enthusiasts used to be enthusiastic about your brand, purchasing frequently and spending a significant amount, but lately they’ve lost interest. Lapsed Enthusiasts are a great segment to sync to Facebook Custom Audiences because you can remind them on Facebook and Instagram of what a great brand you are and how much they miss purchasing from you! Remember that segments that sync to Facebook Audiences can include profiles who have not opted-in to your email communications and are not included in your Newsletter/Subscription lists.

Potential Brand Enthusiasts and Lapsed Enthusiasts are just two tiers of engagement within your customer list; there are many more to explore within your customer base. The process of learning your customers’ behavior is best iterated over time. As you continue to assess your customers’ engagement through segmentation, you can create increasingly refined segments of customers that reflect shades of engagement. Continue to use engagement insight to create more highly targeted Facebook Audiences.

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Identify Special Interest Groups

Being specific is the key to effective targeting. The deeper you understand your audiences’ interests, the more personal you can make your communication with them.

Capture Special Interests via Signup Form

Ask your customers directly what they are interested in through the use of a Klaviyo targeted signup form. Forms can capture your customers’ preferences for styles, hair types, or favorite pets. Engage your customers with a signup form, and use the insights gleaned to create special interest segments that you can sync to Facebook Custom Audiences.

  1. Design a signup form to capture profile properties from your customers. Use text blocks, radio buttons, checkboxes, or dropdowns to capture custom profile properties that are stored within each person’s profile. For example, create a signup form to capture which types of pets your customer prefers.

    This is what custom properties look like in a profile:
  2. Create a segment of customers associated with a profile property. For example, create a segment of customers that own cats and have been engaged with your brand in the last 30 days.
  3. Sync your special-interest segment to a Facebook Audience.

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Identify Purchaser Preferences

Create segments of customers who have purchased your products. Filter purchases by item name, SKUs or a collection. Sync to a Facebook Audience and target these people with ads that feature related products or collections.

For example, create a segment of customers who have recently purchased dog food.

Notice that this segment doesn’t include a filter for people who have subscribed to your Newsletter list because you are not approaching them by email. Sync this segment to a Custom Audience, and target them with an Ad featuring your dog supplies.

Identify Browsing Behavior

Browsing behavior is a lesser indication of engagement than abandoning a cart or making a purchase, but you can still target casual browsers on Facebook and Instagram. Remember to use a light touch with these potential customers; avoid “creepy” retargeting by displaying ads with general content rather than ads featuring the exact products that people just browsed. If a customer’s interest in your products hasn’t evolved past browsing, they’ll respond better to a more general ad.

Much like a browse abandonment flow which is triggered by the Viewed Product metric, you’ll create a segment of people who have viewed products by using the Viewed Product metric.

To segment by Viewed Product, you’ll need to have web tracking enabled in your account. Web tracking is usually enabled when you first set up your Klaviyo account. You can learn more about web tracking and find instructions on enabling web tracking if you have not already done so.

For example, create a segment of customers who have browsed several of your products. You can segment by specific products or by category.

Sync this segment to a Custom Audience, and surface an ad to warm them to your brand.

Classic Segments for Retargeting

There are a number of segments that lend themselves well to retargeting on Facebook and Instagram due to their high engagement level such as cart abandoners, cross-channel, cross sell and upsell, and recent subscribers. You can also target an unengaged segment that has purchased from you in the past, but has not purchased from you within the last year.  These segments are detailed below.


Cart Abandoners

Abandoned carts indicate that people are highly interested in your products. This is one reason why an abandoned cart flow is one of the most profitable flows you can employ in your marketing strategy. Reinforce this interest by retargeting these people on Facebook and/or Instagram. Create a segment of cart abandoners to sync to a Custom Audience.

Due to how segments with relative time conditions work, this segment will not update in real-time, but instead will update every 24 hours. For this reason, you may notice that this segment contains customers who started a checkout and placed an order within the same day.

This is an example of a cart abandoner segment:

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A cross-channel segment is an ideal segment for syncing to Audiences so you can reinforce messages people see in email on additional channels.

For example, create a segment of customers who have received and opened one of your emails but have never placed an order. You can experiment with different time frames, such as Opened Email - at least once - in the last 30 days, to see what segment performs best.

Sync this segment to Facebook Audiences to reinforce your message via Facebook or Instagram Ad.

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Cross Sell or Upsell

Another great segment for syncing to Audiences are cross sell or upsell segments. These customers purchased an item but have not purchased related items. You can target purchasers who have not opted-in to email communications in this segment as well.

This segment identifies people who have purchased by SKU, and who have not opted-in for email communications. The segment also omits the products we’re attempting to cross-sell.

For this audience, create a Facebook or Instagram Ad that features specific, related items.

Learn more:

Recent Subscribers

Marketers will tell you that the first few days after opting-in are critical for converting your customers. Reinforce your email and/or SMS communications with Facebook or Instagram ads.

This segment captures recent subscribers who have not yet purchased.

While they’re newly interested in your brand, sync this segment to Audiences and target them with an eye-catching on-brand ad on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunset Segment

Sunset flows are a last ditch-effort to re-engage people who were once interested in your product, but are no longer engaged. Email campaigns for sunset audiences don’t tend to have high open rates. Instead, target your sunset segment on Facebook or Instagram.

This segment of customers pulls unengaged profiles who purchased between 1-2 years ago, but you can reach back several years for this segment.


Sync this segment to Audiences and remind them how awesome your brand is and how you’ve evolved with high-level Facebook or Instagram ads.

Learn more about segmenting for social media in our Guide to Advanced Segmentation

Create Customized Ads for Targeted Audiences

Get your creative juices flowing! Create ads that your audience responds to.

Here are a few best-practice tips for designing ads that speak to Audiences along their customer journey.

Match Your Ad with Your Brand

Drive brand awareness with Facebook Ads that match your brand design. People are more likely to click on an ad if they recognize it and feel comfortable with it.

Naturalicious is a Klaviyo customer who features rich product packaging, deep purples, and a regal and happy vibe. These translate into an eye-catching, on-brand Facebook Ad:

Brand recognition goes a long way in encouraging people to click on your Facebook Ads.

Use Generic Ads for Cooler Audiences, Specific Ads for Warmer Audiences

Audiences can be described as cool or warm. Cooler audiences have not yet warmed to your brand— they may be new subscribers, first-time browsers, or they’ve never heard of your products. Warmer audiences are already familiar with your brand and products— they’ve spent time on your website, interacted with your emails, and/or considered purchasing your products. The warmest customers are those who have purchased recently and have responded to your communications. Cool audiences should be handled differently than warm audiences.

One study from the Journal of Marketing Research showed that more high-level, generic ads work best when warming your audience. This study found that once customers warmed to a brand, ads that displayed specific products were more appealing than generic ads.

Keep Retargeting Frequency Light

According to a study by InSkin Media and Rapp Media, people are turned off by excessive ad exposure. Viewing an ad 4-5 times seems to annoy people, and viewing an ad 10+ times seems to make people angry! People seem to respond best to 1-3 views of an ad, so keep your ad frequency light for a better customer experience.
RappInfo2.pngImage by InSkin Media

Include Emojis in Your Ad Copy

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention how effective emojis are in Facebook Ads. Ads with emojis are clicked on more than ads without emojis. Don’t worry about ads with emojis seeming unprofessional; remember that Facebook is a social networking site — your mom and grandma are checking baby and pet pictures on this channel daily. However, be careful not to use too many emojis in one ad— you don’t want to overwhelm your audience or look like a spammer.

Below is an example of how Native, a company that sells clean personal care products, uses emojis in their ad content.

Next Steps

Lookalike Audiences

Once you have a good Custom Audiences strategy in place, consider reaching out to new people on Facebook by creating Lookalike Audiences that resemble your best-performing Audiences.

Learn more:

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