Shopify Ecosystem

Upgrade your ecommerce funnel: Remarket to visitors with Facebook messages


Remarketing tools have become essential for all modern ecommerce brands. Abandoned checkout emails and contextual ads on Google or Facebook are the most popular forms, and they are fundamental in the marketing strategy of almost all successful online stores.

Sending remarketing messages to your visitors via Facebook Messenger is, in essence, similar to how email remarketing works, but the results are vastly different. Whereas most marketing emails will never be read, Facebook Messenger marketing campaigns usually have an open rate of over 90%.

messenger vs sms vs email performance

Using Facebook Messenger automations for remarketing to your audience is certainly a novel approach, therefore many ecommerce merchants have never heard of it, or at least don’t know how to get started.

If you would like to know how you can boost your revenue quickly and easily by using Facebook Messenger remarketing, then this guide is for you. I will explain how to:

  1. Start using Facebook Messenger for remarketing
  2. Collect data about store visitors on Shopify to make your messages more appealing
  3. Enable automations that maximize your revenue
  4. Avoid common pitfalls

The emergence of today’s social media platforms changed many aspects of our lives. The way we market products and the tools we use for selling online have also changed.

Today, email is still prevalent for remarketing, although it’s widely understood that at least 2 out of 3 marketing emails will never be opened. To fill in the gap left by the fading effectiveness of marketing emails, we need to adapt and start communicating with customers on platforms that they actively use.

With over 2.5 billion monthly active users, Facebook is arguably the most important platform for anyone trying to reach a mainstream audience in 2020. In consequence, Facebook Messenger is an extremely lucrative marketing channel for businesses looking to improve their conversion rate and customer lifetime value.

Getting started

There are some apps that simplify the process of creating performant sponsored message campaigns, which we will talk about later on. Nevertheless, you can get started by simply using Facebook Business Manager.

In case you haven’t yet created a Business Manager for your store, you can do so for free over at Facebook for Business.

In your Business Manager, you can create sponsored message campaigns similarly to how you would create any other Facebook campaign: Just make sure to set Messages as the campaign objective.

campaign creation business manager edited

Setting budget and bid control

The way sponsored message budgets and bid controls work is somewhat unintuitive, but it’s not complicated at all. Basically, you need to set a high enough budget, otherwise your messages will be sent out slowly or not at all. However, Facebook almost never maxes out the set budget, instead usually stays under the limit by a lot.

The general practice is to set all sponsored message campaigns to a fixed budget calculated based on the current audience size.

For small and medium audiences, we recommend setting the budget to $1,000 and the bid control to $300.

You should increase the budget to $3,000 and the bid control to $500 If your audience size is over 50,000.

One way Recart assists in the process is by suggesting the appropriate budget and bid control for all campaigns automatically.

Sending the right messages

To complete your basic sponsored message campaign, you just need to edit the message and publish the campaign.

In Business Manager, you can preview the sponsored message to check how it will look like when the conversation is open, and more importantly, how it will appear in the Messenger inbox.

edit message business manager

For sponsored messages, the first line of text acts as the subject line, so make it exciting and informative. If you offer some promotional incentive, like free shipping or a percentage discount, include it here if you can.

As a best practice, keep your first lines catchy, to the point and shorter than 25 characters. Otherwise, people using smartphones with smaller screens might not be able to read your main message at a glance.

If you are happy with your message, publish your campaign, and check back tomorrow to see your initial results.

A simple sponsored message campaign set up in Business Manager is good enough for promoting flash sales or holiday promotions. Remarketing, however, is much more effective when we use personal data collected for each visitor on our store. Chances are, you already collect that information with a Facebook Pixel on your store.

In case you haven’t yet set up a Facebook Pixel on your Shopify store, you can do so in a few easy steps.

With your Facebook Pixel set up and ready to go, you gather customer data on their search, add to cart, checkout, payment and purchase events, which you can use to send segmented and personalized sponsored messages.

Just like any other Facebook Ad, sponsored messages are targeted at a Facebook Audience, which might be defined based on age, gender and other demographic features, or you can use the data collected with your Facebook Pixel to create a custom audience that will receive your sponsored message campaign.

By using demographic targeting and custom audiences, you can send extremely relevant messages to different groups of people.

For example, you can contact people who have visited your store recently and have their birthday coming up soon, or visitors who recently searched for a specific product, but didn’t end up placing an order.

birthday sponsored message by createroom.png5fc49cae7cf62

The most effective messages are usually those that target visitors based on where they currently are in the customer journey.

This way, you can send completely different messages to people who merely visited your store and to returning customers who are expected to make a new purchase soon.

ultra denim check back sponsored message.png5fc49cb64c6c1

To learn more about clever targeting tactics for Facebook ads, read our guide on targeting for ecommerce promotions.

facebook ad targeting tips bfcm 2020 cover

As you have seen, it is entirely possible to run sponsored message campaigns without any special software. Nevertheless, there are quite a few benefits of using Recart to manage your Facebook Messenger marketing funnels, including sponsored messages.

First of all, Recart is built by a team of ecommerce marketers who use Facebook Messenger to boost the revenue of leading brands day to day. This allows us to develop Recart with our experience and best practices built-in.

For example, when creating a sponsored message campaign with Recart, all required settings will have a recommended value that is proven to be most effective currently. The budget size and bid control settings that make most sense for an ecommerce store will change from time to time, as the landscape of sponsored message bidding changes.

Our team at Recart constantly monitors several thousand sponsored message campaigns, allowing us to have always up-to-date knowledge on what works and what doesn’t. We always update our editors to include the latest, most effective best practices. Therefore if you use Recart to manage your sponsored message ads, you won’t have any unpleasant surprises to worry about.

Screenshot 2020 11 30 at 5.49.33

What’s more, Recart allows you to convert your single sponsored messages to fully fledged conversation flows with unlimited interactions, follow-up messages, delays, conditional splits and more.

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You can even collect SMS and email subscribers right inside Facebook Messenger.

Just like your regular Facebook ads, sponsored messages will also work best when the target audience is receptive.

In fact, if too many people ignore or block your messages, Facebook will assume that your brand sends unsolicited, spammy messages and might restrict your business account.

When using Business Manager to create sponsored message campaigns, unfortunately, you don’t really have a good solution for targeting only people who are interested. A serious flaw in the way sponsored messages are targeted is that even if someone had replied to unsubscribe from further messages, Facebook will keep them in your sponsored message audience.

This is a problem for multiple reasons. First of all, unreceptive people will dilute your audience and decrease the return on ad spend for all campaigns.

Moreover, if someone keeps receiving the sponsored messages they explicitly tried to avoid, they are likely to block all messages from your business. If enough people block your messages, you can expect to have some of your advertising options suspended by Facebook. Thankfully, there is a foolproof solution to avoid this unfortunate scenario.

Screenshot 2020 11 30 at 5.54.42

When creating a sponsored message with Recart, the target audience will automatically exclude every person who replied to your business saying they would like to unsubscribe.

This is one of those features which might not seem like a big deal, but in reality, is a major reason why sponsored messages managed with Recart perform better and result in much higher customer happiness.

Special thanks to our friends at Recart for their insights on this topic.

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