Imagine these two scenarios.
Scenario #1: You own a dating website that has been around for ten years. You already have thousands of members, but you want to keep expanding, so you launch some new ad campaigns.
Would you want to show your ads to people who are already members? No, you’d be wasting your money.
Scenario #2: You’re trying to retarget people who have visited your blog. Your goal is to get them to sign up for your email list.
However, you wouldn’t want to show these ads to people who are already on your email list right?
You get the point.
There are times when you’re running a campaign and you DON’T want to show your ads to a specific group. You want to exclude specific groups from seeing your ads.
Doing this can lower your cost of acquisition and keep you from wasting money on clicks that will never convert.
This also means better performing ads. People that have already converted probably aren’t going to click.
It seems simple enough, but this can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in wasted ad spend.
Fortunately, Facebook has a feature designed specifically for the purpose of excluding people from an audience.
In this post, I’m going to show you two unique ways to implement it, as well as give you some tips on the most effective ways to use this feature.
The Two Ways to Exclude an Audience
1. Excluding Via The Facebook Pixel
There are two basic ways you can use the Facebook audience exclusion feature, and the first is with the Facebook pixel.
If you don’t have the pixel installed on your website or landing pages, you’re going to want to do that ASAP, even if you don’t want to exclude people from your audiences. The pixel is a superpower you don’t want to ignore.
You can read my guide on the Facebook pixel and lookalike audiences to help you get started.
Basically, the Facebook pixel functions as a tracking device for people who visit your website. Have you ever visited a site and then suddenly you start seeing ads for it everywhere?
Yeah, that creepy feature is the Facebook pixel at work probably.
You can set up the pixel to track all sorts of events on your site, such as visits, putting an item in the shopping cart but not buying, signing up for an email list, etc.
Once you have the pixel installed on your site, it’s time to create your excluded audience.
First, go to the “Audiences” tab:
Now it’s time to create a new audience based on your Facebook pixel. Click the “Create Audience” tab and then click “Custom Audience.”
Now select “Website Traffic” when asked how you want to create the audience.
Now it’s time to decide who we want to exclude. Let’s go back to you selling the lingerie and let’s say you want to target everyone who has NOT purchased from you. In other words, you’re creating an audience exclusively of people who aren’t yet customers.
To do that, change the setting from “all site visitors” to “URL equals.” Then set the URL to your purchase “thank you” page.
This will ensure that anyone who has purchased from you and seen your thank you page is NOT included in the audience and won’t see any of your ads.
Then simply click “Create Audience.” Now you have this audience available to use in your next ad campaign. When you create your audience for your next ad campaign, make sure that you also exclude the custom audience you created. You do that by clicking the little “Exclude” option in the right lower corner.
Excluding Via Email List
Excluding certain audiences is even easier if you have an email list.
First, create a custom audience by uploading your email list to Facebook.
Save this audience. When you’re creating a new audience for your next set of ads, be sure to exclude this audience.
So back to the guy who runs the dating membership site. If he wanted to exclude his members from seeing ads, all he would need to do is upload his member email list and then exclude them from his audiences.
Warning: Don’t Use These Powers for Evil
A quick word of warning about excluding people from your audiences.
Don’t be an asshole.
Don’t use the power of exclusion to discriminate against anyone based on their ethnicity or religion or anything else like that.
If you do, you may run into trouble with Facebook.
Some people were using this feature to exclude certain races / religions from applying to their housing.
After receiving complaints from the government, Facebook has already started removing ad targeting options to prevent people from running discriminatory ads.
So just don’t be stupid when it comes to running your ads. If it feels like you’re unfairly discriminating against someone…you probably are.
Don’t Waste Your Money
Remember how in high school there were some people who were always downers? You didn’t want to invite them to parties because you knew they would kill the vibe.
Facebook is the same way. There are some people who, no matter how many times they see your ad, won’t convert.
It’s better not to “invite” them to it in the first place.
There are almost ALWAYS some people who shouldn’t see your ad. If you don’t take the time to exclude them from your Facebook audience, you’re literally just wasting money on people who will never convert to your offer.
Craft your audience carefully and your CTR will go up and your CPA will go down. It’s a win-win.
Featured Image by serggn