E-commerce Facebook Ads: 20 Essential Tips for More Sales

By June 7, 2020October 5th, 2020No Comments

Credit To: Neil Patel

ecommerce facebook ads

Social media sites are constantly changing their algorithms to personalize what users see in their feeds.

As a business, the chance of your target audience seeing your organic content on social media is lower than ever before.

It’s becoming increasingly necessary to pay to play.

So if you want to use Facebook to boost your e-commerce sales, you should consider Facebook Ads.

That means paying money for ads.

But I don’t want to throw money at ads that won’t convert to sales. I bet you don’t either, right?

Facebook Ads are good for more than getting targeted traffic to a site. E-commerce businesses can use Facebook Ads at any stage of their sales funnel:

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I’ll share with you 20 essential, straightforward tips that you can easily implement to drive more sales.

I’m not talking the basics. I’m talking how to really make your ads the best that they can be.

1. Use stunning images in your ads

Make sure you always use high-quality images in your ads.

You should pick images that follow these guidelines:

  • The pictures should be bright, full of color and eye-catching.
  • Avoid images that are the same colors as Facebook (blue and white) because they can blend in, and users won’t notice them.
  • Try to incorporate images of happy people. It’s even better if they are actually shown using your product.
  • Typically, pictures of women perform better than photos of men.
  • Make sure you choose an image that is the right size for the ad type you’ve selected.

Worldwide Breast Cancer had one of the best-performing ads of 2017. It had quite a few things going for it.

Check out the bright, vibrant, eye-catching colors.

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Remember that people tend to scroll through their Facebook feeds quickly.

You need an image that will stand out among everything else.

Facebook does let you put text in your ad images. The text can’t take up more than 20% of the total area, though.

Photos can produce a lot of engagement all by themselves. But adding powerful words, phrases, or numbers can make them even more attention-grabbing.

Worldwide Breast Cancer does this well with the hot pink headline at the top of their image.

Showing images of happy people in your ads can help create an emotional connection. I find this makes people more likely to click on my ads.

That’s why I often feature my own images in my ads.

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But I also recommend using images of other people, as long as they’re smiling, laughing, or happy.

And try to select images of attractive people.

I know it sounds shallow, and the term “attractive” is very subjective, but it’s definitely a factor in getting clicks.

You’ll want to use an image of an attractive woman if you’re advertising to a male demographic.

If you’re targeting a female demographic, try to choose a photo of an attractive man.

Keep in mind that most people are used to seeing real pictures of their friends and family on Facebook, so cheesy stock photos won’t cut it.

Try to use real images or real people. They tend to get more clicks.

2. Get Facebook Pixel for your website

Install Facebook Pixel so you can see Facebook customer actions on your website.

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This way, Facebook can create ads that directly target your customers.

First, create a pixel by logging into Facebook, going to Events Manager, and then going to your Pixels tab. Click ‘Create a Pixel.’

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Next, add the pixel to your website.

I’ll walk you through how to do this for Shopify.

If you use any other site type, click here to find the steps needed to install your pixel.

For Shopify, do the following:

  1. In Facebook, go to Ads Manager.
  2. Go into the Pixels section.
  3. Click “set up pixel.”
  4. Click “use integration or tag manager.”
  5. Click “Shopify.”
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  1. Click “enter your pixel ID.”
  2. Copy your pixel ID.
  3. Now go log in to Shopify.
  4. Go to your Shopify Admin panel.
  5. Paste your pixel ID in the Facebook pixel section.
  6. Click “Save.”
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Now you can use the pixel to track activity and events on your website that you want Facebook to be aware of for ad targeting.

Types of events you can choose to track are:

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3. Use the interests field to target your die-hard fans

People generally use Facebook to socialize, not to shop.

This means it’s important to put your product in front of a laser-targeted audience for it to get results.

If you target the wrong audience, who are only mildly receptive to your product, it’s going to be much harder to consistently drive conversions.

If you’re selling a niche product, experimenting with the “Interests” field is crucial.


After typing in an interest, you’ll see categories and pages that are relevant to this audience.

If you pick too broad of an interest, the categories and pages that show up won’t tie closely to your target audience.

Try to select a more narrow interest, until you find the results are all closely related to your interest.

For example, “women’s running magazine” is much more specific, and will have more consistent results than just “running.”

By combining multiple narrow interests, you’ll be able to create an audience of die-hard fans.

Make sure that you’re being as specific as possible. It’s tempting to try to target a wider audience, but it doesn’t work.

If you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one.

The reach on Facebook is ridiculously large. Narrow it down as much as you can. Shrinking your target audience will actually increase your chances of conversions.

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4. Create a custom audience for people who’ve already viewed your product page

Very few people will purchase your product the first time they arrive on your site.

Data suggests that 98% of visitors on your website won’t purchase during their first visit.

Even if you create a highly persuasive Facebook Ad and target the perfect audience, there can be a million reasons why people won’t purchase on their first visit.

That’s OK.

As long as someone has checked out your product page, you know they have some interest in your product.

Creating a custom audience just for people who have viewed your product page can help turn these visitors into buyers.

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When creating this custom audience, exclude people who are already customers.

This means you’ll be targeting only people who have viewed your product, but who haven’t made a purchase yet.

Then you can use this custom audience to provide a custom ad targeted only at them.

For example, offer a small discount like 10% off, and make it for a limited time only. This can really boost conversion rates.

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5. Target cart abandonment

To take remarketing one step further, you can target people who not only visited your product page, but who also added the product to their cart, only to abandon checkout before completion.

Why bother targeting cart abandonment?

Almost 70% of visitors who get as far as adding an item to their cart will abandon it before checking out.

That’s a huge pool of potential sales!

You already know these people were considering buying your product.

People who abandon their carts may only need a small nudge to complete their order.

You can easily create an ad asking them if they’ve forgotten to buy your item.

Make sure you design the ad to include a picture of the item and link it to the product so they can finish the order easily.

You’ll notice in this Red Balloon ad that they take it even further by including a discount offer.

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Keep in mind that someone who abandoned their cart yesterday will be easier to convert than someone who abandoned their cart several weeks ago.

If you’re going to target people who abandoned their cart awhile ago, you will need to offer larger discounts to lure them back.

6. Upsell to your current customers

Many businesses segment their emails to try and sell additional products to their existing customers.

But did you know that the same principle works for Facebook advertising?

Upselling is an easy way to increase your sales by targeting people you already know have an interest in your product.

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Someone who has purchased from you already is more likely to trust you and your brand.

This is an easier sell than a new customer.

After all, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.

You can boost sales and get a great return on your ad spend by doing upselling ads.

7. Build referral programs

Now you know Facebook Ads can encourage customers to make repeat purchases.

They can also encourage customers to convert their friends into customers.


You use Facebook Ads to promote referral programs.

People are more likely to pay attention to an attractive pop-up in their Facebook news feed than an email about a referral program.

You can offer your existing customers a discount in exchange for a referral or a video review of your product.

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These video reviews work really well as social proof.

This is why Facebook Ads are an excellent way to turn customers into brand advocates.

8. Promote your content

When done well, content marketing and Facebook Ads can be a powerful combination.

You should create content for every stage in your sales funnel.

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Then you can promote it to the right audiences (based on where they’re at in your funnel) using Facebook Ads.

Whether you base your strategy on a traditional sales funnel (above) or a conversion funnel, you should have different types of content targeting people in each stage.

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Trying to direct different content to different customers is a lot easier with Facebook Ads.

The use of these ads can also help make sure that as people move through the funnel, your messaging to them changes to keep encouraging them toward the buying stage.

Remember that the more times a person interacts with your brand, the greater the chance they will convert when you go for the hard sell.

9. Create and target a lookalike audience

If you already have a customer list of at least several hundred people you can build a lookalike audience on Facebook.

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This is a group of people who resemble your current or previous buyers.

The larger and more detailed your customer list is, the more accurate your lookalike audience will be.

If you have repeat customers and brand advocates already, make sure you include them in the list you use to build your lookalike audience.

Why is a lookalike audience valuable?

This audience is a group of people Facebook believes is similar to your customers.

This means that the chances are good that they’ll also like your brand and product. You can get a lot of great leads from a lookalike audience.

If your content has been successful with your customers, it will probably work with your lookalike audience, too.

Knowing this allows you to personalize your content for them. Considering that personalizing your campaigns leads to an 89% uplift in conversion rates on social media, you should be doing this as much as possible.

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10. Host a contest

Contests on Facebook are a great way to drive sales.

People love winning stuff.

Whizzbangs is a great example of this.

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Within minutes this contest had 50+ likes!

Notice that instead of saying “Get a free lunch,” they tell you they are giving away “$30 in Free Food.”

Putting a dollar amount on the prize can make it seem more valuable.

It may also encourage customers to spend more when they come in. Since it’s more than just a free lunch for one, the chances are good that they’ll bring a friend or two with them.

If you see this and you don’t win the contest, the image may have still been enough to make you crave a burger.

And if you live near a Whizzbangs, you’ll probably go there to get it.

What if you’re purely e-commerce, without a physical location?

Contests can still work great.

After all, it’s even easier and more immediate for a winner to redeem their prize when they don’t have to go somewhere to pick it up.

Just make sure that you follow Facebook’s rules for contests or you could get banned from future opportunities.

11. Create an offer

Facebook Offers are another chance to increase your sales using Facebook.

Although they’re no longer free to run on your page, they’re still a good way of offering a discount or time-limited incentive to fans and customers.

Offers are valuable because people will need to come to your e-commerce site to redeem them.

And if they come to your site, the chances of them buying your products is higher.

You can run an Offer directly from your page’s Publisher — where you normally post status updates.

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Click on the “Offer, Event+” to make this appear:

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Now click “Offer.”

A box will open up, giving you plenty of options to choose from.

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On the left-hand side is a preview of your Offer. The setup options are on the right.

Simply add the headline you want, choose a captivating photo, and pick your start and end dates.

Make sure your Offer includes any Terms & Conditions. Then click “Create Offer.”

The post will look like this:

completed facebook offer

The catch is that you have to choose to promote the offer in order to select a target audience.

If you don’t, the offer will just post to your Timeline. And you don’t want that because it will be much less effective.

12. Offer discounts or coupons directly to your Facebook fans

Facebook has an app you can use to offer discount coupons.

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This app will give you the chance to offer your followers on Facebook an exclusive discount.

It can be a percentage off or even a free item.

There are multiple benefits of using this technique:

  • Like any promotional sale, it can help drive traffic and conversions.
  • As an exclusive offer to only Facebook fans, it encourages more people to sign up as fans (building leads).
  • The exclusive nature can also build loyalty since it rewards those who already follow you on Facebook.

13. Create a product gallery on Facebook

You can use Facebook to showcase your products directly to your target audience.

To do this, you just create a product gallery.

This type of gallery allows you to display photos, prices and buy-buttons for each product you want to promote.

Giving your audience the convenience of simply clicking a “buy now” button without ever having to leave Facebook can help you capture impulse buys.

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If you have a Shopify store, you can easily integrate it with Facebook’s product gallery.

You can set up your entire store for sale on Facebook in just a few steps.

This allows you to add products to your online store and make changes in real time.

14. Use engaging, catchy copy in your ads

When you write anything, you always want it to engage with your target audience.

With a Facebook Ad, it’s even more critical that you capture the attention of your prospect with the first few words.

There is too much noise on Facebook. If you don’t grab them right away, they will just keep scrolling down their news feed.

Your copy and the image with it should tell a story that speaks to your ideal customer.

One way to do this is by adding emojis in your copy. Just make sure that they suit the tone of your ad and your target demographic.

People use emojis all the time as a way of evoking emotions while writing.

Not sure where to start?

There is a distinct formula for writing copy that increases your number of clicks.

Here are three specific phrases that will maximize clicks:

  1. Want [blank]? Check out [blank]: [LINK]”
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  1. Learn how to [do something]: [LINK]”
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  1. Need to [fix a problem]? Here’s a simple way to do it: [LINK]”
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You’ll notice that these ads are all simple.

Show your audience that you understand their pain point or issue and how clicking on your ad will offer them a solution.

Don’t overthink it. Keep it brief and to the point.

15. Use words that trigger clicks

You need to make sure your ads use words and phrases that grab attention.

Just don’t use clickbait. Make sure your title relates to your content.

Grab your audience’s attention using strong and powerful words.

Try to incorporate a sense of urgency.

We are highly susceptible to words that contain a sense of urgency.

If you already know that your prospect is interested in your product, then this is where you want to push them towards a purchase.

Use words like the following:

  • Limited time only
  • Hurry
  • Buy now
  • Don’t miss out
  • Offer expires
  • Act now
  • Clearance
  • One day only
  • Last chance
  • Deadline

Here’s a great example from Club W:

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The headline draws your attention with a value proposition, the text above the image explains the offer, and the description at the bottom promises guaranteed satisfaction.

Notice how they use a larger font size to highlight the biggest selling point.

Why are catchy ad words so important?

8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the ad.

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16. Create Facebook Ads that encourage email sign-ups

In the same way that you combine Facebook with remarketing, you can combine Facebook with email marketing.

Offer something of value to your audience using a Facebook lead generation ad that motivates them to sign up for your email list.

Whether it’s a free trial, a free product, or a free app, the goal is to capture their email address.

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Once people are on your list and have a positive impression of your brand, you can send them newsletters and promotions over time.

When they become a subscriber, you’ve effectively raised the probability of a sale.

17. Build scrolling images into your ads

Everyone loves a slideshow, right?

Scrolling ads can show multiple ads on the same screen, presenting multiple products and keeping your visitor curious.

They can also highlight options for the same product, like different colors or models.

Facebook offers the “Carousel Format” ad, which allows you to show up to 5 images and/or videos with headlines, links or calls to action right in a single ad unit.

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18. Create video ads to capture attention

You can create a video and upload it to Facebook. Then you can use Facebook Ads to increase the reach of your video.

Many companies can’t afford to create high-quality videos from scratch.

That means that if you can create an affordable video and promote it on Facebook, you’ll gain an advantage over competitors.

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Remember that the ideal length of a video on Facebook is somewhere between four and four and a half minutes.

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Facebook videos draw people in.


It makes them feel engaged.

Videos are 2.9x more likely to help users feel connected to their friends and family, and they’re 1.9x more likely to give users something worth talking about.

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19. Start incorporating live video into your Facebook Ads

Another video option is Facebook Live Videos.

Facebook Live Videos are a simple way to record and share videos in real time.

Facebook will send an invitation to your followers to watch your video when you begin recording it. That means that viewers can like and share it while it’s still live.

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When you finish recording, it also becomes a Facebook post as a recorded video with the header “Recorded Live.”

If you have a YouTube channel, this also gives you the opportunity to cross-promote by uploading the newly created video there.

Econsultancy recently shared ten pioneering examples of brands using Facebook Live video.

Product launches are a great chance to live stream since it means super-fans can get the scoop before anyone else.

You can also use live video to create a webinar (which is another great way to boost sales).

20. Embed a call to action

People tend to respond favorably to CTA buttons.

Facebook offers nine different calls to action that you can build into an ad:

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Make sure that you choose one that is relevant to your brand, goal, and ad campaign.

For example, if you’re a retail brand trying to sell a product, don’t use “Book now.”

The iPro Academy ad below uses the CTA word, “Download.” That’s an obvious and natural choice for this ad.

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facebook ad tips cta signup

Style service Five Four uses “Sign Up” as their call to action.

It may seem obvious, but a lot of businesses mess this up.

Your text, headline, description, and call-to-action need to be consistent without being repetitive.

When that doesn’t happen, it creates confusion in the mind of your viewer.

That means there’s less chance that your ad will get clicked.

John Thuet

John Thuet

John is passionate about helping businesses grow through digital advertising. With over 7 years of agency experience, John has helped hundreds of clients succeed, managing millions in ad spend. Outside of work, you’ll find him with his wife & 3 children or kiteboarding if the wind is favorable.

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