A popular approach from years past required multiple steps that relied on remarketing. It was also central to my own strategy.

There were multiple variations of how these sales funnels worked, but a basic example of how it was constructed was like this…

Ad 1: Awareness

The goal was to attract new people into your funnel, so you might use interests or lookalikes and promote a video or blog post to educate or entertain your audience.

Ad 2: Leads

We want to bring people deeper into our funnel, so you targeted people who engaged with the first ad to promote a free offer. We’re slowly warming this audience up, so we aren’t sending them directly to the sale.

Ad 3: Sales

Your audience is now adequately warmed up to push your product. You targeted the people who opted in to the free offer to sell your product.

This could also be a series of ads to showcase different benefits of your product. You may even create yet another step that retargets those who abandoned the shopping cart.

Is it Necessary Now?

The approach was effective, and even necessary, for many reasons. Most importantly, we didn’t trust the algorithm to find the people who would be most likely to buy or even subscribe to our opt-in without warming them up first.

But creating this long funnel was also profitable because the cost to do so was a fraction of what it would be to replicate this approach today. I’d often create “Evergreen Campaigns” that would display a series of eight or nine ads during a 30-day period to people who opted in to a free offer. It was insanely cheap and profitable to do so.

All of this doesn’t mean that you should abandon running ads for different stages of the funnel. You should — and I do. I simply don’t advise doing this in a funneled approach anymore.

When you build your email list, you no longer need to target people who engaged with another ad. When you sell, you no longer need to target people who opted in to that free lead magnet. Narrowing your audience like this is rarely cost-effective now.

You could instead use those people as audience suggestions when using Advantage+ Audience. The algorithm would prioritize those people but wouldn’t be restricted to that group. That is, if these suggestions are even necessary.

There’s also a matter of how things work now. When using Advantage+ Audience or Advantage+ Shopping, Meta automatically prioritizes these people anyway. While you could conceivably still have success with the traditional funnel approach, it’s just not necessary.

The only way replicating this process would be possible now would be while using the original audiences. For it to be effective now, you’d need a combination of:

1. A large remarketing audience
2. A high-priced product
3. A high enough conversion rate to outweigh ad costs and be profitable

So it could conceivably still work. But it’s unlikely to work as well as it once did, and I’d still make sure to experiment with modern tools first.


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