For small businesses and online sellers, advertising can be a great way to increase brand awareness, announce a new product or service, sell more stuff, and, most importantly, generate more revenue. But while the decision to advertise is often an easy one, choosing how and where to advertise can be more difficult. Many marketers end up casting a wide net of ads out into a large sea of potential customers and hoping for the best. This method, while sometimes effective, isn’t very efficient—especially if you already have a limited ad budget.

So, what’s a small business to do? How can you make sure you’re not wasting your money by advertising to a random assortment of people who aren’t likely to convert into customers?

When you’re ready to develop an advertising plan, consider the elements you already have in place. For example, you probably have a list of contacts who have subscribed to your emails, made a purchase from your store, visited your website, or otherwise engaged with your brand. Those people, and people like them, should be your target audience. They’ve already shown an interest in your brand, and there’s a good chance that, with a little nudge, they’ll be more likely to purchase from you in the future. And that’s where Facebook can help.

Facebook is a critical marketing channel for marketers and online sellers. And with nearly 2 billion active users worldwide, it’s easy to understand why. Facebook offers marketers a unique opportunity to reach both current and potential customers quickly and affordably. No matter the size of your business or your budget, you can create a scalable Facebook ad that helps grow your business and your bottom line.

Facebook also gives you the power to put your MailChimp contact list to work for you, so you can easily promote your business to current customers or get the word out to other like-minded people with an interest in your products. And, since Facebook will show your ad only to people who are likely to make a purchase, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re making the most out of every advertising dollar you spend.

The advantages of advertising on Facebook

Facebook ads are unique in that they target actual people. The cookie-based advertising of many other ad platforms means you’re limited to showing an ad in a specific browser on a particular device, but Facebook gives you the power to track and reach your audience no matter where they might be. For many folks, Facebook has become a part of their daily routine, and they’re logged in on multiple devices—their phone, computer, even wearables. But no matter where or how they access their Facebook account, all activity is tied to their individual profile. This means they’ll see your ad across different devices, so you can always deliver the right message at exactly the right time.

Facebook also gives you the ability to expand beyond your core audience and reach other potential customers who share similar interests. Through profile information (like demographic data and content that someone has liked or shared), activity on connected websites or apps, and information shared with Facebook by other advertisers and marketing partners, Facebook can identify people who are likely to have an interest in your ad.

This allows for more granular targeting and more effective, relevant ads. And, when you combine Facebook ads with your emails in MailChimp, you’ll create one consistent, integrated marketing campaign that can lead to higher conversion rates.

Why create Facebook ads through MailChimp?

Facebook ad campaigns in MailChimp are an easy way to promote your business, sell your products, and grow your audience. In just a few clicks, you can create beautiful ads that target current customers or help you reach new ones, all through a simplified ad buying interface that removes the guesswork without sacrificing flexibility or power.

After creating your ad, MailChimp will close the loop for you, providing easy-to-read reports that help you analyze the performance of your ad, so you can view engagement and spending over time. And, if you’ve connected your store, MailChimp will track your ad’s revenue, products sold, and customers acquired, too. Since you never have to leave MailChimp to create an ad or track performance, it’s easy to develop integrated marketing campaigns and see how each channel is contributing to your success.

Facebook ad campaigns are available to all MailChimp users without any additional markup or fees. So, no matter what type of MailChimp plan you have, you can start advertising your products or services with as little as $5 a day.

Determining your audience

Choosing the right audience is the key to running a successful Facebook ad, and MailChimp gives you the power to find value in all sections of your contact list, even people who have unsubscribed. Now, you can leverage your subscriber activity and e-commerce data to create powerful segments that help you show relevant ads to the right people. Let’s take a closer look at all your targeting options.

People on your list

By targeting your existing MailChimp subscribers on Facebook, you can reconnect with customers who are already engaged with your business. With the help of MailChimp’s segmentation tools, you can leverage what you already know about your contacts to create relevant ads that increase conversions and improve customer retention. And, since your Facebook ads and email are complementary, you can reinforce your message with an ad instead of sending 1 too many emails about a new product or an upcoming promotion.

MailChimp gives you the power to target all sections of your list, including subscribers, people who unsubscribed from your list, and non-subscribers—your e-commerce customers who haven’t signed up for your email marketing. You can build segments based on list fields, subscriber activity, or e-commerce data just as you would with a regular email campaign, so it’s easy to create ads that target your contacts no matter where they are in the customer lifecycle.

You might decide, for example, to target people based on their purchase history from your store or their engagement with your previous campaigns. Or, you may choose to set up an auto-updating or static segment before you create your ads so you’ll have these options available when you build your Facebook ad audience. Here are a few targeting ideas to help you get started.

If your goal is to increase conversions, consider targeting:

If your goal is to retain and engage your existing customers, consider targeting:

People with similar interests

Facebook has a wealth of data about its users that can help marketers broaden their audience. When you create an ad targeting people who’re similar to the folks on your list, you have an opportunity to put that data to work for your business. You can narrow down your audience by location, gender, age range, or interest keywords, and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to new people, create awareness around your brand, and grow your list.

Creating Facebook ads targeted toward people with similar characteristics to your most loyal customers will help you grow your audience and build brand awareness. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

People with interests you define

There are other cases, however, where you might opt to harness the power of Facebook’s data by creating an ad that targets users based on unique criteria that you define. This option is available for all users, even if you don’t have a list of contacts in MailChimp. You can narrow down your ad audience by location, gender, age range, or interest keywords.

This option provides businesses of all sizes with the tools they need to build brand awareness and grow their audiences. For example, if you’re a new marketer or a business with a small contact list, this tool can help you find potential customers. Invite folks to join your list, tell them about your products, or encourage them to visit your website. Then, as your audience—and your business—grows, you can use our other Facebook ad campaign tools to target segments of your new audience.

Setting your budget

When you advertise on Facebook, your budget represents the maximum amount you’re willing to pay to show ads to people who are in your target audience. You can determine the duration of your ad and choose to spend any amount you'd like—even as little as $5—and you’ll be charged only for each person who clicks on your ad. Keep in mind, however, that the reach of your ad is directly affected by your budget; a higher budget will allow you to reach a larger audience and, ultimately, get better results.

Consider your goals

As you set the budget and duration of your ad, it’s important to keep your goals for the campaign in mind. Customer acquisition and retention are both essential to the growth and success of your business, but they don’t always have the same effect on your ad budget—or make an immediate impact on your bottom line.

Reaching and converting potential customers is often more costly than simply connecting with the customers you already have. Existing customers are already engaged with your business, so targeting them with your Facebook campaign may actually keep your ad costs down.

But your ad’s return on investment (ROI) isn’t just about immediate sales—it’s also about the value of acquiring new customers and retaining current ones. So be strategic and develop campaigns that make sense for your business. If, for example, you operate an established company with a large customer base, a Facebook ad campaign aimed at customer retention may offer more value. But if you’re still trying to grow your audience or increase awareness of your brand, a Facebook ad campaign focused on acquisition, while a bit more costly, may prove more valuable in the long run.

Creating your ad

Creating an effective Facebook ad is a lot like creating an effective marketing email. Before getting started, you’ll need to determine the purpose of the ad, the message you’d like to convey, and who you want the audience to be. And, just like with email, there are best practices to consider as you’re developing your message. Let’s take a closer look.

Write effective ad copy

Choose the right image

When you create a Facebook ad campaign in MailChimp, you’ll have the option to create a carousel or single-image ad. While both options can be highly effective, Facebook reports that carousel ads can drive a 30-50 percent lower cost per conversion and 20-30 percent lower cost per click than single-image ads. Each option does, however, have a slightly different use case.

Real-world examples

The 2 Facebook ads pictured below have a lot in common. They each promote the same product—enamel pins—and contain identical copy and calls to action. The only difference is which image is used to showcase the products. Let’s take a closer look.

Image #1

Choose the right image

The first image, depicting the pins in their original packaging, is an example of an image you should avoid in your Facebook ad campaign. The dim lighting makes the pins difficult to see, and text on the packaging could be difficult to read on smaller screens. The presentation of the products doesn't grab the attention of the viewer or highlight the value of the items, either. It doesn't look like a cool accessory or a must-have item—it's just a pin.

Image #2

Choose the right image

The second example, an image of a person wearing enamel pins on a denim jacket, is a much more effective selection for a Facebook ad. The high resolution and great lighting increase the visibility of the image, which has been cropped from a larger size to accentuate its most important aspect: the products. The benefits, value, and “coolness” of the pins are showcased, and the image doesn’t contain any additional text that could be tough to read on some devices.

Preventing Facebook ad rejections

MailChimp makes creating a Facebook ad a quick, painless process, but you’ll still need to adhere to Facebook’s policies, requirements, and restrictions in order for your ad to be approved. If your ad is rejected by Facebook, MailChimp can’t override the decision, so it’s important to make sure your ad covers all the necessary bases before you submit.

Before any ad is published, Facebook reviews it to make sure it meets their advertising standards. During the review process, they’ll check your ad’s images, text, targeting, positioning, and even the content on the page you’ve linked to. In addition to Facebook’s content-related restrictions, there are a number of requirements more closely connected to your ad’s design.

For more information about the Facebook review process, visit our Knowledge Base.

Understanding your ROI

When you connect your store to MailChimp, we’ll be able to provide you with ROI for both your email and your Facebook ads. You can explore your reports and track sales from your ads or email at any time, and after the ad is finished running, you can view ROI data so you’ll always know which elements of your marketing are resonating with your audience.

Learn from your reports

Your Facebook ad campaign generates thorough reports that can help you determine what works and what doesn’t, so you can use that data to inform—and improve—future ad campaigns. MailChimp’s ROI reports make it easy to measure the performance of your ad in terms of revenue, products sold, and new customers, so you can quickly identify what your audience likes and use what you learn to optimize growth across all of your channels. Remember, your ad’s ROI isn’t just about generating immediate sales—it’s also about the value of customer acquisition and retention.

Additional resources

MailChimp has an extensive Knowledge Base with a number of articles that can help as you’re getting started with Facebook ad campaigns.

Or, browse Facebook’s resource material to learn more about the options they offer and tips to help you get started with advertising on the platform.