Facebook Dynamic Product Ads – The Ultimate Guide Part 4 – Optimization & Advanced Strategies

February 7, 2018
Posted in Paid Social
February 7, 2018 Ryan Sigler

Facebook Dynamic Product Ads – The Ultimate Guide Part 4 – Optimization & Advanced Strategies

Finally! You’ve launched your dynamic retargeting campaign after completing Part 3 of our Dynamic Product Ads Guide and your shiny new campaign is live :)

Now you just have to sit back and watch the sales come in right?


If you’ve read our blogs before you know that the fun is just about to begin.

Setting the proper foundation for a campaign like this is absolutely crucial to its success, but the ongoing optimization is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition.

In this final post of the series we’ll break down the 5 strategies for getting the most out of your dynamic retargeting ads:

  1. Ad Creative Testing
  2. Image Templates
  3. Audience Testing
  4. Budget & Bid Optimization
  5. Up-sells and Cross-sells

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Dynamic Ad Creative Testing

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking dynamic ads are good enough as they are and running just one template.

Don’t do it!

There are thousands of combinations to test with just a single product feed. Here are just some of the variables we test with all of our clients:

  • Ad Format
    • Link Post
    • Carousel
  • Offers
    • Free Shipping
    • $ amount off
    • % off
  • Ad Copy
    • Emojis vs no emojis
    • Scarcity vs no scarcity
    • Product name in message vs title text
  • Call To Action Button
    • Shop Now
    • Buy Now
    • Learn More
    • No Button
  • Price in the ad
    • No price
    • Price in the ad copy
    • Price in the image template

We test these on an ongoing basis and find different results for different accounts. So it’s important to test everything on each individual account rather than thinking because something worked in one situation it will definitely work in another. Often we’ll even find conflicting results within an account. For example, we often find that the “Buy Now” call to action button works better than the “Shop Now” button on the Add-to-Cart audiences, but the reverse is true on the Product-View audiences. (Note: For more on what we mean by “Add-to-Cart audience” and “Product View audience” check out the “Dynamic Ad Audience Testing” section below.)

How do we test all of this at once?

We don’t…

How much you can test is generally limited by your budget and on these campaigns your budget is limited oftentimes by your traffic levels since you can only serve ads to people who end up in your retargeting lists.

We typically start with the highest impact variables first: ad format and offer. From there, we take what works in each ad set and apply new tests to the best performing ads from the first test. We continue testing and honing in on the best performers until we exhaust all options and then we start again :)

Dynamic Ad Image Templates

Take a look at the product pages on your website. If you’re like most, your product images are clean and simple with a white background. This works great on your site because you control the experience and viewers are focused on your products.

clean product page example

What if there were 10 other products on the page competing for attention?

This is what you have to think about when running dynamic retargeting ads. Users are scrolling fast, what can you do to get them to stop and give their attention to your ad?

Dynamic image templates take the product images from your feed and jazz them up with additional content. You can add banners, pricing info, backgrounds, and more to make your images stand out. We create dynamic image templates for our clients using 3rd party Facebook Ads management software but you can also do some basic customization like adding price or banners to your images directly in Facebook Ads Manager.

For more context on what this looks like, here are a few examples:

facebook dynamic image template example 2 facebook dynamic image template example 1

Dynamic Ad Audience Testing

If you read the last post, you saw our recommended audience segments for a dynamic retargeting campaign:

  1. Cart Abandoners: 0-3 days
  2. Cart Abandoners: 3-14 days
  3. Product / Category Page Views: 0-3 days
  4. Product / Category Page Views: 3-14 days

This is where we start with most accounts, but it isn’t necessarily where we end up. For example, a high-priced product with a longer sales cycle may benefit from pushing the 14 day limit to 30 days. Alternatively an impulse buy may do better with an initial 24hr audience.

Use your best judgement on what to start with, then start testing varying audience segments after 30 days or so of data collection.

Dynamic Ad Budget and Bid Optimization

How much budget should I give each audience? Should I select an automatic or manual bid?

These are some of the most common questions we get in regards to dynamic retargeting campaigns.

Like most things, the answer is ‘It depends.” Fortunately, we’ve got some guidelines for you.


Typically these ads have a very high ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) so we don’t want to limit spend – if there are people to retarget, we want to have the budget to serve them ads. For this reason we usually start high on the budgets and then use bidding options to reign in the spend if ROAS isn’t where we’d like it to be.

Note that Facebook only starts adding users to the dynamic audiences when you set the campaign live. This means your 3-14 day audiences will take two weeks to ramp up and you may see low spend on those audiences initially.


While we often start prospecting campaigns using automatic (now called Lowest Cost) bids, we recommend launching your dynamic retargeting campaigns using manual (now called Target Cost) bids. Because the audience sizes on these ads sets tends to be so small, Facebook can sometimes have delivery issues when using Lowest Cost bids and you’ll see that your ads are not getting served. Switch them to Target Cost bids and set the bids high enough and voila, you’ll start getting delivery.

What do we recommend bidding?

In general, we bid toward purchases and set our bids at 2-3x our actual target cost per purchase. This helps ensure the bids are high enough for Facebook to deliver the ads and generally the actual cost per purchase comes in far below the bid.

If your cost per purchase is too high after 1-2 weeks of steady delivery, you can start decreasing your bids closer to your actual target cost per purchase and you’ll likely see ROAS improve. We recommend making small changes and doing them gradually, ideally lowering your budget no more than 10-15% each week until you start seeing performance in line with your goals. Larger budget changes can reset Facebook’s internal optimization algorithm and reek havoc on your ad performance.

Up-Sells and Cross-Sells in Dynamic Retargeting Ads

Our final optimization strategy takes retargeting one step further by introducing related products. This is no different from regular dynamic retargeting ads other than the fact that you’re serving products that are different from what the person viewed or purchased on your site. Here are a few examples:

  • Customer viewed a pair of shoes but didn’t buy -> serve them an ad for shoes in your sale section
  • Customer bought a bike lock on your site last week -> serve them an ad for a set of lights for their bike this week
  • Customer viewed a camera on your site today but didn’t buy -> serve them an ad for a discounted bundle with a tripod and memory card included

These ads can not only increase the ROAS of your existing retargeting audiences, but can also increase LTV by introducing new products to existing customers. Your existing customers have already displayed trust and they are often your most profitable traffic source if you know how to serve them relevant, timely ads.

Whew! That was a Doozy. We’re Spent.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this 4-part series on Facebook Dynamic Ads. As you can see there is so much you can do with Dynamic Ads and given that it’s most likely going to be your best performing ad type, it’s definitely worth putting the extra time and effort into maximizing sales and revenue in your Dynamic Ads campaigns.

If you missed the first three parts of the series, you can go back and check them out here:

Facebook Dynamic Product Ads – The Ultimate Guide: Part 1
Facebook Dynamic Product Ads – The Ultimate Guide Part 2 – Pixel and Product Feed Setup
Facebook Dynamic Product Ads – The Ultimate Guide Part 3 – Campaign Setup

We would love to hear about your experience with Dynamic Ads and answer any other questions you may have. So please comment below and let’s continue the conversation!



Comments (6)

  1. Hey! Brilliant guide- really loved it.

    Say I’m selling 2 products – PA and PB. They view PA and my nurture campaign retargets to say “retarget to ppl who viewed this product PA, but not ppl who have purchased PA ”
    then I’m creating a nurture campaign for product PB.
    My targeting would want to be “target ppl who have viewed PB but not purchased PB”
    As it is, all I can do is “target ppl who have viewed PB but not purchased from your site in the last 7 days” or something similar. The only thing I can think of is having a lottttt of clickfunnels… buts thats annoying?

    The issue is that the pixel seems to only track purchases as a whole… how do you make them track purchases for a particular product so I can remarket several different products?

    • Chris Root

      Hi Samuel – thanks for reaching out, glad you found the guide helpful!

      Good question regarding those product-level retargeting audiences, here’s how I would set it up:

      Create individual audiences for each product based on their content ID’s. You set up a website custom audience, select the Purchase event, and then refine by content_id and select the appropriate product ID. This way you can specifically exclude people who purchase a certain product. Note that you’ll need to make sure you’re passing content_id through your purchase pixel event.

      You could potentially do a dynamic retargeting campaign with this setup by creating multiple product sets, but if you’re specifically looking to only target and only exclude single products it may be better to just use a traditional static retargeting campaign.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to reach out via our contact form or live chat to discuss further.

      • Whew!!

        Thanks for the reply– I finally figured out the conten_id thing after a few days lol. Apparently, the content_id in the pixel helper on that specific page is the one that tracks. I tried a million other things that said “content id” on them (from shopify) to no avail.
        To anyone else reading… Its the content id in the helper that may or may not have [brackets]. For some reason, It works when I use both.

      • Whew!!

        Thanks for the reply– I finally figured out the conten_id thing after a few days lol. Apparently, the content_id in the pixel helper on that specific page is the one that tracks. I tried a million other things that said “content id” on them (from shopify) to no avail.
        To anyone else reading… Its the content id in the helper that may or may not have [brackets]. For some reason, It works when I use both.

  2. Hey, what 3rd party tool you are using to create dynamic image templates? thanks

Comments are closed.