How to Generate a List of People Without Needing Their Email Addresses


How to Generate a List of People Without Needing Their Email Addresses

I was speaking at a conference and I asked the audience of 150 people, “how many of you have a website custom audience installed?”  Unsurprisingly, only 1 hand went up.  It’s a shame too, because this piece of technology from Facebook is a game changer for any business that wants to market to people who are interested in them.

The best news is that it’s free, easy to have, is the crux all of good digital marketing strategies, and your competitors probably don’t know about it; plus it can make you more revenue.  You have nothing to lose with this and everything to gain.

In laymans terms, Facebook makes a list out of everyone who touches your website… if you have it setup right.

The technical term for this is the Facebook Pixel that makes Website Custom Audiences (WCA).  It’s a piece of code that is installed on all pages of a website so that anyone who touches it is collected in an “audience”.  They don’t need to do anything.  There is no registration process.  It’s kind of like a cookie, but it actually knows the true identity of the visitor.  You aren’t privy to the identifying details but that doesn’t matter.

Best of all, it’s completely free to have and run.  The problem is that it can’t go back in time.  If someone is traversing your website right now, you have no idea who they are and you can’t “talk” to them.

I liken this to owning a shoe store.  Imagine if you had people browsing your shoes on the shelf and your staff stayed behind the counter  playing on their phones.  How many more conversions would you expect if they actually approached all shoppers and said “how may I help you?”

That is your website right now.  Just like email is a must have for business, collecting people is the new black.

How would this help my small business?

What’s even better is the pixel can also track what people do on your site.  I have a client who sells custom sports apparel and I put the pixel on his website including the product page, the adds to cart page, the checkout page, and the thank you page.  This is important so we can see the buying journey of the traffic we’re sending from a Facebook Ad.

For example, if we pay to send 100 people to the product, 10 might add it to their cart, 9 might go to enter their credit card details, and 8 might actually pay.  For this client however, 95% of people were stopping at the checkout page.  He had no idea.  For every 100 people who actually wanted to buy and were ready to buy, only 5 were actually purchasing (making it to the thank you page).  That’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

I reported the issue to him and it turned out that when the shopping cart didn’t know the customer’s delivery address the default message appeared saying “sorry, not available in your area!”.  So people abandoned the purchase.

This was happening for everyone, only a small handful understood that until they actually typed in their delivery address and it was fine.  To fix it, he simply defaulted the postcode to a good area.  He made an extra $10,000 the next weekend because of that one thing.

What’s The Catch?

Firstly, it’s a little difficult if you’re not confident with website development to find and paste it into the header of your whole site.  Even if you are, the pixel you’re using is the default one.  That’s a problem if you want to track the customer journey.  Like the case study, you have to slightly modify the code with the nature of what you’re tracking for each page that’s important, like the Checkout.

The problem is that the default pixel is placed by default on every page.  To modify it tracking something on one page, you have to modify the whole site which defeats the purpose of tracking a particular event.  So what you need to do, is stop the default pixel firing on that special page, then insert the default pixel plus the tracking code instead.  I already hear your brain thinking “PASS!!”.

You also need to tell Facebook to create the audience that you want, i.e people who visit all pages, or people who visit this one particular page.  Which means logging into the backend of the advertising platform and finding the right section, creating the audience, filling it in right.  “DOUBLE PASS!!!”

Just having the pixel on your website isn’t enough.

What’s The Easy Solution?

I was the same as you’re feeling right now, even knowing what to do, doing this process was a major pain.  So what I did was create a solution that does all that for you.  If you have a WordPress site, I have a plugin.  If you have another type of website, I can generate a special code to copy and paste.  It takes about 1 minute to do.  If you send this code or plugin to your webmaster, they may not even charge you install it, it’s that easy. (They probably will).

If you’re a website builder, you should be putting this on all your clients websites that you produce by default and telling them you’re up to date with the latest best practise.

How Do I Talk To People In My List?

Firstly, you make a post to say what your version of “how may I help you?”

Next, if you used my plugin, you now have an audience called [your domain] WCA 180 in your backend of Facebook.  When you boost a post, or use the ad manager, in the Custom Audience field, you can select this audience from list.

But be careful.  If you don’t put an end date on your ad, it will send this post to everyone for 6 months.  That might cost you a fair bit, plus annoy your potential customers.  I recommend doing this for 3-5 days max.

How Much Will It Cost to Run This Ad?

It costs roughly $1 to reach 250 people.  So unless you have a raging traffic website, this is a really cheap ad to run.  It’s really effective too, because the people visiting YOUR site, are already warm.  So to be clear, having the audience is free, you can hold onto a person for 6 months maximum but then they fall of the list.  Email lasts forever, but if you can’t convert someone in 6 months, I’d suggest even email become stale after that.

So sometime in that 6 month period, follow them up for a couple of dollars.

What we can learn from this is that you really have no excuse not to market to your potential clients in this way.  It’s free to have, free and easy to install, can find holes in your business, plus engage people who are wanting your services.  You don’t need to rely on people entering their email address (even crappy burner emails like gmail or hotmail accounts).  There is no risk in this at all.

Of all the things you can do, this is by far the lowest hanging fruit.

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Showing 6 comments
  • Cassie Head

    Thanks Phil. You have explained this in very ‘easy to understand’ language and provided a simple and low cost solution to achieve it. Love your work. Your passion to help business is obviously at the forefront of your motivation. Lucky us. Your generosity is unsurpassed and extremely valuable.

  • Dave

    Hi Phil , I’m interested in the statement “It costs roughly $1 to reach 250 people” in your blog. I have found Facebook has been steadily decreasing the reach achieved through paid ads, in some cases to less than 50 people reach for $1. Am I mistaken ??

    • Phil McGregor

      Hey Dave. $1 per 25o is an average, but I would say that 50 per $1 means something’s not quite right. I would want to have a look at your campaign to make an informed decision, but at those prices, either your:
      1) message sucks
      2) audience sucks
      3) product sucks
      4) a combination of the above sucks.

      I did a blog the other day that proves that doing the right ads actually increases reach for other posts too.

      But need to see what you’ve done so far to offer any real advice.

  • Jenny

    Phil, you have both completely freaked me out and completely sold me.
    My brain was doing back flips as I was reading the technical aspects but then you saved me and said you have the answer. Brilliant, I’m coming to you – thank you I need this!

    • Phil McGregor

      Hey Jenny, great comment thanks so much. Made my day. If I was clever I’d ask to use your wonderful words as a testimonial somewhere.

      Let me know what you need whenever you’re ready.

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