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Improve Facebook Custom Audience Match Rate by 80% using first-party data

No good reach, low match rates, huge spending on ads but fewer conversions, and drop in ad campaign performance. Are you facing such issues? Welcome to the club. Most digital marketer faces these problems – Reduced Meta custom audience match rate despite spending hefty dollars on ad campaigns.

Now, to be in a better position, you have to enhance your Meta custom audience match rate (also known as the Facebook custom audience match rate) and achieve a higher Return on Ad Spending (ROAS). And to achieve that, you would need first party data, your savior.

Declining Ad Campaign Performance – The Reason Behind the Curtains

With the iOS 14.5 update from Apple, users will now have full control of their devices. The users can choose to either opt in or opt out of tracking by apps/browsers. 

GIF showing a Man representing Apple Users saying "Stop Following Me" to all other trackers on the apps and browsers post privacy updates by Apple

Emergence of data privacy laws such as GDPR / CCPA limiting the effectiveness of third party cookies. Along the same lines, Google also has announced phasing out of third party browser cookies soon.

What Worries the Digital Marketers?

Facebook’s audience match rate dropped to 25% or below & the event match quality is either Poor or Okay. The same was the case with the custom audience match rate of Google Adwords and other ad platforms.

A Graph showing Meta Custom Audience Match Rates Crashed to 25% because of the latest apple iOS update and phasing out of third party cookies.

Why You Are Unable to Scale Retargeting Ads on Meta: Explained

Once you initiate the retargeting ads, Meta shows you the ad campaign reach, match rate, match quality, etc. You either see poor or okay match quality and the reach also is limited.

And when the ads run, you soon realize that the ads are not performing after a few days. Meta’s algorithm works in a way that the consumer behavior data expires in 28 days and becomes no longer available for the ads to run effectively.

Therefore, it becomes difficult to scale the retargeting ad campaigns to make the ads run for longer periods effectively.

Some marketers did realize this but thought it is the only way and there is no alternative solution.

This was a thunderbolt in the hearts of digital marketers who were dependent solely on third-party cookies.

By understanding Meta’s algorithm, and the Facebook pixel that only depends on browser cookies, the most probable solution to the problem will be first party data collected on the server side.

Achieve High Meta Custom Audience Match Rate: First Party Data

First Party Data is the answer to the aforementioned problems. You can collect and seamlessly transfer the first party data to the Meta ads manager using Meta Conversions API.

First Party Data is the data you collect from your customers or users with their consent. It can be collected from various sources. A few of them include –

  • When a user visits your website (anonymous and known users) 
  • A visit to your offline store
  • Fill out a form or a survey (online or offline)
  •  Subscribe via email
  • And various other ways.

Wondering how an anonymous website user gives you data?

When visited, anonymous website visitors leave their browser ID, click ID, and various other parameters that help identify the user and constitute the first party data.

First Party data consists of both known visitors and unknown visitors. Implement First party data with CustomerLabs

The 1p data is your data. You have complete ownership of it and therefore, the data stays with you even beyond 365 days. Thus, you can run the ads forever!

Therefore, you can see the following results:

  • Increase in your Event Match Quality (EMQ)
  • High Meta custom audience match rate
  • Higher ROAS
  • Increased ad campaign performance

Experimental Proof: High Facebook Custom Audience Match Rate

Using the custom intent audience on Facebook, we shared the data collected by Facebook Pixel for the 16000 visitors on our blog page and we were able to get a audience match rate of only 4500+ i.e., 25% match rate. With such a low audience size, it will be inefficient to run the ads as they eventually stop after a few days.

Facebook custom audience match rate using Facebook Pixel data alone. The match rate dropped to around 25% using Facebook pixel

So, here’s what we did…

We collected the blog visitors as first party data using CustomerLabs CDP and synced it with Meta. Out of 16k+ visitors, we achieved a 15000 match rate, i.e., 90% match rate.

Achieved Facebook custom audience match rate more than 80%!  This high custom audiences match rate is achieved through Audience Segmentation, first party data and CustomerLabs support.
W for Woman, India's leading fashion brand success strategy with CustomerLabs CDP & first party data. Increased their ROAS

Strategies For Success: High Meta Custom Audience Match Rate

The ad campaign metrics are affected majorly by audience size and reach.

For Larger Businesses

With smaller audience sizes the ad campaigns are not scalable because you cannot segment the audience/events properly and thus, even after increasing the budget, the reach reduces. Therefore, the match rate drops and makes the ads ineffective.

The graph showing how budget and reach varies with audience size effecting the overall Facebook custom audience match rate. Shows Smaller Audience Size has a point of diminishing return soon.

Whereas, with larger audience size, the point of diminishing returns does not occur, making your ads run effectively for a longer period of time effectively. You can also notice that there is a 3X increase in the reach as well. Therefore, the ad campaigns are scalable and last long leading to an increase in Meta custom audience match rate.

The graph showing how budget and reach varies with audience size effecting the overall Facebook custom audience match rate. Shows Larger Audience Size has overcome the point of diminishing returns.

For smaller businesses

For small businesses having a smaller custom audience size (<200k users), we suggest a combination of multiple segments from the advanced audience segmentation for a single campaign to enhance the performance. With this, you bypass the point of diminishing returns achieving ever-increasing ad campaign performance.

Strategy for smaller audience size - i.e., for all the small and medium enterprises(SMEs), combination of multiple micro audience segmentation is to be used.

First-Party Data collection made easy with CustomerLabs CDP

CustomerLabs has developed a unique tool that helps marketers across the globe skip the expensive developer cost. Brownie point – It is a No-Code tracker that connects with your domain.

Image explaining how first party data works in increasing custom audience match rates. Infographic showing step by step process. Logo of CustomerLabs is at the bottom of the image.

Audience segmentation should be based on user behavior to give a clear direction to your advertising strategy.

With advanced audience segmentation in place, CustomerLabs CDP helps you segment the audience data into several micro-segments such as

  • Added to the cart but not purchased in the last 15 days 
  • Wishlist of more than 10 products in the last 30 days
  • Visited the add_to_cart page more than 5 times in the last 7 days 
  • Abandoned their cart for more than 60 days
  • White_dress_viewed more than 3 times in the last 7 days – were retargeted with similar dress.

An added advantage is that even if the user browses from two different devices, you can still identify the user using various other parameters with our help.

With our advanced audience segmentation, you can

  • Run hyper-personalized ads
  • Optimized ad spends
  • Drive the customers into the desired funnel (Top/Middle/Bottom)
  • Get desired results that include – higher conversion, more outreach, greater visibility, etc.

First Party Data: The New Oil

Collect First-Party Data Now! 

You need first-party data 

  • To improve the Facebook custom audience match rate.
  • To provide leverage to your retargeting ad campaigns 
  • Because YOU OWN IT
  • To reduce your customer acquisition cost.
  • Because in the next 21 months, Google will be phasing out third-party cookies.
  • As it helps in increasing your ad performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The custom audience match rate is the number of customers that match the target audience in the database of either Meta or Google. In this context, we stick to Facebook's custom audience match rate - i.e., the number of matched users in the list per every 100 facebook audiences. When you create custom audience on Facebook, it helps Facebook to show relevant ads to the right people, increasing the reach and optimizing the spending on the ad.
With more accurate data from both the pixel and the conversions API, you can achieve more leverage on your match rates on Facebook for your custom intent audiences.
A custom audience is the data of the audience that you collect from your website/CRMs/other offline channels and submit to the ad platforms while the lookalike audience is something that the ad platforms, in this case, Facebook, tries to identify based on the similarities between the data of the users you provided and in their database. So, the winner of custom vs lookalike audiences would be lookalike audiences on facebook that are supplemented by custom audiences.
Sadly, Yes. They do. Facebook ads do not run beyond 28 days effectively. Therefore, the Facebook custom audiences expire at some or the other point. Whereas with CustomerLabs, when you collect the first party data, which is your data. The data stays for beyond 365 days, i.e., forever!

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