The most common question I get from our affiliate network is how do I set up my Facebook campaign with Ultimate Bundle’s shared custom conversion?
It’s no surprise this question comes up so often. To be frank, the process is convoluted and there are a few steps you need to take.
If you just want to know the answers, you can skip ahead to the step-by-step process. But if you’re not in a rush it would be worth getting a bit of background on what’s ACTUALLY happening when you receive a shared pixel and how it makes you more money.
Facebook has made up some terminology to describe it’s technology, so let’s start with “the pixel”.
What is the Facebook pixel?
The pixel is Facebook’s answer to knowing when user’s of it’s network visit your website and take particular actions.
Technically, it’s a snippet of code. Once installed on your website, it creates a cookie in the user’s browser that records particular actions they take on the website.
If you haven’t heard of cookies or don’t understand how any of this works, don’t stress. Just know that whenever you visit a website you download a set of files. Some of these files will track your activity around the web.
Facebook can only see what you do on their servers. Once you’re not on facebook.com, they have no idea what you’re doing. This makes sense because you might be spending your time at cutecats.com, which isn’t owned by Facebook.
By adding the Facebook pixel onto your site, you’re effectively giving Facebook visibility of anyone that visits. Like putting a sticker on their back that says “I visited the Ultimate Bundles website”.
So now Facebook has a list of people that have visited your website.
Why does Facebook want this information?
Facebook know that the more tailored they make their ads to the user, the more likely that person is to purchase the thing being advertised. This has been well documented and is really the core of Facebook’s strength as an advertising platform.
The more familiar someone is with a brand, the more likely they are to buy from them. And if that person is also a past purchaser, they’re a LOT more likely to buy from that brand.
Facebook uses this logic to show ads to people who are the most likely to buy the product.
The more effective Facebook is at selling products, the more advertisers will want to use the platform. This is a big driver for Facebook since they use an “auction” system for advertising.
The auction system really just means that the more people trying to advertise on Facebook, the more it will cost to win a slot in the news feed.
So Facebook is incentivized to sell products through their ads, and tracking user behavior across 3rd party websites is a big part of this equation.
The pixel alone won’t give Facebook all the information it needs to best optimize ads. There is still some configuration required from the advertiser, which is where custom conversions come into play.
What is a custom conversion?
We’ve discussed that the Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that lives on our website. What I didn’t mention is that it gets installed on EVERY page of the website. This means Facebook can see when a user travels from the landing page to the order form to the success page.
When a user gets to the success page, they’ve purchased something. Great! That’s what we want them to do. We need to let Facebook know this is our eventual goal.
A custom conversion is the name referred to as the event of a user reaching the “goal” page. For us, that is when one of our users buys a bundle and reaches our success page.
Once you’ve told Facebook where you’re aiming to get users to (i.e. your success page), you’re able to plug this information back into your advertising campaigns. Facebook will “train” it’s campaigns to find users that match the profiles of anyone who reaches your success page. Facebook is actually really, really good at this. As your campaign runs for a longer period of time, the algorithm will become more accurate and bring you more customers.
The only big issue with custom conversions is that you can only create them for your own website. Your pixel (snippet of code) is installed on your web server (the computer that runs your website) so you’ve connected your Facebook account to your website. Your Facebook account doesn’t have visibility of someone else’s website. They probably have their own Facebook pixel installed.
To make this work, you’ll need to connect their pixel to your Facebook account.
Sharing pixels & custom conversions
If you ask another business to share their pixel, they will probably say “no”.
While it’s completely possible to share a pixel, it brings across the entire history of user interactions website. Most businesses don’t want to share this information – it’s almost like giving access to an email list. It’s confidential, valuable data.
This is where custom conversions come into play. Rather than sharing an entire pixel worth of data, a custom conversion can be passed between accounts.
At Ultimate Bundles we offer our custom conversion at the start of every sale to our affiliate audience. Our custom conversions are configured to tell Facebook when users purchase a bundle and reach the thank you page.
When our affiliates use our custom conversion they can see when their ads are making sales. This lets Facebook (and our affiliates) make changes to optimize their campaigns.
Without the custom conversion set up, they have no way of knowing if the ads are actually making sales.
The golden rule of advertising is if you can’t track it, you don’t know if it’s working. And if you don’t know it’s working… it probably isn’t. When your spending hard earned money, you want to be 100% sure your ad campaign is working.
That’s the theory behind asking for a custom conversion from Ultimate Bundles. Let’s dive into how you get set up.
Before we dive in, there are a couple of things you need to have configured correctly.
Firstly, you need to have your pixel installed. There are a ton of videos on YouTube that will run you through the process. If you don’t want to scout around, this one does a decent job.
Secondly, you need to have a Business Manager account. By default Facebook will assign you an advertising account without a Business Manager account.
BM accounts are intended for advertisers managing multiple ad accounts. It’s like a layer of organization on top of ad accounts… but it’s also the layer that custom conversions are shared through.
If you don’t already have a Business Manager account, head over here to sign up for one (business.facebook.com).
If you’re still confused and don’t know if you have a business manager account or not, check out the screenshot below. This is what your account should look like. Not that the URL will read something like:
Record this URL down somewhere. We’ll need this very shortly.
This is IMPORTANT so don’t skip this step.
Step 1 – Share your Business Manager ID with Ultimate Bundles
The first thing is to share your Business Manager ID with whichever advertiser your working with. For this article, we’re using Ultimate Bundles as the example.
To share your BM ID, first open the Business Manager. When the page loads, your BM ID will be contained in the URL.
The number after “business_id” is what you need to pass on to whomever is sharing the custom conversion with you.
NOTE: Do NOT share your ad account ID. This won’t work, unfortunately. It’s also quite easy to get these numbers mixed up so make sure you’re in your Business Manager account.
Step 2 – Check you’ve received the custom conversion
The person sharing the custom conversion with you should let you know that it’s been shared. Once you’ve heard back from them, jump into Business Manager and from the menu select Events Manager.
Then select Custom Conversion from the side menu. At this point you should see the conversion event that was shared with you.
Step 3 – Share the custom conversion with your advertising account
This step often gets overlooked. As I mentioned earlier, Business Manager accounts let an advertiser manage multiple ad accounts. Sometimes the advertiser won’t want all the ad accounts to access a custom conversion, so by default none of the ad accounts can access it.
To remedy this, we can either press the “Share” button illustrated on the last image, or select Business Settings from the menu.
Once on the Business Settings page, make sure Custom Conversions is selected from the side menu.
You should see the custom conversion that’s been shared with you. Select this custom conversion to bring it’s details up in the right panel.
Now you just need to add your Facebook Ad account under Connected assets. Select the Add Assets button. This will bring up a panel with your ad account. Select your add account and hit Add.
If you don’t see your ad account on this list it will need to be added manually. Select Ad Manager from the top menu.
From this URL, copy the part that reads “act=1234567890123456”. You just to copy the number, not the “act=”.
Jump back into the Business Settings page. This time, on the sidebar select “Ad Accounts”. This panel should be blank. Now select the Add button and “Add an ad account”. Paste your ad account ID in the field and hit Add.
Now you should be able to go back to Custom Conversion page and pick your ad account from the list.
Step 4 – Configure your ad group with the custom conversion
From the top menu, select Ad Manager. This will open up your list of advertising campaigns. Select the campaign you want to set up with the custom conversion.
Clicking on the name of your campaign will open the Ad Group level.
Hover your cursor over the name of the ad group and select edit. The ad group settings should now be open.
In the Conversion panel, select the website radio button, and then Custom Conversion from the Pixel drop down.
Finally, pick the custom conversion from the Conversion Event list.
That’s it! Your campaign is now configured with the custom conversion. Your reporting will automatically update anytime someone purchase a bundle and hits the thank you page.
Wrapping it up
There’s almost no point running an advertising campaign if you can’t see conversions. Ad campaigns can quickly become a huge money sink even when you’re watching them closely.
If you’re running ads to a website that you don’t own (like ultimatebundles.com), make sure you ask their advertising manager for a shared custom conversion. This is the answer to tracking your conversions and making sure your ads are properly optimized.
If you’re not an affiliate, there’s TONS of great free marketing training ready for you to unlock. Not to mention our amazing commission incentives. Head over here to sign up now.
Finally, if your campaign is running and your seeing too many conversions, you probably haven’t adjusted your attribution settings correctly. We’ve written a great post on how to make sure Facebook’s reporting is accurate. Check it out before you move on.
Good luck with your campaign!
As the former Director of Operations at Ultimate Bundles, Tim Davidson is no stranger to creative marketing approaches. His current venture, Clean Commit, was formed to help small businesses take the stress out of creating high converting websites and cleverly engineered web applications.