Looking to run a successful Facebook retargeting ad? Consider exploring advanced Facebook retargeting campaigns using UTM parameters. 

Facebook ads can provide substantial traffic and conversions for your company when properly optimized. Yet when you review Google Analytics, it’s not always easy to attribute where your visitors are coming from. 

You can use UTM, or Urchin Tracking Module, parameters to help you better assess the impact your ads are having on your bottom line. In this article we will walk you through the basics of retargeting and how to properly implement UTM tracking codes for better assessment of campaign success.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is the process of finding people who have visited your website and using their data to locate Facebook profiles. This cross reference allows you to run advertising campaigns that retarget those individuals to come back and interact with your site. 

Facebook Ads Manager platform is able to perform this process for you using information from the Facebook pixel properly implemented on your website. It is important to know that with the IOS 14.5 update the amount of data Facebook can use to build your retargeting lists will be impacted, which has likely cause your retargeting campaigns to become much less effective. 

Why is Facebook Retargeting Valuable?

While it is becoming more common for people to buy a product after they see an ad, it is still rare that a customer will go to a website and purchase after their first visit. Why? They are potentially unfamiliar with your brand, your product’s quality, and whether your price point is competitive in the market. 

It is common for customers to have a longer purchasing decision journey than a day, but with the help of Facebook retargeting ads, you can uniquely position your company to meet users at the exact place from the time they casually browse to the moment they buy.     

You may notice Facebook retargeting campaigns to be slightly more expensive than campaigns targeting a much broader audience. The reason for this is retargeting campaigns reach a more responsive audience through a wide variety of immersive ad options. With a more effective audience being targeted, you will see lower audience size but an increased number of conversions.  

Note: In order to run retargeting ads you need to have a minimum audience of 1,000 people. You may need to combine a few smaller ad groups together in order to reach the minimum audience size.

In order to be more effective with your retargeting, we suggest you take it a  step further and retarget customers using UTM parameters. This will give you a lot  more control of your retargeting ads.   

What Is a UTM Parameter? 

UTM codes are variants of a URL that you can use to track campaign performance. These small codes can be added to urls so you can identify where your visitors are coming from and what ads they are interacting with or not interacting with. 

You can implement five UTM code variants. 

  • Utm_campaign: Use this tag to add a unique name to monitor a specific campaign’s performance. Example: utm_campaign=AprilNewsletter
  • Utm_content: Use this tag to track the link that was clicked. This is helpful when you have multiple links to the same destination. Example: utm_content=bannerlink or utm_content=textlink
  • Utm_medium= Use this tag to track the medium the visitor used before they reach your site. Example: utm_medium=payperclick
  • Utm_source= Use this tag to track the website source that sent traffic to your site. Example: utm_source=Facebook
  • Utm_term= Use this tag to track search keywords the visitor typed to find your website. Example: &utm_term=dress+pants


Here is how you would add UTM codes to your website. 


Using these parameters, you will be able to better assess how your traffic is obtained and how effective your advertising efforts are. It is important to note URLs can get long with several UTM tags added, but you can use a tool to shorten them. 

Facebook Dynamic Parameters

Facebook has made it easier to track with parameters. All you have to do is head to Ads Manager and create a campaign. Next you will go to the Ad level and create a new ad. After you create your new ad, you will scroll down and then click Build a URL Parameter. 

From here you can make your own URL parameters or you can use the dynamic parameters offered on the Facebook platform. 

  • ad_id={{ad.id}}
  • adset_id={{adset.id}}
  • campaign_id={{campaign.id}}
  • ad_name={{ad.name}}
  • adset_name={{adset.name}}
  • campaign_name={{campaign.name}}
  • placement={{placement}}
  • site_source_name={{site.source.name}}



Dynamic parameters auto-populate with values based on the information you selected you wanted to track. Example: If you wanted to track a particular ad name, you would click the box next to “Ad Name” and select the {{ad.name}} option. 

After you make your selections, in the Parameter Preview box, you will be able to see your updated website URL.

When Should You Use UTM Parameters?

When you set up a custom audience in Facebook, it is able to read Google UTM tags on your URLs and will use the collected information to populate an audience based on the sources selected. The UTM codes will tell you what lead magnet to credit and will help you understand who your audience is and what they do. 

The benefit of building customized audiences is that you can create highly specific ad copy that speaks to the unique pain points of the identified audience. 

Best Practices for UTM Codes to Remember

  • Keep names simple and short.
  • Don’t be repetitive.
  • Use dashes to separate words.
  • Shorten links.
  • Follow a consistent naming pattern.



UTM codes are beneficial for both beginners and veteran digital marketers. These codes give you a better idea of what campaigns are pulling in a positive return on your investment and which campaigns require optimization. At STRYDE, we specialize in running Facebook ads for ecommerce businesses. Check out our work to learn more about the results we have generated for various eCommerce brands. 

Laurel is a member of the executive team at Stryde. She's been doing digital marketing for businesses for 10 years. Two years ago, she started set up her own ecommerce business selling baby gowns and knows the struggles of a small business owner. She loves talking about digital marketing, content, SEO, and conversion rate optimization.