This helps

To better illustrate the type of audiences you need to exclude, we need to have a pretty good look at the campaign structure.

Types Of Facebook Campaign

Typically we need to run 2 types of campaigns; Prospecting and Remarketing (or Retargeting).

Put simple, prospecting campaigns help reach people who are unaware of your brand while remarketing campaigns help reach people who are aware of your brand (people have visited your website, downloaded your app, etc.) and convince them to perform an action that matters to your business (conversion). Depending on the type of your business, e.g. e-commerce, services, etc. you will run a more simplified to a more complex variation of the Facebook campaign structure presented below.

Facebook campaign structure - NewsfeedORG
Facebook campaign structure – source: Newsfeed.ORG

Audiences to exclude from your prospecting campaigns

Using the example above, let us assume that we are running 3 different types of Facebook ad sets for our prospecting/acquisition strategy:

  1. An ad set targeting Interests (this can be one interest with a high audience volume)
  2. An ad set targeting 3% LookAlike Audience based on the Purchase event ( this can be a 3% LA based on your CRM file)
  3. An ad set targeting 1% LookAlike Audience based on the Purchase event

Here is the list of audiences you need to exclude:

  1. Existing customers
  2. Website visitors
  3. People who have already installed your app (if you don’t have an app you can skip this audience)

These three audiences are the most crucial ones to exclude. By excluding them you allocate money only on new customer acquisition.

Additionally to those, there are a few more audiences you will need to exclude:

The 3% LookAlike Audience based on the Purchase event and the 1% LookAlike Audience based on the Purchase event. By not excluding these audiences from the interested-based ad set (#1) you risk showing your ads to a subset of your target audience multiple times (those who are in the interest-based ad set AND the LA-based ad set) and this might lead to audience annoyance. One thing to clarify is that technically, excluding both 1% and 3% lookalike audiences from the interest-based ad set isn’t really necessary. The reason behind it is that the 1%LA (#3) is already included in the 3%LA (#2). So, technically by excluding the 3%LA you also exclude the 1%LA. With that said, it is considered good practice to exclude both as a “non-audience overlap” tactic.

Audiences to exclude from your remarketing campaigns

Depending on how refined your Facebook ads remarketing strategy is the more remarketing campaigns you may need to run (this is highly dependant on the

Based on the image above, here are the audiences you need to exclude from your remarketing campaigns:

For an ad set that is targeting people that visited a specific landing page, you need to exclude existing customers as well as people who have performed view or add to cart actions.

Regarding the view or ATC 28d, you need to exclude additionally to existing customers view or ATC audiences that you are targeting in other ad sets such as the view or ATC 14d, etc.


If you are in the housing, employment, or credit-related niche you need to comply with Facebook’s updated non-discrimination Ad policy when excluding audiences from your Facebook ads.

Facebook Ads Audience Exclusion: what you should know

  1. When working with Lookalike Audiences and using more than one in your campaigns
  2. Always exclude your existing clients from your acquisition and remarketing campaigns.
  3. Always exclude your remarketing audiences from your prospecting campaigns. Be careful not to do the opposite as it will result in a smaller targeting audience and might drive costs up).
  4. Always exclude audiences you target in other ad sets to avoid bidding against yourself.
  5. Map out your campaign structure into an Excel file so you can have an overview of all the audiences you are targeting. This will make audience exclusion easier.

For more tips on how to run Facebook Ads -besides audience exclusion- be sure to check the free preview of the Successful Facebook Ads ebook over at

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