$81,700 in sales value on a $2,700 spend
How we managed a 29.9x ROAS and $3.55 CPA in December
(and an Avg ROAS of 15.8x with CPA $6.80 throughout 2019!)
Buckle in, baby. This is sure to become a long post. (It did. TL:DR I share 10 tips on why these *actual* results worked via team effort, simplifying things and knowing our team strategy across the board). – this post is laden with actual advice and insights, not boring ego-stroking. Housekeeping before we start:
- Women’s sportswear niche
- CPA = Cost per Acquisition
- ROAS – Return on Ad Spend (total value of sales. Not profit)
- The KPI from client is $5-8 CPA
- Average Order Value (AOV) $74
We had a whopping month with this particular client and as we were discussing the factors that contributed to such a success, I decided I would share a post about it. If you are looking for the magic wand to insane ROAS and low, low CPA, you won’t find it here.
Prove your product. It doesn’t matter if you are new to Facebook ads or have been doing it for years. If you have a product people want or need, people will buy it. If you have a product no one wants, no one asked for, doesn’t make sense, is poorly manufactured, rips another premium product or anything else that indicates you haven’t put thought into your product or offer, you will fail. This particular client spent a long time in the development of their product and constantly takes on feedback and reviews when reordering stock and developing new stock. They watch what sells quickly and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. They also release limited-edition versions of the product from time to time so that loyal customers always have a reason to come back and purchase. There were new items released during December, which is why I have also shared out 2019 stats overall.
- Does it satisfy a desire?
- Does it solve a problem?
- Have I crowdsourced feedback prior to putting it on the market?
- How is it different to other products?
- If you’re a new business ask this: Do I just really like this or is there actually room on the market for this right now?
Tend to your customers lovingly, caringly and patiently. People buy from people they like. Are you likable online? Are you seen answering questions, providing relevant links, offering support (such as returns, exchanges) or keeping them up to date transparently with business changes and movements? Make sure you:
- Reply to comments – good and bad (obviously some things go without dignifying with a response: it’s social media. Hide and move on)
- Have a group (If appropriate) for customers to interact with each other, ask about sizing/material/fit/storage/shelf life/specific product questions
- Be transparent with apologies if they are needed, as you are humble and grateful with praise. BE LIKEABLE.
- Speak to them kindly. Even if someone says “can you link me to this item please” don’t just drop a link, say hello, thank them and tell them something they may not already know
Stop relying on Facebook Ads alone. Yes, they are effective. No, they are not the only way to advertise. The results shared above and below are the Facebook Ads stats alone. BUT we also have Google Ads running alongside these campaigns. We are targeting a variety of keywords as well as implementing YouTube Video campaigns for Brand Awareness. Facebook Ads should be but an element of the overall machine that is your brand’s advertising and marketing strategy. For those interested, our Google Ad stats are (Dec 2019):
- · 3290 visitors
- · 28 cents per click
- · $933 spend
- · $23, 580 sales
- · 271 Purchases
- · 25.27 ROAS
- · $3.44 per purchase
- · 62 new subscriptions
Further, this client has spent a couple of years cultivating a fantastic online presence through organic marketing. It is not necessarily the most beautiful (no themed grids on IG, no blush pink wine stain backgrounds or overdone cursive writing. UGC, Canva, some professional pics, some ambassador pics, a few simple quotes to get a giggle and a heart react from the audience. That isn’t to simplify the work they do, but to demonstrate how some businesses can tend to overthink organic strategy – myself included for Enriches Business!). Ok, now you are probably thinking: Get to the actual strategy, Jess. Enough soapboxing, yeah?Fair play. But those things are what can make or break even the most thought out, technically advanced and expensive campaign. Get that wrong, FB ads can possibly do nothing for you at all.
Use existing posts isn’t fancy but it’s ridiculously effective. If a post gets a few comments or inquiries and a good banter on it relating back to your products, use it in your ads. Usually, existing posts are most suited to your Middle Of Funnel. Why? Because a page owner is more likely to write updates as if they are speaking to someone they have spoken to before. Any advertiser worth their salt will tell you each stage of your funnel deserves a different tone.
- Existing posts are also effective in top of funnel too, just watch the copy and make sure the creative is putting your best foot forward (bright, lovely, unique, engaging, accurate). This is your first impression, after all.
- Top of funnel: Never heard from you. “hi, we are XYZ and specialist ABC. You might be interested in our best-seller, product123. Why not take a look?”
- Middle of Funnel: Some contact with you, perhaps not too significant. “hey, remember how we [do thing]? We thought you’d like to see our newest [thing] which now comes in pink”. Or “ we thought you’d like to know that those pants you liked are made out of [stuff]”.
- Bottom of Funnel: Lots of contacts. Ready to buy/strike. “Ok, you’ve looked at product s123, d123 and c123. We think you should buy them now, as Karen did. And she never looked back. Be like Karen.
Get out of your head with the creative. These campaigns we often used (often, not always) a UGC image in the top of the funnel. Didn’t I say put your best foot forward in TOF? Yes. How can UGC be best at TOF? Think of it this way: It’s all well and good for you to be telling people (read: speaking at them) about your product and how wonderful it is, showing it on models paid to wear it, in studios you’ve possibly photoshopped so you look glossy and fancy, but what if you had real people wearing your items? What this then says is: It’s not just us that love it, other People actually love our shit. Look at Karen, doesn’t she look great? Follow up in MOF with beautiful, professional shots that add weight to your credibility as a business. BOF should be as hyper-relevant and dynamic as you can in most cases. Also, pay attention to what items are generating the most clicks in your Google Analytics and allow this to direct you to what the cold audiences want to see more of.
Switch up creative often, but don’t get all caught up in frequency. As I tell my members and anyone who will listen, frequency only matters if it goes up but nothing else follows. Frequency of 7 and a shit click-through? New creative (if the audience has been verified) Frequency of 14 and a high return/sales value? Leave.It.Alone. If it starts to decrease, switch up creative ever so slightly (or dramatically, whatever is your strategy) to refresh the audience’s interest. Usually, we stick with copy that works and switch up visuals.
Tim Burds Bully Method. Especially for new campaigns, you are breaking out to cold audiences. Bid high, higher than you actually want (in the trials we used Target Cost) and literally butt your competition out of the way. We bid 4x the desired CPA and left this for a week. I was nervous the first time because the CPA was coming in higher than I wanted. About halfway through the learning phase, it dropped significantly. Although using this method it rarely (if ever, from memory) dropped to the actual desired CPA, We simply switched the campaign back to Lowest Cost (same campaign, no other changes) and it dropped to the CPA we wanted after a few more days. So Bully method àlet it go for 5-7 days àif unhappy switch to the lowest cost and you have “trained” the algorithm to favor you in the auction. Note: I can’t guarantee those results will carry stability but this worked for us several times and across a few accounts. Sometimes it did not work as well.
Use CBO and learn to use it well. Next month it is most likely going to be mandatory anyway. If you haven’t used it yet, START! Stubbornness when it comes to using the platform is an easy way to pick yourself off the crowd of successful advertisers and agencies and be left behind for dead. Use new features. Here’s how I use CBO: TOF CBO campaign with 3-7 audiences (client budget permitting). No, spend control. Go for upper-funnel signals and see who clicks/engages/responds. Don’t expect too much $$$ at this stage. You are testing audience viability (we are fancy and call this AVR – Audience Viability Research which is ‘Agency’ for “seeing who does stuff”). Move the ones that respond to conversion campaign (or new traffic campaign, hell, who cares if you were getting sales at a good rate stick with what objective works) and apply 50-70% of the campaign budget to the adsets you have moved forward with as a minimum spend. Let the CBO machine ebb and flow the remainder of the campaign budget between those adsets as it sees fit. This way you ensure your adsets are delivered with a min spend rather than one or two not getting a start or spend at all while taking up the advantage of CBO.So a $100/day campaign might have 5 adsets with min spend of $15 each, leaving $25 to move between targeting as needed as identified by the algo.
Don’t miss a targeting opportunity. Here are some of the audiences we have targeted:
- Opened lead form, did not submit
- Visited site, did not VC or ATC
- Watched 3 seconds of video
- Watched 10 seconds of video
- Top 25% time spent on site
- Birthday in next 7 days
- Engaged with page last 7,14,30 days
- Mail list
- Mail list who have purchased 6 months ago but not in the last 4,5 mths
Hire your weakness. If you are crap at Facebook Ads and therefore think Facebook ads “don’t work”, hire someone who knows what they’re doing. I’m not asking for it to be me, hire anyone who can prove they know what they are doing. You might find that when someone experienced is at the helm, you stop thinking they don’t work and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
And lastly, advertisers, this one is for you: be f*cking honest with your clients. If you are having a shit week or missing your KPI, or something broke or you tried something new, tell them.
Before we did the bully method (and many other times, but this one springs to mind specifically) and warned the client they may see an increase in CPA. They said…wait for it… “Ok, thanks for warning us and thanks for trying new strategies, excited to see what happens”. I’m a great advertiser, but not a Facebook God. They know this, There is no need to act otherwise.
FINALLY: why did I write this? Not for Guru Status. Not for attention (although I won’t say no to a cold beer and a slap on the back, because this is flipping awesome work) and not to release a course. I wrote this because I see this shit everywhere and no one seems to talk about the OTHER ELEMENTS that accelerate the success of campaigns, right down to the hard work the clients put in to support my work.
This serves to be honest, useful and a reminder to anyone overthinking or over-claiming – it’s Ok to acknowledge your client does some of the work, ok to say that the google advertiser supported your results, ok to say that the brand’s reliability and reputation support your work. What works, works and profit-generating revenue is good for everyone. To the wheels in the machine (that’s us, advertisers), best of luck.