If you are following any digital marketing advice you would have heard that Facebook Ads are the best way today to grow your email list and your business. There are several reasons for this: it had 936 million daily active users on average for March 2015, so your customers are bound to be users too. It offers quite precise targeting functionality compared to Google Ads – you are not just focussing on keywords users type in and their location, but many other demographic factors. But the key question is, how to create Facebook Ads campaigns that are high-converting and low-costing at the same time? Here’s how I do it for myself and my clients.
In December 2014 I decided to apply what I’ve already been doing for clients for several years to my own business in order to grow my email list. You can learn more about this in a recent podcast on the Rockup Webinars blog where I shared my story.
Case Study 1 – Using Facebook Ads to Promote a Free Lead Magnet
Recently I ran a campaign to promote a free lead magnet (optin offer) for the Pinterest Marketing Guide. You can download a copy below if you are interested:
Naturally I promoted it using Facebook Ads. I didn’t run it for long as it was more to do with testing some lead nurture campaign ideas (in Infusionsoft), but the results were still good.
In the lifetime of the campaign I had 136 conversions (new email signups) at £1.70 per lead. The conversion costs ranged through from £0.99 to £2.48. That’s why it’s important to test your campaign against different audiences or pages – as not all pages you think are relevant to your campaign will produce the same results.
The best targeting groups for this campaign were Website Custom Audiences, Social Media Examiner fans, Marie Forleo fans and Facebook for Business fans.
The costs also increased over the weekend – again something you need to consider if you are running campaign over a period of time, when is your audience active and live on Facebook?
Finally as the audience started to get tired of seeing my ad, the costs started to climb up.
When this happens you can do several things: change your ad (image, copy), change your targeting, or pause the campaign for a period of time.
I’ve changed the image on the ad – however the blue image performed even worse than the white one. Another benefit of testing – what you think looks good and will work, doesn’t always resonate the same way with your audience!
I’m still guessing though why the blue image wasn’t working 🙂
Then I stopped the campaign and focussed on promoting the next Virtual Marketing Academy webinar instead.
Case Study 2 (client) – Using Facebook Ads to Promote a Webinar
When I started working with Caroll we needed to promote her health & fitness coaching webinars to start building her email list.
The first campaign we ran I tested several images – 2 of more “stock image” feel, and one I’ve created myself with photos of Caroll in the gym. The last one performed best resulting in all conversions for the test (£3.38 per lead).
In the second test I’ve created another image with Caroll’s photos to test against the first one, plus we were now targeting several audience groups: page fans, fans of several gym chain pages, fans of several famous fitness coaches. Again the image I first created performed best in all sets, but sets ranged in cost from £5.64 per lead to £2.50 per lead.
With the next test, I’ve now had the image that worked, the ad copy that worked, and ad group that performed best of all. Also by now previous advertising traffic resulted in enough people in the audience of those who viewed the optin page but didn’t sign up (WCA). This allowed me to create a retargeting campaign too.
Furthermore, I’ve rewritten client’s copy on the landing page focussing it on benefits of attending the webinar, rather than “features” of what she was going to teach them.
Results followed: £1.75 per lead for the interests set and £3.58 for retargetting.
Now you’ve hopefully noticed that the campaign has been improved from £5.64 to £1.75 through testing – that’s a whopping 322% improvement!
But I wasn’t done yet. For the final test I’ve completely redesigned the landing page by using a different LeadPages template. That brought the costs down even more – £1.54 per lead for interests group and £2.26 for retargetting.
Case Study 3 (client) – Using Facebook Ads to Promote a Magazine
Final case study I’ll share with you today is about using Facebook Ads to promote subscription to a free magazine in the Health & Wellness Industry.
I’ve split-tested 4 different ad copy with 2 different images. This was the winning image overall although the copy that went with it varied between ad groups (lesson for you – keep testing!).
Through tweaking copy, testing images, testing 10 different targeting groups, we currently have the following results:
- Fans: $1.12/conversion, 3.4% click-through rate.
- Interest groups (3 left out of 10 tested): $0.86-1.71/conversion, 1.9-4.7% click-through rate.
- Retargeting: $5.45/conversion (new campaign so this isn’t final yet), 4.4% click-through rate.
With retargeting, don’t get scared if you see a higher cost that other ad sets you are testing. You will be aiming at a small group of people here who visited your page but didn’t take action for some reason. In this case, this group only has 170 people because on all other ad sets I’m converting visitors at at least 60% but aiming for 75-80%. So the group of people who didn’t take action is very small compared to the overall size of the group who visited the page!
My 5 Killer Lessons for Low-Cost, High-Converting Facebook Ads:
1) Testing is VERY important.
As you saw in case studies you need to test all aspects of your campaigns – images, copy, targeting, budget, desktop/mobile, landing pages. This helps you work out exactly what works for your business and for your offers, and to cut down your advertising costs.
2) There is no single solution for everyone.
There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for success with Facebook Ads. Of course there are general guidelines, pros and cons, approaches that normally work for most advertisers. But no one (at least no genuine consultant) can tell you without testing exactly what ads you need to run, what pages/audiences to target, in order to get the best returns.
3) Facebook Fans can be valuable.
If your fans were genuine fans and real people, relevant to your business and offers, promoting your offers to fans can be cheaper than targeting cold audiences using interests.
4) Website Custom Audiences (WCAs) can be valuable.
In my advertising, the cheapest results always come from WCAs. Why? Because these are people who have already engaged with my business in the past – visited website, read a blog, signed up for a webinar in the past, connected with me on LinkedIn. As they know me and my business, they are more likely to engage with Ads and offers that I put in front of them.
5) Persistence pays off.
It’s easy to get disheartened when your first campaign doesn’t work out as well as you hoped for. But with more testing and tweaking you can improve your results and grow your email list and your business using the best solution for this at the moment – Facebook Ads.
Over to you…
This turned out to be a lengthy post 🙂 Thanks for reading and I hope you found it valuable.
If you’ve tried running Ads already, tell me in comments – have you had much success? What lessons and tips did you learn from the experience that others can benefit from?
And if you’ve not tried Facebook Ads yet, what’s been stopping you so far?
I’m really looking forward to your comments!
If you know other small business owners who will benefit from this post and advice on promoting their business – please share it with them on social media, they’ll thank you for this.
P.S. A small plug – I plan, design, test and optimise Facebook Ads campaigns for small business owners for a living and I LOVE doing this 🙂 So if you’d like some help with getting your campaigns off the ground, feel free to contact me here.