Deividas Mikočionis | Growth Hacker | Sugatan.io
Aug. 4, 2018 • 20 min read
[AGENCY BREAKDOWN] How This Agency Spends $1mm/month+ on Facebook Ads for eCommerce
Facebook Ads is one of the of the best platforms to scale your eCommerce business FAST.
At the same time, it’s one of the easiest platforms to lose money on.
Because of that, we’ve written an extensive on how to grow an e-commerce business with Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads as the main catalyst.
The article is full of advanced strategies for every eCommerce owner, marketing specialist, drop shipper, CMO or anyone involved working in eCommerce space.
Saying that, it could serve beginners as a compass to navigate them in their journey, however, just a little warning – it might be too overwhelming. Achieving these stats are based on an expertise level of knowledge, and for the first time, we’re revealing “the behind the scenes”.
• • •
After Reading This Article, You Will Learn…
- 7 psychological triggers that make your Facebook Ads work
- The most underutilized methods of maximizing your ROI that separate the experts from the amateurs (this has to do with sales funnels)
- Our step-by-step method identifying our target audience using Facebook Ads platform and quickly testing them
- Ethically steal ideas from your competitors so you can publish Facebook Ads ads that work from first publish (A formula developed by our agency so that we put out high-return ads targeting a cold audience)
- 1 function We’ve Mastered with ManyChat Chatbot, Which Constantly Brings Us Sales Worth $4984+ Spending Only $20 on Facebook Ads.
- Attention-grabbing design secrets expert marketers are using daily and how to use them for your business with minimum costs
- Copywriting Secrets Which Make People Buy. NOW.
- Manual Bidding Myths and Realities.
- Scaling With Facebook Ads Without Increasing CPA
- Brutal Ways to Fight Facebook Ads Fatigue
- The 5 Touch Points to a High Converting Landing Page
- How to Analyze Facebook Ads Data Even if You’re Not a “Numbers Person”
- Using Instagram Stories to drive additional cold traffic for 0.1$ to your website
- 2 Techniques Finding Golden Nuggets with Google Analytics
- 3 Advanced Highly-Profitable Segmentation Tactics 99% Of Marketers Don’t Use
• • •
Step-by-Step Walkthrough the Advanced Facebook Ads Techniques and Strategies
Facebook Ads can get really confusing, especially when you’re dealing with budgets over +10k/month or more.
Over the years, our team has collectively managed to spend over $3.5m buying Facebook Ads and were responsible for selling digital and physical products worth over $10.5m and still counting. Most importantly, we’ve doubled our client’s revenue in 6 months or less.
What do I want to say by that?
We’ve tried everything! with Facebook Ads and now we’re sharing our EXACT techniques on how we managed to get an ROI anywhere from 250% to 7568%.
(NOTE: these numbers weren’t hit three years ago … we are hitting them NOW)!
Here is are our recent numbers for one of our clients with an ad spend of $7,862 with a return of $2,340,247 – a 73x Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
*Image owned by sugatan.io and is not authorized for any other use other than this article
And we are going to share our secrets for hitting these numbers.
Don’t expect some basic info. We’re giving everything away.
But why are we doing that here?
Well, we believe that all of the information is already available online. There are amazing Facebook Advertisers like Maxwell Fin, Jon Loomer, Nicholas Kusmich, Jason Hornung, Cat Howell and others who are sharing all of their insights online.
Our team has collectively studied the strategies taught by these industry experts so we are just putting everything in one place so ecomm owners can have all the information in one place and, possibly, encourage you to be another one of our success stories.
The Only 1 “Real” Secret That Give Us an Massive Competitive Advantage…
But before we start… How did we manage to get this kind of results?
There are many variables taking place, but one I know for sure is – focus.
Many of our clients come to us after trying different agencies who offer everything from SEO, PR, Paid advertising, but sadly are not getting any results.
At Sugatan we concentrate on one type of business only – eCommerce.
Furthermore, we concentrate on the channels, which can have the biggest impact for our clients to scale their business fast – paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
“If you’re a practitioner, if you really had to sell to survive, you would realize that the most under-priced ad product right now is Facebook Ads. If you had to sell to feed your children, you would put your money there.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of VaynerMedia
However we do care about our client’s businesses, therefore we’ll cover more topics to give you more ideas on where you can improve because an online business is an ecosystem. Where one area is weak, the other areas will suffer.
First Things First…
7 Psychological Triggers to Incorporate Into Your Sales Funnel and Store…
Platforms change. Technology changes. But human psychology – never. And one that masters human psychology and sales is Robert Cialdini who wrote great books on sales psychology: “Influence” and “Pre-Suasion”.
If you’re working at selling, either online or offline, you should have these books in your bookshelf.
In Robert Cialdini’s first book “Influence” he proposed that every human being has 7 psychological triggers which make them buy.
- Commitment and consistency
- Social proof
We’ll go through the seven (7) steps in detail and how to include them in your or your client’s eComm business into the sales process that works!
We, as human beings, feel obliged to do something in return when someone extends their generosity to us.
For example, my favorite bartender always gives me something free whether it’s a cocktail, a beer, or a small dessert. At the end of the night when I pay my bill, I always give a generous tip beyond the 20% without hesitation. Even though I didn’t ask for the free drink and he didn’t ask for the generous tip, this is our ‘unspoken contract.’
He knows that by giving me something for free, his take-home tip will be higher, and it’s highly likely that I’ll keep coming back, thus increasing my lifetime value as a customer.
Do you have a similar experience you can think of in your own life?
This is exactly how reciprocity works. And the more you can practice it, the higher your ROI on any marketing efforts you make.
Here are two ways you can use this…
- Product Buying Guide
I know you know this, the ‘lead magnet’ strategy: I give you valuable content, you read it or opt-in. But do you know why this is crucial?
Because your competitor is one chrome tab away.
Let me say that again. Your competitor is always one Google search away.
This means that if you’re not delivering maximum value while you have their attention (and holding it), your prospect will open a new tab and Google your competitor. You can lose them in a matter of 2 seconds.
In the old days, you sold to people in person. They didn’t have the ability to ‘open a new tab’ to check if what you’re saying in the middle of you speaking is true or not or to research what others have to say about your company.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you position yourself to provide the most value compared to your competitors.
In return, the likelihood that they will buy from you is a higher possibility.
2. A gift of a product
Another example of reciprocity is to Buy 1 product, Get 1 Free.
Some companies even give away a product, and only pay shipping to create interest in the product and get them to try what the company has to offer.
II. Commitment and Consistency
The principle of commitment and consistency states that we, as individuals, must align our outer actions with our inner-choices. For example, when we try something for free, we’re more inclined to buy it.
Brands like Ralph Lauren are using the “commitment & consistency” concept to make it easier for consumers to “try” their products essentially for “free” & thus making it more probable for the customer to buy.
Think about all of your close friends; chances are they are a lot like you. Because we like people who are similar to us.
“People like us, do things like these”, – Seth Godin.
That’s why people who like celebrities will use the products they endorse. Here are a few ways to make it work for your e-commerce business.
Tell them your story
People love stories. We’ve been telling them for ages and great marketing involves amazing stories. The ones that relate to the customers, especially stories that are emotional.
And how much does it cost to tell a story?
Almost nothing, just your time.
Here is an example of Toms story in their “About Us” page.
Show relatable models
Dressbarn is using this principle by showing models who are mostly very similar to their costumers.
Celebrities/Influencer Marketing; Alignment with Core Values
Let’s have a look at Nike. Going to their website, we immediately see one of the best soccer players on planet earth – Neymar. People seeing him have thoughts of – versatility, creativity and the best of the best. These perfectly align with Nike’s core values.
And enforces the brand’s recognition to keep Nike at the top of Neymar’s follower’s minds when they’re ready to shop for sneakers.
We have all seen a lot of ads throughout our lives and most of them include some kind of a celebrity. This is because by associating with carefully chosen celebrities, people will start believing that your brand has similar qualities/core values.
Take, for example, Hugh Hefner. In the first year of publishing Playboy, he hired an editor from The New Yorker, Spektorsky, which gave the magazine the credibility he felt it needed to ‘boost’ its reputation.
Now, how can you apply this to your company?
People like an expert endorsing a brand.
Take, for example, a business that we consulted that sold silicone bracelets and rings. They had athletes endorse it and as a result, they were able to build a steady revenue organically.
*Pyrkia’s Instagram Advertising Used with Experts
You don’t need to have them on-board, you could ask an expert in the industry to endorse your brand, write a blog article instilling the trust and reliability for your brand, which will convince your customer’s to buy. That’s why influencer marketing works so well.
Have you ever bought a product because an expert endorsed it?
V. Social Proof
People are social creatures and tend to like what other people like or buy. We also pay attention to recommendations from our friends and trust websites more if they have higher social proof, which leads to higher credibility and psychologically triggers people to buy.
Here is a perfect example of one of our clients.
*Social Proof on The Ecommerce
The pop up showing on the bottom left corner illustrates exactly that.
Amazon triggers it in a different way, by saying “Customers who bought this item also bought”
*Social Proof for The Ecommerce
And Sephora does it by creating a “Bestseller” list.
For the same reason mentioned, Influencers have become one of the main traffic sources for the online businesses.
There are two ways you can increase the social proof FAST on your Facebook Ads.
Method #1: Run the same ad on two or more campaigns.
When we start a campaign for a client, we use one, proven and tested ad and use that same ad for audiences (ad sets) so that the social proof is building upon multiple audiences at the same time.
Here are the exact step-by-step instructions on how to set this up:
- Start with a Post Engagement campaign to build ‘likes’ and comments.
- After you’ve built a couple hundred likes, set up a conversion campaign. Transfer your engagement post id to conversion ad campaign, which will be responsible for the “social proof” the likes and comments on the ad itself.
- Simply find a post id and use it as an existing post.
*Facebook Ads Use of Existing Post
By using this technique you’ll be getting Likes, Comments and Shares and Increase Relevance Score.
Method #2: Serve a product ad to existing customers who bought the product.
Those who have bought the product tend to comment about how much they love the product. Once you’ve collected enough comments for a strong social proof on the product, use the Post ID to recycle the ad targeting a completely cold audience.
Here it is in action:
*Building Social Proof on Your Facebook Ads
People hate missing opportunities because e want to have things that are limited. Have a look at one of the biggest online retailers’ websites, Asos. We see immediately how this principle is applied.
*Scarcity on the E-commerce Store
Even though it’s a never-ending sale at Asos, they keep doing it. Why? Because it works!
Let’s have a look at other scarcity examples.
One of the most successful Kickstarter projects, Filippo Lorreti, has created an artificial scarcity by releasing only 1654 watches for each edition, in the same way, Ferrari does with their limited-edition super-cars.
And a luxury handbag brand, Mansur Gavriel, has built their business solely on exclusively limited edition bags. They sell out their collection within 24 hours of being released.
VII. Risk Removal
The very last psychological trigger we wanted to include in this list is risk removal.
People are scared to buy online. They may have been scammed in the past and with all the data leaks/hacks, most people are afraid of entering their credit card details. Most importantly, they’re not sure what the actual product will look like.
We see e-commerce sites that perform really well clearly state it has a no-questions-asked guarantee. Essentially allowing the customer permission to commit an error and to send the product back.
*eBay Use of Risk Removal
But… do you remember the principle of commitment? Most people will never ask for their money back if they receive a product that’s of decent quality.
Proposing At the First Sight? Sounds creepy…
Would you ever approach someone on the street and ask them to marry you immediately? If you did, chances are you won’t get a positive response.
Normally, people usually go on a first date, go to the movies, restaurants, take holidays together, and spend more time together nurturing the relationship and only THEN ask for a marriage.
Replace the word marriage for a sale, and you will understand the whole Internet marketing ecosystem. Here is our detailed client acquisition framework we use to deliver massive results:
*Facebook Ads E-commerce Sales Funnel. Front-end.
As you see, we have this relationship building process set-up where we get to know each other step-by-step, from being cold, to slightly warmer and then eventually a hot relationship.
Let’s go deeper into each one of the levels.
Top of the Funnel Audience – Cold Audience
A top of the funnel audience are individuals who have never seen an ad from us, nor heard of us(online). This audience is the hardest to sell to and the most expensive one.
A common mistake made for this audience is that marketers ask them for an email, a click, a download or whatever. Remember the reciprocity principle? Acting accordingly, give value in-terms of knowledge or another kind of value, so you can start building a strong relationship, which would be beneficial for both – you and your client. Also, you can use storytelling to get a greater connection between you and your client.
We create the top of funnel audience by doing our targeting research and target by behaviors, interests or Lookalike audiences.
From our experience, here’s what works for Top Of Funnel:
- Campaign objective to use in Top of Funnel (depending on the traffic and budget) are Conversion, Traffic or Video Views
- Placements we’re using – Facebook Newsfeed, Instant Articles, Instagram feed, and Instagram Stories.
- Content: 5 top-selling products, blog articles, PR articles together with snip.ly so we can retarget the ones that visited the link.
- Call To Action: “Add to Cart” usually works better for Lookalike audience than “Purchase”.
Additionally, we separate the following audiences from the rest of the funnel: People who engaged, visited our website, watched our videos etc. since this would be considered a warmer audience. Separating these audiences by the ‘temperature’ of the audience means you can achieve a cheaper cost per acquisition.
Middle of The Funnel (MOF) – Warm Audience.
Depending on the traffic on the website and budget, we decide whether to separate MOF Up and Down.
Middle Of Funnel (MOF) UP – Warm
MOF Up is – people who engaged with our Facebook page, watched videos, engaged with your Instagram, messaged you, went to the landing page but no activity further than that..
Here’s what has worked the best for us.
- Automatic Placement
- News Feed
- Instant Articles
- Audience (Product View, Add to Cart and Initiate Checkout)
Since Middle Of Funnel still doesn’t know much about the company or products they’re dealing with, we typically send them interesting facts about the company or their products.
We split these ad sets into 1-3 days;3-7 days; 7-14 days; 14-30 days; 30-50 days; and 50-70 days from the first time they interacted with the brand.
Middle of The Funnel (down) – Warmer Audience
The audience in MOF down is our audience who visited the website and went on to see the product.
For MOF down, we use Dynamic Product Ads to show the exact product they checked or create a new creative and segment the audience by the product they visited.
Copywriting: show all of the features/benefits they might have missed on all the product page, special discounts, colors, sizes etc. FREE Shipping works like a charm, as well as unboxing the product, or testimonials from our clients (still remember 7 psychological triggers to make them buy?).
Split this campaign into 1-3 days; 3-7 days; 7-14 days; and 14-30 days or more, according to your products.
Placements can be automatic or we split up according to the data we get.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOF)
This is where the “proposal” happens.
If everything was done correctly, people have seen videos about your brand, interesting facts, products, also what other people were saying about the brand, all of the benefits of the products.
Our BOF audience is typically people who added your product to the cart or initiated checkout and for some reason didn’t complete the checkout.
Reasons can be varied and might include:
- The time wasn’t perfect to buy (maybe they didn’t have their credit card nearby)
- Still weren’t convinced
- There were hidden costs when they started the checkout
and many many more…
This is where we tend to be more direct and give them special offers or write a direct copy like:
- FREE Shipping
- 10% OFF for a limited time
- Buy 2 get 1 Free
- Only 7 left
Agency note: if you want to test something out, start with your COLD audience(TOF) since this will not damage your brand image. If something works, let it further down the funnel one step at a time.
Acquiring a new client is the most expensive activity every business has to face.
However, businesses that spend money upfront to acquire new clients will win in the long-run.
You may be thinking……. “It’s already expensive to acquire a new customer and the prices are only going to increase… How could you possibly spend more?”
Our secret weapon is Backend Targeting!
The biggest e-com stores have their customer acquisition/relationship funnel set perfectly. However, the majority of their focus goes to the customer’s journey AFTER they bought the product. Mainly focusing on the frequency they buy.
Here are 5 campaigns we typically run all times to ensure we get the most ROI from our marketing spend. The backend targeting is used by the ConversionXL team.
*Facebook Ads E-commerce Sales Funnel. Back-End.
All of these campaigns are easily replicable in your Email Marketing as well as Facebook Ads.
Bounce back campaign is dedicated to people who just bought your product and probably still have their credit card out. At that point they are most likely to buy, therefore every e-com business should utilize by sending them an offer they couldn’t resist. Examples can be :
- Buy 1 More, Get Another For Free.
- Buy 2 More, Get Another For Free.
- Get 50% Discount Off Your Next Purchase
- If You Buy Another One, We’ll Send Them For FREE
Create a Dynamic Product Ad for people who bought A but not B (related products) and show them the ads on the same day or closer to their purchase date.
Note: This type of ad requires a higher budget, Facebook will not spend all of it due to its restriction but it will ensure that your ad will be shown for your customer immediately as soon as they log-in to their Facebook accounts.
Thank you campaign
The “Thank You” campaign comes from “the” Facebook marketer – Maxwell Finn. Maxwell has gotten amazing ROI for himself and his clients by running the Thank You campaign. The concept of the “Thank You” campaign is to interrupt the patterns and create an intimate relationship with your customers.
Thank You campaigns includes video, where the CEO or a face of the company simply thanks his customers for being with them, buying from them and asks them to share a photo or a video in order to get a discount on their next purchase.
Note: Set-up this campaign so they see the video AFTER the consumer(s) receive their product/services.
After they customers bought our products, start showing them something that would compliment their buy.
Create a Dynamic Product Ad for people who bought A but not B (related products) and show them the ads on the same day or closer to their purchase date.
Start showing these ads from the 2nd until the 30th day after they have bought from you until another campaign starts.
You can start showing these ads 20-30 days after their purchase and start increasing the discount as the length of time between purchase and offer gets greater.
- 30-40days ; 10% OFF
- 40-50days ; 15% OFF
- 50-60days ; 20% OFF + FREE Shipping.
Tip – People have an addiction to discounts. If they don’t get them – they might go to your competitors. We suggest you to be a bit more creative and come up with value stacking, rather than discounts.
Implementing the VIP strategy/loyalty program alone can grow business exponentially! The band is only as good as its relationship to their most loyal customers.
As Perry Marshall, and his advocated Pareto principle states – 80% of people will generate 20% of your revenue, while 20% of your most loyal customers will generate 80% of revenue.
Who should you concentrate on? Obviously – on your most loyal customers.
To identify your most loyal customers, segment this audience is by using third-party tools, such as Google Analytics. Segment your audience on Google Analytics, extract emails and upload them to Facebook as a custom audience.
*Creating Custom Audience on Facebook
Another way to approach it is to find loyal customers is to review who bought from you more than x times in the last 60-180 days and create a custom audience. See the picture steps below on how to create this list.
*Facebook audience segmentation
Also, you can segment your audiences by the money amount they spent on your store.
You can also create Lookalike audiences from them since they tend to spend the most.
Darling, Please Come Back Campaign
It is always easier to sell to existing customers than trying to acquire new customers. In our “Please Come Back” approach, we target customers who purchased 90 -120 days ago. Steps to create this audience:
- Simply create an audience who has bought from you in the last 120 day
- Exclude audience who hasn’t bought from you in the last 90 days
The copy usually starts with something like this:
- “We haven’t seen you for a while..”
- “We have new products you might like”
Step-by-Step Process Finding Your Ideal
The most important step in running Facebook Ads is to finding the ideal audience. We are now going to open up the curtains to a process that has enabled, us to achieve 55x ROAS .
We do this in 3 phases:
- Audience Testing
- Creative Testing
I. Research Phase
The research is one of the most boring, yet one of the most crucial parts of any campaign. Without targeting the right audience, your campaigns will definitely fail…
For this, we are using an excel sheet developed by Keith Krance where we enter everything we find in the research phase. This is an example of how we did it when we were selling brother Balls’ T-Shirts.
How did we fill up this sheet?
The drumroll, please!
- Start by getting on Facebook’s Audience Insights tool and entering an interest our customers may be interested in.
- Review the general demographics of the customer’s audience.
*Audience Insights Tool for Facebook Ads
3. Go to Page Likes tab, to review other interests these people may have.
4. By scrolling down, you will see Page Likes, where you’ll find even more interests your audience may have.
*Different Facebook Targeting Options
5. You can also go into each one of these pages, like them and then Facebook comes up with pages that are related to the one you liked.
*Other Facebook Pages
6. Then we go to Ads Manager platform, where we go to Ad Set level and enter the names of the brands we’ve found and Facebook will come with more suggestions with more targeting options.
*Facebook Ads Manager. Targeting Options at Ad-Set Level.
7. And the most important step 99% of Facebook marketers miss… Checking audience overlap
- Enter audiences we have found in our research phase and then save them.
- Go to the Audience section of Business Manager, and see the existing overlap between them.
*** You wouldn’t want to be testing audiences that are 80% the same… Would you?
*Audience Overlap on Facebook
From this example, we see that the overlap is only 16% – meaning we can go forward with them as separate audiences.
Our rule of thumb is to avoid overlap of 50% or above.
And the last part of the research process is checking the audiences other websites have. We do it with Alexia.
By completing all of the steps listed above, you’ll have an extensive list of audiences, have a good idea about their demographics and will be able to do sophisticated decisions to get massive ROAS from the get-go.
Testing The Audience
Now, as we’ve done the research, we’re moving to the testing phase. Here is where we’ll what is actually working.
Here are the general rules how we do it:
- Split the audiences into separate ad sets – use PPE(engagement) campaign objective.
- No more than one interest, behavior, Lookalike audience per ad set.
- Once we start seeing some traction we move these ad sets to Conversion campaign.
For static or carousel ads, we look for:
- CTR (1% +)
- CPC (below $1)
- Add to Cart rate
Videos: Cost per 10-second video views, CTR%, CPE.
Ethically Stealing The Creatives
This is by far the hardest part of testing since it’s not-so-scientific part of the advertising. In order to find a working creative, we have to understand the customer really well. and “walk in their shoes”.
But before we start it, we want to see what are the ads of your competitors so we create a swipe file to get ideas from.
With a new function that Facebook recently rolled in, it is super easy to fish for ideas. You can simply go onto the competitors’ Facebook page, use press on the function “Info and Ads” and simply screenshot whatever you think could work for your brand. By creating a swipe file, you’ll never run out of ideas.
*Info and Ads Feature on Facebook Page.
There are also Facebook Ad spying tools like AdEspresso and OnlineAdSpyer to build your swipe file.
Using tools such as AdEspresso and Online AdSpyer, give you an idea of what types of ads are working in the market. With this info, we can start building our own creatives, but before that…
Design Which Makes People Stop Scrolling
As an advertiser, your 1st goal is to stop people from scrolling. If you don’t, you’ll have no chance of having people perform “our desired” actions such as likes, comments, shares, landing page views, add to cart and etc.
From our experience, we found a few ways which make people stop and notice our advertising. Here are the ways to do it.
- High Contrast
*Nike’s Facebook Ad
Or simply like this.
Which one are you likely to notice more on your news feed? Yup, the 2nd one!!
2. Using a range of colors. Raised Real has used it perfectly with this ad adding red, green, yellow, light blue and light background.
*Raised Facebook Ad
3. Grayscale Technique. Although this technique has been used a lot, it still works to grab the attention of the customers.
Obviously, this photo is not only grayscale but captivating as well.. Creative piece of advertising.
4. The use of space around the product make your eye to stop naturally.
*Tommy Hilfiger Facebook Ads with Space Around the Product
5. Happy, smiley, friendly people. Do you notice how you’re drawn to people’s eyes?
*Ads with happy people attract attention
6. Thumbnail. Videos used in Facebook Ads works, but what’s more important on the video is the thumbnail. The thumbnail draws people attention, makes them stop and watch the video.
*Cadburry’s Facebook Ads
In this example we see nearly every aspect of attention-grabbing advertising (colors, text, video and etc.)
7. Our eyes are used to seeing objects in Vertically and Horizontally. By having something which is not that, it attracts our eyes
*Helix Sleep Facebook Ads
As we’ve noticed in our agency, Facebook advertisers should cycle more creatives than their copy, both, as Facebook and Instagram are very visual platforms, therefore require ads to pop out.
Design Tools We Use:
Do You Really Understand Your Customers? I mean… Really?
We’ve all seen this kind of ads: 50% off, SALE, FREE Shipping, Limited Time. These are legit offers that eComm stores run and they have their part to play.
However, they miss one major point and that is – focus on the client.
In order to do that, you should start by understanding the customer really well. At the agency, we start this process by analyzing our competitors as we just did by looking at their ads, positioning etc. and then we start creating what is called a “Customer Avatar”.
These are the questions we ask ourselves and search for the answers for on the web:
- What keeps them awake at night?
- What are they afraid of?
- What are they angry about? Who are they angry at?
- What are their top 3 daily frustrations?
- What trends are occurring and will occur in their lives?
- What do they secretly desire the most?
- Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? (impulsive, analytical etc.)
- Do they have their own language (lingo, technical jargon)?
- Who else is selling something similar to them, and how?
We gather all of the information by seeing ads of our competitors, reading Amazon reviews and reading blogs they read.
17 Biological Buttons to Make Us Buy
As we have gathered all of the information about our customers, we start deciding which secret buttons of 17 buttons are we going to push. There are 8 primary ones, which cannot be removed.
8 Primary Buttons:
- Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
- Enjoyment of food and beverages
- Freedom from fear, pain, and danger
- Sexual companionship
- Comfortable living conditions
- To be superior, winning and keeping up with the Jones’
- Care and protection of loved ones
- Social approval
Have you gone to the restaurant today? Did look at someone and thought “what a great jacket/car they have”? Have you ever craved for sexual relationship? Did you want to buy something more comfortable in your house? Did you want to look better than your friend/neighbor?
Yes, these are the main reasons people buy.
Another 9 are not as strong, however, they tend to work perfectly too!
9 Secondary Buttons
1. To be informed
3. Cleanliness of body and surroundings
7. Expression of beauty and style
Once we understand our customer fully and decide which biological buttons we’re going to use, we fall back into copywriting formulas. Depending on where they are in our sales funnel, we are going to create a copy.
The most common ones are – AIDA and PAS.
AIDA stands for:
- Attention – grab readers attention by saying something funny, controversial, stating their pain point, asking them a question.
- Interest – as you have their attention now you can start building a relationship by telling a story, demonstrating that you truly understand them
- Desire – by now you have an emotional connection with your prospects, so your task now is to show them how their life would change if they had your product.
- Action – now your task is to make them take action by showing your solution, which will solve their problem and get them their desired results. Here you can use urgency and give them an offer only for a few days.
- Problem – understand your customers’ pain point, demonstrate you understand it
- Agitation – this is where you start pouring salt onto the wound you’ve identified.
- Solution – this is where you save them by showing the solution you have that will save them.
Agency tips for copywriting:
- Don’t be afraid to be using long-copy. It all depends on the product you are selling, but we’ve seen a tendency of not using.
- Catch customers where they are. By segmenting audiences you are going to know exactly where they are on the funnel. So you can write your copy in this way: “Hey, we have noticed you checked our products…”
- The first two lines of your copy matter the most. Focus on them first.
- All of the placements look different. Adapt your copy accordingly.
- Focus on benefits (what the product does) and outcomes (what will happen by using the product) instead of relying on features.
- Create copies with different emotions. 1. Fun 2. Controversial ( 3. Relating (we understand you)
- The better
- People are irrational human beings and make their decision emotionally only justifying them afterwards
- The bigger the pain point is – the easier it is to sell the product.
So now we have visuals and copywriting set-up, so we’ll begin with creative testing.
At this point, we have enough ideas to start building our own creatives and start testing.
***In order to isolate variables, you should only be testing one thing at a time. It can be a product, visual, format, copy, promotion, CTA button, placement.
The following steps should serve you as a guideline:
- Use PPE campaign objective so we can have your CPM lower and get more impressions for the same amount to get more data and make better-informed decisions.
- Track CTR, CPC, CPA, Website Purchases, Website Add to Cart stats. If they are favorable, move your ad to conversion campaign, leaving PPE campaign running to get more social proof on our ads.
**If you have lower budgets, have 2-3 ads on your ad set with $5 daily budget. If your budget is higher, use 1 ad per 1 ad set structure.
Using Data to Make Well-Informed Decisions
Every decision after the ads are active is based on data, and we’re going to go through the exact process we use to measure the stats.
To begin with, here are our stats that we look at inside Facebook.
*Facebook Ads Data to Track
The exact process we use inside of the agency:
- The holy-grail for e-commerce is obviously – ROAS and (CPA). If these are below our KPIs – we are off track, so we have to identify the problem soon rather than later.
- To do that, we start off checking our secondary metrics, which is CPC.
- CPC is set by combining: Relevance score, Competition, Bidding Strategy, Optimized Pixel, Audience Size, Frequency, Objective, Campaign Funnel.
- If CPC is higher than what we’ve determined to be the cap – something is wrong. And it might be one of these 3 things:
- Targeting. If the audience is not ready or interested in your product, it doesn’t matter how well your creative is going to look like, they’ll never buy from you.2. Image. You have to stop people from scrolling down their feed, if they don’t stop, they will not get a chance of clicking on your ad.3. Copy. Facebook Advertisers have to understand the customer really well; their pain points, desires, and etc. This is the only in that way the copy will be created compelling enough to buy.
- We measure our ads performance based on 1, 3, 7, 14, 30-day window.
- Breakdown your data by Country, Region, Platform and Device, Placement and Device.
*Facebook’s Ads Data Breakdown
Using Google Analytics to Scale
Unfortunately not many eComm stores nor advertisers use GA insights to scale their businesses. What a missed opportunity!
We’re going to show you how can you benefit from doing some simple analysis and figure out where you should be focusing on in order to scale your business.
You can start pulling the data out by analyzing the countries you are advertising for.
Once you pull this data out, we start calculating how much is each visitor worth for us from each one of the countries, so we can know EXACTLY how much we can pay to get one visitor on our website.
To do that, simply export the data here:
And then divide Revenue against Sessions:
By having this data you’ll see specifically which country performs the best and see specifically how much you can spend on a session for each one of the countries.
NOTE: sessions are not exactly the same as clicks. Refer here for further information:
One of the biggest mistakes we see Facebook advertisers and eCommerce do is that they advertise to the whole country instead of targeting specific states. That’s why we use secondary dimensions to determine which states are worth more than others to concentrate on them.
Here you see some regions that stand out like – New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria.
We do exactly the same step and calculate how much is each session worth from each one of these regions.
Knowing them, we’ll be able to make informed decisions on targeting, creating specific ad sets to specific regions. We sometimes even use it in our copy, by calling out our customers from these regions, which get even higher CTR.
3. Mobile Devices
We can further analyze the data by seeing whether Desktop, Mobile or Tablets are performing better, so we can adjust our placements.
Data is the king. The more you have it, the better-informed decisions you can make scaling your store with paid advertising.
Two Strategies To Scale Your Facebook Advertising Efforts
Scenario: Start testing your product with a daily budget of $25 and see some immediate traction in the form of sales or high CTR and you immediately ramp up your budget to 100$/daily and expect 4x the results you were getting.
But you probably don’t.
Why? The answer is clear in your head – Zuck has become angry.
The truth is – Ad budget is a form of communication, and you just communicated with Facebook that everyone is buying your product.
And guess what? Facebook gets excited, like a cork ready to burst from a bottle of champagne and starts showing your ads to everyone!
It will probably take Facebook days to cool down and concentrate on the task of optimizing. But by then you could lose $300 per ad set!
Before we start discussing HOW to scale, let’s identify what are the signs to start scaling.
When should you Scale?
The biggest sign that you have a winning audience and a product is…….SALES.
From our experience, Facebook tends to show ads to the best audience in the first 12 hours. It’s no different than playing dice. Facebook lets you win first rounds but it doesn’t mean you are going to be winning the whole time. The guidelines we use for all of our campaigns:
- Depending on your ad set, we have unofficial guidelines to wait until the ad set spends at least $10-20 before we make a decision.
- CTR. We always tend to aim for +3% CTR and if we hit this number from the get-go, that’s a green light for us. Use this with a grain of salt, we’ve seen times when CTR of 8%, but 0 conversions.
- A slightly weaker signal – engagement rate or relevance score. Both of them are highly correlated – see how Facebook determines Relevance score below.
- Engagement is either like, comment or a video watched.
To determine the Relevance score, Facebook has this formula to calculate, which includes Positive and Negative feedback it gets from your customers (both of them will be gone by the end of July 2018)
*Facebook’s Algorithm determining the relevance score
Vertical scaling is when we increase our daily spend/budget under an ad set. We start by increasing our budgets gently 20% every 24 hours. We increase it by 20% because we don’t want Facebook to get too excited. If it gets too excited, it starts showing our ads to everyone. We don’t want that.
The rule of 20% is not so strict and could be increased to 30%, however, we do tend to stick to it in order to play it safe.
Another method of scaling vertically is simply duplicating our ad sets and increasing its original daily budget up to $150 per day. We usually do that early in the morning (by morning we mean 10 am of the account time).
And we can do that many times! Facebook’s algorithm needs some time to optimize, so be cautious and follow your ad sets closely.
Let’s say we find a winning product and start scaling vertically, but we soon reach all of the people inside the audience we’ve created. That’s the time to start scaling horizontally.
Here are 7 types of horizontal scaling :
- One of the most overlooked ways of horizontal scaling is – changing your creative. Whenever we reach our audience fully, we can still create a new look for the same product and they might be interested to buy from us. Here is where you can find how much of the audience you’ve reached.
- We go to Audience insights tool in our Business Manager and search for audiences, which are similar to the one we are targeting. We create new ad sets and test new audiences out
*Facebook Audience Insights Tool
Save these audiences, go to the Audience section of our Business Manager, and check for overlap.
*Facebook Audiences Overlap
3. Create Lookalike audiences from Purchases, Add to Cart, Product View, Website Visitors.
*Creating Facebook Lookalike Audiences
4. If our clients can ship to other countries, we start expanding our reach to other countries like Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or other economically strong countries like Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland etc.
*Targeting Specific Countries on Facebook Ads Platform
5. There are currently 12 different placements to place on the entire Facebook network. We usually start with Newsfeed, Instant Articles and Instagram. However, as soon as we see a possibility, we start testing other placement options.
*Different Placements on Facebook Ads Platform.
6. Use Different objectives. Imagine a pie cut into different pieces. Each one of the pieces represents one people group Facebook has us labeled.
- Clickers (Traffic objective),
- Commenters and Likers (Engagement),
- Page Likers(Page Likes),
- Buyers (Conversion),
- Email Givers(Lead Generation),
- App Installers (App Install),
- Video viewers (Video Views)
- And so on..
By choosing a campaign objective, we’re actually asking Facebook to target this audience and by doing that, Facebook’s algorithm is going to disregard other pieces of the pie. By testing other campaign objectives we can reach other people that might buy our products too.
7. When we see one product working really well, we ask our clients for other products in the similar niche, this way giving our customers more variety to choose from and increasing the likelihood of more conversions.
Final Notes on Scaling
Facebook’s algorithm is a fragile thing and even following these steps it takes 1, 2 or even 3 days for it to optimize, so don’t turn off your ad sets after a few hours of increasing your budgets.
Agency note: horizontal scaling methods CAN be used for fighting ad fatigue.
Lead the Auction Like a Boss With Manual Bidding
How does manual bidding work?
The very first thing you need to understand managing your Facebook Ads campaigns is that Facebook is an auction platform. Each time a Facebook Ad is run, it enters an auction with their colleagues all over the globe competing for the same advertising space.
So how does Facebook determine who gets advertising space? There are 3 factors, which will be considered in the auction.
- Advertiser’s bid: Ad-set history, objective, optimization, bid rate, audience
- Estimated action rates: website performance, pixel history, niche, optimization, objective, audience
- User value: ad relevancy, landing page speed, sales funnel experience, user history, bounce rate
When and How To Use Manual Bidding
Never consider using manual bidding before we get our CTR% and CPC% squared away. Only then we can start scaling.
There are two options to consider when manual bidding:
- Bidding cap option.
So let’s say we set it up for $5 and if Facebook sees that there might be a conversion for over $5.01, it will not bid for that auction. This method should only be used when testing and/or scaling is on the radar.
- Target cost option.
By using this option, we are asking Facebook to win auctions for on average of $5. Sometimes it might be higher, sometimes lower, but it will try to maintain the average cost of 5$.
Whenever your ad spend is over 4 figures daily, advertisers keep getting into the problem – Facebook is not taking all of their money!
So in order to reach all of the audience and scale our campaigns, we create 3 tests:
- 1x of our CPA target
- 2x of our CPA target
- 3x of our CPA target
At the same time leaving one ad set as our safety net we can always fall back onto.
After testing these for 12hours – 48hours we determine which ad sets we are leaving and which ones we aren’t.
Scaling Your eCom by…. Optimizing It!
Every e-commerce businesses is dependant on the following 3 things:
- New customers acquired
- Average order value (AOV)
- Frequency they buy
This section focuses on increasing the number of new customers acquired and increasing their average order value.
So why is AOV so important?
You see, in the long-run, all eCom businesses that have high AOV, will be able to spend more money on advertising and outbid their competitors.
To get that, your store has to be optimized.
Here are a few things we advise our clients to focus on to ensure that every bit of traffic that we send to their website will be “handled” correctly.
1. Main page
On the main page, we need to clearly see what the store is all about, the way asos does it.
To make the experience as personable as possible, we segregate the audience by appealing to the target market, whether it was by gender, by sport or anything else.
2. Product page
The product page should be the most optimized page on the website. The Product should try to up-sell by displaying related or similar items similar to amazon.
One way to increase the AOV is to provide the customer an option to buy the whole look.
Videos add more credibility to the brand and keep the customer longer on the website. This behavior allows greater attachment and trust to the brand while helping the website rank higher (SEO hack). Revzilla does it perfectly for their higher priced items.
Trust can also be increased by adding testimonials and reviews to the website.
3. Add to Cart
Have you noticed that whenever you go to the supermarket, right by the counter, there are always instant products to buy. Ecom stores should use the exact same strategy by adding small-budget products on their add to cart page to increase the AOV.
4. To trust or not to trust?
This question is constantly spinning in our customers’ head. They are always looking for a reason to leave the website.
If it is too slow… They will leave.
Does it have a bad design? They will leave.
Is it not trustworthy? Leave.
And one of the things that could increase trustworthiness is security badges.
5. Email collection
Not every e-comercem store visitor is ready to buy products of the bath. By offering them a discount an e-commerce store can acquire an email address so they can have another channel of advertising.
Or we can do that via gamification.
6. Add Paypal and other alternative payment methods, to cater to all of your customers.
This concept is easily applicable, yet not everyone is doing it.
7. Add product description
Everybody knows that, however, in order to product descriptions well, the brand has to understand their customers really well and what information do they need in order to buy their product.
For example, New Balance thinks about their customers’ motives and concerns, hence this description.
Fashion products are easier to understand, so they simply state features.
8. Chat Bots
ChatBots have been in the industry for over a year already and we’ve seen many use cases of them. One of them is to integrate them with an e-commerce website to provide customers with more quick options of customer support.
Automatizing Non-Essential Parts So You Can Concentrate on What’s More Important
Keeping track of everything that is happening with your Facebook Ads and managing them daily takes a long time.
Some tasks are super repetitive, some are not. For the repetitive tasks, we have created a set of rules, we can apply across Facebook Ads
This is an extensive list of the automation rules we use depending on the client and their numbers.
What? – Cut bad performing ads
When? – from 1 pm – 5 pm (where the ad runs)
Pause ad if:
- Today’s CPA above target 50%
- OR today’s ROAS below target 50%
- and more than 1 sale
- Today’s SPEND x2.5 above target (CPA – 25 – give 62.5$ until cutting it
- AND zero acquisitions
What? – Cut bad performing ads
When? – From 5pm-12am
Pause ad if:
- Today’s CPA above target 50%
- OR today’s ROAS below target 50%
- and more than 1 sale
- Today’s SPEND x2 above target (CPA – 25 – give 50$ until cutting it)
- AND zero acquisitions
What? Recover performing Ads
When? All day
Restart ad if :
- Today’s CPA below target +25%
- or today’s ROAS above target 25%
- and greater than 1 acquisition
What? – Recover performing ads from the last 1-3 that are performing NOW.
When? – All day.
Restart ad if:
- Yesterday’s CPA below target +25%
- AND yesterday more than 1 acquisition
- AND last 3 days CPA at or below target
- AND last 3 days more than x acquisitions
Ad Set Level
What? – Scaling ad-sets moderately
When? – 9 am market time
Increase the Budget by 20% if :
- Yesterday CPA below target
- AND last 3 days CPA below target
- AND yesterday more than 3 acquisitions
- AND last 3 days more than 10 acquisitions
- ROAS x3(or any other target ROAS)
What? – Punish not converting ad sets
When? – 2 am market time
Decrease budget by 5-10% if:
- Yesterday CPA above expected target +25%
- AND yesterday more than 1 acquisition
- Zero sales AND spend over 5x CPA
- ROAS is 25% below the target
What? – Scaling ad-sets horizontally
When? – 9 am market time
Duplicate ad sets x times if :
- Last 3 days CPA below target
- AND last 3 days more than 10 acquisitions
- AND last 3 days frequency below 3
- ROAS over x (target)
- AND last 3 days more than 10 acquisitions
- AND last 3 days frequency below 3
As mentioned above, we use these rules for clients with high budgets and for each one of them individually.
Don’t rely on automation only, it does not always work perfectly, so monitor it closely what happens in your campaigns.
Instagram Stories and The 1081x ROAS Miracle
How would you feel getting 1081x ROAS for your campaign? That’s what happened for us when we started using Instagram Stories for our special offers.
Here is how it looked like.
How do IG stories work?
First of all, you have two options to choose from – to create a video or a photo ad. IG users are literally speeding through the stories of their friends so you have to grab their attention quickly.
First of all, you have to choose a placement for Instagram stories here:
Here are a few tips on using Instagram Stories taken from QuickSprout.
1. Make your ad visually appealing and create an appealing offer.
Instagram audience differs from the audience on other social media channels. They are very visually driven, hence use high contrast photos in combination with an appealing offer is advisable. Furthermore, the attention span for watching stories is far shorter, so be very selective who do you target.
2. Show Your Brand’s Name
Whenever you’re advertising your brand on any of the social media channels, make sure you have your company logo/name on the ad. By doing that, it will make your brand more memorable and trustworthy.
3. Use Recommended Dimensions
Not all of the placements are created equally, therefore dimensions should be adapted to each one of them separately.
- Recommended resolution is 1080 x 1920.
- Minimum resolution is 600 x 1067.
- Aspect ratio is 9:16.
- Max file size is 4GB.
- Recommended video formats are .MP4 and .MOV.
- Video length max is 15 seconds.
4. Add Call to Action (CTA)
Whatever your goal for the advertising is, include a CTA button to each one of them. The human brain is lazy and doesn’t want to think too much. By including a CTA button, we give our prospects a clear explanation and of an action we want them to take and increase the likelihood of them taking it.
5. Be Highly Relevant to Your Audience
This is the most basic concept of the Online or any marketing in general. Give your audience offers that are relevant to them.
Artifactuprising is giving away a guide on how to create amazing looking photographs for the Instagram audience, who tend to be far more active in shooting photos during the same. Good timing + good offer + right audience = success.
We can see a clear CTA button, high contrast photos, relevant content.
Using Messenger Bot to Drive $4958+ in Sales
Chatbots and AI is a topic everyone talks about in the digital marketing space for a while.
And for a good reason.
- It offers ultra personalized marketing.
- It super personalized for customer support
- They are immediately available
- They are a massive source of driving sales, and CTR% is such massive
- The costs are still very low (and can also get a free subscription)
There are so many use cases of chatbots, which would require an entirely new article written only on them…
…and completely new specialization of people doing that.
That’s why we’ve partnered up with one of the fastest growing ChatBots agencies – YellowHammock to provide best services for them.
In any case, inside our agency, we drive sales through our ChatBot.
One way we consistently use to great success is for replying to engagement posts on Facebook.
Here is an example:
We create an engaging post, which encourages people to comment after which they receive a message straight to their Messenger. We also create an engagement campaign with a budget of 20$ to reach more people.
Here is how the message they’ll receive is going to look :
After they reply “yes”, we hit them with another message giving them a discount code with a clear CTA (although very soft).
This exact set-up was responsible for a revenue of 4985$ in one day for one of our clients.
Messenger is quite an intimate place where people interact with their place, therefore the communication has to be super soft.
The main purpose of Messenger is to send traffic to the website and NOT sell on there (although Facebook is about to release this option) too.
Use this article as your playbook of our agency that’s generating over $2mm in trackable revenue every month.
We didn’t hide anything, nor did we leave something unwritten.
If you want to learn more about our current work, join our Facebook community where we share our successes and challenges.
Did you find the article highly informative & educational?
Share it on your social media.
That would mean a world to us.
This is the best article on Facebook marketing I have ever read. So well done!
Thank you, we are so happy you find it useful!
Great article! Thanks for putting everything together.
Thank you for taking the time to read it 🙂
Best article ever. thanks
Thank you for the feedback!
most of the gurus and PAID webinars should retire now, that this article is out. BEST. Super
Thanks Riho, we appreciate it!
amazing stuff. it made me rethink if our current agency actually manages our campaigns with a similar vision.
We’re so happy you enjoyed it! Let us know if you need agency recommendations 🙂
Thanks guys for this great ressource!
Keep it up
Thank you, we sure will! 🙂
Great article! A lot of good stuff is there here!
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and insights so extensively. A lot of great nuggets to apply!
We are so happy you find it useful 🙂
Is your ROAS calculation based on cost of ALL parts of the funnel ( i.e. TOF + MOF + BOF) or just the BOF?
If it’s just based on BOF… what is your actual ROAS when taking into consideration all costs with entire funnel?
We’re trying to hit 3.2x + total since we’re profitable at this point and we’re not getting into any cash-flow issues. Although it varies from client to client.
Such a post. I want to talk. Please contact me by email divingcyprus[at]gmail[dot]com
I hope that you won’t stop writing such interesting articles. I’m waiting for more of your content. It’s so good that i’m going follow you.
One of the most informative articles on Facebook ads for ecom. I literally took 2 hours to read everything and going back and forth to grasp everything. Well done guys.
Massive info bomb!