This Seems Relevant Today

This could have been me had I stopped yesterday which by the way I wanted to.

This is me instead because I hung around longer.

I spent the past couple of days trying to optimize a new product launch. All metrics looked great. Every step of the funnel just as I wanted. I had low CPM, high CTR, low CPC, low CPATC, low CPIC, but.. also low conversion rate. For those who don’t know what am I talking about, I had low cost for everything, but the number of users purchasing were also low which was something I really didn’t expect to happen.

Due to this my cost per acquisition was higher than where I wanted it to be. Instead of making money, I was losing money until I launched the retargeting campaign.

For those who don’t know, retargeting is reaching warm audience or potential customers again. People who showed purchase intent but didn’t purchase. My retargeting campaign brought me really cheap sales. So cheap that it offset all the loss that other campaigns caused. Not just that, it turned the overall campaign around and made the product launch profitable.

This showcases two things. 1) Retargeting is really really powerful. 2) When you’re thinking of giving up, hang around just a little bit longer.

Using Case Studies For Marketing

One of the things that people tell me is that when they run ads they get a lot of irrelevant traffic or leads although they are confident that their targeting is accurate. When you’re selecting a large interest with an audience size in millions, you’re obviously going to reach many irrelevant people just because of the sheer size of the audience.

One of the things that we do to improve this traffic quality as well as our conversion is to do case studies on the pain points and their solutions. For example, if you’re trying to sell a SaaS subscription, instead of trying to reach your potential customers directly with the ad of your product, you should do an ad of the case study.

If your product is an e-commerce product discovery tool, you should do a case study about “how a store owner made $37,000 with this product discovery strategy”. Once you run an ad for this case study, you’ll be able to collect very relevant clicks. You can then retarget this traffic with your product ad. You could also create a lookalike of this case study audience, and then run your product ad for them.

The more expensive your product is, the more number of case studies I recommend you to do.

Why Selling Digital Products Could Be A Good Idea

While e-commerce is a great business and my focal point of attention these days, I’ve also spent a ton of time selling digital products as an affiliate which were mostly ebooks, newsletters, courses and forum memberships.

I have written much about the upsides of e-commerce, but probably not so much about the downsides. The first major downside is that tangible products have repeat costs. In order to fulfil each purchase, you have to source the product as well as pay for the shipping. This can obviously be avoided in a digital product where you spend a one time cost in manufacturing your product and can sell it again and again.

The second major downside is the liability. I’ve never been bothered by the risks of selling advertising on websites and also not too much bothered by the risk of selling digital products. Physical products, however, can go wrong. They can malfunction, cause damage to the consumer and this is a risk worth considering.

As already mentioned, digital products come with higher margins and are more profitable. This is also why you see many marketers resort to selling courses in the end because it is a higher margin business. You create the course, may be also incur a cost in doing so, but on an on-going basis your only cost is marketing. This leaves a much higher budget for you to make a profit.

I do think that most course sellers do it out of desperation and many are not even fully equipped with the knowledge that they try to sell. However, selling courses itself is not necessarily a bad thing as many of them come with a lot of value. The fact, although, remains that you can make more money by telling people how you make money and less by actually trying to do it.

Why Should You Always Duplicate Your Ads

If you’re familiar with Facebook advertising, you may have seen that some people always run multiple copies of the same ads in an ad-set. Those unfamiliar with this strategy always wonder, why would someone create 2 identical copies of the same ad and place them in an ad-set. Here’s the reason why.

When you target a large audience (for example 1 million to 100 million) which Facebook also encourages you to do so, not every person in your audience (interest/behavior) is going to be identical.

When you place two identical ads in an ad-set you’re hoping that your first copy will be seen by a small pocket of your large audience, and your second copy will be seen by a different small pocket. Based on the performance of the audience in those pockets, Facebook will continue to find similar audience using it’s machine learning capabilities.

It is obvious that one of the pockets of the audience would be superior to the other one and by having multiple copies you’re giving their machine learning a better chance of spending budget in your interest in a more optimal manner.

I found this difficult to convey over the text, but I hope that I’m able to do so. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in comments.

Here Are My Favorite Resources To Learn Facebook Advertising

I have profitably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads. I have been doing this heavily since 2016. I could attribute most of my basic learning to Travis’s free resources that he put up on YouTube.

If you’re interested in Facebook advertising, I recommend that you complete these tutorials. You should also go through these.

Travis has been playing this game for over a decade so he’s pretty good at what he does. Much of his content may be dated although still very useful. This is still my favorite resource for getting the basics right.

For intermediate strategies, I’d recommend that you check out Verum. To understand what he’s saying, you need to be well aware of basics. If you’re well aware of the basics, you’d love his content and find it very easy to digest. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t understand much of what he’s saying.

The most advanced players, however, are the AdLeakers. I don’t think there’s any value for anyone here unless he’s already spending a lot of ad budget profitably and wants to further up his game by working on cost reduction strategies to achieve lower cost per acquisitions.

I don’t suggest that you invest in any course if you’re just starting. Investing in the actual ad budget might be a much better idea. But before you even do that, I strongly recommend that you consume Travis’s KingPinning tutorials.

Identifying The Optimal Manual Bid For Your Ads

I like to scale my Facebook ad campaigns with manual bids. One of the the tough decisions is to identify what is the optimal bid with regards to the best combination of number of sales and profit per sale. In short, getting the best return on ad spend (ROAS).

One manual way that I’ve used in the past is to start my ads by placing a bid that would result in 1.00 ROAS. For example, if the cost of goods sold is $10 and I’m selling the goods for $30, I’d start by placing a manual bid of $20. What this translates into is that I’m willing to break-even to initiate the learning phase for the ad-set.

Then I reduce this bid by 10% everyday until my ROAS keeps getting better and stop when the spend starts going down. This has helped me identify the right manual bid in the past. But there’s one drawback and that is the auctions change everyday and I only run the top down bid-identifying strategy once. So my manual bid may not be the most optimal manual bid everyday in the future.

However, since the launch of campaign budget optimization (CBO), there’s a simple solution to this problem. You can create multiple ad-sets with different manual bids and place them in a CBO. So if you’re selling that $10 product for $30, you can may be create 5 ad-sets in a CBO with a bid of $13, $14, $15, $16 and $17. The CBO will automatically choose the ad-set that’s likely to get the best results and each day a different ad-set with a different bidding may be getting the sales for you.

Why Using 2-Step Opt-In For Web Push Is a Must

For the past few years, many websites have been relying on adding an extra traffic source for desktop and android users by enabling web push notifications.

Browser sends notification to the users asking them to opt in into future web push notifications. The users can either allow or block the notifications. Once a certain number of users block your push notifications, browsers start to mark your notifications as spam or try to curb your push notification marketing efforts.

The solution is pretty simple; and all website owners should do it.

The solution is a 2-step opt-in for web push notification and you may have noticed that many websites do it already. Before the browser sends an opt-in notification, you send a native opt-in notification from your website. This looks something like this.

When a user selects “No thanks”, he simply doesn’t subscribe to your notifications without penalizing your website. When a user selects “Allow”, he is presented with the 2nd step browser opt in

Since the user has already accepted your invitation to opt in on the first step, it’s unlikely that the user will select block at the 2nd step. If many users click on block at this step, your website has a likelihood of getting penalized by the browser for future web push notifications. 

It is why it is highly recommended that you never present the browser opt-in as your first line of invitation. The web push opt-in should always be hidden behind the website’s native opt-in.

Receiving Ad Delivery Penalty Due to Coronavirus

It should be no surprise to anyone that coronavirus has affected some of the global trade and specifically slowed down the e-commerce industry.

Since we were facing increasing difficulty to source and fulfil our orders, we had stopped advertising some of our stores by end of January where product sourcing had become difficult.

But even though we had stopped the ads, there were still shipping delays for the orders that we had already received. By last week, after a three week break, we had made alternate arrangements for our product sourcing and resumed partial advertising operations for the affected stores. However, today we received an advertising delivery penalization. This has caused us to stop ad-ops one more time.

Although our delivery rates received poor reviews and for obvious reasons, I’m still relieved that nearly 100% of the customers were happy with the product quality.

In the end, I’m not just an e-commerce seller, but many times also an e-commerce buyer. Since I expect to receive a certain quality of service as a buyer, I need to ensure the same as a seller too and when I fall short, with or without coronavirus, I’m not proud of it.

Overlapping Audiences, Competing With Your Own Ads And My Take On This

Yesterday, I wrote about my ad account that got disabled and I concluded by saying the following

And in the super optimist world, I’ll have two ad-accounts burning twice the fuel, delivering twice the sales, making twice the profit. I want to think that this will happen. Because without this kind of optimism, it’s hard to want to run a business

Today when I read my own blog post, I realized that overlapping brigade must hate me right now for saying something so foolish. But I don’t care about overlap as much as many other people.

I hear a lot of people say that this audience will overlap with that audience or that your ads are competing with your other ads and that you’re bidding higher against your own ads etc. I understand. I understand what you’re saying and I understand what you mean. But I am not concerned on the same level as you.

First things first, I mean no disrespect to other marketers. I will also never claim that I am good at what I do. I am always learning. I spend everyday in this industry with an open heart and an open mind with will to learn more than I knew yesterday. I understand that different marketers have different strategies and yet they are able to deliver results. In summary, I think any strategy that brings the results we seek, is the right strategy and that many strategies can co-exist together.

Now off to some of the reasons why I’m comfortable with overlapping and competing with my own ads.

In the past, I’ve had a successful product where we were spending thousands of dollars per day in ads, and were generating tens of thousands in sales. I did everything in my power to scale the ads profitably until I couldn’t anymore without hurting profitability. So I created a second ad account, created 100% duplicate campaigns as my first ad account, and started competing with my own ads.

The end result was that I was able to increase my sales by over 60% and my profits by over 40%. In summary, by competing with my own self, I slightly reduced my margins, and significantly increased the money I took home.

Now I don’t know about you, but I prefer focusing on the actual dollars I take home, and while the margin percentage remains the significant focus of my business, it isn’t what I’m actually focusing on at the end of the day.

There are many occasions when simply raising the budget will cost you much higher CPA than creating a duplicate copy of your campaign and duplicating budget like that. Of course, you’re overlapping and competing with your own ads, but if it works, then why not?

In addition, not many people know this but Facebook sets CPM penalization not just for ad-accounts, but even for business managers based on the reports it receives from the users about your ads. In this case, running identical campaigns from multiple ad accounts or even different business managers will generate significantly different results.

Furthermore, my attitude towards overlapping and self-competition is also lenient because we like to scale fast. If we won’t scale, someone else will. If we won’t compete with our own ads, someone else will compete with our ads. This is how we like our marketing at Socialoholic.

My Ad Account Got Disabled, But I Live On Optimism

Today, an ad-account for one of our e-commerce stores got disabled. There was no violation. It was the same ads that we had been running for 4 weeks. Usually when the ad account gets deactivated, there’s an appeal link. The account is usually sorted in couple of hours. But today, there was no notification or appeal link.

I’ve still appealed through a different support channel, but its not going to resolve in couple of hours but would take longer than that.

Meanwhile, I’ve exported all campaigns to a different ad account. Theres a way to export CSV of campaigns and import to a different ad account. Here’s a walk-through video of how to do it. The process can still be very messy because of custom audiences, and lookalikes. When Facebook deactivates one ad account, it locks everything inside that ad account including all custom audiences and lookalikes. So its not possible to move those if they are owned by a disabled ad account.

I had a shitty day trying to do these manual, hateful tasks. I really had two options. Option # 1 was to basically feel angry at Facebook and stop advertising. Option # 2 was to start-over.

The option # 2 can be interesting because I may be able to make the 2nd ad account deliver profitable campaigns too. In the best case scenario, I may get the first ad account back as well. And in the super optimist world, I’ll have two ad-accounts burning twice the fuel, delivering twice the sales, making twice the profit. I want to think that this will happen. Because without this kind of optimism, it’s hard to want to run a business.