How I Got 500% ROI from Facebook Ads

What if I told you that I have an advertising campaign on Facebook that generates over 500 percent ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend)? And that same campaign routinely sees anywhere from six to 15 percent CTR (Click-Through-Rate). Maybe this sounds a bit like advertising folklore, but not only am I doing it – I can show you how to do it as well.

ecommerce Facebook ads with high click through rate

I took that screenshot about a week after starting the campaign just to prove how easy it is to set up. The secret is in knowing what type of campaign this is. This one is a retargeting campaign. If a lightbulb didn’t immediately go on, then this post is going to rock your world. If a lightbulb did come on, this post will still rock your world – but you might need to stop reading it and go do it right now!

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is the “art” of showing ads to people that have already been to your website, but haven’t converted yet – it can either be to a sale, a lead, a newsletter sign-up, a software trial – anything that you want to bring visitors back to. What makes this so beautiful is that people who have already visited your site are very likely to visit again – and BUY! All you have to do now is keep your brand and your positioning at the top of their minds.

Think about it, you’ve already been on this side with both Google and Facebook – remember that pair of shoes you looked at online, but weren’t sure of? They started taunting you in your email and social media until you bought them, right?

Step #1:

You need to set up your Facebook retargeting pixel. This will allow Facebook to figure out who is visiting your website and which pages they are viewing. Facebook actually does a pretty good job of showing you how to get this set up.

Step #2:

You need to use that to set up some custom audiences. The best way to do this is to set up audiences based on which page/category people have visited. For our site – I set up audiences for everyone that had visited each of the main brand category pages, such as Traxxas, Axial, HPI, etc.

Step #3:

Set up your ad. This is where things go from giving you OK return to “Holy cow, Batman, that was awesome!” You want to set up your campaigns and ad sets in ways that allow you to do some A/B testing – to find out what really works for your target audience. I usually start off broad – oftentimes called the “shotgun” approach. Just pull the trigger and see what hits the mark.

For this first round, I set up two ads for each brand – one that had a CTA (Call-To-Action) and one that did not. You can see the difference in the ads below.

Traxxas Facebook Ad for Dollar Hobbyz AB Test CTA

The one without the yellow bar technically has a “shop now” button which is a CTA – but for the purposes of my naming structure – the giant yellow bar is the ad that I designate as the one with the true CTA.

Step #4:

Make sure the text, image, link and everything else about the ad are as relevant to the audience as possible. This will let get the coveted “high relevance” score from Facebook. I aim for a score above 8/10 on all my ads. A higher score means that your ad is more relevant – the more relevant the ad, the more Facebook shows it 😉

And make sure your content is engaging, including “you” to reel them in further.

Why does this work so well?

Think about it, if you owned a brick-and-mortar store, who is most likely to buy from you: the person that visits your store or the person that doesn’t visit your store? The answer is obvious – and it’s the same thing for your website. People that have visited your website are already primed to buy from you. Then, when they see your ads on Facebook, it makes them think you must be really popular, and it keeps your brand in the front of their mind. These tactics have been around long before Facebook, but Facebook makes it really easy to do.

What’s next?

Do some A/B testing. Test out different pictures, different words, and different audiences. Get creative and experiment with everything – even color. Just make sure that you only test one variable at a time (unless you are experienced and want to do some multivariate testing).

And if you want bonus points – create a “Look-alike” audience. A look-alike audience is exactly what it sounds like – an audience that Facebook thinks “looks” like your audience based on its algorithm. The algorithm helps Facebook figure out other people that are very similar to the people currently visiting your site and buying from you. This aggregated data allows you to target and reach people that aren’t currently visiting your site, but have a high likelihood that they will enjoy your product offerings and want to purchase from you. It’s the perfect way to expand your already profitable retargeting ad campaign – into an even more profitable acquisition campaign.

Have you tried Facebook retargeting before?  Share your secrets to success with it!

Image Credits: Screenshots taken by William Harris; Featured Image: Shutterstock

This post originally appeared on Social Media Today.

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William Harris
As the founder and CEO of the rapid-growth ecommerce advertising agency, Elumynt, William Harris has been critical to driving growth for multiple startups in ecommerce and SaaS with 6 recent exits, the largest selling for almost $800M. His contributions have been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Shopify, The Next Web, and many more.

2 thoughts on “How I Got 500% ROI from Facebook Ads”

  1. Nice post, I’ve heard a lot about Facebook ads but have yet to give it a try. I used to run a campaign in google adwords for an organization niche a few years ago and that went well. I’m curious to find out more about the look alike audience. I’ve already placed a facebook pixel on my site and it’s currently tracking a list for me to retarget. I’m hoping to use the look alike audience to drive more traffic to my site. I’m assuming I should be able to exclude visitors that have already seen my site. How do we know if the look alike audience is the perfect audience to view my offer?

    1. Great question Zoul – there are no guarantees that a look-alike audience will be better than other audiences. But, as a general rule – LAL (Look-Alike) audiences perform really well. First, you should know who your customers are – set up some customer profiles. Then you can write ads that would target your current customers – and if it would work on them, it should work pretty well on a LAL audience. The other wonderful thing about Facebook ads are that you can target almost ANYTHING you want. You can get so granular here that you can really target the exact audience you want to target. I usually recommend that you set up a couple of campaigns – some that are broad targeting, and some that are laser focused. Test them out and see what works. Change up copy/images/audiences and keep A/B testing.

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