My First Boutique Case Study! Growing From 60K to 1 Million+ with Facebook Ads
Need to a new approach to your campaigns?? Learn from a 17X — $2 Million in sales off $113K in ad spend — 2020 Case Study.
The Client: Women’s fashion brand with a focus on limited inventory and live sales.
Purchase Return Value: $1,979,213.34
The client was doing around 60K/Month when I started last summer. Last month we did over 1 million. They have a very strong brand and are great at getting organic-looking video content. We were able to find winning audiences and creatives in the first few months. That made scaling a lot easier. We also fed Facebook exactly what it wanted which is how we generated such insane ROAS. 😉
NOTE: App sales were tracked with offline conversions as this was before app sales were trackable inside CommentSold.
Keys to success:
- Awesome personal video welcoming them to the “shopping community” with a 20% first-time order discount. The video was shot on an iPhone and felt super organic and natural!
- Consistent live videos showcasing new products 4–5 times/week. Facebook LOVED this video content and it helped us win the auction for less.
- Different marketing messages and different products at each layer of the funnel
- Engagement layer helping to send the right signals back to Facebook
- Messenger communication during live sales builds our list which we are monetizing now.
Phase 1: Cracking TOF
I found that ads with an offer, products, and video performed incredibly well TOF. We ran this in conversion campaigns as video audiences and broad DPA as collection ads with products on the bottom and welcome videos on the top. Videos varied — some longer stand-alone live sales to short intro clips welcoming users. A combination of both worked best. The following TOF audiences performed best long term. During the launch, we did have success with VERY broad interest audiences combined with large LAL’s but later moved to larger less restricted audiences as it performed the best long term.
10% LAL of purchases 2X in 180 days
10% LAL spent over $100 in 180 days.
Broad — Only segmented by target sex, age and location
Both LAL audiences used “expanded interest” after three weeks of running the campaign with great results. This has allowed them to run basically infinitely. I really haven’t changed the TOF campaigns much at all.
Phase 2: Nailing down MOF and BOF
Here I found replays of the live sales AND featuring seasonal bestsellers/ new arrivals/ heavy stock items in Carousels and collections with shorter direct copy worked really well. The theory is because they’ve already been welcomed to the brand personally, with an offer. They are now in shopping mode. Our objective becomes much more product-focused.
For BOF, this account didn’t outperform MOF or TOF. Results are good but not a normal super high ROAS on BOF. This is due to a few factors… The store has a lot of constantly changing SKU’s and that creates a different buying environment. We also created a lot of urgency with limited inventory and that eliminates a lot of purchase decision time because people don’t want to miss out.
Phase 3: Scaling
We introduced a Thank You post-purchase up-sell featuring products from the catalog. This has provided a HUGE return at 135.43X.
We introduced a new offer targeting those that watched videos or engaged but had never purchased accessible only via messenger. This was positions as a “special for you offer.” In the messenger flow we had a personal video and then the offer with “recommended products” inside the flow. This came in at 30.67X
Drive app sales. It became clear app sales positioned them best long-term when compared with website traffic. Repeat purchases and LTV were so much higher on the app. I launched a first-time app purchase offer and started migrating traffic here, tracking with offline conversions as their ecomm platform had restrictions here preventing us from SDK tracking. This generated 17.77X
Because I used so much live longer video TOF, we had insane growth on FB but not on IG. I created warm audiences of engaged on FB and excluding anyone who engaged on IG to transfer the warm traffic over and have new ways to reach customers. This generated 11.44X inside our warm audiences. Overall warm audiences have 54.07X.
After building the messenger list to 10K+ through the live sales and messenger offer campaigns, we’ve started running sponsored messages on smaller budgets focused specifically on new arrivals. So far we’re at 222.60X this year!
We tracked app sales with offline conversions. Without this info, ROAS would be 4.52X. With it’s 17.47X. That’s an insane difference!! This is specific to this store as we shifted focus to app sales.
Key Takeaways // Insights // Actionable Items
- Live video. Have you tried it? You can go live, add a URL to the post and then run the replay as a conversion campaign for your TOF or MOF. The key here is the videos are engaging, they provide personality to the brand, they sell better than your site can AND Facebook freaking loves it because…. Drum roll, please… It keeps people on Facebook! I swear we get rewarded in the action. It’s also super easy to drive signals like likes, comments, and shares as these are naturally part of the conversation between the host and the audience! You can do giveaways, use props, host reviews and more. The possibilities are endless and you can be super awesome organic social proof and then run it as an ad.
- Messenger. Find a way to capitalize on people you’ve already paid to reach who have already engaged but not purchased. These guys are warm, they haven’t bought. They need a new approach. Give them a special offer for them with a personalized recommendation that they can only access via messenger. Don’t forget it expires soon!
- OFFERS: It doesn’t work for all stores, but when it works it’s KEY to scaling fast. If there is one thing here to attribute our growth too, I think it’s the awesome TOF offer. Then the APP offer also made it very easy to transfer traffic over. Who doesn’t love discounts? The messenger offer was great at getting the “low hanging fruit” to finally convert as well.
- Go be scared to go broad and trust FB. I used almost all “all placements” here (minus the IG layer). They might start a little slower but once FB learns the best place to show your ads, you have a strong advantage. I also like using all placements and lots of collection ads! Collection ads only show in the best placements so you can run All Placements, which FB likes, but still, only show on the best placements like IG / FB in the feed automatically. It’s the best of both worlds. These also convert really well.
- Don’t overthink the “little” things inside FB. I didn’t use bid caps, I didn’t create a million ad sets, I didn’t even split test a lot of different ads. I knew if I had good offers things would come together. Part of that is cause the client has such a strong brand. That will make everything easier. I just thought about things critically from a marketing perspective and let Facebook do the heavy lifting. In my opinion, the biggest thing you can do is get a great creative/offer. The rest will come.
- Life. Time. Value!!!!!! Data told us once people bought, they’d buy again. We set up layers at each step of our funnel to ensure we up-sold and we monetized traffic that hadn’t converted yet. Then we came up with ways to grow IG, messenger within Facebook, and more importantly, the APP. This creates an omnipresence feel. With the app, we’re now literally in the pocket of our clients at all times and we’re less reliant on the Facebook long term.