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Today I’m happy to have Steve Weiss on the show. Steve runs MuteSix.com which is a firm that specializes in customer acquisition. They consult with Facebook ads, Google ads, email marketing…you name it and they were ranked number 341 on the Inc 5000 for 2017. Anyway, Steve is a master of running Facebook ads in the context of ecommerce so today we’re going to pick his brain. Enjoy the episode!
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What You’ll Learn
- What your average order size needs to be to make Facebook ads work
- Guidelines for setting up a high converting ad campaign
- How to pick an audience
- The most important part of a Facebook campaign
- How long to let an ad run before you make a determination
- The recommended audience size for a top of funnel campaign
Other Resources And Books
Payability.com – A financing company that provides high growth Amazon sellers with daily payments. With Payability, you can say goodbye to cash flow issues and stockouts and hello to scalability and profits. Click here and receive a $200 credit upon signup.
Klaviyo.com – Klaviyo is the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store. Created specifically for ecommerce, it is the best email marketing provider that I’ve used to date. Click here and try Klaviyo for FREE.
Privy.com – Privy is my tool of choice when it comes to gathering email subscribers for my ecommerce store. They offer easy to use email capture, exit intent, and website targeting tools that turn more visitors into email subscribers and buyers. With both free and paid versions, Privy fits into any budget. Click here and get 15% OFF towards your account.
SellersSummit.com – The ultimate ecommerce learning conference! Unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high level BS, the Sellers Summit is a curriculum based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an ecommerce business. Click here and get your ticket now before it sells out.
But before we begin, I want to give a quick shout out to Privy who is a sponsor of the show. Privy is the tool that I use to build my email list for both my blog and my online store. Now what does Privy do? Privy is an email list growth platform, and they manage all of my email capture forms. And I use Privy hand in hand with my email marketing provider. Right now I’m using Privy to display a cool wheel of fortune pop-up. Basically a user gives their email for a chance to win valuable prizes in our store. Customers love the gamification aspect of this, and when I implemented this form email sign ups increased by 131%.
There’s other things that you can do too. So for example, let’s say you offer free shipping for orders over $100, well you can tell Privy to flash a pop-up when the customer has $90 in their cart to urge them to insert one more item. Bottom line, Privy allows me to turn visitors into email subscribers, which I then feed to my email provider to close the sale. Head on over to Privy.com/Steve, and try it for free. And if you decide you need some of the more advanced features, use coupon code MWQHJ For 15% off. Once again that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/Steve.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Klaviyo who is a sponsor of the show. Always blessed to have Klaviyo as a sponsor because they are the email marketing provider that I use for my ecommerce store, and I depend on them for over 25% of my revenues. Klaviyo is the only email platform out there that is specifically built for ecommerce stores, and here is why it is so powerful.
They can track every single customer who has shopped in your store and exactly what they bought. So let’s say I want to send an email to everyone who purchased a red handkerchief in the last week, easy. Let’s say I want to set up a special auto-responder sequence to my customers depending on what they purchased, piece of cake, and there is full revenue tracking on every single email sent.
Klaviyo is the most powerful email platform that I’ve ever used and you can try them for free at mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O. Once again that’s, mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, now on to the show.
Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.
Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit her Job Podcast. Today I’m to have Steve Weiss on the show. Now Steve is actually someone who I randomly met via email I believe, and after chatting with him about Facebook ads and actually having him help me with some of my campaigns, I actually invited him to speak in my conference, the Sellers Summit.
Now Steve runs Mutesix.com, which is a firm that specializes in customer acquisition. They do Facebook ads, they do Google ads, they do email marketing, you name it, and they were actually ranked number 341 on the Inc 5,000 for 2017. Anyway, Steve is a master of running Facebook ads in the context of commerce. So today we are going to pick his brain. And with that, welcome to the show Steve, how are you doing today man?
Weiss: Hey man, thanks for having me Steve. Really appreciate it man. It’s the holiday season. Let’s get at it.
Steve: Yeah, let’s do it man. So, first of where should we start here? How did you get started with Mute Six? How did you get into this whole Facebook ads? Like what’s your background story?
Weiss: So my story is a little interesting. So I’ve been running internet companies I guess since I was 16. I got into — I started off as more of a SEO Ninja. I used to run a lot of ads to generate mortgage leads during the mortgage, when the mortgages were big back in the early 2000s. So I cut my teeth on Google display network and search network. And then I went to college and I found out about this thing called Facebook.
And the time when I was in school, everyone was on the Facebook. And I was also into entertainment, and the first ads that I ever ran on Facebook was what we call Facebook sponsored flyer. For everyone in the audience, I don’t know if you remember, but they used to have these little flyer ads at the bottom right of the Facebook.com. And I ran that ad to actually get people to come to my stand up comedy shows. And in a past life I was the joker who used to go on stage.
Steve: I didn’t know that actually. I actually, that must have been before my time, before I started running Facebook ads. I didn’t know about these flyer ads.
Weiss: Yeah, it was back when there were only a specific amount of college campuses if you remember…
Steve: Yeah I remember that.
Weiss: You only could get on Facebook back in the day if you had a college email address. So it’s strictly prohibited to colleges. And it was great as a college student at the time; it was great for me because I could market to other college students on all these different campuses using a sponsored flyer. Then obviously as you know the history of Facebook, they raised capital and Peter Thiel and all the big heavyweights come in and they’re like, you guys have to develop an ad product and here we are today.
Steve: And so how did you start Mute Six? Did you jus all of a sudden say, hey, I can do this for other people and just start doing it?
Weiss: Yeah, so before I started Mute Six I was an affiliate marketer. So companies would pay me money to figure out how to generate profitable user acquisition. So, all I really know about Weiss is this specific area of direct response marketing. And after I saw where the landscape was going, I saw there was a huge need for individuals as well as teams to really come in and drive growth to understand the impact of a Facebook ad across the whole platform, across all your marketing channels.
So Mute Six was born out of a kind of a way to solve a specific problem in the market. I feel like there wasn’t a lot of — at the time when I started Mute Six four and a half years ago, a lot of teams or agencies or even people who really knew how to drive specifically performance acquisition on Facebook mainly for e-commerce. This is before Shopify was big; this is before you got ads rolling down the newsfeed, before audience network Instagram. This was kind of early, early on. And I think timing was huge for us. We got in at a point three point where we could forge close relationship with Facebook.
We have a number of amazing people at Facebook who we work closely with, and it’s allowed us to really become really good at what we’re doing, which is helping a number of our partners grow at scale.
Steve: Cool man and the reason why I brought you on the show today is I want to tap into your expertise. First off, I did have a quick question for you. How different is running Facebook ads for physical products different than for digital products for example? Like there’s a lot of people out there that’ll run Facebook ads for digital products, but I know a lot of your clients sell actually physical goods online.
Weiss: Very different, very, very, very different psychology. Number one, landing pages. Obviously, in most cases if you’re selling a digital product, you can’t just put a picture of the product on Facebook and hope that they click and buy it. You need to build a total full photo experience, even a much deeper than just if you have a multi skew in e-commerce. So number one, obviously there’s a different sales process. So usually when you’re selling digital goods, you’re getting them in with what we call like a long form ad or a piece of content or a video. Then they’re going through a specific sales cycle there. You’re going to hit a landing page, you’re going to read up about some of your case studies, some of the value adds of the product, step one.
And then maybe the next step is they download another piece of video, there’s a process from start to finish when selling digital products. When you’re doing ecommerce, you’re totally different mindset psychology. This is people who are gifting people. This is the holiday season. People who want to find unique items, they want to discover Facebook and discover platform. So they’re rolling through multi skews and maybe you have 100 in your site. You’re running dynamic product ads. It’s very much around the image and the value, and the solution to a specific problem.
And I think that’s where the two different lines, the sales process. Remember, like you’re always saying, marketing is selling and selling is marketing. I always say that, and anytime you’re selling any of these products, you’re always building a sales process for both, even if the sales process is called Facebook acquisition. So, two totally different mindsets, two totally different strategies on a full funnel mentality. Also for products, you’re using scarcity; obviously you don’t have an infinite amount of these t-shirts. You don’t have an infinite amount of these shoes.
So being able on your landing page to use some form of scarcity, whether it’s a time or saying that you have x amount of time, whether it’s you don’t have as many products left, you’re always selling with scarcity. Whereas with digital products it’s really difficult to figure out how to sell on scarcity, oh, we only have six more spots available. If you’re a smart person, you know that that’s not always true. So I’d say those are the two main differences.
Steve: So in terms of digital products, the margins are pretty much 100%. And for physical products, that’s not the case. So would you say that the average order size for an e-commerce store needs to be a certain size to make Facebook ads work?
Weiss: Totally, yeah. You need to be over $30 average [inaudible 00:09:18]. You just can’t ever run a profitable – or say you can’t run, but it’s super, super difficult to make the economics of Facebook work if your average order value is under $30. Let me differentiate. You can make — you could sell cheaper products on your site. You could sell $15 products, $10 products, $20 products, but your average order value is different than the prices of your skew. So your average order value needs to be at 30 or above 30. And I think there’s a lot of tactics out there to really figure out how to get your order value close to that $30 range because that’s when the economics start making sense.
Steve: Okay. And in terms of physical products that generally work on Facebook, do they need to be really unique and cool kind of in order for it to work? Like can you get by selling kind of mundane products?
Weiss: Yeah, I mean it’s all about the audience. It’s all about the audience and the creative. So obviously all types of products — we market over 70 different ecommerce brands. And all of them have wide ranging products from notebooks to t-shirts to shoes to toothbrushes, to toothpaste. I mean there’s a number of different, there’s a number of different valuables which drive success in the platform.
So I always say number one, you have to solve a problem with your product. Number two, you have to figure out a way to harness audiences. Maybe you’re running influencer or maybe you’re running affiliate, maybe you’re running other channels that are driving audience into your website, allowing you to build intelligent lookalikes. Then number three, you got to figure out how do you drive an action, how do you drive urgency to make a purchase? And those three things I think are the pillars of being successful on the platform at scale.
Steve: So what I was hoping to do today, Steve, was to kind of run through a complete example of how someone might use Facebook ads to build up an audience and sell an imaginary physical product. And I know I run Facebook ads. You’ve helped me with some of my campaigns and I’m not doing everything right either. So I’m just kind of curious how a seasoned pro does things. So why don’t we go ahead and make up an imaginary product. I don’t know, maybe it could be something that you’ve worked with in the past. And I kind of want you to walk me through where you begin, let’s say I have some content and a small audience and a website.
Weiss: I could actually use an example of a product that we’re working with, and I could kind of just outline as a case study or work with a brand that just launched about a month ago from concept to actually generating traffic. It’s been an interesting roller coaster. So we work with a brand called Butter Cloth. They are one of the most amazing dress shirts that are stretchy dress shirts that you’d easily wash. I mean they are one of the most comfortable shirts that I’ve ever worn. They came into our office and I was like, well, we got to figure out a way to not only work with them, but be a part of the company in a way that we can bring meaningful value.
So we partnered up before they launched. They finally got their products in and I knew — when I look at a product, it’s so important for me to hold the product and really understand how someone’s going to buy this product. What is the interesting angles, what’s the sales process looking like, what problems does it solve? So number one, creative based on how it looks, and feels and really a creative element.
So, we ended up partnering with Metta World Peace who’s a friend of Mute Six, he’s a friend of ours, all right? And obviously not everyone could partner with a former NBA basketball player, but he ended up just coming into our office and we told him, Metta, just try on the shirt, tell us what you think buddy. And then he started trying on the shirt and we just took out our phone and started taking videos of him on the shirt. And then we ended up getting two or three videos, not videos that were used on Facebook, but videos we could use in our creative, showing how the shirt works with someone who has the same issue as everyone else is that you sweat, it’s uncomfortable, etc. So we ended up using that creative…
Steve: Before you go on Steve, like how much of a factor was Metta World Peace? Like do you have an example where you’re not using an NBA superstar that’s well known?
Weiss: Yeah, I don’t think — I guess to the point like I don’t think that he is like – he is like the barrier to entry. I don’t think that we’re successful because of him. I just used that as an example because he was just trying on the shirt. It could be anyone, it could be you could take your product and just give it to someone. Just get content. You need content, you need creative, you’ve got a hold the product. You can’t market a product that you can’t hold and understanding because you’re in the position of the consumer.
So number one, like holding the product, shooting videos with it, it opens up your mind of how this product is going to be sold on the newsfeed. So step one…
Steve: So what did these videos look like with Metta World Peace? So let’s say you’re in these videos, like what were some of the — because shirts is really competitive, right? I can think of a number of shirts like brands are at the top of my head that are comfortable and easy to wash and take care of.
Weiss: Totally. So stretching, like it’s a stretchy dress shirt. So you’re looking good and you’re feeling it, and you’re feeling like you have room to breathe in your dress shirt. So number one, we’re taking pictures of someone doing like a big star type of shoot taking videos of someone doing a push up, running with the shirt on, doing cool stuff to solve a problem that’s unique. You don’t usually see someone running with a dress shirt on. So it’s so important to like hold the dress shirt or playing basketball with the dress. These are all things that normally people don’t do.
And what happens is people see this on a newsfeed and they stop. And they’re like, well what is this? This is interesting. It’s a disruptor. You want to disrupt this person’s scrolling, your possible customer; you want to disrupt them from scrolling down the newsfeed. So that was the goal is that we wanted to create content or creative that was disruptive, that’s going to get someone pique their interest. So number one, creative.
Steve: How long was this video?
Weiss: So the videos we shot were probably three or four videos, 30 seconds each, and then we didn’t actually use those videos. What we do is we have a whole team here at Mute Six, so we do all the editing work. So the magic of Facebook ad when it comes to the video is not the first video we shoot, but it’s the ability to edit the video and layer in other types of stuff into that video. So this video that we’re doing is a combination of lifestyle, it’s a combination of showing the shirt, a combination of talking about the fabric. We cut up the video into six different segments of the way to feature the share, which I think was really interesting.
That’s why I said it’s not just about a celebrity because it’s not. The ad that we’re running isn’t looking around our testing the shirt, looking at where we’re going to use this shirt; it’s more or less, look at this amazing shirt. Here is the fabric; here is the reason why it’s so comfortable. And then you see someone running and you see a recognizable face, but it could be anyone’s face in there.
So number one, creative. Number two, editing that video, then number three looking at some of your competitors. Obviously you don’t have any customer data, you have nothing, you specifically have — so what we’re doing is we’re targeting, we have to target interest audiences, the people that we think are going to be most likely to purchase the item because we have no audience there. This is a brand new website. This is from scratch. This is like totally brand new.
Steve: So how did you decide who to target in the beginning?
Weiss: Number one, we did a combination of different targeting. We did interest audiences, so we looked at some of our competitors in this space. Obviously interest audiences are huge and we wanted to get over a million people in this space. So you layer interest targeting obviously men who like other similar brands, obviously Bonobos, and obviously et cetera, et cetera. Number two we test our open audiences. We tested that. We wanted to just see like maybe we can target people in specific areas of California, specific areas of Florida. I want to target places right now where there is comfortable dress shirts, where it’s not too cold, but I don’t think we targeted initially at least a lot of people in the northern areas.
But I wanted to figure out like right now, where can this dress shirt be worn? So number one, location, two location targeting. And then number three, what we did was we saw that there was — we didn’t have the expectation that Facebook is going to optimize toward a conversion initially. What we wanted was we produced these three or four different videos. We wanted to get engagement on these videos, we wanted to get some audience data, we wanted to feed data back to Facebook to optimize. So we did what we call, we seasoned our creative so that we have people liking, commenting, sharing when we launch these new assets.
So we wanted to figure out which posts or which post ID is going to get the most engagement. And then that’s exactly what we did. So we found one of our videos, got a ton of engagement, ton of comments, ton of likes. And then what we did from there was…
Steve: So let’s back up for a sec. So you had these videos, are you running ads just for video views in the beginning?
Weiss: Yeah, yeah, we’re doing a combination of video views and PE, paper engagement.
Steve: Okay. So, no optimizing for conversions or anything like that in the beginning?
Weiss: No, not at all, not at the beginning, we don’t engage with it, because what’s going to happen is they’re going to look at the brand and there are like, oh you only have 10 likes or 20 likes and no comments on this video. There’s no social proof. So like they’re not going to — they’re obviously not going to make a purchase immediately. So spend a couple of days, a couple of dollars just really running, getting engagement, finding which post ideas we’re going to drive engagement.
And then after that we found a couple — one of our videos got a lot of amazing engagement, shares, likes, comments, et cetera. And that was when we started reading the comments. So reading the questions that people ask about the shirt, does it shrink, what type of material? And then we started using that intel to create new ads with. And then what we also did was we took that post ID, the post didn’t even get all the engagement, and we start spreading that specific post ID across a multitude of different ad sets. Now we have a specific ad that’s already has what we call social proof.
So now we’re going to spread this post video across a multitude of ad sets. Now is kind of our trick of watching the product and we spread that across multiple ad sets, got super high engagement rate across new audiences. Then we started getting purchases, and then we started getting people coming to the website.
Steve: All right Steve let’s back up. Let’s start — so you have this video that has gotten a lot of engagement. There’s no landing page in the beginning, right? You’re just going for engagement and views, and people liking and commenting on the video.
Weiss: There is a landing page, there’s a full Shopify site, it’s all ready to go.
Steve: Okay? So it’s just for clicks in the beginning, right?
Weiss: Just for engagement. We want our ads to have social proof on them. That’s the most important thing on Facebook is to have social proof on your ads. The reality is people want to buy something that they see other people engaging with.
Steve: Okay. And then can you tell me like what like the captions that you put like the best one that was on top of the video for the ad?
Weiss: I don’t have that in front of me, but it was more along the lines of let me see.
Steve: I mean, is it short, does it long?
Weiss: Yeah, it’s very short.
Steve: Oh, it’s very short?
Weiss: Yup. I think I’m not a big believer in doing over captioning stuff. So I’m a big believer in, especially if it’s like a shirt, you want people to focus on the shirt; you don’t want them to focus specifically on words above the shirt. They could see that if they pull the shirt apart that the shirt is stretchy. You don’t need to say in the caption, look, it’s stretchy.
Steve: What’s a good measure of engagement? Like how much are you paying per view for example, like what’s a good measure of whether a video is really resonating with somebody?
Weiss: I don’t really look at per the view; we have to look at just based on the amount of comments and shares. That’s more than — I really want to know like what people think of the content that we’re creating. That’s what’s really important to me. Is it resonating with a large open audience of people who have never actually seen us before? That’s what I really want to know. Is this content going to resonate with a large group of people?
Steve: So do you look at the relevance score at all or no?
Weiss: No. I mean we’ve had [inaudible 00:21:55] that had the relevance score there and a discussion as well. I’m not a big believer in the relevant score just because I’ve met so many campaigns that have crushed it, like very most CPAs have done amazing and actually relevant scores of twos, ones. And I’m like, what does this mean? Like relevant score to what. I feel like it’s a barometer, but it shouldn’t be something that you’re really looking at. You should be looking at based on your conversion objective how your ad is resonating with the audience and what higher end is converting based on that specific objective.
Steve: Okay. So once you run this ad, like how much social proof do you need before you actually start running an ad to optimize for conversions?
Weiss: I’d like to have maybe 10 shares, 20 likes or maybe like five or 10 comments.
Steve: Okay, so not too much. And then at that point then do you use the same ad sets that were working except you pay by conversions at that point?
Weiss: Correct, so I rotate that ad to other ad sets and I try to take that post ID should I say, and rotate that into all the other ad sets I’m targeting because now I want to start marketing from the area of strength. I want them to see like all the engagement, we’re getting all the proof and then that’s what’s going to increase your CTR. I honestly even increase the relevancy scores, going to also increase our conversion rate of people coming to the website.
Steve: Can you give me some metrics here? So let’s say you start optimizing for conversions, what are some CTRs you are looking for? What are you optimizing for in this case as well?
Weiss: So when I move it over, I’m going to try but optimizing for conversions on my website. Obviously you want to be over 3% conversion rate. That’s my goal.
Steve: Conversion rate of click through rate?
Weiss: Our conversion rate on the website.
Steve: Conversion rate. Okay. So what about the click-through rate? Does that matter at all?
Weiss: I mean it does, but I know if Facebook is going to be showing my ads to specific x scale to a lot of people, then I know even if I’m not getting a big click through rate and I’m seeing conversions coming from it, it’s less important to me. I think sometimes, I feel like people care too much about click-through rates. And my whole thing is, Facebook is not actually charging me based on a click, Facebook using that cost per click platform. So I’m worried about it it’s not the first thing I’m looking at when I drive traffic and I’m spending money on Facebook, I’m looking at my onsite conversion rate. That’s what’s really important to me. And I’m looking at how people are engaging with my ads and if Facebook is spending my budget.
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Okay, and then you’re optimizing for purchases, not add to carts.
Weiss: Yes, starting with purchases…
Steve: Purchases okay.
Weiss: And then starting with — everyone has their recipe so we start with purchases and we’ll start off with some manual bidding to see if we can get some – assuming you get Facebook to start spending, we can’t get spending. Then I start going over to add to cart, then I start going over to view content, I spur over the funnel as possible, and then maybe I’ll start doing optimized bidding. I’ll do optimize for impressions, I’ll play around with that. I think the key is you always have to be playing around with all the different objectives and all the different bidding strategies, because what works today might not work tomorrow and I think you really have to always be open to pivoting what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
Steve: So you’re looking for a 3% conversion rate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re profitable, right?
Weiss: No, I mean that’s the goal on the website, but what I do know is that if I do have a high conversion rate on my website, I know that I could spend more money to get people to the website. So that really helps in my campaign so that I can be a little bit more aggressive in say my bidding style. I could bid higher to get — if I’m doing manual bidding, I could bid higher to get conversions if I know that I have a really, really high conversion rate, then I could bid more money to get conversions from doing manual bidding.
Steve: Let me ask you this question. So for these top of funnel ads that we’ve been talking about, do you offer discounts or anything in a sense of urgency, like what does the landing page look like and what does the ad look like?
Weiss: Totally, totally offering great question. Being very thoughtful about how you discount is nine-tenths of the game because right now it’s a lot easier to drive conversion off a discount. But the real question is once you start you’re not going to be able to discount over your brand. So, obviously when we launched Butter Cloth, we did a lot of discounting, and that was great. They provide us a lot of audience data, a lot of the product is getting in a lot of people’s hands. We have reviews, all the stuff you need to really build a brand long term.
But for Q1, our strategy is going to go far away from discounting, and I think that’s very important to really plan for the future. Don’t overly discount your product. And when you do discounting, don’t piss people off because some people who missed out on a discount, let’s say you run a discount and it ends and now you have to run ads without the discount. People are like, well, I’ve been seeing you discounting. I don’t really want to buy from you now; I’m going to wait for another discount. So it’s really important to really be very thoughtful about how you go about your discounting.
Steve: Can you give us an idea of how much you discounted for these first ads? Are we talking like 30, 40, 50% or less?
Steve: Thirty percent. Okay. And what does the landing page look like? Is it for a single product? Is it for a variety of products?
Weiss: Multi skewed.
Steve: Multi skewed.
Weiss: It’s just about 12 different skews.
Steve: I guess the distinction I’m trying to make here, is it a specially designed landing page for your Facebook ad?
Weiss: No, not for direct linking right to Shopify. We’re using a lot of different Shopify plug-ins. Obviously, cart hook to just, you know, we’re playing around with a lot of different Shopify plug-ins which helped increase our conversion rate, but we are directly lead to a landing page at least to start. Again, I don’t recommend starting by directly through to your landing page. I think you start directly linking to your site and then if that doesn’t work then that’s when you start looking into like other types of sales processes.
Steve: Interesting. So you’re just going for the sale at first, so you’re not trying to collect any emails or anything like that for this first…
Weiss: We collect emails from people who bounced off our shopping cart, bounced off specific page. We have an email collection and then we also have a shop message. So we’re also hitting them with a Facebook message if they bounced off our shopping cart. So we have a number of different types of retention plug-ins being run so that we’re optimizing full funnel. So inbound from a shopping cart, we’re asking for their email, we’re asking if it’s okay to message them. So we’re collecting a lot of first party data whenever we drop someone from site.
Steve: Okay. So let’s say — and this has happened with my campaigns, let’s say you start running these top of funnel campaigns to all of your ad sets and they are just not converting as well as you would like, what is your criteria for stop stopping to run ads and what do you do at this point to kind of troubleshoot?
Weiss: So usually doing exactly that, so you’re not hitting a specific CPA goal with that.
Steve: Yeah. So let’s say the CPAs are just too high. Let’s say your conversion rate is like a percent.
Weiss: Okay so then what I’m going to do I’m going to look at the landing page. I’m going to start really playing around with how the landing page experience, the site experience. The first thing I’m doing is I see there is a big drop on Facebook is I’m looking at the site, I’m looking to see if there’s anything that we could do to improve the on-site experience. Maybe that’s collecting emails off the shopping cart. Maybe that’s looking at the speed test of the website. How fast is the website, what’s their mobile experience like?
Then I’m looking at the Facebook number one, website. Number two, I’m looking at the Facebook insights and trying to figure out consistencies across the people that are converting and trying to apply that knowledge to my campaign. Okay, so who is converting like who is coming to my website, who is clicking on my ad? You could see all that in Facebook insights. Number three, I’m changing conversion objectives. Maybe if I’m not driving the volume or you’re not driving the CPA as you want.
Steve: I’m just making all this stuff up as I go along. I mean, let’s just say your conversions aren’t really happening that much and the ads that you’re running are just really expensive. Let’s say they’re like two bucks a click or something like that across a bunch of your ad sets. So, two questions. Do you expect to actually make money off of your top of funnel?
Weiss: Not all the time. No, it depends how much; it really depends on how much prior audience data I have on the website.
Steve: Okay, so in this case, with this case study that we’re talking about here, they had no prior audience data, right?
Weiss: No, I think no one’s heard of them, no.
Steve: So with this first ad set that you were just running to this audience with this creative that you kind of pre-verified, so to speak, right, with engagement ads, what did it look like? I would imagine it didn’t start off selling or converting, right?
Weiss: No, no, we were doing a lot of discounting. So again, like we weren’t even. I mean the first month we sold a lot of products but we weren’t, I think we were almost break even, so we weren’t profitable the first one. So the goal is when you launch a new product, just to get the product in as many people’s hands as possible, then figure out the next steps here. You’re probably on [inaudible 00:33:24], you’re getting reviews; you’re optimizing your website. And step two after the first month is to really start becoming a lot more intelligent with your marketing.
Steve: So with 30% off, people were buying at a 3% conversion rate, like right off the bat?
Weiss: Yep. Yeah. They were buying and I think we drove 300, three to 400 orders.
Steve: Okay, and then were converting at 3% with this heavily discounted. I’m just wondering if you run into any hiccups where you were like, okay, maybe we got up to discount a little bit to get it up.
Weiss: Totally. We saw that when we’re discounting that we were number one, we started doing a very conservative discount, 10%, then we upped it to 30%. Then we saw that we were losing a little bit of money with this 30% discount. Then we went back to 10%, we saw a negative conversion rate, then now we’re at 20% and we’re starting to see that we’re seeing a really good conversion rate. So it’s a lot of testing on a lot of price testing which goes into this.
Steve: I’m just trying to get an idea of like the order in which you change things, like when it first stops is not converting that well up, do you just up the discount, is that your natural inclination?
Weiss: If you have a good click through rate, a good engagement rate on the ad, the click through rate, I think it was about two and a half percent. And then what we did was then we saw that our ads weren’t converting really — wasn’t that good. So that’s when we upped this discount code and that was kind of the next step in the optimization. I wish there was an A to B process in terms of okay, this doesn’t work, and this doesn’t work, but reality is, is that we’re trying to test as many things as possible.
We know that the holiday season is — that we only have a couple more days of the holiday season, so we want to really take advantage of this as much as possible. So that was kind of the reasoning of we’re just going to protest everything, throw the whole kitchen sink at it.
Steve: Okay. And then how does retargeting come into play here?
Weiss: Retargeting is very important. So again, we’re driving a lot of people to the website. We’re driving a lot of new users. We want to intelligently remarket to them. Number one, we do retargeting through Facebook messenger. It works really, really well. It comes…
Steve: Can you go into depth about that since it’s relatively new.
Weiss: Yeah. So they come to our website, they hit our shopping cart, they don’t purchase, but there’s a check box during the process and say, hey, are you okay with allowing us to send you a Facebook messenger update? We use a tool called Shop Message, S-H-O-P M-E-S-S-A-G-E, really good Shopify plug-in for messenger. And that allows us to create almost like how you create email drips. It allows you to create drips in Facebook messenger as well, allow you to create different sequences to hey, come back emoji, you left stuff in your shopping cart. And that’s working incredibly well. And it’s also you’re not paying for that, which is great. You’re not paying for that. So Messenger — so you’re not paying for that ad. So number one, that works.
Steve: Do you prefer that over email at this point?
Weiss: I prefer both. I mean, see you could do both email and Messenger. We like to do both. We sequenced out email maybe like a day later now, we also shoot the email right away. We’d like to handle the Messenger first, then we hit them with the email, but everyone has their kind of recipe. I mean, I think Facebook Messenger; my opinion is a lot more personal than email. Email is becoming less and less and less personal because so many people are emailing, not a lot of brands right now are taking advantage of Facebook Messenger, which I think is really cool.
Steve: When you’re trying to get one, it’s easily one or the other, right? You don’t try to get both, do you?
Weiss: What do you mean?
Steve: Like you mentioned if someone is exiting your store, you ask them, hey, is it okay if we send you Messenger updates, but you can’t ask for an email and a Messenger and ask for Messenger updates, right, because it’s too much to ask. But do you ask for both?
Weiss: Yeah. So Messenger is only on your shopping cart page. So we’re only asking for Messenger on the email bounce. You’re only asking for the email when someone bounces. So I just want to differentiate the two, like Messenger is on the shopping cart page, the checkbox, and then email is only if they tried and bounced.
Steve: Okay, so email is only if they try to leave the site altogether. Whereas on the shopping cart page is when you ask for the Messenger, is that?
Steve: Okay, I’m just curious why that is. Like if they’re leaving too, why the distinction between asking for an e-mail versus Messenger when they’re leaving?
Weiss: I don’t think — it’s just the way that people are used to people asking for their Messenger. I think that if someone was like out of an e-commerce store and a boss popped up and said, hey, is it cool if I reach out to you on Facebook? They’re going to be like, oh, what does that mean? That’s weird. Like if I put it in email, it’s like that’s a normal process that people are used to. That makes sense.
Steve: Okay. And in terms of these retargeting ads where you bring people back, are you offering discounts as well? Like even a greater discount or?
Weiss: We’ve been testing that out. I don’t have enough data to do anything significant. But first we’re like trying to do the same code of like come back for 30%. But I think now we’re starting — we try to offer a little bit more and that converted really well. But again, it wasn’t very economical. So what I like to do is I like — we started testing out buy one get half off or something, buy one at regular price, get the next one at half off instead of just saying 70, 30% off your whole order. And so we try and come out with kind of a unique discount on the Messenger or on the retention than we have when someone comes in and make a purchase.
Steve: I see. And then what is the distinction between — you guys are running dynamic product ads, I would imagine, right?
Weiss: Correct yeah.
Steve: So what’s the distinction between that versus just regular retargeting with these special promotions?
Weiss: So again, like we don’t have a lot of audience data to do remarketing at scale on Facebook. It doesn’t even make fiscal sense to run EPA ads. So we just don’t have a big enough audience. So it makes it a lot more sense for us to just do Messenger bots and email. So if you don’t have a big enough audience, that’s where it makes sense to do a lot more Messenger. If you do have a big audience, obviously yeah, you want to run all different types of remarketing ads. You want to run mobile collections, you want to run carousels, you want to run video, you want to throw the kitchen sink at it, really build a kind of unique sales process.
Steve: Okay. So in this beginning right now with this company, you’re just doing top of funnel ads right now, and then trying to get their Messenger and marketing that essentially?
Okay: Okay. What does your Facebook messenger autoresponder look like?
Weiss: I don’t have that in front of me.
Steve: I mean not exactly. So what’s the general strategy?
Weiss: I use a lot of emojis. I use a lot of like fun — remember I want to make the Messenger kind of look a lot like what someone would be messaging with someone instead of it coming from a brand or saying, come back and buy more. I always use emojis, like the arrow signs. I mean we encourage you to return it’s like you were shopping in your shopping cart, come back, come back, happy face and get 5% off on us, or something like that. That works really well.
Steve: Are you sending out content or is it mainly just promotions?
Weiss: Right now it’s promotions. I mean you can send out content. What’s to know about Facebook Messenger is that you can only send one message a day over a 24 hour period, and then if they respond then you get to send out another message the next day. So you’ve got to be very, very careful about how you use messenger.
Steve: So I’m curious then, so you’re driving all this top of funnel traffic. Are you using retargeting for that traffic right now? It might be a small audience, but are you still running it?
Weiss: Yeah, we are. We’re trying to, but it’s just — we’re not getting a ton of ad impressions. We were remarketing to a smaller list. We’re trying to switch off, convert the objective, conversions because we know that there’s just not enough ad impressions, so we’re running a CPM to that.
Steve: Okay. And so for this campaign right now, it seems like, is your top of funnel at least breakeven them at this point?
Weiss: It’s hard to tell because we’re discounting. I think we’ll close to break even, which in my opinion is a big win because these are all people who’ve never heard of us and we’re selling them $100 shirt, which I think is pretty cool. So it shows a lot of amazing potential, but I think we’re close to breakeven.
Steve: So is the play here in the beginning then just to get this customer list so you can get them to buy again and again, or I guess you mentioned that you’re kind of happy that it’s break even. So the goal here is just customer acquisition.
Weiss: Yeah reviews, audience data and intel. Those are the three things. Again, I think reviews are so important. Like you got to get, when you launch a new brand or something new, you got to get as many people to review your product as soon as possible because that goes into being able to get a good conversion rate on your product. So number one, reviews, number two audience data, obviously cookie data from people coming into our website, emails, et cetera. So audience data is so important to being able to target the best users to convert on your ads.
And then the real intel, conversion rate intel, how do we up the conversion rate on our landing page, what specific offers, what specific types of video content work, what are the big pain points of the customer? And then number four, last but not least, products. We want to know how we can continuously improve the product. Whether that’s — we’re getting all types of great feedback of why people return products. How do we keep improving the customer service and the product? That’s what is going to build a brand that’s a brand to last our company or built to last per se.
Steve: When does it come time to scale these top of funnel ads? So now that they’re kind of breakeven, let’s say you turn them to breaking even, is that the point where you start scaling them?
Weiss: Yeah, little by little. I think for break even top of funnel, that’s going to have a positive impact down the funnel. So what I’m trying, what I’m thinking is only scale is number one, the economics. I’m looking at the full site economics. So how profitable are we total commerce because remember like even if Facebook says we’re breaking even, a lot of cases Facebook isn’t taking credit for all the conversions that is creating. I mean some people say it overcompensates, I always say sometimes it under compensates. So if I see like the site is generating 5x to the return on the expense on Facebook, I know we’re only running traffic on Facebook, then it obviously makes a lot more sense for me to scale these ads.
So number one, looking at the full site economics. Number two, looking at like the growth of other ancillary audience data. So if I see that our email list is growing and I see that we’re breaking even on the product, I see that we’re gathering a lot of great data, then it might make sense to scale a little bit without crushing the CPA goal. Number three, I’m looking at the supply chain. How much product do I have left, or do I have new inventory coming in? I don’t want to blow through this inventory. So inventory is very, very important to me, and like do I scale or when not to scale because that’s going to have a big bearing on it.
Steve: That actually leads me to my next question, so how do you determine like how do you attribute sales to Facebook?
Weiss: A big multi-million dollar question.
Steve: Well, I want to know how you do with it actually.
Weiss: So number one, I always look at like how many channels do we have running? If Facebook is the only channel running, I’m obviously going to be a lot more open to giving Facebook a lot of attribution credit for that specific Facebook ad. Number two, I’m looking at the amount of traffic. If I have multiple channels running, say I’m spending on podcast, I’m spending on search, I’m spending on TV or radio, maybe I turned down Facebook and I see like a conversion lift across my other channels, does my search channel go down, does my overall e-commerce sales go down? What is the overall like, what is the width that Facebook provides?
So it’s very — if I see that all my channels go down when I turn off Facebook, then that means that Facebook has an amazing lift across all my other channels. So I should give Facebook a longer attribution credit. If I see that there’s no lift that means that there’s other things that are driving the specific conversion. So I’m always looking at the lift. Then number three, I’m always looking at post product surveys. I think a lot of people should, if they’re not already doing this, they should start considering doing this is just asking people where did they hear about your product after they’ve made a purchase. So I’m looking at that data as well.
Steve: Interesting, okay.
Weiss: To kind of just figure out like what had the biggest impact on driving this conversion. I think if you don’t give Facebook enough credit, then you shouldn’t even play on Facebook. Like if you’re going to say that I’m not going to get Facebook a one day click credit, or seven-day view or seven day click, then you shouldn’t be even on Facebook. You can’t expect Facebook to convert off of last click attribution. No one I know is making Facebook scale 100% off last click. It’s just impossible. So I think that finding the common quite in the middle end point of that is required a little bit of homework and a little bit of testing and playing around. But I think you become really intelligent about building a model for your business that will scale.
Steve: You don’t use first click attribution now, do you?
Weiss: It’s hard. I don’t really use first click either. I’ll use first or last click because like it’s hard to track that path. You really — we don’t know, like let’s say the first click came from Google and then Facebook says that that user converted. Well, did that user convert because they saw a Facebook ad? Like it’s a really — it’s a mismatch of like figuring out if you’re trying to do the first click where they came into the funnel.
Steve: Okay. I was hoping for a silver bullet, but it sounds like you have similar issues as everyone else when it comes to attribution and it’s just a matter of — there’s like an art to it essentially, right?
Weiss: Yeah. I mean I think this is the number one priority on Facebook’s roadmap. I mean, just from being very close to them and talking to friends who work there. I mean this is the problem that they’re going to be solving over the next year is measurement. I think that they know it’s a big issue, they know that it’s important, they know that if they’re going to big brands and the CFO has to sign off on this seven day or 28 day click, it’s hard to get that signed off. It’s really, really hard. So I think it’s on their roadmap. They’re definitely aware of it, and I think we’re going to see over the next couple quarters, we’re going to see a lot of solutions to the problem.
Steve: And finally to end this, I did want to talk a little bit about the fact that Facebook is going to allow you to see everyone else’s ads. They’re doing away with dark posts. What impact do you see that having on businesses?
Weiss: Transparency? I think number one is transparency. Like you can’t run specific stuff to one audience I think, and not give that same stuff to that same audience. I think that it’s going to change the way people think about strategies around remarketing, around prospecting, because if you run an ad for prospecting and you’re giving a heavy discount goal, well now the people who already saw you they’re going to see that same ad when they go on the page. So being very sensitive to the user because now it is a level playing field. I think politics is the one that forced this, but I think that you’re going to start seeing a lot of brands be very thoughtful about how they do discounting and the messaging they do for different audience segments.
Steve: Just curious. So this is going to change your strategy certainly, right?
Weiss: Yeah, totally. It’s totally going to change. I mean we’re having meetings about it actually at the end of this week. So I don’t know the full range of impact. I don’t know if users are going to go to fan pages just to look at ads. I know that my team is very much going to grab as much intel from.
Steve: Exactly yeah.
Weiss: We are going to see what some of our competitors are running. They’re going to troll and figure it out, but you just don’t know from a consumer behavior perspective like how this is going to impact the bottom line. I think as a psychologist and someone who is deeply into the psychology of what drives an action like I’m fascinated by this new iteration.
Steve: Yeah, I mean if you put out this 30% coupon, people are going to see it, right?
Weiss: Totally 100%, and I think that’s going to be — what’s really interesting is like how are they going to react? Like how if you go to a fan page, let’s say I buy a lot of Allbirds. I’m a big Allbirds fan. I’m sure Steve; do you have your one pair of Allbirds?
Steve: No, I have not.
Weiss: The most comfortable shoe ever. I probably bought 11 pairs of Allbirds shoes. If I go on Allbirds, I go on their fan page, I’m like, wow, they’re offering 30%. They never discount, but I’m like wow, they’re offering 30% off to some people and they didn’t even show it to me, oh that’s kind of weird. I’d be like — and then I’m going to click on that link and then just go buy with 30% off code.
Steve: Yeah and you can’t use these static codes as easily anymore either.
Weiss: Yeah, exactly. So there you go. That’s kind of what I’m thinking is like, well, I’m your loyal customer. You’re discounting for people who’ve never bought from you. So, I don’t know where it’s going to go, but it’s definitely interesting.
Steve: Okay. Well Steve, we’ve already been chatting for like 50 minutes. I really appreciate your time. Where can people find you if they need help with any sort of ads?
Weiss: Yeah. So I run a podcast as well. You could download it in the App Store. It’s called Spend 10K a Day Podcast. So a lot of the stuff that we kind of dug into is, I dig into on a weekly basis, we record new episodes a week. So number one, if you like this content, if you’re really into Facebook ads, you’re into e-commerce, you’re into full funnel, take a look at our Facebook ads podcast. If you’d love to email me and just get to know me and talk some strategy, feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We pop out a lot of content. Whenever we learn something new from our team, we’re writing about our blog, we’re talking about on our podcast. We’re doing webinars. So feel free to come to our website, join our email list and you’ll be a part of our community that we’re building around Facebook ads, Mutesix.com.
Steve: And I’ll link all these things up in the show notes. But Steve, hey man, thanks a lot for coming on the show. Really appreciate it.
Weiss: Steve, you’re doing an amazing job man. I’m always excited to contribute, man. Thank you so much.
Steve: Hey thanks man.
Weiss: All right, take care.
Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Steve is someone who has helped me with my Facebook ads in the past. And if you’re a company in need of ads help, be sure to check out Mute Six. For more information about this episode, go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode201.
And once again I want to thank Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode. Klaviyo is my email marketing platform of choice for ecommerce merchants, and you can easily put together automated flows like an abandoned cart sequence, a post purchase flow, a win back campaign, basically all these sequences that will make you money on auto pilot. So head on over to mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, once again that’s mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.
I also want to thank Privy for sponsoring this episode. Privy is the email capture provider that I use to turn visitors into email subscribers. They offer email capture, exit intent, and site targeting tools to make it super simple as well. I like Privy because it’s so powerful and you can basically trigger custom pop ups for any primer that is closely tied to your e-commerce store. If you want to give it a try, it is free. So head on over to P-R-I-V-Y.com/Steve, once again that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/Steve.
And finally I want to thank Payability. If you’re looking to take back control of your cash flow and scale your Amazon business fast, then sign up for Payability, and say goodbye to cash flow issues and stock outs. With daily payments, you can speed up your supply chain, buy inventory at optimal times, and stay in the buy box. The more control you have over your cash flow, the more buying power you will have. Visit Go.payability.com/Steve to get started, and cash in on a $200 credit just for being a listener. Once again that’s Go.payability.com/Steve.
Now, I talk about how I use all these tools on my blog, and if you’re interested in starting your own ecommerce store, head on over to mywifequitherjob.com and sign up for my free six-day mini course. Just type in your email, and I’ll send you the course right away, thanks for listening.
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2 thoughts on “201: Creative Ways To Run Facebook Ads To Sell Physical Products With Steve Weiss”
love the way Steve explained things.Very good even for a new bee to understand
Great listen. Super pumped to promote my product online.
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