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Lessons I learned by testing facebook ads

Lessons I learned by testing facebook ads

Back in the end of January a friend of mine, whose business is Facebook Ad Marketing, was trying to convince me to run a Facebook Ad for my business. He thought my company would do really well. His rationale was that my brand is super visual. Being able to reach out to hundreds (and maybe thousands) of people all at the same time–using a 1 to 1 interaction–in the form of an ad would be a great way to scale my business.

And even though I had made a commitment to stick to B2B and put my B2C on hold I decided the 2 weeks right before Valentine’s Day (the Super Bowl of greeting cards) would be a great time to test out FB Ads to see how it would go.

I quickly put together a carousel ad using images that I repurposed from my home page, product images, and Instagram images.

Below is an image of the way the ad looked on Facebook:

Facebook Test Ad Image

I targeted it as best as I could with no experience in doing such things. I placed $100 (his recommendation for a 2 week ad) in the Facebook Casino and watched and waited to see how it played out.

I was a little obsessed with the analytics. How many impressions, how many clicks, and how many sales was I going to have?

Since I had this new ad, I felt I needed to create a marketing strategy with an incentive to get people to my site. After much back and forth I decided to put together a custom bundle deal. Now I should say I don’t really like the idea of running a sale on my products. The thought process for that is basically that it devalues my work and trains my customers to wait for a sale in order for them to buy from me.

But this was a test. Why not test a promotion too?

One of the biggest obstacles to selling a small ticket item online is the fact that you have to pay shipping too. So in my mind there are 2 types of ways to go about a promotion to get over the hurdle to purchase:

  1. make shipping free. However, if someone only buys one card then this option pretty much takes away all of my profit.
  2. create a bundle or a deal where if you buy more the shipping cost in comparison to the cost of the product becomes lower and thus making the shipping price easier to swallow. I decided to do an offer where you if you buy 4 cards you would get the 5th one free.

I tweaked my ad and added the below bundle promo image to the carousel.

Bundle Promo Image for my Facebook Ad test

Now just to put my timeline into perspective, I will share what else was going on behind the scenes in my business:

  • I was putting this offer together (which includes: creating all the necessary digital files to make this happen, uploading and cross checking everything is in place).
  • As well as being on my press printing out 8 new cards, and creating product pages for them on my website. I wanted to make sure that people shopping on my site (and in the 2 in person pop-up shops I was doing at West Elm over the course of these same 2 weeks) would have as many Valentine's and Galentine's cards available for them.

So how did it go?

I made 3 sales.

Zero of them were from my Facebook Ad.

The ones I received were from people I either knew IRL or had been conversing with online. These sales came from people I had created a relationship with. 

My other analytics were as follows:

  • Reach: 4,163
  • Engagement: 96
  • Clicks Throughs: 3
    (I am not sure what the difference is between engagement and click throughs TBH.)

So what is the biggest takeaway and how can I apply this lesson moving forward?

Some might consider this a failure. And by all means it was. But I see it as a fail forward.

I learned is that not enough people know about me. My cards are still a “best kept secret” as far as I am concerned.

Me reaching out on Facebook was like reaching out to strangers (also called cold leads in marketing speak), and expecting to make a sale right off the bat. Asking strangers for money usually ends with you having no money.

The sales I did make were what the industry calls warm leads. People who had already been introduced to me, my brand, and my line. People like to buy from other people they know, like, and trust.

So the $100 lesson here is that if I want to continue to pursue the B2C business model, I need to be doing more PR and outreach in the places that my target customer spends her time.

Where will I go from here?

After this experiment, I have decided to keep focusing on B2B and grow one branch of my business at a time.

I am only one person, the only employee on my company, I have 3 kids, and I am in the process of building a house from scratch. Shit be crazy right now.

Next week I am going to share “Why you should never feel bad about emailing the people you want to work with.” This is another lesson in converting cold leads.

Until then I am going to keep on hustling, and I hope you will too!


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