IMPACT Growth Study:

Front End Sales Spike So Much, an Ecom Business Runs Out Of Stock (And Adds €1.5MM In Revenue)

Published: January 20th, 2021

by Joakim Hansson

Before Ben came to us, his direct-response ecommerce business was running into problems. He was dependent on one source of traffic (Native ads) and hit a ceiling with how much he could scale. His traffic strategy was dependent on one person and when they tried to expand to Facebook with the help of an agency, they had their ad account shut down! 

Win Win Win took him on as a client in April 2019, and brought him his first wins within the first few months:

  1. 1
    We launched two products on Facebook.
  2. 2
    We set up a funnel with winning, compliant ads that generated thousands of comments, shares, and about 2,000 sales.
  3. 3
    We helped him generate over €220,000 in front-end revenue with average ROAS over 1.2x, allowing him to acquire customers sustainably.
overview report

Over the following year, we helped him generate over €1,582,918.95 in front end revenue (Across 10+ products), while ensuring he can continue to acquire new customers profitably. 

Through this case study, I’m going to show you how we use our IMPACT method to make direct response work in 2020. 

Interested in knowing how much hidden revenue the IMPACT method can uncover for your business?

Then keep reading and find out how the IMPACT method uncovered revenue for this ecommerce business.

€100k+ Sales In The First 3 Months

Ben describes his business as a Direct Response ECommerce brand. His strategy relies solely on online direct response marketing. 

Native ads worked very well for Ben for a while. He was able to consistently acquire customers profitably and continue to sell to them. However, he was limited to this one platform, which had 2 clear drawbacks: 

  1. If an offer he launched failed on this platform, he’d be forced to throw everything away and start from scratch. 
  2. He was only able to scale his sales profitably up to a certain point, after which he started getting terribly high customer acquisition costs and low returns.

That’s when Ben came to us. We took him through our onboarding process and then started working on his first Facebook launch, which would eventually look like this:

onboarding process

What’s the best product for immediate impact? 

Once we had all the information we needed from Ben, it was time to get to work. First, we had to choose the products that we’d use for the ad offers. This wasn’t too difficult since he had several bestseller products, which is what we went with.

Pro tip: Go with what’s tried and tested for the first big win on a new platform.

Moving An Existing Offer To Facebook

The challenge: Our client already has an offer built for a proven product. There is an existing working funnel along with an expertly crafted sales page. The copy is well-written and the page obviously converts well. We weren’t involved with writing copy for it from the start so...

Is the funnel ready for Facebook?

The short answer: No. Just because a sales page works for Google, that doesn’t mean it’s ready for Facebook (Or vice-versa). If you simply start sending Facebook traffic to it, expect to burn money or get your Facebook ad account banned - or both. 

Next, check out the quick “short-term solution”, or…

How We Quickly Switched To A New Platform And Doubled Our Client’s Monthly Revenue

double revenue

We didn’t want to completely change the existing funnel or any of the copy - the reason being that the offer was successfully bringing in sales through other ad networks - and crippling those efforts would clearly be bad for Ben.

Eventually, we wanted to (And would!) start building our own funnels for Facebook. But, building something from scratch would take a lot of time and effort and would delay the product launch as well as testing, optimizing, and maximizing profits.

Our short term solution: Advertorials.

The existing funnel was Ad > Advertorial > Sales page. This worked well for Ben for other ad networks as well as email marketing and affiliate marketing. However, his existing advertorials and sales pages were not suitable for Facebook. They were not compliant with Facebook’s regulations and not crafted with a Facebook audience in mind.

Our approach was focused on quick results - so rather than modify the funnel or create a completely new funnel, we simply wrote a new advertorial that was Facebook compliant. We wrote Facebook ads using our Indisputable Messaging method (more on this later!) and had it lead readers to an advertorial on Ben’s website.

Direct Response advertising

This advertorial was crafted to be perfect for Direct Response advertising on Facebook - it had everything we needed to get the audience’s attention, educate them, and get them excited about our product.

loosing weight

This advertorial would then direct readers to the existing sales page. 

Ideating And Developing The Campaign 

We started by creating six advertorials to run to the existing VSL which was not compliant with Facebook. These advertorials were written by our in-house copywriter. 

Three of them were created from scratch based on the research. The other 3 were based on an existing email copy from the client that we adapted to an advertorial. 

Our Takeaway: You won’t get a winning profitable campaign with a single try. Try a few different ideas and test them all. You can get ideas for your campaigns, angles, and offers from research and from repurposing existing and proven content.

Analysis Of Campaign And Strategy 

Out of the six advertorials, two were clear winners and generated most of the revenue. We started testing with ABO campaigns on lookalike audiences (Ad-set Budget Optimization). The winning ads and audiences were then moved to a CBO campaign (Campaign Budget Optimization). This is basically making use of Facebook’s latest changes leading to less inefficient spending and maximizing campaign results

The ad copy and creatives produced an average link CTR of 3.26% during these first months. The ads also had good engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc) thanks to our transparent and informative ad copy. 

Our Takeaway: If you’ve never tried different campaign and funnel ideas, you’re probably leaving money on the table. Testing proves that some ideas worked way better for our products than others. Run tests and check metrics to figure this out.

Our first launch yielded decent results from a combination of Facebook Ads and Google Ads, with sales really blowing up in September.

onboarding process

You can see from the screenshot that Google Ads shows really great ROAS but Facebook ads show much better volume of sales and overall revenue. The results would not at all be the same if we had used only one of the two platforms.

Different ad platforms tend to work together and influence each other, which is why we trust the overall blended CPA and ROAS more than that of the individual platforms. We’ll share more about this with you later in the case study, don’t worry.

Takeaway: Don’t throw away everything and start from scratch. Don’t ruin what’s already working. Find a way to adapt what you already have as efficiently as possible, and optimize and improve your process from there.

This was just the short-term solution though. In the long term…

Reliably Developing Offers For Facebook

Our short term solution was fine for bringing an existing offer to Facebook as quickly as possible, therefore making sure no time is wasted and no sales are lost. It was also necessary as we weren’t involved in developing the offer from the start.

After that initial phase though, we were involved with developing offers from the start - we helped Ben develop each funnel with Facebook in mind. Ben would work on the sales page copy as usual and then send it to us. Then, we’d edit and re-frame the copy in order to make sure it met Facebook’s compliance requirements.

The new funnel is perfect for Facebook because it follows the “IM” part of our IMPACT strategy - indisputable messaging. In short, we make sure that it is completely Facebook compliant, applies storytelling techniques, and has the sort of user experience that Facebook users expect and like. 

This way, we could skip the advertorial step and go straight from Facebook Ad > Sales Page. This is a better long term solution and is what we’re doing now for new offers for new products.

This helps us get faster results - our new launches are successful immediately and also generate more sales in the long run.

total revenue and ROAS

This launch in particular worked extremely well for our client. See that huge spike in sales in September? Our campaign worked so well that Ben’s company almost ran out of stock and had to immediately call their suppliers to keep up with the increasing demand!

huge spike in sales

In the screenshot below, you can see we tested the product on YouTube, which appears to have lackluster results. However, it’s important to note that Facebook and Youtube "feed" Google Shopping and Google Search. Without FB and YT ads the results would be much lower on other platforms.

This product did extremely well on Google Shopping. An ad spend of €1,090.23 brought in 321 sales worth €30,238.70 - close to a 30x return at one point. For reference, AoV (Average Order Value) for this client was around €100 - €150 on the front-end alone.

Shopping and Google Search

Google Shopping can be a hit or a miss and doesn’t always perform well in our experience. In this case, Ben’s product was well suited for Google Shopping. The product is quite unique, which is probably why the product was able to generate a 30x ROAS.

Takeaway: At first, do whatever’s needed for quick results. But, in the long term, aim to have a robust and thorough launch strategy: develop your offer with Facebook in mind from the start.

This is also reflected in our overall numbers for the first year and the second year, with ROAS increasing from 1.18 to 1.52 and total front-end revenue going from 675k to 1mm+.

2019:

Total Ad Spend: 357 815.58€

Total Revenue: 421 139.03€

ROAS: 1.18

2020:

Total Ad Spend: 675 550.12€

Total Revenue: 1 024 733.00€

ROAS: 1.52

What you’re seeing here is how an ROI-focused agency works. Anyone can put up ads, but what requires real expertise is making sure they’re bringing in sales profitably, month after month. Every month that goes by without trying new ideas and measuring results, chances are you’re losing hundreds of thousands and don’t even know it.

The Issues With Facebook Ad Compliance

During the first few months, we didn’t have too much trouble with Facebook compliance besides a few disapproved ads. The major issues began towards October or November when one of the head accounts was shut down for non-compliance. We appealed to Facebook and got it back. 

However, the account was shut down again several times, creating a mess that saw the entire business manager shut down. 

Why The Accounts Were Shut Down

shut down account

(These are just examples of the dreaded message many advertisers have faced!)

So, why were the accounts being shut down?

Facebook doesn’t actually give you clear reasons. They often cite their “quality ranking” system as a reason for ads being rejected and accounts being banned, but often their claims don’t have merit and are hard to understand.

Understanding the industry and niche is key. Ben’s products were in the weight loss and dating niches, which are the most highly regulated with the strictest compliance rules for Facebook. 

These niches tend to have a lot of low quality “snake oil” offers, which in turn makes it difficult for businesses with genuine products that help people to advertise on Facebook. 

But that’s all part of the game - we just have to be extremely careful with our messaging and strategy. And as our numbers show (Below is just one of the 10 or so products we’ve been advertising on Facebook in these niches), it’s definitely possible to have a profitable business by advertising in these niches using Facebook, Google, and other platforms.

Takeaway: What We Did And How We Could Have Avoided This

Whenever Facebook shuts down an ad or an account, you can always appeal it. Sometimes that isn’t enough though, and they might shut down your business manager account and not consider your appeals. During this time, we were also getting no revenue from our main channel. 

  1. The most significant lesson we picked was the importance of backup accounts. We started running our ads on multiple business manager accounts. This meant that we could keep advertising and making sales and not cost our client any revenue. Eventually, we were able to recover the first account but kept using multiple accounts just to be safe.  
  1. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution for Facebook compliance - you need to figure out the specific issues in your niche and with advertising your products. We looked into the copy, images, and strategy we were using for these products and were able to adapt everything to suit Facebook while still keeping conversion rates high.
  1. We also started to develop offers and funnels alongside Ben from the start. This way, we could ensure any sales pages and advertorials along with all their copy and creative would be Facebook compliant. As they say - “Prevention is better than a cure”.

Every day spent waiting for Facebook to check your appeals is a day you’re not making sales. Don’t expect Facebook to be “fair” to you - always prepare for the worst. Multiple accounts means you can ensure you have ads running at all times.

Here’s an example advertorial headline that Ben was using before:

loosing weight after 40

And here’s the one he was using after.

loosing weight

It’s possible to fix a non-compliant page with the right expertise. One small example: top one is a claim, bottom one is reworded to be a question while keeping the meaning the same and intriguing the reader in the same way.

Our Impact Method For Successful Direct Response Marketing In 2020

The IMPACT method is the system we use for online advertising. It is key to our whole strategy and was the reason we were able to get these results for Ben’s ecommerce business.

impact method

IM - Indisputable Messaging

impact method messaging.jpg

IM stands for Indisputable Messaging and sums up our approach to messaging and copywriting that converts. It has two key components:

1. Modern Direct Response: The first step? You need to forget everything about power words, teasing, curiosity gaps and misleading language. Our approach to messaging and strategy has evolved from being purely curiosity-driven to being more educational and transparent. 

This is Direct Response that is adapted for what is most user-friendly and meets expectations for content on our chosen platforms. We give the platform what it wants, which is why it works. This ensures that our copy drives conversions and sales. 

2. Platform Compliance: In order to make the Direct Response style of marketing and copywriting work, it’s essential to adapt it to what platforms want. You can’t write DR copy or use DR marketing on Facebook the same way you would on your own website or through email or using other forms of paid traffic. We adapt our messaging to both be compliant with Facebook’s rules and audience expectations on Facebook.

In Ben’s case, the advertorials are part of our indisputable messaging strategy. All the advertorials are compliant with Facebook, which is the main platform we use to run his ads. 

For newer products, we are assisting Ben with sales pages from the start using our Indisputable Messaging principles. We are also working with a lot of long-form ads that are transparent, valuable, and teach something. 

The outcome is clear - 

  1. High-converting sales pages and advertorials that keep ROAS high and cost of customer acquisition low, allowing us to scale to 7 figure revenues and keep profits high. 
  1. Facebook Ads that are extremely well-received by our audiences, and show high engagement rates, along with lots of reactions, comments, and shares.
impact method facebook

impact facebook

PA - Proliferating Ad Engine

Proliferating Ad Engine

PA is short for Proliferating Ad Engine and deals with being on as many networks as possible. The two significant reasons for these are to cover the whole internet with retargeting and to leverage all of them. You get the best possible leads from each network. This ensures you’re able to continue scaling up profitably without soaring costs of customer acquisition. 

Further, our strategy ensures that ad networks support each other. Our strategy + spend on one platform often leads to increasing quality of leads and greater ROAS from other platforms as well.

Our Proliferating Ad Engine allows you to have a blended CPA and blended ROAS. A platform may have a higher CPA, but has a higher volume with the buyers there spending more. Another platform may have a significantly smaller volume but with lower CPA. 

Here’s one example:

Proliferating Ad Engine example

PA supports the idea of having one agency handle all the accounts. This way, it becomes easier to monitor all accounts and see how they influence and complement each other. For example, when you up your spend on Facebook, you might find Google Ads performing better as well. 

Attribution can become an issue with multiple platforms as well. 

Consider this case: A large number of customers may be initially engaging with your content on Facebook, and then retargeted to your products again on another platform like YouTube. The sales come through when they click through on YouTube, but their first positive engagement with your brand was on Facebook. 

Was your advertising on Facebook more important or YouTube? The correct answer is: both. 

Even if the conversion is attributed to YouTube, Facebook was key as well. If you stopped your Facebook ad spend or changed your strategy on Facebook drastically, you risk lowering your YouTube sales. 

It works the other way as well - YouTube ads also drive a lot of organic traffic and sales. When people see a YT ad they make a "mental" note of the brand or product and then later do a search on Google for that. So if you lower your YouTube ad spend, your performance on Google Ads and organic search usually drop drastically as well.

(PS - If you have 2 different agencies running Facebook and YouTube ads, they’ll both get attribution for that one sale and charge you twice for it!)

We’ve seen a lot of complications and issues arise for clients when different parties, agency or otherwise, are running campaigns on separate platforms. Such synergy is not easy to achieve and when achieved not easy to measure. 

For this reason, we stick to our Proliferating Ad Engine strategy - and always manage several platforms for our clients ourselves.

CT - Cross-channel Tracking

CT, cross-channel tracking, is the last piece of the puzzle for our IMPACT strategy. 

We’ve seen how important it is to use multiple platforms.

We’ve seen that when advertising on multiple platforms, they all influence each other and work together.

Therefore, your next biggest problem is going to be attribution. If you only rely on metrics from the ad platforms, you’ll have a skewed view, since you can only see limited attribution on each platform. You won’t be able to see how they’re influencing each other, or how advertising on one platform is impacting results on another.

We’ve often seen that Facebook overreports, while Google underreports. 

To counter the problem of attribution, we use our own custom dashboards. Here we compare the ads expenditure on each platform with the real sales from the client’s CRM. We get to know the total numbers of ads spent on each platform vs. the sales attributed to each network. 

CT also involves us using advanced tracking software, such as Wicked Reports, which we also recommended to Ben. This platform generates all the analytics you need, including the buyer’s journey. 

Here’s another example of our Proliferating Ad Engine with Cross-Channel Tracking across 6 platforms:

Cross-Channel Tracking

How We Use IM (Indisputable Messaging) To Create Winning Facebook Ads

For a new client, we start with an onboarding process that includes getting all the information we need about the client’s business from the client, and going through our own research process to solidify all the data.

Research

The goal is to clearly understand the clients’ target market, the offer, and who we should target with the ads. The research process follows a simple four-step process outlined below.

procedures
  1. 1
    Product Research - What’s the product, what problems does it solve, and what are its unique mechanisms. What’s the market like and what are some issues in the market.
  2. 2
    Audience Research - Demographics, pains, problems, and frustrations that necessitate the need for the client’s products. 
  3. 3
    Keyword Research - We use keyword research methods to find the best keywords for ad campaigns.
  4. 4

    Participant (or competitor) Research - We ask our clients about everything they know about their competitors, their products, and their offers. We then go through our own research processes to improve and add to this list.

Research Procedures

Results Of The Research, How It’s Used And Applied

The outcome of the research is for our copywriters to be able to write ad copy and if applicable funnel copy. For the media buyers, the outcome is to know exactly who and how to target the right audiences inside the ad networks. 

The research will also help to define the media plan, ie. What ad networks do we advertise on? What are the angles used to advertise to the different target audiences? What creatives seem to work in this market and can be tested first? etc.

From our research, we realized that Ben worked significantly with email lists and affiliates. As a result, he had very aggressive VSL funnels.

We add to the research through our own processes as well, and here’s what the outcome of our hard work often looks like:

This idea and content were discovered through the research process.

body copy

We often use storytelling in the body copy - it's a proven way to keep people’s attention and get them to feel like they can relate with what we’re saying. But, you want to make sure what you share is relatable to your target audience - and that’s where audience research comes in.

storytelling

We often address concerns we know our audience has, thanks to our research.

These are just snippets from the ad though - the full ad was long-form, close to 2000 words. Our strategy of course involves lots of ideas and testing, and we optimize till we get winning ads that not only convert well but also generate tons of reactions, comments, and shares. 

snippets

snippets

low Cost per click

We’ve been able to maintain low CPC (Cost per click) and high CTR (Click through rate) consistently due to our use of audience research based copywriting and campaign strategy. 

Interested in trying this out yourself?

You can check if your ad copy is in line with Indisputable Messaging here:

How We Navigated The Covid Era And Turned It Into An Opportunity

The Situation

At first, Covid did not seem to be a threat to Europe. But sometime after March, it had begun to spread everywhere. 

As this reality started to set in, a lot of businesses stopped to reconsider their marketing and sales tactics. 

How Do You Respond To Such A Situation?

covid response myths

As you’ll see, our response was actually completely opposite to what was considered the “norm” at the time, and might even seem counterintuitive. But the results are clear - our client’s business continued to grow profitably during this period.

There are some “trends” that emerged for businesses during this period that were actually mistakes and we did not blindly follow them. 

So here’s what NOT to do when faced with a situation like this one:

1. Stop selling because people may not be buying - A lot of businesses pulled out of advertising and selling at the beginning of this period out of fear of compounding losses. We did not see any reason to do this and continued as usual.

2. Overhaul your whole strategy - You know how it goes, “If it ain’t broke…”. We simply weren’t seeing any issues with our strategy or with our sales numbers at this point therefore we didn’t see reason to throw away our strategy and messaging and start from scratch. 

3. Offer discounts because everyone is doing it - This was a trend common among big businesses in particular, which could maybe afford to sell at a loss in order to maintain positive perception of their business among customers. Our client did not offer any special discounts during this time and it did not negatively affect his sales at all.

Our strategy centered around understanding the client’s business and market. Ben’s business involved consumer ecommerce products sold through direct response online. Demand for these products did not fall during this time therefore we did not stop advertising and our numbers were strong. 

The business benefited from some massive profits as a lot of businesses paused online advertising and click prices fell significantly. This naturally led to lower acquisition costs and higher profits from online advertising.

This is just one of 5 products we advertised during this period -

advertised products report

Our No. 1 Takeaway - Don’t panic. Don’t blindly follow trends. Understand how the state of affairs affects your business, and plan accordingly.

If you’re with us so far and liked what you’ve seen, here’s the question you’ll want to ask yourself:

Do I Need To Scale And Do I Need More Platforms?

Need More Platforms

Scaling And Being Dependant On A Single Platform Or Person 

By scaling your business, you’ll need access to larger volumes. You need more people to click on your ads and funnels, which means that you need access to more data points. You will need to broaden your audience, so that it’s less targeted, which is why your cost per acquisition (CPA) goes up.

For Ben, there was one clear drawback to relying on a single platform: if he launched a product offer and it wasn’t a success, he had to throw away all his work and start working on a new offer. 

This helped him realize he was running a risky marketing campaign. His company depended on a single stream of buyers and one person to run everything. The profits were good, but the risk of overdependence on one person, one stream of buyers, one platform, along with the risk of failed launches was too much.

Okay, but how do I figure out if I need to scale to more platforms?

Basically, it all depends on the kind of numbers you’re seeing and the kind of numbers you want to hit.

Let’s say you’re spending 5k per month on one platform. You’re getting some crazy good ROAS numbers, 3x+ at times, which means you make 15k from your 5k investment. You’re extremely happy with the numbers. But let’s be real - 15k revenue simply isn’t close to the kind of goals you have for your brand, or for your business.

Case 1: You’re ready to invest more in ads and want to scale up your revenue. You up your ad spend to 30k per month. At this point you’ll see that you’re making more sales and acquiring more customers, but the ROAS isn’t as crazy good as it used to be. Perhaps it’s fallen to under 2x. This is the realistic number that most businesses making sales and aiming for close to 7 figure yearly revenues will see. You’re still acquiring customers profitably and life is still good.

Case 2: You’re ready to scale up further, but now you’re finally hitting the ceiling. You up your ad spend to 100k per month and suddenly everything gets worse. Your ROAS drops down below 1.2x and basically the extra money you’re spending simply isn’t worth it. This directly affects your cost of acquisition per customer and hits your profits hard.

If you’re familiar with Case 2, chances are you’re angry with your media buyer or agency. But to be fair, they’re not suddenly worse at their job - they’re simply doing more of what they were doing before. But the problem is that’s no longer enough.

That’s when you know you’ve hit a ceiling with your platform, and you need to be able to expand to multiple platforms, ensure compliance for all platforms, maintain your funnel and copy quality, and track all platforms and make sure they’re not cannibalizing each other’s performance. 

Scale Your eCommerce Business With Proper Ads Management

If you have an online business with a proven offer and if you are struggling to make your advertising profitable, then we’re quite certain we can help you escape the trap you're in.

Because based on our experience working with 7- and 8-figure online companies, we know that whenever a company struggles to advertise and make a profit, it means they neglect at least one of the 3 pillars of our IMPACT Method.

In fact, we’d say about 98% of businesses are missing out on at least ONE of them.

And once we help them fix it — their ad costs drop down, their conversions increase — and they are reaching the scale and profits they desire.

So to help you spot potential weak spots in your advertising, book a 15-20 minute needs analysis call. We'll review your ads and funnels and tell you which pillars of your advertising need improvement to reach higher profits.

IMPACT Growth Study:

Front End Sales Spike So Much, an Ecom Business Runs Out Of Stock (And Adds €1.5MM In Front End Sales)

Published: January 20th, 2021

by Joakim Hansson

Before Ben came to us, his direct-response ecommerce business was running into problems.

He was dependent on one source of traffic (Native ads) and hit a ceiling with how much he could scale.

His traffic strategy was dependent on one person and when they tried to expand to Facebook with the help of an agency, they had their ad account shut down! 

Win Win Win took him on as a client in April 2019, and brought him his first wins within the first few months:

  1. 1
    We launched two products on Facebook.
  2. 2
    We set up a funnel with winning, compliant ads that generated thousands of comments, shares, and about 2,000 sales.
  3. 3
    We helped him generate over €220,000 in front-end revenue with average ROAS over 1.2x, allowing him to acquire customers sustainably.
overview report

Over the following year, we helped him generate over €1,582,918.95 in front end revenue (Across 10+ products), while ensuring he can continue to acquire new customers profitably. 

Through this case study, I’m going to show you how we use our IMPACT method to make direct response work in 2020. 

Interested in knowing how much hidden revenue the IMPACT method can uncover for your business?

Then keep reading and find out how the IMPACT method uncovered revenue for this ecommerce business.

€100k+ Sales In The First 3 Months

Ben describes his business as a Direct Response ECommerce brand. His strategy relies solely on online direct response marketing. 

Native ads worked very well for Ben for a while.

He was able to consistently acquire customers profitably and continue to sell to them.

However, he was limited to this one platform, which had 2 clear drawbacks: 

  1. If an offer he launched failed on this platform, he’d be forced to throw everything away and start from scratch. 
  2. He was only able to scale his sales profitably up to a certain point, after which he started getting terribly high customer acquisition costs and low returns.

That’s when Ben came to us.

We took him through our onboarding process and then started working on his first Facebook launch, which would eventually look like this:

onboarding process

What’s the best product for immediate impact? 

Once we had all the information we needed from Ben, it was time to get to work.

First, we had to choose the products that we’d use for the ad offers.

This wasn’t too difficult since he had several bestseller products, which is what we went with.

Pro tip: Go with what’s tried and tested for the first big win on a new platform.

Moving An Existing Offer To Facebook

The challenge: Our client already has an offer built for a proven product.

There is an existing working funnel along with an expertly crafted sales page.

The copy is well-written and the page obviously converts well.

We weren’t involved with writing copy for it from the start so...

Is the funnel ready for Facebook?

The short answer: No. Just because a sales page works for Google, that doesn’t mean it’s ready for Facebook (Or vice-versa).

If you simply start sending Facebook traffic to it, expect to burn money or get your Facebook ad account banned - or both. 

Next, check out the quick “short-term solution”, or…

How We Quickly Switched To A New Platform And Doubled Our Client’s Monthly Revenue

double revenue

We didn’t want to completely change the existing funnel or any of the copy - the reason being that the offer was successfully bringing in sales through other ad networks - and crippling those efforts would clearly be bad for Ben.

Eventually, we wanted to (And would!) start building our own funnels for Facebook.

But, building something from scratch would take a lot of time and effort and would delay the product launch as well as testing, optimizing, and maximizing profits.

Our short term solution: Advertorials.

The existing funnel was Ad > Advertorial > Sales page. This worked well for Ben for other ad networks as well as email marketing and affiliate marketing.

However, his existing advertorials and sales pages were not suitable for Facebook.

They were not compliant with Facebook’s regulations and not crafted with a Facebook audience in mind.

Our approach was focused on quick results - so rather than modify the funnel or create a completely new funnel, we simply wrote a new advertorial that was Facebook compliant.

We wrote Facebook ads using our Indisputable Messaging method (more on this later!) and had it lead readers to an advertorial on Ben’s website. 

Direct Response advertising

This advertorial was crafted to be perfect for Direct Response advertising on Facebook - it had everything we needed to get the audience’s attention, educate them, and get them excited about our product.

loosing weight

This advertorial would then direct readers to the existing sales page. 

Ideating And Developing The Campaign 

We started by creating six advertorials to run to the existing VSL which was not compliant with Facebook.

These advertorials were written by our in-house copywriter. 

Three of them were created from scratch based on the research.

The other 3 were based on an existing email copy from the client that we adapted to an advertorial. 

Our Takeaway: You won’t get a winning profitable campaign with a single try.

Try a few different ideas and test them all. You can get ideas for your campaigns, angles, and offers from research and from repurposing existing and proven content.

Analysis Of Campaign And Strategy 

Out of the six advertorials, two were clear winners and generated most of the revenue.

We started testing with ABO campaigns on lookalike audiences (Ad-set Budget Optimization).

The winning ads and audiences were then moved to a CBO campaign (Campaign Budget Optimization).

This is basically making use of Facebook’s latest changes leading to less inefficient spending and maximizing campaign results

The ad copy and creatives produced an average link CTR of 3.26% during these first months.

The ads also had good engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc) thanks to our transparent and informative ad copy. 

Our Takeaway: If you’ve never tried different campaign and funnel ideas, you’re probably leaving money on the table.

Testing proves that some ideas worked way better for our products than others.

Run tests and check metrics to figure this out.

Our first launch yielded decent results from a combination of Facebook Ads and Google Ads, with sales really blowing up in September.

onboarding process

You can see from the screenshot that Google Ads shows really great ROAS but Facebook ads show much better volume of sales and overall revenue.

The results would not at all be the same if we had used only one of the two platforms.

Different ad platforms tend to work together and influence each other, which is why we trust the overall blended CPA and ROAS more than that of the individual platforms.

We’ll share more about this with you later in the case study, don’t worry.

Takeaway: Don’t throw away everything and start from scratch. Don’t ruin what’s already working.

Find a way to adapt what you already have as efficiently as possible, and optimize and improve your process from there.

This was just the short-term solution though. In the long term…

Reliably Developing Offers For Facebook

Our short term solution was fine for bringing an existing offer to Facebook as quickly as possible, therefore making sure no time is wasted and no sales are lost.

It was also necessary as we weren’t involved in developing the offer from the start.

After that initial phase though, we were involved with developing offers from the start - we helped Ben develop each funnel with Facebook in mind.

Ben would work on the sales page copy as usual and then send it to us.

Then, we’d edit and re-frame the copy in order to make sure it met Facebook’s compliance requirements.

The new funnel is perfect for Facebook because it follows the “IM” part of our IMPACT strategy - indisputable messaging.

In short, we make sure that it is completely Facebook compliant, applies storytelling techniques, and has the sort of user experience that Facebook users expect and like. 

This way, we could skip the advertorial step and go straight from Facebook Ad > Sales Page.

This is a better long term solution and is what we’re doing now for new offers for new products.

This helps us get faster results - our new launches are successful immediately and also generate more sales in the long run.

total revenue and ROAS

This launch in particular worked extremely well for our client.

See that huge spike in sales in September?

Our campaign worked so well that Ben’s company almost ran out of stock and had to immediately call their suppliers to keep up with the increasing demand!

huge spike in sales

In the screenshot below, you can see we tested the product on YouTube, which appears to have lackluster results.

However, it’s important to note that Facebook and Youtube "feed" Google Shopping and Google Search.

Without FB and YT ads the results would be much lower on other platforms.

This product did extremely well on Google Shopping. An ad spend of €1,090.23 brought in 321 sales worth €30,238.70 - close to a 30x return at one point.

For reference, AoV (Average Order Value) for this client was around €100 - €150 on the front-end alone.

Shopping and Google Search

Google Shopping can be a hit or a miss and doesn’t always perform well in our experience.

In this case, Ben’s product was well suited for Google Shopping.

The product is quite unique, which is probably why the product was able to generate a 30x ROAS.

Takeaway: At first, do whatever’s needed for quick results.

But, in the long term, aim to have a robust and thorough launch strategy: develop your offer with Facebook in mind from the start.

This is also reflected in our overall numbers for the first year and the second year, with ROAS increasing from 1.18 to 1.52 and total front-end revenue going from 675k to 1mm+.


2019:

Total Ad Spend: 357 815.58€

Total Revenue: 421 139.03€

ROAS: 1.18


2020:

Total Ad Spend: 675 550.12€

Total Revenue:

1 024 733.00€

ROAS: 1.52


What you’re seeing here is how an ROI-focused agency works.

Anyone can put up ads, but what requires real expertise is making sure they’re bringing in sales profitably, month after month.

Every month that goes by without trying new ideas and measuring results, chances are you’re losing hundreds of thousands and don’t even know it.


The Issues With Facebook Ad Compliance

During the first few months, we didn’t have too much trouble with Facebook compliance besides a few disapproved ads.

The major issues began towards October or November when one of the head accounts was shut down for non-compliance.

We appealed to Facebook and got it back. 

However, the account was shut down again several times, creating a mess that saw the entire business manager shut down. 


Why The Accounts Were Shut Down

shut down account

(These are just examples of the dreaded message many advertisers have faced!)

So, why were the accounts being shut down?

Facebook doesn’t actually give you clear reasons.

They often cite their “quality ranking” system as a reason for ads being rejected and accounts being banned, but often their claims don’t have merit and are hard to understand.


Understanding the industry and niche is key.

Ben’s products were in the weight loss and dating niches, which are the most highly regulated with the strictest compliance rules for Facebook. 

These niches tend to have a lot of low quality “snake oil” offers, which in turn makes it difficult for businesses with genuine products that help people to advertise on Facebook. 

But that’s all part of the game - we just have to be extremely careful with our messaging and strategy.

And as our numbers show (Below is just one of the 10 or so products we’ve been advertising on Facebook in these niches), it’s definitely possible to have a profitable business by advertising in these niches using Facebook, Google, and other platforms.

Takeaway: What We Did And How We Could Have Avoided This

Whenever Facebook shuts down an ad or an account, you can always appeal it.

Sometimes that isn’t enough though, and they might shut down your business manager account and not consider your appeals.

During this time, we were also getting no revenue from our main channel. 

  1. The most significant lesson we picked was the importance of backup accounts. We started running our ads on multiple business manager accounts.
    This meant that we could keep advertising and making sales and not cost our client any revenue.
    Eventually, we were able to recover the first account but kept using multiple accounts just to be safe.
  1. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution for Facebook compliance - you need to figure out the specific issues in your niche and with advertising your products.
    We looked into the copy, images, and strategy we were using for these products and were able to adapt everything to suit Facebook while still keeping conversion rates high.
  1. We also started to develop offers and funnels alongside Ben from the start. This way, we could ensure any sales pages and advertorials along with all their copy and creative would be Facebook compliant. As they say - “Prevention is better than a cure”.

Every day spent waiting for Facebook to check your appeals is a day you’re not making sales.

Don’t expect Facebook to be “fair” to you - always prepare for the worst.

Multiple accounts means you can ensure you have ads running at all times.

Here’s an example advertorial headline that Ben was using before:

loosing weight after 40

And here’s the one he was using after.

loosing weight

It’s possible to fix a non-compliant page with the right expertise.

One small example: top one is a claim, bottom one is reworded to be a question while keeping the meaning the same and intriguing the reader in the same way.

Our Impact Method For Successful Direct Response Marketing In 2020

The IMPACT method is the system we use for online advertising.

It is key to our whole strategy and was the reason we were able to get these results for Ben’s ecommerce business.

impact method

IM - Indisputable Messaging

impact method messaging.jpg

IM stands for Indisputable Messaging and sums up our approach to messaging and copywriting that converts. It has two key components:

1. Modern Direct Response: The first step? You need to forget everything about power words, teasing, curiosity gaps and misleading language.

Our approach to messaging and strategy has evolved from being purely curiosity-driven to being more educational and transparent. 

This is Direct Response that is adapted for what is most user-friendly and meets expectations for content on our chosen platforms.

We give the platform what it wants, which is why it works. This ensures that our copy drives conversions and sales. 

2. Platform Compliance: In order to make the Direct Response style of marketing and copywriting work, it’s essential to adapt it to what platforms want. You can’t write DR copy or use DR marketing on Facebook the same way you would on your own website or through email or using other forms of paid traffic.

We adapt our messaging to both be compliant with Facebook’s rules and audience expectations on Facebook.

In Ben’s case, the advertorials are part of our indisputable messaging strategy.

All the advertorials are compliant with Facebook, which is the main platform we use to run his ads. 

For newer products, we are assisting Ben with sales pages from the start using our Indisputable Messaging principles.

We are also working with a lot of long-form ads that are transparent, valuable, and teach something. 

The outcome is clear - 

  1. High-converting sales pages and advertorials that keep ROAS high and cost of customer acquisition low, allowing us to scale to 7 figure revenues and keep profits high. 
  1. Facebook Ads that are extremely well-received by our audiences, and show high engagement rates, along with lots of reactions, comments, and shares.
impact method facebook

impact facebook

PA - Proliferating Ad Engine

Proliferating Ad Engine

PA is short for Proliferating Ad Engine and deals with being on as many networks as possible.

The two significant reasons for these are to cover the whole internet with retargeting and to leverage all of them.

You get the best possible leads from each network. This ensures you’re able to continue scaling up profitably without soaring costs of customer acquisition. 

Further, our strategy ensures that ad networks support each other.

Our strategy + spend on one platform often leads to increasing quality of leads and greater ROAS from other platforms as well.

Our Proliferating Ad Engine allows you to have a blended CPA and blended ROAS. A platform may have a higher CPA, but has a higher volume with the buyers there spending more.

Another platform may have a significantly smaller volume but with lower CPA. 

Here’s one example:

Proliferating Ad Engine example

PA supports the idea of having one agency handle all the accounts.

This way, it becomes easier to monitor all accounts and see how they influence and complement each other.

For example, when you up your spend on Facebook, you might find Google Ads performing better as well. 

Attribution can become an issue with multiple platforms as well. 

Consider this case: A large number of customers may be initially engaging with your content on Facebook, and then retargeted to your products again on another platform like YouTube.

The sales come through when they click through on YouTube, but their first positive engagement with your brand was on Facebook. 

Was your advertising on Facebook more important or YouTube? The correct answer is: both. 

Even if the conversion is attributed to YouTube, Facebook was key as well. If you stopped your Facebook ad spend or changed your strategy on Facebook drastically, you risk lowering your YouTube sales. 

It works the other way as well - YouTube ads also drive a lot of organic traffic and sales.

When people see a YT ad they make a "mental" note of the brand or product and then later do a search on Google for that.

So if you lower your YouTube ad spend, your performance on Google Ads and organic search usually drop drastically as well.

(PS - If you have 2 different agencies running Facebook and YouTube ads, they’ll both get attribution for that one sale and charge you twice for it!)

We’ve seen a lot of complications and issues arise for clients when different parties, agency or otherwise, are running campaigns on separate platforms.

Such synergy is not easy to achieve and when achieved not easy to measure. 

For this reason, we stick to our Proliferating Ad Engine strategy - and always manage several platforms for our clients ourselves.

CT - Cross-channel Tracking

CT, cross-channel tracking, is the last piece of the puzzle for our IMPACT strategy. 

We’ve seen how important it is to use multiple platforms.

We’ve seen that when advertising on multiple platforms, they all influence each other and work together.

Therefore, your next biggest problem is going to be attribution.

If you only rely on metrics from the ad platforms, you’ll have a skewed view, since you can only see limited attribution on each platform.

You won’t be able to see how they’re influencing each other, or how advertising on one platform is impacting results on another.

We’ve often seen that Facebook overreports, while Google underreports. 

To counter the problem of attribution, we use our own custom dashboards.

Here we compare the ads expenditure on each platform with the real sales from the client’s CRM.

We get to know the total numbers of ads spent on each platform vs. the sales attributed to each network. 

CT also involves us using advanced tracking software, such as Wicked Reports, which we also recommended to Ben.

This platform generates all the analytics you need, including the buyer’s journey. 

Here’s another example of our Proliferating Ad Engine with Cross-Channel Tracking across 6 platforms:

Cross-Channel Tracking

How We Use IM (Indisputable Messaging) To Create Winning Facebook Ads

For a new client, we start with an onboarding process that includes getting all the information we need about the client’s business from the client, and going through our own research process to solidify all the data.

Research

The goal is to clearly understand the clients’ target market, the offer, and who we should target with the ads.

The research process follows a simple four-step process outlined below.

procedures
  1. 1
    Product Research - What’s the product, what problems does it solve, and what are its unique mechanisms. What’s the market like and what are some issues in the market.
  2. 2
    Audience Research - Demographics, pains, problems, and frustrations that necessitate the need for the client’s products. 
  3. 3
    Keyword Research - We use keyword research methods to find the best keywords for ad campaigns.
  4. 4

    Participant (or competitor) Research - We ask our clients about everything they know about their competitors, their products, and their offers.
    We then go through our own research processes to improve and add to this list.

Research Procedures

Results Of The Research, How It’s Used And Applied

The outcome of the research is for our copywriters to be able to write ad copy and if applicable funnel copy.

For the media buyers, the outcome is to know exactly who and how to target the right audiences inside the ad networks. 

The research will also help to define the media plan, ie. What ad networks do we advertise on?

What are the angles used to advertise to the different target audiences?

What creatives seem to work in this market and can be tested first? etc.

From our research, we realized that Ben worked significantly with email lists and affiliates.

As a result, he had very aggressive VSL funnels.

We add to the research through our own processes as well, and here’s what the outcome of our hard work often looks like:

This idea and content were discovered through the research process.

body copy

We often use storytelling in the body copy - it's a proven way to keep people’s attention and get them to feel like they can relate with what we’re saying.

But, you want to make sure what you share is relatable to your target audience - and that’s where audience research comes in.

storytelling

We often address concerns we know our audience has, thanks to our research.

These are just snippets from the ad though - the full ad was long-form, close to 2000 words.

Our strategy of course involves lots of ideas and testing, and we optimize till we get winning ads that not only convert well but also generate tons of reactions, comments, and shares. 

snippets

snippets

low Cost per click

We’ve been able to maintain low CPC (Cost per click) and high CTR (Click through rate) consistently due to our use of audience research based copywriting and campaign strategy. 

Interested in trying this out yourself?

You can check if your ad copy is in line with Indisputable Messaging here:

How We Navigated The Covid Era And Turned It Into An Opportunity

The Situation

At first, Covid did not seem to be a threat to Europe.

But sometime after March, it had begun to spread everywhere. 

As this reality started to set in, a lot of businesses stopped to reconsider their marketing and sales tactics. 

How Do You Respond To Such A Situation?

covid response myths

As you’ll see, our response was actually completely opposite to what was considered the “norm” at the time, and might even seem counterintuitive.

But the results are clear - our client’s business continued to grow profitably during this period.

There are some “trends” that emerged for businesses during this period that were actually mistakes and we did not blindly follow them. 

So here’s what NOT to do when faced with a situation like this one:

1. Stop selling because people may not be buying - A lot of businesses pulled out of advertising and selling at the beginning of this period out of fear of compounding losses.

We did not see any reason to do this and continued as usual.

2. Overhaul your whole strategy - You know how it goes, “If it ain’t broke…”.

We simply weren’t seeing any issues with our strategy or with our sales numbers at this point therefore we didn’t see reason to throw away our strategy and messaging and start from scratch. 



3. Offer discounts because everyone is doing it - This was a trend common among big businesses in particular, which could maybe afford to sell at a loss in order to maintain positive perception of their business among customers.

Our client did not offer any special discounts during this time and it did not negatively affect his sales at all.

Our strategy centered around understanding the client’s business and market.

Ben’s business involved consumer ecommerce products sold through direct response online.

Demand for these products did not fall during this time therefore we did not stop advertising and our numbers were strong. 

The business benefited from some massive profits as a lot of businesses paused online advertising and click prices fell significantly.

This naturally led to lower acquisition costs and higher profits from online advertising.

This is just one of 5 products we advertised during this period -

advertised products report

Our No. 1 Takeaway - Don’t panic. Don’t blindly follow trends.

Understand how the state of affairs affects your business, and plan accordingly.

If you’re with us so far and liked what you’ve seen, here’s the question you’ll want to ask yourself:

Do I Need To Scale And Do I Need More Platforms?

Need More Platforms

Scaling And Being Dependant On A Single Platform Or Person 

By scaling your business, you’ll need access to larger volumes.

You need more people to click on your ads and funnels, which means that you need access to more data points.

You will need to broaden your audience, so that it’s less targeted, which is why your cost per acquisition (CPA) goes up.

For Ben, there was one clear drawback to relying on a single platform: if he launched a product offer and it wasn’t a success, he had to throw away all his work and start working on a new offer. 

This helped him realize he was running a risky marketing campaign.

His company depended on a single stream of buyers and one person to run everything.

The profits were good, but the risk of overdependence on one person, one stream of buyers, one platform, along with the risk of failed launches was too much.

Okay, but how do I figure out if I need to scale to more platforms?

Basically, it all depends on the kind of numbers you’re seeing and the kind of numbers you want to hit.

Let’s say you’re spending 5k per month on one platform.

You’re getting some crazy good ROAS numbers, 3x+ at times, which means you make 15k from your 5k investment.

You’re extremely happy with the numbers.

But let’s be real - 15k revenue simply isn’t close to the kind of goals you have for your brand, or for your business.

Case 1: You’re ready to invest more in ads and want to scale up your revenue.

You up your ad spend to 30k per month.

At this point you’ll see that you’re making more sales and acquiring more customers, but the ROAS isn’t as crazy good as it used to be.

Perhaps it’s fallen to under 2x.

This is the realistic number that most businesses making sales and aiming for close to 7 figure yearly revenues will see.

You’re still acquiring customers profitably and life is still good.

Case 2: You’re ready to scale up further, but now you’re finally hitting the ceiling.

You up your ad spend to 100k per month and suddenly everything gets worse.

Your ROAS drops down below 1.2x and basically the extra money you’re spending simply isn’t worth it.

This directly affects your cost of acquisition per customer and hits your profits hard.

If you’re familiar with Case 2, chances are you’re angry with your media buyer or agency.

But to be fair, they’re not suddenly worse at their job - they’re simply doing more of what they were doing before.

But the problem is that’s no longer enough.

That’s when you know you’ve hit a ceiling with your platform, and you need to be able to expand to multiple platforms, ensure compliance for all platforms, maintain your funnel and copy quality, and track all platforms and make sure they’re not cannibalizing each other’s performance. 

Scale Your eCommerce Business With Proper Ads Management

If you have an online business with a proven offer and if you are struggling to make your advertising profitable, then we’re quite certain we can help you escape the trap you're in.

Because based on our experience working with 7- and 8-figure online companies, we know that whenever a company struggles to advertise and make a profit, it means they neglect at least one of the 3 pillars of our IMPACT Method.

In fact, we’d say about 98% of businesses are missing out on at least ONE of them.

And once we help them fix it — their ad costs drop down, their conversions increase — and they are reaching the scale and profits they desire.

So to help you spot potential weak spots in your advertising, we’ve prepared a 3-minute self assessment test.

It reveals your IMPACT Score and tells you which pillars of your advertising need improvement to reach higher profits.