How MuteSix is Making Direct Response Ads Work at Scale on Facebook

by Greg Gillman on Nov 20, 2017 12:13:26 PM Social Media

Making direct response ads work on Facebook is hard. Making them work at scale is even harder.

But like anything worth having, nothing comes easy.

Today I'm going to reveal how the team at MuteSix are scaling direct response campaigns on Facebook. 

I'm going to talk about the funnels we've used for major e-commerce brands and how you can implement them too.

If you're spending $50,000 or more on Facebook ads, or are looking to do so, then this article is for YOU.

Breaking down direct response and scaling

Before I talk about strategies, I want you to truly understand the words direct response and scaling in conjunction with Facebook.

Direct response in marketing, as the name gives away, is used to evoke some sort of response from the prospect or customer that can be measured. The action can be anything from engaging with your Facebook ad to placing an order.

The further someone is in your funnel, the more likely they are going to take action.

For example, a prospect who has added an item to their cart but hasn't yet ordered is going to respond more positively to an abandon cart retargeting advert than a cold visitor who is shown a product to buy.

Your direct response messaging needs to be personalized based on where a prospect is in your funnel. The higher they are in your funnel, the easier the action has to be (e.g. click to visit your website or to opt in).

The further they are in your funnel, the more complex the action can be (e.g. purchase).

A huge mistake we see on Facebook is e-commerce brands using the same direct response messaging at all levels of the funnel. Below, I'll show you different types of direct response messaging based on the audience.

Next up is the big one: Scale.

Your most profitable audiences on Facebook are custom audiences such as:

  • customer lists,
  • website visitors,
  • add to carts, and
  • purchases.

To increase the size of these audiences, you need to scale the top of your funnel (acquiringacquiring new website visitors). These new visitors will trickle into your website custom audiences, add to carts and, eventually, customer lists.

There is no short cut – you cannot grow your customer list without first growing your add to cart audience, and you cannot grow your add to cart audience without first growing your website custom audience, and you cannot grow.... well, you get the point.

That's the only way you scale – by getting NEW visitors to your store.

With that out of the way, I'm going to show you how to use direct response ads and tips to scale your Facebook ads.

Direct response messaging at various levels of your funnel

Your direct response messaging at the top of your funnel needs to establish a connection with the new prospect and get them to learn more about your product or brand.

Your messaging should inspire prospects to make an action of liking your page, watching your video, or clicking to view your product.

The best way to achieve these goals is through video as you can reach more of your audiences for less spend. 

Example: PreHeels sell a clear protective spray that helps protect feet from blisters and cuts for anyone wearing high heels.

Our goal was to get people to watch the entire video and click the 'Shop Now' button to view the product.

picture 1.jpg

We tested a number of videos and found that raw footage of a young woman talking passionately about the product worked better than using a highly produced video.

Our ad copy started with a promise (never get a blister again), and how the prospect could get rid of their pain in seconds and get relief for hours.

The message was powerful and something the target audience could relate to. This ensured that they consumed the entire video, with many of them visiting the website.

Prospects who clicked through and did not check out were retargeted through direct response ads to take action to buy. Only after interacting with our video or visiting the website did we use direct response ads to ask them to purchase.

We took the exact same approach with Grunt Style on Instagram, but used a combination of video and carousel ads.

Carousel and image ads work a lot better on Instagram as prospects use them to discover new products. With this in mind, our top of the funnel message was to raise awareness for their apparel clothing.

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We then retargeted anyone who added an item to their cart with a dynamic product ad to purchase, while excluding anyone who ordered to avoid showing redundant ads.

By using this method, you can further segment your add to cart and website visitor audience based on the time they last visited your site or added items to their cart.

For example:

  1. 0-5 days – No offer, just a direct response message add asking them to complete checkout.
  2. 6-10 days – A direct response ad tied with a 10% discount off their first order.
  3. 11-12 days – A direct response ad tied with a 15% discount valid for only 24 hours.

Breaking down your custom audiences like this gives you the best possible chance of turning prospects into customers. If your first direct response doesn't work, pivot the offer and try again, and again.

Always look for new audiences 

If you're looking to spend over $50,000 per month on Facebook ads but aren't continually looking for new audiences, you WILL hit a growth roadblock.

It won't take long to reach your entire target market when running ads with high spend.

The first step we look at when scaling is the international audiences where the brand can ship (Canada is a great place to start). Latin America and Asia are also great places to test as these are less competitive markets – you can gain a lower CPA than the US market.

One caveat to targeting international markets is the cost of shipping. We found that running offers that encourage shoppers to order larger amounts tend to work better as they compensate for shipping costs. 

Instead of asking audiences to buy one item, run offers where if they buy five, they get two free. International audiences have a lower average order frequency, so you can reclaim the revenue lost by using direct response ads to increase the average order value.

Gift audiences are another untapped audience that brands neglect. If your product can be bought as a gift for a partner, they can work well, especially during the holiday season.  

Scaling without breaking the bank

The secret to scaling while maintaining a reasonable cost comes down to two main factors:

Creatives that produce organic reach – To scale campaigns at the top of the funnel, your messaging and copy needs to be able to create its own organic reach.

What I mean by this is, people who view your ads want to tag their friends or share the video on their timeline without you having to ask them. Creatives that have a viral element at the top of the funnel allow you to reach more users outside of your targeting for FREE.

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This adds social proof to your campaigns and allows you to hit hundreds of thousands of users at zero cost.

Having a funnel in place – This is very important when running any type of paid ad. Breaking the customer journey on Facebook into various stages allows you to identify bottlenecks quickly and fix them.

A typical Facebook funnel we run for a product would look something like this:

1. Engage with a cold audience with a video, carousel, or DPA ad

  1. Retarget video views and website visitors with a DPA ad based on their website behavior
  2. Retarget users who added items to their cart but didn't purchase
  3. Cross-sell customers based on purchase history

Each of these four steps can be broken down into smaller steps, with each one being measured and tweaked where needed. Having this type of funnel allows you to personalize your direct response messaging and ad copy which, in turn, lowers your CPA.

Scale a 50k+ month Facebook ad budget

These are a few of the scaling strategies that we use to turn e-commerce stores into e-commerce giants.

A lot of testing needs to go into the type of messaging, images, and offers you use at each level of your funnel.

When you're spending over $50,000 per month on Facebook ads, if you aren't testing everything, then huge gaps will appear in your Facebook ad strategy with campaigns sucking up thousands of dollars per day, producing a negative ROI.

To lower your CPA, you need to test and go with the creatives that work best. The good thing is that higher budgets make testing easy and fast, so you'll quickly know what works and what doesn't.

Greg Gillman is the Director, Business Development, at MuteSix, a performance marketing agency specializing in customer acquisition on Facebook and Google.

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