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Facebook Lead Ads for E-commerce

Steve and Stewart recap major takeaways from the Black Friday/Cyber Monday blitz then run through ways ecommerce companies can leverage Facebook lead ads.

Episode Transcript — Facebook Lead Ads for Ecommerce

00:01 Stewart Anderson: Welcome back to the Spend $10K a Day Podcast. I'm Stewart Anderson, the Chief Marketing Officer here at MuteSix. I have with me, as always, Steve Weiss, our CEO. Steve?

00:11 Steve Weiss: Hey! What's going on? Welcome back from Thanksgiving. Hope you guys ate a lot of food and had a lot of fun, turned off the computer, actually met some new people, looked your family in the eye, and had a great conversation about something other than politics. [chuckle]

00:25 SW: Actually, I just hope you guys enjoyed your time off. Welcome back to our podcast. Thank you again for taking the time out of your day to listen to us. And we really appreciate the ability to share all of our knowledge with the greater masses. And I'm just happy to be back on the microphone talking to you guys today.

00:45 SA: Yeah, it was nice to have some time off, but I'm definitely itching to get back and recording some content here. Today, we wanna talk about a couple things. I think, first, we wanna talk a little bit of a recap of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and talk about what you can carry into that post-period, marketing for the rest of the holiday season. What you should do, what you shouldn't do. And I think we wanna delve into one specific area of Facebook ads. And we're gonna touch on lead ads today, something we wrote about recently on our blog. And we'll talk about those areas today. So why don't we kick it off and talk a little bit right now about some of the things that we saw, Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Steve, what did you see on Facebook for the stuff that we were running for our clients, as well as some of the stuff you just saw out on Facebook when you were using it as a user? What do you think really, really worked this year? What do you think people should keep doing that was working on Black Friday and Cyber Monday into the rest of the holiday season?

01:41 SW: I really think having a unique ad experience on Black Friday or doing something unique as far as... Whether it could be a discount code, where it could be a product release, could be something new that you're adding to your site. Just something new and unique that brings people and causes a sense of urgency to make a purchase now. Obviously, on Black Friday, the urgency is around price. It's around lowering your price, you're giving a deal that is only available for 24 hours. But there's other ways besides price that you could create urgency. You could create scarcity at the amount of products. Obviously, connecting your ad experience to your supply chain, very important. We're in the loop with every client we work with, we're talking to 'em continuously about supply chain. How much of each product do you have? Just so we're aware of which products to market on Facebook, and also which products we could scale, 'cause we really... Our goal is to obviously spend $10,000 plus a day profitably.

02:45 SW: One big learning from the holiday season is there's still a lot of cheap ad inventory on Facebook. Everyone we talk to, we go into it thinking, "Oh, ad prices are skyrocketing, it's so hard, there's so much more competition." Well, we've disproved some of that notion because we've been able to be successful while at the most competitive times of the year. We've seen that there's a huge area that Facebook wants to actually promote your videos. Facebook wants the ability to promote awesome content. So, just to recap, scarcity elements. Leverage scarcity other than price. Do other types of price type scarcity. Number two, you need content, or you need graph to come in. Whether it's the video, whether it's just something unique about your brand that's gonna disrupt the thumb on the newsfeed. Remember, everyone's shopping from their mobile newsfeed, so, continuously focusing your creative around thumb disruption on the newsfeed. Stewart, you could talk a little more about some of our learnings, but I also wanna really jump into post-Black Friday strategy. What else could you do post-Black Friday to not lose any momentum that you're gaining from all the sales you generated on Black Friday?

04:03 SA: Yeah. I think I saw some really interesting things that were pretty compelling for me. One of the things... One of the types of businesses, I think did really well this year is any business, especially these single-product e-commerce companies, where they're selling one core concept and then maybe there's a subscription component, or like an added products on top of it where you're buying one machine or one thing, but then there's all sorts of accessories or there's an ongoing refill nature to it. Those companies were able to discount their products significantly, because they knew they were gonna make the money back by having somebody as a subscriber to whatever it is that was like that, that add-on.

04:45 SA: So for example, I bought from a company, we're not promoting them at all, but I bought a Juicero, and what really pulled me in is it's a fairly expensive item, usually, but because they get people in, their actual machine is a loss leader for them. They're making money by having people subscribe to their juice packs. They were actually able to discount their machine by 50%. That discount stood out a lot.Whereas for me, me as a marketer, I know and I'm seeing all these discounts that people are offering on Black Friday. Most of them just didn't even appeal to me, 'cause one, most companies couldn't offer a high enough discount to really catch my attention and say, "Oh, this thing, I haven't needed yet, I still don't really need it." But these guys, when I saw that 50% discount, I was like, "I know how these guys were gonna make their money anyway, but still, I'm gonna buy this thing." So I think those types of companies that knew that they could lose money on whatever that first purchase is, they probably did pretty well. And they can carry that tactic throughout the holiday season. It could just be a holiday promo. It's like, "Get healthy... "It's anything where you can run a large, large discount, I think you don't have to restrict that to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If it works, keep that going. If you're another type of business though, I think you can probably get away from heavy discount pricing, or heavier discount pricing, after Cyber Monday.

06:07 SW: One thing to really note. I guess that falls under the scarcity elements of marketing. So, I always like to say that being very thoughtful of how you discount your product will give you the ability and the flexibility to play around a lot more in the futures.

06:24 SA: Yeah. And that brings me to the other thing I noticed a lot of companies doing, which was a little bit different than I have seen previously on the Black Friday or Cyber Monday period, is instead of discounting their products, they've actually tried to add value. So they say, "Hey, you're gonna get an additional item if you buy something." Whether it's just another one of the same items, or if they have several different items in their catalog, they're saying, "Hey," I think Casper's doing this right now, actually, post-Cyber Monday, they're saying, "Hey, if you buy a mattress, you can... " Or actually, they're doing, save a couple hundred bucks on if you buy a mattress, a sheet set, and a pillow together. But I saw some other companies doing something where it's like, "Hey, if you buy this central item, we're also gonna give you two more items," like accessories, "for free." So instead of subtracting value from their brand and focusing on discounting, they're just adding value. And the other benefit to that, too, is that it enables brands to get people in more. If people own more of your products in...

07:22 SW: Put more products in their hand...

07:23 SA: Exactly.

07:24 SW: Which is gonna allow them to make more purchases.

07:26 SA: Increases brand loyalty. 'Cause if you have somebody using one of your products, or you have them using three all together, the people who are using three are more likely to be loyal customers, buying from you again.

07:36 SW: Just to recap Steve's idea, just to focus this clearly, 'cause I think a lot of companies are so quick to discount their item off. Instead of going after the discount, not only on Black Friday and but also after Black Friday, try thinking about adding more product or more value to your offering. What else can you add to your offering that'll incentivize someone to make a purchase right now?So, obviously, Stu brought up a great example, bedding. You're gonna offer sheets, you're gonna offer maybe a pillow. So instead of discounting something and lowering the bar to entry to purchase your product, which might not be good in some instances, because it might piss off consumers who have purchased your product previously. If you're selling your bed for 50% off, and I just bought your bed a week ago, I'm gonna be pissed off. I'm gonna be like, "Why the heck did I just spend all this money on the bed." I think that's a very cool, unique way of actually adding more value to the experience and increasing the LTV, or the lifetime value of the user.

08:39 SA: It also really works in the season of gifting, too. So obviously, if you buy one item from one person, yeah it can work, but now, you can think, "Hey. If you're paying the same price as you would for our one main item, you're gonna get almost like a gift set." So like bedding as an example, if we use that one again. Let's say you're selling just the normal sheets and pillow cases. If you say, "Hey, we're also gonna give you two extra pillow cases, a carrying case, and a couple pillows," all of a sudden, you have a gift set. And the person that you're gifting to is getting more and you look better, because at the end of the day, even though we think discounts, low prices, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, ultimately, what's motivating people to buy, if they're not buying for themselves, during this season, is emotional rather than financial. People wanna get the right gift. They want the person who they're buying the gift for to be enthusiastic and happy about what they're getting. That's more important to them, in most cases, than saving a little bit of money.

09:35 SW: Yup. So, we discussed a couple things here. Number one, being creative with the economics of your deals. Not always being the one to lower the prices, adding more value to it. Another thing... One other idea to touch on that, that I've seen is very popular in some stores, this is kind of new model that not a lot of people have tested in in terms of our clients, but here in the affiliate world, it works very well, and I just wanted to share the idea, is taking one of your lower-end products, maybe it could be a pillow case or something that is very low-cost to produce, and just giving it away for free but charging shipping. This is another way of getting your product in as many people's hands as possible, and then you have... And then once they order your product, then you could have specific cross-sell ads being served to them based upon prior user behavior. This is very popular in more of the lower-end e-commerce space of people who have low COV products. But this is just an idea that I've heard is very successful right now at a couple of our stores.

10:42 SA: Yeah, absolutely. So, what do you think in terms of things that people can do during the holiday season, now, to market up through the Christmas and Hanukkah period? We're past Black Friday, we're past Cyber Monday, what should people be doing now?

11:01 SW: I think one of the biggest things that I think you should really be focusing on is cross-selling. I think that you have a lot of customer data, that you're sitting on, of stuff that people have bought in the past, you have all this order data of stuff people have bought. Now, what if you cross-sold? What if all the people who bought this bed, now, you're cross-selling them that specific segment... Series of other products? So putting in a really intelligent cross-selling on Facebook, which, it's not very hard, but you could easily storyboard specific cross-sells for every segment of your customer base.

11:36 SA: Definitely.

11:37 SW: I think that not a lot of people are really thinking about the psychology of what people who previously bought will buy next. I think using some type of predictive analysis or just understanding that a little more, maybe having a meeting within your team just about cross-selling, could be really impactful for your business.

11:53 SA: Yeah, absolutely. I think another thing I've talked about with some of our clients and some of the people ask me for advice about marketing during this period of the year, is talk about logistics in your advertising campaigns, which sounds really weird. But during this time period and especially if it's a gifting-related campaign, even if you're not providing an added benefit, even if you're not offering free shipping or something like that, you can say, "Hey, order now to have it there by Christmas. Order by this date," something that's coming up pretty soon, "to make sure it gets here by Christmas." Have that in your ads because it reminds people, "Hey, I gotta get something pretty quickly." It inspires that sense of urgency, which ultimately drives action.

12:36 SW: Also, be current. One other thing, one other little hack in your ad copy is try and be as current as possible. Saying stuff like, "Only 10 days 'til Christmas," that's something that'll disrupt the newsfeed. Even better, having an image that says, "Only 10 days 'til Christmas, order now." That type of stuff, being current in your marketing especially over the holidays, is stuff that actually gets a much higher CTR, leads to higher conversion rates to the site. Anything that you could do with timing, timing, timing, timing, and creating ad copy around timing is a winner nine-tenths of the game. I know I clicked on an ad a couple days ago for one of my favorite t-shirt companies that I buy a lot of t-shirts from, and it said, "You only have 12 hours left on Black Friday." And I thought that was pretty cool that they actually had ads going up on different parts of Black Friday talking about how much longer you have. 12-hour ads, eight-hour ads. They're actually creating ads based on the time of day of how much longer the sale is.

13:40 SA: Yeah. Definitely. I think this should cover a lot of topics. A lot of stuff for the holidays, or a lot of those tactics, are things... A lot of the effective stuff is stuff that you really wanted to start a few months ago, things like gift guides. But there's a lot of stuff you can do right now. Obviously, we've gone through a couple of these right here, talking about logistics, staying current. Those are always really important, really, really impactful. So we hope that when you guys are advertising for this holiday period that you're getting hopefully as much volume as possible, keeping your CPA as low as possible. If you have any questions for us, by the way, we're always available,, And we'd love to answer your questions if you have 'em. But let's... Steve, you wanna talk a little bit about lead ads?

14:29 SW: I just wanna provide just the basic conclusion. Number one, you really wanna be focused around the psychology of your deal. So, again, instead of providing lower dollar signs in your deal, maybe provide extra value for the customer. Then number two, for unique content, try and be as current to the time as possible. Try and say, whether it's a Black Friday deal, "12 hours left," whether, "You have 10 more days 'til Christmas," really try to be as current as possible. Those are two main thoughts I really wanna get you guys in, 'cause that's how I see... I see huge amounts of value in just making those small tweaks.

15:07 SA: Definitely, definitely. I jumped the gun a little bit there. So, now let's talk a little bit about lead ads on Facebook. We are gonna talk specifically about e-commerce today. How e-commerce businesses can use lead ads. We recently put out a blog post talking about six different ways that e-commerce businesses can test out lead ads and use them for various different reasons. Steve, why don't we talk about a least a few of them today, and flesh them out a little bit more, and talk about how these can help build email lists, not only lists of emails just in general, but really targeted lists. People that actually wanna buy. How can e-commerce businesses use lead ads for that?

15:46 SW: Before we jump into how to use lead ads, I wanna make sure that everyone knows what leads ads is, tongue twister there. And then number two, how to integrate leads ads with your current email marketing system. So number one, obviously, if you've run Facebook ads, lead ads gives you the mechanism to capture people's contact information, or custom fields of contact information, inside of Facebook without ever leaving Facebook. Great tool for just generating emails, generating feedback, etcetera, etcetera. Number two, best practice, number one, before you run lead ads, most of the time, you wanna connect leads ads to your current CRM system, whether you're using Klaviyo or Bronto. There's a really cool tool called LeadsBridge, and there's other tools, that integrate with Facebook that'll actually integrate both Facebook to your CRM system.

16:43 SW: So, we always highly recommend, if we're running leads ads, to always integrate that with the email system. Or if you're running lead ads, in some cases, to a lead form, where you're capturing a lead information to close a deal, or say you're a mortgage company, or an insurance company, we highly recommend integrating leads ads with some type of CRM system so you could automatically call that person up right off the lead ad. If you have any questions about that, happy to answer them, but let's jump into the post. So, number one, we've had a ton of success using leads ads as a mechanism to test out a new product or idea.

17:22 SA: Yeah. This is like an old school kind of like growth hacky entrepreneur tactic. A lot of the time, when people are validating new ideas, what they'll do is they'll set up a landing page somewhere. Put up some copy that explains the potential concept, drive traffic to it, and see how many people sign up. The goal is to see, "Okay, out of x number of people that saw an ad or came to this landing page, how many people were actually interested enough to put their email address down?" It's a way for people to prove out whether they should keep pursuing an idea or just toss it. So, an e-commerce business that's thinking about new products to develop can obviously do that, because they probably have an existing audience, where they can drive some traffic to it with ads. Lead ads is a perfect tool for that.

18:05 SA: You think of, like, "Okay, how am I presenting this new idea?" You put that in lead ads and they headline a copy, and you see how many people give their information, say, "Hey. Notify me when this is available." Or, "Put me on the early access list." Stuff like that. And if you get a good conversion rate on that, and you'll know what is based on your business, if you get a good return on it, you could say, "Hey, this is a really good idea." And the benefit is not only do you get that information about whether that concept is valid... Sorry. Is valuable or not, you also have your first set of customers. 'Cause the people who're signing up, they say, "Hey. I wanna buy this."

18:42 SW: You got people to market to. Yeah, that's really interesting. I think that validation with as little ad spend as possible is obviously the goal for everyone who starts an e-commerce site.

18:53 SA: Yeah.

18:53 SW: Number two, which is really interesting, is just one of our ideas that we've come up with over the years, is a lot of e-commerce companies have inventory that's just kinda sitting around. They have a finite amount of inventory that's sitting around that they wanna get rid of. And this works perfectly with lead ads. Leveraging lead ads, along with a discount code for a specific piece of merchandise. Enter your information in to to get these sheets for 50, or 75% off. And then there's a discount code there inside it. And you automatically email... Or should I say, you automatically email them the discount code. You could control the amount of inventory you sell this way for a specific product, or if you just wanna blow through, you have another 3,000 or 4,000 units sitting around that you just wanna sell without having to go through your website, where you might oversell the inventory, this is a way to really do a controlled sell for a specific amount of inventory.

19:52 SA: Yeah. And just general discount goods, too, it's typical of a lot of sites where they offer a new user, or new customer, discount. If they wanna do any sort of intro promo, or anything that's being offered on things like "Exit in 10" pop-ups on sites, you can do that as a lead ad and see if your conversion rate is higher.

20:13 SW: Yup. Exactly. That's a really good point. I think dispensing discount codes, getting their emails, and bringing value. Giving them a reason to give you their email, like trading a code for an email. The third one, which is really interesting, is improving your look-alike audiences. So, just to give you a background. Facebook will look at the people that are logged into Facebook and visit your site at the same time. Remember, to really be able to harness custom audiences, people have to be logged into your website. Well, if you get their email address, now, that's a lot better of a user to create custom look-alike audiences around than just a website custom audience, because remember, Facebook isn't capturing 100 users that are sitting on your shopping cart, because maybe only 80 of them are actually logged into Facebook at the same time. Whereas if you have an email list of people that have Facebook accounts, it's a lot better way of connecting look-alikes than building really customized look-alikes off of email.

21:17 SW: So, harnessing audience data is highly important. I think it's an amazing way to leverage lead ads, especially for creating specific audiences for specific products on your website. So maybe you only wanna sell these specific t-shirts to this demographic. Well, come up with a lead ad, and just create look-alikes, create 1,000 emails, and start creating look-alikes off only these users who submitted their email.

21:43 SA: Yeah. Especially if you're just targeting the time-on-site audience and other things, you can take people who maybe haven't given you their email address yet but are still quality users, potential customers, and you just hone your audiences more. So, now, you take a lot of high-quality traffic and say, "How do I even further refine this into a separate look-alike, or a separate customer that's gonna be used in look-alike audiences?" This is probably a tactic that's gonna be used more by larger spenders, but it's still a very, very valuable tactic.

22:11 SW: Yeah. I think there... Leveraging lead ads for audience segmentation, I think, is huge. It's something that not a lot of people are doing at scale. The next one is a pre-sale tool. What this means is, let's say you're selling a $5,000 coaching product. Obviously, no one's gonna buy your coaching product on how to sell real houses or real estate. No one's gonna buy your coaching product off the first impression. They need to nurture you into a sale. Do lead nurturing. So, being able to capture a very inexpensive user off of Facebook or a lead at a very low-cost rate, to get them into your funnel is nine-tenths of the game.

22:54 SA: Yeah, absolutely. I think, ultimately, if you have a high-cost product, you're gonna have to do a lot of content marketing, as Steve said. You're doing a lot of nurturing. And if you have somebody's email address, that nurturing and content distribution is way, way easier. 'Cause you can just email them. You can send them what they need to know, and hopefully, that'll convince them and make a purchase. It's a great way to use lead ads. Similar, I think it's the next one, it's probably similar that we put it on the list, is selling the old-fashioned way. Sometimes, you actually have to do individual sales. You have to do a product demo or something like that. Having somebody make an appointment for a demo, or something similar. Pretty useful way to use lead ads.

23:36 SW: Yeah, I think that goes with what I was saying. Keeping it simple. There's this old line that my football coach used to tell me. It was called Kiss. K-I-S-S. Keep It Simple, Stupid. And [chuckle] sometimes, when you do online marketing, I know I'm guilty of this, I try and over-complicate stuff. But if you keep it old-fashioned, you just say, "I wanna do a survey for a specific segment of users just to learn what these users want, what they like." Another way of doing this is to really get... You could target leads ads to costumers who bought in the past, with a series of questions. You could use leads ads as a review form to see how your product is. These are just some ideas on how to... The power of lead ads, which, I feel like, is Facebook does a really piss-poor job of explaining the best uses of it. But I think we found a number of uses for leads ads that are kinda unconventional.

24:38 SA: Yeah. And then we have one more on there, which is running a contest. So obviously, with anything related to a contest or sweepstakes, things like that, you need to make sure that you follow Facebook's policies regarding contests and then any local laws you have. But for the most part, as long as you're not doing something super shady, you can actually run a contest by just saying, "Hey, enter your email address to get a chance to win." And then when you pick an email address at the end of it, send them the prize, you're giving them the prize, whatever it is. But these grab a lotta eyeballs. These can get great results. 'Cause ultimately, if you're giving away something, a discount code could work, but if you tell somebody, "Hey, all we need is your email address and you can win something that costs 10 grand," you can get a lot of people that are gonna be...

25:22 SW: And plus, you could run a contest as a Facebook ad. You can literally exclude all of your current customers and run a contest just to new people who've never bought your product. And that's a great way, top-of-funnel to get people into your funnel. That's a really cool tactic.

25:37 SA: Yeah. The one thing to remember, and this goes for any contest you run anywhere, whether it's on Facebook or anywhere else, because it solves one of the biggest mistakes I see even talented marketers make, which is make sure that whatever you're giving away is a product that you have, or something that indicates, or is related enough to your products where it indicates that the people who are entering would want your product. I see so many contests out there where it's like, "Hey, win a $500 Amazon gift card." What you're getting, when you run a contest like that, is a list of people who were really, really interested in winning an Amazon gift card. If your business isn't in the business of selling Amazon gift cards, you're causing problems for yourself. You're wasting a bunch of money.

26:19 SW: And yeah, you're just wasting money to people who want gift cards. So, this is just a really cool recap. I'm a big proponent of leveraging lead ads for getting feedback. We're in a feedback economy with reviews. So, using leads ads to really get feedback on your product before you release something is really interesting. Because I feel like people wanna go on Facebook to... They don't wanna come back to your site. I always get these emails saying, "Review a product that you just bought." But what if you could take the 500 or 1,000 people that you already sold that product to and just create a leads ad around it with custom forms, and just run ads to those 1,000 people who bought your product? Just to get reviews.

27:00 SA: 'Cause you can set custom fields and what you can do there, you combine... One of our others things, it's like, "Hey. Fill out this quick survey," it could be two or three questions or something like that, "and get $10 off your next order, or 10% off."

27:11 SW: What else we saw was that we have people that are really good at connecting leads ads to their CRM systems. So you could actually connect your lead ads to a call center, and actually, once they click "submit" on a lead ad, you could have a call center rep from your call center actually call that user up, or have an automated system call that user up to be connected to someone. If you have a service that you're trying to sell, maybe it's like life insurance, or some type of service-based business, you could connect leads ads to whatever call center. Or you could even automatically remotely send them a text message once they sign up. There's a whole lot of marketing automation that you could do on the backend of lead ads, which I think that a lot of people aren't even exploring.

27:56 SA: Yeah. There's a whole lot of highly technical implementations of lead ads. You usually need a developer or some pretty sophisticated systems. But I think we're gonna probably do a dedicated podcast just on that topic. So, watch out for that comin' up sometime pretty soon. But yeah, we're glad to have you here on the podcast again. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and a very, very successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As always, I'm Stewart Anderson, our Chief Marketing Officer. With me...

28:25 SW: And I'm Steve Weiss. And hope you got a lot out of leads ads. If we put you to sleep, wake up. It's time to make some money. And I don't think we put anyone to sleep, though. I think this is some really interesting stuff that's gonna help grow your business. It's gonna make you a lot of money and it's gonna put you a step ahead of your competition. 'Cause that's what we want. We wanna give you the edge to really move forward.

28:46 SA: Yeah. Ultimately, spending $10K a day profitably is reachable by pretty much any business, and we're gonna help you get there.

28:55 SW: Yep.

28:55 SA: Have a good one, guys. We'll see you next time on the Spend $10K a Day Podcast...

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