CASE STUDY: How a Local Business Generated 68 Leads in 3 days, for $.45 Each
I want to share a client campaign that typifies exactly why Facebook is the next channel you need to add to your marketing bag of tricks.
Local or national, B2C or B2B, the results are in; direct response advertising via social channels is most certainly alive and well.
Having said that, a fundamental grasp on your product & target audience is required before jumping in full-tilt.
Entering the conversation already happening amongst or between your target customers on a channel like Facebook with the wrong tone or message is like showing up to a funeral in a Hawaiian shirt. Hoping to sell vacuums.
Wrong place, wrong time, wrong offer.
So when an opportunity comes along to work with a business that is already fully engaged in the conversation and has invested some serious equity in their customer relationship, we jump at the chance.
This killer combination makes for a fun project with numerous possibilities.
This greater Boston based business was already a thriving brick and mortar with a healthy on and offline customer relationship. Serving local mothers and their children, the owner had worked passionately and diligently to provide TONS of value to families coming through the door.
Even still, the majority of traffic originated from word of mouth and repeat business. While this is a tremendous asset (a sterling reputation), every business, in our opinion, needs to have a paid traffic strategy to turn to when an influx of customers is needed.
Facebook checked all the boxes for this proposed campaign:
- Targeted demographic is moms…easy to ID on Facebook
- Majority of customer base originated in a 15-20 mile radius (also easy to target)
- The offer had the potential of virality (something moms would share again and again)
As promising as the campaign seemed, it also wasn’t without its challenges:
- No Prior Facebook Advertising Experience
- No Sales Funnel
- No Comprehensive Grasp on Customer Value/Proper Acquisition Cost
- Minimal Creative Assets (no videos)
What true marketers ever shy away from a challenge?
The Campaign Buildout
Now, there was some unconventionality to this particular campaign.
Typically most campaigns are built with specific financial objectives in mind. How much can we afford to pay for a customer, what is our break-even point, etc.
But without the proper financial insights, this one came down more to a “total budget allowed” kind of situation. Translation? We’d need to gauge the daily performance of the campaign and how it aligned with the risk tolerance of the business.
When a campaign gets rolling, we closely watch a handful of metrics of varying significance:
- Total Spend
- CPM (cost per thousand impressions)
- CTR (click through rate)
- CPC (cost per click)
- Cost Per Conversion
But before we get rolling, we’ll need to build out the specific campaign elements to make this baby roll. These include, but are not limited to:
- Ads (both for cold traffic and retargeting)
- A Landing Page
- Thank You Page
- Follow-up Email Campaign
Depending on the complexities or objectives of any given campaign there can be many additional elements or moving parts. This one was pretty standard, however:
Cold Traffic Ad Set: Facebook Ad (to cold traffic) > Landing Page (reiterating offer) > Thank You Page > Follow-Up Email
Retargeting Ad Set: Facebook Ad (with variation of copy) > (Remaining assets are the same)
With most any campaign we’ll roll out a number of ads with varying images and copy formats. These are a split test against one another in each ad set to determine early winners. For this campaign, as we’d suggest with any local initiative, we created a distinct ad set for each town that was targeted. This allowed for customized text that was unique to each city.
*Pro-Tip: Split test just one variable at a time when building a campaign . Keep the image the same and vary the copy, or vice versa. Varying more than one element will prevent you from isolating the difference-maker.
For this campaign, we wrote one piece of ad copy and tested it against 6 varying ad images. Once we hit “go”, it was time to sit back and let the algorithm do its thing.
This is usually the hardest time for tinkering marketers. The general rule states that for 2-3 days, you should be doing nothing but watching. Allow Facebook to gather statistically significant data about who is reacting to what ad before shutting things down or ramping anything up.
Sit on your hands, if need be.
Here’s what we saw after 3 days:
In the ideal scenario, a clear winner will present itself in the first 48-72 hours, making your decision easy. This campaign was no exception.
With a reach of 4,000+ people and 45 registrants at a cost of $.42 apiece, this was a no-brainer. We had a winner, and it was even clearer after investigating the individual post engagement numbers (likes, shares, comments, and reactions).
That particular ad generated this local business 45 registrations for approximately $18.
Would you take that kind of return on $18 in ad spend?
What would it mean for your business to have a reliable traffic source that you could turn on anytime you needed an influx of traffic?
This kind of early data and quick-response rate by the target audience meant we had a match with our offer and messaging that we could scale for larger results.
Building out a campaign and turning on the Facebook engine is one thing, but there are a number of other hidden elements that can impact the efficacy of your overall effort.
Let’s go over a few now.
Greasing Your Campaigns Trigger Points
Our primary responsibility as a digital ad agency is to drive customers to a businesses website/store/phone. Meaning, we generate leads. It’s what we do.
But a major indicator of campaign success is a businesses ability to follow-up and through with leads in a timely and consistent manner.
Businesses MUST be prepared to recognize the interest of this lead, take their virtual hand, and walk them towards a sale.
1. Call them. Like, now.
You have 10-15 minutes (give or take) after a lead is generated before they begin to “cool off”. Never is a prospect as hot to trot and likely to commit to moving closer to your desired action than when they’ve taken initiative and claimed your ad offer.
A key member of your office personnel must be on hand to (a) monitor leads as they come and (b) CALL them to invite them to take the next step (schedule an appointment, consultation, trial, etc.), and (b) follow up with them along the way via phone or email to make sure the momentum does not die.
2. The fruits are in the follow-up.
You may or may not make initial contact with your prospect. This is largely out of your control, but it’s OK. We have other ways of staying in touch, namely, email.
Every campaign must include what I like to call a “value-dump” email flow that prospects trigger when opting into your offer (this is why running your own campaigns instead of a local service like Groupon or Living Social…YOU get the customer contact info, YOU get to stay in touch with a personalized message…not some corporate robot with templated communications).
Here is an example of what value-dump flow might look like (this can all be set up inside your CRM and email service provider. If they are one and the same, even better. You do have a CRM, right?). Ignore the actual copy….this is just to give you an idea.
Email 1: Thank you for claiming your offer. Here’s your offer. Any questions? Call to schedule now, as spots are limited.
Email 2: We hope you got your offer. Are you still looking for (insert name of service you offer)? Can we help with that? Book your appt today and you also get 50% off (insert upsell offer).
Email 3: Here is a cool testimonial of a customer who had your problem…look how amazing their life is now
Email 4: Here is some free advice that people usually pay us for…give it a try! Let us know how it works
Email 5: Wow, spots from this offer are filling up fast and there’s a chance we’ll need to shut this down soon…grab your appointment before we’re all booked!
Get the idea? The intent is to stay front of mind with the prospect and make sure they stay focused in some fashion on your offer. The way to do this is to provide value & Urgency. Some people buy for different reasons, so your email flow needs to cover all prospects bases.
Here is the opening email from this campaign (we used MailChimp, but you can use Infusionsoft, Aweber, Drip, Active Campaign…there are a million of these babies out there):
This email was great because the owner wrote it. If possible, it’s always our preference to have the business write their own emails because they are best able to communicate the vision, passion, and desired outcome of success for their customer, or in the case of medical practitioners, patients.
As you can see, this email is warm + inviting. It triggered a number of calls, emails & visits right off the bat. Heck, I wanted to go visit, again!
What does your next campaign look like?
I hope you’ve been inspired through this walkthrough to consider what your next, or in many businesses cases, first, campaign will look like.
What killer offer can you come up with? What’s the messaging you’ll use to convey that it’s all about the prospect and their desires?
The best next steps are just to “do”. Think about it, but not for too long. Get in the game and start refining.