How To Make Facebook Ads Work for e-Commerce

by | Jan 3, 2017

Do Facebook Ads actually work for eCommerce?

The short answer is Yes, they do.

The longer answer is yes, they do, but only if you do them right.

Want to know what right looks like? Read on…

Facebook Ads can definitely work for e-commerce.

I know that for sure.

I’m even more sure that if you set about doing Facebook ads the wrong way, it’s a complete money pit. (I’ve learned that the hard way with my own cash)

The days of just being able to slap up an ad, get clicks for three pence and watch the sales come in are long gone.

The Facebook Ad platform is evolving at an incredible rate, and the number of people using it is increasing every minute. That means more complexity, and more competition.

Which means it becomes a more difficult nut to crack by the day.

To be successful you have to know what you’re doing, do things the right way and look at the big picture.

I don’t mean you need to know the latest “secret” or “hack”.

I mean you need to have a plan, and make sure all the right elements of a holistic digital campaign or “funnel” are in place to make the most of your ad spend.

What’s the one reason you need this funnel?

Visitor intent

It’s critical to understand your visitors frame of mind when they arrive from a Facebook ad.

Facebook is amazing for being able to reach millions of people and really scale your reach.

The people you’re reaching can be highly targeted – you can reach people who fit your ideal customer profile exactly, but…

They’re not looking for you.

They’re not searching for your products and looking to buy.

They’re browsing their friends updates and passing time by watching cat videos or reading Buzzfeed articles, or whatever your customers do.

You’re interrupting them!

This requires a very different approach than simply showing them your product’s features and benefits.

You need to take them on a journey, and interact with them in different ways depending on where they are in the journey.

A fairly basic integrated funnel for e-Commerce might look like this:

Four Ad campaigns on Facebook:

A single ad won’t cut it – a campaign that works talks to people differently depending on where they are in the funnel. You might have at least these 4 campaigns running:

1 – Targeting cold prospects

Using interests or lookalike audiences. This might contain two types of targeting and multiple different ads and ad formats. Video works well for this top of the funnel step, but it’s not the only way.

2 – Retargeting the people who clicked the “cold” ads

To introduce your brand or offer to them. Maybe asking them to sign up to your email list to get an incentive like a discount or free product.

3 – Targeting people who’ve viewed your products but not bought them.

Probably using Dynamic Product Ads (the ones where the products follow you around facebook? – yeah, them.)

4 – Ads to your existing customers

They bought from you once and you delighted them, there’s a good chance they will again

A remarketing campaign on Google.

Because why just have the products follow your visitors on facebook, when you could stalk them on the whole internet? 🙂 Seriously, you’ve paid to get someone’s attention, you need to make the most of that and have more than one go at convincing them of your brand’s merits.

A great “Opt in” offer

It might be as simple as “10% off your first order” but something that makes it worthwhile to sign up to your email list. Sign up to get my newsletter doesn’t cut it. No one wants a newsletter – they want something interesting and worth their while…

Email automation

This is typically where the payback on your ads comes from – well crafted email sequences can more than double your return on ad spend. They don’t have to be complicated, but this type of automation can be the difference between a failed campaign and one that churns profits every day. You’ll probably wand these 3 customised sequences in your email service provider

1 – A welcome sequence for people who sign up

To introduce yourself properly and familiarise your subscribers with what you have to offer.

2 – An abandoned basket sequence

People leave their baskets un-bought for all kinds of reasons – some just get distracted and never come back – a gentle reminder can work wonders to up your conversion rate.

3 – A post purchase sequence

Once someone’s bought from you, you want to do your best to keep them as repeat customer, and you certainly want chance to address any issues they have, and perhaps get them to write a review. An automated email is perfect for doing this consistently.

A “tripwire” offer

This sinister sounding offer is actually great for customers, don’t worry! It’s actually about presenting a new subscriber with an irresistible opportunity to become a customer. Something that’s so good it’s hard to refuse, and tips them from being a subscriber to a customer.

Ideally this will be a low price, but high value item – something which is a low risk investment for the customer and makes buying from you an easy decision. This can be tricky for retailers of physical products, but it is possible and works like a dream when you get it right. It might be selling a product at below cost, or even giving it away free if the customer pays for shipping.

Why do this? The difference between a subscriber, and a customer who has proven they’re willing to give you money is huge – and once you prove the quality of your product, then your chances of repeat custom seriously increase.

Some key assets on your website

Informational articles / videos or “introduction” pages to direct people to from the “cold” Ads (this is about gaining trust and proving value before asking for the sale)

A great landing page to convert visitors into subscribers.

Proper implementation of the Facebook pixel to track visitors, conversions purchases and amounts spent. Without this you can’t retarget, and will have no clue whether your campaign is profitable or a money sink.

Proper implementation of the google remarketing pixel to show the most relevant ads to visitors

A frictionless opt in to your newsletter – (double opt in just doesn’t cut it in e-Commerce)

An exit intent pop up to maximise subscribers with a “before you go” offer.

An “upsell” to make sales of your tripwire profitable.

Customised reporting

Linking your website, analytics, email provider and Ad platforms. (This is perhaps the most critical part – you MUST know the numbers inside out to make this profitable)

And this is Basic?

Yes, this is what a basic campaign (that works) looks like these days.

There’s no denying it looks complicated. But, actually, it’s pretty simple when you think it through.  Take a look at this graphic that tries to link all of this together. The more parts of this map you put in place, the better your results will be.

None of the individual parts are actually that complex – but each part makes the others more effective.

This is what we do at Rethink Business.

Integrated digital marketing that actually works. If you’re interested in a real life case study of how we set a funnel like this up for a client, click below. It’s currently returning them 5x their advertising spend every day. Feel free to copy what’s working or ask us about setting this up for you.

Grab Your Case Study of A Funnel Returning 5x Spend