eCommerce Lifestyle
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How We Lowered Our Facebook CPA By 67%

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In this episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast, Anton shares a test he ran over the weekend which resulted in lowering Facebook CPAs by 67%!

  • Our Facebook rep told us to test video lengths, so we did a quick test and saw some great results.
  • Shorter videos definitely were outperforming.
  • We did split tests with some of our longer videos that already were performing well and noticed the shorter versions were doing better.
  • Go to dropshipwebinar.com if you feel you might be new and need some training before diving into all this data.
  • Transcripts

    Hey, what's up everybody? Anton here from ecommercelifestyle.com and today I'm going to share something really cool that I just got conclusive data on and that is a test that we were running that literally cut our CPA, our cost per acquisition by a third. And this is in Facebook ads, so if you're running Facebook ads, you're thinking of running them. Definitely listen to this episode. It's going to be relatively short like all of them, but yeah, this is something that you could test yourself. I would recommend testing it because it did work for us, but I'll show you how you can literally do the same exact test yourself and see how it works for you.

    Before we get into it. I do just want to say thank you for all of the comments and the feedback from the last podcast episode that I published, which was the first ever interview style podcast where we had John Murphy on who was a member of dropship lifestyle and he shared a lot about his story, how he broke $100,000 in sales a month with a hundred competitors, how he was able to still thrive after he found out his niche was not allowed on Google ads.

    So definitely listen to that if you haven't yet. And I do want to say thank you to Karen, actually to Terry who left a recent review on iTunes for e-commerce lifestyle and Terry's left five stars, so thank you Terry. And she said, "Anton is a knowledgeable host who brings his A-game to every interview. Settle in and listen if the eCommerce lifestyle is in your wheelhouse." So I love it. Again, thank you to Terry and if you're listening to this podcast, you like it and you haven't left a review, I would really appreciate it. If you're getting value, please hop on over to iTunes, takes you a minute and just let me know what you think. It helps more people find the show and yeah, I enjoy it. I like the feedback. So hop on over to iTunes, take a minute, leave a review. And again, I would appreciate that.

    So thank you. So what we're going to talk about today is something that I've been testing since, I think it was Thursday, probably last Thursday. So very, very short test. And this was again in our Facebook ads account and this test, the way that I had the idea, the way that I started it was thanks to my Facebook rep in Chicago. So [Dirartu 00:02:12] in Chicago. Thank you for this one. You know, I've talked about Facebook reps in the past, we've had some great ones, Brandon in Austin, amazing. If you're listening to this, thank you for everything. We've also had some Facebook reps where there's just been no communication. Now we have at least a monthly calls and I'm always getting like real proactive advice that helps us to grow. So the call that I had last week was again in regards to the normal stuff, how can we cut our costs while increasing our return on ad spend?

    How can we spend more at better return on ad spend? And what the Facebook rep recommended to me was split testing video length of our ads. So if you listen to the podcast, you know that I'm a big fan of video ads specifically for remarketing, but also on the front end. And what she had said to me is where the results are across the board, right? Like seeing at the best prices with the best return on ad spend. Not in our account, but in the industry as a whole. Basically shorter is better. So she was noticing that a lot of our videos are two minutes long, three minutes long, four minutes long. And she said if you can cut them down to 15 seconds, try that as a test and see how it compares. Because as a general rule of thumb, based on what they're seeing, those shorter videos are outperforming.

    Now, obviously you're listening to this podcast or you're watching it maybe on YouTube or something, you know that for me to cut anything to 15 seconds is really hard because I like to discuss these topics. I enjoy it. Even when we're running ads, I want to get across all the different value propositions so you have to take a two minute video even and turn it into 15 seconds. I was like, "Listen, I don't think I could do that." And she basically said as long as you can get the main value proposition across, try to keep it with that and that's it. A short as possible. So for me, I think the shortest version I was able to make was 32 seconds, so not at 15 but what I did was take a video that was three minutes long and I got a 32 second version made and then I got a 60 second version made.

    And the, the shorter versions again were the same as the longer version, the three minute version. But there were parts just cropped out trying to get as direct as possible, as straight to the point as possible. So same creative, same message, just things not there that I guess didn't have to be or that was the implication or the... I think that's what she was trying to get across. Just get straight to the unique value proposition. So we had those ads made, had somebody on our team work with me on that, and then I started this test. Now here's also where this gets interesting and something that you should learn from this episode. Traditionally, the way that we test things on Facebook and the way that we have since who knows, six, seven years ago whenever I started using Facebook ads, the way that we do it is take the new ad, put it into the ad set that we have that's already performing.

    Typically we'll turn off the worst performing ad, have the new one in there, we'll let it run and we'll see how it does comparatively to the other ads in the ad set. So let's just say there were five ads in the ad set. What I would traditionally do is go in there and turn off the worst one, upload the new one, and then again look at it in a week to see how that falls in line. Now again, what the Facebook rep was telling me was, "Listen, that's not going to give you accurate data, especially at the scale that we spend," because she said the way that the algorithm works, especially more now than ever when it has proven winners, right? Like an ad that's been running maybe for even a few months, but we have some ads that have been up for like three years. So if an ad is in an ad set and it has that much data behind it and it's just destroying like it's doing amazing, compared to everything else and it's got all this previous data, when we upload a new one, it really won't get a fair chance.

    So Facebook will run it, we will spend on it, but it won't give it the same type of distribution that it deserves to see if it's actually better than the one that has the history that's within KPI. So by the way, before I say what we did here to get real data, if you're listening to this and you're like, "Anton, this sounds awesome but I have no idea what you're talking about." Go to dropshipwebinar.com, dropshipwebinar.com and that'll take you to the free training that I have. It's about two and a half hours long. We have chat in there that's really live all days. You can ask questions on it and that'll give you a good baseline to build on and to get involved with my community at drop ship lifestyle. So again that's dropshipwebinar.com.

    But what we did for these new ads to test them is we actually made a whole new campaign. So instead of turning off the worst, uploading the new one, I went into the Facebook business manager. Again, this is based on her advice. The recent conversation I had with the Facebook rep. I went into the Facebook ad manager. I created a new campaign. The new campaign, when you make them, there's a little toggle that says split test. I turned split tests on. Okay, sounds basic, right? When you do that you have a few different options so you could choose what you want to split test in this brand new campaign. When you make these new campaigns, your options are split testing creative, so that's what I wanted to do. Creative meaning you could test images or you could test videos. So what I did is a split test in a new campaign for creative where I tested the 32 second video, the 60 second video and the three minute video.

    But you can also test delivery optimization, meaning if you want it to have, let's say you were running video ads, you wanted to test optimizing for video views versus optimizing for link clicks versus optimizing for conversions. You can test that if you want to, which we will be doing in the future. You can also split test audiences. So showing the same ads to different audiences, seeing which performs better. And then finally you can split test the placement, meaning you know, right column versus newsfeed versus Instagram versus Facebook. You could test all that. That one we probably won't do because we pretty much let Facebook auto optimize for placements now. But what I did was go in there again, made a new campaign and chose the variable as creative. Now this is why this works a lot better than what I've done for the past, again, who knows, you know, five, six, seven years.

    When you do it this way, what Facebook does is actually give it a fair chance. So you're choosing the different variables. So let's just say you had two creatives, you had three like I had, maybe you have five, whatever it is, you have them all uploaded, then you choose your audience. And for this type of split test you choose one audience. So what we did is choose our best audience and instead of Facebook randomly finding one that works the best within the first like hour, which is usually what happens, it gives them a fair shot. For us it was two days. It depends what your budget is and your audience size, but for us it gave them all a fair shot for again about two days to the same audience. The audience we already know that is proven to convert, with, again, a version of the same video that we know is proven to convert just to shorter versions.

    So here's what happened. This is why this method of making a true split test in Facebook just absolutely outperformed everything else. I set it up, turned it on, what happened from as soon as we started getting impressions and clicks is the shortest video, the 32 second video was getting ridiculously cheap CPAs. Ridiculously cheap and at that point it was probably a quarter of what we usually pay in our campaigns that are evergreen and that are within KPI. So my thought right away was that 32 second one. I was like, "Okay, you know, we've always had ads that started off hot and then they kind of balance out and find where they should be." So I thought it was going to rise up. Then what I realized almost right away is the minute version was double the 32 second version, so the video length doubled and so did the CPA, which I thought was really weird.

    I was like, okay, again, maybe that'll go down, maybe it'll go up, but it was right around double. Then the longest version, and again this is where it gets interesting, the longest version, which is our proven winner, that version was double what the 32 second version was, right? So literally it went from the cheapest to double when the video doubled in length. Then the video like three x'd in length for the three minute one but cost doubled again and I was like, "Wow, this is exactly what my person at Facebook said," well kind of what they had seen, but then I was like let's obviously run it. We don't have enough data after the first hour when I checked it, so let's let it run, check it tomorrow, check it the next day. And the costs did go up really slightly for every stage, but the cheapest one, the 32 second video was still so much less than our evergreen ad that's been running forever.

    Then the minute long version was still double the shortest one. Then the three minute one was still double the minute version and I was just like, "Wow, this is nuts." Because at that point we had a lot of volume running through it. So I was like, all right, let me let it run again. I'm not going to touch anything until Facebook says this data is now conclusive. So it took it about I think two or three days till it said it was out of the learning phase and results were conclusive, but it ended with the shortest one completely outperforming the other two. Consistently best prices across the board every day. It didn't change at all. So what that allowed me to do, and this is where it gets really amazing, right? What that allowed me to do is take that winner, that 32 second version and duplicate into our real ad set, right?

    The ad set that's the evergreen one. The ad set that all of the best performing ads are in and I duplicated that in and then I was able to turn off the one that's been running for I think years. The three minute version. And because I did it that way, our costs, since I made that change, like I'm just looking, I literally have my ads dashboard up. Our costs are staying down on the evergreen campaign with the huge budget. Whereas historically what we would have done again is just upload the 30 second version into the evergreen ad set. And then it wouldn't get the reach it needs. The longer version would probably continue to win because it has the history. And then maybe I would eventually turn the short one offer, or maybe would just run there and get some clicks and some acquisitions.

    But nothing would ever happen with it instead now, it's totally changed how that campaign looks. So my advice: one is try shorter videos on Facebook, not YouTube, Facebook, if you're running Facebook ads and make them the same video, but do it with straight to the point, call to action being right there. Do not just add them into your best performing ad sets and see what happens. Instead, make a new campaign, make it a split test campaign, test it against your best audience and have the different variations and let Facebook tell you which is best. When you find the winner put that into your evergreen ad set and watch your costs stay down, and watch sales stay consistent. So that's what worked for us.

    If you found this episode useful and you want to know more about this. One of the talks that I'm giving in Prague for our retreat, which is in two months now, it's in in September is going to be deep. It's going to be called our Facebook Advertising Playbook where I'm going deep into all of this stuff, showing all of our campaign structures and exactly how you can copy it. So if you're coming to Prague, you should be excited about that. If you want to come to Prague and you're a member of drop ship lifestyle, just log into your members area and you'll see right on the homepage when you log in, how you can get your ticket.

    The event is September 5th, 6th and 7th, so just log in. You can get tickets there and that's one of the talks I'm doing. So yeah, the knowledge is going to be definitely next level at this retreat. And Yeah, if you're listening to this and you're not part of drop ship lifestyle yet again, just go to dropshipwebinar.com again, it's dropshipwebinar.com where you can get more info and you can become a member of the community and be running all these ads yourself and hopefully getting similar results that we are because this is really amazing. So that's it guys. I'm going to sign off. We got our team meeting this morning, and as always, if you've got value, would appreciate a review on iTunes. With that being said, I'm signing off and I'll talk to you all in the next episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. See you everybody.

  • Anton Kraly says:

    If you enjoy this episode, be sure to check out the follow up here:

    https://www.ecommercelifestyle.com/secret-scaling-facebook-ads/

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