What I Learned Spending $3 Million on Facebook Ads

What I Learned Spending $3 Million on Facebook Ads

The whole Facebook advertising world can be very confusing.

Focus on that interest, re-target this demographic, make sure to exclude certain people… good lord, where do you even begin?

Over the years, I’ve spent over $3,000,000 buying Facebook ads (see below) — and, before I was fired at Facebook, I helped build their ad system.

Bottom-line: I’ve tried anything and everything with Facebook advertising. And now, I’m going to share EXACTLY how you can spend on Facebook ads and get a great ROI for your business.

There are so many advanced tactics, strategies, and tips you can read about Facebook Ads. And I’m going to show you some of them — with a catch.

The truth is, it’s CRITICAL you understand the fundamentals of Facebook ads before you worry about split testing, CPC optimization, or other advanced strategies.

Often times, even “expert” advertisers mess up the simple fundamentals. Then, their mistakes drive up the cost they spend on ads, lower profitability, and cause headaches.

Because we want to build a strong foundation, in this post you’ll learn:

  • The lessons I learned from spending millions on online advertising
  • How to setup your first Facebook ad
  • The exact methods I use to target audiences on Facebook
  • What makes an ad click-worthy (plus my secrets for creating great CTAs)
  • The insanely simple method for working the ROI of your ads
  • And more…

But before we get started, 6 things to consider before you start with Facebook ads

Over the years, I’ve learned a ton about Facebook online advertising:

  • Helping build the Facebook Ads platform from the ground up
  • Spending $3,000,000+ on Facebook ads
  • Using every tactic, strategy, and trick in the Facebook advertising handbook to make my ads as effective and profitable as possible

Facebook ads are certainly an amazing platform to grow your business, but that doesn’t mean you should jump in head-first.

Here are a few caveats to consider before diving into Facebook ads (or online advertising in general):

  1. Be patient. In my experience, it can take anywhere from 1 day to 6 months to get your online advertising profitable
  2. Not every advertising channel will work for everyone. I’ve spent $100,000+ on Google advertising and only made back $25,000. Damn. Not every advertising channel will work for every business
  3. When you do find a channel that’s profitable, spend as much as you can while you can. When I was advertising on a third-party newsletter, I spent $750 a week and made $1,500 within 2 weeks. That’s an awesome ROI. I didn’t sponsor more than twice a month since I didn’t want to annoy their readers. But then, a friend yelled at me to do more. I moved to four times a month and the ROI stayed the same. I realized there’s a lot of noise online so it’s okay to advertise hard
  4. Advertising decays. Over time you need to refresh your advertising, even if it’s working, to prevent it from going stale. At AppSumo we had a full-time person just refreshing our ads a few times a day with relevant numbers, topics, and news
  5. Profit is all that matters. Ignore people who claim they get some really high click through rates (also known as CTR, or the % of people that actually click their ad). CTR is a vanity metric, and what matters most is ROI. If you are not making money, stop
  6. Look for free marketing opportunities first. I personally encourage people NOT to spend on ads until they’ve exhausted other marketing activities. It’s too easy to spend a lot on ads without great results.

Get my 10-step guide to kick-ass Facebook ads

Step-by-step instructions: How to spend your first $100 on Facebook in 10 simple steps

When you first start out with Facebook ads, it’s best to dip your toes in with a fairly small budget and gradually ramp up as you find your sweet spot.

This was my approach when I first started out. I didn’t spend $3,000,000 on Facebook ads right away. I started with just $100 in my first month.

My budget scaled alongside my learnings and results. The more I learned, the better results I saw, and the more budget I’d invest. In month two, I spent $400. Eventually, I ramped up to $100,000+ budget per month.

Below I’ll walk you through 11 steps to get going with Facebook ads (and how to spend your first $100).

Step 1: Head to Facebook Ads Manager

Open up Facebook Ads Manager to get started with creating your ads.

Once Facebook Ads Manager loads, you’ll be able to get started building your first ads.

Step 2: Choose your objective

What do you want your ads to do? Drive traffic, build brand awareness, increase conversions? You’ll need to choose an objective. Facebook offers 11 options split across three key objectives:

  • Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service
  • Consideration: Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business, or look for more information about your business
  • Conversion: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service

Choose Traffic (under “Consideration”) first. You can do website conversion, but I’d wait. Remember, our goal is to keep your first $100 as simple as possible and get a ROI.

With only $100 to spend, you’ll struggle to generate enough brand awareness to drive returns. And conversion-focused ads won’t prove cost-effective either.

You also need to give your campaign a name. Choose something easy and memorable so you can easily identify it in the future.

Facebook recently added the ability to split test ads, which enables you to test advert sets against each other to understand which ads give you the best results. But for your first $100, don’t worry about split testing. Keep it simple.

Note: Do not buy likes. I hate when people brag about how many likes their fan page has. Likes don’t mean much, because Facebook controls communication with your customer(this is why “Boosted” posts have become such a money-driver for Facebook).

When you write Facebook posts you have almost no say on how many people it will reach. It makes sense to create a free fan page and promote it — but don’t spend money towards it in the beginning.

Step 3: Choose your audience

Once your objective is set, you choose the audience you’d like to target with your advert.

One of the most important things to look out for on this page is the audience size gauge.

You want to aim specific, not broad.

Somewhere in the middle of the green section of the dial below is the sweet spot.

When I first started advertising AppSumo and Monthly1K, I tried to target audiences with less than 10,000 people.

The more specific your target group, the more likely you are to have a higher CTR. Plus, the more likely you’ll convert a clicking user to email subscriber (or buying customer) down the line.

One “red herring” to watch for is cost per click (CPC). Anyone who brags about paying an insanely low CPC is likely getting a horrible ROI. The key is balance.

How to define your target audience

Facebook provides a ton of options to customize your audience, including:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

Choosing the right audience is essential for a successful Facebook ads campaigns. You need laser-focused targeting.

For the age and gender category, look at the demographics of your top customers or the people you have email addresses for and target those age groups. The narrower the BETTER. For the Monthly1K course, we targeted 25-40 year-olds who are in the United States.

The other categories, Languages and Connections, I encourage you to leave alone in the beginning.

(Yes, I know the haters out there will want to optimize everything, but I’m trying to streamline the process so you can start investing in ads and learning immediately. Remember, 80% is better than 100% at first — we just want to get you to an ROI.)

For countries: Focus on ONE state / country to begin with. Bonus points if you’re able to focus on a city. Remember, target less than 10,000 people total. If your audience is broad, go more narrow geographically.

One of the most powerful targeting options available is ‘Interests’, this enables you to advertise to people within your target demographics based on their interests (activity on Facebook, Pages they like, and closely related topics).

When trying to figure out your first interest group to target I recommend a few options:

1. Take your 10 best customers and search their email address / name on Facebook

Then go to their Likes by clicking ‘More’ on their profile and selecting ‘Likes’:

Now, create a spreadsheet and list out all the Likes of each of your top 10 customers on Facebook. Focus only on the most relevant Likes to your business. For example:

The goal is to find easy and effective ways you can target new customers. Look for 1-3 similar Likes across your top customers to get started.

2. Find your competitor’s customer interests

Go to a competitor’s Facebook Page and look at the people who like it. Click on their profiles and add them into your spreadsheet to find their common interests.

We did this the AppSumo competitor MacHeist a couple years ago as we were starting to grow AppSumo.

3. Target a direct competitor

Find an angle that makes your business unique and then use that angle to advertise directly to your competitors customers.

Simply search for your competitor’s name in the interests box and you can target people who Like your competitor on Facebook, or match your other targeting criteria.

Caveat: DO NOT let Facebook recommend broad interest categories. Facebook’s goal is to get your money. They want to show your ads to whomever is most likely to click. But it’s your job to ensure your ads are targeting people who are valuable to you or your business.

Step 4: Choose your placements

Once you’ve selected the audience for your advert, you’ll see the option to choose the placement (aka where it’ll show on Facebook). You have two options:

  • Automatic placements: Facebook automatically puts your ads where it feels they’ll work best
  • Edit placements: You choose where you’d like to reach people

Even for beginners, I recommend you select ‘Edit placements’ so you can select exactly where you’d like your ad to be shown within Facebook’s network.

You’ll see a list of the available placement options for your ad. With your first ad, I recommend you only target Facebook users in the News Feed.

Why just the News Feed?

  1. Audience Network can be a little difficult to configure for a beginner. It’s best to get started with Facebook Ads directly on Facebook… rather than Facebook Ads that appear on other channels
  2. Instagram ads are a whole different kettle of fish
  3. I’ve found right-hand column ads are effective for retargeting, but with the CTR so low it’s not worth it when you’re starting

Mobile vs Desktop

Mobile ads could make sense for your business, but it depends greatly on your service. If your landing page is fully optimized for mobile, it can be worth targeting Facebook users across all devices. But if your product is a web-app, then mobile feed ads might convert significantly lower than desktop ads.

Mobile social ads now drive more impressions and clicks than desktop, but desktop still has a slight edge when it comes to conversions. Consider creating a separate ad set with just mobile targeted ads. I’ve seen promising results doing this.

So, if you’re fully confident your site is killer on mobile, select “All Devices”. If not, select “Desktop only”.

Step 5: Set your budget

Start small. Set your daily budget at $3.33 (this’ll ensure you don’t spend more than $100 a month).

On Facebook, the average cost per click (CPC) is about $0.35 globally and about $0.28 in the U.S. (source)

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when thinking about your bid amount:

  • If you try to bid too low, your ads may not get the exposure they need, and you won’t reach your goals
  • Don’t worry about bidding a high amount. You’ll still end up paying the lowest amount possible in the auction to get your ads delivered

Aim for $0.75 a click. (Don’t worry if that seems high, it’s only 4.4 clicks). The point is to get some clicks to your ad going and then you can lower the amount.

A few notes for you to benchmark your performance with:

  • On most paying products we’ve advertised, the conversion from click to paying customer is about 0.1-0.2%
  • Conversion rate to collecting an email has been around 20%

Again, remember it can vary wildly based on your industry. But, this should give you a rough north star to aim for.

Step 6: Create your Ad

This is where you create your advert. Generally, I have a couple of pieces of advice when it comes to creating winning ads:

1. Keep the images simple, ideally of yourself or something not boring. Look at this boring advertisement below. Yawn! Such a neat idea for a product. But boring execution, with an image blending in with so many other images we see online

2. Try to create an ad that uses natural text versus something that seems like an advertisement. Imagine what you naturally write / post on Facebook compared something that seems like a paid placement.

Here’s an example from AppSumo of one of our high-performing “natural” ads:

Step 7: Choose the format

For News Feed ads, Facebook offers six different formats. Let me simplify it for you: Choose Single Image.

Single Image ads in the desktop News Feed tend to have a higher engagement rate than right column ads. Plus, with single image ads’ similarities to organic News Feed posts, users are familiar with interacting with this type of post.

Step 8: Choose your image(s)

Facebook single image ads enable you to upload and test six variations of images. With only $100 budget, six variations is a little too complex. Start with one or two images max.

For single image ads, Facebook recommends the following:

  • Recommended image size: 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1.91:1
  • To maximize advert delivery, use an image that contains little or no overlaid text

Don’t: Whatever you do, don’t use any of Facebook’s stock images. Stock images are the best way to ruin a great ad. Don’t use low-quality images either and definitely avoid stealing images from Google.

Images of people work incredibly well. Preferably their faces. And try to use a bit of contrast, too. That’ll make your image stand out. You could use images of your team or your customers (with their permission, of course).

If you have a designer on your team, get them to whip up your ad. If you don’t have a designer, tools like Canva — or Googling “royalty free images” make it incredibly simple to design beautiful looking images in no time.

Step 9: Add your copy

Once you’ve added an image or two to your ad, you have to create the supporting copy.

The first step is to choose the Facebook Page that will represent your business in the ad (all single image News Feed ads are promoted by Facebook Pages).

Then you need to choose your destination. This’ll be your website or the landing page you’d like to drive traffic too.

Pro tip: Create consistency. If someone clicks your ad, something in your image or copy has grabbed their attention. After clicking, they should land on a webpage that reinforces the message you shared in your ad.

There are now four key pieces of copy you need to include with your advert:

  1. Headline: Add a brief headline to tell people what your ad is about. I like to give something away free with the headline (see “Free Growth Hacker Tips” in the example below). You only have 25 characters to use here. Be wise
  2. Text: The text appears about the advert and is similar to a status on normal Facebook posts
  3. Call to Action (CTA): Facebook has a range of button call-to-actions you can use within your ad. Choose “Learn More”
  4. News Feed Link Description: This appears below the Headline. Use this space to add additional text to emphasize why people should visit your website and to reinforce your CTA

Here’s an example:

4 tips for creating incredible ads

As a quick recap, here are four tips to help your ads stand out and drive clicks:

1. Choose images that stand out

Remember, on Facebook you’re not just competing with other ads for attention, you’re up against wedding photos, cat videos, #blessed posts, and other content posted by friends and family.

If you want people to click on your ads, they have to stand out. I tend to use images on a bright background or anything with a bit of contrast to stand out from the blandness of the News Feed.

2. Use Calls-to-Actions

Including a Call-to-Action within your Facebook Ads is a great way to let the user know what to expect on the other side of the ad.

CTAs might not directly increase your clicks or make your ad more pleasing to the eye, but it’s a great tactic to improve your conversions and decrease your cost per conversion.

I love to use the “Headline” part of Facebook Ads to include the CTA.

3. Add social proof

There are a couple of reasons that might put someone off clicking your ad:

  1. Scared of losing money
  2. Worried about making the wrong choice

How can you overcome these two challenges?

Use social proof to show the reader why they should care.

The ‘Text’ section of your Facebook ad is a great place to include some social proof around your product or service. For example, you could: mention how many businesses use your product, include a testimonial from a customer, talk about your experience.

The goal with social proof is to alleviate any worries someone may have about your product and give them a reason to car.

4. Use the “Learn More” button

Through a bunch of testing, we found the “Learn More” button converted better than other buttons or not having a button at all.

These findings were also backed up by AdEspresso who found that the “Learn More” CTA returned a 22.5% higher click-through rate than “Sign Up” (source).

Step 10: Measure your ROI

Now you’ve gotten started. Congrats… but the real thing is profit. So how do you track your ROI and make your money back?

To start, do stupid ghetto math. Here’s how I do it with advertising OkDork:

I spend around $3.35 / email per sign up.

On some emails I will proudly mention Sumo (free tool for getting more email subscribers).

Each new customer makes us around $515 after refunds. So I do back of the envelope math as follows:

Product Profit = $515
Email Cost = $3.35
$515 / $3.35 = 153

So if 1 out of 153 people via new email signups buy Sumo then buying ads is profitable.

For your business the numbers might be a little different, but a similar formula will help you work out your ROI.

Get my 10 steps to a perfect Facebook ad


Facebook offers incredible value to advertisers. Throughout this post you might have noticed a couple of key takeaways about creating successful ads:

  1. Design eye-catching ads that grab attention and generate clicks
  2. Laser-focused targeting to ensure your ads are reaching the right people

Good luck advertising. Leave a comment and share your questions or experiences with Facebook ads.

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112 responses to “What I Learned Spending $3 Million on Facebook Ads”

JR
May 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

I just put this guide to use for my clothing company which targets a niche w/in a niche and consequently FB doesn’t have any interests, behaviours, and competitors for. #fingerscrossed

Reply
Ronni Condro
May 8, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Hi Noah, very helpful post!I’m now your fan! And FYI, I’m using your less than 10,000 target strategy and the CPM is unbelievable! More than $100!
My question, Should I continue or stop? You don’t mention about this crazy CPM in the post. Once again, Can I know your comment about this? Thank you!

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Afnan ZaSs
April 26, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Hi Noah ! Again, I’m reading this again and again and again since you post it before the updated version here. I just kept reading this tips like for almost 10 times or more. Our campaign was keep on improving and better. We were on our way to spend $5000 daily on Facebook Ads. We really focused on your creating images tips and the Ad Copy.

Thanks again !

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Matt
April 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Whats a good ROI on the front end when doing Facebook direct response to sales page ads? Is there a target you use?

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Patrick Wu
April 20, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Wow you were incredibly helpful thanks for this amazing information.

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Manu
April 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm

This is excellent. I value the advice and thank you for sharing so much useful info. Having this means that it all starts boiling down to what it should, good products that reach people who really want them.

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Steve
April 17, 2017 at 11:01 pm

Just awesome. I am very grateful to have a usable explanation all in one spot instead of all over the place in YouTube sequel after sequel.

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Eric Schwimmer
April 13, 2017 at 9:26 am

Love your posts and love love love the new podcast! Definitely top 3 (the other two are music)

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Matt doust
April 6, 2017 at 8:29 pm

You sexy boy! I’ve been literally smashing my head against the wall desperately looking for a guide like this, by a pro who is genuine. Can’t wait to get started now! Love the point on mobile vs desktop placement. So true that as much as we all love mobiles, navigation via desktop is always more pleasant. Thank you!

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winston
March 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm

we just posted an ad campaign on FB. Our daily limit was set to $500. On the first day, the spend was ~$450, 2nd day it dropped to $200, today is the third day, but it looks like the spending will drop again. Any idea why? We haven’t made any changes.

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Kabeer
March 14, 2017 at 10:55 am

Where can I reads about ad refreshing and other advanced stuff

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Chris L.
March 2, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Good stuff. Old article, but all still relevant, aside from the comment on mobile, of course. Definitely do not skip mobile ads in 2017.

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Noah Kagan
March 4, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Going to update it shortly.

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Adi
March 26, 2017 at 5:16 am

Facebook ads becoming very competitive these days. Does $3.3 /day ad budget even still works?

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Justin
February 15, 2017 at 9:38 pm

“With AppSumo we’ve built our own internal system to calculate this” – can you provide any additional details here? Thank you

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Roberto Serra
January 19, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Damn good and bright article, many thanks for share your experience!

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Laura
January 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

Thank Noah! I’m working on my first webinar for my business and doing a ton of research on Facebook Advertising (topic of webinar) and I really liked your article… if you don’t mind, I’ll be putting this page in a list of resources for my listeners.

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Phillip
January 17, 2017 at 9:22 pm

Did you meant to say .1-2% or 1-2% conversion for products? I’ve had nearly 500 clicks, but zero sales.

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Mukul
December 23, 2016 at 12:27 pm

loved it , great article

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ERIC L TAYLOR
December 4, 2016 at 11:07 pm

Amazing article! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Casey
November 17, 2016 at 12:41 am

Thanks for the post. I was wondering if anything has changed since this was published back in 2014? Seems like these are fundamentals?

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David
September 22, 2016 at 10:52 am

Keeping it simple is key! It is so easy to get lost in the weeds when you first start advertising on any platform. Frankly, a lot of the services haven’t made it that simple to advertise in the way you outlined here. Remember, one action beats 1,000 thoughts!

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Chinwendu
August 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm

This has really helped me optimize my Facebook ad campaign. Thanks for sharing this great idea

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Danial Balaji
June 28, 2016 at 12:01 am

One of the best writing i have seen. Really nice article buddy.

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Fotograf nunta Iasi
June 14, 2016 at 11:57 pm

Great article!

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vish
June 6, 2016 at 9:15 am

I am interest with fb

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Nonye
June 5, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Epic!
Just spent $5 on a facebook ad. Let’s see what becomes of it. This is fun. Thanks for this article.

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Samara
May 3, 2016 at 2:29 pm

You can’t use a budget of 3.33. When I created my ad and warning box popped up stating my daily budget has to be at least $5.

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Victor
April 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Is this post still relevant? I see you discourage the use of advertising for mobile. (?) All in all it looks like great information it’s just I’m about to launch an ad campaign and noticed the article is from 2 years ago and figured out that maybe things have change ever since.

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Jay
April 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

He didn’t say not to advertise for mobile. He just pointed out that many websites are not mobile friendly … so you have to decide for yourself. Does your website have a mobile version? If so, use it! Best of luck!!!

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srp
June 4, 2016 at 5:55 am

In my case Facebook ads have been a dismal failure. The incubation period in my industry is at least a year. It takes an extraordinary amount of dollars to first get likes, followers and eventually a client. I have gone back to more traditional methods and the results are much better than any Facebook ad I ever ran.

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Syadur
April 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm

This is nice article. I have learnt many things from this article. So this is most important article in the digital marketing sector.

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Louis Kennedy
April 2, 2016 at 5:50 am

Great article Noah. I’ll start using the tips in my ads right away. Thanks again.

Louis Kennedy

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francisco
March 22, 2016 at 1:37 am

I just want to thank you for such an informative article. This was detailed enough yet simple to get me started in running my first FB campaign for my biz.

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Carole Baskin
March 19, 2016 at 11:27 am

Thanks. Your tips inspired me to turn off the mobile and right side bar ads to see if there is an increase in ROI.

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John Carr
March 15, 2016 at 10:49 am

Great article. One question. Would you still suggest not to run Facebook ads on mobile? As you know, mobile viewers today account for over 75 percent of the market.

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Michael
March 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

This is garbage:

“Step 10: Avoid showing your ads to mobile traffic. You can choose this from the Power Editor but I won’t get into that tool at this time. Most likely your page is not mobile designed and that traffic is less likely to purchase or sign up for an email address. After you get your campaign working that is something you can begin optimizing for mobile.”

What are you thinking?!

90% of my customers are mobile-only users.

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Kris Kemp
February 22, 2016 at 6:47 pm

This post is fantastic! You break everything down into understandable parts. Thank you!

I’ve done a small amount of Facebook advertising and found it to be useless. My understanding of Facebook is that it doesn’t covert to sales. It might as well be titled DistractionBook as there are so many “clickbait” articles and pictures, especially on the newsfeed, competing for your attention. Ads get lost amid all the noise.

Thanks again for dissecting how to advertise on Facebook!

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John Funderburk
February 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

I am so impressed by your information by far the best I’ve seen

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Jessica
February 8, 2016 at 10:17 am

i have to sites, one is our bread and butter, the other less so. i got really cheap likes but you’re right, just because i got 1000 like in one campaign it doesn’t matter if i’m not getting new leads. After reading your article i think i will invest in getting more clicks to the site in hopes to convert and get emails. question though, what if you website is optimized for mobil. Do you recomend using mobil ads then? also, what do you think about lead ads. Wouldn’t they increase email collections

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Delmar
February 8, 2016 at 4:32 am

We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
Your site provided us with useful information to work on. You have performed a formidable
task and our whole group will likely be grateful to you.

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Erik
January 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Hi Noah,
I had a good experience with Facebook ads.
Not to your level, but I got +500 new fans within less than 2 days with just a few dollars of investment.

Thanks for sharing your experience and suggestions!

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Terrance Lach
December 9, 2015 at 4:43 am

Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

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shahfizal
December 2, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Noah, I know about 3000 people who really need to see this, do you mind if I translate it into Malay

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Vibhoar Gupta
November 20, 2015 at 5:35 am

We just started adverting on Facebook for our beauty salons. The idea was to promote offers to ladies with high end smartphone devices. I started with click to website ads, and the results were amazing. A friend suggested to try website conversion ads on Facebook. Unfortunately, I did not get a response like I got for clicks to website ads. Both the campaigns were run at same settings. I wonder why the latter did not work. I was under the impression that conversion ads would perform better than click to website ads. But that did not happen for us. Moving back to click to website ads. Will now test carousel ads.

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Will Phillips
August 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I love reading articles like this. I will now tweak my Facebook Ads for higher conversions.

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SA
July 22, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Thank you, Noah. I’ve actually been advertising on Facebook for a few years, but found a few nuggets in your piece that I will use in my future ad buys. Appreciate it.

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jonatan sumavsky
June 17, 2015 at 7:10 pm

What is better: Choosing the option for conversions or clicks?

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jonatan sumavsky
June 17, 2015 at 3:48 pm

This is super valuable! I especially like the way to target new customers based on existing ones. I was just trying to figure this out yesterday so this article couldn’t come at a better time 🙂

Another thing I struggle with is non-boring ads.

How would you make a non boring ad for a pain relief wearable?

Cheerios!

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Robert
April 29, 2015 at 2:13 am

That man is a king 🙂

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ryan
March 19, 2015 at 5:51 am

i don’t like the ads that are on face book

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Jeremiah Say
March 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Very interesting read on Facebook ads. I look forward to invest in facebook ads in the near future 🙂

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Ella Ique
March 16, 2015 at 8:39 am

Hi there,

I have a quick question. If I go for CPA solution, I would need to pay the “conversion value”.

But why does Facebook ask me for “a budget” and “then” tells me about the cost per click?

Thanks for your help!

Ella

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Michael Williams
December 19, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Noah,

This is by far the best share I’ve read about starting your first advertising campaign! I’m taking my site live in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to share my experience and hopefully positive results! Thanks, Noah!!

Regards,
Mike

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Franz
October 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm

I think one of the most important things to take away from this is to really make sure that you disable sidebar ads. News feed ads in Desktop and Mobile view are just so much better.

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Mickey
October 9, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Thank you again Chief Sumo. If any new sumo-lings would like more info on facebook ads, and SEM, Chief sponsored Tommy Griffith’s second online class “Paid Search Marketing Course,” unfortunately the promo is no longer going on 🙁 but Tommy’s material is phenomenal and has so many tutorials and walkthrus (similar to this one Chief Sumo has so kindly blessed us with) that’ll save you lots of headaches.

Cheers my friends,

Mickey

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Anthony Rosas
August 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Noah,
Thanks for this radical info. I have been pouring over your blog post on Tim Ferris’ blog you did a few years ago about creating a digital product (chihuahua book) and selling it online using Facebook and Reditt ads etc, Where in the process of creating a digital product would you start use Facebook ads? I plan on using the app, Fiverr to source people to do data research on a few topics and also see how many people on Facebook my potential market could be. Your help is much appreciated.

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Mohamed
August 13, 2014 at 8:53 am

Perfect post, Thanks for sharing

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David W
June 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Hi Noah, great article. I followed it to the “T” but I’m about a week into the FB campaign and I only have 20 “reach” and no clicks of the 20. I believe I had the target audience narrowed to about 8500. Should I broaden my “target audience” to “reach” more people?

Thanks, Tallyho!

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Greg M.
June 29, 2014 at 12:30 am

David,

I’m actually practicing what was in this article since April. I would say 95% of what was written here is very correct. And that 5% might be your personal case, or when you start scalling it.

I guess there are two reasons why you don’t get clicks: 1) the $ amount of your bid, and 2) the narrow audiences. Try to work with these variables. Also if your ad is already sometime live and it doesn’t perform the likelihood that Facebook graded it as underperforming is very ight. And by doing so Facebook limits your bidding. Try to start a new same typ of campaign.

Currently what I do is I start with oCPC and then when it starts to run well I switch to bid CPC. I noticed when the CTR is about 2%-3% Facebook continues to run your ad even if you lowered your bid.

Hope this helps you!

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Ryan
June 6, 2014 at 11:23 am

My newsfeed ad is only showing a video and no clickable element to the site page I want them to go to. There is no learn more button showing. Does anybody know how to fix this?

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Anand
June 8, 2014 at 3:38 am

Hey Ryan, you should be seeing a ‘Call To Action (optional)’ field when you click the ‘Edit creatives’ against the ad.

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David
May 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Just finished my very first Facebook ads campaign! Thanks for the extremely helpful post Noah!!

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Noah Kagan
May 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Let us know how it goes David!

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Anand
April 28, 2014 at 5:46 am

Hey Noah

I was trying to create my first newsfeed ad but I have not been able to insert a bitly link in the newsfeed text. I get an error notification that reads something like “Your ad text cannot contain 2 punctuation marks or signs in a row. Please remove these to continue”. Any idea what needs to be done here?

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Donfelix
April 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Thanks for the free insight, i am just in the middle of planning the promotion of my car electronics blog.

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Flaviu
April 16, 2014 at 6:10 am

Hi, great post there. I just have a question, if i am advertising for a mobile app, is there anything that i have to do differently? thanks

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Matt Collins
April 16, 2014 at 3:53 am

For a small business owner like myself, this is a great starting point. I will be doing some FB ads when I have offers and I’ll be using this guide to get started. Comments are very full of insights too!

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Anwar
April 13, 2014 at 4:33 am

Love the article! For some odd reason this article can’t be saved to instapaper though :/

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j
March 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Thanks for putting this together Noah. I followed along step by step for a website click campaign but I’m currently receiving 1 click per $3.50 – the only thing I did differently from your guide was selecting “automatically optimize bids” instead of manually bidding at .75c – should I try switching to the .75c manual bid?

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Matt
March 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Amazing Post! I was looking for something just like this.

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Jerry Low
March 16, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Hey Noah I have been searching and reading for Facebook marketing all day and this is the best guide I have seen so far. Love how you make complicated things look simple.

P/S: I found okdork via your ‘How I got fired from Facebook’ post. It’s funny to jump from that post to here – where you, sort of, promoting FB marketing services. 🙂

Cheers, Jerry Low

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Piseth Kham
March 15, 2014 at 12:52 am

Facebook has become our main tool for marketing and branding of our business.

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Lisha
March 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Hi Noah,

This is such great info for me right now because I am planning on starting my first facebook ad to a website very soon. I have done some facebook Like ad campaigns for other people’s facebook pages, but I have not made an ad leading to a website yet.

Question, how do you refresh an ad on facebook? I didn’t realize this was even a thing!

Thanks 🙂

~Lisha

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Lisha
March 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Okay, so maybe I will just answer my question myself. When reading this post, I was thinking that refreshing the ad was something complicated, but after doing some research, it’s basically just changing the images, wording, etc of the ads from time to time, which I had already been doing, so I guess I’m good to go!

Thanks for all the tips, Noah 🙂

~Lisha

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Gregg Owens
March 12, 2014 at 5:41 am

So good, very helpful!

Thank you

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mark greenman
March 12, 2014 at 5:17 am

This was a really great article Noah, thank you for taking the time to write it.

I’ve played around with the “boost post” feature on my companies fan page, targeting 10 general interests related to my field (I make outdoor/survival gear so I was targeting interests in the military, hiking, certain brands of knives, etc) while trying to reach as wide an audience as possible. The last campaign I ran was for $100, 7 days, reached 22k people, and generated about $270 in sales, avg a 2% conversion rate.

I’m going to to apply your formula to my next go around, and I will report back with how it goes.

Take care,
Mark

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Ryan H
March 11, 2014 at 9:17 pm

G-day Noah,
Thank you so much for writing this post, I have been wanting to try my hand at paid advertising through facebook for a while now, and this has made it much easier to jump in!
I have a question regarding your SumoMe tool, I use Weebly to set up my websites because I know NOTHING about coding and it’s all drag and drop. I’d love to be abele to use the SumoMe tool, but I don’t know how to add the code to my site. If you or any other readers of this article know how, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks again, your emails and articles are an inspiration, nice work mate!

Ryan H.

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Lenny Ramirez
March 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Can we add Graph Search for the research? Thanks for the awesome post. Can’t wait for the more advanced stuff 🙂

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Lenny Ramirez
March 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm

GraphSearch *queries.

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Victoria
March 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Love it. I am not a beginner and in my own exploration of facebook ads with several clients and small budgets, I always opt for tight targeting and manually bypass the “easy” options facebook provides in favor of anything marked “advanced”. Facebook has a brilliant system for micro-targeting but many still think the biggest reach wins. I set up a batch of ads, see which one does the best, and start dropping the price on it. Tweaking the ads is a critical part of the campaign. And when you do it with a CPC model manually bidding, you kind of have to be on it, making changes to not waste funds. The ad manager has a robust analytic system for really seeing how they perform. And much of that is all on the regular space. Power Editor is where they test new features so good to use it if you understand the system. I’ll be keeping an eye on you, Noah! Great resource. Thanks!

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Richard Webb
March 6, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Awesome post Noah, as always. Love the blog, AppSumo and the monthly1k course.

A quick tip – you can kind of automate step 4b) by typing:

“Pages liked by people who like [competitor’s page]”, or
“Favorite interests of people who like [competitor’s page]”

into the Facebook search box. Kind of works for 4a) as well, but only with names, not email addresses (as far as I can tell).

The best thing is you can also use “and” and “or” to search multiple pages/people at once. It’s absolute magic.

Enjoy!

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Eugen Oprea
March 6, 2014 at 2:52 am

Hey Noah,

I just love the simplicity of this. I’ve read quite a few resources about Facebook ads, with little success.

However, your article made me realize that I was letting Facebook get my money, without properly targeting the people I want to reach to.

So my biggest takeaway from this post is the fact that I should choose a really small audience to target and move away from Facebook’s Optimized CPM.

Thanks!

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Mukwal
March 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Hi Noah,

Great article and insights. I have been using a tool called Fan Harvest for my fb ads and boy, I have never seen such great CTR and follow up. What the tool does is, you can give it your competitors’ facebook pages and it will analyze them and give you those people who are REAL human beings who are genuinely interested in your competitors.

With a campaign that I ran, I had about 5000 people from the tool and spending $10 on a like campaign I reached 2300 of them in a day. I got 92 likes, 21 people visited my site and they spent 5 minutes on average. Had 54 page views.

I highly recommend this tool. Check it out at http://fanharvest.com/

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Parker Condit
March 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Noah, this is great since I just started Facebook ads two weeks ago. So far getting 1000% ROI and have been ignoring CTRs. I’m glad I have been doing some things right so far. The thing I really want to add is the “Learn More” button but I can’t seem to find that option when I’m creating an AD. Regardless, this was really helpful and gave me more confidence to increase my daily AD budget. Thanks a lot!

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Sophia
March 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Awesome! Only problem is I am unable to input my own interests according to the likes of the competitors. The ad forces me to choose from categories. I input it in the line but it disappears. Anybody know how to deal with this?

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Sophia
March 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Yes. When I click Browse, it only opens up the categories Facebook has…

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Sophia
April 1, 2014 at 8:09 am

I just wanted to update and include that, as of right now, Facebook does not allow entering in a specific Group/Page such as a competitor. I have been in contact with Facebook about it and that is what they told me. Correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂

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Rupert
January 21, 2015 at 9:40 am

Your wrong, I spend alot of money on facebook ads aswell and often target competitors facebook pages, its a great, method, and great article useful practice advice. At the end of the day though, your advert has to be good, as the consumers now have keen eyes! Also depending on your niche I have found targeting the older generation very profitable in some instances eg 55-60

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Ryan Even
March 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

Another great post Noah.

This is blog is turning “EPIC” pretty quickly!

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Noah Kagan
March 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Blush. Thanks Ryan!

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Christopher Hill
April 1, 2014 at 8:14 am

Hey Noah,
Thanks so much for this! Some questions though:
I went in to amend one of our ads, and the layout is quite different.
For example, we ONLY had the option of a right hand ad, the option for the Newsfeed is not even there.
Also, I cannot choose “Call to Action” (learn more) -that box does not appear.
There is something called Conversion Tracking Pixel, which you dont seem to have – what is this?
Also, in the examples you give, you don’t appear to include a bit.ly link, but then you recommend this, yes?
Thanks again!

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Shmuel
March 5, 2014 at 11:00 am

Really great help, Noah. Thank you so much.
Noah, this might be for you in case you didn’t yet heard of it:
In general. its a pain to determine who is your right audience. I got an unbelievable tool that lets me search for very specific keywords. It then crawls through facebook events, groups and pages that match that keyword. Then you can select that specific group and export those FB IDs into a cvs file. Then you can import this custom list into your own ads via custom audience. Its one of the sickest tools Ive used.
Its called audiencemakr, cost $10. But no clue where to get it.
I got it from a dude I follow.

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Farhang
March 5, 2014 at 11:00 am

WOW, this article is really good about Facebook ads, because there are less course about Fb ads compared to Adwords, but really people do spend on facebook huge amount of money. i spend a lot and not gained much, my ads targeted almost 80 million people but you said less than 10,000..

thank you for your valuable insights about Fb ads

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Christopher Hill
March 5, 2014 at 9:36 am

Thanks Noah!
I went in to amend one of our ads, and the layout is quite different.
For example, we ONLY had the option of a right hand ad, the option for the Newsfeed is not even there.
Also, I cannot choose “Call to Action” (learn more) -that box does not appear.
There is something called Conversion Tracking Pixel, which you dont seem to have – what is this?
Also, in the examples you give, you don’t appear to include a bit.ly link, but then you recommend this, yes?
Thanks again!

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Greg
April 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

Christopher, when you try to edit the existing ad you can’t add “Learn More”. You can do it only when you are creating a new ad.

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Noah Kagan
April 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

Thanks for letting us know!

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Laurenz
March 5, 2014 at 7:33 am

Hi folks,
I basically agree with Noah’s opinion. However, I do have 3 more recommendations.
I am sorry for my English – my mother tongue ist German…

-) Include a question in the header of your ad. E.g. “Want to become an entrepreneur?” and then
do the proof that Noah’s course (or your product) works… Goal: in my point of view it makes sense, that only those who wan’t to become an entrepreneur should click.

-) You can increase conversion rate, if you DON’T direct the people to an external website.
Let’s integrate a landingpage in a facebook-tab of your facebook-fanpage. My experience is that
people feel uncertain if the landingpage ist not within facebook.

-) I agree with Noah that fans of a facebook-page can be valueless. For sure, having their
email-address is the best case. However, have you already tried to get both (fan & email-address)?
In my point of view, the worst case is the following: they click on your FACEBOOK-AD and they DON’T
SIGN UP and they DON’T BECOME a fan. They are lost forever.
As a result: integrate your landingpage within a facebook-tab of your fansite AND integrate a facebook-likegate. Just try it.

-) Regarding Noah’s profitability accounting: you should not ignore the following formula: Cost per Acquisition has to be lower than Customer Lifetime Value. So, try to estimate CLV.

-) Converting Facebook-Fans into paying customers: there are a lot of tactics to convert facebook fans…

With all those things we were able to decrease cost per email from € 3.- to € 0,8.-.

Looking forward to your response/critics/…

@ Noah: I am looking forward to your post regarding CUSTOM-AUDIENCES…

all the best, Laurenz

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bum
May 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Laurenz, thanks for adding this to Noah’s great tutorial. Building my page now, but how do I do what you said: “integrate your landingpage within a facebook-tab of your fansite AND integrate a facebook-likegate.” ? Noah, if you have tips on this or another tutorial I’d love to see it.

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Manuel
October 14, 2014 at 2:18 am

Great article Noah. And great contribution Laurenz! I do agree that the most important kpi to look for is the CLV in order to get profitable campaigns.

@Laurenz as I am another european reader of Noah´s blog, I would like to share and talk to you some insights about Fb ads.

Shall we get in contact?

Thanks

Best

Manuel

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Tarlon Moghadam
April 10, 2015 at 11:36 am

Laurenz,
What do you mean by, “integrate your landingpage within a facebook-tab of your fansite AND integrate a facebook-likegate. Just try it.” How would one go about doing this?

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Alfred Milgrom
March 5, 2014 at 7:17 am

This is an AWESOME post.
Brilliant – full of information, real advice and no bull!!

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Tanvir Chowdhury
March 5, 2014 at 6:59 am

Great stuff Noah. Booked marked this post and will come back to it when required #tacocat

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Sarah Arrow
March 5, 2014 at 6:31 am

Fantastic, I’m going to have to book mark and come back later to digest the entire post.

Okay some questions – is there a niche where FB advertising does not work well? I’ve tried it with transport and the interaction was minimal and ROI non-existent. My transport business is hyper-local and very specialised so in theory we should have been able to get a better response. The reality of course was far different.

Marketing month? Darn, I’ve missed the others, I shall go and track them down.

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Eugen Oprea
March 6, 2014 at 2:48 am

Hey Sarah, because your business is hyperlocal, have you tried to narrow down the audience that will see the ads.

Obviously, it will not make sense for someone in a different region to see it.

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Sarah Arrow
March 8, 2014 at 4:18 am

Yes, I only use the narrowed down local audience and restricted to Essex, UK. I’m thinking that unless people have an immediate need for what you’re promoting then they will be oblivious to your ads. That in my opinion makes AdWords more powerful as the adverts are shown when a person is searching for what you’re selling.

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Sammul W
October 31, 2015 at 12:12 am

In your case, have you thought about a scenario that a user saw your ad on Facebook, but he didn’t purchase because he didn’t need it immediately. But after couple days, when he needs it, he thinks up of your ad and search it in Google. Facebook maybe potentially drive your business.

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Rob
April 17, 2017 at 9:07 pm

You need brand awareness, and must be filling a need or service lacking which there is a market for. If you offer something unique or better over your competition then make that obvious to potential new customers.

Try hiring a marketing manager to review your strategies. Dropping $400 for a professional company to help could be worth the investment if you’re completely missing your marketing through lack of experience.

Consider money spent as college tuition, you’re learning and your business is growing. Don’t give up, if you truly believe your business has potential to succeed. But you must be realistic.

Rob
American Weather Solutions

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Nick Kizirnis
March 5, 2014 at 6:16 am

Dang Noah, that’s just about the best explanation of how to get started with Facebook Ads I’ve seen. I’ve tried out some ads with mixed results just to see how it works, which was a decent learning experience, but I should have waited until I could read this! Thanks, I can’t wait to read the next posts (and no I haven’t spent any $$ on ads for my How to Make $1K/month work … the validation steps you teach made that unnecessary (oh, thanks again!).

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Micky Deming
March 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Marketing month again?! Haha

This is freaking brilliant.

When you advertise with the ultimate goal of selling a higher priced item, have you seen better results from driving the traffic straight to the high-priced item or from giving something away for an email address and then working up toward a bigger purchase?

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