tuff-grow-email-list

How to Grow Your Startup’s Email List

Person typing on laptop for growing email list

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet Daycation.

Daycation is a Miami-founded startup that allows people to book “daycations,” gaining access to hotel amenities without staying the night. Traditionally, people must check in as hotel guests to access amenities like pools, lounges, hot tubs, gyms, and private beaches. Now, with Daycation’s network of beautiful, on-demand hotels, users can visit their site and easily book hassle-free day experiences.

We worked with Daycation to grow their email list. In two weeks, we added 1,000 new subscribers at an acquisition cost of $1.15 per subscriber. In addition to the list growth, 25 of the new subscribers booked a Daycation within 30 days of joining the email list.

Why Daycation Focused On Growing Their Email List

For starters, email has been the #1 most profitable marketing channel for ten years in a row. From this one statistic alone, it isn’t hard to see why you need to grow your startup’s email list. It is a key piece of any well-rounded user acquisition effort.

From a growth perspective, it is the statistics on customer acquisition costs that make email a no-brainer for a business like Daycation. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

While we had launched a number of acquisition channels for Daycation, including paid social and chat, we were looking to build an email list of valuable subscribers. Because Daycation is a transactional marketplace, we were confident that email marketing would be a more effective channel than social for driving people to their website and getting them to sign up and purchase a day pass.

So, how did we attract 1000+ new subscribers in two weeks?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

Daycation’s Playbook:

  • Everything begins with great content or value. People will find your site because of your amazing content. They will keep coming back because you provide relevant value. Your content will be the foundation of what you email to them, which will be the reason they stay subscribed (or hit unsubscribe!). For Daycation, we decided to run a cabana giveaway in Miami. In exchange for an email address, people entered for a chance to win a day pass and cabana for four at one of Miami’s top luxury pools.
  • Once you have the right content, you need to start putting your landing page together. Creating a high converting landing page isn’t rocket science. However, creating an effective page involves more than simply designing something that looks good. For Daycation, we leveraged these nine components of a killer landing page and mocked a wireframe using InVision.
  • The page went live, and we needed to get the word out. For Daycation, that meant adding a banner to the homepage of the site, as well as tapping into paid social. We launched Facebook and Instagram campaigns, targeting a specific subset of customers who were most similar to their best current customers.

Screenshot of a Facebook ad for Daycation

Screenshot of an Instagram ad for Daycation

  • Every interaction with someone is a chance to influence their opinion about your business. The minute you collect an email you can start providing relevant value and the message you send is critical. Using Customer.io, when someone signed up for the giveaway, we triggered the confirmation email below. For a large percentage of this list, this was the first email they ever received from Daycation. This is a large opportunity to make a lasting first impression. Try your best to step away from a transactional mindset and show your companies personality.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

  • We ran the giveaway for two weeks, spreading the word to as many people as possible. Once the campaign ended, we announced the winner through email, sending the entire list a $10 off coupon code on their next Daycation.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

The Results:

Duration:
2 Weeks

Ad Spend:
$1,215.76

New Subscribers:
1,264 new subscribers

Cost Per Subscriber:
$1.15

Subscriber Purchases (within 30 days):
25

Next Steps:

Our focus on email didn’t end with the cabana giveaway. You’re not just looking to grow your startup’s email list and present a nice vanity metric. It can be easy to just focus on building the list and see the number of subscribers growing and call it a success. Once you have a healthy list of emails, you need to continue focusing on the value you provide to your users with email. What is the end goal and conversion you’re looking for them to make? 

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-how-we-learned-from-1000-customers

How We Learned From 1,000 Customers in One Afternoon

Customer research at scale is hard.

When you hear phrases like ‘big data’ or ‘quantifiable data’, it can feel paralyzing to know where to start.

I can almost instantaneously feel my eyebrows furrowing and my brain pleading for coffee when I try to keep up with the latest marketing trend or ‘best practice’.

There’s so much out there, it’s often hard to know where to start. As a business owner you might feel a lot of pressure to continue coming up with creative ways to connect with and reach your audience. Or, there might be some technical skills that are better to hire an in-house marketer or agency to take on.

However, there’s one fundamental marketing skill we’re taught from pretty much day one of our lives ― listening.

When you’re eager to share your message and product value, this can be easier said than done. But, when it comes to good listening it’s not about what you are saying. At Tuff, we start every client relationship with customer segmentation.

We recently went through this activity with a client. The Buy Guys, a Florida-based home buyer and seller that has purchased over 10,000 homes in the last 10 years, came to us to help increase quality leads that convert. By updating their website and digital marketing strategy, leads are up by 138% this year. And, the cost per lead has decreased by 36.92%.

Our first and most critical step? Customer segmentation.

Why Customer Segmentation?

Customer segmentation is really a fancy way of saying: ‘who are your customers? And, what do they want?’.

You have to know who your target audience is, what their problems are, and how they want to interact with you. Having these questions explicitly answered will allow you to build a much stronger marketing strategy based on both qualitative and quantitative data.

In the above section, you may have noticed that instead of saying The Buy Guys came to us to ‘help increase leads’ it was ‘to help quality leads that convert’. That distinction is important because it’s worth your time to get to know your customers so you can tailor your digital marketing strategy to convert the type of leads you know you want.

This requires being intentional before you start into executing on tactics but it will help you achieve much better results on those tactics. The good news is, if you take the time to look for it, your customers are generally already answering these questions for you.

You just have to know where to look.

Your sales and support team members (maybe it’s even you doing all of it) and the tools they use, are the best places to start.

Customer Segmentation in action

If your team is already engaging with customer and clients over the phone, this is an awesome place to start. You can gather both qualitative and quantitative information and the power of hearing your customer’s voice and the tone they use, is unmatched.

To start to get to know the audience interacting with The Buy Guys better, we took both a qualitative and quantitative approach using CallRail, a call tracking software the team had been using to log sales calls.

Qualitative Approach

The qualitative approach was listening to 100 phone calls in CallRail, taking detailed notes and listening for things like what kind of words is the customer using?, what was the very first problem they explained over the phone?, what were they hearing, thinking, feeling, saying?

For this step, you can use a Google Doc or your note taking tool of choice. Here’s the format we like to use, it’s best to keep it simple and focus on listening:

Caller name:__________________

First Question:__________________

Notable quotes:__________________

Goal:__________________

Wait till the phone call is over to add in their goal, it can sometimes take the whole call to assess. Here’s an example from The Buy Guys (with the name changed for privacy):

Caller name:
Harry Potter

First Question:
How does the process work for selling?

Notable quotes:
“I had a realtor, they weren’t doing anything to make progress so I took over.”

Goal:
To sell property quickly

By about the 10th phone call you listen to, you’ll start to notice a few trends in the customers’ goals. This is where you can start to segment the customers.

Create sections in your notes with the headline being the different goals (i.e. To sell property quickly’). Try to keep this to under 5 different goals. There will be outliers and the occasional customer going down a different path but you should be able to start segmenting customers into groups. When you get to the ‘Goal’ section of your note for each call, copy and paste the whole entry under the goal section it best aligns with.

In doing this, you now have different customer segments with the powerful supporting data of quotes and first questions.

Quantitative Approach

The quantitative approach using CallRail was to export data from over 1,000 calls to see larger trends such as time of day people are calling, what page the visited before calling, where are they calling from. Any call tracking software should allow you to export a CSV full of super helpful data.

Your call tracking software should also offer an analytics section to learn more about the behavior of the callers. In CallRail, we found two charts especially handy in understanding more about The Buy Guys customers:

These charts provide insights into what time of day callers have the most time. It can help create ideas around what kind of jobs they have, when they are most available, and are they more likely to engage on the weekends or during the week? This is where we can explore some of that customer research at scale.

For The Buy Guys, we were focusing on building a new website to capture more leads. By taking the time to dive into CallRail and gather qualitative and quantitative data about their customers, we were able to build customer personas. Using these customer personas, we were then able to use a shared language to talk with their team and our UX designer about the behaviors, motives, and ideas of the target audience.

Where else to look?

The Buy Guys had a wealth of data in CallRail but not every business uses the phone for sales or there might not be enough data there yet to be meaningful. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

There are a number of other places where your customers are letting you know what they need and want from you:

Email conversations:
You can go through a similar process by reading through support emails and tagging them with the ‘goal’.

Ask your sales and support teams:
There’s a good chance your sales and support team members can give you a list of ten things your customers need and want, off the top of their head. And, the types of words they use and questions they ask.

Online Reviews:
This is especially helpful for SaaS companies where review sites are aplenty. If you have an app in the Apple Store, have you read all reviews there? If you have a physical product, what about Amazon? Have people been talking about your service on Quora?

Twitter:
Hop on over to TweetDeck (make sure you’re logged into your business Twitter) and set up your account to monitor for certain keywords. This allows you to find tweets that don’t tag your account and could easily slip by.

Over to you…

With The Buy Guys, we had a specific project where it made sense to start with customer segmentation. But, it should be an ongoing process. If you’re happy with your website, you can try customer segmentation to better inform copywriting for your paid ads.

How do you learn more about what your customers want and need? What does customer research at scale look like to you?

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-improve-ppc-results

5 Simple Strategies to Improve PPC Results

One of the most exciting pieces of working on PPC is that every account is different and some tactics that work for one account may not work for another.

However, every time we roll up our sleeves and start a new campaign or want to see changes in a current campaign, we have 5 go-to strategies we feel confident will improve PPC results.

In this post, we share 5 straightforward ways to improve your PPC performance — all of which are proven and have worked for us.

What’s included?

  • Can we reduce non-converting spend?
  • Can we improve our keyword match types?
  • Can we align our ad copy more closely to our landing page?
  • Can we make bid adjustments by device?
  • Can we utilize remarketing lists for search ads?

Let’s dive in!

#1: Can we reduce non-converting spend?

This is a quick, yet effective strategy. Can you identify keywords that have lots of impressions and clicks, but no conversions or orders? This is called a non-converting keyword: a keyword that spends a significant amount of your budget without providing a valuable return on your investment. It’s important not to get distracted by the vanity metric of clicks, the end goal is conversion.

Reviewing your account and identifying non-converting keywords will help you:

Eliminate waste:
Optimize or pause keywords that have not converted.

Improve the user experience:
Investigate keywords that have a high CTR and high Bounce Rate because this means that the keyword is relevant to the ad but the landing page is probably not correct.

We recently used this strategy when we took over the Adwords account for Jackson Tree Service. This technique helped reduce their Cost Per Click (CPC) by 45% and increase their Click Through Rate (CTR) by 39%. 

#2: Can we improve our keyword match types?

Broad match keywords can be costly because they often generate a large amount of unqualified traffic. Can you, on a weekly basis, use more restrictive match types (modified broad and exact) to filter out unqualified traffic? While clicks may decrease, you’ll be showing your ads to more high intent search terms which will improve sales and increase quality scores.

Broad match is the default match type for keywords unless you select a specific match type. Because broad matched keywords are aimed at capturing a large number of impressions and reach, your ad can show on irrelevant search causing costs to rise fast. Monitor your account for low quality keywords and eliminate any broad match terms that are monopolizing your budget.

For more examples on keyword match types, check out this help doc from Google Adwords support center.

#3: Can we align our ad copy more closely to our landing page?

It’s tough to get potential customers to convert if their pay-per-click experience is not relevant. One of the best ways to make their click experience more relevant is to match the creative and copy of your landing page to the ad copy served on Google.

Here’s an example: If you are a landscaping company in Denver and bidding on the keyword ‘+professional +lawn +service +company +near +me”, you’ll want your ad copy to include the terms “lawn services”, your url extensions to include lawn/service, and your ad description to mention “lawn services”.

In addition to making sure you align your keyword closely with your ad copy, send them directly to a page showcasing your lawn services.

#4: Can we make bid adjustments by device?

If desktop is performing significantly better than your campaign’s average cost per order, and tablet is performing significantly worse, it probably makes sense to increase bids on desktop, while decreasing bids on tablet. This doesn’t mean you have to turn off a device completely. By bringing each segment’s performance closer to the overall average, your campaign should become more efficient and yield more total conversions.

You can see how your campaigns are doing by selecting a campaign, going to your settings tab and clicking “device”. This example shows bid adjustments for desktop and tablet.

#5: Can we utilize remarketing lists for search and display ads?

With remarketing audiences, you have the ability to increase bids for users who are more likely to convert than your average Joe on the street who has never heard of your company and might not be a quality click. This gives you the ability to potentially bid down across product category Search campaigns as a whole but bid higher on audiences more likely to convert. If you have a product category that has a low ROI and isn’t bringing in new 01’s, you can only serve this category to returning visitors.

In order to leverage a remarketing list, you first must place the Adwords Remarketing tag on your website. To access to retargeting tag, open your Adwords account and select “Shared library” from the left menu bar. Under Shared library, select audiences.

If you’re creating a remarketing list for the first time, you’ll see several remarketing options. Under “Website visitors,” click “Set up remarketing” and complete the setup process

Over to you! We’re excited to share our strategies, open up conversations on PPC and learn all together. What PPC strategies do you lean on when looking to supercharge results?

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-increasing-conversion-rate-with-landing-pages

How To Build Conversion Focused Landing Pages That Drive Leads

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet The Buy Guys.

In this post, we’ll share the story of The Buy Guys, a Florida-based home buyer and seller that has purchased over 10,000 homes in the last ten years. We helped increase their leads by 138% this year by optimizing landing pages to increase conversions and serve as a growth engine.

Tuff has been a trusted partner of my company. They deliver quality work and clearly communicate what’s being done and when. I especially appreciate Tuff’s ability to manage projects from start-to-finish and provide guidance on how we can best achieve our goals. Tuff has proven to be an important strategic and tactical resource for us. – Geoff Duncan, The Buy Guys, Chief Marketing Officer (View our reviews on Google & Facebook)

Why The Buy Guys Decided to Update Their Website

Whether you’re launching a site for a new startup or overhauling the site of an existing brand, your website is often one of your most important lead generation channels. Which makes sense, right? People go to your website to learn more about your service or your product.

But here’s the thing: Your website is also the one marketing asset that could benefit most from regular improvements to help boost conversions.

Previously, The Buy Guys allocated the majority of their marketing time and effort to print mail – a successful channel in the home buying industry. But as The Buy Guys matured and more people were spending time researching home selling and the home selling process online, it was critical they improve their online experience. Working with their CEO and COO in January, we decided to work on a digital marketing strategy that would focus on increasing leads and sales.

So, how increase their leads by 138%?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

The Buy Guys’ Playbook:

Start with user research.

You always need to design your website with your target audience in mind, you can’t design it for yourself and your subjective style preferences. To start to get to know the audience interacting with The Buy Guys better, we took both a qualitative and quantitative approach using CallRail, their call tracking software.

The qualitative approach was listening to 100 phone calls recordings to see what kind of words customers were using, what was the very first problem they explained over the phone, what were they hearing, thinking, feeling, saying? Using a spreadsheet, we took notes on each call and tagged each call with a trend we had identified among customers (i.e. ‘unhappy with realtor).

The quantitative approach using CallRail was to export data from over 1,000 calls to see larger trends such as time of day people are calling, what page the visited before calling, where are they calling from. We believe the best strategies are built on customer research and 3-5 detailed personas that can represent the larger audience. Personas give your team a shared language to use when talking about customers and make sure you’re building for them, not you.

Build the wireframe (don’t skip this step!)

After developing user personas backed by qualitative and quantitative research, our designer put this information into action by mapping out a bare-bones layout for your new site. We like to call this part, “the blueprints.” When the wireframe is completed and approved, you have a clear understanding of all of the user paths throughout the site, as well as what content you need to prepare for the redesign. At Tuff, we do wireframes between the strategy and redesign phase as a way of mapping out the strategy in a way that sets us up for success in the design phase.

Through the wireframe, we can accomplish the following:

  • Confirm that our site’s new layout is in line with our UX goals for the redesign.
  • Make sure that everything on our redesign wishlist is accounted for in the new layout.
  • Create a visual roadmap to serve as a foundation for the often chaotic design phase.
  • Give your design team a head start. With the layout and content map already completed, the team can focus on design and brand development.

Designing the site

And now, the fun part, designing the site. During this phase, we bring together all of the elements of our project: our strategy and goals, the completed wireframe, our updated copy and images, and the brand style guide. Using the wireframe as our guide for layout, and the brand style guide and updated content as our guide for visuals, we redesign the site for both desktop and mobile – thinking strategically about how to lay out our content for easy consumption, not only on our audience’s computer but across all of their devices.



Once the mockup is completed and approved, it’s time to start the site build. We chose to build thebuyguys.com using a versatile theme on WordPress.org, a great choice for its flexibility with design and easy ability to be customized. Upon completion of the build, our team went through several rounds of quality assurance testing, before we got to the final step before launch: adding tags.

Review and improve

When your website launches, you should already be recording all of the available data with tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar. With these tools installed, you’ll soon have data that you can start to use to improve pieces of your website.

For example, once The Buy Guys site launched, we quickly realized that their site traffic was heavy on the mobile side. In fact, over 70% of their traffic was mobile. Knowing this, we were able to prioritize mobile updates and start A/B testing our CTAs above the fold on mobile exclusively.

Rather than starting from scratch each time your website becomes outdated, your can think of the website as a project that’s never truly finished. You have to continuously oil your growth engine.

Results:

With the launch of the new website, we:

  • Increased paid advertising spend month over month by 49%
  • Increased leads by 138.02%
  • Decreased Cost Per Lead (CPL) by 36.92%
  • Increases conversion rate by 3.68%

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-common-ppc-questions-our-paid-acquisition-expert-answers

Top 5 Common PPC Questions Our Paid Acquisition Expert Answers

Running paid ads on Google, Facebook, and various other paid platforms is often new and exciting to any business owner looking to crack into new sources of leads. In my role as a Paid Advertising Specialist at Tuff, I partner with CMOs and business owners and get the opportunity to answer their initial questions when getting started. Here are the most common PPC questions and responses to those questions.

Let’s dive in!

1. Is PPC right for my business?

This is a big one, the most high level of common PPC questions. Owners and entrepreneurs have seen ads all over the internet and usually have fair concerns about the validity and effectiveness of them. I look to a few specific things to answer this question:

What industry are you in?

The type of business you operate is of big concern to me. If you are a niche business with no competition and Keyword traffic, PPC is a great fit for you. If you are a brand new Real Estate Investor in a crowded NYC market that has a ton of expensive competition, PPC would be a tough nut to crack. Usually clients fall somewhere in the middle and it’s my job to find the sweet spot in the market space.

Do you have systems in place to handle leads?

It’s not a great experience for potential customers if there isn’t a sales funnel or process in place to convert this new channel of incoming leads. It’s important to ask yourself, does my business have a reliable CRM? Will my business be able to provide a reasonable amount of creative flexibility with landing pages to test new traffic? Do we have a reliable IT process?

How much traffic is out there for you?

This might be the most important starter question. I always check if there is enough traffic out there looking for exactly what your business does, using Keyword tools like Keyword Planner, and SpyFu. Bottom line, if there’s not enough traffic PPC might not be the answer. Traffic doesn’t just mean Keyword impressions, it could also include audience groupings for display, youtube, facebook, etc. If there aren’t market segments that exist already, you would essentially be creating a market, and for a lot of business owners the capital to do that is limiting.

2. How much should I spend?

This usually comes on the heels of agreeing that PPC is right for you. Now, it’s time for me to align PPC expectations:

What are your goals?

There is a big difference between looking for engagement to drive leads and looking to drive sales of a very expensive online item through paid ads. This question is an opportunity for me to set realistic expectations based on experience and traffic estimates. This is also a great time to be more specific about how we plan to turn cold traffic into warm traffic through blogs, white papers, videos, etc. This is where an experienced PPC manager will explain that turning extremely cold traffic into a sale through one ad and landing page might be too big of an ask.

What is the lifetime value of your customers?

The lifetime value of your customer is an important metric to track. This metric should be ingrained within the decisions you make about balancing your own books. Knowing the lifetime value also helps a PPC manager assess how much we should spend to get a lead and customer or sale through the paid advertising.

Knowing these two things helps me set a baseline budget for testing and makes sure I’m optimizing my campaigns against the right ROI targets.

3. What will I get in return?

So, we’ve decided PPC is right for you and set a budget for testing. Then, we dive into some more questions:

What are you hoping to get in return?

When it comes to maximizing your results with PPC, the first step is to identify an ROI target. While this can be difficult to track, it’s one of the most important KPIs for your business and advertising health. During this stage, I work with you to set reasonable lead and ROI targets.

What are your historic conversion rates from traffic to lead?

This is a necessary metric to know as a PPC manager. With these historic numbers, I can set a baseline for your PPC performance. If conversion rates are too low based on PPC traffic, your targeting isn’t hot enough.

What are your historic conversion rates from Lead to Sale?

Similar to above, this metric is important to grade the continuity of your marketing efforts from ad to sale. If you are getting a ton of leads but no sales, a) your ads aren’t in line with the messaging on site, or b) the site in general isn’t great at converting colder traffic. As an end-to-end growth agency, we love analyzing if it’s a or b and can help optimize either.

With all the above, you can forecast some average conversion rates and some very conservative numbers on what you can expect from the PPC efforts.

4. What platforms should I be on?

This is where we breakdown the platforms for our clients and help them select the right channels to reach their goals. As a general rule, if the objective is brand awareness, we’ll typically start with Facebook, Instagram, or Pre-Roll YouTube ads. Video is an excellent ad format when it comes to reach and impressions, so we’ll often push for this type of creative asset to maximize brand lift.

If you’re bootstrapped and on budget looking to drive leads, conversions, or sales, we often launch search campaigns on Google and Bing knowing these might be more expensive clicks, but should convert at a higher rate than other platforms since users are actively searching for a solution or product. In other words, the search intent is higher.

Selecting the right platform to reach your objectives is one of the single most important pieces of the strategy phase. And, in the ideal world, we leverage a handful of PPC channels to reach potential customers at every stage of the buyer funnel – from awareness, consideration, and conversion with a variety of ad formats and retargeting.

5. I see my competition all over the internet. How can I do that?

You’re right to think that way. If your competition is doing it they’re taking money off the table. We like to investigate a little further with this common PPC question:

Is copying your competition best? (Think USP)

Any PPC manager should remind you that copying the competition isn’t always the best strategy. Maybe they’re doing a great job and you can borrow a thing or two, but ultimately, they are separate businesses with separate Unique Selling Propositions that should be built into the ads.

Are they bidding on your brand?

If competition is bidding on your brand terms you should 100% get into the game. That other business is stealing business from you, bottom line. From personal experience, businesses have had shut their doors because other digital marketers have cannibalized their brand terms online.

Are they across all platforms?

This is great to research because it can yield opportunities for an account manager. What if a business is slaying it on Amazon but not on Google? What if a huge brand is owning Google but not on Bing, and that competitor can bid on their brand terms? What if none of them are on FB?

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-customer-acquisition-using-facebook-ad

How To Scale User Growth Using Facebook Ads

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. 

Fresh Meal Plan is a healthy meal delivery service located in South Florida. Looking to find traction in the Florida market and scale their growth, they partnered with Tuff to launch high-impact Facebook and Instagram campaigns to increase ROI and quickly drive key learnings on what’s working and what’s not.

Why Fresh Meal Plan Tapped Into Paid Social Acquisition

Scaling growth is hard and it requires you to be rigorous about the channels you experiment within the early stages of your business. It might seem easy to find one right away and then dump all your money into that one tactic but that almost never happens. As a startup, you have to work towards the right channel – and understand that it takes time.

One of the channels we saw the most success with for fueling user acquisition for Fresh Meal Plan was with social ads. With a wide range of targeting options to help you find the right niche, customer acquisition using Facebook ads can be a highly cost-effective channel. After an initial kick-off meeting with Fresh Meal Plan to align on goals and ROI expectations, we launched geo-specific Facebook and Instagram campaigns following a 3-step process.

The Three Step Process

Step 1: Conduct user research before design

Figuring out the right targeting is key to reaching the audience most likely to convert. Be it in-depth customer segmentation or listening to customer phone calls, we never create a Facebook or Instagram without researching user behavior first. As an agency, you can lean on your client’s customer-facing team members or, if you’re in-house, partner with your support team to learn more about your customers.

We’ve found that it’s better to spend more time building out target segments and do the right design for them than doing the right campaign for the wrong users. For this account, we built out 5-10 core and custom audiences in Facebook.

For our core audiences, we relied heavily on interest and behavior targeting. For example, we created an audience of users who expressed an interest in CrossFit on their Facebook page. In addition to core audiences, we also built out Lookalike Audiences using website traffic and existing customer email lists.

Step 2: Develop custom creative for each audience

After building out our target segments in Facebook’s audience panel, we created Facebook campaign concepts for each target segment. Both the copy and creative is developed with a particular audience in mind.

Step 3: Retarget with a compelling offer

To combat ad invisibility and get the most of customer acquisition using Facebook ads, we try to always include a compelling offer or call to action in our retargeting effort. Doing so can drive great results, especially if your goal is to generate sales rather than solely drive clicks.

 

Results

Over the course of 30 days, we achieved the following results for customer acquisition using Facebook ads, driving significant market awareness and sales for the brand. Since then, we have doubled the budget and scaled our acquisition efforts to new markets:

  • Clicks: 1,984
  • New Customers: 228
  • CPA: $15.85

Whether you’re just testing the waters or ready to scale, figuring out how to acquire new customers on Facebook and Google is difficult. We’ve spent the past few years working with all kinds of different businesses, with small and large budgets, across a range of industries to help them figure this out. 

If you want to explore more about how to scale your customer acquisition with Tuff, or want a first-hand look at the data showcased above, touch base to set up a free, 30-minute growth strategy session with our team. We’d love to learn more about who you are and what you do so that we can help you find your way to the next level.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-paid-advertising-benchmarks

How Good is Your Paid Advertising, Really?

How does your paid advertising stack up, compared to your competitors? Where does it fall compared to other businesses where your customers spend money?

Whether you’re doing PPC for the first time or your company has been running campaigns for years, it can be daunting to know whether or not you’re doing a good job. In fact, benchmarking your paid advertising against other companies can be more complicated than measuring the results of your own efforts.

Here’s a simple 3-step process for creating your benchmarking report:

1. Understand the metrics that matter most

Earlier this year, Wordstream dug into their clients PPC data and compiled Google AdWords benchmarks across 20 different industries.

They evaluated their accounts based on the following metrics:

  • Average Click-Through Rate (CTR) in AdWords by industry, for Search and Display
  • Average Cost per Click (CPC) in AdWords by industry, for Search and Display
  • Average Conversion Rate (CVR) in AdWords by industry, for Search and Display
  • Average Cost per Action (CPA) in AdWords by industry, for Search and Display

These metrics vary depending on industry. A useful metric for one industry isn’t necessarily helpful for another. What’s important is that you don’t need to compare every possible metric. With the four metrics above, you’ll have a good sense of what is working and what isn’t and how you can improve.

2. Collect data

Now that you have target metrics for your industries paid advertising, the next step is the execute your campaigns. Once you’ve hit “enable”, your campaigns will start running and the data will begin to populate in your account.

Instead of focusing on a short window of time, we like to focus on at least 30 days. You don’t want to get buried in too much data, but you do need enough data for your evaluation to be statistically relevant.

3. Analyze the results

At this stage, you’ll map your internal scores for the same metrics against your collected data. Where are you doing well? Where are you falling behind? What smart ideas can you quickly implement? How can you improve?

Let’s look at two different Tuff client accounts and walk through different ways you can analyze and understand your results.

eCommerce

Tuff has been partnering with a high-end jeweler in the US for over 2 years. Working closely with their marketing team, we manage their paid advertising for YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Bing, and Adwords, spending around $150,000 per month in media allocations.

In the chart below, we’ve compared their Q1 Search Performance with the industry average. Here’s how our team tackled the assessment:

CTR: We’re only slightly above the average on CTR which made this feel like a key opportunity to improve. Using this info, we sorted our ads from top performing to lowest performing. We kept our top 50% and generated a new set of ads to replace to lower CTR ads. We also layered on two new ad formats: Call Only Ads and Responsive Search Ads.

CPC: Our cost per click is higher than average so we can tackle this in a few ways. We started by asking two fundamental questions: Can we identify keywords that have a high number of impressions and clicks, but zero conversions, orders, or sales? If so, let’s kill them. And can we use more restrictive match types (modified broad and exact) to filter out unqualified traffic? If so, let’s tighten up our match types so we can eliminate waste.

CVR: For now, no action items within the account. We’ll continue to monitor and tackle this next benchmark report.

CTA: This is one of our favorite metrics. How much did it cost you to acquire a lead, sale, conversion? This account has 56 search campaigns with a different CPA for each. We know exactly how many leads we need to convert a sale and what are ROI targets are at each campaign. Compared to the industry we’re $18.57 above average. However, we know that our products, at a higher price point than traditional eCommerce, still have a positive return. Since the campaigns are still very profitable at a $63.84 CPA, this metric isn’t super concerning. That said, one way to get this down would be to consider offering a promotion or deal with our retargeting efforts on display. This won’t lower the Search CPA, but it should help increase post-view conversions from Search.  

B2B

Here’s another example from one of our B2B clients. This company is relatively new to the market but growing fast in the small business bookkeeping and accounting space. We manage their paid advertising for both Facebook and Adwords, allocating 20k per month across both channels.

Here’s how our team tackled the assessment:

CTR: Nice! We’re up significantly here. This could mean that our positioning is relevant and unique to our competition in the space. While we didn’t make any adjustments to the ads in this account, we did pull the top performing ads for the entire marketing team so that we could leverage that positioning in other channels such as email, Facebook, Instagram, and landing pages.

CPC: We’re spending 3x more than the industry average on clicks, so it was important to dig in here. The first thing we did was look at our keyword position and the required minimum bid to stay on the first page of results. The keywords in this industry are expensive and in order to stay in the top 3 positions, not the first but an average of 2, we had to bid pretty high. The account quality score is high, so we know that spend is one of the best ways to keep us on page 1. One of the tools we use to see keyword bid trends is Google’s Keyword Planner. We use this before we launch campaigns and during optimization so we know an estimate on what things will cost.

CVR: Wow! Big high five to our client on creating high-converting landing pages. While there were no direct actions to take on this one, we did analyze which campaigns had the highest and lowest conversion rates. For any campaigns that we’re budget capped and converting at a high-rate, we increased budget.

CTA: Over by $5 and working to bring this down. Since this is an average and the account has 31 search campaigns, can we identify any campaigns that are 2x over the CPA average? If so, how do we bring them down? This benchmark was helpful in understanding which campaigns we need to focus on the most to see the most significant change in results.

Key takeaways:

  • Use the data to understand your account metrics but not to shut things down immediately if you don’t hit it out of the park on your first swing. As you can see from our eCommerce example, things look pretty red. The benchmark report gives you a chance to identify focus areas and improve.
  • Understand where you fall on the industry paid advertising spectrum. These benchmarks are averages, and it’s important to know where you fall on the spectrum. In our eCommerce example, the average product price is $10,000. This account sees very different results than a lower price product account.
  • Benchmarks give you a place to focus but aren’t the only indicator of success or failure. We always go back to one key metric: ROI. When you understand which campaigns and channels are actually generating revenue, you’ll know where you’re making or losing money and how to move forward.

Over to you! 

We’re excited to share our strategies, open up conversations on PPC and learn all together. What benchmarking strategies do you lean on when looking to evaluate results?

If you’re short on capacity, you can get some of the benefit of benchmarking with significantly less effort by contacting Tuff for a free growth strategy session. We’ll analyze your paid advertising and present your top growth opportunities in a PDF.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-facebook-ad-copywriting-strategies

Refining Your Facebook Ad Copy For A Lower CAC

Person updating Facebook ad copy on laptopReady to start using Facebook ads to acquire more customers? 

As an agency with social advertising experts, we’re fortunate to run and test quite a few Facebook ads every week. This means lots of copywriting opportunities and the need for fresh inspiration.

“Brevity is the soul of wit.”
— Shakespeare

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
— Margaret Atwood

“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
— Jack Kerouac

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
— Samuel Johnson

No matter your writing muse, communicating your message in a compelling way with a limited number of characters ideal for social media is hard. It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself, your creativity and your vocabulary. It’s also an opportunity to increase reach, leads, and revenue for your business.

When I feel myself hitting a roadblock, I bring myself back to four pillars I’ve found effective for Facebook ad copywriting:

  • Timeliness
  • Humanizing
  • Emojis
  • Wordplay

Below we’ll share and comment on these four strategies. Under each strategy the first two ads will examples will been written by Tuff and the third example will be another company we think has practiced this strategy well.

Timeliness

Timeliness is an awesome tool for Facebook ad copywriting. Being able to take advantage of the excitement and hype surrounding a big or seasonal event can go a long way. It also shows your audience that your ads and content aren’t on a set and repeat schedule, your aware of what is going on in their world and following along as well.

Here, we capitalized on the Madness of March.

 

With Valentine’s Day coming up before this ad, we were communicating the value of Xendoo — it saves you time.

 

Example: We like how Penguin Books makes you feel all the fall feels.

 

Humanizing

This year Facebook, as a company, has been making a number of changes to incentivize interactions and engagement. They’ve been noticing trends of users being quite passive on Facebook, mostly scrolling throughout content without interacting with it. So, rather than prioritizing content that might grab a user’s attention, but drive little interaction, Facebook will favor the content that sparks conversations and brings people together. One way we like to try and attempt this is through humanizing brands and ads by using photos of real people and customers rather than graphics and illustrations of people. The second way we practice this is through using real names, locations, and jobs in ads.

Instead of a picture of the meal, we used a photo of a person this audience might relate to.

By using “Sally” and “Philly”, we built a character similar to the target audience.

Outside Example: We love the photo 17hats uses here. It shows they know who their audience is.

Emojis

We love emojis! In some A/B tests we’ve also seen them performing quite a bit better than there emoji-less counterparts. With the right brand, they make a lot of sense. Depending on the demographic, including emojis likens the ads to the text messages and Facebook comments with their personal network. We especially like to use emojis as bullet points, like in the 2nd and 3rd example here. It turns Facebook ad copywriting in emoji-writing.

Wordplay

It can be easy to tune Facebook ads out. But, when the copy makes the reader think, laugh, or challenges them with a pun, it can create willingness for deeper engagement. If you need an assist, this Pun Generator can help get the juices flowing!

Divine Spaces is a marketplace focused on unique event rentals. “Open your doors” applies to both the literal and metaphorical doors.

Readers likely aren’t used to fill in the blank type ads. We were hoping to surprise them here.

Over to you…

What Facebook ad copywriting strategies do you use for Facebook ads? Send us a note and let us know.

If you’re feeling stuck writing Facebook copy, challenge yourself to write four different ads practicing: timeliness, humanizing your brand, emojis, and wordplay. Then, pick your favorite out of the four.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.