When it comes to growth through paid acquisition, diversity is the name of the game. Diversity in messaging, diversity in tactics and diversity in channels. In this case study, we’re going to be talking about the last one: Channel Diversification.
There are so many different channel options out there, it can be difficult to choose what’s best for your company. As part of being an ecommerce growth marketing agency, we’re always on the lookout for new channel options to help our partners hit their revenue targets. It’s important to have a healthy mix of channels to hit users on different platforms at various stages of their buying journey.
Looking to generate very, very high level awareness? Maybe try ads through a programmatic connected TV platform.
Picking up users who have an interest in the types of products you sell? Facebook and Instagram would be a good fit.
Want users who are searching directly for a solution your product provides? Google ads will do the trick there.
Building a comprehensive growth marketing strategy typically includes a combination of all of the above, with some more channels sprinkled in. This is exactly what Tea Drops, one of our partners, asked us to do for them when they teamed up with Tuff towards the end of Q3 2021.
Tea Drops and Tuff
Tea Drops is a CPG brand that figured out a new, unique take on one of morning’s most simple pleasures, the cup of tea. Their compressed drops dissolve in hot water, giving you the perfect cup of tea without dealing with the bag.
“Tuff is an amazing team, extremely organized, and driven to produce results! We have churned through multiple agencies in our lifetime, and have been so impressed by Tuff.” – Sashee Chandran, Founder and CEO at Tea Drops (See all Google Reviews here).
Tea Drops came to us in September looking for help growing their brand and sales online through paid acquisition. They had seen some success in the past but needed a team to bring some stability to their network of acquisition channels, as well as a strategy to make these channels work together. At the time of the partnership starting, we had identified 5 channels we wanted to run ads on for them:
- Tik Tok
This combination of channels would give us full coverage of the funnel and allow us to hit users at any point of their buying journey.
As we moved closer to Black Friday/Cyber Monday we saw success across channels but were running into an interesting problem on paid social: We were having trouble converting retargeting traffic. We saw strong results coming in from cold traffic, but when going after users who had already been to the site we didn’t see the same efficiencies. Retargeting is typically an area where you see higher efficiency, so this was clearly a problem that needed addressing.
At this point we knew that we needed a different solution to convert retargeting traffic that our existing channel mix couldn’t provide, so we turned to Mountain.
How we used Mountain for Tea Drops.
As I mentioned earlier, the team at Tuff is always trying to expand our channel expertise. As we take on different types of partners, programmatic ads have been showing up in our channel mixes more and more. There are a ton of different programmatic channels out there for advertisers, but Tea Drops had an account set up with Mountain already with historical spend, so we started there.
There are two main offerings from Mountain, connected TV ads and display network ads. Since we’re focused on driving last click conversion for Tea Drops, we stayed away from the connected TV offering and decided to introduce ads on the display network (for more info on how to decide which attribution model is right for you, check out this post.)
We needed a solution for the very bottom of the funnel, so we set up our campaigns to only target users who I’ve added items to their cart, but have not completed a purchase. On the creative side, we used one of Mountain’s dynamic options to set our ad creative to populate with products that that user had either added to their cart or had browsed on the website. This was accomplished by making sure that the link between Shopify and Mountain was populating the product catalog correctly on the ad platform side, and that our Mountain pixel tracking was set up properly.
The dynamic aspects of the ad creative alongside a 15% off offer yielded really strong results f
or us almost immediately after activating this campaign. As we moved past Black Friday and Cyber Monday and into the month
of December, which can always be a tricky month for e-commerce advertisers, we were able to rely on Mountain to deliver low cost, bottom of funnel purchases where our other paid social channels fell short.
This channel was treated as very much a supplementary channel to our overall mix. Given that we were only targeting users who have added to cart without purchasing, we didn’t need to dedicate a large amount of budget to Mountain. For the month of December, we decided that this channel would take 1.5% of our overall ad budget. We have the benefit of testing it for a couple weeks before moving into this crucial holiday to find where the optimal spend would be for our audience.
Tea Drops did very well advertising on the channels that we outlined earlier during Black Friday and Cyber Monday but there was a big question mark around how we would perform early in the month of December. This is a time of year that people typically associate with increased purchasing but it can be hard to forecast revenue numbers and purchase intent coming off the back of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is typically a more lucrative time for e-commerce businesses.
As we moved into early December, Mountain really started to pick up in terms of purchase volume and efficiency where some of our other channels took a step back coming off Black Friday deals that we were advertising.
For Tea Drops, we have very clear CPA goals for each of our channels we’re running ads on. During the first two weeks of December, Mountain was able to deliver purchases at a cost of $14.14 each, which was more than 50% lower than our target CPA across paid social channels. This is a huge boost for us, especially considering that we were not seeing efficient purchases coming at the bottom of the funnel with our Facebook and Instagram ads, which were taking up the majority of our budget.
By placing only 1.5% of our ad budget to Mountain, it generated 3.5% of our total attributed purchases for the month of December. This might sound like a small number, but when you’re dealing with larger budgets, this can make a big difference to the bottom line.
If you’ve gotten this far in the post you might be asking yourself “Why is there an entire post dedicated to a tactic that took 1.5% of a partner’s budget?”
This is really the core of what Growth Marketers and Channel Experts do here at Tuff. If there’s any opportunity to find more efficient results by using different tactics or different channels, it’s pretty much a guarantee that we are going to explore it. This might sound corny, but driving great results for our partners is what gets us out of bed in the morning. It helped us bring great results Tea Drops during a crucial time of year for them and it’s an approach that we take all of our partners.
If you’re interested in seeing what sort of Channel mix our team would recommend for your eCommerce business reach out and set up a call with our team. We’d love to chat.
Hi there! I’m Ethan, a Growth Marketer based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I have four years of digital agency experience under my belt creating and executing acquisition strategies for companies in a number of different verticals across a variety of channels. When I’m not at my desk you can find me skiing, mountain biking or chasing my dog around in the mountains.