Today’s post is by Brad Flora, CEO of Perfect Audience.
Retargeting has worked well for 99designs. The online marketplace for graphic design has used the Google Display Network for years to bring back visitors who left without signing up and launching a campaign. The campaigns were carefully optimized, regularly updated, and generated a good profit for the company.
But 99designs Marketing Manager JoAnne Hart is always looking for ways to drive more sales. When she read about Facebook Exchange and how the social network was opening its inventory up to retargeting campaigns, she suspected it might be worth a test, to see if it drove results comparable to her long-running GDN campaigns.
Teaming up with a Facebook Exchange provider, JoAnne was able to easily clone her GDN campaign targeting settings and configuration to a Facebook retargeting context. She cookied users to retarget on Facebook in the same place where she cookied them to retarget on GDN. She created over 100 different ads with similar messaging as her GDN display ads and set her campaigns to serve for similar durations and with similar frequency. She limited her test to just the U.S. market, where she could most quickly assess whether the campaigns were driving results.
In early November, the Facebook retargeting campaigns went live. Within a week she was seeing results, and within three weeks she felt she had enough data to fairly compare the performance to that of her GDN campaigns.
The results were startling. The new Facebook retargeting campaigns had boosted incremental revenue from signups in the U.S. market by 134% during the period. Meanwhile, the post-click CPA from the Facebook retargeting campaigns was 24% lower than her post-click CPA from the GDN campaigns. As she suspected, a lot of her lost customers were spending time on Facebook and could be brought back profitably.
JoAnne ran the campaigns in their first form throughout the winter to confirm the lift she was seeing. At the beginning of Q2 2013, she began setting up similarly structured Facebook retargeting campaigns for her lost customers in the UK, Canada, and Germany.
This experience illustrates why last year’s launch of Facebook Exchange was such a big deal for marketers. As in JoAnne’s case, a lot of her lost customers spend more time on Facebook than on more traditional content sites covered by Google Display Network. Through Facebook Exchange, she was able to leverage her first-party data to bring those people back – before, using only the GDN, she lost them once they left her site and went back to their news feed.
It’s important to recognize that JoAnne’s campaigns were quite simple in structure; she simply translated what was working for her on GDN over to Facebook Exchange, and even with a setup that simple she was able to boost her sale 134%. If you’re still only retargeting on the Google Display Network, perhaps it’s time to think about testing out the same campaign strategy on Facebook Exchange.
– Brad Flora is CEO and co-founder of Perfect Audience, the fast, easy, and free-to-try Facebook Exchange retargeting platform used by more than 2000 companies to profitably bring back lost customers.