Today’s post is by Carmem Domingues , media analyst at Ampush.

Off-site conversion on Facebook…. Where do I start?

unpublished posts are kingThe world of Facebook advertising can be quite daunting with the myriad of options and possibilities at one’s fingertips. However, a good advertiser will know that each type of ad available serves a different purpose and performs better for certain verticals and audiences.

Most importantly, the strategy implemented and the ad and targeting type used should be chosen based on the client’s objective with the promotion – is the client’s goal to expand the brand’s fan base, acquire new users for a new mobile game, or drive users off-site for conversion? The best advertisers know that rather than going just by what their intuition says will work best given the campaign’s goals, ad performance data is what will ultimately show them the winners and losers in each instance and allow them to optimize to the highest Return on Ad Spend (ROA) for their clients.

And when it comes to driving users off-site for conversion (where conversion is measured by form filling), we at Ampush have found that Unpublished Page Posts are king. Unpublished Page Posts are simply Page Posts that do not show up on a brand’s Page. This allows the advertiser to create Posts that can be promoted to users without cluttering the Timeline.

create page post ads

To illustrate the point, we will use as examples two campaigns in extremely distinct industries: Education and Financial Services. These industries are inherently different in content, business model, and advertising practices. Whereas one aims to help people with their borrowing needs, the other seeks to encourage students to get a higher education degree. However, the campaigns had two very important similarities – their goals and client ad unit preference.

Their goals were similar in that both required people to be directed to the client’s website, where they would fill out a form with some preliminary personal information in order to be contacted later. A conversion, thus, was a lead – or a form filled out and submitted for later contact – and the cost of reaching this lead was measured as the Cost-Per-Lead (CPL).

The client ad unit preference was similar in that at first both clients were focused on Right-hand Side Domain Ads and hesitant to authorize the use of Page Posts, which based on previous experience in other campaigns, Ampush believed would increase conversion rates (CR) and lower CPLs.

After seeing the initial dismal CR and high CPL, both clients agreed to allow us to run some tests with Unpublished Page Post Ads.


The increased News Feed visibility of Page Post Ads (both through the greater character count, which allows for a better explanation of services offered, and larger, more eye-catching images) and their front-and-center positioning in the “most engaging place on the web” helped improve CPLs through higher Click-Through Rates (CTRs) and lower Cost Per Click (CPCs) than we had seen before.

Moreover, Page Post Ads enabled us to drive mobile users to an off-site domain (currently the only option for doing so). And since they are Unpublished, there would be no risk of cluttering the clients’ Facebook Page and their fans’ News Feed with multiple posts, as we could target specific audiences with each post, and expand the reach beyond just current fans.

Both clients were ecstatic with the results.

For our Education client, Unpublished Page Post Ads were able to outperform Right-hand Side Domain Ads by driving more traffic and conversions with only 4% of the impressions and 73% of the spend for Right-hand Side Domain Ads. Unpublished Page Post Ads drove 116% more clicks, at 28 times the CTR and delivered 3 times the number of total leads at 2.6 times the CVR. This resulted in CPLs at 25% of the original CPL for Right-hand Side Domain Ads.

unpublished page post cpl

Our Financial Services client saw similarly effective results. With Unpublished Page Post Ads, just 10% of Ad Spend, less than 1% the total number of impressions, and only 16% of clicks, we achieved 21 times the previous CTR and delivered 1.6 times the number of leads at 10 times the CR. This yielded CPLs of 6% the original post-click cost with standard Domain Ads.

cpl for unpublished page posts

By analyzing ad performance data rather than just trusting our intuition, we were able to bring down costs and increase conversion volume to attain a dramatic improvement in ROAs for our clients. And we were able to conclude that for off-site conversions on Facebook, Unpublished Page Posts are king.

Carmem Domingues AmpushCarmem Domingues is a Media Analyst at Ampush. Before joining Ampush, Carmem was in charge of Research and Microtargeting for the 2012 Mayoral Campaigns of Rio de Janeiro & Niterói, Brazil.


  1. Joey Muller May 30th, 2013

    Nice post, Carmem. I’m curious if you have tested photo posts against link posts?

  2. Carmem Domingues June 10th, 2013

    Hi Joey

    Thanks for your comment/question. I have tested Photo Page Posts vs. Link Page Posts and have gotten mixed results. For some clients, in the financial services industry, whereas Photo Page Posts saw higher CTRs, Conversion Rates and Cost per Conversion were higher. On the other hand, for an e-Commerce client, Photo Page Posts performed better: despite lower overall Conversion Rates, they had 76% higher CTR, and 55% cheaper CPC, driving more than 3x the total volume at a cheaper overall price. These were just preliminary results on a somewhat small test, but given the performance here, I would be surprised if they do not pay off. So basically, it is always worth testing to let the data point you to what works for each client =).


  3. Ryan May 30th, 2013

    I couldn’t figure out to do this , but I found Jon Loomer posted a great tut on how to get it up and running.

    Great results though, Carmen.

  4. Carmem Domingues June 10th, 2013

    Hi Ryan

    Thanks a lot! Glad you found a tutorial there =).


  5. Chris Zaharias May 30th, 2013

    Thanks Carmen; that’s a very well-written article!

  6. Carmem Domingues June 10th, 2013

    Hi Chris

    Thank you very much for the compliment! Appreciated!


  7. Justin C July 26th, 2013

    Carmem, great info here. I’ve had a lot of success with my first Page Post Ads, but I’m unsure of what a “click” is defined as inside FB Ad Manager. Analytics shows me 18 uniques, FB shows me 168 clicks.

    The ad is a Picture Post w/ a link inside the text portion of the ad. Is that URL the only thing that counts as a “click” or is any click on the ad a “click.” Would the latter group include clicking on my page name, clicking to enlarge the photo, clicking Like/Comment/Share?


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