How We Went from Losing Money on FB Ads to a 147x Return on Ad Spend in 3 Months

JillBlog, hits12 Comments

Facebook ads case study

“How did you start making money off your Facebook ads?”.

It's the question everyone wants to know.

And truthfully?

The ONLY way we were able to start making a 147x return on our FB ads spend was to power through 4 straight weeks of losing money.

Seriously.

For the first month Bond, Josh and I started working together and running Facebook ads for the Screw, we lost hundreds of dollars.

And I'm not gonna lie…

I wanted to throw in the towel.

I just kept thinking “WTF?! This is supposed to be making us money, not losing it!”.

I was stressed….

I was agitated…

I was angry-typing…

And I was damn near close to shutting ‘er down.

After all, most of us charge into the world of running ads with the ingrained expectation that it's supposed to be “easy”.

Well?

Not so much.

So how did we go from losing hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars to making a profit?

Let's get into it…

Phase 1: Relentless Testing

This is quite possibly the most important stage, yet it's the one part of the FB ads experience that no one wants to deal with.

I mean, it's boring…

It's frustrating…

And it's annoying losing money and not getting the results you so badly crave, am I right?

So what did this look like in our world?

Well, we used an entire month to test 3 different ad campaigns all centred around our Perfect Sales Funnel funnel.

Since the Screw (and Screw U) is built off the back of sales funnels, we relied heavily on this strategy.

That means for the first month straight we tested 3 different “clicks to website” campaigns (totalling 18 different ad sets!) that each used different copy, images, audiences and CTAs to discover the best way to drum up interest.

Out of these 3 different campaigns we spent a total of $520.78 to drive 916 targeted clicks to our site.

Phase 1—Clicks to Website Campaign

Since our funnel wasn't exactly fully optimized at this time, out of those 500 bones, we only ended up attracting a measly 5 sales, each ranging from $19 up to $79.

But it gets better because we had one funnel in which we spent $210.85 only to make ONE sale of $19.

That means in that particular funnel we lost $191.85 within a matter of days.

Ouch.

And let's be honest…

When your revenue graph looks like this?

Phase 1—Revenue Graph

You are probably going to be downright tempted to stop all your ads, pull all your money and write FB ads off as something that just “doesn't work” for you.

But this moment?

This is where you not only have to persevere, but set your ego aside and realize that the process is not only working, but it's helping you eliminate the copy that doesn't work, the images that fall flat and the audiences that don't convert.

And that?

Is the whole purpose of Phase 1.

We cover our entire testing methodology that went into having 18 different ad sets (spread across 3 separate campaigns) in hyper-detail inside Module 3 of ADdicted, where you'll learn the process of distinguishing the red-hot audiences from the lukewarm potential audiences to the iiiiiice cold audiences.

That way you can cut what doesn't convert and amp up what does.

Yes, your ads dashboard may look something like this….

Phase 1—Testing Ad Sets

But at least you'll have a crystal-clear idea of which audiences convert (and you should up your ad spend for), and which you should shut down immediately.

Now, remember that terrifying revenue graph I showed you a few lines up?

The one with a whole lotta red showing?

Did you happen to notice that nice little upswing at the end of the month?

Well, that was our first sign that not only where we getting closer to our desired outcome, but we were inching our way closer to the next phase.

*wipes sweat from forehead*

Phase 2: Breaking Even…Barely

Lemme keep it real with you…

Josh and I almost lost our faith in FB ads during those first 4 weeks.

I mean, damn, who in their right mind loves losing money at every twist in turn in their business?

It's enough to make you want to quit.

Fortunately, Bond was adamant that her testing was starting to pay off and that we should continue with the strategy we so strongly believed in.

So we stayed the course and started to adjust our campaign objectives (now that we had identified our most responsive audiences) from “clicks to website” to “website conversions” and started focusing on retargeting for our lead magnet and our introductory offer.

Now, if you're having a major “introductory-what-now?” moment, give this a read.

And if you're thinking “retarg….huh?”, give this a read.

So what happened during this phase?

Well, since we had spent an entire month identifying the audiences that were interested in what we had to offer, we started devoting our ad dollars to getting those offers in front of them.

Like I said, we used some heavy retargeting for this stage.

That meant if someone landed on our blogpost page or our opt-in page and didn't actually opt-in, we'd retarget them to get them on our list.

If they did opt-in, but didn't take us up on our introductory offer, we'd retarget them with one more chance to pick up our course, but at a higher price point.

This was all made possible through the power of pixeling—yet another strategy covered inside our program, ADdicted.

So what was our biggest win during this phase?

Our cost per acquisition.

As you can see this is where our testing really started to pay off when our cost per acquisition (how much money it takes to acquire a new customer) was cut from $210.85 down to just $2.04.

Phase 2–Website Conversions

I mean, this was a huge win and an even bigger sigh of relief for us.

Looking back we likely could have started retargeting sooner, but at the time our focus was on systematically and strategically testing the different ad sets, copy, images and audiences to see what resonated best, instead of just hammering our leads with different offers.

And honestly?

This is where I think most people can fall short in their ad strategy…

They think to themselves “Shit yeah! Look at all these leads I've got! Time to make some moolah!”.

But here's the thing…

Those leads?

They aren't signing up to your list just to be bombarded with an offer that doesn't click for them.

They are real people looking for genuine solutions, connection and a personal touch.

So while it might feel backwards to hold off on making that immediate sale, sometimes the payoff for playing it cool and doing your homework is soooo-ooooohhh much more worth it.

And breaking even?

That just means we're building leads for free!

And for us? That was our sign that it was time to move onto Phase 3.

Phase 3: Makin' Money, Honey!

This is the phase everyone wants to get to.

It's the stage that most of the FB ad experts claim you can short-cut your way to with just a simple one-off ad strategy.

And while that might be true for some, there is rarely any talk about HOW to get there.

For us, it was using our introductory offers to not only build leads for free, but add more revenue into our business.

To do this we started stacking our retargeting campaigns which allowed us to spend $141.73 and make back $2,127.00.

Phase 3—Retargeting

That's a 15x return on investment.

It was also a cause for high-fives, margaritas and happy dances between Bond, Josh and myself.

Why?

Because not only had we created a profitable strategy that could be applied across so many different industries, but it was a repeatable and evergreen strategy.

That meant we could use this strategy for all of our current and future funnels, ultimately automating the entire sales process of our business.

Again, huge win!

But it didn't stop there…

You see, it was also in this stage that we started to aggressively promote our core offer, Screw U.

To do this we decided to host a free masterclass, called How To Create a Six-Figure Membership Site where we would pitch Screw U off the back of the class.

Since we had been pixeling a ton of traffic up to that point, we were able to heavily retarget thousands upon thousands of people who were not only familiar with our brand, but had shown interest in our content.

The best part about that?

We were able to do it for far less money than if we were to focus on a cold audience and hope for the best.

So what happened?

We had over 800 people register for the masterclass (at a cost of $520.06) and converted 115 people into Screw U over the course of 48 hours—our largest single push since opening the doors back in June 2015.

That meant we added an additional $5,971 to our monthly recurring revenue, pushing us over the $30,000 mark.

Phase 3—Webinar

And since the lifetime value of a Screw U member is just over $500, our total take from that webinar was $76,500 overall.

That's a 147x return on our ad spend.

And THAT?

Is what's possible when you approach FB ads strategically, purposefully and in a measurable way.

 

 

  • Wow! This!

  • Evelyn

    Thank you for this.. I’m just playing with some fb ads and this was great. Will you be doing the membership site class again? Like anytime soon? – Your funnel guinea pig here.

    • Hahaha no plans as of yet, Evelyn…but if we do, we’ll be sure to get it out there so you know ahead of time 🙂

  • How eloquently you captured the journey we’ve been on together.

    So many emotions ebbs and flows as you systematically and strategically grow your business. Grateful to be a part of it everyday. xo

  • I’d say one of your best posts yet! I’m ready to take this FB shiz head on and make it work.

  • before digging into it in theU, I decided to come read all the blog posts (that had been sitting in my “to read” stack)… and mindddddddddddddddd bloooooooown. Strategy up the yingyang. Creating a few Screw style sales funnels first (and foremost)… then I’m ontoo the ADdicted style of FB Ads and I simply can’t waaaaait to implement.

    Prepare yourselves to talk me off the ledge when I want to quite during that testing phase!

  • Sounds like quite a challenging time. Congrats on coming through and discovering how to actually monetize Facebook successfully. I’ll have to bookmark this for when I launch my own FB campaign. Thanks for sharing.