Pay Per Click Case Study

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In today’s highly dynamic online ecosystem, many wonder if PPC is still viable. Can companies and brands get an ROI on their PPC campaigns? What are the challenges and the solutions to running successful PPC ads?

Here is a look at 5 case studies that show the power of PPC campaigns.

1. The Southern Sun Case Study

The Objectives

The goal was to increase the number of online bookings on the new site and target the international tourist and business travel market. A PPC campaign was needed in order to increase international traffic to the website and split-test conversions. The procedure undertaken included separating local and international traffic, brand and place-specific hotels, as well as special campaign offers and normal traffic. This allowed full control over budget allocation.

Campaigns were set up to test the best marketing message to see if different groups of people were influenced by different adverts. Landing page split tests were done while tracking the different stages of the buying process to see where drop-offs occurred.

The result?

The website received an average of 7500 clicks per month for the first three months. The split test revealed that the Southern Sun brand name was particularly popular in the local market and supplying a list of hotels in an area proved more successful. Generally, local responses had a 780% ROI over international at 430%. The conversion rate for the entire campaign increased by 125%, the CPC decreased by 67%, and there was an ROI ratio of 20:1 with a return of R20 for every R1 spent.

Takeaway:Continually test and optimize your presentation, test behavior, and attract enough traffic to avoid losing business.

2. The Payoneer Case Study

Payoneer is one of the largest and fasters online payment services. With the launch of their new service for professionals and freelancers, the company was a faced with a few challenges including

The Objectives

The objectives of the campaign included reaching potential users, introduce a new service that had no search inventory, and assess the product value over time. The KPIs for the campaign included users registrations, card activations, loading of money onto cards, and ongoing use of the cards.

A comprehensive marketing strategy was needed which started with in-depth research into how best to reach this audience. It included launching an array of landing pages that were constantly optimized based on collected traffic data.

The result?

Client acquisitions were in tens of thousands per month which exceeded expectations with a 4751% growth. The campaign covered over 200 countries and the business volume from this marketing strategy continues to grow.

Takeaway:Enable accurate evaluation of customer lifetime value in order to improve targeting and budget allocation.

3. The Confetti Case Study

Confetti is one of UK’s most popular sites for weddings accessories, ideas, advice, and planning. Retail campaigns were not achieving any tangible results and there was a lack of granularity in the campaign setup. There was also an over-dependence on the brand and a lack of accounts improvements at all levels.

The Objectives

A KPIs report that advised on problems encountered and solutions provided was needed. A highly refined keyword listing based on search volume and relevancy was also needed in order to improve quality scores. A/B testing was also conducted across different ad groups together with an effective retail campaign to identify best and worst performances.

It was also necessary to reduce campaign costs by lowering irrelevant and non-converting traffic in order to provide value.

The result?

Revenue went up by 42.58%, conversion rate was up by over 256.52% and an increased ROI of over 369.72%. The number of con-converting traffic went down by 59.76% subsequently resulting in a campaign cost reduction of 54.37%.
Takeaway: Increased transparency, commentary, and reporting in paid search campaigns results in improved KPIs and overall profitability.

4. The Cornwalls Cottages Case Study

Cornwalls Cottages offers holiday catering accommodation in Cornwall. It’s busiest times is during Spring and Summer. With PPC being one of their main traffic sources, it was important to continue driving traffic to its online resources and accentuate their unique marketplace offering.

The Objectives

With a busy staff, it was important to increase sales and profitability without spending a lot of time managing their online accounts. It was also necessary to increase the number of clicks at the same budget.

To accomplish this, they hired an agency to do a little housekeeping and add tracking codes to their website. These codes helped track enquiries, bookings, and better budget allocation. The account was expanded in order to capture clicks from all geographical areas. Campaigns, ad groups, and keywords were restructured to be more targeted and ad texts rebuilt to ensure the most appropriate redirections. Continued optimization of ongoing activity ensure the account was running at optimal levels.

The result?

Cornwalls Cottages management freed up time to concentrate on their core business. There was also an increase in quality traffic at a lower CPC.

Takeaway: Ongoing optimization through refining keywords and ad texts ensures you achieve the optimum traffic level for the spend budget.

5. The InterTrader Case Study

InterTrader.com provides stock indices, Forex, CFDs, and spread betting tools to trade in the financial markets.

With a competitive UK market that includes well-established firms, there was an negative effect on the average CPC and a low uality AdWords score.

The Objectives

It was necessary to raise the quality score by improving the CTR, have a much tighter control over keyword match variations, create and test new ad copies, and increase search engine rankings for its landing pages.

To achieve this, the search term, ad copy, and landing page flow was tightened around core keyword groups and ad copies were tested methodically.

The result?

There was increased CTR, decreased CPC, and an improved landing page positioning on SERPs.
Takeaway: Use of analytics is essential in order to achieve a higher CTR, more clicks, and lower the cost per click.

Summary

Whether it is to increase site awareness, boost traffic or deliver conversions, PPC is still one of the best ways to accomplish any or all of these goals. The above 5 case studies are proof that running a PPC campaign truly does deliver a high ROI.

Author

David Gitonga is a full-time Web content creator and strategist working with various companies in developing and executing online marketing campaigns on social networks and search engines. He mostly works with small and medium-sized businesses looking to leverage the Internet to drive sales, innovation, and engagement online. Connect with David on Twitter and Google+ or through his website.

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258 Comments 16 minutes

If you run any site with a large audience, it’s easy to fall into the trap of producing just any old content and forgetting why people followed you in the first place. Though what I’m about to share in this post is going to be highly focused on paid traffic, there are a large number of insights for those who have no interest in doing the same.

I’ve always thought that it is better to master one main traffic source versus becoming only fairly proficient in a lot of them and for now I think I have a pretty perfect grasp on the old SEO game. In all honesty, I’ve never really given paid traffic (and specifically PPC) too much thought throughout my years of experimenting online. That changed recently when I met up with some friends in Bangkok who are making more money than any blogger income reports you’ve seen. I have no desire to enter the same industries as them, but I have the spare cash to put into an experiment, so I thought “why not”.

I just want to make a few things clear before I start:

  • I expected to lose money. I view my monetary investment as a learning experience so wasn’t worried about this
  • I actually profited, very quickly. It was easier and more fun than I thought
  • Even if you have no interest in paid traffic, you’re going to learn a few things here where I really should have known better

Before I did anything, I joined a forum called Stack That Money. It’s a forum my friends in question used to be a part of and I thought that if I could speed up my learning, I would also be able to speed up the results I get and it would make for a better case study.

I remember when a friend of mine paid $5,000 for just a few hours of coaching to a fairly famous internet marketer. I thought he was crazy and should really be learning the basics first as he had never even built a website before. Last I heard he’s now doing $20K+ per month and would probably regard it as one of his better decisions in life.

The forum is far cheaper than that at $99/m, and is full of some interesting characters. I approached the investment as “I’ll spend this $99, devour every interesting thread I can, and then plan my attack.”

I had originally announced that I was going to use Google Adwords for this campaign and I was going to promote two websites I already run. This means I didn’t have to worry about looking for offers and getting set-up with various affiliate networks, which can be a time consuming part of the process. Being on Stack That Money however also convinced me to give Facebook advertising a try as well. I’ve dabbled in it quite a lot in the past, and do actually like their platform.

What’s different about this forum is that people are making serious bank, and actually getting into a lot of detail about how they’re actually generating crazy incomes. Who couldn’t be inspired by this list of topics?

I know I’m going to continue with my membership as well, purely because PPC campaigns are fair easier to duplicate than a profitable blog or SEO campaign. You just find the offer, get a traffic source, and test test test. This is also a downside of PPC as your unique angles can easily be stolen, but it’s great when you’re just starting out.

Being totally honest: People are not going to say I’m using this offer, with this traffic source, and this is how I’m bidding. But they are going to tell you they’re in a certain niche, using a certain angle, and they’re profiting XXX per day.

You’ll get pushed in the right direction, but you are expected to put in some effort. Actually less effort than I thought it would be, based on my own results, but effort nonetheless.

Goodbye Google, Hello Facebook

I have not done enough advertising with Google at all to dismiss it entirely as a network, but here’s what happened in my first day:

  • Facebook took about 15 minutes to approve my ads and start getting me clicks
  • Google took closer to 15 hours to approve my ads

Now, I was promoting two different things, but I woke up to a Facebook ad spend of less than $2 and I could instantly see results, while Google had took $40 from my account (my daily budget) while I slept and I didn’t have anything to show for it. I decided then and there that I would put all of my effort into Facebook.

Step 1: Test Out My Market With Very Cheap Clicks

I discovered a few years ago now that you could get very cheap Facebook clicks ($0.01 each) by directing traffic internally to your own Facebook fan page. It makes sense that it would be cheaper to advertise within Facebook than try to send people elsewhere outside of the network. This didn’t actually turn out to be the case exactly, but bear with me for now.

I used a terrible image which was much smaller than the Facebook allowed dimensions and really didn’t get to test more than 2 headlines properly, but it was nice to see how big a difference just a headline makes once again. I do enjoy this kind of data; especially when you can get it so fast.

For an un-optimised campaign, I paid $7.74 for 120 page likes. That works out to be $0.064 per like. I was more pleased with my Click-through rate. I’ve been told that getting anything above 0.1% or 0.2% is something to be happy with, so nearly hitting 0.4% gave me a little bit of a boost. Even if it wasn’t to an outside source.

Step 2: Use Facebook Conversions on an Email List

Now that I had a small grasp once again on how to put ads together, I decided to go for some conversions. This is for a website where I sell software, but not in the marketing niche. I also ran a case study for the main site I feature in Backlinks XXX, but don’t have too much to show for that at the moment. This is my own product, so I would be keeping 100% of the commissions. However, it wasn’t time to go for the big sale just yet. I wanted to optimise how much I was paying for each click.

What I did at this stage was use the best title I found from my previous tests (I did a few more similar to step 1, but for different age groups) then load it up with 20 images. Therefore, I had 2 campaigns in Facebook with 10 ads each, all with the same title and body text. The only thing that differed was the picture. Here’s the data from one campaign:

As you can see, the data was pretty interesting here. Two observations can be made:

#1: The picture has a HUGE effect on CTR. I would say it’s more important than the title from my testing. Remember, it’s the only thing that changed

#2: Just because something is getting a lot of clicks, it doesn’t mean it will convert. My 3rd most clicked ad actually had the best conversion rate. The image must still be relevant to the offer

So for this experiment I received 73 email addresses for $14.12. The other campaign ran with slightly worse results which I believe is because I was targeting a younger demographic. Older people seemed happier to give an email address. Just in case you want me to do the maths, that’s $0.19 per email address, or 5 emails for $1. Quite a lot better than most solo ads actually – and highly targeted – so I was fairly impressed with this. I know many people who would be very happy with 500 leads for a $100 spend.

This is also forgetting that I would get more conversions for a cheaper price after optimising the campaign and taking out low-performing ads.

Sidenote: How to Set-up Facebook Conversion Tracking

Apparently this is only a recent thing (within the last year) and has transformed how people are running their Facebook campaigns. No longer do people have to rely on Tracking 202 or CPVLab as they did before (though I hear they’re great as backup programs).

First of all, once you’re on the Facebook ads manager, look on the left sidebar for a fairly obvious link called ‘Conversion Tracking’, as shown below:

After that, you’ll then look at the top right hand corner of the page and click Create Conversion Pixel:

Then you simply select the type of conversion you wish to track. You should know, based on whatever it is you’re promoting:

And then Voila! You get this nice little tracking code that you can put on your website:

While Facebook suggest that you should put this before the end of your head tag like most code, you can just enter it into the page or post on a WordPress site and it tracks fine for me.

You can then go ahead and put this on your Thank you page – where someone gets redirected after an email opt-in – or on the registration form of a product after payment. Wherever you can tell that someone has actually completed a conversion.

Step 3: Make $200-300+ Profit Promoting a Dating Site

Dating is absolutely huge on Stack That Money (STM). While other members are going off into other verticals, Plenty of Fish and Facebook advertising seem to be talked about more than anything else. This is how some people are making thousands of dollars per day on the Facebook ad network. I decided to test it out in a not-so-crowded country (meaning not America, the UK or Australia) and see how I could do. It turns out, I did very well.

Before I continue, I want to say that even if this campaign had made me $1,000 straight away, I knew I wouldn’t keep promoting it. More on that in a second.

I did spent more than $20, I actually spent $47.06 on this campaign. The screenshot you see is targeting men who are interested in women, speak English (All), and are between the ages of 50-65 (Facebook’s max) in a particular country.

I found myself getting higher click through rates with the same ads on the 40-50 age group, rather than 20-30 and so on. The reason I was going to stop this campaign no matter what is for a few reasons:

  • I only get $1 per lead and that really is the best offer available for this country. If I relied on this, I was barely making a profit
  • The country is too small. The ad frequency I highlighted in that ad shows that some people have seen the same ads over and over again. Optimisation could help, but there isn’t much room to scale
  • I can’t track conversions. I have absolutely no idea which ads are bringing in actual users. I need to research other tools (or anyone in the comments?) with how I could
  • The real money is made from people buying a premium account, which is why I could end up making around $500-600 from this campaign. But I have no idea. I can’t keep spending when I don’t know what I could or couldn’t make thus don’t know my profit margins

I’ve since joined a number of other CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) companies that were recommended on STM and thankfully I got fast approval since I’m a member. As someone who had only played with Facebook for a few days, I was pretty surprised that I was making these profits. Now I can totally see how people are doing six figure months and killing it.

What I’m looking for from a new offer is basically more room to scale (a country with a bigger population and / or a bigger payout for free leads). I know they exist, so I may as well be trying with them. I will still stay clear from the biggest markets, and perhaps rely on some friends for translating into other countries. More on this in a future post I think.

Step 4: Spending $27.97 to Make Over $600!

This number would have been a little higher, but I did have a couple of refunds which brought it down a bit. I actually pulled in closer to $700 in sales from that spend. I own the product, so the profit margin is huge.

First of all, here’s how not to set-up a campaign:

I can’t remember exactly what I did here, but I think people weren’t buying the product and instead opting in for my email list, which triggered a conversion. Actually, no, that doesn’t make sense either. I messed up somehow and was tracking the wrong thing, which Facebook clearly registered. I wish I could get 398 conversions for spending $17.61, but I definitely did not.

Lesson learned: Make sure your set-up is correct before going out and letting your ads run.

Here’s a small insight into the sales that I made (I set up a new membership name called Premium in Wishlist member):

This is for software that I own and promote, but again not in the marketing niche. The price is between $30-$50, depending on what you purchase. I don’t want to give away too much here as my profit margin is huge and there’s no way for me to benefit by outing myself.

Here’s some more realistic tracking numbers when you’re sending someone straight to a ‘Buy now’ page:

There are a few more ads below the ones I’ve highlighted, but you get the idea. One of them actually had a 0.6% Click through rate, which I’ve heard is pretty huge for Facebook. I am promoting to pretty tight demographics though (5 year age groups, in particular cities). Paying around $5 for a $30-$50 conversion is pretty damn fantastic to me.

Step 5: Big Money, Let’s Dominate Adwords too!

I was obviously very happy and excited from the results for my previous test, so I thought I should start setting up things with the Google Adwords network. I decided from the start that I was going to play around with the Content network rather than search results. Meaning anyone who runs ads on their websites using Google Adsense has a chance to display my own ad and that my ads would not appear in search results when you look for something.

I ended up spending over $40 with Adwords and didn’t get a single conversion.


(A sample of the ads I ran in one campaign)

Now, I did say I was going to use this as a learning experience, and I am, but I quickly decided that at least for now, Facebook is far more interesting to me than the Adwords network. Adwords gives me a far bigger volume for my audience than Facebook will, simply because of how many sites there are out there related to my software, but I’m just wasting money without any training in their platform. I’m going to watch a lot of videos online to learn the network better, and try it out again.

Step 6: Always Test, but Accept When You’re Wrong

Now, one thing I haven’t yet told is that I am worried about the size of my audience availability on Facebook. Though I was doing tight-targeting, I’ve known from the start my potential audience there is quite small for that very profitable industry. I would say I could max out at between $10,000 – $15,000 in profit. I know that sounds like a lot to some of you, but I’m really looking for campaigns where I can bring in an additional 6-figures per year to my business. Especially when it’s going to be taking time out of my other endeavors which are already very lucrative.

For this reason, I decided to stop sending traffic direct to a sales page and once again send people to an email list. My theory is that I’m wasting those 600+ clicks if I’m only getting 2 sales from it. My thinking was that I can get 100 or 200 email subscribers, and then probably get more than 2 sales from those people.

I spent more money than usual testing this theory, and it just didn’t work out. I got a few hundred new email subscribers, sent them a few follow-up emails, and then pushed them on the product. It didn’t help sales conversion rates at all. I now know I may as well push this campaign hard, max out my profit margins and get as many customers on board as I can. And I’ll do this by directing people straight to a (split-tested) sales page.

My Step-by-Step Facebook Attack Plan

This has not been tested as far as it can be tested and there are probably much smarter people reading this who don’t follow this strategy at all. However, from my reading of PPC guides and actually testing, here’s a recap of my own Facebook strategy:

Step #1: Start out with some cheap clicks to an internal Fan page of yours (where applicable) on Facebook. Max out the budget at $15-20 so you’re not going to get a shocking bill, and then play around with some variables. Simply get used to the Facebook system and see how quickly you can get approved. Don’t worry too much about the images you’re using or anything like that.

Hell, I just used the default picture from my Fan page which Facebook pulled up for me. Run around 5 ads within the same demographic (i.e. men, 40+, living in Spain who like Apple) and just change the titles around a bit. Keep the ad copy text the same. Notice how much of a difference one little change can have on the click through rate.

Step #2: Start promoting a page on your website where you have some kind of opt-in form. You can skip this section if you don’t have this option in place, but you may as well be getting a better return on your “testing investment” than just some Facebook likes. This time choose your best title from the previous tests and have some fun with the images.

Once again, notice how much difference a change in your ad can have, even when two other variables are the same and you haven’t changed your targeting. Also use this opportunity to try Facebook’s conversion tracking system. You can then optimize for conversions rather than just paying for clicks.

For my bid amount, I tend to bid in between Facebook’s suggested bid. So if the suggested bid is $0.10 to $0.20 then I would bid $0.15. Facebook will automatically lower how much you’re paying per click (if you’re not using the optimize for conversions option) if you get a good CTR, so don’t worry about the price too much to begin with.

Step #3: Find an offer. There are literally thousands of companies you can sign up with such as Neverblue, Cupid.com (instant approval), Commission Junction etc. I am currently only using one of those three, but I will very shortly be using a number of companies recommended to me on STM. You get ‘fast tracked’ through the approval process which is another benefit of being part of their community.

It’s totally fine to promote your own product or services as well if that’s what you want to do. I did and had a lot of success with it. The plus size is that even if someone doesn’t convert, you can use pop-ups or exit redirects to convince people to sign-up to your own email address as well. This means, of course, that you can market to them at a later date after building a connection.

Read affiliate blogs and reviews for specific programs to find out what kind of verticals are big. Forex, dating, Facebook game installs, iPhone Apps etc are all big and all offer a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) or CPL (Cost Per Lead) model where you get paid for every lead or paying customer you send someone. For instance, you might run a Facebook ad targeting gamers aged 18-23 and you can get paid $2-$7 for everyone who installs and starts playing that game on Facebook. The potential is limitless.

Step #4: One Headline, One Demographic, One Hundred Images

The best advice I received was basically to keep your ad copy the same and go through a massive testing spree with images. Not necessarily 100 pictures, but at least a few dozen.

If your target demographic is not too small, then split this up between 2-3 campaigns with 10 ads in them each. Again, each time keep the title of your ad and the ad copy the same. Just go through styles of images. So for dating ads targeting women you might try:

  • Men in suits
  • Men with their cars
  • Men in uniform (police, firemen, teachers)
  • Men with tattoos
  • Men looking poor
  • Men looking rich
  • Chubby, “cuddly” men

The options are endless and I promise you’ll be amazed which ads get clicked more than others. Then you’re focusing on the CTR of the ads to see which one is getting you the most clicks. Another thing I love about PPC is that the more testing you do, the more likely you are to find a profitable campaign. Or in other words the more you put in, the more you’re likely to get out financially. Perfect for someone like me who is happy to do the ‘hard work’ in return for the big money.

For images, don’t pick anything that’s too professional. I’ve found images that are a little quirky to be the best. For example, using the free stock photos site here, I pulled up the following options:

My guess that the best converting of these – and I’m not saying they’re great pictures at all, it’s just a quick example – would either be top left or bottom right. Bottom right has something ‘weird’ about that it people are likely to notice, and top left looks good but not too staged and professional.

If you’re like me and have problems with the ‘Power Editor’ for Facebook (which only works in Chrome) then simply go through with the Create Similar Ad option so you can change images very fast:

Here’s a little secret, I’ve found that ads targeting men which have a girl sitting in a car get clicked more than any other. I have no idea why, and that’s the beauty of testing so much. You find what works even if you can’t explain why it does. I guess something about the picture just looks more ‘natural’ and honest

What to Do If “Place Order” Doesn’t Work

I have had an issue now since day two where the place order button in Facebook just doesn’t work for me. It’s even more frustrating when you’re creating a new ad, set your criteria, then click the button and nothing happens. Meaning, you have to do it all over again. A Google search shows I’m not alone, and a friend messaged me about the same problem as well.

The solution is fairly simple. Create an ad with the URL you wish to promote – don’t select any demographic criteria at all – and then click Place Order. Then go back and Edit the ad, and you shouldn’t have any issues changing all your criteria and clicking Save. I can’t believe a billion dollar company could have issues like this – especially when it comes to the main system which makes them money – but I just can’t get past this no matter what browser I use.

Hopefully this solves some frustrations for those of you who try the platform.

The 3 Tools I Tested in this Case Study

I did use a number of tools to help in my learning and to speed up the process for this case study. As I said earlier, I view anything I spend as a learning investment and I’m happy to lose money in the short-term to help increase the chances of making good money in the long-term.

Tool #1: Alexa Pro Advanced – $149/m

I had planned on using this tool for one month only, but I ended up using it for about a minute. The reason I paid for it in the first place was to get more insights into the data that Alexa currently has. By default, Alexa shows you 5 words or phrases that are likely driving traffic to any website. You can see this for free without needing an account.

However, with a pro membership, they say you can see a lot more of this information. I wanted to use it on sites in my industry (and for ViperChill while I had access) to find good keyphrases to target for things like my Adwords campaign and possibly for content ideas as well. You don’t get access to this data on their $9.99/m plan and you don’t get this data on their $49/m plan. You specifically need to pay $149/m to find more data on these terms.

Keeping in mind that the free plan gives you 5 phrases, how many do you think the $149/m option gives? 50? 100? A few thousand? No, it gives you 10. Barely more useful than the free service itself, and I can only praise the fact that they gave me a quick refund.

Tool #2: Social Ad Ninja – $147/m

This is a great tool which is specifically great for those of us who advertise on Facebook. Essentially, it’s a spy tool which lets you see other ads that people are creating. The main features include:

  • Seeing how long someone has been running an ad. If it has been running for a long time, it’s probably profitable
  • Being able to search by domain being promoted i.e. match.com, relevant keywords, and even search by titles
  • Knowing the demographics that people are targeting with the long-running ads which are there

Using this tool I found a title from the same industry – which I adapted to mine – which was by far the title which got me the best CTR. You definitely don’t need to have this tool to profit on Facebook, but even just for one month of usage, you’re going to get a ton of insights which should speed up your learning process.

I’ve already cancelled my membership (though it hasn’t expired yet) as I have really abused a few industries and took notes of all the things I saw that were working.

Tool #3: Ad Beat – $99/m

Ad Beat is very similar to Social Ad Ninja but instead of being focused on Facebook, it gives you insights into people using Google Adwords. I was specifically interested in seeing the banner ads that people are using in my industry and how long they’ve been running. When you’re running on the content network using only images, the graphics you use are everything.

I think I received quite a good CTR from what I’ve been told (over 1%) but I just couldn’t convert those visitors into anything meaningful just yet. I definitely haven’t given up on Adwords though, and will return to AdBeat once it becomes a more serious part of my advertising efforts.

Where I Go From Here

First of all, unless someone convinces me otherwise, I’m going to go all out on my profitable campaign and run it for all I have. I’ll push the ad frequencies on every single age group of my target market and make as much money as I can until it stops becoming profitable. As mentioned earlier, I think I have a ceiling of $10,000 – $15,000. I don’t expect to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars to reach this.

My market is bigger than that, but seemingly not from Facebook as my ad frequency just becomes too high, too quickly. Maybe I’ll be surprised and make even more than that, but it will still be a nice income stream at the end of the day even at the lower end of the scale.

What I’m really going to try out though is the dating niche via Facebook. It’s definitely saturated with a lot of competition, but I’m willing to test a thousand landing pages and ad creatives if I have to in order to make a campaign profitable. The thing about Facebook dating is that – for the most part – it can be scaled up to a huge level once you find something that’s converting well. This leaves the potential for consistent, 4 figure days in profit.

I bought myself a notebook and a fancy pen (really) just to take notes from Stack That Money (non-aff) for the next few months. There are a lot of case studies from people banking really hard with Facebook dating. My favourite comes from a guy in India who was making $0/day just a few months ago, and now he’s making posts like this:

I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be easy money, but PPC campaigns are obviously far easier to duplicate than an entire blogging strategy or seeing how someone is ranking with SEO in the same industry. I’m not going to be able to get started until a few weeks from now (I’m working on something pretty huge of my own), but it will get my full attention when the time is right.

I’ve joined quite a few new networks in the last few days, and I’ll be ready to continue profiting. In the next few days I have another free guide to this subject coming up (including split-testing, easy to create landing pages and all that good stuff) so subscribe below in the yellow box if you haven’t already.



258 Comments


  1. This is brilliant case study and has proved that, despite your original impression, things can turn in your favour. I believe that a big part of this is down to planning your campaign properly, and it looks like you carried everything out in a way that encouraged success. If we have big expectations we can be sorely disappointed.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

  2. Dude – 2 posts in 1 week? Who are you?!!

    In all seriousness, this post is awesome. Personally, I’m fortunate enough to be doing affiliate marketing full time! Everything I do is based on SEO but I hear there’s big money in PPC and other “media buy” style campaigns.

    I’ve yet to do an experiment like this but you have me interested here!

    Cheers Glen – another great post!

    -Jordan

    • August is going to be big.

      I can totally relate, SEO has been my ‘life’ for 7 years now. It was soooo nice to see instant stats though. I don’t think I got that point clear enough in the post. I couldn’t stop refreshing for hours.

      • I can only imagine! Instant stats would be nice for a change. I too have my plate full with projects at the moment but I will have to find the right time to jump into this and start learning. Might signup for STM soon- feel free to drop me an affiliate link 😛

  3. Really great study, I think I might have an idea what niche you are in. I work in the SaaS industry and we have a very similar model.

    Also can definitely relate to your point about SEO vs. PPC. I’ve perfected my SEO skills (for lack of a better word) over the last 7 years. PPC I have just started to get into in the last year or so. It’s actually pretty amazing how much more I’ve learned about Google as I delve into ad rotation and quality score algorithms.

    Now on to the real gold in this article…Facebook. You are the 3rd of 4th person I’ve talked to in close circles making a killing on FB ads right now. It’s not very often you get a company post IPO looking to rake in revenue and expand their business. Almost like Google 2002 all over again…

    Will be going back and reading this again, specifically the pieces on Facebook. Thanks man.

  4. Checkout Tylercruz.com he is apparently doing really well with PPC traffic from Facebook. Have you tried direct linking to CPA offers?

    • I remember him from the days when John Chow was popular. According to John’s latest post, Tyler actually lost all of his money and all of his campaigns. I see he was making big bank though!

      Not yet, but it’s something I’ll be testing in the very near future. Semi-addicted to paid traffic already

      • First off, congrats on getting into affiliate marketing and seeing insane ROI’s. Reading through your post, it seems like I wrote it – so I definitely agree with 99% of everything here!

        That post that John wrote was mostly for link-bait and self-promotion (as you can see from the last section of it) – July was certainly a massive drop for me, but I still pulled in a good 5 figures profit from my campaigns.

        Anyhow, glad to see you doing well – and feel free to hit me up sometime.

        • Hey Tyler,

          Thanks for commenting here. Your post was in spam, I’m not sure why. Might want to email Akismet about that?

          Ah, I had honestly thought you collaborated with John on that post for some reason. Must have just been how he wrote it…sneaky.

          Will do!

  5. Couple questions:

    1) Did you follow any online guides/walkthroughs whens setting up your first FB campaign (other than STM)?

    2) What are your thought on “Reach” for fb campaigns? Do you have an upper limit you like, of which you will start a second campaign if it gets too high? I’ve seen some people say 100,000 is a good number, others 20,000.

    Cheers

    • Hi Ben,

      Good questions.

      1) I did mention I have dabbled in Fb ads in the past, so it wasn’t totally new to me. I never did it to an affiliate offer or sales page though. There really isn’t too much to it as long as you’re willing to watch over your ads and weed out what isn’t working. If your budget is low, you don’t really need to worry about weeding out to start with either. Just testing a lot of options (remember to keep two variables the same) and see which gets the best CTR & conversions.

      2) My highest reach has been about 1 million. It worked better when they were around 200,000 – 400,000 for testing purposes. Then you can really nail in the demographic once you have a high-ctr. So testing much smaller age groups (5 year chunks) and then even target by cities in that particular country as well. You can see in one of my screenshots the reach was only 5,400, but I had a ton of these.

  6. been playing around with facebook ads for a while without much success but this post convinced me to give it another go targeting countries outside of the U.S. for my eBook. Thanks for the idea!

    • Good luck.

      Don’t forget to be testing your landing-page also. I have some tips coming in an upcoming blog post you might want to wait for, but I noticed some big differences.

  7. Great post, Glen – I love nothing more than reading through a small case study like this, it just goes to show the massive potential the web provides us! Much better than the SEO post 😉

    • Oooooooooooooooh, you didn’t.

      Appreciate the comment, Chris. Still need to get back to you (and dozens of people) on that other post. You did misinterpret me by the way, I wasn’t suggesting what you assumed 🙂

  8. Hey Glenn!

    I’ve been doing some Fb advertising in the past (when i was surging the warrior forum, glad im done with that) , i made a few bucks, although it wasnt profitable i definitely see the potential.

    Are you eligeble to direct traffic through an affiliate link (worked for me in norway a few years back) or do you have to promote your affiliate offer on a landing page??

    • Yep. For my dating offer I went direct through an affiliate link. Didn’t get flagged or have any issues…

      Might depend on what you’re promoting though.

  9. Hi Glen,

    1 word: WOW! What a great insight in the possibilities of FB Ads. I run a few ads myself, but have never looked it them this way; from now on I just cannot ignore the information in this post or I’d be stupid…:-)

    Glen, what about conversion tracking with ClickBank / JVZoo sales? I sell a product on JVZoo, but the buyer is not redirected to a hosted page of myself (and I cannot specify it).

    Cheers,
    Roy

    • With Clickbank it would be fine if for example you’re using the Wishlist plugin like I am, because they get redirected to a registration page after a purchase. You would just put your tracking cookie there.

      I’m surprised about that with JVZoo, and it would actually ruin my plans to use them for my next launch which I had. Are you absolutely sure? I’ve bought products there and sure I’m 99% sure I didn’t just get the download direct from the JVZoo page…

      • In JVZoo there is an option to specify a Download Page as Delivery Method (which I have not set initially), so you are right that you can redirect a buyer to your own page…

        • I wondering what you were talking about above, because you can use your own download page. You can go in and edit the setup if you want to add your own sales confirmation page. It is a good idea to make it a registration page for customers to make a list of your customers, and you can put the Fb conversion pixel on that page.

          I like controlling the process myself instead and I think customers can get the product much faster that way.

      • Glen, great post. In regards to JVZoo, I found the setup very easy and they continue to improve the system and you get all the control you want to how and where the product is delivered.

  10. Great post Glen!

    I love the bit about the Place Order not working! I told my wife the exact same thing. How can FB allow this to happen with their number #1 revenue stream!!?

    Sanj.

    • Absolutely crazy. Must be too many people in the company that this stuff just doesn’t go up the rankings. Wonder if they’ll ever notice?

    • If you have something to promote, I don’t see why not. The hardest thing to track is which clicks are actually converting to sales though. I was hoping someone could elaborate in the comments here 🙂

  11. Hey Glen,

    Great post. There are a lot of steps in there to get setup from scratch. If someone decided to get started (or restarted) which path would you recommend for getting profitable quickly? SEO and a blog for affiliate or PPC like this post showed?

    • PPC has the potential to get you money the quickest, probably, but it also has the potential to drain you of your money the quickest.

      Maybe do them both in a sideline? Set up your SEO site. Write some content. Let it ‘age’ a little while running your PPC campaign to an opt-in form on the website. Keep your budget pretty low so you don’t lose your shirt while testing for the first time 🙂

  12. Hi Glen,

    Great post, thank you. I’m just unsure about one detail. Once you are receiving more facebook likes from the facebook ad on your fan page how do you then convert these to product sales?

    • Hi Mike,

      That was just for cheap testing. I don’t think I made anything from those people (I didn’t try). Just start a new ad campaign promoting something else and pause the test ones…

      • Okay, so basically, using your internal an page is just to gauge the clickthrough potential of the ad? You get to see if it works with the added bonus that you might receive some likes in said page. Is this correct Glen?

  13. Awesome case study Glen. I’m doing Facebook advertising for about three years and it can be very brutal sometimes when you digg into competitive markets… but on the other hand, it can be so rewardful.

    It’s no surprise to get huge ROI’s on fb if you manage to get low clicks, it’s just, the platform is not for every niche. Right now I have a client in one tough niche, and I’m having hard times getting it profitable.

    Tried finance, insurance, claims on fb… but games, dating, casino games etc. seems to work best.

    Once again, great post man!
    Cheers

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