$70k of Revenue From $9k of Ad Spend: How This Outdoor Gear Ecommerce Biz Achieved 8+ ROAS With FB Advertising
[DURING the COVID pandemic!]
CASE STUDY
ICEMULE is an outdoor gear company that sells soft backpack coolers. It’s targeted towards hikers, kayakers, backpackers, tailgating, and outdoor adventurers in general. Their cooler keeps drinks + food ice cold for an impressive 24+ hours! 

With the sudden onset of economic uncertainty, we quickly realized we needed to find a way to keep ICEMULE's profitability relatively consistent during the global Coronavirus pandemic. Many Americans were starting to hold on tight to their wallets in March, which made it extremely difficult for many ecommerce businesses to survive this first wave of shutdowns. We knew a strategic and creative pivot would be absolutely necessary. 

Well, instead of just maintaining stable results during the most difficult business era in modern history, in May 2020 our expert team helped them achieve an astounding 8+ ROAS with Facebook advertising while many locations in the USA were still under strict stay-at-home orders! WOW!

The Problem 

When the COVID pandemic quickly took the world by storm, our expert team put our heads together to find out how to keep ICEMULE's campaign not just afloat, but THRIVING during this volatile and unprecedented time.  They hoped they could keep their FB ad campaign in a good place, but never dreamt we could achieve the insane results we did this spring. Read on to find out how we did it... 

The Solution: Targeting Warm Audiences First

When ICEMULE decided to hand over the reins for their FB/IG ad campaign to Tintle Digital Marketing after completing an initial Facebook ad account audit, they quickly realized ALL of the areas they were leaving money on the table by running the ads in-house. When managing the ads on their own, they were achieving less than a 2 ROAS but had so much room for growth! One of their largest areas of struggle involved their retargeting which was missing key ready-to-buy audiences, strategic A/B testing, and effective ad copy designed exclusively for warm traffic.

Retargeting audiences are always the easiest audiences to convert, produce the most revenue, and highest ROAS. With that said, it can be extremely difficult for ecommerce businesses managing their Facebook ads themselves to properly leverage warm audiences with retargeting in a way that generates the highest ROAS. This is exactly why ICEMULE gave our team the steering wheel; Simply put, ICEMULE wanted seasoned Facebook advertising experts who could get them better results than they could on their own and that is exactly what we accomplished. With over 6 years of Facebook advertising expertise, we immediately knew their retargeting strategy desperately needed to include dynamic product images in the ads according to the products a site visitors viewed, further warming up anyone who's engaged with their brand on FB & IG, and, last but not least, to showcase limited-time promotions in a way that gets people to buy immediately. 

During May 2020, we started advertising a sitewide 20% off sale which they typically reserve only for the holidays. This strong discount was a strategic move that offered just the right amount of intrigue for past customers and new customers alike during a challenging economic climate. For anyone hesitant about offering sales in general, keep this in mind: this promotion encouraged WAY more purchases on the site and at a return that fully justified the cost of the discount. See, instead of just a 2 ROAS without a sale, we were seeing 7+ ROAS with a sale that still generated incredible profit for ICEMULE. 
As this limited-time sale in May was running, we took this promotion and advertised it in front of people who’ve been on their site the past 30 days, people who've added to cart within the past 14 days, their extensive past-customer email list, and people who’ve engaged with their ads on FB/IG during the past 60 days. The results? We generated 11.91 ROAS for warm audiences alone during the sale. This equates to over $60K in revenue.

But that's only part of the story! While retargeting warm audiences is absolutely essential with Facebook advertising, you can't get a higher ROAS with retargeting without a perfected top of funnel strategy that brings in brand new customers.  We would even go so far as to argue that customer acquisition is the most important piece of the puzzle when refining your Facebook advertising! At the end of the day, the only way you can continue to grow in revenue every month is through continually bringing in new customers to purchase your product.  Read on to learn about the profitable strategy we developed for cold audiences which directly fed into these high ROAS retargeting results. ⬇️

The Solution: Getting MORE New Customer Purchases With A Fine Tuned Customer Acquisition Strategy

Most businesses expect that it's easy to narrow in on their target audience on Facebook or to generate purchases from cold audiences immediately. After all, there are so many specific niches and interests you can target on this platform! This hyper-focused targeting is one of the many reasons this platform is loved by many businesses since it allows you to get in front of people who are most likely to be interested in your product. (In contrast, this is completely different than less effective radio ads, newspaper ads or old fashioned flyers that only get out to a pretty random audience.) 

But just because you have more options to narrow in on an interested audience on Facebook doesn't mean that it will happen immediately, will be easy, or will be straightforward for every business. For ICEMULE, they were getting less than 1 ROAS with their cold audiences and were focusing mainly on a cluster of lookalike audiences in certain locations of the US. They were also primarily optimizing for purchases at the top of funnel, which were only trickling in for cold audiences. Something clearly needed to change.

Once our team took over, we dove deep into their ideal customer and tested more than 3 dozen cold audience variations that included individual lookalike audiences, related interests, ages, genders and placements. (If that seems like a lot and you're still not seeing the best results, keep in mind that you're probably not doing enough A/B testing for your cold audiences.) With this A/B testing, we were able to discover the most responsive combination of related interests and 1 particular lookalike audience that brought in more purchases.

But that's not all! In addition to discovering the best performing audience for this outdoor gear company, we ran ads in ad sets optimized for traffic and for adding to cart, but stopped optimizing for purchase conversions. We didn't optimize for purchase conversions simply because they didn't yield the best results originally (i.e. sub 1 ROAS) and we discovered that the action of adding to cart simultaneously brought in a low cost per add to cart, a high link CTR, and subsequent immediate purchases. In fact, there were MORE purchases that were brought in via add to cart optimization immediately and produced a higher ROAS (2.93) than with purchase conversion alone. It may seem counterintuitive but this little cold audience hack was a game changer for ICEMULE!
These initial introductions to the products helped slowly warm up the target audience who didn't yet purchase to the point that they significantly boost retargeting efforts. Remember that 11.91 ROAS from retargeting? Read on to learn about the final sale results...
Astounding Results In Just One Month:
8 ROAS Overall & Almost 12 ROAS With Warm Audiences

The Result

We were able to surpass all of ICEMULE’s hopes to stay afloat and then some! Their May 2020 20% off sale finished with a whopping 8 ROAS and an average cost per purchase of just $10.81 per purchase! These results surpassed their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale in 2019 and gave them almost an  8x return on investment. This was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, mind you!

Check out the image below highlighting all of amazing data in FB Ads Manager showing ICEMULE's wild success! 

Services We Offered 

Our involvement included:  

A/B testing: It is crucial to execute comprehensive split testing in order to get you the highest ROAS and lowest CPP.  This does not mean a handful of ads here and just a few audiences there; this typically involves dozens if not hundreds of variations often to the point of overwhelm. If you're running ads in house, aren't exclusively immersed in this work and are not currently seeing the best results with your ads, then it's highly likely you're not doing nearly enough A/B testing!

Refining cold customer acquisition: We completely overhauled ICEMULE’s TOF (Top of Funnel), which are new customer acquisitions or cold audiences. In May we brought in almost 3 ROAS exclusively for cold audiences immediately (remember this doesn't account for people who didn't purchase immediately and were retargeted afterwards). This is a huge improvement in their campaign that took a significant investment of A/B testing, pivoting and optimizing to achieve. 

Add to cart optimized ad sets: For ICEMULE, we discovered that optimizing for add to cart for cold audiences brought in a lower cost per add to cart, high link CTR, and bonus purchases. This highly efficient strategy brought in more traffic, more engaged site users, and new customers immediately. We focused on this profitable optimization so that we could also retarget these audiences afterwards to produce an 8+ ROAS overall for the sale. 

Creating urgency: Using key phrases like, “Limited-time only” or, “Ending this week” at the right time can create urgency and cause a customer to convert more easily with a sale. 

Using reviews in the ads and ad copy: ICEMULE had dozens and dozens of amazing reviews to support their product, which greatly aided in the success of the campaign. Positive reviews are very important in creating trust with a new customer and building social proof. 

Highlighting incentives for customers on the site: ICEMULE uses Klarna (similar to AfterPay) which allows customers to pay for products in interest-free installments. This is a HUGE benefit to the consumer and company as it lowers the barrier to purchasing immediately. We integrated retargeting ads that specifically promote this option on the site and saw a 9.53 ROAS with those ads alone!
We help ecommerce businesses improve their Facebook ad campaigns so they can scale their businesses, get more sales and bring in more revenue. Get in touch today to find out if we can help your ecommerce business  grow through Facebook advertising! 
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