How AdEspresso Spends $1k On Tests to Uncover What Will ROI Like Crazy

Zach Johnson

Dylan Carpenter

Paul Fairbrother

Episode
11
|
Season 1

Paul Fairbrother

,

Facebook Ad Specialist and Head of Education at AdEspresso

As Facebook Ads Specialist for Hootsuite and AdEspresso which is Facebook’s largest Marketing Partner, Paul Fairbrother personally manages close to $2M in client ad spend a year and has performance-audited campaigns from over 1,000 ad accounts. He also serves as AdEspresso’s Head of Education. Fully Facebook-Blueprint-Certified, Fairbrother also holds all 11 Digital Marketer certifications along with several Hootsuite Academy and Google Ads certifications. Prior to joining AdEspresso in 2016, he served as a social media manager for a global café chain.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the untrackable magic of “Dark Social” and why it generates sales you didn’t see coming.
  • Why this kind of buying typically lets you add 50% from what’s being tracked to your revenue projections.
  • The surprisingly easy way to track attribution for sales that occur beyond Facebook’s 28 day limit.
  • What essential success-gauging metric you MUST know before you run a single ad - but most advertisers don’t.
  • Why you can’t confuse someone into buying your product -- and the ONE thing you need to do to avoid making this mistake.

The Transcript

Season 1
,
Episode
11
Transcript

Dylan:

On today's episode of the Rich Ad, Poor Ad Podcasts. We've got Paul Fairbrother, the Facebook Ads Specialist, and Head of Education at AdEspresso which is Facebook's largest Facebook marketing partner with over 10,000 customers and 360 million a year in ad spend under management, running through their ad platform. Dylan, that's over a million dollars a day. I think that's a little bit more than what we've both been able to manage ourselves over the years, but I'm excited to bring him on. AdEspresso has been around since shoot, I think 2016, they were acquired by Hootsuite. Gosh, really just in a matter of a few short years, I think they raised about $3 million before they sold it to Hootsuite. So AdEspresso now a part of the Hootsuite family, excited to bring Paul on the show, the guy works with hundreds of AdEspresso customers and knows a ton about the Facebook ad platform and AdEspresso.


Zach:

So, Dylan, what are you saying? Should we bring on the show?


Dylan:

Oh yeah, I'm pumped. I've been checking out AdEspresso for three or four years now since I was even at Facebook. So I was kind of geeking out to get Paul on here, so let's make the magic happen.


Zach:

Paul, welcome to the show.


Paul Fairbrother:

Welcome. Dylan, Zach, thanks for having me today, it's a pleasure to be on the podcast.


Zach:

Yeah. So you've been at AdEspresso, shoot, for over four years. You're one of the OGs over there. So tell us a little bit about what do you do as the Head of Education and a Facebook Ad Specialist day-to-day.


Paul Fairbrother:

Thanks. Yes. So what I do is kind of split my role into two parts. The first half is doing, so this is where I'm reviewing customer campaigns with 10 minute videos. So I've done over a thousand of those, reviewed accounts from all over the world, different industries. I do one to one coaching sessions and I will say for select customers, book some of their ads. So I'm actually spending probably about $2 million a year on ads.

Paul Fairbrother:

So that's one side that I do, but I also like to scale that up by doing training and education. And I think it's really important to have that foundation of actually being in the game there, some skin in the game by booking these ads to be able to then give good advice so you're not just giving that kind of abstract theory. You're actually giving concrete, solid strategy. So for that I do our office hours, which are 20 minute video calls, every couple of weeks, I'd run lots of webinars and also write blog posts and do thousand dollar experiments where we actually put a thousand dollars of our own ad spend into experiments to see what's working now. And all of that, we provide for free because we really want people to succeed with their Facebook and Instagram ads.


Zach:

That's awesome. So you kind of have this God's eye view of Facebook ads at the ad management level. We have kind of a similar view at Funnel Dash with over 50,000 connected ad accounts and a billion dollars a year in ad spend. It's pretty cool to see trends across thousands of accounts or even hundreds of accounts and your typical agency, they get to work on maybe 10, maybe all the way up to a hundred accounts, which definitely helps create some overall trends, but I'd imagine you've got your Facebook ad audit game is on point with over a thousand audits. I think that's a record, man. I don't know Dylan. You've probably clocked up close to that, but that's a pretty cool number to keep track of.


Dylan:

Oh yeah. I don't think I'm anywhere near that. I've definitely bid on a thousand, but a thousand audits. My gosh, that's a whole new level there, Paul, you're killing it there.


Paul Fairbrother:

Thanks. Yeah. It's quite interesting. When you speak to big agencies, they usually have a niche. So they either have one industry such as auto or gyms or they're regional. So they'll service one town, or if they're big enough, one state, there's not very many people outside of Facebook themselves that get exposure to so many different businesses, so many different countries, so many different niches there. So it's a real honor to be able to get those trends and then of course, pass that advice on so that people can succeed with their own brands for their ads.


Zach:

Now, AdEspresso's typical customer is, I would say your smaller advertiser, right? Somebody that's spending maybe a thousand to $10,000 a month in ads, right? They're definitely not your super, super large advertisers. AdEspresso to me feels like it's really built for your main street business. So I guess, would you agree with that first off, Paul, are we on the same page here?


Paul Fairbrother:

Yep. So we actually have two sites. We have the AdEspresso platform, which is for small, medium businesses and small medium agencies as well, a lot of agencies use it. And then for our super large clients, we have a product called Hootsuite Ads which is kind of white glove for the enterprise service there. So really depends on your level of business, what level of support that you need there, but certainly AdEspresso's core customer is those kind of small to medium businesses and those kinds of agencies there.


Zach:

Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha. So one of the things that we like to dive into on the first part of the show is, we'd like to give everybody here, financial advice and recommendations on how to scale their ads without killing their cashflow. So as you're thinking of somebody, that's what we'll call, just say at the lower levels of spend, what are some of the recommendations you have from a financial standpoint to an advertiser that's spending between a thousand and $10,000 a month.


Paul Fairbrother:

Well, I mean the first thing, and then this will sound obvious to you guys, but I say it all the time when I'm auditing accounts that people don't do, which is make sure you've got full tracking in place, make sure you've got your Facebook pixel so that you can track revenue. Well, if you're doing something else like lead generation that you can track the number of leads and the cost per lead, so this is getting your foundation in place there, so that's going to be really important. The second thing is to start small and build up, we all know that you can start from a dollar a day on Facebook, but what some of the advertisers do is, they come out all guns blazing, $1,000 a day, they burn through their ad spend very quickly. And if they don't recoup their money back straight away, that's it, they've stopped advertising.


Paul Fairbrother:

So start small, get that data, analyze, regroup, work your way up there. And then a final tip, quick tip is to be really looking at the longterm view with your goals. So these days on Facebook, you're not going to make a huge profit out of the gate. What's going to happen is, is about the, what we call CLTV that customer lifetime value. So I'd urge advertisers to not be looking to make loads of money from their Facebook ads upfront. It's about acquiring those customers and getting those repeat purchases. And it's definitely important to have a product if possible, where you can get those repeat purchases. So subscription boxes are really good, but normal businesses, how can you get those repeat customers? That's what you need to be looking at the big picture there.


Zach:

Yeah. You're talking about LTV, we love that number over here. We love that metric, all things LTV. And what strategies or tools do you recommend for tracking LTV at the, let's say 30, 60, 90, 120 day mark?


Paul Fairbrother:

Well, you've got within Facebook, you've got a within business manager, you've got Facebook analytics. And so you can set up an event source group it's called or ESG, which is where you just merge your pixel and page together. So Facebook can track everything that's happening, organic and paid. And then within there, there's actually a filter called lifetime value. And you can see week by week for paid customers, how much that's growing by, so that's one way that you can do it. But I also urge businesses just to look at what their baseline sales are before they start advertising and then see the uplift when they start running ads. If you kind of look too closely at the analytics, sometimes you'll convince yourself it's not working. I've lost track of the number of clients that are like, "Okay. Our dashboard says it's not working, let's pause."


Paul Fairbrother:

Within a week they come back to me in a panic going, "Oh, turn the ads back on, they were working. My sales have dried up." So you've really got to be thinking. Facebook tracking isn't going to be a hundred percent accurate. There's something called Dark Social. Which isn't the kind of dark internet, it actually just means that you can't track everything. For example, last Christmas, I saw an ad for a really nice coffee machine. I thought, "Great, I want this as a Christmas gift." So I sent the link in messenger to my partner. She bought it. So the ad resulted in a sale, but there's no way you can track that because I didn't click on it myself and then the pixel couldn't attribute that to the ad. So just be aware of that.


Paul Fairbrother:

Certainly if you're doing anything that's involving gifting products, whatever tracking you've got in place, it's not going to work a hundred percent of the time. Best estimates are, you can probably add about 50% to your sales from what's being tracked. So if you're doing gifting, that can increase a lot more or final point. If you've got a high ticket item where it takes a while before people purchase after seeing the ad, that's quite hard to track as well, Facebook Ads Manager only tracks for, I think it's 28 days. So I've got clients in courses that sometimes the attribution comes in after two months. So you might need to look at other things like your CRM. Can you see that from when people click on an email in your welcome sequence, are they purchasing after that there?


Zach:

Oh man.


Dylan:

I think that's absolutely gold. And one of the golden nuggets, I think you kind of slid out there is, before you even start running ads, look at that baseline sales metric, kind of figure you're seeing and once you start running ads, kind of compare and contrast because these platforms aren't a hundred percent accurate all the time. Plus with Facebook's 28 day click one day view, it could take 32 days to where it's not going to show up in Facebook. So I think that's a super overlooked kind of statement where, "Hey, see where you're sitting at before this, gauge it two or three months after you're running ads and then kind of make a decision to kind of gauge whether it's working or not" because it's not one I've heard too much of but I think it's extremely valuable there.


Paul Fairbrother:

Yeah, absolutely right. You've got to be knowing what your baseline is before you start running the ads and seeing that uplift. I contacted, I was running some ads for somebody and I said, 'Well, we're getting a few sales through the ads platform, but you know, we're not kind of moving the needle that much. What are you seeing your end?" And she said, "Well, we've doubled sales this weekend." So it just shows that not everything tracks, you've got to be looking at the uplift in your Shopify or whatever platform you use and seeing what the actual true uplift is there.


Zach:

I think we should rebrand it from dark social to faith based advertising. Just have a little faith man, it is working, just trust me, that's what Zuckerberg wants to use. Just trust me.


Zach:

That's awesome. So Paul, you've probably seen a ton of just awful ads go through the platform. I'd be curious, just the total number of ads that have been created through AdEspresso, but are you ready to talk about some rich and poor ads today?


Paul Fairbrother:

Yeah. Let's dive in.


Zach:

Let's do it.


Dylan:

Oh heck yeah.


Zach:

Okay so we're going to check out this poor ad first. It's pretty, it looks pretty poor. I'm curious on the kind of metrics behind it. It's a very kind of constant marketing approach from the looks of it and as mentioned, the screenshot will be in the show notes, but just so everybody has some context, I'm going to kind of read this bad boy out because it's a bad one, but hey, it's juicy.


Zach:

So the headline starts out. My cousin's body arrived in the back of an estate car. Okay. So I'm doing prepaid funeral plan as I lost my cousin at the age of 46 unexpectedly. No money and his daughter did the best for him, he turned, looked back at the estate car, as his daughter was ashamed to ask family to help pay for his funeral. It was a shock to all the family, seeing him turn up in the car. I said, from that day I would not let my children go through what she did, even though she did her dad proud. So mine is all paid for, and I think everyone should do it too. So if you want free help, download my Beat the Funeral Price Hike Guide, it's packed full of the information you need. So Paul this is an odd one. Let's go ahead and kind of dissect this and... How'd this do from a kind of ROAS perspective out of the gate, you think?


Dylan:

Oh God.


Paul Fairbrother:

Yeah. So to give some context to everybody, I don't think they're probably as popular in the U.S. but in the U.K. prepaid funeral plans are popular. This is where you might be say 50, and you can pay for a funeral upfront. You beat inflation, it's all taken care of so that when you die, who knows at 70 or 80 or whatever, the relatives don't have to worry. Now, the problem is on Facebook is, Facebook is this light, fluffy social media platform. And so you're talking, literally you're talking about death. And so it's very, very hard. And so you have to find different angles and what most people do in insurance industry or prepaid plans like this is they say, "Hey, you can get cover for the price of a cup of coffee each day, or it's $2 per day cover."


Paul Fairbrother:

And the problem with those type of ads is you're not getting people to fall in love with the product. First, you're going straight into the features, the technical bits rather than benefits. So we had to think differently here. So this is why we had this kind of click baity ad of, okay, this picture of this, beaten up, old Volvo estate car and saying, the family couldn't afford a house. They had to transport the body in the back of this car. So it kind of did its job, but it stood out on social media. So that was the good thing and it also kind of did its job that it got quite cheap leads. The problem is those leads just didn't convert into anything.


Paul Fairbrother:

This is the problem that you see with anything that's kind of too click baity, is that, yeah, you can get lots of clicks, but you don't always get lots of sales there. So that's why, certainly with lead generation, is people ask me, what is the expected cost per lead? And I say, don't worry about the cost per lead, look at the quality of those leads, you've really got to ask your sales team. Are they converting? Are the people picking up the phone? That sort of thing here, so always be careful when you create a good ad, don't just look at the headline metrics of your click through rate, or even your cost per lead. Look at what's actually happening to these leads. Are they converting into sales there? And yeah, unfortunately that ad got those leads, but didn't get the sales based on that.


Dylan:

Now, with this kind of ad here, how much budget do you think was kind of put on it.


Paul Fairbrother:

So this is running probably, I think it was about £100 a day, so about $150 U.S. a day. So it's a kind of small budget but the idea with those kinds of ads is that you can just have this slow burn just tick along, because you'll find that for funeral plans, they are very age dependent, younger audiences don't respond, the older audiences, not surprisingly respond really, really well to them.


Dylan:

Oh I believe it. So being a very happy platform, death is a very hard conversation to have and essentially make money off of.


Paul Fairbrother:

Yeah, you've got to have the right product fit for Facebook. We see on Instagram, it's sort of about food, fashion, lifestyle, cosmetics, those sort of things sell all day long. And when you do anything more serious, then it's a lot, lot harder on social media to get these kinds of ads to work there. So sometimes don't beat yourself up if your product doesn't work, it might just not be a good fit for other mediums that you're advertising on.


Dylan:

Man. Zach, what are your thoughts on this? I think it's a pretty mean lead magnet, prepaid funeral plan. It's a bargain it looks like if anything.


Zach:

The headline man, just "My cousin's body arrived in the back of an estate car" I mean, it got my attention. I just honestly thought when I was reading that story, I could probably pull up my spam filter in my Gmail inbox. And I probably have a couple hundred emails from Nigeria that sound like the same thing, which is this kind of elongated story of something dramatic happened to my family member. And then I expected the ad to be like, "Please help my family cover for this funeral cost, just send 9.99 to" I literally thought it was going to be straight spam. And then when I read that it was a legit offer, downloading Beat the Funeral Price Hike Guide" I was like, "Wait, this is real? This is not a scam?"


Zach:

That's crazy. That was literally my impression as I was reading the ad.


Paul Fairbrother:

Oh yeah.


Dylan:

Well shoot, the conversation of funerals is never a fun one so let's go ahead and have some fun and roast a very bad ad I had the pleasure of finding yesterday. So if both of y'all can pull up the terrible ad I sent you both, let's go ahead and roast it. And just so everybody has some context, this will be in the show notes as well, but we have a great page called Saving and Earning giveaway, 100% free plus PP fee. No idea what that means, but hey, you want to review this premium quality wireless fast charging car mount? Simply click send message to claim yours today. And it's got a bunch of product benefits, gravity sensor technology, case friendly, not very great benefits, but hey, that headline contact us to see 100 plus items and it's going to messenger. So Paul out of the gate, give me your thoughts, feelings, concerns with this terrible ad here.


Paul Fairbrother:

Okay. So what I say with ads is you've got to keep them simple is that people will take one action if you just give them something clear to do. It's like, if you're trying to herd sheep, if you point them in one direction, people on Facebook will do what you tell them to do. But if you're trying to get them to do five things, it won't work. So this is saying, you can... It's a giveaway, but it's also saying we want you to review this ad. And by the way, there is a postage fee, even though it's free and then you can contact us on messenger, but you can also see a hundred other items rather than just this product. So there's about at least five things and what people do is they just go meh and scroll past. You've got one to two seconds to capture people's attention on Facebook so just to say one thing, like it's a wireless charger, it's 20 bucks, buy it now on Amazon and people will buy it all day long.


Paul Fairbrother:

So that's the sort of thing. Just you need that very, very clear, that message is very confused. And sometimes what I see, the most important thing when I speak to clients and say, "What do you want from this ad?" Is when you speak to CEOs they'll tell you they want engagement, they want loads and loads of reach, they want loads and loads of clicks and they want loads and loads of conversions. And what you need to do as an agency is say to them, "Sorry, you can choose one thing. Do you want reach, do you want clicks, do you want conversions? Choose one metric, I'll get it for you." So what somebody has done here is they've said, "Hey, I want messenger conversations and I want people to click on it and I want to engage." And it's too much. So just pick one thing, put one common thing that you want the users to take action on and the ads work 100 times better than this product.


Zach:

I mean, who even says I want a review of premium quality? Who leads an ad with, "Do you want to leave a review?" I mean, no. I don't want to leave a review.


Dylan:

Yeah. And the other part I love the most is the grammatical errors without a doubt, but on the product benefits, I think those are supposed to be check marks, but I'm starting to think those are square roots symbols for a mathematical equation, if I'm looking at that correctly. So, I mean, I think the format's terrible. The call to action is terrible and overall the ad's terrible, but I kind of do need a charging car mount and so I'm kind of sold, but not really.


Zach:

I love it. I love it. Nice find, Dylan. All right. Let's dive into it. Let's talk about some rich ads.


Dylan:

Okay. Heck yeah. So for this rich ad, this pops, this will be in the show notes as well, but we got Sugar and Crumbs with Nifty Nozzles, a cupcake bouquet class with Carol. So we've had another fabulous day at our cupcake bouquet class. This was our second day. And due to the overwhelming success we already had on day three in the diary. Save the date, Saturday 13th, June, if you decide to sign up, you'll be invited to join our small, inclusive Facebook group where you can access the class on the day. In addition, you can see all previous classes and you're welcome to join us in the future on all classes that we run in the group, everyone who has taken part so far has done exceptionally well and really enjoyed it. So it looks like it's a kind of cupcake bouquet class. And it, I was thinking it was flowers at first, but those are actually cupcakes. So Paul, I know you mentioned this ad absolutely killed it. What made this ad kill it? Was it the cupcakes?


Paul Fairbrother:

So, yeah. There's a couple of things here, but first of all, this ad says for an online baking class, this one got an incredible 36 ROAS and that's resulting in several hundred sales. In U.S. you're probably talking about 90 bucks per sale. So this is a real outlier, but there's two things here. The first is looking at the ad strategy rather than just the ad creative, which sometimes people forget about, they think it's all about having the best graphic or the shiniest video, but it's really... The strategy here is, in the U.K. just like other countries joining lockdown, at home baking just took off big time. So what happened with this client is they pivoted from having in-person classes which they couldn't run, to online classes, so that's the first thing. If you've got the right product at the right time, it sells just like we looked at the bad ad. If you've got the wrong product on Facebook, it doesn't work. But if you've got the right product and crucially, it needs to be at the right time, then, even with pretty poor creative, it's going work.


Paul Fairbrother:

So that's the first thing, you've got to have that good strategy. You've got to say, "Right, what's the market conditions now, how do we take advantage of this?" So many advertisers they just gave up, "So okay. I don't know what to do. Things are all over the place with kind of lockdown. I'm going to give up." And instead we're like, "Okay, let's pivot. Pivot as fast as we can, double down on this new strategy." It absolutely blew up. So first of all, don't overlook the strategy if your ads aren't working, how can you change things? Then the second thing here is a very personal touch in the ads.


Paul Fairbrother:

So we're talking about Carol here, who's leading the class and you'll find that people that buy these baking classes, they tend to be females. We found when we looked at the demographics kind of 40 plus, and really you're building this community. So the classes are taking part in this Facebook group. Carol was praising other people in the ad text saying everybody did exceptionally well in the previous classes so that's what people needed during lockdown. They need that community where they can't see people face to face, they're moving to online communities and that's what we built there. So some people with their ad texts, they're just trying to really strip it back to like we saw in the bad ad, where you just have check marks, list the features, we're not doing that here we're moving it to a conversational style, which is what this particular audience really loved.


Paul Fairbrother:

Don't be afraid to go for that personal touch in the ads where you can actually name people, rather than just making yourself out to be this huge mega corporation. People buy from other people, not from some faceless corporation. So that's why we chose this very specific style of ads. And yeah, that little kind of like nice little thing we did with the image where you look at this cupcake bouquet, at first, you think it's flowers, you look at it for a couple of seconds and suddenly your mind flips and you realize it's actually cupcakes they can eat there. So that was a nice little touch we put in the ad as well.


Zach:

Oh yeah. Without a doubt. And I mean, I think you hit it right on the head having some sort of personal aspect to with Ms. Carol, but that final line, everyone who has taken part so far is doing exceptionally well and really enjoyed it. Those are the kinds of words of affirmation people love and kind of want to be a part of. So it may not seem much, but that extra little sentence, probably just added so much flavor to this ad as a whole, but you know, long story short, this ad killed it 30x. So I mean, heck I mean, who doesn't like cupcakes, this is a killer ad right here.


Zach:

So I mean, I'm hungry looking at it. Well, hey, we dived into an ad that just did not fit the platform. It may have gotten some cheap CPLs, but hey, it didn't convert. When it comes to that rich ad, timing is perfect having an online, some sort of Facebook group during the whole COVID crisis. This was the perfect time to kind of capitalize on an idea and Ms. Carol made the magic happen and fortunately AdEspresso is here to share with us. So Paul, we've absolutely loved this super value pack. We want to kind of thank you for kind of coming on this and hey much appreciated my man.


Paul Fairbrother:

Thanks guys. It's been a real pleasure to be on the show today.

Zach:

Good stuff. Well, Hey, shout out to everybody. This will be the final concluded of the Rich Ad Poor Ad Podcast.

Dylan:

Okay. Have a good one.

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About The Podcast

Jason Hornung is the founder and Creative Director at JH Media LLC, the world’s #1 direct response advertising agency focusing exclusively on the Facebook ads platform. Jason’s proprietary methods for ad creation, audience selection and scaling are responsible for producing $20 million + of profitable sales for his clients EVERY YEAR

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is Founder of FunnelDash, the Agency Growth and Finance Company, with their legendary Clients Like Clockwork solutions. Under Zach’s leadership, FunnelDash has grown to over 5,000+ agency customers managing over $1 Billion in ad spend across 41,000 ad accounts on. Zach’s private clients have included influencers such as Dr. Axe, Marie Forleo, Dan Kennedy, Dean Graziozi to name a few. Zach is also a noted keynote speaker and industry leader who’s now on a mission to partner with agencies to fund $1 Billion in ad spend over the next 5 years.

Dylan Carpenter

Dylan Carpenter will be diving into what he and his team are seeing in 200+ accounts on Google and Facebook when it comes to trends, new offerings, and new opportunities. With over $10 million in Facebook/Instagram ad spend, Dylan Carpenter had the pleasure to work with Fortune 500 companies, high investment start-ups, non-profits, and local businesses advertising everything from local services to physical and digital products. Having worked at Facebook as an Account Manager and now with 5+ years of additional Facebook Advertising under my belt, I’ve worked alongside 60+ agencies and over 500+ businesses. I work with a team of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn experts to continue to help companies and small businesses leverage the power of digital marketing.

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