Memo #16

Facebook is lying! See how we’ve scaled from 30k/day to 60k/day ad spent using 3rd party advanced analytics.


Here’s a shocking fact we recently learned: you might be throwing thousands of dollars into the trash because of Facebook’s crappy campaign tracking, and you didn’t realize it was even happening!

If you’re an ecom store-owner who is stuck spending 2K, 5K, and even 25K in daily ad spend and can’t profitably go past these numbers, then read on as this is precisely the bit of knowledge that’ll get you out of this slump. 

Today, I would like to tell you about the time when we went against what 99% of marketers preach and scaled up supposedly underperforming advertising campaigns according to the Facebook Advertising Platform.

No, we haven’t lost our minds!

The results speak for themselves - not only did we manage to double the ad spend from 30k a day to 60k in just 3 weeks, but we also improved the ROAS by over 7%.  

This is because we followed what the data said, rather than just what we felt ought to happen.

Making sense of the data

Recently we began to think that Facebook’s numbers didn’t quite capture the whole picture of the funnel when we saw a discrepancy between the ROAS in Rockerbox and the Facebook Advertising platform. 

...In case you’re not familiar with Rockerbox, it’s a tool that centralizes all of your marketing spend, store revenue, and attributes sales to marketing channels. This means that you can correctly understand where you got the final sale from and accordingly boost the campaigns that are performing the best.

Facebook Advertising is often more of an art than a science -- You need to understand what the data means, but you have to be creative with what you do with this knowledge to outperform your competitors.

You have to be willing to experiment and reinvent the wheel.

When we compared the numbers, Facebook showed a 2.26 average campaign ROAS as opposed to Rockerbox, which showed 1.00. In other words, some campaigns that might seem to be unprofitable by the metrics of one platform might be performing well in another, and vice versa.

The discrepancies got even more interesting the more we looked at them, here’s just a few of them:

    We found out that a few of the higher spend campaigns that Facebook marked as underperforming were, in fact, performing well above average.
    Facebook marked that some of the newer campaigns were performing above average, which might have led us to rely more heavily on them. However, Rockerbox told us that 80% of them didn’t perform as well as we thought, in fact, some of them didn’t even sell anything.

How to use the data to its maximum potential

The key issue was deciding which data set to trust. 

You can’t just cherrypick the stats you like on each platform as that would lead to inconsistent results.

If we stayed with Facebook’s information, we’d err on the side of common wisdom. But potentially we’d be making costly mistakes without knowing.

On the other hand, if we went with the Rockerbox data, we could end up making decisions that would harm profitable campaigns. However, we could discover a completely different way of looking at our data, and maximize our results for the long term.

We decided to take a leap of faith! 

The scales were weighted too heavily in favor of long term gains, over the potential and reparable losses. So we decided to test Rockerbox for a week, see the results, and reassess then.

Initially, we thought that Facebook ROAS would go down if we used Rockerbox, as we would deprioritize the campaigns we were previously putting the most money in, while seemingly prioritizing campaigns that didn’t perform well according to Facebook.

Previously, we were simply scaling up the newer campaigns as FB was showing us that those were performing well. 

But when we started relying on Rockerbox data, we started scaling our higher spend campaigns, and switched off underperforming campaigns after 1-2 days, solely focusing on the strongest ones. 

A week after we took the leap of faith, we landed on a tidy profit. 

In the first week alone, we managed to raise the daily ad spend by 25% - from 30k a day to 37.5k - and we also increased ROAS by 5%.

After we saw those initial positive results we continued with enthusiasm; and now that we’re in the third week, we’ve seen a 100% daily ad spend increase of our original 30k, so we’re up to 60k daily ad spend a day!

It is worth noting that we still don’t know what the upper limit is here, as this is still an ongoing story.

But in this short time, our client’s ROAS has increased 7-8% and their revenue has increased from 218k a week to 663k - we’re quite excited to see what the future might bring.

It goes to show, fortune favors the bold. If you’re unwilling to try something new, even if there’s good evidence supporting it, you won’t reap the rewards! 

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