Author Topic: bookbub ADS: What's working best?  (Read 2916 times)  

Offline horsewisevt

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bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« on: February 13, 2018, 09:38:56 AM »
Is anyone having success with bookbub ADS? Is there any resource of information about what is working best?

Do ads with less words (like FB) have greater success?
Do ads with the book cover posted perform better?
Does mentioning price on the ad impact performance?
Mentioning "free in KU" impact performance?

I have run a handful of ads (penname)...my first- based on advice was a CPM.. needless to say, BB ate up my budget quickly but I didn't see a huge impact on the sales dashboard.  Since then, I have been trying different ads and different approaches.  Singling 1-3 authors ... my impressions tanked (even though these were high BB follow-authors).

Several ads took off strongly in the first day, up to around 800-900 impressions (most had 1-2 clicks).. and then--- stopped...
I have one ad that has literally been stalled at 2624 for over a month.  800 US, 500 UK, and the rest miscellaneous.  That can't be coincidence given the two very round numbers. I tried editing the metrics, my CPC on this one is 45 cents (on a 99 cent book-1). I added more authors to the target audience-- didn't budge.

SO- I am wondering if there are any articles/resources on "beating bookbub" akin to brian meeds AMS book, or michael coopers FB ads info. If not- maybe those of us who are doing them.. should start to look at the ads that are working and not-working.. to figure out what BB algorithms are using to determine what ads get shown, and which ads are getting results:)


Online Nicholas Erik

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 09:22:19 PM »
These two threads should help: BookBub PPC Data w/ Examples, Analyzing BookBub Ad Results

A few basic tips:

1) ignore BookBub's recommended bidding (usually between $7 - $12). Bid like $3 - $5 CPM unless you're launching a book and need to spend your budget faster. If an author target is big enough, you'll usually spend a $3/$4 daily budget anyway with no problem, and you'll get way more mileage per dollar.

2) I only target one author at a time to test what's a fit for my books, and also to identify where I can get cheap clicks (since you're bidding against others, certain authors can be saturated and thus very expensive). Some authors are good fits, but there's too much competition. Others are good fits, but are too small for a sustainable campaign. Testing one at a time helps me find which ones perform best.

2a) clicks to "wide" retailers (B+N, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play) and regions other than the US are generally cheaper than ones to Amazon US. This is a great way to advertise wide.

3) book cover vs. no book cover, price vs. no price, free in KU vs. no mention - I haven't seen any discernible trends one way or another. "Free" definitely gets more clicks than a price or no mention of price. Free in KU...I haven't really seen a spike that way. Tweaking these smaller details can help, but it depends on which authors you're targeting...

4) ...which leads me to my next, and most important, point. Test vastly different ad creatives. Not the same image with a KU logo vs. no KU logo or a button tacked on. I've done a lot of this stuff. The results are negligible. That stuff generally doesn't move the needle all that much; if it does, it often has to do with the makeup of that specific author's audience on BookBub, rather than a generalized trend that you can roll out to other authors (e.g. if "free in KU" generates a boost in CTR when targeting author A, it might do nothing, or reduce your CTR when targeting Author B).

What you'll find, however, is if you have a design + copy that works for one author, it should work as a template for others in that genre. The overall design and main words you're using are far more important. Use words that your readers use (look for these in popular books' blurbs and in the reviews for the books in your genre - for example, you'll see snarky, sassy, and bad*ss repeated in urban fantasy reviews). You want to use different pictures, different text, different approaches. Come up with a bunch of them and test them for low spends. $1 - $2 a day. At around 1000 - 1500 impressions, you know if an ad is working or not - if it's below 1% CTR, then it needs to be cut. Most of them will be beyond awful, and will have to be booted immediately. A couple will be promising, and you can tweak those.

This is a giant pain in the butt for most authors, because you have to design images for each ad. If you have ten different designs, we're talking like 5 hours of work. I prefer Facebook, because you can just use stock photos, which take way less time to put together. But BookBub is a nice source of additional traffic, and I kind of like the testing, so I keep doing it.

People will say the image needs to be professional looking; maybe, but I've run some fugly designs and had no problems getting clicks. Whereas other designs that have been ultra-clean and nice looking have flopped. One of my best performing ads misspells my series name. I'm not kidding.

Which leads me to another important PPC point: when you have a winner, just leave it alone. Don't mess with it. You can try to improve it, but copy the ad and make the tweaks there. Don't stop the original or try to revise it. That will usually just screw things up.

5) sequential testing, rather than A/B testing. There's no real way to A/B test on BookBub, anyway, but you can run multiple different ads to the same author at the same time. This generally doesn't work that well. Some of the ads won't get shown, whereas others will, which skews your results. This all seems to happen randomly Either test them one at a time (maybe two if your author target is big enough), or test the different creatives to different authors. E.g. design 1 would go to Lee Child, design 2 would go to Vince Flynn and so forth. That way your ads aren't all jockeying for the same position at once. You don't really compete against yourself; I think running a bunch of ads to the same author target with the same bids simultaneously just confuses BookBub's auction system.

Nick

Offline It's A Mystery

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 10:58:18 PM »
These two threads should help: BookBub PPC Data w/ Examples, Analyzing BookBub Ad Results

A few basic tips:

1) ignore BookBub's recommended bidding (usually between $7 - $12). Bid like $3 - $5 CPM unless you're launching a book and need to spend your budget faster. If an author target is big enough, you'll usually spend a $3/$4 daily budget anyway with no problem, and you'll get way more mileage per dollar.

2) I only target one author at a time to test what's a fit for my books, and also to identify where I can get cheap clicks (since you're bidding against others, certain authors can be saturated and thus very expensive). Some authors are good fits, but there's too much competition. Others are good fits, but are too small for a sustainable campaign. Testing one at a time helps me find which ones perform best.

2a) clicks to "wide" retailers (B+N, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play) and regions other than the US are generally cheaper than ones to Amazon US. This is a great way to advertise wide.

3) book cover vs. no book cover, price vs. no price, free in KU vs. no mention - I haven't seen any discernible trends one way or another. "Free" definitely gets more clicks than a price or no mention of price. Free in KU...I haven't really seen a spike that way. Tweaking these smaller details can help, but it depends on which authors you're targeting...

4) ...which leads me to my next, and most important, point. Test vastly different ad creatives. Not the same image with a KU logo vs. no KU logo or a button tacked on. I've done a lot of this stuff. The results are negligible. That stuff generally doesn't move the needle all that much; if it does, it often has to do with the makeup of that specific author's audience on BookBub, rather than a generalized trend that you can roll out to other authors (e.g. if "free in KU" generates a boost in CTR when targeting author A, it might do nothing, or reduce your CTR when targeting Author B).

What you'll find, however, is if you have a design + copy that works for one author, it should work as a template for others in that genre. The overall design and main words you're using are far more important. Use words that your readers use (look for these in popular books' blurbs and in the reviews for the books in your genre - for example, you'll see snarky, sassy, and bad*ss repeated in urban fantasy reviews). You want to use different pictures, different text, different approaches. Come up with a bunch of them and test them for low spends. $1 - $2 a day. At around 1000 - 1500 impressions, you know if an ad is working or not - if it's below 1% CTR, then it needs to be cut. Most of them will be beyond awful, and will have to be booted immediately. A couple will be promising, and you can tweak those.

This is a giant pain in the butt for most authors, because you have to design images for each ad. If you have ten different designs, we're talking like 5 hours of work. I prefer Facebook, because you can just use stock photos, which take way less time to put together. But BookBub is a nice source of additional traffic, and I kind of like the testing, so I keep doing it.

People will say the image needs to be professional looking; maybe, but I've run some fugly designs and had no problems getting clicks. Whereas other designs that have been ultra-clean and nice looking have flopped. One of my best performing ads misspells my series name. I'm not kidding.

Which leads me to another important PPC point: when you have a winner, just leave it alone. Don't mess with it. You can try to improve it, but copy the ad and make the tweaks there. Don't stop the original or try to revise it. That will usually just screw things up.

5) sequential testing, rather than A/B testing. There's no real way to A/B test on BookBub, anyway, but you can run multiple different ads to the same author at the same time. This generally doesn't work that well. Some of the ads won't get shown, whereas others will, which skews your results. This all seems to happen randomly Either test them one at a time (maybe two if your author target is big enough), or test the different creatives to different authors. E.g. design 1 would go to Lee Child, design 2 would go to Vince Flynn and so forth. That way your ads aren't all jockeying for the same position at once. You don't really compete against yourself; I think running a bunch of ads to the same author target with the same bids simultaneously just confuses BookBub's auction system.

Nick

This is interesting Nick, thanks.

I haven't found an author or even multiple authors that give me enough impressions to be honest. The clicks I'm getting don't seem to convert overly well, though I'm finding the same on Facebook.

On both these platforms I'm advertising to non Amazon audiences only so I wonder if it's that?

My AMS ads are going well so I don't think it's cover/blurb etc.

Maybe both bookbub and Facebook advertising are more conducive to box sets than individual books?

Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 11:14:20 PM »
Are you using CPC instead of CPM ads? If so, I've found the CPM ads are much easier to burn through a budget and drive impressions/clicks.

Individual books work fine. Box sets and collections work very well, as do any kinds of deals (free or 99 cents), but individual books also work. It's mostly about having the right author targets and ad in place to get good RoI (what this means depends on if you are trying to drive velocity or CTC).

To find the right authors, I've gone through the BookBub follower listings for authors as well as just searching around the Fantasy/Sci-Fi best seller lists on Amazon. Some of the best sellers list have almost no burn rate on BookBub though, especially authors who are only in KU. It's really trial-and-error to find the right targets. Some of the people with 10k+ followers have had inexplicably slow burn rates on impressions served, which makes no sense and is frustrating to figure out in AB Testing. I don't know of a sure fire way to find the absolute best target authors rate now in terms of ad burn rates. In general, the more BookBub followers, the better, but I've seen people with 6k followers generate way more impressions than someone with 16k followers, and it just doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

Offline It's A Mystery

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 12:30:09 AM »
Are you using CPC instead of CPM ads? If so, I've found the CPM ads are much easier to burn through a budget and drive impressions/clicks.

Individual books work fine. Box sets and collections work very well, as do any kinds of deals (free or 99 cents), but individual books also work. It's mostly about having the right author targets and ad in place to get good RoI (what this means depends on if you are trying to drive velocity or CTC).

To find the right authors, I've gone through the BookBub follower listings for authors as well as just searching around the Fantasy/Sci-Fi best seller lists on Amazon. Some of the best sellers list have almost no burn rate on BookBub though, especially authors who are only in KU. It's really trial-and-error to find the right targets. Some of the people with 10k+ followers have had inexplicably slow burn rates on impressions served, which makes no sense and is frustrating to figure out in AB Testing. I don't know of a sure fire way to find the absolute best target authors rate now in terms of ad burn rates. In general, the more BookBub followers, the better, but I've seen people with 6k followers generate way more impressions than someone with 16k followers, and it just doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

I've been using CPC... maybe worth trying CPM then...

The bookbub followers list sounds exactly what I need, but where do you find those numbers?! I think I'm suffering from using author names that don't have a large following on bookbub even though they sell well.

EDIT: Found them!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 12:32:17 AM by A.G.B »

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 12:53:52 AM »

On both these platforms I'm advertising to non Amazon audiences only so I wonder if it's that?

Maybe both bookbub and Facebook advertising are more conducive to box sets than individual books?

Single novels work fine, discounted or not. If you're only advertising to non-Amazon retailers, you're going to have a difficult time spending much more than a few dollars a day for a target audience. And you're going to burn through that audience quickly, which means a limited number of impressions unless you're targeting huge, huge authors. I would include the regional Amazon sites - UK, CAN, AU - as the clicks are generally cheap and that will give you a bigger audience to advertise to.

Nick

Offline It's A Mystery

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 12:57:26 AM »
Single novels work fine, discounted or not. If you're only advertising to non-Amazon retailers, you're going to have a difficult time spending much more than a few dollars a day for a target audience. And you're going to burn through that audience quickly, which means a limited number of impressions unless you're targeting huge, huge authors. I would include the regional Amazon sites - UK, CAN, AU - as the clicks are generally cheap and that will give you a bigger audience to advertise to.

Nick

Ah ok, thanks Nick.

Offline vaughanwsmith

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 04:42:21 AM »
I just want to add a counter point to this.

I heard recently on a podcast (ep 165 of the SFF Marketing Podcast with guest Bryan Cohen) that bidding higher CPM on BookBub ads resulted in 'better clickers' as an audience. It was a theory suggested by Bryan, and the feedback he received from the BookBub ad people suggested they thought he was right, but couldn't say definitively. But I thought it was interesting, and decided to test because I've been quite low with my bids. And I could imagine the scenario where low bids get the 'leftovers' so to speak.

Before I show results, I should mention:

- I am advertising a book 1 in a Fantasy Series, and it's not discounted ($2.99 standard price) and I don't mention price in my ad.
- Book is in KU so I can only target Amazon stores
- In my previous tests referencing 'free on KU' did abysmally, so my ad has a buy button

Test 1:

I took my best performing ad (in terms of CPC and ability to safely leave it running in background):
- started off only spending around $1-2 a day at an effective CPM of $5-6, average CTR was around 2.5%
- now struggling to get any impressions

And I increased the bid to $12 CPM.
- Effective CPM around $9-10
- CTR consistently between 3-4% now
- I'm spending my $5 budget each day
- Average CPC is about the same as when the CPM bid was much lower (between $0.25-0.30)
- I'm very happy, since it's made this ad useful again

Test 2:

I took two author targets that are in my also-boughts and should have worked pretty well, but only had mediocre results previously, and tried creating new ads
- Author 1 historical ad had a CTR of 0.5%, average CPC of $1.20
- Author 2 historical ad had a CTR of 1.3%, average CPC of $0.50

After I cloned my 'good ad' from Test 1 and used the other author targets and the higher CPM bid of $12
- Author 1 new ad CTR 1.8%, average CPC of $0.60
- Author 2 new ad CTR 3.15%, average CPC of $0.30
- Both spending my $5 budget each day
- I'm happy enough to leave them running for a few days and see if they're converting decently

Caveats
Some information that may skew my results a bit:

- Author 1 had some new releases at the beginning of the year
- Author 2 had a BookBub featured deal recently

Regardless, it's been a successful test and I'm excited by BookBub ads again. I thought I was going to have to wait until I could target more storefronts.

The moral of the story is: test everything!


Vaughan W. Smith | Website | Facebook | Newsletter

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 07:40:44 AM »
 wow! thanks for the fantastic insights.  Knowing a baseline for metrics, such as percentage numbers: when to kill when to leave it etc, and that it is more like FB, than AMS... re you shouldn't need to sit on an ad and wait for it to "wake up"--- helps hugely!!!!

a few questions:

what is a good "bottom line number" for how many followers an author should have to be a viable target?
2-does the book category make a huge impact? (i wish they had better subcategories- because epic fantasy competes as fantasy, with all the indie UF and PNR, I am guessing-- which makes it harder, more competitive/expensive?)

3- how do you target specific areas, such as Canada, or Australia? do I just manually go to AMZ site for the country and search up the link? BB does not NEED to generate the link...??

refine by book category pt2- is there any benefit to using just this, and a few categories to create a "sub-niche?"

I paused (should probably delete) all my old ads and am starting fresh.  one ad briefly had a 2.3% rate...with 3 clicks and 600(?) impressions.... do ads tend to start strong and then phase out, build up based on results... or remain consistent?

Tnx again!!!

Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 08:28:19 AM »
I just want to add a counter point to this.

I heard recently on a podcast (ep 165 of the SFF Marketing Podcast with guest Bryan Cohen) that bidding higher CPM on BookBub ads resulted in 'better clickers' as an audience. It was a theory suggested by Bryan, and the feedback he received from the BookBub ad people suggested they thought he was right, but couldn't say definitively. But I thought it was interesting, and decided to test because I've been quite low with my bids. And I could imagine the scenario where low bids get the 'leftovers' so to speak.

Before I show results, I should mention:
...

I noted finding the same results independently on another KB post. My results were consistently 50% or less CTR if I dropped the CPM bid max to lower than 12.15 (I tried 8 as a max). My instinct was that BookBub auctions frequent clickers in higher auction blocks. Not only does this make sense, but it's also good for business (for both them and us who are looking for more guaranteed clicks).

Edit: I should note that all my tests are in the huge and competitive epic fantasy market. If you set max bids, the average auction there will be north of 10.00. In less competitive markets, I've heard you can get away with much less as the higher auction blocks for that market are only in the 6-9 range. In the latter case, you may be able to get away with lower CPM maxes.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 08:39:47 AM by Rex Jameson »

Offline horsewisevt

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 08:41:09 AM »
I noted finding the same results independently on another KB post. My results were consistently 50% or less CTR if I dropped the CPM bid max to lower than 12.15 (I tried 8 as a max). My instinct was that BookBub auctions frequent clickers in higher auction blocks. Not only does this make sense, but it's also good for business (for both them and us who are looking for more guaranteed clicks).

rex- am I correct in reading this as... set a higher end CPM limit, as in towards the higher end of the recommended range, or slightly higher? what does that do to budget etc... I can't help but think that would eat through a buttload of budget and not necessarily yield an ROI that pays for itself...?

How long do you run them at this metric (word?)? and do you see the improved results right away, or need to wait a few days? 

also- is that maximum bid the actual bid you see... ie, if you're bidding 12.00 CPM... is that your actual CPM?

Are you saying that.. yes, the CPM is higher, but the returns on that outweigh the expense?

tnx!!!


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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 09:16:47 AM »
rex- am I correct in reading this as... set a higher end CPM limit, as in towards the higher end of the recommended range, or slightly higher? what does that do to budget etc... I can't help but think that would eat through a buttload of budget and not necessarily yield an ROI that pays for itself...?

How long do you run them at this metric (word?)? and do you see the improved results right away, or need to wait a few days? 

also- is that maximum bid the actual bid you see... ie, if you're bidding 12.00 CPM... is that your actual CPM?

Are you saying that.. yes, the CPM is higher, but the returns on that outweigh the expense?

tnx!!!

1.) With a higher CPM (cost per thousand impressions), you will burn your budget faster. However, as others have noted, you also appear to get the higher engaged readers (whether or not they frequently convert is a different issue entirely) in your auctions.
2.) The bid is the max you bid. When I do 12.15 in High Fantasy/Epic Fantasy targets, I tend to get averages in the 9-11 range. What this may actually mean is that for the time-of-day and day that my ad went up, if BB is weighting the auctions according to the reader engagement attributes, then many of my actual auctions may have been to lower performing ad segments and had lower auctions (e.g., 7) but the higher end auctions at 11-12.15 moved the average more into the 9-11 range.
3.) The result in CTR is absolutely immediate from my testing. I would try 30 dollar AB testing to get a good statistical sample and see if your CTR moves up with a higher bid.
4.) My testing has been mostly about velocity--not sustained sales. I'm trying to get out of reader slush piles and into reader hands. So for me, the advertising is exposure. I'm interested in clicks and the chance at conversion--not making money in the short term. My philosophy on this right now is that every new reader I put in front of me is a chance to earn a long-term reader and fan. I am releasing a new series this year and trying to start fresh with a warchest I've saved up over 6 years. Success for you may be totally different. If you want every ad dollar you spend to result in more money in immediate return, then this may not work best for you. It'll depend on your target market, the price of your book, and the conversion rate of each click. There's no universal answer imo

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2018, 01:52:02 PM »
I did some preliminary testing with high bids ($12 CPM) because I was curious. Here's what I found.

There might be a difference in who it's being displayed to. I'm not sure if that's an algorithm thing, or the fact that when you bid higher, your ad will be shown to the people who open the email earlier - who are, presumably, the ones most interested in BookBub's deals. These folks might be more likely to click on links in the emails.

Anyway, there does seem to be a difference in CTR - sometimes. One basically identical ad I'm running at $12 CPM and $8 CPM actually has a higher CTR for the cheaper bid (3.81% to 3.63%). The $8 CPM ad also has 3x as many impressions (it's been running for about a month). Could be that a decent slice of the audience has seen it already, but in any event, the $12 CPM ad hasn't resulted in a huge boost.

I did run a few other BB ads that had taglines similar to ones I've run in the past that didn't perform. A completely new tagline that I hadn't tested previously performed really well at $12 CPM (2.6% CTR right now). A few variants on unsuccessful past ones seemed to bump up the CTR to around 0.8% - 1.2%, which was around double what it was before. But the clicks were more expensive, even with the boost in CTR.

I still think that testing at lower CPMs is the way to go, even if it might impact CTR. If you have a bad ad that you bid high with, it'll burn through your budget quickly, and those clicks will cost you $0.80 or $1 - and you'll have bought $10 or $15 worth of those clicks. Whereas, if you bid lower, the clicks will usually cost less, and you can shut the ad off before spending much more than $5, since you'll have gotten 1,000+ impressions already. I still have to test the higher CPMs more; it might be the case that, once you have something working at a lower CPM, it actually makes sense to bid more. Depends on if BookBub's auction algorithms serve the higher bid ads to people more likely to click.

Nick


Offline horsewisevt

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 02:18:43 PM »
1.) With a higher CPM (cost per thousand impressions), you will burn your budget faster. However, as others have noted, you also appear to get the higher engaged readers (whether or not they frequently convert is a different issue entirely) in your auctions.
2.) The bid is the max you bid. When I do 12.15 in High Fantasy/Epic Fantasy targets, I tend to get averages in the 9-11 range. What this may actually mean is that for the time-of-day and day that my ad went up, if BB is weighting the auctions according to the reader engagement attributes, then many of my actual auctions may have been to lower performing ad segments and had lower auctions (e.g., 7) but the higher end auctions at 11-12.15 moved the average more into the 9-11 range.
3.) The result in CTR is absolutely immediate from my testing. I would try 30 dollar AB testing to get a good statistical sample and see if your CTR moves up with a higher bid.
4.) My testing has been mostly about velocity--not sustained sales. I'm trying to get out of reader slush piles and into reader hands. So for me, the advertising is exposure. I'm interested in clicks and the chance at conversion--not making money in the short term. My philosophy on this right now is that every new reader I put in front of me is a chance to earn a long-term reader and fan. I am releasing a new series this year and trying to start fresh with a warchest I've saved up over 6 years. Success for you may be totally different. If you want every ad dollar you spend to result in more money in immediate return, then this may not work best for you. It'll depend on your target market, the price of your book, and the conversion rate of each click. There's no universal answer imo

when you say 9-11 range.. do you mean conversions/ clicks?

right now, the best redone ad is set for 8.00CPM and has about a 1.8% effective CPM of 7.22$.  I have no idea if this is good, or not.  I have about 45 clicks for  2400 impressions. do I keep this ad? tweak it? ditch it? I have a couple of ads, some with cover, some without (deciding that since this is a book-thing that they will readily assume that its a book ad...) the other metrics aren't the same, so I have no idea if the others are comparable.  I was thinking about raising the CPM on one of the others to see if it then "woke up" and got comparable results...

thanks

Teri

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2018, 03:01:38 PM »
when you say 9-11 range.. do you mean conversions/ clicks?


He means the CPM. When you bid $12 or whatever, the average CPM you get charged is almost always much lower - like $8.50 or whatever. This happens at lower CPMs, too - the CPM you get charged is almost always lower than your bid. So, although he bids $12.15 CPM, BookBub only charges him $9 - $11 CPM.

While CTR is important, and 1.8% sounds fine, the key metric is CPC. BookBub doesn't calculate that on its own; you need to take the total spend and divide it by the number of clicks.

Since your CPM is $7.22, and you've had 2400 impressions, that means you've spent about $17.30. With 45 clicks, that would be $17.30/45 = $0.38 CPC. That's too high. Anything over $0.30 I kill, unless it's for another purpose other than ROI (launching, bestseller run). You can get away with $0.30+ if you have a long series or insanely high conversion, but for most authors, $0.30 is a good rule of thumb cutoff where ads stop having the chance of being profitable. That DOES NOT mean any ad getting you clicks below $0.30 is profitable, though. You can still lose money with cheap clicks. You still have to keep an eye on sales and the numbers. But you're almost definitely losing money with super expensive clicks.

Nick

Offline horsewisevt

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2018, 04:13:18 PM »
thanks re the quick conversion rate translation.  And yeah-- 30 cents is a bit higher than I really want to have going.  Do BB ads take time to stabilize or anything?  if I have a 30 cent conversion rate.. will it change?  Do I give the ad a few days or kill it quickly and start from scratch? Would raising my CPM improve the conversion rate, make it worse, or have zero affect on it?

When you have an ad that isn't performing, do you tweak it, change the author, etc or kill it and start from scratch?  I don't know if BB tracks and uses metrics/algorithm information etc and always starting with a clean slate is best?

wondering what it takes to nudge up into the success range...is it the graphic? the targeting info.. or something obscure that BB never shares?

tnx!!!

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2018, 07:53:49 PM »
After between 1000 - 2000 impressions, you have a good idea how that ad will perform. That'll be about the peak of the CTR; it might hold steady for awhile, but it rarely improves. And it's not going to jump from 0.2% to 3% CTR between impression 2000 and 3000. Your CPC will fluctuate as the ad ages, but it will rarely improve with time. It almost always gets more expensive. Losing ads don't turn into winners. Winning ads, however, can turn into losers if you leave them on too long. Just check them every day to make sure the CTR isn't plummeting.

The graphic + the targeting are the keys, here (which makes sense, because they're really the only two variables you control). They influence one another.

I kill the ad and make a new one if it's not working. I want fresh stats to make it easier to see if an author or graphic change worked. If it is working, and I want to scale it up, I bump up the daily budget by a couple bucks.

Nick

Offline horsewisevt

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2018, 06:59:22 AM »
okay... so based on this... I should probably kill all my ads and start over.  Anyone have any advice on what might work for epic fantasy-- I have a few solid target authors (I think), so I presume it's just improving the graphic/s and tweaking the metrics...?

It seems that BB should be an easy, target-rich environment...but BB -- like FB-- seems very content to eat budgets with zero returns... you'd think THEY would also want to see higher performing ads, since authors will spend more for things that... you know... work!!!:)

Tnx

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2018, 01:50:00 PM »
I did some more testing with high bids. Maybe you get slightly higher CTRs. Hard to say. Definitely not worth it for testing. Crappy ads at low bids are crappy ads at high bids - the latter just torches your money much, much, faster, and far more expensively. I can't recommend that. If you're testing, set your CPM much lower than the recommendation. $4 - $6 CPM, I'd say.

The thing you have to remember about BB/FB is this: you're in competition with other authors for clicks. I know there's debate on the boards about whether authors are in competition with each other in general; that point can be argued. Here, however, there is no debate. It's just a fact. That means that the platforms don't necessarily dictate how expensive something is/what readers will click on. It's shaped by the audience demographic and other authors you're "playing" against. It's kind of like poker or stock trading: you're playing the person across the table or across the screen in a lot of ways. Which means it's a very winner-take-all situation, where tons of people are getting $0.75 or $1 clicks, and a few people who have cracked it are getting all the $0.10 - $0.20 clicks or whatever. The only way to move from the former group to the latter (beyond luck) is to test everything, keep records, and make sure you keep your bids low, so you don't blow through money.

Even after running almost 200+ ads, almost every single new ad I test is a loser. If 1/5 are succeeding, I'm doing really well; usually, it's like 1/10, or 1/15.

Nick

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2018, 03:40:38 PM »
When it comes to advertising wide, I have also found that it may be worthwhile with tweaking who you advertise to. Is it worth paying for views for Kobo US? It hasn't been for me, but Kobo CA does pretty well. So after experimenting some, I just stopped including Kobo US. After some experimenting, I feel that whoever it was who said that the ad doesn't have to be particularly pretty is right. The ones that have done best for me (very few so far, mind you) have been pretty ugly.

I'm still experimenting with targeting which is harder than I expected it to be, but narrowing it down to a couple of authors. What I'm not seeing as much of as I'd like is downloads from the clicks, but because I still have a relatively small sample, it's hard to judge whether I have a big problem or not.

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Offline bradonpurpose

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2018, 08:48:28 AM »
Being new to running BookBub ads, I've enjoyed reading this thread. I find it interesting that most of the info relates to CPM and not  CPC bidding, especially since I recently read about the two on the BookBub blog which said in part:

Tip #1: Try using CPC bidding instead of CPM bidding
You can now choose between two different bidding strategies when setting up a BookBub Ads campaign: cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM).

With CPM bidding, you choose how much youre willing to pay per 1,000 unique impressions (one unique impression = the first time an ad loads on a specific email opened by a specific user). Youll win impressions if youre the highest bidder for impressions by users youre targeting.

With CPC bidding, you choose how much youre willing to pay for each click on your ad. CPC bidding is a lower risk to advertisers than CPM bidding because instead of paying for impressions that might turn into clicks, you only pay for actual clicks.

For that reason, CPC can be preferable to advertisers seeking a positive ROI


https://insights.bookbub.com/tips-improving-roi-bookbub-ads-campaigns/

Is this CPC bidding strategy a new option for BookBub ads? Wondering if anyone is finding success with CPC bidding? If so, what are you finding that is working? 

One other question...well at least an observation, it seems to me that CPM is misleading when it comes to BookBub ads since an "Impression" is whenever someone opens the BookBub email, whether or not they scroll down to the actual ad. I even saw that gmail had shortened a BookBub email I'd received so it would have been easy to miss the bottom of the email. It did have a lot (15-20) different special deals that showed before the bottom was cut off. Probably was showing all the deals for a week.  Am I understanding 'impressions' correctly?

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2018, 09:36:44 AM »
Another great post.... thanks everyone!

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2018, 09:41:13 AM »
I have to confess that I've no idea what everyone is talking about  ???  :-[ .

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Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: bookbub ADS: What's working best?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2018, 12:27:13 PM »
CPC didn't work well for me at BB, they wouldn't spend my money at reasonable bid pricepoints. I went to CPM and got much better results - they spend my couple of dollars every single day, so I get placements.


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