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Bloody Sunrise
by Gregg Bell

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Denny O'Callaghan is afraid to open his eyes.

He'd been out drinking last night with the guys, and his head throbs, his arms hurt, and he can't remember what he's done.

He opens his eyes. Blood. On his sheets. His pillowcase.

Then he gets a call: his ex-wife was murdered last night.

He desperately tries to piece together what happened. But he can't explain how he got the scratches on his arms, the police want to know about the domestic violence report his ex filed against him, and his buddies say he was raging against her last night before he stormed off on his own.

Right about the time she was murdered.

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Author Topic: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...  (Read 30440 times)  

Offline Mark Dawson

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This post is reasonably long. Might be an idea to get a drink and put your feet up.

Advertising for subs

As I described in a previous post, I've been experimenting with Facebook ads for most of the year. The first campaign was designed to drive signups, and it worked. I added 3,500 new subscribers at a cost of around $1,500. I'm in the process of testing that new audience for responsiveness and will report on that later; the short answer is that they are less responsive than a typical signup -- not surprising -- but that they buy enough books to make it a wash against the cost of acquisition. So I'm still doing that.

Advertising for sales

And then I changed tack. Two weeks ago, I started to advertise my paid books rather than my reader magnets. And the results have been amazing. So good, in fact, that I am going to get someone to check them to make sure I haven't made a monumental cock-up. Because, as my wife told me last night, when something is too good to be true it probably is. Although, in this instance, I can't see it (and, believe me, I've looked).

I used my mailing list to create a custom audience. I paid for a nice image and drafted some strong sales copy, and then I started to serve the mirror audience with the ad. What follows are my most recent numbers:

3/20

Ad Spend: 53.26
Revenue: 142.30

3/21

Ad Spend: 72.01
Revenue: 163.50

3/22

Ad Spend: 79.12
Revenue: 219.82

3/23

Ad Spend: 74.47
Revenue: 161.35

The average ROI over the course of the campaign is 124% - in other words, for every dollar I invest I get over two in return.

Conversion is around 10%.

Both of those numbers are crazy.

Here's the dash:



The campaign started on the 13th.

And it isn't just royalties on the advertised item that I'm getting. I'm using affiliate links, and so I'm getting a commission on every sale, too. Because I'm selling a lot of items, the ratchet has gone up to 9%, effectively giving me around 79% of the cover price, rather than 70%.

And I get affiliate commission on any other item bought during the life of the cookie.

And I'm seeing follow-up purchases on my either books, too.

And, finally, every sale of the box set lifts it in the rankings. It started around 15k and is around 2k now -- and that means more organic sales on top of those from the advert.

This isn't easy to pull off, and it took a lot of trial and error. I sucked up as much knowledge as I could from the internet and podcasts (Amy Porterfield, Rick Mulready, etc). I'm thinking about putting together a video that sets out how to do this, including a screencast showing how to use the Power Editor (which is powerful, but not intuitive). If you would like to see the video, let me have your deets at the link below and I'll email when it is done. (Full disclosure: I've been approached about putting together a course and there's one question for which I'd appreciate an answer; the FB video that I'll prepare will be independent of that).

I'd be happy to answers questions here, as always, if only to stress test my logic! I'm going to keep increasing the ad spend because this looks to be scalable and, without wishing to resort to hyperbole, it's kind of like free money at this point.

EDITED: I was running a survey on this, but it is closed now after a lot of great responses. If you would like to be added to my list - and get the videos that are now finished - go to www,selfpublishingformula.com.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 06:38:58 AM by Mark Dawson »

Offline ufwriter

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 09:28:37 AM »
These are incredible results. I tested out a FB ad for one day, but I put it on hold because I don't really know what I'm doing. If you make a video, I'd definitely be interested in seeing what you did.


Offline KaiW

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2015, 09:31:06 AM »
Mark this looks fascinating, congrats! What do you mean by 'the mirror audience' though? Not sure I understand that part

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2015, 09:33:56 AM »
These are incredible results. I tested out a FB ad for one day, but I put it on hold because I don't really know what I'm doing. If you make a video, I'd definitely be interested in seeing what you did.

Sure thing, Cady. It does take some testing, and I lost a little cash in getting it right, but it is massively powerful when used properly. Will be happy to share the vid - leave me your deets and I'll let you know when it is done (next couple of weeks).

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2015, 09:35:57 AM »
Mark this looks fascinating, congrats! What do you mean by 'the mirror audience' though? Not sure I understand that part

Facebook can take your mailing list (and other things), take those members who are also on FB, analyse what they like, and then create a mirror audience of people who share the same likes and interests as those people. In theory, you are advertising to a warmer audience; they may be predisposed towards you, certainly moreso than a "cold" audience. It's working for me, certainly.

Offline Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2015, 09:36:02 AM »
I've been playing with Facebook ads, too. My results haven't been as good as yours (although I'm not spending as much a day) but they have been encouraging. I have two right now and I will probably add a third in the fall. I'm debating how I want to tackle my pen name.

Amanda M. Lee

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2015, 09:38:14 AM »
I've been playing with Facebook ads, too. My results haven't been as good as yours (although I'm not spending as much a day) but they have been encouraging. I have two right now and I will probably add a third in the fall. I'm debating how I want to tackle my pen name.

Create a new fan page?

Offline AJStewart

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 09:42:30 AM »
Mark, did you promote one book, or a box set? (ie was a higher value pitch?)


Offline shimmering

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2015, 09:45:03 AM »
Looks v impressive ---- is the ad pointing to your book's page on amazon?

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2015, 09:46:16 AM »
Mark, did you promote one book, or a box set? (ie was a higher value pitch?)



A box set. That is KEY. I don't think this works for lower priced items.

For example... if your cost-per-click is 33c - which mine is right now - you have 20 clicks before someone needs to buy in order to break even. If it's 3.99, you have 12 clicks before you need a buy and that is clearly more difficult.

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 09:46:54 AM »
Looks v impressive ---- is the ad pointing to your book's page on amazon?

Yes - directly to it, although there is some ninja magic that I am considering through a redirect that might add in some extra benefits.

Offline AJStewart

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2015, 09:50:29 AM »
A box set. That is KEY. I don't think this works for lower priced items.

For example... if your cost-per-click is 33c - which mine is right now - you have 20 clicks before someone needs to buy in order to break even. If it's 3.99, you have 12 clicks before you need a buy and that is clearly more difficult.
I agree that seems to be the key. The CPA on a cheaper book didn't work for me so I stayed with using Website Conversions for emails. I have seen consistent buy through on those signups as well. I recall from you earlier thread that Clicks worked better for you as the chosen metric. Oddly it was the other way around for me.

Thanks, this is very useful to know.

Offline Emily Wibberley

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2015, 09:51:18 AM »
Is it possible to see what your ad looks like? I've been playing with FB ads without much luck.

Offline Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2015, 09:56:23 AM »
Create a new fan page?
I have a fan page, although I think I need to give it a quick spruce. I'm listening to an audio book to approve today so I can easily work on photoshop while I'm doing that.

Amanda M. Lee

Offline Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2015, 09:58:42 AM »
A box set. That is KEY. I don't think this works for lower priced items.

For example... if your cost-per-click is 33c - which mine is right now - you have 20 clicks before someone needs to buy in order to break even. If it's 3.99, you have 12 clicks before you need a buy and that is clearly more difficult.
I actually broke mine down and sent them to series pages. I created two different ads (for two different series) and then sent them to my series pages. Ironically, my paperbacks have seen an uptick, too.

Amanda M. Lee

Offline RomanceAuthor

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2015, 10:00:00 AM »
A box set. That is KEY. I don't think this works for lower priced items.

For example... if your cost-per-click is 33c - which mine is right now - you have 20 clicks before someone needs to buy in order to break even. If it's 3.99, you have 12 clicks before you need a buy and that is clearly more difficult.

I think you are right. I tried for a $3.99 product, but there is just no break even. I had a 25c per website click, but the conversion rate was something like 4% so. . .and it was for a popular book. lots of people commented that they bought it & loved it or that they had read it before and loved it, and still. . .


Mark would it be possible for you to post a screenshot of your ad?

Thanks for all the great info!


Any romance writer with a boxed set willing to test this? I don't have a boxed set unfortunately. Will only be able to make one after the next book is out (so in 6 months the earliest).

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2015, 10:00:33 AM »
I recall from you earlier thread that Clicks worked better for you as the chosen metric. Oddly it was the other way around for me.

Yep - much better. It varies - trial and error is the best medicine.

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2015, 10:01:00 AM »
Is it possible to see what your ad looks like? I've been playing with FB ads without much luck.

Yes, of course - I'll include it in the video runthrough.

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2015, 10:02:16 AM »
Any romance writer with a boxed set willing to test this? I don't have a boxed set unfortunately. Will only be able to make one after the next book is out (so in 6 months the earliest).

Box sets are the best, I think. I'll grab a copy of the ad and put it in the video. It is probably useful to see the image and copy (and you cannot afford to be bashful about the latter).

Offline RomanceAuthor

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2015, 10:05:21 AM »
Box sets are the best, I think. I'll grab a copy of the ad and put it in the video. It is probably useful to see the image and copy (and you cannot afford to be bashful about the latter).

I know. Copy is very, very important!!!

the ad did great, had about 5% CTR, i just think that the ROI will only be here for boxed sets like you say.

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2015, 10:08:11 AM »
I'm just wondering if Amazon have tinkered with the algorithms - cos I've also had a massive uprise in sales this week.

Offline nonbreaking space

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2015, 10:43:10 AM »
Quote
Facebook can take your mailing list (and other things), take those members who are also on FB, analyse what they like, and then create a mirror audience of people who share the same likes and interests as those people.

link to instructions on how do to this?

many thanks, mark.

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2015, 10:54:46 AM »
Mark,

i remember asking you about this sometime last year.

some questions.

how do you know who has signed up via FB?

echo the previous poster - more detailed how-to guide on the mirrored list audience will be great.

i get creating a separate mailing list but are you serving the ad to them via your Mailchimp mailing list or via FB? if the latter, how do you target them specifically?

thks.

p.s. - that link seems to go to a survey not to your ad?


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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2015, 10:56:24 AM »
Excellent post! Thanks for sharing your process. I have been considering using my mailing list to create a mirror audience on FB but have put it off. Your positive results makes me want to give it a try. I have three boxed sets I could do this for. Look forward to your video explaining everything!

Offline Nick Endi Webb

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Re: Facebook advertising for paid items -- it really, really works...
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2015, 10:58:18 AM »
I did the mailing list campaign, but only managed to get the $/signup down to around $1.25 or so. Still worth it to me. Thanks for all your tips!

Are any of your direct sales ads video posts? When I tried a video ad, I managed to get the cost per view down to between 1-2 cents, but conversion was just awful.

Nick Webb | Website | Facebook

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