How To Fall In Love With Facebook Ads for Your Online Shop

fb ads

Facebook ads and I have had a pretty complicated relationship. What started out as hair-pulling, desk pounding frustration (I’m exaggerating, kinda) has now evolved into a wondrous love affair of ‘The Notebook proportions. Seriously, Facebook ads and I were just frolicking hand in hand into the sunset together right before I sat down to write this post. Jealous?

Trust me when I say it’s possible to fall in love with Facebook ads and make them work for your online shop. I know it can seem like you’re throwing your money into a black hole with no return, but listen, there’s a method to the madness and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I actually just wrapped up a campaign that made $1704.88 in revenue with a mere $61.99 spend!

But let me lead with this disclaimer. Ads, and marketing as a whole, won’t work for your business if you don’t. There’s no magic button to push that will make money rain from the sky, as awesome as that sounds. Everything takes time, work, and if we’re being really real, money. Also, this post is meant for those with a bit of experience tinkering with their Facebook ads manager. If you’re a newbie, take some time out to familiarize yourself with its interface, then come back and read this post.

But now that that’s out of the way, here’s how you can fall in love with Facebook ads too!

1. Refocus your expectations

Having super high expectations can ruin any relationship.

Facebook ads work best when you’re “remarketing” or reaching people who have already expressed strong interest in your business. I’ll cover that in a few, but if your mailing list is teeny or non-existent and you don’t have much traffic to start with, don’t expect a $5-a-day campaign to make you an overnight millionaire. In fact, unless you’re selling an omgsuperamazinggottahaveit product, with $5 a day you probably won’t make any money through Facebook ads for a while. Instead, use ads to collect emails and introduce your business to potential customers, so you can later lead them down the next step in the sales funnel.

2. This isn’t a blind date. Know your audience inside and out.

For my blog the obvious audience to target would be women who love fashion, social media, and business. But, what else do women who love these topics love? If you want to create a relevant ad, you’ll have to toy with targeting. Here are a few ways to get to know your audience better.

  • Survey customers via email
  • Check your Google Analytics Audience data
  • See what your followers respond to on social media. What posts get the most likes? Who do they follow? Instagram’s “discover” page is a great way to see what everyone’s checking out.
  • Use Facebook Ads Manager “Audience Insights
  • Use Facebook search:

pages liked by

Did you know you could use Facebook to search for pages liked by people who like your page? No? Don’t worry, until a few weeks ago I didn’t either! It’s definitely interesting to see what other interests your audience has, but most importantly you can use that info to pinpoint your targeting.

3. Stop dating around, focus on people who, based on their behavior, would be a good match for you.

Email list poppin’? Upload it as a ‘custom audience‘! That way you can serve ads to people who are already interested in your business. This is called “remarketing”. It’s easier to persuade someone to buy from you who already trusts you and knows who you are, as opposed to trying to get the attention of someone who’s never heard of you.

Looking to reach more people? You can create a “Look-a-Like” audience based on your email list. Basically, Facebook finds a ton of people who have profiles similar to your mailing list subscribers, and creates an audience that’s more likely to be interested in your business.

4. Looks matter!

I hate to say this, but people are visual creatures and looks do matter! Make sure your first impression is a pleasant one by using high quality photos, and experimenting with ad placement and type. (Tip: Give carousel ads a try! They get lots of engagement.)

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An example of a carousel ad

5. Start tracking.

So, you definitely should not track people that you’re trying to date……but you should have a tracking pixel on your site so you know your ads are actually working! Add a Facebook conversion pixel to the ‘Thank you’ page that people see after purchasing from you. That way Facebook can tell you which ads resulted in a purchase on your site. If you’re really real, you can add a conversion pixel to every product on your site so you can retarget/remarket to people who have visited a certain product page. Creepy, I know, but it’s effective!


6. Don’t be so forward.

This is the best dating/Facebook Ads advice you’ll ever receive and I’ve got the numbers to prove it! Well with the Facebook part, for dating you’ll just have to trust me on this one. Anyway, your first introduction to someone who’s never “met” you before shouldn’t be “Hey man! Buy this right now!”. That’s akin to waltzing up to someone you find attractive at a bar and yelling “Let’s get married!”. I’m pretty sure you’d end up with a drink in your face, and possibly escorted out by security. Instead of screaming at strangers with ads that say “Buy now!”, consider that people are more comfortable with a nice build up. Introduce yourself first, share a few facts about yourself, then once you’ve got some chemistry flowing you can ask for a number. And yes, I’m still talking about Facebook ads.

I currently used this method with a client. I created 3 ads in a campaign, with the audience set as a mailing list look-a-like. I narrowed down the audience even further, by targeting women of a certain age with certain interests (based on the methods listed in point #2). The first ad was a nice introduction to her business, without an obvious call to action. It ran for 3 days. The second ad explained a bit more about the benefits of the product but wasn’t too salesy. Basically, I was letting the audience “get to know her”. This ad ran for 3 days, starting only after the first one stopped. The last ad coincided with a sale, so I included a coupon code and finally added “Buy now!”. This method works because you’re basically courting your audience and gaining their trust by slowly introducing yourself, rather than intruding on their timeline with a “hey, hey buy from me!” type message. Sounds silly I know, but numbers don’t lie.

When we initially ran Facebook ads without this method, we spent $76.46 and made $908.34 in profit. After incorporating this method we spent $61.99 and made $1,642.89 in profit! So we spent less and made more!

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Bonus tip: Save what works! 

Did a campaign do really well? Save that audience, create a lookalike, and start experimenting with your ad copy.

So there you have it. Be sure to follow these tips on your next date, er, Facebook campaign and let me know the results! Did you read all this and think “sounds good but I don’t have time for all that”? Well I can help you out! I offer social media management services, and Facebook ad campaigns are included.

social media management

Do you guys have any Facebook ad success stories? Share them in the comments below!


Running out of marketing ideas for your online shop? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! You can get ’63 Ways to Market Your Online Shop’ delivered right to your inbox. Check it out!

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