What’s Facebook Ad Relevance Score? Is It Important?

I’m about 99.9% sure Facebook created relevance score because advertisers were not getting that clickthrough rate (CTR) is king… check this out:


Think CTR and Relevance Score are related?

You just about NEVER see an R2 value this high with ad metrics… the closest to this I’ve seen is the correlation of CTR to CPC, and if I recall that was only around 0.5 or 0.6.

If you’ve never heard of scatter graphs and R2 values, here’s some background. Excel actually makes it REALLY easy to create one and get the R2 value at a simple level.

The point is, relevance score is just a code word for CTR, and CTR is an indicator of how well your message/creative fits your targeting.

As you may know, Mark Zuckerberg wants you to create ads people love, or ads people want to interact with at a high rate… in other words, ads that don’t suck… and that’s why unlike any other ad platform in the world, if your ads are exceptionally relevant and get exceptionally high CTR, you can get INCREDIBLY low cost clicks, engagements, video views, etc.

That said, when you’re going for conversions, the highest CTR is not always the best. In fact, we find that a more average CTR leads to better conversion rate.

You may also want to read:

The Key Metrics You Don’t Have That Are Killing Your Profits: A Video Interview with Zach Johnson of Funnel Dash

For most businesses, once they get online, it’s all about growing your list, because you can’t sell everybody the first time they meet you. Only a few people buy the first time they encounter your company.

So do you want more profits and sales? Is your funnel efficient? How do you improve it and get more profits?

Once you get into list building, and build funnels that drive those people toward a sale, you eventually get to ask the really important questions:

  • What’s the max you’re willing to spend to acquire an email address?
  • How fast can you grow your list?
  • How can you grow your list faster each and every month?
  • How can you do that with more confidence so you can invest in my marketing more aggressively and be confident in your ROI?

And you may have trouble answering those questions.

Zach and I discussed questions like this and his company Funnel Dash in this amazing interview that will change your life, make your stronger, melt away your belly fat, and get you lots more hot individuals of whichever gender you are attracted to (not really, but it will help you with funnels and analytics):

Brian Carter: Hey, everybody, Brian Carter here. How you doing, Brian Carter group, this is actually part of my podcast, which is called Brian Carter’s Brain. Which means you’ve entered a strange place. That’s right, Brian Carter’s brain. Today, I have with me, Zach Johnson of FunnelDash, and FunnelDash … Why did you name it FunnelDash? What’s the dash part?

Zach Johnson: Dashboard.

Brian Carter: Dashboard? Oh, dashboards. I get it. It’s a funnel dashboard. Do you, like, have a dashboard? That’s like the dumbest question I’m going to ask you the whole interview.

Zach Johnson: Way to start it off right, man. I love it.

Brian Carter: Yeah, man. Brian Carter’s Brain is a special place with special people inside of it. All right, so yeah, I’ve known Zach for a long time. I think we’ve interacted multiple times around various digital marketing topics, but I heard your stuff on Rick Mulready’s podcast, and I was intrigued. Because you were speaking my language, which was ROI …

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: … and talking about some key metrics, right? I want to get into some back story in a minute, but first, tell me, give me your pitch. Like, what are the key metrics that people who are doing online marketing don’t know, and why are they in really bad trouble because they don’t know them?

Zach Johnson: Yeah. I think the number 1 metric that I track, personally, when I’m scaling 6, 7 figure a month campaigns, is knowing the value, the lifetime value of a single email address on my email list. Facebook, AdWords, and any paid media manager is going to easily tell you what your cost is to acquire that email opt-in for your webinar, or for your video series, or for your lead magnet, but it’s actually pretty challenging to know how your marketing funnel is doing in terms of monetizing those email addresses, so when … It turned around for me, when I was running marketing at old … Not old, a software company called Leadpages, and before that another Inc. 500 software company called ONTRAPORT, and I had to figure out, what’s the max I’m willing to spend to acquire an email address? Because at the end of the day, it’s all about growing your list. How fast can you grow your list, how can I grow my list faster each and every month, and how can I do that with more confidence so I can invest in my marketing more aggressively and be confident in my ROI?

That’s my secret slash most important metric when you’re scaling big campaigns, is knowing that lifetime value of a single email opt-in, and I’ll share some stories with your people and you, today, Brian, on how a single email address can be worth upwards of $100 over …

Brian Carter: What?

Zach Johnson: … its one-time value. Yeah …

Brian Carter: What?

Zach Johnson: … to your business. Yeah.

Brian Carter: Yeah, well, I mean, so obviously, and for a beginner, you can’t sell everybody, when they first come to your site, so you need leads, right? A lot of people, they struggle even to get leads, right, and then, when you start getting leads, you’re really excited,

Zach Johnson: Yeah, exactly.

Brian Carter: You’re like, “Wow, I’m getting leads, yay!” Then the next step is what you’re talking about, “What are my leads worth,” and then go more granularly, right? Like what am I, so what are my leads worth revenue-wise, and then if you get that realistic figure, then maybe you get a fire under you to figure out how to make your leads worth more, right?

Zach Johnson: Hey, yeah. Right? Then it all comes back to the funnel, right?

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: I mean, and some funnels, that my definition of, what is a great … What should a great marketing funnel do, and how do I know if I have a good marketing funnel, so I can go to a guy like Brian and he can ramp up my Facebook traffic. Right?

Brian Carter: That’s right.

Zach Johnson: Like, “Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.”

Brian Carter: “That’s right, send them to me. Send them to me.”

Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah, and so a great marketing funnel is one that generates the highest lifetime values in the shortest amount of time.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: One that monetizes efficiently and effectively in terms of both on a click, a lead, and a customer basis, and the … Go ahead. You seem to have a question there.

Brian Carter: Do you look at a, do you look at everything as a funnel? For people, like everybody’s talking about funnels now, right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: For people who don’t like, they’re like, “Well, is a funnel that thing Russell Brunson’s talking about? What’s a funnel?” I’m serious, is everything a funnel to you?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, I would say, really, there’s kind of two parts to marketing. There’s lead gen and building your email list; and then there’s closing, last click attribution, like closing deals, doing promotions and getting people to buy. If you kind of just simplify marketing in those kind of two buckets, the first bucket is all about how many marketing funnels can you put people into, and … Not all funnels are created equal, and not all traffic sources are created equal, and not all leads are created equal, and so …

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: … part of my inspiration for creating a tool like FunnelDash was so that someone like yourself or someone like myself who’s building on a funnel, or scaling an ad campaign, could come in and say, “This funnel with this traffic source is generating you the best customer.” That could be a webinar funnel, that could be a video series, that could be a survey funnel. You don’t have to take any guru’s word for it. You can basically take a data-driven approach, and you can know what’s best for your business.

Brian Carter: Right, and I need to do this, and I’m not procrastinating, really. I sort of am procrastinating, it’s only because I’ve been so freaking busy, but for example, like, I know I’m getting leads from my lead quizzes quiz for $1.82 …

Zach Johnson: Nice.

Brian Carter: … versus a webinar replay that’s recorded for maybe $6 versus my new webinars that are live, maybe 4 or $5, but I need FunnelDash to tell me how much, what’s the ROI on each of those, because maybe I shouldn’t be as excited about lead quizzes …

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: … and I am. Right?

Zach Johnson: You can go on LinkedIn, man, and you can pay $40 for an email I helped in, if you want. If you’re doing great. Some funnels, you’ll be stoked with that, because maybe 1 out of every 3 of those leads is closing.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: FunnelDash works in a unique way, in that it connects our JavaScript to all your website traffic, with your CRM, and your merchant processing, and your Facebook ad spend, so we’re pulling down on your ad spend, tying into a click. Then, instead of really reporting based off of an inaccurate pixel being fired, which is very frustrating, and JavaScript can sometimes lead to 30 to 50% inaccuracies in your data, we always were reporting off of, “What does Infusionsoft say? What does ONTRAPORT say? What does HubSpot say? What does ActiveCampaign say in terms of my leads? Because those are ones that I can actually email, and what does Stripe say, or what does my ONTRAPORT payment say in terms of revenue, because that’s the stuff that got charged, and that’s the stuff that going into my back account.” That creates, for incredible, accurate, what we call “closed loop” analytics and great reporting.

Brian Carter: Okay. Yeah, because we’ll see, so if we’re … Yeah, when you get those disparities between, like, you’re looking, I’m looking at stuff with a client sometimes and they’re like, “Well, Facebook says you sent 500 people, but ClickFunnel says there’s only 150 people that came to the page.” We’re getting lost in these midstream metrics when we should be concerned about what was the spend, how many people, and then what was the revenue, right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, and also, reporting a lot of that stuff off of a Facebook pixel … A Facebook pixel could, Facebook will tell you that they made a sale. They’re greedy, man. They’ll just say, they have this view through pixel thing, right, where if they view your ad, but you don’t know … No one ever clicks on it, and then later, you have a custom audience uploaded, they see your ad, and you send an email, and they close, Facebook’s still going to take credit for that sale and that pixel being fired, because they saw your ad.

Brian Carter: The view-through versus the other, the regular conversion pixel?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, the regular … Yeah, basically click-through, right?

Brian Carter: Yeah. Yeah.

Zach Johnson: I personally don’t want to give Mark Zuckerberg that money. I’m like, “No, you didn’t deserve that sale. You didn’t close that sale. I closed that sale.”

Brian Carter: “You showed up at the sales meeting but didn’t say anything, somebody else made the sale … ”

Zach Johnson: Yeah. That’s great. Exactly.

Brian Carter: … and that’s kind of like, “You were sitting there at the table. You didn’t do anything.”

Zach Johnson: Right.

Brian Carter: Okay.

Zach Johnson: Right, right.

Brian Carter: Yeah. Well, so, okay, so I got another question about FunnelDash, because we have a, I did get a client over to you that’s one of our clients who has some … Like, he’s got a lot of weight loss supplement products, and I’m like, “Okay, your stuff’s really complicated. We need to … ” One of those things that FunnelDash does is, I think, is going to help them sort of simplify. The big picture, right …

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: … but is it just that … One of the things I’m seeing already that is helping them and us do is make sure that we’re tracking everything. Right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: Because if you aren’t tracking everything, FunnelDash can’t work, right? You know what I’m saying? Like if you don’t have your UTM … If you don’t have your UTM parameters in it, it can’t, FunnelDash can’t work, right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, so how it tracks stuff is, once you put the JavaScript on your landing pages, and on your Google tag managers, you have to have UTM parameters … Which, if you ever go to a website, and you click on a Facebook ad, and then it’ll have this long string of URLs, you can, that’s … Those are UTM parameters, and those are identifiers to tell our JavaScript, and Google Analytics, and all your tracking scripts: Where did the click come from? What was the audience that they clicked on, and what was the creative that they clicked on, and what’s the funnel that they’re going to? We actually can hook your people up with a free Chrome extension, if they go to funneldash.com/chrome, you can get a UTM builder Chrome extension for free on us to help …

Brian Carter: Cool.

Zach Johnson: … you create UTM links on the fly, and then, when they go in and submit the email address, we’ll be logging all that data, so inside of FunnelDash, you’ll know, “What was the first click that they clicked on before, when they entered into my world, and what is that click worth, and where did it come from, and what was the audience, and how valuable is that to me as a business today, a month from now, 90 days from now?” We had a client that we were doing this pre-FunnelDash, right, where they had never really done any Facebook ads, and they really kind of had a bunch of sales pages, but no marketing funnel, and … Hey, you’re going to build a webinar funnel, you’re going to do live webinars every week. They engaged FunnelDash.

At the time, we were just doing funnel management services with this data-driven approach, and we were doing it all manually in spreadsheets, and the work was taking us forever, and we built their … Have the funnel, even $1,000, just with … Every single month with this funnel, it’s … Just yet, and so we said, “Hey, we’ve been tracking all this stuff, and … ” It’s a complete no-brainer, and we, when we broke it down to them, in that kind of simple way, it kind of took the scariness out of scaling an ad campaign past maybe 5 grand a month or 10 grand a month, and ramping it up to 30 to 50 grand a month. Then, a year later, they kind of find out that an email address is worth even more, it’s worth, like $101 …

Brian Carter: Wow.

Zach Johnson: … and so, then they’re like, “Yeah, let’s keep spending money on Facebook,” right? Like, “Yeah, it’s working for you.”

Brian Carter: Nice. Now, was any of that … We are going to go into your backstory, did you already … What was that, or did you already do it?

Zach Johnson: No, I mean, you know, I … Yeah, buddy.

Brian Carter: All right. Well, no, I mean, like, so yeah, so why FunnelDash, and where did it all come from?

Zach Johnson: I mean, It came …

Brian Carter: Was that, did you already answer that one?

Zach Johnson: It was … I mean, a little bit.

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: It was, yeah, a little bit.

Brian Carter: A little bit.

Zach Johnson: We can dive into it more, though, I can talk about it all day.

Brian Carter: No, we’re not going to do that. Give me the 2-minute version. Well, when did you know, like, “Okay, no, I want to start a company based on this?”

Zach Johnson: Oh, man. Well, it was right when I left Leadpages, and, you know, we had explosive growth when I was managing the marketing there, and the first thing I did was, I created dashboards for everybody on the marketing team. I figured out, “How much is a lead worth from affiliate traffic, from organic blog traffic, and Facebook ads? When I know how much those are worth, I’m going to take surefire bets and invest the marketing dollars here and here, and try to ramp up lead gen here, so that I don’t fail. I can’t afford to fail,” right? Like, a month goes by, you don’t hit your revenue goals, you’re like, “Peace,” you know? I asked Clay what the, kind of the most valuable thing was that I did at Leadpages, during my time there, one of the things is like, dashboards? It’s like, “Oh, my gosh,” it’s like, “It’s such a pain. Go build a dashboard company.”

I knew at the time that I wanted to do it, but I felt like it was a little bit early, and this, kind of, whole data-driven approach, and people geeking out and mastering their marketing metrics wasn’t really super hot a couple years ago like it is now. I sat on it a little bit, and I kind of built out the services side of the business, and we started doing funnel management, I said, “I really want to validate this idea. I’m going to go work with 6-figure business owners, 7, 8-figure business owners, build, optimize, and scale their marketing funnels, and I’m going to try every tool out under the sun to try to get these reports and data that I need,” and I couldn’t do it, so I was like, “I got to start. I got to build this myself.”

Brian Carter: Nice.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, so that was … I guess.

Brian Carter: That’s great, that’s like, I think it’s what … Hooked? In “Hooked,” have you read Hooked?

Zach Johnson: No, no. It sounds like a name …

Brian Carter: It’s a good book. I don’t recommend a lot of nonfiction books, and I’m not, you know, I’m not a big … I’m not a big business book reader, I’m really not, but when I read a few, and I love them, and that’s one of them, and one of the things he said was, “The best way to build an app is to solve one of your own problems,” you know?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, totally.

Brian Carter: To make sure that it’s really something somebody would use. That sounds like what you did there.

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: That’s a good one. What else? Tell me some other awesome …

Zach Johnson: Tell you some other, some awesome stuff?

Brian Carter: Other awesome case study stories, yeah.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, well, let’s see here. You know, even just for this other client that … They were savvy guys, but before working with us, they didn’t even have a marketing funnel, and they didn’t know what they were going to sell, they wanted to launch a … The thing really came down to, “How do we build the marketing funnel as quickly as possible, and how do we invest in Facebook ads as quick as possible?” I was, like, within 30 days, we had the funnel built, and we were scaling traffic, and we knew exactly how much an email address is worth. Many people are stuck in this, like, funnel-building purgatory, or spreadsheet hell, where they’re building funnels for 6 months, or 12 months. I’ve made this mistake myself, but, hey: Get the funnel live, get feedback, figure out the numbers, and then iterate and improve from there. You’ll be light years ahead, you know, 30, 60, 90 days into it, profitably spending money, and iterating and tweaking off that …

Brian Carter: Nice.

Zach Johnson: … off that funnel.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: Now, this guy spends between 30 and 50K a month on Facebook, and they’re on their third or fourth funnel with us …

Brian Carter: Nice.

Zach Johnson: … and so it’s, for them, it was about speed of execution, and speed to their end objective, and goal ultimately, getting a [result 00:17:47]. That’s a great story. They were selling both an info product and coaching services in the world of, kind of, offline, teach people how to build and market to offline businesses.

Brian Carter: Nice. Are you learning anything, in general, from these guys? I mean, are you learning in general, or you got to have analytics, and just, you’re going to, every … It’s going to be different for everybody, or are you learning any lessons in general about business, from what you’re seeing?

Zach Johnson: I would say I’m learning that, you know, some different industries … I mean, I guess I’m learning that some different industries and … Need a month, maybe it’s a 6 months, 12 months, to go from a lead to a sale, right?

Brian Carter: Hmm. Yeah.

Zach Johnson: In B2C, you can go from, like, day 0, sale.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: That doesn’t necessarily mean that, you know … You can still, like, hold your, carry your marketing, your, basically, what we call your time to break even, and you can carry your marketing spend and go negative for 6 months, if you have a continuity offer. The more I get into these, the more attractive B2C offers look, in terms of, like, just B2C , speed to ROI, is something that I’m looking at.

Brian Carter: That makes sense.

Zach Johnson: I’ve always, I always love looking at other people’s marketing metrics, and we’re always going to be adding more and more dashboards, right? People look at different numbers all the time, and they’re optimizing different parts of their business, so with FunnelDash, the idea was to build a dashboard solution that would be pre-configured, right? You didn’t have to go in and be, like, “I need to tell you, dashboard tool, what I want to track,” and we wanted to kind of erase that and just say, “Hey, select from all our templates. The same way Infusionsoft brought you automation campaigns, or Digital Marketer brings you swipe email copy, ClickFunnels brings you template funnels, Leadpages brings you template landing pages.”

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: We just want to bring …

Brian Carter: Brian Carter has template Facebook ads, you know, I mean …

Zach Johnson: There you go. We want to bring template dashboards.

Brian Carter: Yeah, nice.

Zach Johnson: We think that there can be a simple and easy way to have a dashboard in solution for marketers in the space, and we want to keep cranking away on that.

Brian Carter: Nice. Cool. What else did I not ask you about FunnelDash? Oh, you’ve got the Facebook part coming, there’s a Facebook ad component that’s coming soon …

Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah, we’re sort of integrating directly from Facebook and Google ads. That’ll coming live, online in the next week.

Brian Carter: Right. What does that add to what it’s currently doing, or how it’s doing it now?

Zach Johnson: … Well, from Facebook, as opposed to, kind of, manually pulling that cost data. It’ll also, you know, segment out all your cost data for each and every traffic source , or like, traffic target audience, or ad campaign, and ad creative; so you can really get granular on what your cost is for different segments, and what your R is on, ROI is on certain segments.

Brian Carter: Awesome. Awesome. Cool, all right. Anything else? Anything I’m missing?

Zach Johnson: No, man, that’s, this is it, this is the FunnelDash, man. I mean, I’d love to, people can get a download of FunnelDash if they just go to go.funneldash.com/demo, and we’re , happy to kind of show them, give them an audit of their last, you know, 60, 90 days funnel metrics, and show them how FunnelDash is, can be, kind of, solving some of their blind spots …

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: … and help them get set up with it. We also have a free score , a funnel scorecard tool that people can kind of type in, and get, you know, start playing around with some of their own funnel metrics. If they go to, I believe it’s funneldash.com/scorecard, will take you there. That’s a fun little fancy tool, so you can figure out what an email opt-in is worth for you.

Brian Carter: Yeah. It uses hamsters, as I remember, too.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah.

Brian Carter: It does, so cute.

Zach Johnson: Hamsters are nice, just running in little wheels.

Brian Carter: Yeah, and I recommend it, because, seriously, most clients that I work with, they’re like, they have Google Analytics, but it’s not fully set up, you know what I mean? Like, they’ll have, “Yeah, we have it,” that means they put the code on their site, but they may not have goals, or their Google Analytics goals are 3 years too old. I mean, you go to their goals report and nothing is tracking.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, that’s a problem.

Brian Carter: Almost nobody is using UTM parameters in their, the URLs they put in their Facebook posts, or in their Facebook ads, so …

Zach Johnson: Yeah, you’re not tracking.

Brian Carter: Yeah, so, if you …

Zach Johnson: You’re naked out there, you’re naked and it’s great  …

Brian Carter: You’re blind, yes, you’re like a homeless person. Your marketing is like a homeless person’s, so you need, if you go to FunnelDash, and you’re like, “Hey, I want this awesome dashboard,” you’re going to realize, “Oh, I haven’t done all this, now,” and you do all this, then you’ll have your 360 degree view of everything.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, we call it clarity control, man. It’s a beautiful thing.

Brian Carter: Clarity control, it sounds like something from the air force.

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: Like, “Yes, we have clarity control.”

Zach Johnson: They invested in FunnelDash.

Brian Carter: Did they?

Zach Johnson: No.

Brian Carter: All right. Well, awesome. Thanks, Zach Johnson. Funneldash.com, correct?

Zach Johnson: You got it.

Brian Carter: Everybody go, check it out.

Zach Johnson: Thanks so much for having me, man. I appreciate it.

Brian Carter: Yeah, man. My pleasure.

Zach Johnson: It’s been awesome.

Brian Carter: Awesome.

How Facebook Cut This Company’s Cost Per Customer by 60%

This is the first case study interview in the relaunch of my podcast. And yes, a lot of my podcasts start as videos. 🙂

Real companies, real campaigns, real results.

One of the biggest problems we struggle with these days is an overwhelm – too much information, too many ideas, too many platforms, too many strategies.

What actually works?

That’s what we’re going to talk about in these case studies.

I think it’s time for social marketing to mature. We’re going to talk to companies that are doing big things in social media, and getting quantifiable, measured results.


Jonathan Leake (Director of Digital Marketing for DirectBuy): In the first six months of doing Facebook, we drove our cost per lead down by 84%, which is massive. I mean, we’re talking in dollars and cents, we’re talking – prior to initiating the Facebook campaign, we were well over $1,000 at a cost-per-member perspective, and now we’re sub $400 on average.

Brian Carter: That’s crazy.

Jonathan Leake: Yeah, cost-per-member is crazy. Our cost-per-member across all our media spends, and all our channels – and this is a very generalized number, so we can get very finite based off of channels. Prior to really initiating social, we were over $1,000. Today, if you look at all of our channels combined, we are generally lower than $200.

Brian Carter: We got to work with DirectBuy on this stuff, and what we’re going to talk about today is some great attribution stuff, right? Jonathan has done a great job with all of your data partners, your analytics partners of identifying what’s really going on. So many people use social, and no matter what they’re doing, they don’t really know what effect it’s having.

Jonathan Leake: That’s totally true. I mean, a lot of people just – they have a lot of money and I think it varies by the size business that you are. Generally, the larger business that you are, the harder it is to attribute things so you use tools like Adometry, which is a wonderful tool to use, but in my experience with different brands, you’re making huge financial decisions with 10-15% of data. That’s a lot of data that you’re missing. The opportunity with that other 85% of the data that you’re missing on is huge.

Where we were struggling as a business, is that we didn’t really have a really good attribution path or report to really tell us what channels were pushing and pulling. If you think about media, you want to push and pull different levers based off what’s working. Sometimes you actually want to push a lever further out, that’s actually not working for brand reasons. A billboard is a perfect example in every day.

We’re like, “Why do we want to put a billboard up on the street?”

“Because Coca Cola is on the other side of the road, and I’m Pepsi.”

You just need to be there.

When you want to get down to conversion and lead gen, it’s another ball of wax. Where do I want to put my efforts in? In this case, for us, it was social. It was an area that we knew, based off our experience working together. We knew that we could drive a lot of brand-awareness. We knew that we could drive leads at a really efficient cost. It just was a question of, “How was it going to impact our business?” And the results are huge.

Brian Carter: Let’s go back. What was Direct Buy doing before with social, if anything?

Jonathan Leake: Previously, we were really community. It was about engaging members, getting them to work with our page. We’ve had a brand reputation issue in the past, so we try to make sure that we put customer service first. We want customers to come to our page. We want them to ask questions, and have our customer service team answer those questions. It really was not about a membership conversion vehicle. We didn’t use Facebook as that. We were using it as an engagement tool with our existing membership. Some of the type of content that we put out there is inspirational for folks that like to do things by themselves, like DIYers and things of that nature.

I would say the opportunity – and as you and I know – that Facebook and social in general has become a pay to play kind of space. If you want to actually drive your member engagement up, if you just want to drive your page engagement up, you have to pay just to get your post shown. If you want to use social as a lead acquisition vehicle, then you can also do that too, but you also have to pay. Your organic stuff, that you can do, can certainly help that but it’s an assisted conversion. It’s a question of, “How does pay change the algorithm for you, within social?” It can certainly do a lot of good things, and that’s where your team helps us out a lot.

Brian Carter: We did several things. Number one, we identified who is the best buyer. We took all Direct Buy’s e-mails, we uploaded them. We looked at members who stuck versus members who didn’t stick versus people who didn’t become members. Then we looked at the difference between who those people were. That helped us target the ads better. I always tell people now, I’ve summarized it. Advertising is instant- targeted- visibility, whereas organic is like, “Uhh, we might reach some people. We don’t know who, and we don’t know when.” That’s the problem with organic.

The other thing, too, is that there’s this black box. You identified through the attribution study that social is often the first touch. Google is often the last touch, but in between what was it that increased all the Direct Buy searches? Was it the brand reputation stuff we did? We did a number of different awareness and engagement campaigns. We know they all helped, we just don’t know which one helped the most.

Jonathan Leake: Right, and that’s actually what we’re working on right now. We’re working with our analytics partner to get better attribution. Out of every dollar, if you’re thinking about a linear attribution model, that’s generally a 40/40/20 split. First click gets 40% of your dollar. Last click gets 40% of your dollar, and the remaining channels get 20, so you spread 20% across all the other channels.

What we know from our experience, is that sometimes it’s non-branded that actually influences people to come into Facebook. Doing a search for a product on non-branded might just be for furniture in a particular location – let’s say furniture in Charlotte, NC – and then they go into Facebook and they see our ad, because that influenced what happened in Facebook. All of a sudden, we show up because we targeted furniture. Then, they engage with our ad. Then the go back out online, and they’re like, “Oh, who is this Direct Buy?” Then they do a search for Direct Buy Furniture, and then they learn about our business and they come to our website. That’s a general path for our business, and how someone learns about us.

We’ve done a good job with content online. Pinterest helps us out a lot with getting other content out there. Inspiration Moments, our blog, does a lot of good work there too. The search team that we work with has really put together a lot of good content on our blog about things like a man-cave – how to make the perfect man-cave. I know it’s a cliché type thing, but let’s be honest here. We all want a man-cave in some way, shape, or form – or I want a really awesome garage. Take your pick, which it is.

Content is what’s driving people into the other channels, in addition to paid. Paid just influences where people go organically. It’s being able to have the right content in place across the other channels that drives them back in. Maybe it’s through another paid channel, but often it’s direct. When I say direct, I mean people literally just type in your domain name in their address bar. That’s the ultimate goal, at least for us because that allows us to tell our best story.

Brian Carter: Why do you think Facebook had such a big effect on the cost-per-lead, cost-per-member?

Jonathan Leake: I think the targeting is the best element. You can do targeting in other markets. You can do targeting in Google, but you have to pay a lot in Google’s world to actually utilize all the functionality that’s available. It takes a really heave media spend to be able to target what you want. Say, for example, that you want to target people with a FICO score, which is something that you do. It’s a cohort, of sorts, that you definitely want to hit if you’re in our market. If we can target people by FICO score, that would be fabulous. It helps us make sure that the people that want to sign up for membership can continue to be a member of us and also have disposable income to be able to take advantage of the savings that we offer every day.

Facebook was huge for us because we were able to look at demographic information that’s not normally available in other sources. Household income is one. That’s generally something that you would get through a business that does FICO scoring – like an Experian. We could take household income, geographic locations – if they happen to be within a territory that we have a club located, which helps amplify the social footprint, and the digital footprint of the business. These are all things that are relevant to what we have going on.

What’s also great for the member profile is that we can actually pull sales data, as in if a lamp happened to be the most popular selling item, then we can change our creative up in Facebook very quickly to identify people that like lamps. You have people that are just very passionate, and I always call them passion-points, and Facebook allows you to really tap into those passion-points really easily. That just amplifies your ad work – what you’re doing within advertising – really well. It’s creative and target all in one.

Brian Carter: I was thinking about brick with “I love Lamp” when you said that.

That’s true and I don’t know if everybody knows that. You can find out people’s income-level from Facebook, on insights. Or that you can target people with Facebook ads by income, by net-worth, or by the value of their home – which have been huge. Like you said, we discover things about – It’s interesting because maybe it’s not the type of furniture that they end up buying, but we discover the type of furniture that leads them to enter their lead information, which may be different from the coolest-looking furniture. It may not be what you expect, and we get to find that out.

Jonathan Leake: Yeah, I’m always amazed that we’d like to think – I personally like modern furniture, but I’m always amazed at how much Americana is out there. When I say Americana, there’s a lot of tattered American flags that are ordered all the time.

Brian Carter: Yeah, and there’s a lot of brown furniture, and comfortable stuff that looks like I could lay down on that and it would be comfortable, as opposed to – We’ve even had people on the Facebook posts go – I don’t know if they’ve said this but they’re like, “It looks I could actually injure myself on that furniture. It’s too sharp.” Or “It’s too white. I’m going to spill juice on it immediately.” We learn a lot of stuff from the posts, and we’re showing them to the best target customers so we’re actually learning what the ideal customer thinks – which is great.

Jonathan Leake: I think what was really interesting, when we first started as a business you do your research and you identify who your customers are. We have four different sets of people that we like to look for. I think what was interesting, though – there’s this argument in the marketplace that you should always be going after millennials. I think millennials are phenomenal people – lots of wonderful ideas, but I have to tell you; millennials right now, today, they’re not our core customer. That’s one of the things we were able to identify. There is a millennial customer that is right for us, but most millennials haven’t experienced the life-moments to really take them to a place where they could really take advantage of our membership in the best way that they could.

Brian Carter: Yeah, and they haven’t had the opportunities. They had the millennial story. We came out of college, there was no jobs. They economy was horrible. That’s what I tell people. “Hey, yeah I’ll give you some millennial data here. The data shows that they don’t have a lot of money.” Maybe they will be the next big customer. There are a ton of them, and they’re going to inherit their parent’s money. So in ten years, fifteen years, maybe they’ll have some money for a while. But right now they’re not a good customer for a lot of different things.

Did you want to share any of those slides, any other thing we haven’t covered yet on those?

Jonathan Leake: Yeah, let me pop up the slides real quick.

Brian Carter: We had Jonathon present at Social Media Marketing World. I had two panels. I had a Facebook panel, a Twitter panel – all corporate stuff. It was a lot of fun. I’m going to have some more of those people in interviews like this.

Jonathan Leake: This is a quick thing. We we are able to identify in a super quick way is, here is our 84% reduction we attributed directly to Facebook because we were only doing advertising in Facebook. We’re not spending money on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or any other place that we could acquire people socially. On the flip-side, what we were able to do is really target the fact that our most inefficient channel, as a result of this, was non-branded pay-per-click. What we did, is we actually cut out our non-branded pay-per-click and it reduced our overall cost-per-lead by 60-70% in just four months. What we talked about originally was 84% reduction in our cost-per-lead. Our member acquisition costs dropped by 80% as well.

Brian Carter: That’s huge.

Jonathan Leake: This is how we did it. In month one, we set benchmarks – super duper important. If you don’t have benchmarks, you should set them now. Even if you don’t have any research, just set them. I’m sure you have some data to establish them. When we went out of the gate, we were looking at trying to get a $40 lead. This gives you an idea, in our lead generation, how it works. We started out, in month one, at $164 a conversion. Month two, we ended up figuring things out a little bit more in our targeting. Our spend ratios and everything we were doing. We ended up with $25. And by month three and month four, we literally were able to achieve a $4 conversion. It’s completely outstanding to see what you can do just by focusing in on the data, which is really important.

This gives you an example of what we actually set. When we put the program together, we worked with you. We ran a full digital audit across all our channels. We looked at what we are trying to actually achieve. These are the four things. We’ve got engagement – 20-50% pulls-per-lead in month one. We were already able to achieve that goal. We were able to achieve the engagement rate that we wanted. As you can see, in month four, that went up in terms of our engagement rate. That’s great.

Then you get down to leads. You have, $40 was our benchmark. Month one wasn’t so good. $106, but by month four, we’re down to $7.45. That’s fantastic. One of the biggest challenges that we had was trying to figure out how to get quality leads in the door. We were able to get a lot of leads, but the question that we had was – of the people that give us phone numbers, how many of those people actually show up at the door?

That’s kind of a big deal. At the end of the day, we really need to make sure that when people become a lead, they actually want to follow through on the appointment that they made with us. It’s a pretty common experience these days to not have that happen. People literally just don’t show up for their appointment. It was top of mind when they actually became a lead, but you didn’t give them a conversion event to do anything other than become an appointment. That’s not what they wanted to do. Maybe they just wanted to sign up right now. That happens all the time, and now we’re trying to refine that process to make sure that the lead that’s coming in the door is the best quality lead to enable our phone sales team to actually work with a lead and convert the lead.

On the flip-side, if you don’t happen to want to engage with actual people, which is more and more common. You just want to text, and you just want to chat. You really just want to be digital. You don’t want to have human interaction, but you want digital human interaction. If that’s how you want to convert into a customer for someone, then we need to give them that opportunity. That’s what we’re working on actively as a business – to make it easier to become a customer.

Brian Carter: That’s the next frontier. Cool. Awesome. I think that pretty much covers it. Thanks for sharing all that info. Test everything. Track it. Analyze it. Do better. Any final words?

Jonathan Leake: One of my mantras is – Launch, measure, rinse and repeat. You’ve got to fail fast, and you have to learn quickly. The only way you’re going to do that is you’re going to dive into the data, and make sure you’re measuring things. Make sure you’re setting benchmarks. If you’re not doing that stuff, find a way to do it. It’s really, really hard but it’s also super easy. It’s the same way that you’re going to grow in life. If you don’t ever say that you’re going to graduate high school, you’re never going to graduate high school because you’re not challenging yourself. You want to graduate college, well set the goal and you’ll make it happen. It’s not easy. No one said anything is easy, but you’ll make it right and you’ll figure out what works to get to where you want to be.

Brian Carter: Awesome! Jonathon Leake, Direct Buy. Thank you very much.

Jonathan Leake: You bet.


Some of our main take-aways from this are

Number one, Facebook audit can be huge to help you identify who your best customers actually are.

That can be super valuable for a couple reasons. Number one, once you know who your best customer is, in terms of the data, then you can ensure that you’re not targeting the wrong people, and that everybody in your organization is focused on the ideal customer. Then you can use that information to target your ads to the right people. You can make sure your content gets in front of the right people. Then, you can also make sure that when you get feedback about your content, that feedback is coming from your ideal customer, not just from anybody. You don’t want to go crazy with, “People don’t like this or that info-graphic, or that blog post,” and they’re not even your ideal customer. That’s a huge thing to start with.

This Direct Buy case study, for us, is one of our first huge end-to-end things where multiple strategies, multiple tactics, all in place and we saw that having everything going together created a gigantic lift in a lot of ways, for the entire business.

The second thing we saw was that posting in a lot of different ways – for brand reputation, for engagement, and getting across the brand’s value proposition and unique selling proposition really helped soften up the target.

That led to more searches for the brand name. It led to a lower cost per customer acquisition overall, and also allowed us to even stop running certain other types of advertising – certain types of Google ads that were very expensive. We decreased our awareness costs. We decreased other costs. We created more customer awareness. We got them ready to buy sooner. We really made Facebook the most efficient and effective first-touch channel online.

The third things we did was, we found out that Facebook, again – as it has been for many, many of our customers, both B2C, B2B – is a very, very effective, low-cost way to get leads.

Not only can you get customer sales, eCommerce, members, but you can also get a ton of leads for your sales people to contact.

What was really most interesting to me, though, was that by doing everything – from the audit at the beginning, to the posting engagement, the customer targeting, the lead gen – doing everything together had a gigantic effect for their business. We have other clients who sometimes engage us for just one thing. Maybe it’s just the ads. Maybe it’s just the audit. Maybe it’s just posting. They don’t do the entire system of things that is Facebook marketing. We got to see the gigantic effect for using all of the different strategies that Facebook has available. It had a gigantic effect, so we’d love to do that for more businesses – to put everything into play.

What can you do with this information?

  • I definitely encourage you to check out Facebook audience insights. Upload your e-mails, if you have them – your buyer e-mails, your lead e-mails. Analyze the difference between your buyers and your leads, and your fans, and people who just like your competitors, or people who like things in your niche. Find out who your ideal customer is.
  • Do a lot of posting to your ideal customer. Learn what they like and don’t like.
  • Make sure you use ads, because Facebook is pay-to-play. You have to use ads, and like Jonathon said…
  • you’ve got to test. That’s fundamental to everything we do. While we’re getting results, while we’re getting engagement, leads, and sales, we’re also always learning because we’re trying different images, different messages, different ways to target that ideal customer. You always want to be learning.

That’s what you should do with this information from this case study.

I hope it was useful to you and I look forward to bringing you the next one.

See you then!


Geeky Data Increases Customers and Loyalty

If you’re going to do digital marketing or social marketing you have to have geeks or you have to get a little geeky. What does that mean? You need to get into the analytics, you need to look at your metrics, you have to start keep a track of these stuff.

You can’t just put on a content calendar that you think is full of content that you like or your marketing department likes or your CEO likes because what really matters is what your customer likes.

That geeky approach, the scientific marketing approach … Facebook is a digital marketing laboratory.

You put this content out. You can get ideas from a bunch of different places, from anyone in your company, anywhere. From customers, anywhere.

Throw all those ideas into your internet digital laboratory aka Facebook see what metrics come back, get a little geeky, look at those numbers and figure out what people like and what they don’t.

It doesn’t matter what YOU like. It matters what your customer likes.

You need to get geeky and figure out what that is.


Facebook Benchmarks: Do You Measure Up?

FB Benchmarks

How do you know if you’re doing well on Facebook? And once you’re doing ok, how good can it get? Here are the minimum thresholds and some of the best metrics we’ve seen:

Minimum Threshold Awesome
Facebook Post Engagement Rate 1.0% 16%
Newsfeed CTR 1.0% 5.0%
Right Column CTR 0.1% 0.5%
Lead Gen Squeeze Page Conv Rate 5.0% 40%
Ecommerce Site Conversion Rate 1.0% 3.0%
Amazon Product Page Conv Rate 12% 20%
B2C Cost Per Lead $10.00 $0.15
B2C Cost Per Sale $10.00 $3.00

Geeky Lady ROI: Social Media Measurement with Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly is the author of How to Measure Social Media: A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing and Assessing Social Media ROI.

As a bottom-line driven executive and CEO of Social Media Explorer|SME Digital, Nichole is most widely known for her Full Frontal ROI methodology; a systematic, measurement-orientedand practical approach to connecting an organization’s social media marketing activity to core business objectives: sales volume, revenue and costs which is documented in her book. And… Nichole is one of the best speakers on using social media to drive business performance!