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Facebook Advertising: The Second Wave


For those of you following my marketing hijinks, you might have seen this post from last year, detailing my first attempt at running a Facebook ad. This year, I decided to repeat the experiment with slightly different parameters. Instead of advertising a single retailer purchase page, I directed people to sign up for a free novella. Everyone loves freebies, right? So here’s how it went…

Unlike last time, I only had one ad in my set, and it looked something like this:

Note the # of people reached… My FB Ad manager gave me different numbers. But I’ll get to that…

Because this is an erotic romance, I skewed my demographic settings differently from last time. My list included women, age 18+, living in US, UK, Canada, and Australia, who spoke English. To further narrow it down, I threw in interests like reading, Erotic literature, Snow White, eBooks, etc. I did this because, per Facebook rules, the ad itself is not allowed to have any adult content, or advertise adult products or services, so when I included the words “free erotic romance novella” in the text itself, my ad got flagged and halted as violating Facebook policy.

The ad ran for 7 days, May 24-31, 2016. I set my daily budget a little higher than last time at $5.00 and a per-click bid of $0.85. The budget would give me a grand total of $35.00 for the entire campaign. I only ended up paying $34.85, or an average of $0.22 per click.

The stats looked as follows:

Total Reach:  6,952
Total Clicks: 161

Of those…

Women 18-24  and 65+ accounted for the majority of my exposure at 21% each, but the younger demographic clicked much more often (57 clicks, versus 17 in the 65+ category). The next highest clickers were age 55-64 (27 clicks). After that came 25-34 year-olds with 25 clicks.

In terms of placement…

Desktop News feed:  <1% reach, zero clicks
Desktop Right column: 2% reach, 1 click
Mobile News feed:  24% reach, 19 clicks
Audience Network: 74% reach, 141 clicks (holy crap!! This is my ad being shown on 3rd party mobile ads and mobile websites… which means a vast majority of my Facebook ad results didn’t even come from Facebook!)
Instagram: <1% reach, zero clicks.

In terms of timing…

Best results:  Friday (29 clicks), Saturday (27 clicks), and Monday (25 clicks)
Worst results: Thursday (12 clicks) and Tuesday (11 clicks– this was the last day for the ad campaign)

I should note that the worst day for the ad corresponded with the highest cost per click ($0.39), which means the ad was still performing, I just reached my daily limit too fast, so the ad stopped showing earlier on that day. I should also note that I did what every expert says you’re not supposed to do: I let the ad run without any interference on my part, because I was out of town and didn’t have time to monitor things. If I had been monitoring, I would probably have changed the placement some to take advantage of higher traffic on the Audience Network. Last note here: My last ad placement did the best in the Mobile News feed, so it’s not a one and done decision on where to advertise. You really do have to keep on top of it. Different ads do better in different places.

And last but not least…

How did I do for actual sign-ups?

CatchMe2This is where things get awesome for all you Type-A overachievers who love drilling down the numbers. I actually have some this time, which makes me all giddy on the inside. Though I still wish I had more info on location and origin… I may need to get Google Analytics at some point. My MailChimp account tells me I had 7 new sign ups during the time I advertised the link. That’s one per day, theoretically, but really, the sign ups happened on just two days: Thursday, 5/26 (3 sign ups), and Tuesday, 5/31 (4 sign ups). Looking back at the best/worst results, my best results happened on the worst days, according to FB, and my best days for reach/clicks gave me nothing. Go figure…

What would I do differently?

As soon as the ad started running, I had regrets about it. I realized that the link I directed people to was the wrong choice. Yes, it was the most direct for what I wanted people to do (sign up for the novella) but it was the worst in terms of presentation. I should have instead sent people to The Rebel Court page on my website. It’s built better, has more information (including the sign-up button), but most of all, it’s in my universe, with all of my information, my other books, my blog, and everything else I’ve worked so hard to put together right there for the visitors to peruse. I might not have gotten as many sign-ups for this particular story, but maybe I might have gotten more followers on my blog, or someone might have found one of my other books interesting enough to purchase. Valuable lesson learned.

And now the sales pitch

Since I didn’t get all that many sign ups, I changed my own rules for this novella. I made the first chapter of CATCH ME available online as a preview. You can check it out here. This is exactly what it looks like coming into an Inbox. There’s also a link at the bottom to join the mailing list, if you haven’t already. New deadline for this is by Wednesday, 6.8.16, 9am PST. That’s when chapter 2 gets sent out. Everyone who makes it in before then gets the novella free. After that, you won’t get any new chapters until the next story in the series, DEAREST LOVE, which is currently scheduled to begin September 28.

And that’s all I have for you this week. =)

Until next time!

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