The Facebook Ad Entry Point
It's amazing how much you can learn about your marketing optimization needs by evaluating another company's marketing campaign. Recently I was surfing my Facebook news feed and came across an ad that caught my attention. It was the third time I saw a Facebook Ad from SWASH, a 10-minute clothing care product. I had ignored the previous two, but found the headline below intriguing and was curious because of the high number of likes and comments. I clicked through to learn more about their product and their marketing pitch.
3 Things SWASH did well with this Facebook Ad:
- Good headline: "Oh you don't have one yet?" got me to click-through.
- Successful because it evokes a fear of missing out on something (FOMO).
- Good engagement: The number of likes and comments made me more curious.
- It’s interesting than an ad can have negative comments, but someone casually scrolling their Facebook feed may be impressed by the number of comments without looking into the discussion. This is a good example of “any news is good news”... which is not a saying you want to live by unless you work in the world of celebrity gossip!
- Consistent look and feel: The transition between the Facebook Ad and the SWASH landing page, which in this case is their website homepage, felt natural and consistent with what I was expecting to see.
6 quick tips for your Facebook Ads:
- Create ads like this one from SWASH that allow for people to ‘Like’ your brand on Facebook even if they don’t click-through the ad.
- Test various versions of your ads to see what generates the greatest engagement and best Cost Per Click (CPC). Items to test:
- Headline. Successful headlines evoke curiosity, intrigue, urgency, or fear of missing out on something.
- Image. Show your product. Show someone using your product. Visually highlight a problem or solution your target audience has.
- Tagline. Test various copy under the image. Taglines should complement your headlines.
- Pro Tip #1: Make a small change on each ad version you’re testing. If you have better results on one version but made multiple changes, you aren't able to attribute the reason for an increase in click-throughs with certainty. This may mean you have many versions of your ad, but you’ll soon find your winners and run with those.
- Pro Tip #2: Your Facebook Ad and landing page copy and imagery should be similar for a consistent user experience. If you surprise your users with messaging they aren't expecting, you can expect a higher bounce rate and lower conversion rate.
- Set your ad frequency to allow your target audience to see your ad multiple times. You may find higher click-throughs after the first impression because people take time to respond and need to be reminded. 49% of all website buyers make their purchase between their 2nd and 4th visit (AdRoll).
- If you’re marketing a high-priced product, you’ll want to segment your campaigns based on location, income demographics, and more advanced filtering.
- If you’re marketing multiple products, the Facebook multi-product ad has been yielding some great results for businesses.
- Use Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes to track your Facebook Ad traffic in Google Analytics. Give each ad a unique UTM code so you can track unique ad performance. Use Google's URL Builder for help creating UTM codes.
Website Optimization: Don’t Overlook the Details
The SWASH Facebook Ad brought me to their homepage, and the URL contained a dedicated UTM code. The website layout and design have some good elements, but a close look at their site reveals some areas of friction. SWASH is also losing out on a lot of leads and sales. Is your company’s website a victim of any of these areas?
Using UTM codes on the website. The Watch Now button on the homepage linked to a video and the URL contained a UTM code. Avoid using UTM codes on your website because every time a UTM code is clicked, Google Analytics treats it as a new website session instead of the continuation of a session. The purpose of UTM codes is to track how visitors get to your website, not to track activity within your website. So how can you track activity within your website?
Here’s your solution: Use Google Analytics instead of UTM codes on your website to track page paths. There are multiple ways to do this:
- In Audience > Users Flow
- In Behavior > Behavior Flow
- In Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, select a web page of your website and click Navigation Summary. Scroll down and you’ll see previous and next page paths. This shows you which page visitors came from and where they went next.
Pro Tip: Segment your audience view in Google Analytics to learn what your website visitors from various marketing channels are doing on your website, what pages they’re looking at, what they buy, and even compare audience segments. Slice and dice your data in many ways.
Hidden call-to-action (CTA) buttons kill conversion rates. Conversions are desired goals for your visitors: click-throughs, form submissions, and purchases. The SWASH website was designed to encourage visitors to use the numbered scrolling. However, the CTA buttons are not shown when using numbered scrolling:
They are only shown when manually scrolling the website:
With this one issue, roughly 50% of SWASH's website visitors aren't seeing the risk-free trial offer!
Here’s another example when using numbered scrolling:
The Sign Up lead generation CTA was hidden above, but here it is visible using manual scrolling:
It’s very important to have CTA buttons that stand out regardless of how visitors interact with your website.
Effective Messaging Essentials
Your headlines and messaging should evoke curiosity, intrigue, and/or urgency. Recall the headline on the SWASH homepage.
"Clothing care revolutionized" — this headline can be improved. The purpose of a headline is to:
- Capture the reader’s curiosity, intrigue, and/or urgency.
- This can be done by identifying cost-saving or time-saving, convenience, or addressing a pain point with a solution.
- Keep the reader engaged and increase the likelihood of CTA click-throughs.
Pro Tip: When writing headlines, write for your reader as opposed to talking about your brand or product. “People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves.”
3 alternative headlines that SWASH could use instead:
- Clean clothes in 10 minutes. Less trips to the cleaners.
- Convenience, addresses a pain point.
- Your Laundry Life Hack Has Arrived.
- Convenience, positions product as being new/trendy, written for the reader.
- Clean Clothes While You Shower.
- Intrigue, convenience.
Writing headlines is both an art and a science. The art is about appealing to your reader, and the science is testing to see which headline is most effective. So how do you measure the science behind which headline to use?
- Run user tests on your target audience and learn which headline best resonates with them.
- If your headline has a CTA button, you can do some quick math to calculate and compare your click-through rates for the various headlines you’ve used on your website. Use Google Analytics to get your website stats.
- Numerator: The number of unique clicks on your CTA button during the date range a headline was active.
- Denominator: Total web page traffic during that date range.
- Compare your click-through rates to see which headline is the most effective at getting people to click-through.
Next, take a look at SWASH’s messaging for their newsletter signup, a lead generation vehicle.
Current headline is about SWASH: “Stay in the loop on the latest SWASH brand news and announcements.”
Your headline is generally more impactful when it focuses on your prospective customer. For example: “Learn more about the convenience of your new laundry life hack.” The email field should be shown for simple, increased opt-ins to the email list.
Along with testing your headlines, you can also test the text of your CTA buttons to try increasing click-through rates.
Lead Generation: Are Your Forms Killing Your Conversion Rate?
The SWASH signup form is killing conversions. The form is so lengthy that it doesn’t fit on my MacBook screen unless I zoom out.
The required fields include gender, zip code, and birthday. Additional questions ask the reader why they’re interested and which features are most important. This is a lot to ask of someone who is simply considering opting in to an email list to learn more about a product. I’m surprised I’m not being asked for my mother’s maiden name!
Creepy, isn’t it?
7 tips for your website forms, a major destination of your lead generation efforts:
- Creating a simple opt-in that only asks for the reader’s email address would dramatically boost form completions, resulting in more leads that can be emailed. At most ask for 2-3 fields of information. This is general advice; there could be exceptions based on your business and your lead generation goals.
- Avoid long, wide forms on desktop and especially on mobile, because they seem daunting to fill out.
- Design your form page to be visually appealing.
- Let the reader know that you will never sell or give their email to a third party, otherwise there is a hesitation to fill out this form.
- Let the reader know that they won’t be receiving any spam from you.
- If you’re trying to figure out why people want to join your mailing list, collect this information through user testing and not through your lead generation form.
- Answer this question on your form page for your visitors: Why do I want to join this email list, and what will I get out of it? Answering this question effectively will help decrease abandonment rates and increase conversions.
Remove Design & Messaging Friction
Design and messaging friction confuses website visitors and also kills conversions. Here are some examples:
The automated email from SWASH after submitting a form is confusing. Is the product not for sale yet? “You’ll be among the first to know when SWASH is available for purchase and other exclusive news.” Messaging like this makes prospective customers think that the product is not yet for sale, and that they will be notified when it is for sale—but the product can currently be purchased on the website…?
Are sign in (top-left) and sign up (bottom-right) the same options? What is the site visitor supposed to do?
The social media buttons are gray on a gray background. These buttons should be moved down or to the side of the website and should have some color so people can follow the brand on social media. Colored buttons in the homepage header would increase bounce rates, so you generally want to avoid that.
Below are 4 links to videos that are approximately 10 seconds each. This is taking up a full section of precious real estate on the website homepage; instead it should be combined into 1 video. It’s unlikely that a person cares about restoring their clothes and not preserving their clothes, so there’s no reason to separate these videos.
Am I going to receive more information after clicking on this link below, or be prompted to buy the product? The caption doesn’t match the button, so the visitor isn’t certain what to expect next. The button should say something like View Specs & Pricing for increased click-throughs.
Is this a 10-minute YouTube video? I thought it would be, which was confusing. I asked others and they were under the same impression.
After clicking the free trial button and landing on the product page, there is an FAQ, but no mention of whether there are free returns or not, or how much returns cost. This is crucial information for someone considering a free-trial purchase.
The photo gallery doesn’t show close-up imagery of the products, and there’s no caption for what you’re looking at. This makes a visual connection difficult.
Highlight Value & Understand Price Psychology
Highlight the value of the product you’re selling. To sell your product effectively, you need to think like a consumer. SWASH compares their product to laundry and dry cleaning. When I think of laundry, I think of inserting quarters into a machine. When I think of dry cleaning, I think of the $1.50 per shirt cost, or $15 total bill. The price anchors in the target audience’s mind are low, whereas the SWASH machine costs $499. Let your consumers know how and why your products have value and are well worth the cost.
A detailed look at your various marketing channels can reveal a lot about your business and the opportunities you’re missing out on. After reading this post on Facebook Advertising, website optimization, conversion messaging, and design friction, did you have any realizations about your business, or realize anything from other companies' marketing campaigns? Post your thoughts and/or questions in the comments below.