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Fitness Education Hub Nearly Doubles Year-Over-Year Revenue

Paid Advertising as an Avenue for Growth

Our client, ALTIS, is a leading cloud-based education hub for elite athlete training. They provide specialized training opportunities for coaches who work with high-performing athletes, from digital courses for sports practitioners to full access to a comprehensive video library and additional educational materials. What makes ALTIS stand out is that they’re making training content accessible to coaches in English-speaking countries who can learn on their own time and at their own pace. 

Because this client sells a combination of access to online courses, subscription-based services, and in-person training, their model requires a unique approach to connecting the right customer with the right product. Unlike eCommerce businesses that sell physical products, SaaS businesses typically have an uphill climb selling an intangible product (even if it’s top-tier content). 

Before partnering with EmberTribe, most of ALTIS’s growth came through their social networks. They garnered popularity thanks to their “behind the scenes” content and were known for giving away “secrets” for coaches. However, they had not explored paid advertising as an avenue for scaling growth. 

With EmberTribe, they wanted to boost revenue, bring in new audiences, and build an email list that they could strategically use to convert more leads. For EmberTribe, that meant taking a two-part approach to boost growth:

  1. Ramp up lead generation strategies.
  2. Improve overall conversion rates.

Building an Informed Growth Strategy

The first step for creating a successful campaign is to identify what you know, what you don’t know, what you want to know. This helps inform the testing and research that go into building a growth strategy. 

Challenge #1: Starting with unreliable Facebook data. 

While the client had run ads in the past, they were not run consistently enough to gather reliable data that could inform our path. On top of that, they did not have full Facebook pixel integrations, so Facebook standard events were not properly set up. 

Our first challenge would be to set up their pixel properly and establish a consistent process for running Facebook ads that would deliver helpful and reliable data. 

Challenge #2: Expanding a narrow existing audience.

Because ALTIS hadn’t dipped their toes into paid traffic for growth before, we knew we would need to spend a lot of time testing audiences to get their ads in front of the right crowd. Running ads for the first time also means a lot of unknown challenges. This makes rapid testing even more important—it’s an opportunity to quickly gather data 

From our initial audit of this client, we identified that ALTIS currently served a very niche, targeted market. However, we saw an opportunity to look outside of that target audience and bring in new audiences based on additional research and audience layering. 

Challenge #3: Building out a full-funnel, from ToFu to BoFu, primed for bringing in new subscribers across multiple channels.

Our client needed a steady drip of new leads as well as strategies to keep audiences moving through the funnel and eventually becoming purchasers. While we knew that we would start our research using Facebook because of the platform’s powerful capabilities, we would also want to validate additional channels for finding customers. 

For a lot of brands, it can be tempting to pump all of your ad spend into one channel once it starts bringing in sales. The upside of this approach is that you can maximize return on ad spend using a channel that’s proven to work.

However, the downside to this approach is that you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket. Once that platform stops performing at the same level, whether because of changes to features or because a new platform becomes the hot new thing, you’ll be forced to start from scratch. 

A multi-channel approach allows you to start validating multiple sources for sales and strengthening your strategy into a growth system built for long-term growth. 

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Finding Audiences Through Rapid Testing

With our goals set and our approach in place, we were able to start creating a growth strategy for ALTIS based on extensive research and testing. 

Solution #1: Aligning tracking and data. 

Because ALTIS wanted to start driving lead generation and sales through paid aids, our first step in working with this client was to set up their Facebook pixel and events properly. We needed to turn an unhealthy Facebook funnel into a healthy one so that the information we gathered through our testing would be reliable, valuable, and actionable.  

Solution #2: Finding new audiences through rapid testing. 

To get started, we used Facebook Group members and their lookalikes to teach the pixel.

Our next step was to engage in rapid testing, analysis, and optimization based on results. Some examples of the strategies we used to start getting results:

  • We started testing campaigns for different courses and educational offerings. This allowed us to determine if certain offerings had a wider appeal or were easier to use for gaining traction. 
  • We also tested interest-based audiences and lookalike audiences to widen traffic at ToFu and find audiences with reasonable cost per acquisition (CPA) so we could iterate on our findings. 
  • We launched variations of ad creative, switching up images, copy, and campaign set up. This information allows us to determine what messaging resonates with purchasers and create more ads that encourage engagement and positive ROAS. 

  • We launched Google Ads campaigns to supplement our work with Facebook ads and eventually testing out Twitter ads and YouTube ads to see if we could validate any other profitable channels. 

Solution #3: Use data to optimize full-funnel campaigns across multiple channels. 

Thanks to testing, we were able to learn the following valuable insights:

  • Even after looking at a different attribution model for all paid search traffic through Google, unbranded search campaigns didn’t bring any converting traffic. This led us to recommend not running unbranded lead generation through Google Display or Google Search since those channels weren’t bringing in returns.  
  • Over time, we were able to increase the effectiveness of Google Ads branded campaigns. This allowed our client to stay profitable on Google and highlighted that ALTIS’ marketing efforts had led to an increase in branded searches. 
  • Facebook News Feed placements outperform all other ad placements in terms of volume. 
  • Other than our retargeting campaigns, customer list lookalikes have performed consistently better than all other audiences we’ve tested.

With each new finding, we were able to make small (or large) measurable improvements to ALTIS’s growth strategies. Ultimately, we learned that Facebook was the best driver for leads that convert. 

Achieving 2x Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth

Over a 9 month period, we were able to nearly double store revenue compared to the previous year, generating over $852K in revenue. 

On average, paid media advertising efforts results in an average 5.87x return on ad spend (ROAS). The conversion rate on ads jumped to 91% higher than the store’s average. 

Some notable wins we’re proud of include:

11.9x average ROAS for all Facebook campaigns in March. 

Exceeding a goal for $80K in sales revenue for a single month...with $60K generated in just seven days!

Achieving 8.38x ROAS on Facebook campaigns for a single course.