Schedule a call

183% YoY Revenue Lift in 2020 Thanks to Facebook Paid Ads and Smart Testing

Building a System for Profitable eCommerce Scaling With Facebook

Our client, Baltic Essentials, is an online retailer of therapeutic jewelry for child and adult pain management. The business operates a brick-and-mortar store in the Dallas, TX area, and their products are sold in over 75 physical store locations around the world.

In late 2018, Baltic Essentials partnered with EmberTribe to find sustainable strategies for scaling. When we started working with Baltic Essentials, we wanted to find out what marketing they had done in the past and get a sense for what worked, what didn’t, and how we might want to proceed with testing. Previously, our client had decent success running paid traffic using Google Ads and Facebook ads to draw customers to their website. Once customers entered the funnel, Baltic Essentials utilized a few tactics for retargeting audiences and sharing that resulted in sales. Some other components of their growth strategy were: building a customer email list, running giveaway contests, coupons, BOGO offers, and email marketing. 

Overall, the client had a strong online following and positive Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) with retargeting, but had been unable to scale spend on a consistent basis. After working with other agencies without success, they partnered with EmberTribe to overcome their scaling barriers. By applying our methodical approach to eCommerce growth, our growth specialists have increased Baltic Essentials’ monthly revenue by 123% from October 2018 (when we initially partnered with the client) to October 2020. 

Our first full month partnering with Baltic Essentials, they brought in $113k revenue.

Screen Shot 2023-03-30 at 9.52.09 AM

Exactly two years later, through EmberTribe’s marketing efforts, we have helped our client more than double monthly revenue using fewer channels more effectively. 

Screen Shot 2023-03-30 at 9.54.10 AM


Overcoming the Barriers to Profitable Scaling on Facebook

Scaling Facebook ad spend isn’t a one-and-done deal. Scaling too much, too fast can result in drastic drops in performance. Scaling without using data to guide your efforts could result in not hitting your targets because you were too aggressive or too timid. And when Facebook isn’t the only channel you’re managing, you have to be on top of your game to really maximize ad spend. 

Before partnering with EmberTribe, our client learned the hard way that creating ads at a high cost per day and not monitoring them could result in losing a large amount of money very quickly. Ad spend adds up, especially when it’s not monitored. The first major benefit we could provide to Baltic Essentials would be active management of their ads accounts, meaning that we wouldn’t leave high-cost ads running if they’re not performing well. By abandoning the “set it and forget it” mindset, we would be able to dig into the data for the client and begin building actionable, results-driven campaigns. 

We identified three challenges that we knew we would need to address to get over the scaling hump.

Challenge #1: Keeping the sales funnel topped up and full of qualified audiences. 

The client has a solid unique value proposition and a loyal customer base. Our challenge would be finding cold audiences and bringing them into our funnel. Unlike some competitors, their product lines are for adults, children, and infants. However, they identified Amazon competition and lack of brand recognition as challenges to their business. For EmberTribe, this meant we would need to test:

  • Optimizations for ad delivery on Facebook
  • Broader Audiences
  • New styles of ad creative
  • Bottom-of-funnel audience segmentation

Challenge #2: Pivoting on budget due to factors such as rising CPMs

Some things will take you by surprise, other things won’t. Some do both! The rise and fall of cost per mille (CPMs) is one of those things that does both. In a typical year, advertisers can pretty much predict the rise and fall of CPMs throughout the year. CPMs are lower at the beginning of the year and start ramping up in Q3 and peaking in Q4 when people are getting their holiday shopping done.  Well, 2020 was not a typical year at all which meant that keeping tabs on ad spend was more important than ever, because CPMs were less predictable than ever. Even despite a global pandemic, we were able to quickly pivot our testing to adjust to new budget demands and still hit ROAS goals.

Challenge #3: Managing all of the sales the client was running at any given time.

Our client stands out from their competitors because they do provide products for all ages, whereas other brands focus on the therapeutic jewelry for infants and children. While this is a great component of their UVP, it also means more testing, more ad creative, and different offers to match marketing demand! In order to help Baltic Essentials scale up, we would need to strategically manage their sales and keep them aligned with overall growth goals through paid traffic.

Strategic Approaches to Facebook Advertising at Scale

Baltic Essentials uses a multi-channel approach (which we recommend for a strong growth system), but Facebook has been a key central component of their growth strategy. Keeping the Facebook funnel healthy was a huge piece of our strategy with this client because it has brought in proven-results. With Facebook ads as our growth engine, we would be able to test additional channels for generating traffic and sales

Screen Shot 2023-03-30 at 9.55.20 AM

Our approach to using Facebook to scale Baltic Essentials involved lots of testing and optimization for our Facebook ads at top of funnel (ToFu), middle of funnel (MoFu), and bottom of funnel (BoFu). Smart testing for campaign types gives us valuable insights into what campaigns work best for different points in the sales funnel. For instance, we might discover that dynamic creative flops at ToFu but drives tons of conversions at BoFu. 

Some experiments we ran were:

  • Testing to optimize campaign types, such as cost cap, dynamic creative, value.
  • Targeting broader audiences to improve ad performance at ToFu.
  • Running new styles of ad creative to find messaging that would resonate with audiences. 
  • Developing new styles of ad creative to help fight ad fatigue.
  • Breaking out BoFu audiences into more segments (1-3 days, 4-10, 11-15, and so on).

By approaching Facebook ads with a signature EmberTribe “always be testing” outlook, we were able to hone in on what would work in the account and what wouldn't. As we continued to use Facebook as a tool for growth, the larger audiences prompted a need for more scaling, as well as paying attention to the day-by-day account activity to inform our scaling decisions. This is the beauty of active management—you don’t have to wait until you’ve maxed out on budget or your ads are delivering terrible ad spend to take action. Instead, you can make informed decisions about your accounts in near-real time based on data. So while our growth specialists will typically scale up spend vs. down, they sometimes discover that it’s necessary to pull back on spend under certain conditions.  

Here’s a snapshot of some of our Facebook ads learnings in 2020:

  • Facebook Marketplace ads weren’t able to deliver the ROAS we were looking for. 
  • Dynamic product ads (DPAs) have been able to deliver strong results at MoFu and BoFu.
  • Using larger, less specific audiences (not based on a customer profile, but instead broad interests like teething or The Honest Company) in ToFu would allow us to further test our assumptions about target audiences.
  • When running a longer sale, we would need to limit or pause our normal retargeting so it doesn’t eat into the sales campaigns and vice versa. 

How We Generated $495k Revenue Through Facebook Ads Alone To Scale a Growing Brand

Screen Shot 2023-03-30 at 9.58.43 AM

Scaling a business properly requires that businesses go through the three stages of growth: traction, profit, and scale. When Baltic Essentials began their engagement with EmberTribe, they had already reached the profit phase and were ready to start scaling. The secret to scaling isn’t really a secret at all: you need to approach growth with intentionality. Create a solid foundation for growth, iterate on successful processes, and do it all consistently.

Almost counterintuitively, one of the worst things you can do to scale your investment in Facebook ads is start pumping money into campaigns quickly. It can actually tank your performance by causing Facebook to restart the learning process. This is what makes scaling one of the most technically complicated pieces of the puzzle, and a big reason why we coach our clients through building repeatable systems for testing and growth. 

In our partnership with Baltic Essentials, we were able to build the consistent, repeatable growth system for sustainable profit, and that has been in large part due to our success on Facebook. In 2020, $862k of the total store revenue came from Facebook alone. With Facebook as a reliable growth engine for our client, we have been able to test additional advertising channels without losing steam in overall revenue lift. 

Screen Shot 2023-03-30 at 10.00.10 AM

As a rule of thumb, no business should rely on a single channel for their growth strategy. We love Facebook because it’s a powerful engine for growth! But we don’t love putting all of our eggs in one basket. Thanks to the success of Baltic Essentials through Facebook advertising, we’ve been able to test and validate other social media channels for our client that we can nurture for scaling over time.