Case Study: How We Turned a Subscription Business Around in 8 Weeks.
At the end of February, a struggling business who found our info online approached us for help. This merchant had a pretty strong history of success - when launching her subscription box around 2 years ago, she picked up roughly 600 subscribers. Her product is unique, fun & solves a need in society. Despite that, she started losing subscribers month over month much faster than she could replenish them, and over time, the business lost over 40% of it’s subscriber-base. The reason? Re-investment in the wrong areas and ineffective marketing.
The merchant approached us as she was looking for new channels to start her marketing efforts and heard that Adjust Media specializes in Facebook Ads. As Facebook Ad Specialists, we were completely taken aback when we learned she never used Facebook ads before; She grew to 600+ subscribers organically. At this point, we knew that there is no reason why she shouldn’t have at least 1000 subscribers in a few months.
Even though she was averaging a 3-5% shrinkage rate (per month) for the past 12 months, we were able to increase her business by 100% in just 8 short weeks, see Analytics photo below. This is how it was executed:
? Despite never have advertised before, not having a pixel on-site, and not having ANY data on the account, the business itself still had digital assets. What we mean by this is that it had an existing ‘subscriber list’, roughly 3000 Facebook followers, 7000 IG followers, and a ton of engagement over the past 365 days. We used all of these as seed audiences for separate lookalike audiences for a ‘cold traffic touchpoint’ – the first interaction with the brand.
?Advertising to a cold audience required an introduction to the brand and the product. We shot a video of the box being packed up and used some swanky music that caught people’s attention. The ad copy was longer than usually recommended, explaining how the process worked, but the headline of the video included the businesses core values – Inspire, Aspire. We always recommend using video as it allows for secondary layer of retargeting.
?Introducing a secondary touchpoint based on Website Visitors AND Video Viewers from the cold audiences. What this means is that anyone who either viewed the original ad or visited the website through that ad would be retargeted with a second ad. Most advertisers would say this is a fairly basic strategy, which it is, but it was segregated by time and sequentially delivered. To elaborate, if someone was on the site on day 1, they would see Ad ‘A’, but after a day until day 3, they would see Ad ‘B’. Between days 3-7, they would see Ad ‘C’. This allows potentially qualified buyers to be hit with a total of 4 ads throughout a week. Each ad had a different creative, some were videos and some were Carousals, but the commonality between them all is that they each had 1 review in the text.
?What we also noticed was that the traffic we drove to site in the first month increased our email list by roughly 400 people. This is also a valuable asset to your business. Use a service like MailChimp or Klaviyo to send a sequence of emails before the end of the month to turn warm customers into paying customers. In the last 48 hours, we sent a ‘last chance’ email without a discount code that converted roughly 6 new subscribers. On the very last day, we sent another; with a 10% discount code off the first months purchase and that converted another 6.
?? Within the first month, we grew the business by 30% . To give you a better understanding of what the numbers looked like, the Cost per New Subscriber was roughly $28, and the lifetime value of a customer is $220. This is a 780% ROI.???
With March’s performance, it’s almost a no-brainer to bring the same tactics into the next sales-month and scale appropriately. It’s important to understand that you can’t just turn ads back on and double the spend; your Cost Per Sub will shoot up extremely high. You have to scale incrementally on working ad-sets and find new audiences to advertise to. The following is the EXACT methods that were used to scale appropriately and proportionately:
?During March [last month], we identified audiences that work well as ‘cold’ touchpoints for this subscription. This month, we took these audiences and split them out by placement – FB vs. IG. To be more specific, if we were running audience A for $20 total across FB&IG, this month we scaled it to $25 total across 2 ad-sets - $12.50 for Facebook and $12.50 to IG. This is technically a 25% increase in spend.?
?As time went on, it was important to scale the ads slowly. We gave it roughly a week and adjusted budgets accordingly. If both performed [below the $24 Cost per Sub], we would continue to scale it and monitor it. It’s extremely important to note that the scaling was done after 5 days, and scaling would be no more than 15% per ad set per day. Although this is a slow progression, it doesn’t throw off the algorithm as much as just doubling the budgets and seeing the Costs climb. By the end of the sales period, the best performing ad sets were running at over $40/day, whilst others were killed off.?
?New retargeting audiences were also introduced. Last month we retargeted based off of website visitors and video views. This month, an additional ‘engaged with page/instagram profile’ was introduced. This followed the same sequential format as mentioned in my previous post. This additional layer brought in extremely cheap sales, although not too many, every single one counts.
The results of these small tweaks, obvious target segregation, and gradual scaling speaks for themselves:
??$3,800 Adspend, 177 Subscribers Gained, $21.50 Cost Per Subscriber?? ??At a $220 LTV, this values $38,940 – an EVEN MORE INCREDIBLE 1024% ROI??
?Even if you’ve never advertised, you still have digital assets [unless you are brand-new to market].
?Video is a powerful tool. It’s easier for the end user to imagine what exactly they get in hand, and in an advertising perspective, it allows you to retarget people who have viewed the video.
?Don’t focus too much on the overall return of your first touchpoint. The conversion rates of first touchpoint ads are much lower. The audience has never heard of you. Focus on the multi-touchpoint ROI.?
?Introduce sequential retargeting – it’s extremely effective in delivering a brand story within a relatively short period of time.
?Use ‘review ads’ in the text.
?Don’t forget to utilize your email list to send a ‘last chance’ email!
?There are 2 ways of scaling. The first, add audience layers. The second, add budgets. ?When scaling, scale slowly.? ?If you’re going to re-invest in your business, make sure your dollars are going to an efficient source of marketing.? ?Don’t be afraid to advertise!
Now that we are 2 months in to marketing/advertising, it’s a lot easier to paint a picture. 2 Months ago, the client was grossing $12.2k/month. She decided to take a risk and re-invest some of this into advertising. After the first month, she grossed $15.6K but had $3,200 in ad costs, meaning she broke even. However, since those subs pay on a recurring basis, and we reinvested again this month, she’s growing like crazy! This month, she grossed $20.7K and spent $3.8k – keeping $16.9K before COGS ??. Every month, this is going to grow exponentially.
That, my fellow business owners, is a sound investment.
Want us to help your business grow? Book your free consultation with us today!