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The 11 holidays to leverage for growing your e-commerce brand

Holidays are some of the best opportunities for brands to turn visitors into long term customers — unfortunately, most brands miss out because of a lack of planning. To help, we’ve outlined some of the most important US holidays to consider when creating a marketing plan, as well as a few tactics to best leverage these days.

Why Holiday Sales Are Great For Brands

People search for things to buy during the holidays. This creates a unique opportunity for your brand to connect with new users that are more open to trying new products. Even better: you can test different offers and angles on cold traffic to see which offers prove most enticing.

What Sales Should We Offer?

The best sales are straightforward; the most popular are sitewide sales and product bundles. If you offer a sitewide sale, A/B test callouts for specific percentages off and the total potential savings — you might find that your customers respond better to one.

Example 

Percentage Savings

“Save 20% site-wide through November 21st!”

Dollar Savings 

“Now through November 21st, save up to $75 on your order!”

What Holidays Should Have Sales?

Below are the top US holidays in 2021 we recommend including in your marketing plan to capture more sales, develop timeless brand awareness, and keep relevant with your customers. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it provides a foundation for your annual marketing plan to ensure you’re ready for the most popular holidays.

  1. New Year’s Day: January 1st
  2. Memorial Day: May 31st
  3. Independence Day: July 4th
  4. Labor Day: September 6th
  5. Veterans Day: November 11th
  6. Thanksgiving: November 25th
  7. Black Friday: November 26th
  8. Cyber Weekend: Nov 27-28th
  9. Cyber Monday: November 29th
  10. Christmas Day: December 25th
  11. New Year’s Eve: December 31st

Special holidays for your product or industry

In addition to the 11 national holidays we’ve listed, there are an ever-growing number of industry-specific holidays celebrated across social media: National Ice Cream Day, World Pharmacist Day, Houseplant Appreciation Day, Pie Day (not to be confused with Pi Day) — if there’s an industry for it, there’s probably a day for it.

These “holidays” can be especially effective because brands compete on a smaller scale — against other ice cream brands prepared with an advertising strategy, for instance. It can also be easier to get people excited about your product on an otherwise ordinary day.

In many instances, there can even be an opportunity to become an organizer or leader within a community/vertical for that given holiday — especially for small businesses.

Our recommendation: prepare an ad strategy for any “holidays” celebrating your products.

How expensive are paid ads during the holidays?

Year-end holidays are some of the most expensive times to run paid ads. While this shouldn’t deter you from continuing to grow, a 20-35% cost increase from historical averages is typical during November and December.

When you’re building your annual marketing plan, you’re identifying new ways to grow. Remember to look at the holidays that best relate to your brand and add them to the schedule. It might be the next best way for you to add a new stream to your brand’s annual revenue.

How to Scale Winning Paid Ads Campaigns

Imagine

You’ve been running ad campaigns for your brand for a couple of weeks to test for winning variations: and you’ve found them. Now it’s time to scale — to take your winning campaigns and push them to more people for a greater return. 

But how do you get there? Do you simply add more spend to the budget? Turn off non-performing variations?

What’s our winning process?

Historically, we’ve struggled with this answer. After a lot of trial and error and learning from the best consultants in the media buying space, we’ve developed a framework that helps our partners grow with paid ads.

Before we start scaling, we run our ad sets for 3-5 days for accurate average results — Facebook tends to show better results in the first few days of running ads. While it’s good to see ads converting, don’t let this fool you! This is often where scaling begins and ends for brands; they see initial growth, then watch their campaigns slowly decline or stagnate.

We follow this process:

  1. Increase the ad budget for the Top Of Funnel / Cold Traffic campaign by 20-30% — some suggest as much as 50%, but we wouldn’t go so far. This provides a baseline of data and the highest likelihood of consistent performance during initial growth stages.
  2. After 2-4 days at the new ad spend with consistent results, duplicate the ad set, and push the budget 100% higher than the original.
  3. When implementing higher budgets, leverage manual bidding, and test multiple ad sets with 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x the target CPA.
  4. Within the campaign, create an ad set with 5-10x the original budget.
  5. Because Facebook auction fluctuates daily, we need to determine what kind of manual bidding works best for our ad sets.
  6. Finally… Test, Test, Test. scaling a winning campaign involves a lot of trial and error! However, with the right mindset and the right team, it is possible.

Ad Budget Breakdown

We’ve tested numerous strategies when it comes to managing the ad spend for maximum results. Over the years we’ve found that splitting the ad spend using a 70/30 model where 70% of the ad spend is directed towards cold traffic and the other 30% is devoted towards re-targeting and engaging our existing audience.

Cold Traffic / Top Of Funnel: 70% Of Ad Spend

Middle Of Funnel: 15 – 20% of Ad Spend

Bottom Of Funnel: 10% – 15% Of Ad Spend

Taking some time to outline a detailed strategy that can maximize your scaling potential is essential when setting up these campaigns. Make an effort to develop a thoughtful strategy rooted in specific goals. This will make your efforts focused, efficient, and set for success.

How To Choose Audiences For Top Of Funnel

Cold traffic audiences are, without a doubt, the most difficult audiences to profitably convert with paid advertising. However, they’re usually the most important audiences you run ads to, even if your bottom of funnel audiences provide you with the greatest returns. If you’re not bringing new people into your funnel and building your pipeline, then your pool of potential customers at the bottom of the funnel will have diminishing returns.

We spend a lot of time building COLD traffic (i.e. Top of Funnel campaigns). Our Top of Funnel (TOF) campaigns usually spend 65-70% of the total budget on most accounts we manage.

Because so much ad spend is directed to cold traffic, it’s essential to choose the right audiences for your TOF campaigns.

Traffic quality is vital to your ad account’s overall performance. Since this traffic feeds into the Middle Of Funnel (MOF) and Bottom Of Funnel (BOF) campaigns, having the right audiences at the top will give your account the opportunity to perform well.


Tired Your Campaigns Being Unprofitable?

Learn the method we’ve used to help profitably grow and scale e-commerce brands to 6-7 figures online with paid advertising. Save time, money, and countless hours testing by following our scaling method.


To set up your top of funnel, evaluate your options and separate the available assets into 4 main categories:

1. Lookalike audiences (LLA) based on Custom Lists.

Custom Lists are not new. If your Facebook Pixel did not capture purchases, upload a CSV and create a lookalike audience.

PRO TIP: Export your customer list from your ecommerce platform (Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc.) and separate your customer data based on the amount of purchases they’ve made. Our favorite starting point is to segment people that have made only one purchase vs the people that have made 2+. We then take this data and upload the lists separately, then our final upload is both of those customer lists combined. This provides three solid audiences for testing and creating Lookalike Audiences from 1%-6%. Make sure not to remove the order value from the list so you can upload the Custom List with Life Time Value included.

Customer List #1 = People that have made only 1 purchase

Customer List #2 = People that have made more than 1 purchase

Customer List #3 = Everyone that has made a purchase

2. Lookalike audiences based on pixel events.

There are countless options and variations when creating lookalike audiences based on pixel events. The most common and available pixel events in ecommerce are PageView, ViewContent, Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout, Added Payment details, and Purchases. Before creating custom audiences based on these events, you’ll always want to check Events Manager for the total number of events fired on your website for each event. These numbers can help predict the potential audience size and whether to use them as lookalikes or not.

Regardless of the total number of events, we recommend creating custom audiences for 3 / 7 / 15 / 30 / 60 / 90 / 180 days. Even if you cannot use them as a source audience for lookalikes, they will come in handy for retargeting later on.

If the number of events on your website is significant or the site has several products or landing pages, it will allow you to create more advanced custom audiences, providing more valuable lookalike audiences. We aim for the custom audience size to be at least 500 (preferably 1000) to create a solid lookalike audience. 

Here are some of our favorite LLA combinations:

  • PageView Last 30 Days Frequency > 4
  • Site Visitor Top 5% Last 90 Days
  • Top 25% Most Engaged By Time On Site
  • Any specific product / category / pixel event –> View Content_url include: Product last 60 days
  • You can also exclude purchase value under a certain amount

PRO TIP: To do an advanced search or crosscheck the potential custom audience size, you can use Facebook Analytics. It will immediately show you the audience number, and you can adjust variables more easily than creating each custom audience in the Audiences tab. If you find a great combination, you can save the filter and build the audience right away.

3. Lookalike audiences based on Engagement.

This category could be called “lookalikes based on MOF audiences”. The source audience, in this case, is from custom audiences based on Facebook Page or Instagram account engagement.

Here are a few examples:

  • FB messages sent in the past 365 days –> LLA for a client where most of their orders came through Messenger
  • FB post engagement in the past 180 days
  • FB video watch time 50%+ last 90 days
  • IG saved post in the past 180 days
  • Facebook Page visitors in the past 60 days
  • FB all Engagement in the past 365 days

Note: We believe you should only use video viewers as a source audience for lookalikes if there is no other option available. The source audience that viewed your ad videos aren’t necessarily valuable customers. Creating a lookalike from these users might not provide much value — unless your objective is to find more engaging video viewers. 

There is, however, one scenario when video viewers can be valuable as a source audience: when you have organic converting traffic with long video viewing times from watching live videos or other content on your Facebook page — such as educational, how-to videos that are connected to your products or services.

4. Interest-based audiences

Even though we think we have a better success rate when starting with lookalike audiences for TOF campaigns, we also see success with interest-based audiences — especially when the product or brand has a precise market segmentation or personas. Aside from the product or niche interest groups, our usual process is to check the Audience Insights tab to find other things page visitors are interested in.

PRO TIP: When creating these audiences, our go-to process is to combine broad audiences with interests. We leave demographic attributes open and select 1-1 main interest only, which usually results in a massive 5M+ audience. 

Example: We target people in the USA with an interest in Crossfit, excluding our website visitors in the last 180 days.

Once you’ve analyzed the four categories above, choose 5-8 audiences you believe are the most valuable for a splash of fresh traffic. There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when creating a TOF campaign with Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) and choosing audiences:

If the audience sizes between ad sets vary significantly — for instance, one audience has an audience size of 70k and another with 10m — then the algorithms will likely push traffic to the ad set with a bigger audience.

If you choose LLAs based on the same sale funnel events each time, you’ll more than likely find that they overlap. This overlap limits the algorithm’s ability to test fresh traffic and find you more conversions.

Let’s say you create a 1% LLA based on:

  • Add to Cart last 180 days
  • Initiate Checkout last 180 days 
  • Purchase last 180 days 

On paper, these all look like valuable lookalikes — and they are, to a point. However, when you want to give the best chance for a TOF Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) campaign, you might want to mix up your audience and try new directions.

1% lookalikes are a solid go-to and will likely be more valuable than 2% or 5%. But we’d still recommend testing different percentages on the same source audience, as they might give you surprising results. 

Before you expand to broader percentages, we recommend that the first TOF campaigns only use a 1% audience.

Scaling your brand online is a challenging task, but you can make the path to growth easier by following strategies to affordably reach new customers. By implementing the processes we’ve outlined for finding and targeting cold traffic audiences on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll put yourself well ahead of your competitors.


Tired Of Unprofitable Campaigns?

Learn the method we’ve used to help profitably grow and scale e-commerce brands to 6-7 figures online with paid advertising. Save time, money, and countless hours testing by following our scaling method.


Fool-Proof Checklist For Paid Ads Success

To successfully run your paid ads campaigns it takes more than the knowledge of how to put everything into the ad platform you’re using.

In fact, that’s the easiest part of running ads!

Once you’re Google or Facebook ad campaigns are up and running its vital that you have a good process in place for managing and optimizing your ads consistently.

To help, we decided to outline the key points of optimization and when to review them. Below is a graphic that you can use a guide for optimizing your campaigns.

We recommend bookmarking the page so you can access it easily in the future!

How To Double Your Sales With A Value Ladder

A while back I had a chat with a local business owner here in Cincinnati, OH about how to grow their business with online marketing.

Throughout the conversation, we both kept bringing up the fact that they only had one service, and how hard it was to sell it. In most cases, this is great since they can focus on how to do that single service better than everyone else.

Unfortunately, this service was expensive ($20k+monthly), on top of that they can only handle a few clients at a time. Thus, we all came to the conclusion that they need a value ladder. Which is what brought me to write this article on how you can grow your business with a value ladder.

So, What Is a Value Ladder?

A value ladder at its core is just a series of products or services that stack on top of each other. Often they are used to engage people at different levels and push them to your core products and both help and educate your customers while making your business money.

Some of the best value ladders are almost automated and require simple maintenance but a shipload of cash on the reg.

For example, let’s say you run a sales consulting company and your core service is 40k. Your a value ladder might be a series of free content and products. Then, by leveraging trip wires and message based funnels you push these people to Low Barrier Offers or LBOs.

A good example of a value ladder for a sales consultant company might go something like:

Businesses Core Offerings:

  1. $40k Corporate Level: Sales Team Consulting Session On How To Closing More Sales And Grow Key Accounts
  2. $25k MasterMind To 10x Your Entire Teams Sales Growth
  3. $8k 1–1 Consulting On How To Improve Your Close Rate

Med/High Priced Level Offering/s:

  1. $1297 Comprehensive Guide On How To Close Cold Leads And Make More Sales In The Next 90 Days

Medium Level Offerings:

  1. $347/M Get One Monthly Consulting Call With A Sales Member Monthly
  2. $97 (30 Minute) Call with our XYZ expert.

Low Barrier Offers:

  1. $7 (one-time payment) Download Our Top X Sales Scripts And Convert More Clients Starting Today.
  2. $37 (one-time payment) Access To A Private Facebook Community Of Like Minded Sales Experts And Weekly Live Sales Training.

Free Offers:

  1. Top X Rejections Every Sales Guy Experiences & How To Over Come Them
  2. 21- Day Sales Closing Challenge

What Does This All Mean For The Sales Company?

In the example above we have their core services but they are not always easy sales. So, through the power of the value ladder, they now have a series of products and services they a can promote to get someone actively engaging with there business.

Then through great account management, they can leverage these lower product/services to grow the accounts and sell their core services.

How To Make Your Own Value Ladder:

For most businesses, you can take the example value ladder and use it as the building blocks to create your own. But, how can you create your own value ladder and know people will actually want what you create?

If you have been in business for a while, I’d be willing to bet that you have a good idea of 5–10 business related topics people always bring up.

Is that you?

Great then write them down and take a serious look at them.

Often businesses can create digital products based on what they do. Similar to the value ladder above you see that a lot damn near all the products are about 2–4 topics. Each product takes one or two topics and creates an entire educational series about them.

So, for you what are TWO big pain points you could create a kick-ass course or educational series on?

If you don’t know, you just need more time and that’s ok you don’t need to build the entire value ladder in a day. But, you should keep it front of mind because a value ladder can help you get WAYY more sales than your closing today.

Going back to where we left off, with the value ladder, you need to take your series of topics and put add value to each topic. Then, place the topics into one of the offer levels that were shown above. Ideally, by the end of this exercise, you have at least 1 topic for each step of the ladder.

Once, you have your topics in place its time to create your offers and build what you feel is best to provide at each level. Some of the best ways to go about doing this are:

  1. Core Services (Highest Priced Offer)
  2. Mastermind Or Private Training (Mid-High Priced Offer)
  3. Educational Course On A In-depth Topic (Mid Priced Offer)
  4. Downloadable Swipe Files Or Guides (Super Low-Cost Offer)
  5. Free Content Or Video Series On XYZ Topic (FREE OFFERS)

After you’ve outlined every part of your value ladder and know what you’re going to talk about. Then you can finally get the ladder created, I recommend getting your value ladder created as fast as possible.

Why, though I want to look like the best.

Great question, the best way to get results is by doing it. So if you create your 1.0 version of the value ladder fast. Then you can actually start putting it to work. Once you have your value ladder up and running you can make adjustments and improve the quality to better fit your customers and business goals.

How To Take The Value Ladder And Get More Sales:

Now, how can a business with a value ladder similar to the above start making more sales and getting leads?

There are a few ways you could go about doing it but the easiest way is to start with the stacked approach. This is where you start with the lowest possible offers you can promote (aka free offers) and get ads or organic traffic going to them. Then, once someone had made the first touch point by signing up for the free offer you can send them the next highest offer, then the next highest offer, and so on.

This process can move both fast or slow based on the readiness of the user that engages with the product offering. Starting in this way is often better for businesses than trying to go in for the kill with the high-end services.

By, starting with the lowest offerings first, you are able to capture a much larger audience with the same or less time and money. One of the best parts about a value ladder is this key difference. The larger your engaged audience is the most opportunities you have to grow accounts. Where in the case of the just selling the high-end offerings you are solely focused on trying to find people that are at the very end of the sales process and looking to spend serious cash to get results.

Keeping Your New Audience Engaged & Make Sales:

Once you have a series of people or businesses actively using you’re (damn near automated) products. Then you use the multiple platforms available to us today like email, SMS, chatbots, phone calls, etc to keep these people engaged with you. Throughout this messaging automation, you are providing MORE value and sending them offers that are in the same bracket of there last purchase or higher. Then over time, you will start to see some of these people ask for your services without you having to do a hard sell.

Alright, I think this is a great stopping point for today. If you enjoyed the information you’ve came across today please show some love with those claps. I hope this article helps you get more from your business efforts and gives you a new point of view on how to make sales. As always, if your looking to get access to people that care about the success of your business just connect hereor here adlabs.social

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