If You Haven't Cracked Your Funnel Yet, It's A Big TEST
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is expecting to crack their FB ads funnel in an unreasonable amount of time. Whether you are putting the pressure on an agency, freelancer or even yourself to crack the code, it is imperative to have realistic expectations. Even when everything is perfectly aligned, it takes 2-4 months on average for thorough A/B testing and optimization. We want to stress that it's always a BIG TEST until you reach your ideal ROAS and CPA metrics and it's unrealistic to expect certain guarantees. Let's take a look at some different scenarios:
SCENARIO #1- A brand new business and website with zero traffic: If you are a brand new business, with a new website and zero traffic, we have no idea how the site will perform, if people will actually want to buy the product, if you'll get repeat buyers, and so on. Again, let us emphasize that this is a HUGE TEST. This is why advertisers certainly cannot guarantee anything at this stage...there are far too many undetermined variables. We can't even put a timeframe on the time that will be required to start to see results with a brand new campaign, because it is literally impossible to determine at this beginning point. If you're starting on your own or with a professional team, it's unrealistic to expect any specific time frame for certain results or expectations to be met. With that being said, a talented team will be able to let you know if your site is causing a problem soon after starting a new campaign. Even then, most of the top advertising agencies require a minimum 3 month contract before starting with a totally new startup. Typically you don't want to jump ship before then, so you likely don't want to start with an agency before getting some metrics/sales under your belt on your own, unless it's an extremely unique case with high potential for success (and you personally feel it's an educated risk worth taking).
PRO TIP: When you have a new business, no sales, and no metrics to evaluate, the main focus here is proof of concept. You simply can't guarantee results before proving the concept of your business and products. We recommend that you use this time to TEST in order to get some concrete indications that your business and product is viable first and foremost.
SCENARIO #2- A brand new Shopify website with an established Etsy or Amazon store that sells products on those sites: Just like above, we have literally no tangible idea of how this site will perform since you have no site metrics to evaluate. It’s great that you have found success selling on these other sites and thus at minimum have proof of concept, which is really the first step in getting some traction. But you don't actually have a working website yet. While you have a leg up in that you already have customers who have purchased your product, you don't quite have the site foundation in place yet. So everything else applies like above. Taking on a new Facebook advertising campaign without established metrics for your own site, is still a big risk and will require extensive testing. Facebook ads are meant to complement and enhance a business' foundation; it is not meant to fix. In other words, a perfect ad won't convert well or bring in a high ROAS on site with crappy site metrics.
SCENARIO #3- A site with less than ideal CRO, AOV and LTV: If your site has less than ideal metrics, this is still very risky territory and a big test. Even though you have existing customers and somewhat of an idea about metrics, just like the above, you'll need to simultaneously work on your site metrics along with running the FB ad campaign. Remember: a perfect FB ad will not fix a broken foundation site-side. However, it’s important to realize that you still can't realistically expect a certain time frame for specific results yet. This is because your site metrics will hold things up and affect the campaign until we can improve upon them. We suggest placing a lot of effort into optimizing your store and site.
SCENARIO #4- A site with more ideal site metrics such as CRO (2-3%), AOV (Above $50) and LTV (Above $100): If you are consistently hitting these metrics, congratulations! This is great! But… at the same time, if you haven't cracked your FB ads funnel yet, then we still don't know how your campaign will perform and that means, you guessed it....it's still a BIG test. These ideal metrics let us know that you are most likely ready for a pro team to take over and that's awesome news! Agencies get really excited about metrics like this since it's a promising opportunity to help a business rather quickly....BUT, again, it's not a guarantee by any means!! Agencies love nothing more than to make businesses more successful, so working with businesses that have these metrics are exciting for us. These metrics show that you already have a solid foundation in place and have the potential to make the FB ad campaign funnel process more seamless and profitable. These ideal metrics do end up being different for every business....and every campaign is different (with MANY variables like different target customers, price points, websites, etc). So while these businesses have ideal metrics in place, we may determine that things need to still shift further on the site. This is completely normal. So, just like everything above, this is still a MAJOR TEST. Starting a new campaign for a biz in this spot does typically fall under the 2-4 month mark time frame for testing, some less, some more, but most advertisers still won’t guarantee this if you haven't developed a FB ad campaign SPECIFICALLY for YOUR BUSINESS that is churning and producing good results already. So again, while it's more likely that we can crack the funnel in that time frame with your site metrics in this range, it's best NOT TO EXPECT IT. Marketing and advertising is always an investment and a risk. If your business falls under this category, this does mean you're in a MUCH better position than the businesses above, but it doesn't mean it's guaranteed that things will perform a certain way in a specific timeframe.
Phew! We know this was a lot of information and might come off kind of blunt. There are many misconceptions with expectations in the FB ad world and we want to make sure you get off on the right foot as you venture further into Facebook advertising for your business. Furthermore, in our agency, we like to be totally transparent and up front from the beginning so there are no surprises and clients clearly understand the risks of engaging any agency to craft a new campaign for them.
With that being said, let's recap: when you haven't cracked your FB ads campaign for your Shopify store, no matter what stage you are at above, it is going to be a test. Don’t expect guarantees. Instead, it's best to expect that this will take time. In order to make this process go as smoothly as possible, make sure you approach your campaign holistically and with a can do attitude. That means you should always be working on your site and business metrics so that you can convert people faster and easier on your site, in order to spend more to acquire a new customer (and thus ultimately have a MUCH higher long term ROAS). When you are running a FB ad campaign, don't expect that everything else can stay stagnant and that FB is going to magically make everything better...Facebook advertising is NOT wizardry! Be flexible, make educated adjustments based on the tests you run, and constantly work on improving ALL aspects of your business. A high ROAS FB ads campaign is not only a result of it performing well on FB, just like a low ROAS FB ads campaign is not only due to how the FB ad campaign is being run....it is always so much more than that.
Wondering where to go from here?
If you have cracked your funnel, congrats! If you feel your funnel is working but you want a better ROAS or CPA, that’s awesome, everyone does! ;) It's possible a pro FB ads agency or team can take you to the next level and get these better results for you, but it depends again on many factors. Make sure the agency runs an audit to see if there is potential. In an audit, they will look for room for growth in key areas. This, again, isn't a firm guarantee that they will produce better results... but if they do see enough room for growth (i.e. if the ads need help in copywriting, in structure, etc.), then that's a great sign. In general, it's best to expect 2-4 months of testing to see if it's possible to get better results for you. Usually another expert and other perspective can edge your campaign further into a better zone for ROAS and CPA, especially if you have been doing it on your own for a while with limited FB ads experience.
Lastly, if you're already getting an ideal CPA and ROAS, this is even better! When most businesses reach this awesome point with their funnel, they usually find themselves wanting to scale but are stumped at how to do this effectively. Scaling is a whole different ball park that is best left in the hands of FB experts who have years of experience. And… you guessed it! If you haven't scaled yet, it's a big TEST!