Logan Thompson

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How To Profit On Cost Per Sale Campaigns With Facebook

Over the course of this past year I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say they can’t turn a profit on cost per sale (CPS) campaigns with advertising on Facebook. Every time I hear that I get excited because that means less competition for me in a field that I have had a lot of good success with.

I’m feeling in a giving mood today so I figured I would give you some of my tips on how to profit on cost per sale campaigns. I’ve spent a lot of time and money trying different things out with Facebook ads and for some reason do a lot better with CPS campaigns as opposed to CPA campaigns (which seems to be what most people do better with). To me, it isn’t really rocket science, but hopefully this will help you become profitable on Facebook.

  1. Trial and Error
    The biggest key to becoming successful is to try multiple products and see what works. What I found is a lot of products I thought would do well actually suck on Facebook, and some products that I thought wouldn’t stand a chance at being profitable had the highest ROI. You have to try a LOT of ads to see what work. For me, I’d say out of every 15 campaigns I setup, maybe 1 of them is profitable. Once I find one that works somewhat, I can then move on and tweak it to make it profitable and ditch the loser campaigns.
  2. You Must Deep Link
    Generally when I am testing out campaigns I will just direct link at first to see if the product is going to have any traction on Facebook. An error I see all the time from ads on Facebook is that they link to a homepage or category page on the merchants site. This will totally kill your campaign. Focus on 1 specific product and link to that page. Lets say for example you are selling t-shirts and you show a specific t-shirt in your ad image. Link directly to that t-shirts page. Your conversion rates will be a lot higher.
  3. Target Keywords As Narrowly As Possible
    Don’t just target by age and demographics. To be successful, you need to narrow your target market down by using very specific keywords to what you are selling. This is going increase your click thru rates as well as send more targeted traffic to your offer. For example if you are promoting dog collars, don’t just target people who like dogs, but narrow each ad down to a specific breed of dog. In your ad image, include that breed, as well as show that breed on the landing page.
    Facebook Keywords
  4. Keep Your Target Population Under 100,000 People
    Different people might have different opinions on this, but I try to keep the estimate of people I’m targeting for each ad to under 100,000. This means that I’m targeting each ad as tightly as I can, which should increase the CTR as well as conversions if done right.
  5. Don’t Promote Expensive Products
    Facebook advertising is a lot different than Google AdWords. One of the biggest differences is that users aren’t searching for specific items. Products that sell the best are inexpensive items that are bought on impulse. Generally my rule is that I don’t promote any products that are over $75, with the majority of products being under $35. People aren’t going to buy a $150 Halloween costume on impulse, but they will buy a $10 t-shirt a lot easier.
  6. Know Your Commission
    Most CPS merchants have a commission that is a percentage, which causes what you make to vary based on the products purchased. To be successful you have to know exactly how much you are going to make on each of the products you are selling to see if it is even worth it. You might sell a lot of $6 t-shirts, but if you are getting an 8% commission rate, you are only making .48 cents per shirt. You’d have to have an unheard of conversion rate to make that worth while. Don’t waste your times pushing products with too small of commissions.
  7. Don’t Expect The Same Conversion Rate As Google AdWords
    From my experience, it’s hard to get a conversion rate higher than 1% on CPS campaigns. Most profitable campaigns convert around .5%-1%. Keep in mind like I said before that people are in Facebook mode and not shopping mode. Do a little math to see what cost per click you need to break even. If you find that you would need to pay 5 cents per click to break even with a 1% conversion rate, move on to a different product that is going to be more profitable. You will utilize your time better if you aren’t wasting it on a campaign that is doomed to fail from the beginning.
  8. Match Currencies With Countries
    International advertising on Facebook is awesome in a lot of countries. Cost per clicks are cheaper and there is less competition. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot though and target people in those countries just because the merchant says they ship there. The currency on the merchants landing page has to be the same currency that is in the users country, otherwise your conversion rates are going to blow. If the visitor is in the US, the landing page price should be in US dollars. If the visitor is in Canada, the price on the landing page needs to be in Canadian currency, etc… I know it sounds like a small detail, but I have seen this alone cause a campaign to fail internationally.
  9. Test Landing Pages On Winning Campaigns
    I always start off campaigns by direct linking so I don’t waste time. Once I see that it has potential, I’ll design a few landing pages based around that product to see if it will increase conversion rates. Most of the times it does if done right, but not always. Keep in mind the users mindset that they are in when designing landing pages. Testimonials and reviews work really well as it makes it more personal.
  10. Evaluate The Merchants Site Thoroughly
    One pitfall of promoting CPS campaigns as opposed to most CPA offers is that merchants often have a site designed not in the best interest for affiliates. Take some time to browse through the merchants sites and look for things such as huge phone numbers on the site, poor shopping cart functionality, third party links, and other obstacles that might send your visitor into changing their mind on that impulse buy.

Hopefully these 10 tips will help you get started. Remember that it takes persistence when trying to find campaigns that are profitable. Don’t give up to early and good luck.

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11 comments… add one
  1. good read. yea trial and error is the first thing as well as the ratio of commissions to actual sales. i also learned a lot by keywords too, pretty interesting finds I found

    funny how I was gon to write my case study today and I see your post – ill have to pospone my post then

    1. Sorry for stealing your thunder Ian. I look forward to see what you have to say about it.

  2. Phil Miranda here… This is one of the most practical, yet effective post on (CPS) I’ve read so far. Thank you for this valuable insight.

    1. Your welcome Phil. Thanks for the compliment.

  3. Logan, wow…great post.

    We have been pushing affiliates to use Facebook for a while now. I will definitely be pushing them towards this post from our blog today 🙂

  4. We have had the same experience when advertising for any clients with a big catalog of products. You are dead on suggesting to focus on a single, lower dollar item. Good post.

  5. Nice post! Indeed, there is a lot of potential with Facebook ads but you can only succeed with a trial and error strategy in my opinion… Try a lot of things and you will find the things that are working for your audience!

  6. Thank you for the informative post about CPS campaigns on FB. I have done my fair share of CPA and CPS campaigns and have only had success with CPA. I will look back in to my old ads and see where I could have done better. =)

    Since its the holiday season, it might be a good time to start up the CPS campaigns on FB again. Many people will be hitting the social media sites while on holiday or while shopping online these coming weeks. Last year it was the holiday ecards and gaming offers that took off for me.

  7. very good post. learned couple of new things…anxious to try it out. Thanks.

  8. Very informative post Logan! Your post makes sense.

    Isn’t FB going to be at the Affiliate Summit this week? I plan on sitting down with them to discuss their program. FB may just be a diamond amongst the rough!


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