Marketers today face incredible challenges. Technology is changing at break-neck rates. Goals are ever-shifting. The pace to scale your business is faster than ever. And you, the marketer, are held accountable for meeting these ever-changing needs, often without enough resources.
We get it. We’ve been there, and we see it with our partners time and again. You’re strapped for design resources. And engineering resources. Every new martech system seems to require a “simple” integration that still needs some form of decoding from an expert. Your ad accounts need new creative, but your design queue is filled with other priorities.
The one constant among all of this is your goals. No matter what, you need to hit your goals.
Direct-to-consumer brands need to achieve some form of repeatable (and ideally scalable) growth. For our partners, that comes in the form of paid social advertising, but when they come to us, they are often seeing their CACs climb up and have topped out in their ability to scale.
Why? The reason is almost always the same: they are not testing enough.
Success Is a Numbers Game
Nine out of 10 ads fail. We know this from running hundreds of thousands of ad creative tests across Facebook, Instagram, Google, TikTok, Snap, and more.
Audiences are complex. The same message that may resonate with one person may not strike with another. Your lookalikes or similar audiences aren’t exactly the same. Even with a perfectly defined customer persona, it’s impossible to know exactly which ad (color, headline, image, intro) will grab attention from the largest group. So you have to test a lot of different ads.
Winning ads go stale. Creative fatigue, or when an audience has seen ad creative too many times, is real. It’s so real, in fact, that Facebook has built warnings into its ads manager to notify you of when you need to swap out creative.
The reality is that every ad will go stale, but to be successful in growing your acquisition efforts, you need to continue to produce new, winning ads.
How Fast You Test Determines How Fast You Grow
The speed of your ad creative tests is the difference between growing 3x in a year or burning through all of your cash while you’re waiting to see if a button should be red or blue.
Need proof? One of our partners, a major player in the direct-to-consumer space, increased new customer growth by 317% with this strategy. This translated to an additional $1.03 million in monthly revenue, all while CAC decreased 45%.
Madison Reed increased customers 41%
Another partner, direct-to-consumer home hair color brand, Madison Reed, came to Primer to dramatically ramp up customer acquisition. After a year and a half of steady growth, they asked us to help them to accelerate and launch a new product. To support this scale, we increased testing, ramping to 2,231 tests in six weeks. Among those, we found 254 winning ads (just about 1 in 10 – sound familiar?). Those wins drove phenomenal growth:
- 54% increase in year-over-year purchase conversion rate
- 41% increase in year-over-year customers
This kind of success comes from a methodical approach to testing that anyone can apply to their marketing. Here’s how we do it.
Launch Ad Creative Consistently
We call it the Outlier Method. The Outlier Method builds a consistent pipeline of new creative and enables you to make fast decisions about your test performance.
In this method, you develop a batch of creative, seek out the Outliers (or big winners), and pause everything else. Then repeat.
Here’s how it works:
- Determine one element to test (the video hook, ad copy, images, etc.) and build a batch of creative that tests meaningful differences within that one element, while holding all other elements constant. (Note: we’re not looking for subtle changes here, we want to try significantly different variations, e.g. different images or different styles of copy)
- Launch those tests into a testing ad set. (Note: we recommend separating tests into their own ad set so they don’t impact the efficiency of your top performers.)
- Pause bottom performers fast. We aim to pause 50% within 48 hours of launching and 75% by day three.
- Look for the Outliers. These are the ads that are performing 2x – 3x better than anything else. If they stay strong after one week, launch those ads into your top-performing ad set.
In the Outlier Method, you don’t care about mediocre performance, you want the winners. Anything that doesn’t get 2x-3x performance gain gets paused. Fast. This leaves only the Outliers to run against each other, filtering down until you get that 1 out of 10 top performer, or true Outlier.
When you do find those Outliers, they are moved into a separate campaign, filled with only the best performers, where you can add budget and let them run wild. Repeat this process consistently and you’ll never run out of fresh wins.
This rapid-fire Outlier Method for testing allows you to test a lot, learn quickly, and scale fast.
Execution Is the Hardest Part
As Thomas Edison said, “Ninety-eight percent of genius is hard work.” We know that you have a lot of hard work on your plate.
That’s where Primer steps in. We’re here to help you hit your goals faster. Book a free consultation here.