Breakdown of a Profitable Facebook Ads Campaign

With the latest backlash of articles coming up on TechCrunch about deceptive and scammy ways to make money on Facebook, I wanted to provide you with a full breakdown on how to create a successful CPA Facebook ads campaign. Step and step details on a campaign I had running months ago.

The best way to do this, is by looking over an old campaigns that I have on pause and aren’t running anymore. A lot of the offers I have on pause are still available, but I never went on to monetize them enough to bring in a higher ROI. This campaign in particular is just under a year old, but the offer is still running actively on ClickBank. The product is for an ebook on skateboarding tricks and easily gets passed through the FB Ads team. During this $300 test campaign, the ROI was around 10%, and that is with very little monetizing and real targeting. Yes, I know… 10% isn’t much of a margin, but this wasn’t monetized or split tested at all. Instead of continually tweaking this campaign, I moved onto others. Now it’s your turn to turn it into something better.

Setting Up the Ad Campaign
When I first setup this ad campaign, I’ll threw together a bunch of ad copies and spent a few hundred dollars to see what happens with it. Go ahead and use the ad images and text copies from my campaign and see what type of profit margins you can hit.

Here is the direct ad copy and targeting that was setup for the campaign. I go into more detail below. You can download the top four CTR ad images used here.

Campaign Stats
3,746 clicks
1,505,202 impressions
0.249% CTR
.08 average click
$301.14 spent

ClickBank Skateboard Stats: $330.21 Rev

Deep Targeting; Picking the Right Keywords:
No matter what type of campaign you are setting up, the key to success is in your “keyword targeting”. For this skateboarding campaign, I only targeted users interested in “skateboard” and “skateboarding“. Just off those two keywords, you are hitting 192,860 18+ users. I just went through and looked for new skateboarding terms and there are lot more to play around with. The list below contains a few keywords available on Facebook for targeting skateboarder.

FB Skateboarding Keywords: skateboard, skateboarding, skate, skateing, skateboardin, skater, skate park, skating, tony hawk, rob dyrdek, rob dyrdek skateboarder pro, rodney mullen, ryan sheckler

Getting a High Click Through Rate
If you are familiar with Facebook Ads, you already know that one of the biggest goals is to achieve a high click through rate. This is mainly a result of your ad copy text, ad image and your keyword targeting. The screenshot below shows my ad campaigns sorted with the top CTR% on top. Once you achieve CTRs in the .35%+ range, you can usually get clicks for pennies each. “Secrets of Skateboarding” was the best performing title. The top four CTR% ads below are a mix of the ad text shown at the top of the post, and the downloadable ad images.

Keep the Good Ads, Remove the Bad
If you prefer to setup your campaigns on a CPC basis, setup a ton of different ad copies and run them for a while. Once you have a good amount of data and impressions/clicks, pull out the best ads and moved them over to a CPM model. If you do this properly, you should end up getting clicks at a cheaper rate.

Finding the Right Offer:
The end offer I was promoting for this campaign was through ClickBank. If you go into the market place, type in “skateboard” and you will come across two ad campaigns. The campaign I was promoting, “Secrets of Skateboarding” was the better of the two… however you might be able to come across other skateboard training / affiliate programs elsewhere.

Secrets of Skateboarding pays out $14.33 per lead, and requires a credit card. This means you will need to get cheap clicks, as it was converting around 1 in 160 clicks for me.

How to Improve Campaign Profitability:
As mentioned earlier, I just threw this one together real quick and wanted to see what numbers were produced. With new programs available like 4 Hour Affiliate, you could monetize the hell out of this campaign with age/gender sorting. I was targeting male/female 18+. Users under 21 are less likely to have a credit card, while users over 35+ are less likely to still be active skateboarders. Closing the gap and selecting an age range between 21-35 may bring much better results. Don’t forget to also sort by age. Another last peice of advice is to build your own landing page, before sending the user to the sales page.

I can’t promise you the same results, but this is the exact setup I had to obtain a small profit on the campaign. Take what I had running, and make the changes I recommended and it should work out for you. If I get some decent feedback on this post, I’ll do another campaign breakdown soon.

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  1. Great info! Can you explain what you mean by Age/Gender "sorting"? I have not heard the term "sorting" in this context.

  2. Woa, interesting grasp on Facebook Ads and Affiliate Marketing.. I'd like to look into this type of advertising later, it could be really profitable if you hit just the right keywords, ads etc. – I like the way you can customize exactly who can see your ads on Facebook…

  3. What is funny is how we're talking about avoiding deceptive practices and we get this. Ok, it's not a scam but dude wtf. Unlock every single trick in under 8 weeks even if you've never skated before. It's almost as bad as get rich quick schemes. It is deceptive as fuck. Anyone who's ever skated can tell you that ain't gonna happen. Guess it's the most profitable campaign though, selling bullshit.

  4. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111494" rel="nofollow">@Harry: Not that I don't agree that some ebooks don't deliver on their promise… but the same thing can be said about paperbacks and hard copy books in stores. At least with most ebooks you get a 30 money back guarantee.

  5. @Harry:

    This skateboarding stuff is way better than the numerous diet and get rich offers which is what a good number of the affiliate marketers promote….

    Before setting up a campaign, every person should think about if they will pay for that product as a buyer!

  6. Zac, great post and tons of great ideas. Thank You! The only thing or question that I have is how do you get $0.05 clicks on facebook? When I simuate the same campaign on facebook the suggested bid was $0.70+ . I know that if I bid $0.05 or even $0.10 my ad wont be displayed at all. Im I missing something here?

  7. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111501" rel="nofollow">@Oliver: <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111502" rel="nofollow">@Michael:

    I just re-activated this campaign with a very low daily budget to see what click rates I'm going to see. You won't see any traffic/impressions if you start at .05-.10 cpc, go higher and watch the CTR, then lower their CPCs. Once you work on this, you will get clicks in the pennies range. It all comes down to a high ctr. I'll keep you updated.

  8. Zac, thank you for your answer. I kinda figured that was the scenario. What would you consider a "good enough" CTR to lower the bids after some time to the $0.10-$0.15 range?? Do you do it gradualy like 2-3 centas a day or all at once?

  9. once some customers claim their refunds (and refunds are inevitable with ClickBank) from ClickBank for poor quality product, your campaign turns into loss making.

  10. Hi Zac,

    I just have few questions about Facebook Ads.

    1. Are you targeting on different keywords for different campaigns?

    2. Is there anything you feel similar to quality score to affect the CPC?



  11. @Zac – actually with clickbank it's more like a 60-day refund window, and refunds of 5-10% are pretty average (depending on the quality of the product, demographic of buyers, etc).

    Picking a hot product and bringing in the seasonality element (say the new Twilight movie) with the "instant"/viral nature of social networks like facebook = win.

  12. It is really a great post on Breakdown of a Profitable Facebook Ads Campaign with have nice article……………..

  13. Zac, you recommended building a landing page to send people to before sending them to the offer page. Why is that? I understand why you would do it on AdWords (Quality Score issues), but why Facebook? I would think that would increase your chance of losing them.

  14. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111509" rel="nofollow">@Oliver:

    Usually you are going to need clicks in the .40%+ CTR range if you want to pay under .10 per click.

  15. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111511" rel="nofollow">@Frank Jiang:

    If you were to run the same type of campaign for a basketball ebook or offer, you would use basketball related facebook interests/keywords.

    The cpc amount comes down to the CTR, which is actually also seen as the CPM facebook is earning on your campaign. Try CPC and CPM and see which works out the best,

  16. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111519" rel="nofollow">@Jeremy:

    Sometimes you can create a better landing page vs. what the current advertiser has. In the example of Facebook, it would be a good idea for geo-targeting. ("Want to be the Best Skater in "STATE NAME"?)

  17. I ran my test to see how I would do. Use a few test campaigns with your information and a few of my own. Ran about 30 different ads.

    I recieved 1500 Clicks at about .06 cents per click. I made 1 sale. This is a no go

  18. I have had a really hard time earning money through facebook, but I think I was just going for the wrong kind of offers, 40% Click through is possible though? That sounds extremely high to me but I hope to achieve that one day.

  19. well , i really love to read more about this . but from this post i can conclude that facebook ads campaign in not better than google adword. what you think zac ?

  20. I think with fackbook you can get some profit but sometimes you need to be sure about what you are doing while it comes as a loosing way.

  21. @Charlotte: Yes, it's definitely a .40% (with a decimal). I've had some campaigns with a CTR of 1%, but it's super rare and usually happen only with high targetting and low traffic campaigns. If you can get click rates any where in this area, you can expect to pay .01-.03 per click.

  22. Zac, how many clicks did you have on this before you made a sale? Clicks are easy. Conversions are tougher.

    I've tried Facebook ads direct to affiliate programs before. Haven't been able to get anything to convert. But I freaked out after about 150 clicks, so maybe I didn't give it enough time.

  23. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111549" rel="nofollow">@Jeremy: I don't exactly remember, but I would have stopped if it went over $50 in ad spend and no sales, so it must have been within 500 clicks.

  24. Love the post Zac

    Zac! The second to last paragraph you hit us with "…oh and build a landing page" – This is a post in of itself.

    Could you spare some time to talk about this?

  25. Once again you have offered outstanding advice. It's rare to see an affiliate sharing successful methods. Thanks for the great tips.

  26. Zac, great post and tons of great ideas. Thank You! The only thing or question that I have is how do you get $0.05 clicks on facebook? that is very imposible for us.

  27. Great work there Zac. It seems to me that Facebook PPC is more target-based than the conventional Google PPC that everyone is used to. This is especially evident in the way Facebook allows you to set up your ad campaigns, in that it requires you to enter age, gender and location as part of your niche.

    From that point of view, it is fantastic! Would you agree?


    The Affletic Afflete.

  28. Hey Zac it is really very interesting. I am new to the field of affiliate marketing. I decided to go with it since; I lost some major clients because of recession. I read your blog but, what I am concerned to go ahead is ROI. Will I get the ROI in small time period? Please help me out.

  29. Thanks… however everybody talks about adwords… but is there another effective means of advertising by PPC other that adwords? Adwords is getting really expensive and I believe the only ones to gain from it are Goole guys themselves!

  30. I'm looking to start testing some campaigns for my product (twitter product, $47). I'm looking at Google Content Network Image ads and/or facebook ads to start. Which would it be best to start with Google, or Facebook? I have a low budget but will put 100% profits back in to ramp up.

  31. @Minnesota Attorney:

    yea thats really gr8 of him. i also havent seen any affiliate or any other businessman sharing their work secrets from which they made some decent revenue. Its really gr8 of u. will give it a try and come back if there are any probs or doubts with the campaign

  32. Zac, FB ads are great for interest-based products. What about professional services? Any advice on marketing lawyers, dentists, plumbers?

  33. I don't think facebook is a good marketing platform because the majority of its users are there for social networking. This is why myspace ultimately failed.

  34. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111660" rel="nofollow">@Lux:

    Lux, it's all about local targetting to small businesses in brick and mortar. Find you basic customer demographics, then target that same information on Facebook in your area.

  35. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-111583" rel="nofollow">@Robert Phillips:

    Rob, Facebook can send you a ton of leads and traffic fast, but as with any offer, it comes down to your marketing/landing page and sales process. If you are starting out, try targeting small niche audiences.

  36. Hi,

    I see a lot of people talking about it online and articles and blogs and stuff, but how do I do it? I know about applications, but I don't know any programming and hiring a programmer is expensive. Is there any other way to making money on facebook?

  37. Great post once again Zac. The breakdown I shall admit was inspiring. The Facebook ads has indeed helped you make quite a number of sales. Inspiring stuff. Superb data.

  38. Wow… Thanks alot Zac! There is great infos in this article. Im gonna use these tips to work on my own Facebook campagin.

  39. Oh Zac I failed time after time with Facebook advertising. 🙁

    I read your post really closely, even though I still believe that Adsense is the best way to go. I'm going to give it another go, the problem is I'm doing advertising for a forum and all I get is more spam. 🙁

  40. I never had much luck with Facebook, you get a lot of clicks and pay a lot of money but none of the clicks convert.

  41. Pretty cool to see the break down of the stats, makes me want to go and try facebook out

  42. Zac, 2 quick questions after reading tons of your posts:

    1. Are you driving paid traffic primarily to your affiliate offers?

    2. I guess you have no employees (most of my friends who are in PPC have no employees and make tons of money, I guess it's the big leverage of technology that allows them that).

  43. hey guys i got a couple 100$ voucher codes for facebook. i got about 15 of them from creating websites for people. i have no use for them so hit me up with an offer. you can only use 1 per account apparently

  44. I am glad to visit your blog, because it is always updated and there are always new. information, or simply offer online success stories, many of which I could learn, the recommendation quality equipment, communicate with many people never even see

  45. Great stuff. I recently tried a couple of campaigns on Facebook…could get clickthroughs and even a decent CTR for Facebook (.587%) but couldn't get conversions. Was direct linking though.

    Funny thing is now I see people copying my ads. Good luck with that I guess.

  46. Conversions are ROI are real important here when you are using margins that close it would be easy to go over budget. You have to watch your campaigns carefully Targeting the right users is defiantly the way to go.

  47. Hi Zac,

    I decided to start a facebook campaign after reading this post. I am running 5 ads for one campaign, but facebook has shown 4 of the ads very minimally (all have under 1000 impressions with no clicks) and my 5th ad has 10,321 impressions with 34 clicks. How does someone split test ads if facebook chooses which ads to display? I cannot find any rotate ads button anywhere. Thanks for your help.

  48. Hey Zac, how did you achieved to get $0.08 average CPC with FB on a US targetted campaign? Really easy for other INTL traffic, but for US…gimme the trick 😉

  49. I think the most important thing about FB ads is the split testing. This is key, if you don't make a mix of your ads (changing images/texts) you won't know which converts better…

    Good covering of this topic btw

  50. I will be taking this campaign and having a go , I hope I am not too late.

    I will hopefuly learn something or two.

  51. A huge pro about facebook ads is that you can target your potential customer far more accurately, by gender, age, interests and other social factors, in addition by geographical location as well.

    I noticed that if your landing page is a facebook fan page or group, you will get a much lower CPC.

  52. I'm confused to choose promotion campaign via Facebook or Adwords. Facebook cost is cheaper but its conversion rate is low. I think Adwords is still better options to succeed my affiliate program

  53. Excellent info.

    I have been using FB ads for a while but really only playing around. I'm going to take some of your suggestions and really run with it.


  54. Awesome advice, i have been thinking about using facebook for adds myself for a while to promote my new ebook. Thanks for sheading some light on the subject!

  55. Awesome advice, haven't read anything like this before.

    I tried out a few Facebook ad campaigns which were quite fun to test. I mainly used it to start a following for my blog, just testing a theory really.

    I think I may try out FB ads again but aren't they more strict now? Would you have to use a php redirect script on your landing page or should you point toward your own website?

  56. Good stuff, thanks for the post! Maybe you should do a follow up post about this?

    Facebook ads guide

  57. This is bad ass. Thanks for sharing fully. This gives a full potential for the power of FaceBook advertising in today's marketplace.

  58. As what I have learned, Facebook is the #1 in number of visitors and clicks. I hope this is right because all the while it was Google. Facebook is such a powerful website for advertising and promoting your products and services to the people in your country or all over the world.

  59. Great stats here, although his profit margins are probably razor thin if the site sells skateboard equipment. Skateboard products online is a very competitive industry. 8 cents a click isnt half bad though

  60. i think it really depends on how you present your ads.. people tend to be more curious when the ads looks good.. next month i will try to run ads.. and i hope i works. i am a newbie at site making but i want to learn. zac whats your secret?
    My recent post White Collar Season 1 Episode 14 – Out of the Box

  61. I kinda liked the FB ads when i tested to see if people will like my codefight page on the facebook. almost 90% people clicked on like button after clicking on the ad.
    My recent post About Us

  62. This was a very good post zac. great information that was received. I have noticed that when you really focus on the age range that you are trying to focus on you could get better results with what you are trying to do. Thanks for the detailed information in your post.
    My recent post Foursquare vs Facebook Places

  63. Hey Zac, I just wondered what the pop up software you are using on this site.

    Really is nice

  64. Good information. But can you post another one the same thing as this but focuses on its process. Even you could state to your next post the step by step procedure of how to do it on Facebook. Thank you man.
    Twitter Marketing

  65. If you were to run the same type of campaign for a basketball ebook or offer, you would use basketball related facebook interests/keywords.

  66. Sometimes you can create a better landing page vs. what the current advertiser has. In the example of Facebook, it would be a good idea for geo-targeting. ("Want to be the Best Skater in "STATE NAME"?) Best regards, Katya, CEO of burn

  67. A very good post, but website owners, however much traffic they buy, should also work on SEO. It takes time, but proves to be a good long term strategy.

  68. To tell the truth, I'm a bt tired of reading about Facebook and its possibilities for earning money. I think one needs to write a book smth like "1000 and 1 way to use facebook."

  69. Thanks for the tips. Facebook is a very great platform for promoting and marketing your business. Soon it is going to stat a story based ad format.

  70. What is funny is how we're talking about avoiding deceptive practices and we get this. Ok, it's not a scam but dude wtf. Unlock every single trick in under 8 weeks even if you've never skated before. It's almost as bad as get rich quick schemes. It is deceptive as fuck. Anyone who's ever skated can tell you that ain't gonna happen. Guess it's the most profitable campaign though, selling bullshit.
    My recent post göðüsler beni deli ediyor

  71. You have just summarized a marketing strategy I have been working on. Thanks for making it clear.
    My recent post People Development is Like Being a Parent…

  72. A very good post, but website owners, however much traffic they buy, should also work on SEO. It takes time, but proves to be a good long term strategy.
    My recent post Restaurant chinezesc Wok Away !

  73. Using Facebook is the online equivalent of staring at yourself in the mirror, according to a study
    My recent post Convert Protected AAC files to MP3

  74. Zac – thanks for this! I love that your advice always comes with your personal experiences, screenshots and all. I feel like I know way more about making money from facebook now, and you're the cause!! 😀


  75. I am really impresses as to how you are making money on these social networks… where did you get your training or is this something that just comes to you?

  76. I am glad you posted this, I have noticed a lot of 'scammy ways' as you call them of people advertising on Facebook. Stuff like that makes me want to delete my profile altogether! (well maybe not something that drastic but it is annoying). Good ad usage on FB can be very profitable though.

  77. Great analysis! This is very helpful! I can do this with my current FB ads. Thank you.

  78. we Have started a new blog and we'll purchase some facebook ads it is a good tactic?
    thanks for sharing this awesome post 🙂
    My recent post Don’t Have Money for SeoPressor? Enjoy it’s Free Alternative!

  79. hi can you run my Facebook, adwords, bing, cpv, anything ads, solo ads for my beauty supplements pills on amazon? clifford e wright find me in Facebook

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