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Direct Response

Marketing on
Driving action online, in-store
and in mobile app

June 2015

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Table of contents

Facebooks direct response marketing solution

Best practices


Campaign prep




Creative and messaging






Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


We live in a transformational time. As the need to stay connected becomes integral to our everyday lives,
the use of smartphones, tablets and laptops is becoming increasingly common. Not only are people using
multiple devices, theyre constantly switching between them throughout the day. Marketers are faced with
the challenge of reaching their consumers in this changing environment.
With over 1.44 billion people1 on Facebook, the platform provides a unique opportunity for businesses to
drive positive business results with more of the right people across devices. Marketers can:

Reach more of the right people with Facebooks sophisticated suite of targeting products

Drive action across devices with ad units in News Feed

Make insightful decisions with Facebooks measurement solutions

From campaign prep to targeting, creative, bidding, measurement and optimization, this guide will walk you
through our entire solution and best practices for setting up an effective direct response campaign.
Your Facebook team

1. Facebook internal data, March 2015

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Facebook direct response

marketing solution
Facebook offers a sophisticated direct response marketing
solution for marketers to reach more of the right people, drive
action across devices and make more insightful decisions.
Whether youre driving sign-ups on your website, sales in store or
installs for your mobile app, these products can help drive your
business objectives from Facebook across devices.

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Use the Audience Network Reach
your target audience beyond
Facebook on other mobile apps
with the Audience Network.

Facebook has a powerful targeting solution that enables you to target

based on the data people share on Facebook, your first-party data
and third-party data from trusted partners. Use these tools to find
more of the right people you want to reach.
Core Audiences
Reach people based on interests, demographics, location and behavior.
Facebooks core targeting option allows you to target people based on information shared on their
profiles and the behavior they exhibit on Facebook. Segment your audiences based on their
demographics, location, interests and behaviors.
Partner categories are a way to target people based on their off-Facebook behavior through our
partnerships with trusted third-party data providers such as Datalogix, Epsilon and Acxiom.

Success Story
Banana Republic used lookalike
audiences modeled after its
most loyal customers to increase
its customer base during the
competitive holiday season.

Custom Audiences
Reach people based on the data you have.
Custom Audiences enable you to target people based on the data you have in a privacy safe way.
With Custom Audiences, you can:

Target people based on CRM data.


Target people based on actions taken on your website.

A nearly 4X higher return on

ad spend.

Target people based on engagement with your mobile app.

Facebook case study, June 2014

Lookalike Audiences
Reach people who look like your audiences.
Lookalike audiences help you find people with similar characteristics to your existing customers,
prospects and Page fans.
You can build a lookalike audience from your:

CRM database

Website visitors

Mobile app customers

Page fans

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Facebook Exchange: Dynamically remarket to website visitors on desktop

Facebook Exchange allows programmatic buying of desktop ad inventory through real-time bidding.
You can remarket to website visitors on Facebook based on the activity they exhibit on your website with
real-time dynamic product ads. Facebook Exchange is only available for link ads and right-hand column on
desktop and can only be purchased through a registered demand side platform (DSP).
Custom Audiences and Facebook Exchange are complementary
Remarketing through Facebook Exchange and Custom Audiences are similar but can be leveraged
in different ways.

Custom Audiences

Facebook Exchange

Ad Formats

Standard ads, page post ads, Mobile

Standard ads (domain only)

Right Column ads


All Facebook

Facebook desktop only

Mobile Delivery

Facebook Lookalike Audiences


Dynamic Creative

Bidding across publishers

Self-service through Power Editor

Cross-device retargeting

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Placements and Ad Units

Facebook offers several ad units for advertisers to capture attention and
drive action. News Feed is the most effective placement for advertisers
looking to drive direct response objectives because its ad units are
in-stream and native to the Facebook experience and across devices.
Link ads

Mobile app ads

Drives traffic to your website and store

Drive installs, conversions, and engagement for your mobile app

Link ads direct people off of Facebook from any device to a specific
location on your website that you choose.
Link ads offer:

Mobile app install ads drive people directly from Facebook and the
Audience Network to the Apple App Store, Google Play, or Amazon
App Store to install from a strong call-to-action.
Mobile app ads offer:

A large, clickable real estate in News Feed across devices

The ability to add strong call-to-action buttons to

drive conversions

A large, clickable real estate in mobile News Feed

Strong call-to-action buttons to drive install and engagement

The ability to showcase multiple products from your inventory

within a single link ad unit

The option to use video or image

The option to use video or image

Creative specs for link ads

Creative specs for mobile app ads

Text count: 90 characters

Video file size: up to 1 GB

Text count: 90 characters

Video file size: up to 1 GB

Image ratio is 1.91:1

Video format: .MOV files

Image ratio is 1.91:1

Video format: .MOV files

Image size is 1200x627px

Video resolution:
at least 720p

Image size is 1200x627px

Video resolution:
at least 720p

Video aspect ratio:

at least 16:9

Video aspect ratio:

at least 16:9

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

When comparing carousel

link ads to single link ads,
advertisers saw:

Ads in the carousel format

Add more creative real estate in News Feed

30-50% decrease in CPA

20-30% decrease in CPC 1

Carousel link ad on desktop

Carousel mobile app install ad

Designed for any objective, carousel ads give you more creative real estate to showcase compelling imagery
for your brand or products, driving people to your website to convert or your app to install or engage. You
can showcase up to 10 clickable images within a single ad unit and Facebook can optimize the order of the
images based on relevance to each targeted individual.
Ads in the carousel format offer:

The ability to showcase up to 10 clickable images within a single ad unit

The option to let Facebook optimize the order of images for each person

Insights on top performing images

Creative specs for ads in the carousel format

Image size: 600 x 600 pixels

Image ratio: 1:1

Text: 90 characters

Headline: 25 characters

Link description: 30 characters

1. Facebook internal study across 9k ad sets testing multi-product ads and link ads, January 15, 2015February 15, 2015

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Dynamic product ads

Power of dynamic
product ads:
Promote all of your products
with unique creative without
having to configure each
individual ad
Set up your campaigns once and
continually reach people with the
right product at the right time
based on actions taken on your
website or mobile app
Reach people with ads on any
device they use, regardless of
their original touch-point for
your business

Automatically promote your entire product catalog on Facebook.

How dynamic product ads work
Dynamic product ads leverage Custom Audiences to help you create targeted audiences of people who
have viewed, added to cart or purchased products on your website or mobile app. By uploading your
product catalog to Facebook, you can reach shoppers with dynamically generated product ads showcasing
relevant products they may be interested in purchasing.

Advertise all of your products

Many advertisers are already using Facebook to promote their products. But, customizing creative with the
right targeting for each and every product takes time, especially when inventory changes frequently. Dynamic
product ads enable you to import your entire product catalog to Facebook so that you can automatically
promote any product from your inventory to people who visited your website or mobile app, without having
to create thousands of individual ads.

Capture sales from people already interested in your products

With dynamic product ads, you can keep your business top of mind with people already interested in your
products by reaching them on Facebook. Automatically bring your potential customers back to your website
or mobile app to purchase publishers. You can use dynamic product ads to leverage Facebook native targeting
and multi-product ad formats across devices.

Highly relevant:
Show people ads for products
that they have shown interest in
from your product catalog

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Bid types
Facebook offers a variety of bidding options to help you pay the right
amount per objective and deliver your ads to the right audience. The
4 bidding options offered are cost per impression (CPM), cost per
click (CPC), optimize for conversions and cost per action (CPA).
You value

You pay for

We optimize for

Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM)

Use CPM if your objective is to drive impressions of your ad. If
you care about clicks or conversions and youre targeting a very
specific or highly targeted market, you can also bid CPM to gain
greater reach for your ad.





Cost per click (CPC)

CPC is a good option for advertisers targeting a very specific
audience. For example, if you want to target your highest LTV
customers, you could use CPC bidding to serve ads to your entire
audience rather than those likely to convert.


For CPC with link ads,

you pay for clicks on
links, likes, comments
and shares.


For CPC with mobile

app ads, you pay
for clicks to the
app store.

Optimize for conversions

oCPM enables you to specify the action that you care most about
and set a target bid for that action. Facebook will then optimize
delivery and bid aggressively to serve ads to users we believe are
most likely to take that action.







Cost per action (CPA)

Designed for mobile app ads campaigns, CPA biding will efficiently
spend your budget by delivering ads to users who are most likely
to install your mobile app. With CPA, you have full control over
what you spend per action and our system will deliver the results
you care about.

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


We were able to identify the
type of consumer who will convert, profile that, and use this to
find more people to serve those
New Feeds adverts to,
Henry Arkell,
Social Advertising Director,
Manning Gottlieb OMD.
Facebook case study, April 2014

Measure the performance of your campaigns with Facebooks

measurement solutions.
Facebook Conversion Pixel
Measure website conversions
The Facebook conversion pixel helps you measure the effectiveness of your Facebook campaigns. With the
conversion pixel, you can measure conversions that happen as a result of your Facebook ads - even if the
conversion happens on a different device than where your ad was served. The Facebook Conversion Pixel
reports on Facebook clicks and impressions that happen within a 1-day, 7-day, or 28-day window after the ad
was shown.
The Facebook conversion pixel:

Measures the actions of people, not cookies

Measures conversions that happen across devices

Works with Facebook Lift measurement

Lets you generate Lookalike audiences of people who convert

Allows optimization for conversions

Optimize for success

The Facebook conversion pixel also helps marketers to optimize their ads for conversions. With conversion
optimization, Facebook leverages real time data beyond just clicks or impressions to show your ad to those
customers most likely to convert on your specific ad, purchase or sign up for a subscription.
With the Facebook conversion pixel you can:

Lower your cost per action by showing your ads to people most likely to convert at the most
efficient price

Automatically optimize the delivery of your ads to increase the number of conversions

Optimize for success across all the devices your customers use

Facebook SDK and App Events

Measures mobile app conversions
The Facebook SDK or Mobile Measurement Partners SDK will measure the granular data needed to
optimize your mobile app ads to meet specific goals. You will need to measure in-app actions to optimize
budgets for actions that matter. You can do this via Facebook App Events or through a Mobile
Measurement Partner.
The Facebook SDK and App Events enable:

The ability to measure any action taken in your mobile app ad such as an install or a purchase

Conversion activity within a 1-day, 7-day or 28-day window based on time the ad is shown

Rich people-based insights such as who buys the most in your app via App Insights

While Facebook provides its own SDK for tracking, you can also implement a Mobile Measurement Partner
solution. Generally, our Mobile Measurement Partners provide:

Cross mobile ad network measurement

Deeper downstream performance metrics and analysis such as funnel analysis

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


Solution by Objective
This is our recommended solution set for marketers looking to
acquire customers or remarket to existing customers online,
in-store and in mobile app.


Ad units

Core Audiences
Acquiring new customers

Custom Audiences

Link ads in New Feed

Lookalike Audiences
Remarketing to
existing customers

Custom Audiences

Link ads in News Feed

Bid types

Optimize for conversions

Optimize for conversions


Conversion pixel

Conversion pixel

Driving in-store traffic from Facebook

Acquiring new customers


Ad units

Core Audiences/
Partner Categories

Link ads in New Feed

Custom Audiences from

your website
Lookalike Audiences

Remarketing to
existing customers

Custom Audiences

Photo ads

Bid types



Conversion lift tests

Offer ads

Link ads in News Feed

Optimize for conversions


Conversion pixel

Driving mobile app installs and conversions from Facebook


Acquiring new mobile

app users

Remarketing to existing
mobile app users

Ad units


Core Audiences
Custom Audiences

Mobile app install ads

Lookalike Audiences

Custom Audiences

Bid types

Optimize for conversions


Mobile app
engagement ads


Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


Facebook SDK + App

Events or third party
mobile measurement
Facebook SDK + App
Events or third party
mobile measurement


Best Practices

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


Campaign Prep
Planning your campaign
As you plan your campaign on Facebook, you can start by asking yourself a few questions:

What are the business goals Im seeking to achieve and how do they map to the objectives I
can drive on Facebook? For instance, your business goals could be acquiring new customers or
remarketing to existing customers.

How will I measure and track results? Before launching your campaign, identify what metrics will
be measured so you and your partners can work towards the same goal.

The answers to these questions will define your strategy and help you measure the effectiveness of
Facebook alongside other direct response channels.
Next, follow these steps:

Align Facebook with your marketing efforts

From account planning to the KPIs metrics youll measure, leverage the same processes and best
practices for an apples-to-apples comparison between channels.

Consider long-term success metrics

Its not too early to set long-term goals for your program. Consider metrics such as lifetime value
(LTV), downstream value, average order value (AOV) and share of new customers.

Leverage your fans

Your business will benefit from having more people who like your Page since Facebook ads show
social context, which increases the efficacy of your ads. Audience Insights from your Page such
as geographic, demographic and interests data can also enhance your ability to target the right
people and refine your creative for specific campaigns.

Campaign structure
Facebooks campaign structure makes it easier for you to organize, optimize and measure the
performance of your ads. The structure has three levels: campaign, ad set and ad.


Campaign best practices

Ad set

1. Set up campaigns based on advertising objectives

Ad set

2. Create multiple campaigns within an ad account





3. Cap spend across all campaigns and track spend for each campaign

Ad set best practices

1. Organize ad sets by audience segment
2. Optimize top performing placements
3. Set bidding to maximize performance
4. Adjust budgets to optimize spend

Ad best practices
1. Use ad types that match your campaign objective
2. Create multiple ads to optimize performance
3. Dont go over the limits for number of campaigns, ads sets and ads

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


Set up for measurement

To measure the success of your program, you will need to set the proper measurement
solutions in place.
1. Determine your objective for each campaign and define a metric for success

Every successful campaign begins with a clear objective in mind. Make sure your marketing team and
your partners (agency and/or your Facebook Marketing Partner) are aligned on which metrics you will
use to determine success. Common metrics include conversion rate, return on ad spend (ROAS), life
time value (LTV), and conversion Lift.
2. Install Facebook conversion pixel on your website and App Events in your app

Since many conversions happen on a different device or platform than an ad was displayed it is
important to install conversion tools on each touchpoint for your business. To track conversions that
happen on your website and mobile website, implement the conversion pixel. To track conversions that
happen in your mobile app, implement the Facebook SDK and set up App Events. If you are tracking
purchases, add a conversion value to your pixel and app events to understand the total value of
purchases attributed to your Facebook ads.
3. Track your ads with the conversion pixel and app events

Make sure that each ad you run is configured to track your conversion pixel and, if you have an app,
your app events.
4. Look at your cross-device reports

After your campaign has finished, view your ad reports in Facebook Ads Manager. Find which
campaigns and ads drove the most conversions and allocate your budgets accordingly. Next, compare
the Placement Device with the Conversion device to understand how your customers are interacting
with your ads and then converting across different devices. Cross device reporting provides vital
insights into consumer shopping behavior that can help you optimize your mobile ads.
5. Set up measurement for lifetime value (LTV)

Its not too early to set long-term goals for your program. Consider metrics such as lifetime value
(LTV), downstream value and share of new versus returning customers.
6. Partner with a third-party measurement provider to consider alternate attribution models

Most marketers today rely on attribution models that give full credit to the last ad clicked on that
browser, without considering the cross device behavior of their customers. Facebook conversion
reporting measures real people, not cookies, so you can always attribute the success of your ads to
people no matter which device they last saw your ad. In addition to Facebook conversion tracking,
consider partnering with a measurement provider that can help you explore other attribution models
beyond last click.

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


With the right targeting strategy, you can reach consumers on
Facebook in meaningful numbers to drive scalable results across
devices. Though Facebook has more targeting options than other
channels, the same audience planning process applies.
Think about the goal youve set for your business on Facebook. Are you acquiring new customers
or remarketing to existing customers? Your objective will define the audience you want to target.
Ask yourself the following questions to help develop your audience strategy on Facebook:

Who are your target audiences?

How do you segment your audiences? What types of data/insights do you have about them?

What are your key focus markets now and in the future?

Who manages your CRM database? How do you use your database for marketing purposes today?

What offline data do you use for targeting in other campaigns?

These questions should help determine what audiences you want to reach on Facebook. Next, use
Facebook targeting to find your audience.

Recommended targeting solution by objective

Core Audience

Custom Audience

Lookalike Audience

Driving online traffic

Acquiring new customers

Remarketing to existing customers

Driving in store traffic

Acquiring new customers

(Partners Categories)

Remarketing to existing customers

Driving mobile app installs and conversions

Acquiring new mobile app users

Remarketing to existing mobile app users

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


Success Story
20Jeans used Custom
Audiences to remarket to people
who abandoned their shopping
cart on their website.
Saw a 300% decrease in CPA and
a 2-3X higher conversion rate
than other display platforms
Facebook case study, June 2014

Best practices for targeting

Use the following best practices to efficiently reach the people in your target audience.
1. Reach audiences based on where they are in the lifecycle

Identify audiences by where they are in the lifecycle. For example, remarket to people who
demonstrated purchase intent on your website, target existing customers who are likely to churn
and reach your highest LTV customers to keep them engaged.
2. Minimize overlapping audiences

Overlapping target audiences mean multiple ads are competing for the same auctions, thus
cannibalizing the delivery for your campaign. Consider consolidating target audiences into larger
but fewer audience segments. Also, evaluate the timing of ad sets as they may not need to run at
the same time.
3. Use Audience Insights and App Insights to better understand the demographics of your most

engaged audiences
Advertisers can leverage data from Audience Insights and App Insights to identify audiences that
may be interested in purchasing their products and are most engaged.
4. Exclude current customers from acquisition campaigns

If youre running a campaign with the goal of acquiring new customers, use Custom Audiences to
exclude your existing customers from your campaign.
5. Use specific seed lists to build lookalike audience

When building a lookalike audience, start with a seed list that is specific to the objective youre
seeking to achieve. For example, build a seed list of people who tend to convert online versus
offline and find people who look like them.

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


Creative and messaging

After youve identified your goal and target audience, reach them
with compelling creative that drives them to your website, store or
mobile app.
Great creative drives engagement and can sometimes lead to higher delivery and cheaper costs. Take
advantage of the visual and native canvas in News Feed to drive your direct response objectives.

Best practices for direct response creative

1. Stick to one strong focal point

Keep to one focal point within your creative so that its obvious to your audience what your
objective is. For example, if youre a retailer, showcase the product youre looking to sell and
provide a clear directive within the ad.
2. Make your ad noticeable

Use creative that captures attention and gets people to stop scrolling through their News Feed.
3. Insert brand personality

Add your brand personality into your creative. For example, insert your logo or stick to colors from
your brand.
4. Create informational reward

Make sure the product or service youre promoting is something the audience might be interested
in. For example, an events business can promote tickets for a concert to people who have previously
purchased concert tickets from their website.
5. Create emotional reward

Think of ways to connect with your audience emotionally. Humor is a great emotional trigger.
6. Mirror creative to where your audience is in the sales funnel

If your audience is in the consideration phase, use creative to drive interest in your products or
services. If your audience has demonstrated intent on your website, use creative with a strong
call-to-action to drive the outcome you care about.
7. Use a strong call to action

Vital to direct response campaigns, ensure you have a single, clear call-to-action that drives the
objective youre looking to achieve on Facebook. Do not confuse the call-to-action by asking them to
purchase a product and like your Page.
8. Create consistency across the path-to-conversion

When driving a conversion on your website or mobile app, keep the look and feel of the experience
seamless from the ad itself all the way to the conversion page.
9. Consider refreshing the creative

Campaigns will begin to fatigue over time given the frequency with your target audience. Review
performance over time and update creative often to maximize results.
10. Test, test, test!

Ensure youre using the best performing creative by testing continuously.

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


We charge you based on:
The position you win in

the auction
The weighted average of your

Facebooks auction is designed to give you the least expensive

delivery possible regardless of your bid. On Facebook, the bid is
assumed to be the value (e.g. revenue) captured from each click,
impression or action.

competitors bids
Prices are calculated based on the position won in the auction and the weighted average of your
competitors bids. This means that the price charged is almost always less than the bid. Figure out
what the max bid is by calculating the average profit from a click or action (this varies by target
audience, and possibly other factors, and should be adjusted over time).

Best practices for bidding

Bid your true value

Bid the maximum amount youre willing to pay per objective.

Increase your bid if youre willing to pay more per objective

You will almost always be charged less than your bid. So if youre willing to spend more, increase
your bid to maximize delivery.

Set accurate end times for your ad sets

You might get slower delivery if the system thinks it has to spread your spend out over a long
period of time.

Identify high LTV users

Find users with high life time value and adjust your bids for those segments that will deliver the
greatest return for your business.

Dont change bids and budgets too frequently

Fluctuations in bids may affect delivery.

Dont try for the cheapest clicks or impressions

You will reach people that are easier reached, but dont necessarily provide the LTV you expect.
In addition, you might not be able to scale your campaign properly.

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


For a complete view of your efforts on Facebook, we recommend
a combination of measurement solutions:
Track your Facebook ad performance with the Facebook
conversion pixel and SDK
Measure the incremental lift you receive from advertising
on Facebook using conversion lift tests
Utilize Mobile Measurement Partners to determine
effectiveness of ads for apps
Track Facebook ad performance online and in mobile
Properly measuring and optimizing your ad campaigns is a core to success on Facebook. The Facebook
conversion pixel or App Events should be placed on each key aspect in the conversion flow.
By placing the conversion pixel/App Events across the funnel, you will be able to test several
optimization techniques that could lead to additional conversions. In addition, you will be able to
measure the downstream effect of our ads in relation to key conversion events.

If your goal is...

You should apply the pixel.App Event to...

Lead generation

Main landing pages, loyalty/rewards pages, newsletter pages

Mobile app installs

Activate App and App Purchase

Mobile app re-engagement

Activate App, App Purchase, Add to Cart, Initiated Checkout


Loyalty/rewards pages

Retention with lapse customers

Loyalty/rewards pages, shopping cart

(exclude purchasers via Custom Audiences pixel on checkout/thank you pages)


Category/product pages

Drive people to purchase

Conversion pixel on purchase page

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook


Facebook Conversion Lift

Measure additional business driven by Facebook in a cross-channel world
Facebook lift measurement determines the true impact Facebook has on real people for any business
objective from brand awareness to sales. Using Conversion Lift, advertisers can determine the additional
business driven online or offline from people reached by Facebook ads across devices.
The power of Facebook lift measurement:

Cross platform: Tie cross device ad exposure to cross-channel conversions

Accurate: Measure real business outcomes, not proxies

Actionable: Make better marketing decisions based on driving additional business

From results to action

Conversion Lift provides cross-platform, accurate and actionable data that helps advertisers make more
informed marketing decisions. With Conversion Lift, you can:

Prove ROAS: Determine whether your campaign was successful at driving your desired outcome

Understand which channels drive impact: Re-assess your current cross-channel attribution models to
more accurately value Facebook

Make more informed budgeting decisions: Allocate budget to advertising channels that drive
additional impact

Optimize campaigns on Facebook: Optimize campaigns post results to improve performance

Conversion Lift in 5 easy steps

Identify your
business objective
and campaign
to measure

randomizes and
splits audience
into test and
control groups

Run campaign to your

target audience ads
will be delivered to the
test group and will not
be delivered to the
control group

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook

Pass your
conversion data
to Facebook via a
Facebook pixel(s)
or secure upload

Facebook calculates
lift by comparing
conversions in the test
group to conversions
in the control group



Whether you are a new or experienced advertiser on

Facebook, we hope this guide provided helpful tips to improve
the performance of your campaigns. In summary, keep the
following recommendations in mind:

Use the recommended suite of Facebook ads products that align with your direct response objectives

Ensure your campaigns are structured efficiently according to Facebooks best practices

Use compelling creative with strong call-to-actions to drive attention and conversion

Follow Facebooks bidding best practices to ensure youre paying the right amount per objective

Use the Facebook conversion pixel and/or SDK as well as experimental design tests for a complete
view of your ad performance

Test targeting, creative, placement, ad unit and bids often to optimize for better results

For more information about Facebook Advertising, visit

Direct Response Marketing on Facebook