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202: How I Scaled From $500/day To $15,000/day In Ad Spend In 30 Days

Posted by Austin Brawner on June 4, 2019


When you talk about scaling up in ecommerce, Facebook ads are often the first thing on most business owners’ lists.

Today Andrew shares the exact steps he followed to help a client scale from $500/day to $15,000/day in ad spend in 30 days. He talks about what you need to do before you start scaling and the steps to follow as you grow.

If you’re ready to dive deep into the weeds of your Facebook ad account, build new audiences, test new placements, and explore bidding options, this episode is for you.


Episode Highlights

  • 3:22 Words of caution when you hear someone say there’s only one way to do something.
  • 9:20 How to establish your baseline before you start scaling up your Facebook ads.
  • 11:31 Preparing to address the creative gap as you scale.
  • 13:32 What’s worked for Andrew when it comes to images on Facebook and Instagram.
  • 15:50 Building your arsenal of audiences: what to test as your ads scale.
  • 17:45 Andrew’s thoughts on how Facebook creates value-based lookalike audiences and potential audience overlap.
  • 20:42 The definition of horizontal scaling.
  • 21:05 The importance of testing different audiences to find the one that works best.
  • 23:55 How to set up an interest CBO with help from Google Analytics.
  • 25:25 Setting up your remarketing audiences as you scale.
  • 28:09 The most valuable thing that worked for Andrew’s client: top of the funnel Instagram stories.
  • 30:15 Andrew’s process for setting up your Facebook and Instagram placements.
  • 32:00 How to bid effectively as you scale.
  • 35:10 How to approach ad account monitoring so you don’t kill your own progress.
  • 36:43 Campaigns with CBO vs. other campaigns: when to use it and when you might not want to.
  • 30:07 Austin shares his experience in running a campaign CBO as an experiment.

Links And Resources

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Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence podcast. My name is Austin Brawner.

Andrew Foxwell: And I'm Andrew Foxwell. It's good to talk with you as always, and it's good to talk with you about things we were just chatting about of really honest takes on kind of what online interactions have been like lately for us as the podcast has continued to grow.

Austin Brawner: It's been interesting. As the podcast has been continuing to grow, Twitter has continued to grow and has been increasingly active.

Andrew Foxwell: Definitely, and the thing that's interesting is there is this feeling of online there's a group of people that, I mean online and in life obviously, that always feel that if they say things more boldly, if they say things more straight up, and they say things like, "It's always this way," or, "It's always one way," that they will be rewarded with that, and I think there's always a group of people that will be attracted to that, but what's interesting is I'm never that way because Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising is never that way. It's never 100% one way or another, so we can give advice, and we can give guidelines, but it's always going to be up in the air.

And I don't know. It's just something that I feel like when people make bold statements like that, they're kind of doing a disservice to business owners because they lead a lot of people astray. I don't know how you feel.

Austin Brawner: They are 100% leading people astray, and what's popular on Twitter and what gets the most likes and retweets and comments oftentimes is not the best advice. It's more nuanced when you start going and breaking down different things.

It's like I have been to Traffic and Conversion Summit, I don't know how many times I've been, maybe four, something like that, and when you first start going, and you start getting involved with digital marketing, you have a lot of people telling you the way things work, but as you get more and more experience, you start to realize that the way things work is different for everybody.

And what works for one person doesn't work for somebody else. You got to figure it out on your own, and that's where I feel like the Twitter takes don't match up often with actual, practical experience from being in the trenches.

Andrew Foxwell: I agree. I mean, I feel like the more that you grow your agency, I don't know, maybe other people feel this way too, but the more you grow your agency if you're an agency, you get farther away many times from the actual tactics and from executing, and so you take what Facebook says as gold, or you take what Google says as gold or whatever the example is, right? And you then talk to your people, and you're like, "Well, Facebook says we've got to be doing this. We've got to go all in on this, and it has to work," and then somebody responded to me and said, "Look, the thing about CBO, you're talking about campaign budget optimization, everything we do is on CBO. Why aren't you using it?"

I'm just like, "I'm using it." I'm using it in some places. I'm trying to be like my clients would be as a fiduciary, a steward of their dollars. I'm not saying that CBO can't help you grow and et cetera, which we'll get into in today's episode, but I just think that that hot take in saying it's very boldly one way or another and trying to set yourself apart by just sort of being this "This is what it is," it doesn't help anybody.

Austin Brawner: No.

Andrew Foxwell: Anyways, this is my overall rant to the podcast audience of my take on this.

Austin Brawner: Well, it's also very good for people to realize if you're listening to somebody out there who, the larger the business that the person runs, the further away they're going to be from the actual tactics and implementation that is driving that business's growth, and so it's harder for them to accurately portray what's actually happening in their own business because it's coming from other people and secondhand, and Gary V., great example. Gary V. is so far away from the actual tactics of how his company is growing and moving, but he's out there ranting constantly about what to do.

And some of that stuff is just mindset-based, but the other, more tactical stuff, it's like, "Gary, you've been so far away from what's actually working for so long that it doesn't make any sense to take the advice." Where it does make sense is to take the advice of somebody who's actually in the trenches growing and moving, and that's really what we're going to talk about today, which is that you recently scaled an account from $500 in spend a day to 10 grand a day profitably.

Andrew Foxwell: Actually, they just had $15,000 in spend a day actually yesterday, or they spent 15 grand, so what a wild process.

Austin Brawner: Wild. So quick.

Andrew Foxwell: And within a 30 day period.

Austin Brawner: 30 day period. So quick that from when we wrote the notes to now, it's gone up another $5000 per day.

Andrew Foxwell: Actually, which is crazy because I think what's important about this is the reason that the episode is here is not to be like, "Wow, Foxwell's great." I mean, although it's cool, I want to show you and kind of talk through what I did to actually do it, and I want to translate this knowledge directly to you. That's the goal of why this is coming out.

Austin Brawner: And Foxwell's great.

Andrew Foxwell: I mean, this is one of those things where I would not have done this episode I don't think even a year ago because I feel like, or maybe even a year and a half ago probably, I felt like at that point I needed to protect it, but the reality of it is, this is what I did, and if you can take parts of this that work, I'm not saying you can do this directly, maybe you can, but if you can take parts of it that work for you, awesome.

That's kind of what we're talking about today, how I've scaled this. We're talking about it because we want to show you what it looks like in a real scenario, and after this episode, we hope that you're going to be able to walk away with at least some ideas, and so that's really kind of where we're at.

Austin Brawner: Awesome. Awesome. Well, let's kick things off. I'm excited because you're going to be walking me through it as well. You've kind of given me a little bit of an overview, but I'm going to kind of be here and pulling things out and asking the questions as we go through. So first off, why don't you give kind of a baseline about what the client needed to be able to scale and how you started?

Andrew Foxwell: Definitely. I mean, the first thing is you have to establish your numbers, right? I think a lot of people start to scale, and they don't have numbers established, so at a baseline, you need to know, what's the ROAS you're trying to hit, and are you trying to hit it within a seven day window, in a one day window, in a 30 day window, et cetera, right? For this client, to break even on paying me and everything, the bare minimum was 1.5. For them, they said if we can get to a 1.8 return on ad spend or greater, then we're doing well.

Many times, this is a misconception about scaling. Some people might be listening to this and be like, "That's trash." What scaling to many brands that are really, really spending at this type of a level, you can spend a $1000 a day, you can spend $500 a day, and you can be seeing three to four to five times return on ad spend. I mean, not all the time, but that's possible. As you scale more, the ROAS is going to go down, and so that's important to look at, and what you want to look at is the overall numbers, right? Of what you're trying to do, and so we settled on that they really wanted to hit this 1.8 to 2X return on ad spend. They have great margins, and then they also are really good at selling to repeat customers, thus increasing the LTV.

Establishing the ROAS number, establishing the CPA number, establishing the CPC number that we're looking at. For me, it's things like if I'm looking at a metric, is it over a dollar, or is it under a dollar for CPC? Is it less than about a $1.30 cost per landing page view? Again, establish for you what those numbers are. For me, ROAS was paramount and as was CPC. The other one that I'm looking at that we've talked about on this podcast before is the first time impression ratio. Those are kind of the things. Number one, establish your numbers.

Austin Brawner: You got to do the math.

Andrew Foxwell: You got to do the math. Number two, round up your creative, so basically, as you scale, you have to address what I call the creative gap. The creative gap is an issue where basically, you are scaling, and you're running out of things to show to people because creative is ultimately the most paramount thing that you can put out there, and you can build all the fancy audiences you want in the world, and audiences are awesome, but creative is definitely the thing that's going to change the game for you.

And so you have to have a system of getting creative on a regular basis. For me, this looks like two to three new images and videos every other day from the client, and you can use your phone to create these types of things, right? There's a crop tool at the Facebook ad level that allows you to crop images and video into square or 4X5 or 16X9 to fit all these different placements, and so what I did with this client is I set up a Slack channel, and I said what I just told you. Two to three new images are needed and basically one Boomerang or an Instagram story-style video every other day at a minimum. That's what I need if we're going to try to do what we need. Because the beautiful thing about scaling is you'll know pretty quickly whether the audience is responding or not. 

Austin Brawner: I think that that's key because what people often forget is when you move from, let's say $500 a day to $15,000 a day, its velocity increases, right? And all those changes keep moving quicker and quicker. That's why you got to keep feeding the Foxwell. New images. New images and videos. Get that Slack channel going. #feedtheFoxwell.

Andrew Foxwell: Exactly. I mean, so here's what else really worked for me. A lot of it is square photos for linked posts of the product, right? Making sure that the product is 50% of the image or more, and we've talked about that recently as well on this podcast, so square photos. Whether I took them on my phone and they were square or not, I just cropped them within the Facebook tool, and all the client did was actually hold the product. Sometimes it was against a colored background. Sometimes it was against flowers in the background outside. Sometimes it was at the beach, so this is all that we did.

It wasn't super fancy. Frankly, it was very organic-looking. You've heard me say before, try to integrate things that look very UGC or user-generated content, and try to make those more real, and that's kind of what we did. The other thing that we did on this is tall Boomerangs for Instagram stories, so 9X16s are awesome, or 16X9. 

Austin Brawner: If you've been on Instagram stories, you know what we're talking about.

Andrew Foxwell: You know what we're talking about, and so basically, what I had them do was take Boomerangs of the product moving in some way back and forth, or they shook it a little, or they took it and put it on, the product, and so that's all that it was. It was just movement, and you can't do these in the Carousel for Instagram stories, and I didn't test Carousels for Instagram stories at all for this particular client. It was only video with movement that swiped directly up to the product. I didn't take them to a collections page. I didn't take them to a category page, just to the product.

And the other thing of course is the great description. This product has a very meaningful description along with it that comes in a card with the product. It's not even on the product, but it comes in a gift box within this product, and so we used that description. That was the copy, so the copy wasn't even of "Here's what this is." They would see what it is, and we use the copy there, so rounding up the creative is a big part of it, and establishing a system for that is really, really big.

Austin Brawner: Once you've got your creative in line, where do you go next? What's the next thing you're dialing in and focusing on? What are the things that you know that you got to spend the time to focus on because it's going to be moving quickly and changing?

Andrew Foxwell: Totally. You can build your arsenal of audiences basically establishing how much you want to test. Even if you scale a little bit, you can try one or all of these ideas, so I'm going to give you a whole bunch of things that I've used, and you can take these and use them however you want. The first one is trying what are called value-based lookalike audiences, and so maybe you've made a lookalike audience recently, and you're within the audience's area creating a lookalike, and you put in your Pixel or you put in a website custom audience as the source, and Facebook says, "Switch to value-based lookalike audiences."

And what this is is basically if you have the Facebook Pixel installed properly where it's tracking revenue and things like that, Facebook's looking at this and saying, "These are your best customers," basically, and it's kind of like taking your best customers and uploading them manually, only it's doing it dynamically with the Facebook Pixel. These value-based lookalikes have been insanity for me, and you can create them off of purchase.

There's a radio button on the right-hand side once you're doing that that you can create them off of other events, so it's technically then your most valuable view contents, people that have fired a view content event, your most valuable add to cart events, etc. And you can create lookalikes off of them, and I've gone bigger, so things like 6%, 10% lookalikes of these value-based lookalikes have been working really, really well, and they are certainly the backbone at this point of my campaigns.

Austin Brawner: Can you go into that a little bit more? You said that you can create value-based lookalike audiences off of certain events like add to cart or even view content. How do they assign a value to add to cart or view content?

Andrew Foxwell: This is an interesting question, and to be honest with you, my answer is a guess. I actually haven't confirmed this with Facebook. I've asked them, and they said, "I'll get back to you."

Austin Brawner: Lovely.

Andrew Foxwell: My feeling is that an add to cart value is those that are adds to cart or add something to cart, and they are the most valuable adds to cart, so they have either turned into a purchase, or they have added a lot more to cart, and it's the same thing with view content. Of all the view content events, they're the ones that have had the most value. They spent the most money eventually, and probably that they've also spent time, and so it's kind of like a combination between a value-based lookalike audience of looking at ROAS and something like a top 25% or top 10% or 5% custom audience, right?

I think basically that's what it is, and I've used them separate in their own ad sets to be honest. I've done 6% add to cart, 10% view content, 10% purchase in their own ad sets, some competing in their own CVOs and some separated within the traditional structure.

Austin Brawner: When you're doing that, how much overlap are you seeing between those audiences?

Andrew Foxwell: I haven't seen any. I mean, the overlap is very, very low in these, which is fascinating, and it's allowed me to scale, I mean, hypothetically, you'd think that the overlap between these is actually quite high, but it hasn't been an issue. And I think some of this is that CBO helps eliminate that, and then, I mean, it depends on how different your audiences are. For this particular client, they had an issue where there was a lot of lookie-loos, right? There was sort of this really broad group of people that liked to just look at the products.

And then the purchasers and those that added to cart looked very different than those that were just looking around, so I think that was also helpful in some of it whereas if you have a product that's like you come on, the person adds to cart and purchases, where that's very common, you have a low AOV, you may have more of an overlap issue. This product is priced, I mean, it's a little bit higher, so I think their AOV is $91 or something like that, so basically, you can try the bigger ones for scale as well.

And you can, like I said, separate them or put them within a CBO if they're of the same size, so if you wanted to do a 10% view content value-based, a 10% add to cart, a 10% purchase, etc. And then you can social proof the same ads across each of them, right? That's the definition of horizontal scaling is kind of using the same ads but with different audiences once you've kind of found ads that seem to be working.

For me, the best audience that's been working in this scaling run has been an 8% lookalike of the add to cart event, which seems pretty random.

Austin Brawner: It seems very random, right? I feel like one of the things that makes this difficult is that often times people will burn out, or they'll give up before they find something that works like that, right? That's not intuitive. 8% add to cart, that's your best audience? And I was talking to somebody else who was running ads earlier this week, and we were kind of looking at their audiences, and I was just trying to explain that you haven't tried enough audiences to figure out if you can grow or not because as of right now, you've only tried two audiences, and it didn't work, but you could find another audience that the same ad works 10 times better.

Andrew Foxwell: Totally, and I mean, there's arbitrary things here too. There's one client that I've been working with, and their big market is guys that are really into the NBA, so you would think that targeting interests of the NBA and lookalikes to their previous purchasers and stuff, but for 2%, would work well, but then you launch these value-based lookalikes, and it's basically twice as productive as these other audiences, so this is why bigger audiences are definitely better, right?

And so then, depending on the data that you have, if bigger lookalikes have worked for you, then another thing that I did was set up basically a CBO of a 4% lookalike of 180 day page view, a 4% lookalike of 180 add to cart and purchase, these are all in their own ad set, and then a 4% lookalike of 180 day engagers, and so bigger audiences, lot of data, and 4%'s a nice number because it's a little bit bigger than a 2% or a 3% even, and it depends on kind of your patience if you want to try CBO or not, but those audiences have been a key part of scaling for us.

I mean, each of these audiences right now for me is sitting at $2500s a day, and I separated them out of a CBO. They were in a CBO, and I'm trying it out of it now. It appears to be working a little bit better, but I mean, it was running on a CBO for two-and-a-half weeks, and it was just starting to scale.

Austin Brawner: And we've talked about this in the past, but are you still finding that you're trying to match audiences size within the CBO so that you don't have ...

Andrew Foxwell: Definitely.

Austin Brawner: If it's 4%, you're going to have multiple 4% within a CBO. That makes sense.

Andrew Foxwell: Exactly. Yesterday, I was looking at an account, and this person had 1% lookalike of purchasers, 1% lookalike of their email list, a 2% lookalike of something else random, and then a group of 180-day engagers all in one CBO.

Austin Brawner: It's not going to work.

Andrew Foxwell: And I was like, "You can't do that," because they're different, right? Then the next one for me on the audience side is building up an interest CBO, so you don't have to lump as many interests together. You can take interests or competitors or whatever super specific brands you want to target. Take four or five of these bad boys, put them in a CBO in their own ad sets, and then use the same ads, and it allows you to scale into potential customers.

For me, I actually went into Google Analytics and looked at the in-market segment under the demographic tab of Google Analytics, looked at in-market segment or affinity categories, and I pulled those out into their own ad set, so I was targeting things like pets, cleaning products, what were the other ones? Fast food, and so I had each of these really wide interests excluding all my fans and everything I possibly could, previous purchasers, everything, and ran those in their own CBO. That's been super, super wow just to see-

Austin Brawner: I love it, finding the person who their likes are fast food, cleaning, and pets.

Andrew Foxwell: Exactly. I mean, I live in the Midwest, so I know a lot of these people, but no, I mean, I was like, "It's just comical," but it works.

Austin Brawner: It's so broad. It's so broad. It's the equivalent of the massive lookalike.

Andrew Foxwell: Exactly, and what it does is, see, I have 4% running. I have these bigger 10% running, and then I still have 1% purchasers running, things like that in their own CBO at a lower budget because they don't have as much scale, but what you're doing is this is the definition of horizontal scaling, right? This is basically you're diversifying your prospecting types.

Then, you talk about remarketing, right? And you can be as specific as you want. For me, I have a 30-day website custom audience, and then I have a three-day non-purchase, and then I have a 30-day engager and a seven-day engager set up, and then I have DPAs set up. I have a seven day add to cart DPA set up, and that's it, and then I have my loyalty. So, previous customers, running to them that haven't been to the website in the last 60 days, and then I show them basically a new product every three days, and they're organically posting that, so we're updating that. That's what I did on that.

Austin Brawner: For people who are listening to this, and they're thinking, "Damn, he's got a lot of retargeting going on," and you've got a loyalty play. You're changing up new products every three days. Was it the same? Were you running the same amount at $500 a day as you are at $15,000 a day, or has that changed as that audience has grown and expanded? Have you started to change your remarketing efforts as you scaled up?

Andrew Foxwell: Oh, that's a good point. I didn't start the smaller ones, the three day-

Austin Brawner: Because you can't, right? The audience would be too small.

Andrew Foxwell: Exactly. There's not enough. I basically went 30-day wide. A common strategy that I use, other colleagues use, I see them using it, we've talked about it, is basically you can start everything on a 30 day or start everything on something like a 90 day, right? 90-day view content no purchase, 90-day no engager no purchase, and then once you build that up more, then trying to build out smaller windows, or once you build up your pool.

Austin Brawner: And what are some of the numbers you're looking for in your pool of remarketing your audience size to say to yourself, "Oh, I can actually niche down from 90 or 30 days to, let's say, a 14 day or a seven day?"

Andrew Foxwell: I mean, I'm looking for there to be at least a couple thousand people in a seven day. That's really where I'm looking. I think at this point right now, our seven day is 110,000 which is comical.

Austin Brawner: Well, that's what happens when the velocity increases.

Andrew Foxwell: When they've fed the Foxwell. And then the other horizontal scaling methodology here is, utilize different placements, so if you've made it to this point in the podcast, congratulations because we are deep, and here's where the most valuable thing is actually separating Instagram stories in the top of the funnel.

They have been insane, and it's not something I would have done before, but taking these little Boomerangs and taking them to the same audiences I talked about, right? You have 10% value-based purchase etc, and then separate doing Facebook and Instagram together, news feeds, and then doing Instagram stories on its own has been crazy, and I'm seeing 2.5X return on that spend right now with Instagram stories in the top of the funnel.

And all it is is little videos like I talked about, and you can add interactive polls on those as well, so you can add a little poll that says one thing or another. In my case, I was like, "Which one do you like better? Which color, gold or silver, for this particular product?" And that's it, and you can put a discount code in there, so if you'd be like, "Have you bought this yet, yes or no?" And maybe the no is, "No," and then you put the discount code like, "Use code FB15 for 15% off," in the poll, so there's crazy stuff that you can do, and really, it's a shout out to my buddy Florian from Germany. Florian who's an awesome advertiser in Germany, he was the one that was like, "I started using polls, and it crushed it for me," and I saw him talk about it, and he and I chatted about it briefly, and it works right away.

And I've told other colleagues now, and people are messaging me being like, "Brilliant," and, "It's killing it." I mean, I have one colleague that's at a 3.8X within the past three days on this.

Austin Brawner: It goes back to a key fundamental, which is advertising the way people are interacting with the platform anyway, right? Every time, if you're asking yourself a question, is this going to work, or should I try something different? Just ask yourself the question, is this something that people are doing on the platform anyway? Am I engaging it with the platform the way it should be engaged with? That's a good guiding principle. I want to go back just to what you mentioned because I thought that was really interesting.

Are you grouping the Instagram feed and Facebook feed together and just separating out the stories? Is that what you're saying?

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, so basically, what I did was a two-part process, or I mean, really, three part. First was basically trying all these audiences on Facebook feed, Instagram feed, and Instagram stories all in one, and those were the only placements I had selected. Then, I looked at the breakdowns and saw there was good performance in some of those audiences in all of them, so then I did Facebook only feed, Instagram only feed, and Instagram stories, utilizing the same audiences, and the only different creative is on Instagram stories, so that's a horizontal scaling methodology too where basically you're separating them out.

And it's wild. I mean, it's absolutely wild what will happen. I mean, this one brand, I talked about the NBA one before or NBA-centric one, they were like, "Our people are all on Instagram," and literally 80% of their conversions have come from Facebook, so you don't really know, right? And so for me, that was like you start with them combined, and then you can kind of start to separate them as budgets go up. I mean, that's another part of this too as we talk about budgeting. You can do this a lot of different ways, but most of these things per ad set, if the CPA was $91 ... so that's the goal, so I was setting each of these things at minimum $300 or $400 a day to start, and at first, it was only a few. I had three or four different things set up, and then we started to expand from there.

A lot of it was actually spending more over a shorter period of time than trying to spend it and spread it out at 30 bucks a day or 70 bucks a day or whatever, right? Because it optimized faster, and my idea was if it spent quickly, and it wasn't doing well within the first day or the first couple of days, turn it off or turn it down.

Austin Brawner: Sure, sure, that makes sense. Let's go into this a little bit more and focus a little bit more on the bidding side, and walk us through kind of what's been working and how you're thinking about effective bidding as you scale.

Andrew Foxwell: You can utilize a mix of bidding. People do target cost bidding, which is where you set a cost, and then it'll get you conversions of that or lower. That tends to choke performance, so for me, a lot of it was, "I'm going to default to using automatic bidding," so seven day click, one day view, default bid, with the exception of utilizing it on a one day click or view bid on Instagram stories because that's obviously more of an action that you're looking for there.

It really depends on what you see. If you have a higher dollar product, utilizing the default data is a good, I think a good idea to try, and then another good thing to try too is if you're utilizing some of these really big interests or utilizing some of these 10%, trying and experimenting with value or ROAS bidding if you have that opportunity, not setting a minimum there. You can set minimums on it, like a minimum ROAS. I didn't do that, but basically trying to see if value works for you. For me, ultimately, I have used it within this scaling, but it's only active currently in one campaign.

Value bidding I have found is good, but it will wear out as you scale up, and so you just have to be careful with it unless you have a product that's going to be applicable to everyone in the United States or something. It's a little bit tough.

Austin Brawner: Talk a little bit about that. Why do you think it wears out quickly as you scale up?

Andrew Foxwell: I mean, conversion, there's only a certain amount of people that convert online, right? And so then, as you bid to them, you bid for value, so you're finding the most valuable of those people, and as you scale up, you just reach them all basically. If you think about the phases of scaling, phase one is try to start different audiences and diversify your prospecting pools. Phase two would be separating placements, and phase three is maybe testing bidding and things like that, so it can depend, and as it goes through that process too, Facebook's going through its own phases, and as it goes through phase one, it finds you really valuable people, and it diminishes from there.

And I mean, some people though have value bidding running, and they've been running it for a year, and it's great. But those are companies mostly that have, like I said, a product that is applicable to everyone in the United States, and they have massive budgets running on them, so that's where it can work.

And I mean, as you kind of go through these things, how did I monitor this? For me, it was like I had to set a schedule of only looking at it twice a day because otherwise, it was going to take over my life. And I had to also let Facebook do its job, so I looked at it in the morning, and then I would turn things up or down, and if it was a CBO, I'd turn it up generally by 40 to 50%. If it was not a CBO, if it was doing well, I'd turn it up by 20 to 30%.

Austin Brawner: But it's exciting. It's one of those things that you say it's going to take over your life because it gets so exciting as things start to work, and you're like, "Oh my God, I got to check this out. What's going on?"

Andrew Foxwell: Well, what I got burned on too, I mean, just totally transparently, what I got burned on was I started to look at things intraday, and I would launch something and look at it for a few hours, like five or six hours, and then I would turn it off, and inevitably, I would go look at it the next morning, and it would be 1.6 ROAS within one day. And I'm like, "Dang it, I shut that off," and because so many daily active users of this particular crowd, I mean, everybody really, it was at night, so I was just killing my own progress basically.

And so I had to really stop doing that, and I had to do it twice a day, and actually now, the less I've looked at it, the better it's performed.

Austin Brawner: There it is. You hear it there. Stop looking at the Facebook ads.

Andrew Foxwell: Just let it do its job.

Austin Brawner: What do you feel has been the difference between campaign budget optimization, any campaigns you're running with CBO or campaign budget optimization, versus other campaigns? Is there any difference around timing, around anything that you've learned between the two of those?

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I mean, the big one for me is CBOs scale faster, so if it's working, it will hold more scale, and it will allow you to scale faster, so that's good. The thing that CBO requires is patience, and if you're spending a little bit less, like Matt from Boardwalk, I was speaking with him, previous guest on the podcast, and he is not a fan of CBO. He has a lower budget. It's not a super tiny budget, but it's a lower budget, and he doesn't have this threshold of spending to be patient.

Austin Brawner: Again, it's velocity. Dollars equal velocity. It's just speed.

Andrew Foxwell: Exactly, so if you're more of a person that's like, "Look, it has to do well in three days," and you want the control, then CBO generally probably isn't going to be the right answer off the bat for you, but if you're willing to say, "Look, I'm going to attribute a certain amount of budget, and I'm going to put my best stuff in there, and I'm going to run it to these audiences and be patient over a 14 day period and see," that might be an okay thing to do.

It's more like if you want the control, then I would just not do it in CBO right now frankly, even though Facebook really wants to try to put everybody in CBO. And a lot of people have been testing it, but they're just not seeing what Facebook's promising, and I understand that. If you don't have the budget to do it and you don't have the threshold, which is completely reasonable, you don't have that testing mentality, and you need to be more cautious with your dollars and your margins, then just don't do it right now. It's just not fully baked, so it can work really well. I would say if you're spending less than $500 a day, it's going to be pretty tough.

Austin Brawner: It's interesting. I've been running a campaign for the last 30 days, we are talking about time and how it takes a while. I've been running this campaign CBO as kind of an experiment in spending about between $50 and $80 a day, and after about two weeks, it's just steadily improved. But it took two weeks to get there. It became worse, and then it started steadily improving every day over the last two weeks, which has been interesting. But I think that's kind of like what you're talking about. I'm running it because frankly, I set it up and got busy and didn't want to go in there and rebuild it, and then have to go and rebuild it and move it from CBO to something else, but that's just my experience with it.

Andrew Foxwell: I mean, Facebook terms this the breakdown effect. They have a whole term for this already, which is basically where over time, it looks like it's worse first, but then over time, it'll be better, and it's saying their machine learning is smarter than you, which is probably true, frankly. And so again though, a lot of people, what they don't remember is that so many people don't have the patience for it. And so I get the breakdown effect, we should all wait, but a lot of people don't have that ability, and I think that's completely reasonable. Give it a shot, and see what happens.

Austin Brawner: It's not even the ability to wait. What it is, it's when you're sitting there, and if you've launched six different ads, and you see that two of them are winning and the other ones aren't, you can't within good conscience sit there and let the ones that aren't winning just waste your budget, and it's frustrating.

Andrew Foxwell: Totally. It's incredibly frustrating. Anyway, hopefully you found this helpful, and hopefully you've liked the walkthrough here of kind of what I'm up to and how I did this, and I'll pull it up to make sure I'm not BS-ing anybody. This particular client, they weren't running any other channels, and on Facebook and only email, and they've now spent $184,000 this month.

Austin Brawner: That is scaling right there.

Andrew Foxwell: It's pretty unbelievable. We're really, really excited with where we're at on things and how it's growing, so just to be transparent about that, and look forward to answering any questions you have.

Austin Brawner: Fantastic. Thanks, Andrew, and we will talk to you guys on the next episode.

Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence podcast. My name is Austin Brawner.

Andrew Foxwell: And I'm Andrew Foxwell. It's good to talk with you as always, and it's good to talk with you about things we were just chatting about of really honest takes on ki...

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