In this case study, we’re going to reveal everything from the Facebook ad campaign set up to the landing page and marketing methodology used for our viral store mosquitotrapx.com, which generated over 550k in revenue in just two months.
First, we’ll go over the exact stats of the store, including overall profit. Next, we’ll show you the five steps we took that made the store so successful, which you can apply to any store.
Let’s get started!
The stat breakdown is as follows:
- $570,000 in revenue
- $19,000 in returns
- 18,230 units sold
- $9 COGS
- $312,000 in adspend
This yielded roughly $75,000 of profit (13% profit margins).
Now, let’s take a look at why this store was successful, and how it generated revenue so quickly.
5 Steps To A Profitable Store In 2019
Making a profitable dropshipping store isn’t magic — we’ve done it time and time again, with a variety of products in different niches, and have narrowed it down to an easy, five-step system that you can implement immediately.
1. Finding a winning product
Over the course of time, we’ve come up with four things to look for in a product to maximize your chances of success:
Facebook ads are getting more expensive. To maximize your profits, it is in your best interest to find products with a high perceived value, allowing you to mark them up 300 – 500%.
Appeals To A Large Audience
The Facebook algorithm has evolved to favor broader audiences, which was not necessarily the case in the past. The upside here is that once you get a product going, it becomes much easier to scale since your audience will be more difficult to exhaust.
Product Solves A Problem
Products with a strong problem-solving trait are easier to sell to an audience. By aggravating some problem(s) the potential customer has in their life and then introducing your product as the solution, you trigger a very potent emotional response that can ultimately result in a purchase.
A ‘wow’ factor can also cause a significant emotional trigger while being quite different from the emotional triggers that occur with problem-solving products. Typically, the emotional state it results in is an impulsive desire to make a purchase, rather than purchasing the product as a means of addressing a specific problem.
2. Making a professional website
It is extremely important to have a professional-looking website. This is one of the first things that your site visitors look for, and is often a dealbreaker. Think about it; would you purchase from a website that has misspelled words and a lack of content?
You will want to avoid the typical dropshipping layout, which is a combination of spammy-looking timers and generic trust badges.
Some additional things to keep in mind:
- Be transparent & with your return & refund policies
- Make your site easy to navigate
- Make sure your site loads quickly
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
- Utilize customer reviews & testimonials
3. Writing emotional copy
Rather than focus on the technicals of your product, instead approach your copywriting with the understanding that your potential customer is a human being.
Human beings are emotional creatures; if you are able to successfully trigger some emotion and get your potential customer excited, you are much more likely to get them to convert. You will want to do your best to hook your customers emotionally and pique their interests.
4. Creating an engaging ad
Creating an engaging ad can be the difference between a product succeeding or failing. Your job as a marketer is to figure out the best possible angle for your product, and couple it with the appropriate creative.
We strongly recommend running video ads if possible; you have much more utility when it comes to telling your story, as well as an inventory of people that you wouldn’t otherwise (Facebook reserves some audiences/people within an audience only for those running video ads).
Now, when it comes to creating an effective video advertisement, we’ve found that including the following works great regardless of the specific product or niche:
The first thing you should include in your video is an emotional hook. Keep in mind that your audience is being bombarded with tons of information on the Facebook newsfeed, and will only scan the first few seconds of your advertisement before deciding whether or not they wish to continue watching. So, if you don’t capture them within that short span of time, they are gone forever!
In our experience, we have found that including an animation of the product (display its functionality or technology) greatly increases viewer retention rate. We hypothesize that it has to do with the credibility an animation like this provides a video, and the ‘wow’ factor it brings.
Show the audience what the benefits of your product are — how does your product address the emotions that arose in the hook of your video? People need to understand how exactly the product will resolve their issue; don’t leave it up to chance or their imagination.
Go over the features of your product, and figure out how to directly relate them to the benefits. By clearly linking the two together, you increase the chances of instilling in your audience the belief that your product actually works. Clarity and credibility are your friends here!
Typically, we include a call to action at this point, indicating a discount or store sale, with a link to the website.
5. Using an effective Facebook ads strategy
The ads strategy used for this store was John’s personal strategy. We don’t necessarily recommend using this for every situation; ultimately, we encourage that you test out your own strategies and unique approach and see how things work.
The basic structure for the approach is as follows:
- Interest Targeting (Basic Interests)
- Lookalike Targeting (Using Lookalike audiences from data gathered in #1)
- ‘End Game’ Broad Targeting (No target adsets, ad-account optimization)
Now, let’s break things down so you can see exactly what happens in each of the phases.
Testing Phase 1
The point here is to find a winning audience and creative. Don’t expect profitability right off the bat; you’re gathering data that will bring you riches down the road.
We started off with a $100 CBO. There were a total of five different adsets with varying interests, each with a $10 minimum spend. Within each adset we placed three different pieces of creative.
In summary, we have:
(1) CBO, $100 Daily Budget
(5) Adsets, with a $10 Minimum Spend
(15) Ads in total (three unique ads, appearing once in each adset)
We typically let things run for two days, and make our first round of evaluations then.
Before moving on to Testing Phase 2, we try and find a ‘winning’ creative and audience combination.
Note: If you aren’t getting purchases or add to carts with this amount of spend, there is likely something fundamentally wrong with your ad, audience or store.
If you find yourself in this situation, we strongly recommend taking a look at our campaign troubleshooting video:
Testing Phase 2
The goal of this phase is to verify the results of the first testing phase. Due to the way in which the Facebook algorithm works, you may find that initial tests yield fantastic results. This is because Facebook will generally pick ‘low-hanging fruit’ on the first day of your campaign, and ‘bounces back’ on the remaining days, trying to find equilibrium while it learns about your demographics and evaluates different audience segments.
If this were the case and you attempted to scale before verifying your initial success, you would see huge fluctuations in performance and potentially lose a significant amount of money.
Don’t skip this phase!
In this phase, you create a new CBO campaign and use your best performing interest and creative from the previous phase. You will once again use a $100 CBO budget, with five adsets and fifteen ads. This time around, each adset will be a duplicate of the best-performer, and each ad within these adsets will be a copy of your best-performing ad.
We let this new campaign spend $200, and then make our evaluations based on the following chart:
It is worth noting that we perform evaluations on both the ad & adset level; oftentimes, you may find that there are a handful of ads that are sucking up a ton of budget but not delivering results, while the rest of the ads/adsets are actually doing quite well.
When evaluating ads, we kill off any that have:
Spent 2x target CPP with 0 sales
Spent 4x target CPP & are unprofitable
Now, if your campaign is doing well, you can go ahead and double the budget. Each time you double the budget, wait two days before evaluating again — Facebook will likely need to take a day or two to adjust the CBO constraints.
If after doubling the budget you notice a drop in ROAS, go ahead and revert the CBO budget back to what it was before. Then, let it run for two more days before attempting to scale up again.
Otherwise, if you are seeing a consistent ROAS as you increase your budget, continue doubling it in this fashion until you notice a decline in ROAS.
At this point, you should also have enough data to try out lookalike audiences. We recommend starting off with the lookalikes that have the most data, which would likely include:
- 75% Video View (1%,2%,3%,4%,5%)
- Pageview (1%,2%,3%,4%,5%)
We will rinse and repeat Testing Phases 1 and 2 until we have spent around $500 collectively on the ad account. If the results look promising, we move on to Testing Phase 3. If the results aren’t looking too good despite multiple attempts at introducing new audiences and creative, we scrap the product.
Testing Phase 3
Testing Phase 3 will follow the same general structure as Testing Phase 2. The difference is that you are now going to be moving into using lookalikes to find your best performers.
We generally introduce two separate CBO’s at this point: one with 75% VV, 1-5% lookalikes, and the other with PV, 1-5% lookalikes.
Each new CBO will follow the same structure as the previous CBO’s:
- $100 Daily Budget
- (5) adsets per CBO
- (2) copies of your winning ad in each adset
- Each adset will have a minimum spend equal to the ($100/2/5) or $10.
Scaling Phase 1
Congratulations — if you’ve made it this far, you’re going to reap the benefits of all your hard work soon!
Scaling Phase 1 is all about getting your spend up while maintaining profitability.
At this point, you should have narrowed in on your audience, and your lookalikes should start performing well.
This step is super simple; you take your best-performing lookalikes from Testing Phase 3 and dupe them into a new CBO campaign.
Note: It doesn’t matter if your winning lookalikes are different types (pageview vs video-view) — just put them all into one campaign. If you end up with only 1-2 lookalikes that are performing well, you can dupe them as many times as needed so that you have 5-6 in your new campaign.
At this point, you also do not need to set any min-spends on the adsets — let Facebook take over and figure out where the budget is best allocated.
Continue on using the same basic scaling rules; double the budget if effective, and scale back if necessary. Keep introducing new lookalikes and running them through the lookalike testing phase, and scaling up the same.
Once you have accumulated about $10,000 of spend on your ad account, go ahead and move on to Scaling Phase 2.
Scaling Phase 2
The objective of this phase is to make as much money as possible. If you can get this to work well, you are in Facebook ads heaven. Seeing as your scaling potential is almost unlimited, you should have no trouble hitting 7 figures with the entire world as your audience.
It is likely that your ad account has received so much data that it knows what a buyer looks like without you giving it any specific data. If this sounds crazy, we agree — Facebook is actually that good at recognizing potential buyers once your ad account has enough data to help guide it. We have employed this strategy time and time again with our ad accounts, and it works great.
What we like to do is create a CBO with a daily budget around $500, with 3-5 adsets. The countries you target in each adset should vary; you might group some of your best-performing European countries in one adset and place USA alone in another. The way you structure your campaign will vary based on your ad account performance — just use the data to make your decisions!
One thing we do recommend is trying out the ‘worldwide’ setting, which is essentially all countries. However, be sure to select ‘English All’ as the language to prevent cheap-quality traffic.
And that’s about it guys — that’s actually all there is to it. This is exactly what we did when scaling up the Mosquito store that did over $500,000 in just two months. If you have any questions about our approach, or anything related to ecommerce, check out our Facebook group VerumEcom and YouTube Channel if you haven’t already!