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How to Promote a Shopify Store with Facebook


How to Market Your Shopify Store with Facebook

Transcription of Episode

[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey this is Ryan Chapman with Fix Your Funnel and in today's interview, we're gonna be talkin to Kurt Bolen of Produce Department. I've known Kurt for a couple years, but what's really neat about today's topic is we're gonna be talking about Shopify and Facebook and what's possible with those two. I was blown away when Kurt first introduced me to this a few months back and I really wanted to get him on the show so we could talk about what it is that he's doing and why it's so powerful and different from what a lot of people are trying to do. So Kurt, welcome to the podcast.

Kurt: Ryan. Hey, thanks. I'm happy to be here.

Ryan: Well, let's start off and jump right into the deep end here. What is it that people are doing that's so wrong with Shopify and Facebook that would seem like it would be the right [00:01:00] thing to do.

Kurt: Yeah, so I'll choose an example. This morning I had a call with one of my my new clients and what he was doing, and this is what I find a lot of people are doing, they start out by putting together some interests. They do some research, like you see in the blog post and a lot of education, put together a list of interest to target your prospects, and then you start running ads to try and sell your products to those prospects, right? Seems pretty simple.

Ryan: Yeah, that seems pretty straightforward, what's wrong with that?

Kurt: Right? So, he didn't get good results and I find most of the time, people don't get good results because you're selling to cold traffic in that instance, right? So these are people that don't know anything about you. And as a general rule, I try not to sell directly to cold traffic.

Ryan: Why is that?

Kurt: Well, [00:02:00] it's sort of the whole getting married analogy, that you wouldn't ask somebody to get married the first time they meet you. So targeting people based on their interests with asking them to buy from you the first time they see your ad a lot of times falls flat. Sometimes people will go ahead and do it, but we want to set something up to warm them up a little bit before that point.

Ryan: Well, haven't for hundreds of years people have been doing ads and sending people to go buy things right off those ads? What's so different about Facebook that you wouldn't do the same thing? Because haven't people been doing that for a long time?

Kurt: Yeah. No, that's a very good point. My take is that Facebook is really impulse driven. And so if something at first glance doesn't click, it doesn't seem right people don't take action. They'll just scroll right past it. And also, I think that, as I [00:03:00] mentioned, people do make sales that way but it's just much more effective if you can walk them through this process. And one last point is Facebook, of course being a digital medium, you don't have the benefit of selling to people over the phone or face-to-face and some of these other ways that you might be able to establish a quick rapport, if that makes any sense.

Ryan: Yeah. So with the approach, we're going to get into this throughout this interview, but with approach you use are you just not asking people to buy at the first touch or is that just not the primary focus?

Kurt: Yeah, good point. It depends. Sometimes I don't ask people to buy right off the bat, and what I'm doing in that instance is trying to find people that are interested and and get them to know the brand. So I might show a video. You and I have talked about videos a lot recently and how they are a great way to build [00:04:00] custom audiences.

Ryan: Yeah, they're extremely effective for connecting with people.

Kurt: Right. It's a really cost effective way. You know Facebook, they want to keep people on the platform. Right? And they like the fact that you're showing people videos instead of sending them off site, so you can get that for a little bit better rate and maybe narrow the masses, right, your big audience of two million people, down to you know, just the few thousand or 10,000 people that were able to watch maybe a certain percentage of of the video.

Ryan: So I know you're gonna get into more of laying out how you actually structure all these pieces together, but the basic premise that you're trying to communicate here at the very front line is that on social media in particular, if you go straight for the kill, you're going to be less effective than if you engage with people and have people engage with you in a way that allows you to be able to target them better with a more specific call to action.

Kurt: That's exactly it.

[00:05:00] Ryan: Okay, so you started off by saying that what a lot of people start doing is they do interest-based targeting. I don't understand. Why would that not be the right thing to do? Is it about this cold traffic? Is it because your interest based and then we're just saying, hey, bye? Was there something else to it that you would go after?

Kurt: Well, yeah, so that's a good point. What I would do, when I work with a new client, a lot of times if they have any kind of sales history, I would try and use a feature of Facebook's called look like audience where we could generate an audience of unique people that match all the traits of people that have made it through the funnel and made a purchase. So interest-based targeting is definitely very useful for filling the top of your funnel. It's just that expectation that you're going to get all your sales right there, and if that doesn't work, then Facebook marketing doesn't work. So, my approach is to definitely build up a nice funnel underneath that very [00:06:00] top layer so that the people who convert, that's great that they can convert and that's wonderful, but the people that don't will be able to walk them through and use interest to fill the top of the funnel, but after that we're retargeting them with offers that are more specific to that the products that they look at or out of the information they looked at when we can really get the messaging honed in based on their actions.

Ryan: Okay. So for people that are watching that aren't just listening maybe you can show what your approach is. Because I know a lot of people, and this is basically what you're describing, is a lot of people just go for this flat approach to marketing where they're saying, okay, I've got the right people targeted, I've got my interest all right, or maybe I'm even using a look-alike audience. Now, I'm going to push everybody to my offer, and that offer is to go buy on my website, my Shopify shopping cart. So we're just doing that, that's like the whole thing, so it's just this one layer. But you're using more of a funneled approach and one of the things that I like right off the bat about any [00:07:00] funneled approach is it doesn't mean that you have to be 100% successful on the first try. And people may not realize it but if you do this flat approach, a lot of us start out doing, with Facebook in particular, especially with our Shopify stores, if we start out on that flat approach, you really have to be good. You have to be a great marketer. In other words, you have to say exactly the right things in order to get people to take action because if you don't, you're toast. Because you only get one shot or you might be able to throw that out in front of people multiple times, but if it didn't work once, what's the chance it's going to continue to not work, is pretty good, right?

Kurt: Yes, very good point. I won't stay on this too long, I'll show you some examples, I have a few of those below. But just to really quickly go over the funnel so you can see here at the top, we're being cold traffic. So this could be your interest-based targeting and this could be, where you use that. And we would be sending that to, this is [00:08:00] a video ad in this example, and we're going to narrow that audience down by people that watch some of the videos. So we're getting people to raise their hand just by the actions that they take, their behaviors. And then these other campaigns down here are only going to be targeting people that made it past that first qualifying step essentially. That is very nice because it reduces the cost and the waste in our funnel. And when you're looking at the stats over all, of one of these funnels that's working, you'll see that this is your most expensive traffic up here at the top, the cold traffic, and you're gonna have some conversions. But then as you go down here, you'll see that this is where you're really making the ROI on the funnel. It might be tempting to try and, it can be scary to see campaigns that aren't doing as well, but each campaign needs to hold its own. I don't want to give the impression that it doesn't, [00:09:00] but they serve different purposes here. This one is serving really to get people into the funnel. We're not using this to generate the ROI, we're using this to generate some reach and get people looking at our stuff.

Ryan: So, people that are just joining us, they may be thinking, okay. Well, why do I want to spend so much money on the cold traffic? It sounds like you're saying a bulk of my spending is going to be up here. But why do I want to waste that money up there if I've got maybe more value that can be had from getting people past that layer? And I just wanted to point out that, what you've taught me is that you use video ads on your first layer, which are the cheapest traffic available on Facebook, right?

Kurt: Right.

Ryan: It's not so much that you're spending 50% of your budget, although you might, but you're spending a portion of your budget to fill that funnel with that video traffic which is the least expensive traffic to get. And then from there, that makes every dollar you spend on actually getting people to move to purchase become more [00:10:00] effective because you're not wasting it on tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people who aren't even interested in your product in the first place. So even though you got your interest right or maybe even did a look like audience, most of those people you're going to show your ad to aren't really in the market to buy what you have to offer. So you're saying, use this very inexpensive cold traffic to be able to identify who is interested out of the millions of people in your audience and interested enough that they would actually do something, and that's going to be a good sign that they'll be more likely to actually buy something as well.

Kurt: Right on. That's exactly right. This traffic here is going to be more qualified than the guys up here, so your ad dollars are better spent as you just explained.

Ryan: Okay, cool. So then the question that comes up is, okay, this is all nice. But how does this all work for me? Isn't the whole basis for everything that you're doing here something called retargeting?

Kurt: You got it. Yeah, [00:11:00] it's a big multi-layer retargeting funnel. And this is what I would call the one layer deep right? Where we're not representing anything going out really very wide here, but as you build this out, then you would, as people visit your website, you would start out maybe just putting one ad there so you could just build this out. But after a while, I like to do sequences. So people are seeing something for a certain amount of time and then it advances to a different ad after x number of days. And you really use it like a life cycle marketing platform and almost an autoresponder, where you're delivering content to people over time. And that might seem expensive or wasteful, but because you've narrowed your audience down at this step right here, we're talking, thousands of people instead of millions.

Ryan: A few bucks.

Kurt: Exactly. It's not expensive to do that. That's very effective.

Ryan: The other thing, as I'm looking at this, that [00:12:00] people might come to the wrong conclusion about if you're looking at the funnel with us on the video version of this podcast, then one of the things you might be looking here and saying well, why isn't the purchase until the very bottom? Well, what's to clarify here, is that, people don't have to go through each stage. We will get some people that, on the cold traffic, might click through to our store and buy right then. We might have other people that, they get the second layer, and then they're buying it that point because we're inviting starting with the second layer for them to make a purchase, right? Or get in the process.

Kurt: Right.

Ryan: We've just isolated the people actually interested in what we offer with the cold traffic layer and that way we're spending the least amount of money finding out who's actually even interested and then we can spend more money, but it's not expensive because we've isolated just people who are really interested in what we're doing. So people will be buying right off the bat, and people will be buying right off the second layer. And then these other layers are just to move people along who don't take that action immediately. And because of the way it's set up, [00:13:00] we're not talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to move people through this funnel. In fact, it gets to be less and less money you have to spend to move people down as they get into the the funnel further and further, right?

Kurt: You got it. That's exactly right. Would it be helpful for me to walk through a couple examples?

Ryan: Yeah. I think that would be really cool.

Kurt: Let's do that. I'll jump down here.

Ryan: Maybe you can go full screen on these because it's kind of hard to see.

Kurt: Yeah, good idea. Let's see.

Ryan: While he's doing that, this is a real client of yours. So this isn't somebody that you're just making up. This is actually how you're doing it. If you can, as you're going through this you talk to what was the difference before they started using this funnel approach versus when they were just using the flat layer approaches. I think that's a question a lot of people are having, okay, this sounds interesting, but it also sounds like some work and I just wonder if it's worth it.

Kurt: [00:14:00] Yeah, good question. So I won't speak to their specific numbers, but in terms of just the overall performance, when we started working together, they were at a certain level and they came to us because they were having trouble making Facebook work, but they knew from seeing other people that it was very powerful. They initially just had that single dimension ad structure that we were talking about, just making offers to people on their list over and over. So when we came in, we started out and, I don't know, I would say we probably, ten to fifteen x to the ROI numbers by, we were probably about, I don't know, fifty, sixty days in and we connect...

Ryan: That's terrible!

Kurt: Right? Yeah.

Ryan: They were only doing a thousand percent better than they were before?

Kurt: So yes, it was pretty cool to see and this is pottery [00:15:00] too, which, when I saw this, I thought it was gonna be pretty challenging. Because Facebook is pretty impulse.

Ryan: Okay. Well, so I know you're gonna go through and walk us through some examples of what you're talking about with these ads actual ads in the funnel. But, is that a typical result? I mean, I know it's a hard thing to say, but is a 10x return on investment a normal increase? What do you see? Because I know you work with a lot of different people and a lot of different Industries with Shopify stores in particular.

Kurt: I would say that it ebbs and flows is one thing. But if I were to break down, maybe my client base and the percentages, I would say that maybe 25 to 30%, maybe around that number are doing things like 10xing month-in [00:16:00] month-out. Others will hit it just during promotions and that sort of thing. And then most clients, I think it's reasonable to maybe go for between three and five is still really successful, most of my clients are thrilled with that.

Ryan: So a 300-500% increase?

Kurt: Exactly. Yep, spend $1 to make three or spend one to make five.

Ryan: Okay, so that's kind of on the more typical low end; your higher end you're getting up into the ten. You were talking to me off line before we started this, that one you even got up into the 20. So that's obviously an extreme case, not a typical, don't expect anything like that, but you are seeing increase across the board over what they were getting before simply by going from flatline to funnel based Facebook marketing.

Kurt: You got it.

Ryan: Okay, so go ahead and go through and let's take a look at what this process looks like, and the real world.

[00:17:00] Kurt: Sure. So this ad right here, this is a video ad, and it's sort of a behind the scenes for people that are interested in this sort of thing. And so we targeted people that were interested in Frank Lloyd Wright because of this particular style of pottery. So this is where we're using our interest-based targeting. After generating a look-alike audience, we showed this to our look-alike audience, which is also cold traffic, but it's it's much more targeted because of the way that Facebook put that audience together. Do I need to go into that, Ryan, do you think, or do you think people look-alike audiences are?

Ryan: Yeah, I think that's a question. We can just say that look-alike just means that Facebook is Big Brother. They've gathered all this data on all of us and then basically they use that data to look for patterns. And so, if you upload a list of customers, they're going to go and take that list of customers, find the matches, and then they'll say, okay, what's common about all these people? Let's go out find other people that [00:18:00] have similar traits, and then, because of the way that you set things up, because you do a lot of training of Facebook itself, right? Because you said some of the options available to Facebook a lot of people don't know about. But you actually trained Facebook to know which of those two million people are the right people and so it actually gets better and better and better over time because of the process that you've put into place with giving Facebook feedback on the type of people they're sending you.

Kurt: Exactly. Right on.

Ryan: So hopefully that answers the look-alike question for people.

Kurt: Yes. Well, good. Okay, so this ad, this was the video ad. We put this out as a test initially to test different types of content. So we targeted, we used interest, and then look-alike audiences, and then the next ad down here, this was more content. Did you have a comment on that last ad?

Ryan: I was just [00:19:00] wondering, it seems like you've told me before, that, especially for these different products, if you're making the products themselves, that "how it's made" is a very good video to get people connected to your products so that the connection isn't just to utility, but there's something more in terms of connection. Is that what you've seen across the board, or is that just the case with the pottery?

Kurt: No, that's very good point. It's funny. I've experimented with all types of videos and content and, talking about video specifically, the normal sort of content you would see on Facebook is more handheld with the iPhone than it is super high polished marketing content. At least, that's what your friends and family are sharing. And so the more organic looking, not marketing company produced, materials have actually done really well with that. We had a product that we put out there that was just, I actually used my iPhone and filmed this product in somebody's hands, just kind of manipulating the [00:20:00] product and flipping it open and looking at it, and we move tens of thousands of those products with that sort of a video.

Ryan: So it can't just be terrible. I mean, it's gonna have to decent lighting and stuff like that, but it doesn't have to be a high end professional production. Right?

Kurt: Exactly. Yep.

Ryan: Interesting. Okay. So, this is the next layer deep in your funnel below the front. You're not sending cold traffic to this here, but this is a guide right?

Kurt: Yep, exactly. So this could be used as an alternative as well to the video if you're using another sort of content. But yeah, so what I was doing here is I was using this to help warm people up and get them to the site. So they would look at the video, and if they made it to the site, awesome, then we could start using the site and what they looked at to send them ads, right? If they didn't make it to the site yet, if they didn't visit but they just watched the [00:21:00] video, then we give them another reason right here to go and check out the site.

Ryan: Cool.

Kurt: And I'm actually missing, I think, one of the ads that I use pretty frequently at the top here, and that would be maybe a carousel ad of top selling products as well. That's another good way to get people interested in your products to click on the site.

Ryan: Is that the cold layer traffic or is that at the second layer down?

Kurt: That would be a second layer down.

Ryan: Second down. Okay, so always videos because of the inexpensive nature of it and the easy to consume and the way it gets attention. But second to that then is this layer of trying to get them to the website in some form.

Kurt: Exactly.

Ryan: Awesome. What's the next level look like?

Kurt: So right here. This is a social proof ad. This would be one that, in this example, if somebody visits the site, now they've made it to the site, but they haven't taken any action. They haven't added anything to their cart. As I [00:22:00] mentioned, I start building these out laterally so in this case I'm showing you one example of an ad on this level, but in reality, I would start building that out so when they're at this level, they start going through a series of ads. This one's very effective, just giving some social proof. I have a customer review down here. You can add these these stars if you just google Facebook icons, then you can copy and paste them right into your ads. That's been kind of a cool thing. And then we just copy and paste this here. So it looks like off the review site, and says verified by here.

Ryan: Very cool.

Kurt: So this is another approach. So this is the step where they've made it to your site, but they haven't yet added any products to your cart. Let's say, so we bring them back to the site. They look at something and they start going through, you know adding something to their cart to see how much, maybe they're toying to see what your shipping rates are and that kind of stuff. And then they take off. [00:23:00] So once they've visited your site and look at a product, then we can start using dynamic product ads, which, that's a whole video in and of itself, but the bottom line is that we can show them exactly what they looked at while they were on your site. Or if they're looked at one thing, then we can show them other items that are also in that same collection, related items.

Ryan: That's very cool. So this is where we're starting to get into Amazon Style remarketing, which anybody that's purchased anything from Amazon knows that Amazon starts showing you similar products. So other people purchased these, or similar categories of products because they're trying to get you to buy and so we can actually be using the same kind of thing, but on Facebook where we get to decide what the competition is versus on Amazon where your competition is everything in the store, basically.

Kurt: Right, right. Now one point, to make in terms of the copy and messaging. This is [00:24:00] real simple. You forgot to check out, we have shopping car waiting for you. That's great. Now what I would normally do is, after a certain amount of time, maybe I would dangle a discount and also give them some urgency, right? So, here's a coupon code, it's good for the next 24 hours or 48 hours and then if they still haven't taken advantage of it, then I might show them another that says, hey, your coupon's expiring, today's the last day to use this code. I just wanted to throw that out there that we're not using all the tools available to us with this ad, meaning urgency and maybe a discount and that sort of thing.

Ryan: Fantastic. Because if they do buy, then you're ready for your next layer of ads, right.

Kurt: Right. So down here, this is an example of an up sell ad and you would target this based on what you're selling and if there's items that pair well with things, so in this case what we did, we split their product [00:25:00] catalog really just broadly into pottery and accessories. So if somebody bought a pottery item, then we would show them this ad later. We would wait a few days, usually till their product shipped and timed it so that maybe it would arrive and then they would see this ad. And these are accessories. So we would show accessories to people that bought pottery and you can get real creative with this stuff. It's pretty neat.

Ryan: Very cool. So you're creating different bundles that would complement their initial purchase, giving them an opportunity to spend again with you, which is one of the ways that we really grow stores. We get people not just buying once, but buying multiple times and coming back fairly frequently. So anything we can do to encourage that is a great option. So this one that's based off of their actual purchase in Shopify is going to trigger this to start a few days after. So whatever your shipping process is, because the moment of greatest excitement about a purchase happens in two places, one when they first buy, so if we can do episodes right there, [00:26:00] that's great. And the second place is when they actually get the thing that they buy. Because at that point, we're hoping that they're super excited about their purchase and they're like, this is awesome! They actually got it in their physical space at that point. That's a great time to start showing other purchases they can be making with us. And if we gave them a really great experience, then that's going to make it even easier for us to make these ads work really well.

Kurt: Right, they might even, you can give them a discount to make another, buy a second one at a discounted rate, if that makes sense. One other example of this lower layer, and that is retention or reactivation ads, using these DPA, with the Facebook ad...

Ryan: What's a DPA?

Kurt: Sorry, that's dynamic product ads, so these are the ones where their Facebook is showing you what you looked at most recently, what you added to cart what you purchased, that sort of thing and you can specify how that works. But what I would do then is, I [00:27:00] start having timers running with you know, I set up custom. And then let's say that I determine, by, you can go into Google analytics or you can just download some data from your Shopify store. But if you can figure out what the average time in between a second purchase of your best customers is, then you can set a reactivation campaign to have, so let's say you have a consumable item and people order after 30 days. Well, after 30 days has gone past and somebody hasn't purchased from you, then that can trigger a reactivation ad where you come up with, maybe you have a discount, or you just show them some other related products. You know, here's some stuff that we think you'd enjoy.

Ryan: You can even do content at that point too, if there's content that might encourage them to want to buy again, right?

Kurt: Yes.

Ryan: So if I had like a supplement, maybe I want to show an ad that just doesn't look like an ad much at all, but just says something about the benefits [00:28:00] of my supplement for example. Or case studies, like other people who are using the supplement, the results they're getting, to remind them of why they would want to continue to take that supplement, for example.

Kurt: Right. No, that's a great example and what I like to do throughout this whole funnel is with Shopify, there's tools, like the email automation program where we can synchronize what's happening within our email with our Facebook ads so they are delivering the same message lockstep. They're not getting one discount rate through email and a different discount rate when they get on to Facebook. They're seeing the same messaging and I find that it has a compounding effect. It really is a powerful way to do this.

Ryan: Well this is awesome. I think this has been really helpful for anybody that's been watching and has a Shopify store, at least. If nothing else, it opens up your mind to what's possible, right, but how can people start using this kind of information?

Kurt: Well, I put together a guide if you check out this [00:29:00] URL it's for people that aren't watching the video version, It's get for produce department, so get and there's a download and I walk through 14 of these custom audiences that I use most often in my eCommerce campaign. So, as an example, now we can put together custom audiences of people that have visited your store, you know x number of times in the last 30 days or maybe you capture the top 25% of people based on time spent on site. So I give a bunch of those examples and talk about where you can use them in your funnel. So that's a good place to get some ideas and inspiration for your next campaign.

Ryan: Well that's awesome. Well, hey, thank you so much. I don't know about other people but I find this to be super exciting, especially thinking about how I can grow my own Shopify store. [00:30:00] What do people do if they want to get a hold of you? Is the best way to go get that PDF? Do you have some contact information in that?

Kurt: I do, that's a great way to do it. Also, if you just want to check out our site, I'll put that right here. It's And you can check out blog posts and and learn more about us. There's a contact us button on there as well if you want to reach out and chat about how we could make this work in your store.

Ryan: Fantastic. Well, thanks again for joining us Kurt. This has been extremely informative for me. It gives me a better idea of how to be positioning all my ads so that they're working in concert instead of just being kind of silly and doing a front one line approach, which is what I did for years. So I appreciate you coming on and talking about this.

Kurt: Right on. It's been fun. I appreciate it, [00:31:00] Ryan.