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How We Got a 400% ROI on Facebook Ads on Black Friday & Cyber Monday [Case Study]

December 16, 2015 | Case Study, Customer Acquisition, ECommerce, Facebook Marketing, Mobile Apps, Sales, Social Media Advertising

Increasing both sales and ROI is the goal for a lot of direct response marketing campaigns on Facebook Ads, though it can be difficult to find the right combination of strategies, campaigns, and targeting options to actually make those sales.

If you had the chance to increase your ROI to 400%, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

This year we accomplished that, achieving a 400% ROI on Black Friday and Cyber Monday Facebook Ads campaigns, and we learned a lot about how to replicate those results in the future for ecommerce businesses looking to capitalize on key promotions.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are, undoubtedly, two of the biggest sales days of the year. People are ready to shop—but there is also a ridiculous amount of competition for their money. This is part of what makes these high conversion rates so impressive. Whether you’re looking to highlight a key promotion for the holiday season or you want to increase ROI for other promotions any time throughout the year, this case study provides data and tactical advice on how to do so.

Here’s what we learned and how you can maximize your ROI and sales for the next key promotion event you’re advertising for.

Dynamic Product Ads Drove Major ROI

Our dynamic product ads campaigns were the major driver of our overall success with our Black Friday and holiday campaigns, giving us an overall ROI of 273.65%.

Within 7 ad sets, our ads resulted in a conversion value of $27,573.53, with $1.86 per click

We heavily utilized dynamic product ads as part of our remarketing strategy, targeting users who had already visited the client’s site and were interested in certain products. With the promotions being run for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we created dynamic ad templates that highlighted and focused on the deals, discounts, and sales available.

We used A/B testing, altering different texts on the dynamic product ads in order to effectively promote holiday promo codes that we wanted to highlight. This allowed us to target users who were already in the shopping funnel and helped us to push them to complete the sale.


We ended up with high ROI, click through rates, and conversion values.

To learn more about running dynamic product ad campaigns, make sure to visit our blog post here.

Custom Audiences Helps Target High Value Customers

In our upcoming Guide to Facebook Ads Targeting, we go over the targeting strategy we frequently use to find the target audience of our clients; we’ll start with what we consider to be “low hanging fruit” or those who will be easier to sell to, and we slowly branch off from there.

When it came to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we started our overall campaign strategy by targeting users with dynamic product ads. The next set of campaigns we ran focused on targeting the next lowest level of high value customers, which we were able to target using Custom Audiences. The Custom Audience we used was made up of high value purchasers who had purchased from the company in the past, pulled from an email list or custom audiences from a website.

With these campaigns, we again highlighted the sales and holiday promotions, using specific ad creative that was geared towards that particular audience.
In this case, we used rich banner ads that highlighted either the name of the sale or the discount the sale was offering in the descriptions and text. We focused all on the sale, occasionally tailoring it to the occasional custom audience.


If, for example, we were selling to hair care buyers instead of hair tool buyers for a site that sells both, we would focus on something along the lines of “save 30% off site wide plus 50% off your favorite hair care products from [insert brand name here].”  We could customize this further depending on the audience, such as switching out “hair styling products” for “hair care products.”

Custom audiences can allow you to know exactly who you are targeting and what their relationship is with your business. That’s a big advantage, and you want to use it as much as possible to create ad creative that will jump out at them and encourage them to convert.

Replicate Your High Value Custom Audience with Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are an incredible tool for Facebook Ads—but you have to be replicating the right audience to begin with. Creating a lookalike audience off an audience that has converted well in the past is normally a good place to start.

Once we had established a custom audience made up of high value customers, we used it to run a campaign with a Lookalike Audience based off those users. Generating a lookalike audience off our known high value customers allowed us to target new and relevant users who would be interested in the campaigns we were running.

When we ran these lookalike audience campaigns, we used the ad creative and copy that had performed best amongst the original custom audience. This allowed us to test our message on a nearly identical audience previously, which in turn enabled us to lower costs and eliminate or reduce campaigns that wouldn’t perform as well, giving us a boost on increased ROI for these campaigns from the beginning.

Mobile Matters

Mobile device targeting turned out to have made a huge difference in our campaigns, all of which focused in on mobile device targeting.

It’s good that we did—we ended up with a massive ROI of 624.51% (yes, you read that correctly) on our mobile-driven campaigns. Our strategy was largely to thanks for this, but that doesn’t take away the fact that mobile ads performed well.

When we were targeting users through mobile, we were remarketing to users who had previously added certain items to their cart, but had not purchased them. Combining this with targeting geared towards a particular audience (females, ages 18-65, and in the US), we ran ads with the creative focused on the incentive of a discount code—just in time for holiday shopping.

This shows us that, at least for this holiday season, mobile commerce is on the rise, which is an important trend all ecommerce businesses should take note of. This is particularly interesting considering the known struggle to increase conversions on mobile, despite mobile’s typically high performing engagement. This could be a trend that continues. Either way, it worked well in this case, and we can keep an eye on it in the future as well as developing new strategies to help tap into the power of mobile conversions.

The Take Away 

When it comes to ecommerce companies, Facebook Ads is highly effective when it comes to generating “cold” or new traffic around key promotion times throughout the year. By combining this strategy in addition to doubling down on remarketing to high value and receptive audiences, while using ad creative that is tailored specifically to—and highlights—the promotion, you can maximize both ROI and sales on Facebook Ads.

It’s important to also note that we found, in this case study, that mobile ads converted better than desktop ads. Ecommerce businesses should keep an eye on this, as it could easily flag that mobile conversions are on the rise and could be an important tool in regard to increasing conversions and ROI.

Our overall strategy of starting with “the low hanging fruit” and working our way up to find our target audience in multiple different places and for multiple different campaigns resulted in a roughly 400% ROI average this holiday season.

As a recap, the important statistics to take away from this case study are:

  • Dynamic product remarketing overall ROI: 273.65%
  • Cyber Monday overall ROI: 211.66%
  • Mobile ROI: 624.51%

Whether you’ll use these tactics for this holiday season (there’s still time!) or you’ll use it to promote and increase ROI for other key promotions throughout the year, we use these strategies frequently as they have proven to be consistently effective in a large number of niches, fields, and industries for our very diverse clients.

How are you going to use this information? Which strategy would you start with? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!



James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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