Winning Facebook Ads: A Successful Blueprint With Dropshipper Emma Reid

Jessica: In just a second you’ll hear from Emma Reid about her winning Facebook ads. In less than one year, Emma made over $500,000 with her dropshipping store. Now, she’s running a successful dropshipping store following her signature one plus product store formula. If you wanna hear how Emma survived and thrived after suffering from burnout, make sure to listen to her interview on the Oberlo Podcast

Successful dropshipper Emma Reid shares how she creates winning Facebook ads

Okay, so we know that dropshipping and Facebook ads go hand in hand. You start a dropshipping store with Shopify and then you drive traffic to your store with winning Facebook ads. You see, Facebook ads are great at driving store traffic, but they’re also great at driving you crazy. Should CBO be on or off? Should you choose just mobile ad placements or should you go with automatic placements? Should you run engagement campaigns or conversion campaigns? They are so difficult to learn because there isn’t a one-ad set-fits-all formula for winning Facebook ads. That’s why we decided to do things a little differently.

We gave four successful dropshippers a trending product from AliExpress, and then we asked each dropshipper to take us through their ad process, from creating the ad itself to launching the Facebook ad campaign. These dropshippers did not let us down, but they also did not agree. Every dropshipper had their own unique strategy for running successful Facebook ads. So to make it easier for you to follow along, we created a blueprint so that you can start running your own winning Facebook ads. Okay, ready to hear from the dropshippers? 

I just wanna say something before we begin. We’re gonna be going in-depth on Facebook ads, so we’ll throw around acronyms like CBO and we’ll talk about things like conversion events. If you don’t know what any of that means, don’t worry. Just take a look at Oberlo 101. It’s the ultimate course for starting your first online store and scaling it with Facebook ads. 

Alright, it’s time to find out what Emma’s winning Facebook Ads formula is. Emma, we gave you a phone lanyard and we asked you to create a Facebook video ad for that phone lanyard.

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: We actually asked two other entrepreneurs that you might know, Rodney and Kory, to create a video ad. Do you already… did you know that they created one? 

Emma: Yeah, I was there when they were filming it.

Jessica: You were there when they were filming it? 

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: How did you know they were filming a video ad? 

Emma: Well, we were all staying at the same hotel in Berlin, when we came to film these videos with Oberlo. And they were like, “Oh wait, we haven’t filmed our video yet, because we only just received the product.” So we went outside the hotel and they were filming the video right there in front of the hotel, at the barstools.

Jessica: Okay, so you were even witness to the process yourself? 

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: Their video ad didn’t seem too high-tech. Although I really like the finished product. But I’m really curious to hear about how you approach these video ads as well. So I sent you this product, the phone lanyard, and I basically said, “You’re a beginner dropshipper, you have a cold Facebook Pixel, go create an ad.” And I’m wondering, did you start by thinking about the audience first or did you start by thinking about the ad creative first? 

Emma: Both. Both are equally important. So I thought about the target audience. And what is the pain point that this product solves? What is one of the most major fears? And that is probably dropping your phone in the toilet, because…

Jessica: It’s gross.

Emma: It is gross.

Jessica: It’s both tragic and gross.

Emma: Tragic and gross. And that can be used for a great video intro showing a phone drop into the toilet. So that’s the pain point. It’s shocking, it gets people to stop scrolling.

Visualizing how dropping phones into toilets can be gross

Creating Videos for Your Winning Facebook Ads

Jessica: Okay, now I’m intrigued. Let’s take a look at your video ad, and then we’ll talk about how you actually created the ad campaign for it.

Emma: Yeah.

Jessica: Okay, the first thing I noticed, square format, definitely something I wanna ask about later. Let’s press play, and I haven’t seen this before, so this is my live reaction. 

I love it. “Leash it.” Oh my gosh, I can see why you sell a lot of products. “Reach it, and never leave it.” The arrow. You are a master of your craft.

Emma: Thank you.

Jessica: That was incredible. I wanna pick your art apart. So as we watch it a second time, I wanna just pause and kind of get your take on how you put this together.

Emma: Yep.

Jessica: First couple of seconds, “Don’t risk it.” I mean, you have the phone dropping in this loud wet sploosh.

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: Is that a real sploosh or? 

Emma: No, I added that on afterward. So that footage of the phone dropping in the toilet didn’t have any sound.

Jessica: Oh, okay.

Emma: So I went to a copyright-free site and got a splashing sound, and edited it over the top.

Jessica: I see, and then it’s edited, did you edit this video? Because right as it splashes the music begins.

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: Really good editing. Do you use video editing software like iMovie or any kind of software? 

Emma: I use Camtasia to edit my videos.

Jessica: Camtasia, okay, cool. Yeah, we use Camtasia as well. Then you have the text come in, “Don’t risk it.”

Emma: Yeah.

Using video editing software for your winning Facebook ads

Jessica: I’ve seen some dropshippers have the text kind of scroll over the image, but you chose to take up the whole screen. Have you found that captures attention better? 

Emma: Yeah, it does because the intro really draws you in, it gets you interested, and then the text is fast-paced, and you’re already watching and it’s engaging. Rather than the text coming over the top, having it like that really, engages you to keep you watching.

Jessica: Yeah, plus I noticed that I saw the word, “Don’t,” but I didn’t know what was coming next.

Emma: Yeah.

Jessica: But when you see a full sentence your eye kind of sees the whole sentence.

Emma: Yeah, you wanna keep reading.

Jessica: Yeah, exactly. And is this now… Now we’re in the second half, and is this you? 

Emma: Yeah.

Jessica: Okay, great. “Leash it.” And you’ve got green in the background, which… Is that a purposeful choice? 

Emma: Yeah, it’s kind of a psychology thing. Green means good, green means go. And, leash it, that’s a good thing. It kind of symbolizes like it saves your phone, it puts it on a leash so you don’t drop it in the toilet.

The psychology of green as part of a winning Facebook ad

Jessica: Plus it alliterates with ‘lose it.’

Emma: Yes, yes, exactly.

Jessica: You’re an alliteration genius. Reach it. And now you’re continuing with that rhyme and saying it’s within reach, and never leave it. Was that you again or was that a stock video footage right here? 

Emma: That was stock footage, yeah, and in Camtasia I zoomed up on it so it wasn’t zoomed before. So it’s like a little bit of a transition effect to zoom up on the image.

Jessica: Okay. Yeah, keep the movement going and yeah.

Emma: Yeah, and I added the arrow and put it in black and white.

Jessica: Oh, okay. You really… Yeah, you add a lot of details to make these winning Facebook ads videos subtly more watchable.

Emma: Yeah, engaging, yeah.

Jessica: Yeah, and now we’re seeing the features, although you’re not, you don’t have any fits under your phone. It’s like, you’re just showing, look how easy it is to snap onto your phone.

Emma: Yes, the visual. People process visual images better than text describing the benefits, so if you can actually show it in action, show what’s going on, and you can do it in an engaging way, then people are more likely to get what’s going on without the need for text and drawing it out and wasting time, really.

Jessica: Yeah. And now I love this CTA, pick a color, with the little arrow coming in, and then I see multiple colors. But one thing that surprises me is this is the end of your video. There’s no “buy now,” there’s no “20% off.” Why did you choose “pick a color” instead of “buy now”? 

Emma: Because “buy now” is such a large commitment to make. It’s more of a soft sell, like a smaller commitment to go and look on the website and pick a color, rather than buy, and then the job of the website is to convince them to actually purchase. So I’m not doing all of the selling in the ad, I’m getting them actually interested to go and click through, so you have a high click-through rate, to the website for them to go and purchase.

Get your target audience to click through color options instead of asking them to purchase now

Jessica: That really is a helpful tip, when you’re creating this I’d think, what is the function of my ad and what is the function of my product page? You’re saying ad, get the clicks, product page, make the sale.

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: Okay, I might have questions later about how you evaluate the success of this ad, but overall, really really cool ad. Now, I wanna know how you would actually set up a campaign, so we’re gonna go into my test store’s Facebook Ads Manager and set this up.

Emma: All right, let’s go.

Setting up winning Facebook ads

Conversions and CBO

Jessica: Okay, first things first, what campaign objective would you choose? 

Emma: Conversion.

Jessica: Conversions, okay, that seems to be the popular choice. Second question, would you go ahead and elect “campaign budget optimization”? 

Emma: No, I wouldn’t.

Jessica: No? Why not? 

Emma: Because what’s worked for me in the past is normal ad set level budgets.

Jessica: Okay, and if it’s worked? 

Emma: Yes, just keep doing it. And I will test CBO later as I’m scaling, but while there are both options still available now, I usually will just start with the ad set level budgets.

Jessica: Okay, then I will too. Continue. Okay, now we’re on the ad set level, and the next question I have is conversion event. I haven’t made very many sales, and not for a while, so that’s why all of these are yellow and red. Some dropshippers say I should do purchase, even though I don’t have a lot of activity on that pixel. What would you say? 

Emma: Purchase.

Jessica: Purchase as well? Okay, even though it’s not optimized? 

Emma: Yeah, even though it’s not optimized, it doesn’t matter.

Selecting a Target Audience

Jessica: Okay. Here we are at the audience level, and we’re at the default, so US 18 to 65, all genders, no interests, 230 million people. What would you change here? 

Emma: Nothing. With winning Facebook ads the audience is everything.

Jessica: But that’s so broad. What are you doing to make sure that that’s the right target audience

Testing your target audience: broad vs narrow

Emma: Well, this is just one ad set. I would test it against other ad sets, one a little bit more narrow and then one super narrow.

Jessica: I see, so you would run that video ad with this super broad audience, but then you would create another ad set and that would be one level more narrow.

Emma: Yes.

Selecting Target Interests

Jessica: What kind of interests might you put in for that? People who own iPhones, maybe, so not super niche, but something a little narrower, right? 

Emma: Yes, like something with 10 to 40 million people.

Jessica: Okay, and then for the narrowest one you would go narrower still with, I don’t know, one to two million? 

Emma: Yeah.

Jessica: Okay. Would you change anything about languages or connections, anything like this? 

Emma: No, but I would tick “expand detailed targeting to reach more people” off.

Placements and Budget

Jessica: Oh, okay. Now let’s talk placements. Automatic or edit? 

Emma: For my winning Facebook ads, it's got to be automatic.

Jessica: Automatic. You are a contrarian every step of the way. When it comes to a budget, now you said this you envision as one of several ad sets that you’ll run. So how much are you gonna budget per ad set? 

Emma: Probably $10 a day.

Jessica: $10 a day. Okay, anything else you would change here? 

Emma: No, it looks good to me.

Ad Space and Copy

Jessica: Okay, let’s click continue, and now we are in the ad space. Now I guess I should go ahead and select my Instagram account since we’re doing automatic placements, right? 

Emma: Yeah.

Jessica: Plus you made that video square. Now, why did you make it square? 

Emma: Well, it works on all platforms, so Facebook, Instagram, and Stories, as well as it takes up more screen real estate than your normal, what is this…

Jessica: Narrow horizontal video? 

Emma: Yes, yes.

Square videos work for Facebook, Instagram, and Stories

Jessica: But what if I wanted to take up maximal real estate on a vertical screen and I just created a big vertical video, why not do that? 

Emma: Well, that would work. On Instagram Stories, it’d be really great. But Facebook actually now has limited the size of the image or video you can have in your newsfeeds, so on Facebook or Instagram, newsfeed.

Jessica: Okay, so square is the safest bet for getting maximum real estate across multiple platforms.

Emma: Yes, correct.

Jessica: Good to know. I’ll choose single image or video here, I’ll add the video that you sent. While that’s uploading, let’s talk primary text. So Facebook recently announced that it will limit advertisers to three lines, I think, before there’s a read more. So are you stuffing that with Bitly links, or how do you approach that caption area? 

Emma: Only a sentence or two in the caption area. I don’t have enough text to make read more show up, so I don’t have all of the links. I’d keep it clean and minimal and just make it punchy and about the benefits of the product.

Jessica: Okay. So this could be, for example? 

Emma: Protect your best friend.

Jessica: Oh, I love it. My phone is my best friend. It’s the only one that ever listens always. For headline, Kory and Rodney said they would just put the name of the product in there. Is that what you would do? 

Emma: Yeah, I would put the name of the product, like “Phone Leash” or something, and maybe put five gold stars, if that shows up correctly on your mobile. So you’ll have to preview it and see if the characters actually fit and the stars will fit and the name will fit.

Jessica: Oh, I like the gold stars. That makes me think that it’s been customer-reviewed.

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: When in fact, it hasn’t been. And then for description, I know there’s word that sometimes these descriptions aren’t showing for certain people because Facebook is testing that out. Do you usually put anything in the description? 

Emma: Yeah, I do put something in the description.

Jessica: I can see, however, if I love the name “Phone Leash” but maybe I don’t have enough room for all five gold stars that this phone got, is that something that I could put in the description? 

Emma: Yes, definitely, you could put it in the description.

Jessica: Cool. Obviously, this part I know. I should lead people to the product page, right? 

Emma: Yes.

Jessica: Okay. Finally, a right answer. And call to action, “Shop now”? 

Emma: Yes, “Shop now.”

Jessica: Great.

Encourage people to shop now with a call to action

Test, Test, and Test to Get Winning Facebook Ads

Emma: You would test them, of course.

Jessica: Oh, really? 

Emma: In different ads, yes, you’d test them.

Jessica: Okay, and talk to me a minute about, we’ve already talked about how you would test different audiences. Is the advanced version that you would test different ads within each of those audiences? 

Emma: Yes, different ads, different first three seconds, like the scroll stopper, different call to action at the end of the video, and then different call to action on the button, as well as your ad copy, your headline, your product description, all of that.

Jessica: Okay, wow, lots of variables to test. And if I remember correctly from your video interview, your last piece of advice was that people should really test the living heck out of them to get winning Facebook ads.

Emma: Yes, they should. Test everything.

Jessica: Test everything. Anything else before we launch this ad? 

Emma: No, it’s good to go.

Jessica: Looks good? Awesome. All right, so what do you think about Emma’s process of creating winning Facebook ads? Do you think her ad would actually be effective at converting traffic? What would you change in her strategy? Leave a comment and let me know. I’ll chime in with my thoughts, and the dropshippers might chime in with their thoughts too. Until next time, learn often, market better, and sell more.

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