Blog Post By: Brad Goldberg

Retail Advertising: Find That Golden Balance of Scale and Efficiency

With over 1.7 billion users on Facebook, and the relatively low barriers to entry to advertise on Facebook, how can you find the incremental scale that will help take your business to the next level.

At HYFN, this is what we do day in and day out for our clients and have laid out a few strategies here to help you find that golden balance of scale and efficiency.

Let’s start from the beginning and work our way through the timeline from acquiring a new customer to increasing the retention and LTV of those customers.

Customer Acquisition

Finding new prospective customers is not the challenge. They are on Facebook and Instagram. The challenge lies in determining how to segment those prospective customers into targeting groups that align with your advertising efforts and converting them into loyal, high value customers.

We approach this challenge at HYFN by increasing scale in three dimensions:

1. Breadth

Breadth refers to increasing the number of targeting groups that you have set out as potential targets that might be interested in your product.

Let’s say you have an approach that looks something like this:

Customer Acquisition

You’ve created 4 unique targeting groups that are responding well to your advertisements and driving strong ROI for your business.

Now, your goal is to increase the addressable audience while maintaining a relevant message within cost goals. To increase the “breadth” of your campaigns your strategy would include:

Customer Acquisition

If you are not sure what other interest sets would be relevant to target based on your audience, use Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to help get a better understanding of the makeup of your customer base and use those insights to iterate on targeting groups. You can also leverage data partnerships in market to further refine your target group. For example at HYFN, our unique partnership with Acxiom and the technology built directly into HYFN8 allow us to increase the match rate of your CRM audiences by up to 30%, enhancing the results and effectiveness of the Audience Insights (and lookalike generator) tool.

While you can continue adding in more target groups like this to increase the breadth of your targeting efforts, at some point you will find that you are reaching too far outside of relevant interests and losing efficiency. The next step is to look at increasing the depth of your targeting efforts.

2. Depth

Depth refers to breaking apart your CRM into the most valuable customers you have to date, and the most recent customers that have come to your site.

Increasing depth can be achieved in a couple of ways, most notably by using Facebook’s Lookalike modeling using your CRM. If you are already familiar with the Lookalike audiences then your strategy may look like this:

Customer Acquisition

You are using Facebook’s Lookalike modeling to find the 1% of users within the US that look most like your uploaded audience. To increase the depth of this targeting strategy you would amend it to:

Customer Acquisition

See what we did there? You are still targeting a group that is similar to your original CRM upload, but moving away from the most closely matched by targeting up to the 5% group.

It should be noted that we recommend this nested approach, where you are excluding the lower percentages as you grow the percentage of the lookalike model.

As you continue to build both the breadth and depth of your targeting strategy you will find:

• some groups that drive great volume and strong ROI,

• some that are misaligned and should be cut from your targeting, and

• some that are in the middle — they are able to drive volume, but ROI is just off, or vice versa.

When you run up against this situation you know that you are in the right place, but need to hone in the scope of your efforts to maximize the value within each targeting group.

3. Scope

Scope refers to adjusting the value proposition to the target groups to find the message that resonates the strongest within that segment.

Finding incremental scale by adjusting the scope of your advertising is different than increasing the breadth and depth.

Maybe your advertisements to date have been focused on the quality of your product against a competitor, but now you are advertising to a group that is less concerned about that and are more cost conscious about their online purchases. Adjust the creative in your ads to point out how your price compares against the market for similar products.

Or maybe this group is already familiar with your product, comfortable with the price, but want to know that other customers that have used your product have been satisfied with the results. Use copy and creative featuring customer reviews that show that not only were they satisfied with the results, they were blown away and would recommend this to all of their friends.

We can’t say enough about the importance of aligning your creative/messaging to your audience. The power and value of advertising on Facebook is being able to hone in on your audience with relevant, targeted messaging that grabs their attention and gets them interested in your product. Take advantage of additional tools available in the market. For example HYFN8’s weather targeting tool serves ads for umbrellas when it’s raining outside, or sunglasses when it’s hot and sunny.

Running out of creative? Leverage third party resources, such as teams available through a network or a dedicated social creative team. At HYFN, we’ve got a whole creative services division that is ready, willing and able to strategize and produce creative that will move the needle in a meaningful way for your campaigns.

Whatever the case may be, the only way to find the right message for the right audience is through testing and expanding the scope of your advertising within those audiences.

Customer Retention

Now that we’ve discussed finding incremental scale in acquiring a new user, let’s dive into how to drive incremental scale from your existing customers.

You’ve already done the hard part. You successfully convinced a prospective customer to not only visit your site and learn more about your brand and products, but they have also gone ahead and purchased something from you. Game over, right? Wrong.

You need to have a strong retention strategy in place to keep that customer coming back for more. Through a variety of methods, there are ways to increase the value of each customer and maintain positive ROI throughout that customer’s interaction with your advertisements. Let’s explore the main two:

1. Upsell

Let’s say you’re an eCommerce advertiser that sells a monthly subscription box of clothing tailored to your customers’ style preferences. On your site you offer two package options, standard and deluxe. Most likely, the majority of your users are going to opt for the standard package as they are initially testing the waters and deciding if they like your brand and the product you have delivered. If that user stays on the standard package for months, then they are likely a valuable customer to you.

But what if that same customer was not only a fan of your product, but would be interested in upgrading to the deluxe package. Are you doing anything to help sway that customer to upgrading their subscription? If the answer is “no”, then you need to consider putting some investment into an upsell retention campaign.

Using your CRM and Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting, you can create an advertising campaign showcasing the benefits of the upgrade to a deluxe package, and make sure that it is only displayed to active customers with a standard account.

You can control your budget to minimize the cost associated with serving ads to this audience and will see immediate results on increasing the value of those customers. Put another way, if it cost you an additional $1 in media spend to get a customer to upgrade to a package that nets you an additional $10 in revenue, that is a winning upsell campaign.

Some advertisers though may not have a long window for an upsell opportunity. For instance, a traditional eCommerce site that does not offer a monthly subscription may have users come to the site and purchase a pair of shoes. While the opportunity to upsell them on a more expensive pair of shoes existed before the moment of purchase, at this point it’s too late and the shoes are already being shipped. In this case use a cross-sell campaign.

2. Cross-Sell

Setting up a strong cross-sell campaign on Facebook is easier and more powerful than ever using Dynamic Product Ads. By setting up intelligent logic rules with your product feed, Facebook can automatically serve ads to users that have already purchased something from your site with products that are most relevant to a cross-sell opportunity.

Using our previous example of a customer that came to your site and purchased a pair of shoes, you can set up your cross-sell DPA campaign to serve that user ads with a selection of dresses, bags or sunglasses that would match with their shoes. You can even use copy and creative that speaks to that, telling the user directly, “We think these would look great with your purchase!”

Just like with the upsell campaign, you have full control over the budget and bids targeting this audience and can control your costs to ensure you are hitting your ROI goals.

The benefits of a successful retention campaign will increase your overall LTV of your customers, and will help open up more budget to invest in continuing to acquire new ones.


When advertisers talk about finding incremental scale in an efficient manner, this can be accomplished in a variety of ways. You can scale your acquisition efforts by expanding your addressable audience reach with breadth and depth, or by finding the right value proposition that increases the scope of your reach within an audience segment. You can also find incremental scale from your existing customer base through retention campaigns that increase the LTV of your customers. All of these tactics should be part of your overall plan and will help you drive the most value out of your advertising efforts.

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