Strategy + Testing + Teamwork = A 66% Reduction in CPA
Hallmark eCards is a subscription-based digital greeting company that brings smiles and happiness to others with their hilarious, cute, or quirky online messages.
As a division of SpiritClips, LLC, a Hallmark Company focused on digital technology, eCards is no neophyte when it comes to digital communication. They have turned digital messages (literally) into an art form, with a wide variety of well-known characters from Peanuts, Toy Story, and more taking center stage in their greetings. Even lesser known “stars” such as Hoops & Yoyo have a cult-like following for their quirky, sweet, and funny takes on major life events.
While Hallmark eCards was already wildly successful in creating digital messages, they turned to us when they wanted to reach larger audiences through advertising.
As can sometimes happen with brands that have been advertising for awhile, their CPA had plateaued and they were no longer seeing a strong click-through rate on their current creative. This usually occurs when a brand has tapped into their core audiences but has not targeted new ones. Current audiences may respond adequately to the brand’s ads, but growth stagnates because they aren’t expanding with new creative, ad formats, or targeting different segments of audiences.
Since we wanted to ensure that eCards continued to grow, we stepped in with a new strategy and plan to get their creative and CPA back on track and exceeding their expectations.
One of the aspects of how we work is that we don’t just “spray and pray;” we don’t click a few buttons and leave a campaign to run on its own. We get as embedded in the strategy and success of a campaign as our clients do.
For Hallmark eCards, late Q2 and Q3 were relatively slow quarters for them, and like many in the greeting card industry, they would see the majority of their traffic in Q4. To ensure their ad campaigns succeeded during competitive times, we created a testing schedule to ensure we tested new ad variables during slower and less expensive times of the year.
Moving methodically is the only way to learn where a brand’s most efficient ad spend is located. A steady pace allows us to find new audiences, test new iterations of creative, and drive incremental sales while keeping the CPA/ROI in check.
By trying things out before it got competitive and busy, we were able to learn new insights about the audiences or creative while costs were lower.
We tested things like:
- Average cost bid versus maximum cost bid
- Lookalike audiences based on high performing audience groups
- Creative based on interest sets (i.e. fans of Snoopy saw Snoopy ads)
- Static link versus video ads
Our team had seen that video campaigns had been crushing expectations for clients across the board. So we strategized on how we could leverage this ad type using existing video creative from the company’s eCard greetings themselves.
The team at Hallmark eCards is very open to testing and were able to help us launch new campaigns with 30-second video creative highlighting different eCards and their messages.
Within one day, Hallmark eCards’ acquisition costs plummeted by almost 70%!
To further activate new audiences, we also initiated a test between Average Cost Bidding and Maximum Cost Bidding to determine if one or the other would further decrease CPA and increase click-through and conversion rates.
After launching the new creative campaigns and uncovering bidding efficiencies, Hallmark eCards saw an increase in click-through rates of 166%!
By understanding how to take advantage of ideal testing periods, trying out new Facebook ad features, and quickly acting upon the successes of other clients’ use of video, Hallmark eCards was able to manage costs and surpass their own expectations around their acquisition strategy.