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22 Comments

Has Anyone Tried Running Facebook Ads For SaaS Before? 🤔

After spending a good chunk of money on Google Ads for Ruttl, I am now slowly starting to get hang of the platform. Testing creatives and copies has been a good learning experience all together.

However, the CPC CPM costs are quite high on their platform. Specially generic keywords are costly and I am trying to keep my ad costs down right now.

That's why I am thinking of giving a try to Facebook Ads, mainly because they are significantly cheaper with accurate targeting. But, that's why I am making this post today. I wanna know if someone in the community has tried using Facebook ads for SaaS products before?

Previous I had tried running fb ads for Brutask with cold audiences. The big mistake that I made in that campaign was combining multiple interest groups into one single ad set. As a result, all I got were impressions and couple of link clicks only.

If you have any experience doing this, would love it if you can share some insights / experiences on things such as -

  1. Is there any funnel you should use for SaaS
  2. How much budget should we ideally test to see results?
  3. Is it worth running fb ads after iOS 14 update?
  4. Any important lessons you've learnt in the process of running them?
  5. Can you share any suggest any good examples for SaaS ads?

Feel free to be creative and think outside this question box in the comments down below! 👇

Thanks for the help guys, cheers!
Harsh 💯

Have you tried running Fb Ads for SaaS before?
  1. Yep
  2. Nope
  3. I love another platform like Google ads or LinkedIn ads
Vote
  1. 1

    It really depends. I am not currently running any. Well, I am, but it's just with the facebook ad credit running a lead magnet basically.

    Now, the main question you should ask yourself really is, "is your target market on facebook?" Now, for your specific case, which I'd assume is designers and developers, according to what I see on your site, it could be a bit tough unless you go for a broad audience, like "designers worldwide" and see what comes out of it.

    For SaaS that are a bit less niche specific it could work faster. But as someone below commented, maybe getting some traffic from google ads first could be a better choice.
    Although, I have a couple of agency friends that always say that "seasoning" the pixel doesn't really matter anymore and to run straight to conversion campaings since facebook already has enough info in their algorithm.

    Another thing you should check is if you have any competitors running ads, and if they have for a while. If they have been running ads for a while, it probably means that something is working.

    And one last thing, most of the people that I see working with ads, mention that they run a lot of test for their creatives. Since, I guess it is sort of like throwing spagetti to the wall and see what sticks.

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for the detailed reply @ItsKev! I appreciate the time you took out to share these ideas in depth. As for the competitors, there are couple of them in the market who are running fb ads. I tried analyzing them through the ad library but for reason can't seem to relate why someone would click on them.

      Then again, like you said, if they are still running it then it's clearly working for them otherwise the competitors won't just burn through cash.

      Will try testing a lot when I do the run the ads, thanks again!

  2. 1

    this topic reads very interesting.

    1. 1

      yeah it actually is. Paid advertising is lot of fun if executed properly haha!

  3. 1

    Have used a FB ads a long time ago, beyond dissapointed with them.
    Having said that, I'm curious how much you're spending on Google Ads?
    (Myself, I'm spending roughly $25/day)

    1. 1

      Mostly sticking to $5-10 per day but I'm testing lot of different keywords and regions every once in a while.

      1. 1

        Interesting!
        Right now I'm probably using >1000 keywords (all suggested by google 😁).
        About regions - I've actually looked for the richest countries, and targeted to them 😎What pisses me off about GA is that almost every time I change something , it goes into "learning mode" for a week.

        Having said that -- how many conversions do you get for $5-10/day?

        1. 1

          Usually it hovers around the range of 10-20 users per day @johnt2021 and sorry for the late reply mate! Just saw this comment of yours :(

          1. 1

            Hi, thanks for getting back to me, no worries about being late 😁
            Yeah, that's quite good!

  4. 1

    Yes, I've been in a marketing running FB ads for:

    • A recruitment business (think hired.com) recruiting developers
    • An HRtech SaaS biz (we spent about $250k/mo on FB)

    More recently, I've been trying FB ads for my own marketing tech SaaS with limited results.

    In my opinion, your best bet is to start with Google, get a couple of hundred pixel fires and then find the closest ~1% with LaL targeting.

    Interest-based targeting is time-consuming and can take a tonne of experimentation small startups like us don't have. By seasoning your seaosning your pixel with other channels, you'll give yourself the best chance of success without burning a load of cash.

    Re funnels - I've found the book "Sell Like Crazy" to be the best explanation of implementing funnels on Facebook; can send you a page if you're interested.

    1. 1

      This actually seems like an interesting idea @harvellocapello. Luckily, I had installed fb pixel way long back and I have quite a good amount of events in the history. That's why I keep advicing lot of founders in the community to installed trackers on their website early on!

      Will surely try out the lookalike audiences. But one question - I've read a lot that iOS 14 update has killed retargeting and LaL audiences. How much do you think this update must've impacted?

  5. 1

    I've done it before and it has some minor effects but without constant testing (spending money) you basically have a lot of vanity metrics.

    For a while I was spouting to everyone how amazing the reach was with FB ads. I spent 600EUR and have 1mn impressions. No sales, leads or anything but the vanity metric of I reached 1mn is pretty impressive to say the least.

    These days its worth a test but the pricing has changed and so has the effectiveness.

    1. 2

      Absolutely true. What's the point of so many impressions if they aren't converting right? I initally faced this issue when I started running G ads too but did couple of website changes which helped me increase conversions surely (such as changing few elements of design and animations)

      Anyways, thanks for sharing your ideas!

      1. 1

        G Ads can be a pain too, especially with their ambiguous Quality Score.

  6. 1

    Have limited experience with fb ads, but have been experimenting with it a bit. And we run a Saas Solution for SMEs.

    I don't think you need such a big spend at all in the beginning to see results. I think we started out with somewhere around $20 a day (maybe even 15) and got some signups.

    What have worked for us has been really straight forward and easy messages that pushes them to our page. We have tried several complex funnels but most success has always been with simple ads that states a problem your users are facing and that your solution is solving. Often using a carousel ad that can tell a bit more about your service.

    Imagine 4 cards that tells them about problems you solve in bite sizes. And emphasizing on the problem with really simple words. For example:
    "Are you tired of chasing your customers?" - "automate your follow ups"
    "behind on Y" - "simplify this"
    And so on..

    Regarding targeting LAL audience on our existing traffic has always beaten interested based targeting. In the beginning when we didn't have traffic we used an instagram bot that liked certain hashtags and used LAL audience on people interacting with our profile. This was a few years ago so no idea how that works today.

    Again above has worked for us, Im very novice with ads but hope it can give some help.

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot for commenting @Docspo_Oskar! Yes this was absolutely helpful. I will give carousel ads a try for sure.

  7. 1

    Years ago I ran a small ad campaign (around 5000$) for my news service startup. It was heavily focused on a wide range of interest areas, with landing pages and predetermined news packages for everyone who registered. It ran locally in Sweden.
    It was an utter failure, part of the failure was that the product was never ready, and my understanding of the market was quite low. But in general, it felt like the reach and the clicks were not worth the money. Most people I have met said you should never rely on FB ads, and I tend to agree with them.
    But again, there were a lot of failing factors here, but in general, it just felt like Facebook was the wrong fit for my SaaS.

    1. 1

      That's what bugs me the most honestly. Because for some reason I struggle to see the value facebook ads offers. People come there to get entertained so selling is harder in such a situation.

      Regardless, thanks for sharing your experience! Are you still running that news service startup or did you exit it?

      1. 1

        The funny thing is, I shut it down, 10 minutes ago, literally.
        It's been a long journey but it feels good to leave it behind, will write some posts about it here on IH later :)
        http://mynewsflash.com/

        1. 1

          Hahah woah what a coincidence is this!
          Looking forward to your post 🙌

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