This past week I ran the very first ad I've ever seen successful ROI from, on Dense Discovery, and was sharing some stats on Twitter.
After seeing Dense Discovery mentioned several times in audience communities I frequent, I checked it out and saw why. It clearly had a solid overlap with our audience: creative professionals in software and digital fields. I recognized a bunch of the names of people who were contributing to the newsletter, and the overall ethos/attitude felt familiar .
A few weeks later, @AndrewKamphey mentioned it again when we were having a backchannel conversation about newsletter ads. I looked and was surprised that DD's main ad slot (one per edition) was priced affordably, under $500 at the time. That seemed like it was within reach of at least breaking even, so I bought a slot for my book, The Tiny MBA.
My primary goal was honestly pretty low, hoping to achieve a minimum of break even from this ad, and reaching new readers.
2x ROI would've been a pretty big win for me since my past attempts with ads have all been a bust.
As of today (less than 4 full days after the ad ran) I'm already seeing a 4x ROI, and it's still (slowly) climbing!
Kai (the guy who publishes Dense Discovery) has many of his numbers publicly available: https://densediscovery.com/advertise/
So far I've seen just shy of 1300 uniques from the ad since Monday evening local time, meaning about 4.6% of the DD list (~28,000 subscribers) clicked through which is way higher than I expected.
102 books have been sold to those visitors, or a ~7.8% conversion rate from visitor to sale.
Based on my past experiences with ads, I'd say this has been...exceptional. Past attempts with other products and lists haven't done as well.
Kai clearly has a uniquely engaged audience that overlaps near perfectly with ours. I'm also curious to see how long we see new visitors from the one email. Even if it slows to a trickle, if that trickle keeps buying books that's a win.
I can stack the trickles 😂 into something bigger over time
I'd also say that the ads are priced perfectly for an independent creator to try and see. I'm very tempted to reinvest some of our winnings from this campaign in a second ad to see what repeat impressions does!
UPDATE I decided to book another ad for February, will share how it goes the second time!