Surviving and Thriving During a Lockdown ( The E-Commerce Guide)
This is a case study about how Bosh Pet Food managed to cut all Facebook and Instagram ads while doubling profits during the coronavirus craziness. I hope you find this actionable and useful!
The Start of the Lockdown
Before we get into the flowery marketing lingo, I have to tell you the story of how the coronavirus got to my country. The head of one of the largest clinics at the biggest hospital in North Macedonia returned from a “plagued” mountain in Italy. After having symptoms for five days(!) and still not going for a check-up, one of her employees reported her for allegedly having the virus while under threat of being fired. And she was right.
So that’s how this whole thing started for me — just a bit of an intro. Let’s go to the marketing stuff now.
Declining Paid Ad Sales
When coming to us Bosh Pet Food, noticed a steady decline of purchases on their best performing ads. I naturally turned to a few of the CEOs in my master-mind group so I can see what their situation was. They always came back with the same answer, “It’s because of the virus, we’ll stop running ads for now.”
But stopping the ads all together was NOT an option. During the crisis of 2008, the brands that continued to prosper were the ones that found ways to use channels with better ROIs.
Who knows what the future brings? Maybe this is going to last a year. Perhaps we are going to have a financial crisis after the virus that is going to be around until 2025. It’s easy to “give up” and let it pass. But that’s the exact reason why we are going to go further down into a crisis.
I don’t know if you’ve watched the Southpark episode called “Margaritaville” but you should. The episode was seen by 2.77 million households in its original airing, making it the most-watched Comedy Central production of the year.
The learning from the episode is simple and yet brilliant.
The economy fails when we all start panicking and start saving money instead of spending them. That’s it. The same goes for ads.
Anyway, Bosch found us from my brilliant article (shameless promotion) about how we got a bikini company to 2.5M in ARR using only cold emails. They wanted to try it out in the hope that it will reduce their costs while still selling some product.
Emails vs. Facebook / Insta Ads
Email has been and after 20 years, remains the channel with the best ROI — especially when it’s really targeted.
After grabbing coffee with them, I learned that they hadn’t tried anything else besides paid advertising. Their company is run by people that know their shit when it comes to dog food but little about anything other than FB ads.
Nonetheless, we got to work. Our onboarding process goes like this:
- We ask how many GSuite emails they currently have (they had 12)
- We ask how many emails they want to send daily
- We calculate the warm-up period they need for the new accounts + accounts they have now and give them en estimate about the testing period and reaching full scale.
In this case, because Bosh Pet Food operates locally, they did not need much. 200,000 emails could do the trick.
So the testing period was going to be two weeks or 20,000 emails. Usually, the testing requires 50% fewer emails, but given the narrow targeting they have, we needed to make sure our email is flawless before reaching full scale.
With those 20k, we got these results:
Look at that light blue percentage. That’s the %-age of people that replied to the email. Woohoo! They were able to keep the sales team very busy for the entire week, stop all Facebook / insta ads (besides retargeting), and still sell x2 of what they would have sold by paid advertising.
The secret was very straightforward. They were able to have 1:1 talks with the customers.
Now more than ever, that’s what you should do too.
Of course that everyone is panicking about what’s going to happen in the world, that’s very natural, but if you believe that your product brings value (and you should!) talking to them, alleviating the pain and gaining trust is the #1 thing you can do right now.