MailChimp 101: Facebook Ad Campaigns

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Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world - and most e-commerce businesses are trying to tap into the Facebook advertisement space to reach new customers. This post goes over creating a Facebook Ad that is integrated with your Shopify and MailChimp accounts, and why you should use them together.

MailChimp’s for doing what, again…?

Mailchimp has traditionally been an email platform for businesses, helping businesses store contact information, create different groups and lists of contacts, and create professional-looking dynamic emails.

Over the past couple of years, it’s soared way ahead of that. Now you can use MailChimp to do some pretty robust email marketing and even reach out as an advertising tool. It’s been improving its reporting and data visualisations. The best part? It connects straight to your Shopify store. That means you can see how effective your marketing and ad campaigns are -- you can learn exactly how well each ad and email did to gain customers and generate revenue or other kinds of engagement.

MailChimp now has a Facebook Ad feature that lets you connect between your Shopify e-commerce store, your list of email contacts, and your Facebook business account. Here’s what you can do with it.

First, let’s understand Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are a staple of modern marketing, because Facebook has a massive amount of users (as in, nearly a third of the entire world population) and it’s one of the leading places people are shopping online or learning about new products from.

Creating a Facebook ad happens using your business account page. When you create an ad, you choose a group of people it will be shown to based on demographic and other data, tell Facebook what to display (generally a photo series or a video), and choose where you want it to display and for how long.

Because Facebook is the King of Big Data, it uses an Audience Insights feature to help you find people who might be interested in buying your stuff. Audience insights will help you take a starting point (such as, teenage boys in Sydney) and see what kinds of groups or other interests that cohort spends their time online engaging with. They’ll then be able to put your ad on the screens of people who are visiting those groups or pages on Facebook. This is the basic idea of targeting - find out a very small group of people (still in the hundreds of thousands) who are interested in your products and show it to them directly, rather than wasting time and money by showing more people who are uninterested. You spend money based on how frequently you want the ad to run and to how many people. The more targeted your audience, the less likely you are to be wasting ad money on people who don’t care.

We’ve recently featured a webinar series that goes over some of the minute details of creating ads with Facebook. You can check out Part Three to learn more specifically about how Facebook Ads work.

Why go through MailChimp?

You don’t have to create Facebook ads just through Facebook anymore, and that is exactly what this post is about. MailChimp now lets you create Facebook ads within MailChimp itself. There are a couple of advantages to doing this.

Use the customer foundation you already have

If you’ve been using MailChimp for your business, you already have a list of contacts you know have spent money in your store. You can use these people as a starting point, either targeting them specifically to come back as a returning customer, or using their info as a springboard to find potential customers that are very similar to them.

This is where it may get a bit...well, creepy. MailChimp can use the email addresses in your contacts list to find other people that are connected to your contacts using Facebook. It can use similar audience insights features to target people that it suspects will also be interested in your products, based on demographics and interest info it can find.

By using these features, you can expand your search for new audiences using a data-driven and steady method, rather than simply guesswork. You can use your MailChimp segments in the same way you would use Facebook targeted audiences, to advertise in front of your email contacts with particular levels of engagement. For example, if you want to stick an ad for your latest product on the Facebook screens of people you’ve just sent a targeted email to, you can do just that using MailChimp.

Use a platform you already know

If creating a Facebook ad seems a bit intimidating, we get it. It’s always easier to use features you’re already familiar with. MailChimp lets you create ads straight in their site, meaning you are already used to the terms and interface.

Send out ads for Facebook and Instagram at the same time

You can use the ad campaign feature in MailChimp to hit two audiences with one ad. When it asks you where you want to put your new ad, just hit both Instagram and Facebook then set a budget for each.

Get more out of your info

The reports that MailChimp can generate are super useful to store owners. You’ll be able to get an easy-to-glance-over report about your return on investment for every email, facebook, and instagram ad campaign in one place. This means you can learn how much each ad cost you per item purchase, and where your most effective campaigning is taking place. You’ve already got much of your customer info directly in MalChimp, so it makes sense to consolidate info about consumer behaviour right there, too.

There’s no extra charge

You do have to pay for Facebook and Instagram ads, but MailChimp doesn’t take a cut. That means you’ll be paying exactly the same price as you would if you started the ad with Facebook.

What should go in my ad?

When you’re making a Facebook ad on the MailChimp ad designer, it’s pretty much plug-and-play. Put in your visual content, a URL to direct your audience to your storefront, and a catchy description. Then choose who you want to send your ad to and how much you’re going to spend on it.

If you have video content, here’s the perfect opportunity to show it off. A full half of all content on the internet is video, and 70% of people say that they watch videos as part of their purchasing decisions.

If you don’t have a video yet, you can upload a photo or a photo carousel (a couple of photos that rotate around). A photo carousel is a better choice because the movement and multiple perspectives is more likely to attract the attention of passive scrollers.

Here’s a video showing how to set up a Facebook Ad campaign using MailChimp.

MailChimp has written up a guide on Facebook advertising strategies that work. There are loads of these kinds of things all over the internet (we’ve featured some). That’s because there are strategies that work - though they of course don’t work the same for everyone. Read up, try it, see what it does for you.

After you’ve created your ad

Facebook will review it to make sure it fits in with their advertising policies, then it will go live. If your ad is rejected, check out this info on Ad Sumbission Errors to see what you can fix.

Don’t forget to check out your MailChimp reports to see how well your ad is doing! Reports let you learn more about what your customers are interested in and who you should target for your next ad campaign.

P.S… we’ve got more of the good stuff

This post is part of our MailChimp 101 series, where we help you get started with email software for business as an e-commerce store. Our other posts include an introduction to MailChimp, learn about automation, lists and groups, segmentation, the MailChimp mobile app, MailChimp Reports, and Instagram Ad campaigns.

Want to learn more about using MailChimp but we haven’t written about it yet? Let us know! We’d be happy to cover it in our series.

* All awesome images via MailChimp