Earlier this week, one of you who subscribed to my weekly email updates said that you wanted to hear honest and good information, especially personal successes and failures that I have had in this field.
So today I wanted to share a particular experience I had a few months ago, where things went wrong for a client during launch and how we fixed it (talk about success and failure!)
The problem: Conversion pixels were over-reporting signups
Marketers often use conversion pixels to track signups driven by Facebook ad campaigns and to optimize conversions. In other words, you and I depend on these conversion pixels to correctly track signups because of two specific uses:
- They tell you how many people have signed up after Facebook showed them your ad
- They help Facebook to find and show your ads to similar people who are likely to convert, hence optimising your ad
Because of this reliance, it is extremely important that these conversion pixels are set up properly.
Usually, you would place these conversion pixels in the following pages:
- ”Thank you” page after registration
- Receipt page after checkout
- Confirmation of subscription page after signup
- A redirect page after an action is taken, such as adding an item to cart
And that is exactly what we did for a client selling event tickets. We reached out to their developers and briefed them to install the conversion tracking code on the “Thank you” page after registration. Everything seemed going to plan up till this point.
The unexpected happened
But as you know, “nothing ever goes according to plan.”
Hours after launching the campaign, we noticed 1000s of conversions although we had barely served over 200 ad impressions.
Something surely went wrong, and we were right.
We verified the figures with our client and after spending the next couple of hours trying to find the problem, we discovered that the developer had installed the conversion pixel tracking code on a “thank you” page that was shared with multiple merchants.
In other words, the e-commerce platform re-directed all merchants’ customers to the same “thank you” page after they have made the payment. Our conversion pixel tracking code was thus picking up conversions from other merchants as well.
How we resolved it
We explored several options, like asking the developer to re-direct all transactions to an exclusive “thank you” page so that we can properly track the conversions.
But due to the short window of the sales period, we decided to run our ad campaign where we could exert control and implement changes quickly.
So we moved the conversion tracking process a step earlier, from tracking conversions to tracking website clicks and visits.
Instead of tracking the number of customers who landed on the “thank you” page, we tracked the number of leads who landed on the registration page.
We also made two other important changes to suit this tactic.
In our initial plan, we targeted a broader base of people because we expected Facebook to quickly narrow the audience based on its optimization process.
But we had to ditch the plan and narrow the audience ourselves to make sure that those who were attracted by our ads and clicked through to the registration page were highly relevant leads.
Second, we also re-worked our ad copies and images to speak to those who would take great interest in the event we were promoting.
What we learned
This problem resulted from an oversight on our part – we assumed that our clients’ customers would be re-directed to an exclusive “thank you” page.
On hindsight, we should have clarified and understood the entire online conversion funnel that our client was using. We should also have insisted that the developer install our code earlier, so that we would have noticed the spike in conversions even before the launch.
But above and beyond all, we learned to find alternative solutions to unexpected situations.
The secret ingredient to a successful campaign is not the initial plan, but the series of follow-up actions you take in response to the data you collect.
What about you? What mistakes did you make and how did you overcome them? If you are experiencing a similar struggle, drop me an email at [email protected] and we can work something out.
P.S. the blog layout is in a mess because I am in the process of re-designing this website so that you can get to know more about me, what I do, and contact me more easily. Sorry for the mess!
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