Why Facebook Ads Work for Some Ecommerce Companies and Not Others

by Saunder Schroeder March 6, 2019

You’ve probably heard from peers or friends that they’re crushing it with Facebook Ads, but you’re struggling to even get sales and asking yourself, “Why don’t Facebook Ads work for me?”. After managing a few hundred Facebook Ad strategies, here are the “deal makers’ we’ve discovered here at Disruptive Advertising.

Holistic Digital Marketing Strategy

We’ve all heard the phrase, “a rising tide lifts all boats”. That saying definitely applies to your digital marketing—the more you’re doing online, the more profitable your Facebook Advertising is going to be. Why?

Pixel learning. The more conversions you’re getting, the more the Facebook Pixel is able to learn and optimize. Focusing on purchases is typically best, but don’t overlook View Content, Add to Cart and Initiate Checkout

In addition, you should leverage your other digital marketing strategies.

Let’s say you’ve been investing a lot into email and you know your email conversion rate is 10%. Create an email acquisition campaign and further leverage that investment. If you’ve been investing in influencers and know that your average influencer generates a 3x ROAS (return on ad spend), maybe you could further promote your influencers Facebook Live or content and turn that average 3x into a 5x ROAS (which is not uncommon in my experience)

Social Proof

Social Proof is critical, especially for new brands. In a lot of cases, most of your potential customers have never heard of your brand, so legitimizing your brand will be crucial to generating post engagement, website visitors and (what we all want) purchasers. The 3 social proof indicators we look at are Shares/Comments/Likes on the Ad, Page Likes and Page Reviews.

We like to create social proof ad funnels in the following order:

Post Engagement Ad

  • Likes/comments/shares on your ad—Facebook will also count engagements as video views, clicks and a few other things
  • Use high funnel content that provides value to your customers—videos, blog posts, guides, etc.

Page Like Ad

  • Retarget those who have engaged with your post
  • Use content that shares why they should like your page (eg, giveaways, informative Facebook Lives, other free value propositions)

Page Reviews

  • Retarget those who have purchased your product(s)
  • The higher the LTV (lifetime value), the better


Content is King, right? (actually, results are king, but that’s for a different article…).

Thanks to YouTube, Instagram Stories and Facebook Lives, video is sitting on the content throne right now. If you’re not doing video, you’re most likely going to struggle with Facebook Advertising. With the amount of advertisers on Facebook (5+ million), you need to set yourself apart and tell your story as quickly and creatively as possible.

For new brands with little awareness, here’s one type of video style you should try:


We’re also finding the more organic and raw the content is the better the results. In some examples, getting actual customers to review of your products by simply filming on their iPhone has out performed high-production-value videos. Check out a company like BeeRoll, which makes it easy to create such content.


Earlier we talked about creating an engagement funnel, which is considered top of the funnel. We want to create a full funnel experience. Ideally, the next step of your engagement funnel would be to drive traffic to the website. Then, we would nurture anyone who came to the website but didn’t view a product.

From there, we like to leverage Dynamic Product Ads in specific Product Sets. Lastly, we recommend using Dynamic Product Ads for anyone that Added to Cart but didn’t purchase.

Engagement > Website Traffic > Products > Add to Carts > Purchase

The objective is to optimize your audiences and ad sets to a point where they become cheaper across each step of the funnel. We’ve seen adding a Video step to the beginning of the funnel has resulted in much cheaper Engagements which then leads to cheaper Website Traffic and all the way down to Purchases. Every company and product is different, so make sure you test and find what works best for you.


Eventually, you’re going to find an audience and ad that sticks and that other challenger audiences and ads can’t really beat. This isn’t an overnight occurrence and usually takes years of advertising or hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising spend.

When we hit this spot, it’s not time to reinvent the wheel. We want to leverage the audiences and ad creative that are working and apply that to new or other products. In most cases, the customers who love your first few products will come to love your new products—the same principal applies to potential customers as well.


In the end, the success or failure of your Facebook Ads isn’t the usually the result of random chance or specific, unpredictable niche factors. Most of the time, the performance of your Facebook Ads is driven by elements that are completely in your control. All you have to do is take the time to figure out your “secret sauce” and how to scale your ads to maximize your return.

  • Social Media

Saunder Schroeder

Saunder Schroeder

Saunder is a legend in his own mind. His mission is to grow people and brands that he believes in. He has a beautiful wife and 2 kids. He's a protector of sweet potato fries and performance station wagons.

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