Facebook Ads: An Asset Or A Liability?

By Rumen Dimitrov • 3 min read

If you are like most Shopify store owners, you’ve used Facebook as a source for traffic generation to kickstart your website and get your first sale.

Getting that quick win under your belt feels awesome, but after that, the strategy for growth should change.

The more ads you run on the platform, aiming for more sales, the bigger the debt you are getting yourself into.

Why? Because you are paying for a “sugar rush” of traffic and sales and you aren’t working towards a long-term result. That is the opposite of building an asset.

A traffic generation asset would only increase in value with time. It has a higher ROI than ads and the more you work at it, the higher that ROI goes.

On the contrary, Facebook ads are fleeting—people come and go. If you want them to come back, you have to run another ad. And another. And another. And pay for each visit.

Using ads with the sole goal of “selling product” is wasteful. Because when your ads stop you have no traffic, and no sales.

What if Fb ranks your ad lower? What if they decide you can’t run your add on their platform anymore? You don’t have control over their platform.

You are Facebook’s asset, like every person there — you have sales to make and you depend on them to run your ad and bring people.

What if it was the other way around?

What if instead of being used as an asset you built one to use yourself?

Enter Email. The oldest and most resilient social network. The medium to which people still pay attention to, despite being dubbed “dead” a number of times over the years.

The channel that is pretty constant in the way it delivers and displays your messages. The only priority of one over the other being “whose message is newer”.

What If You Had An Email List?

You could reach people way cheaper than running an ad.

People on your list have actually opted-in because they want to hear from you. That’s why email generally has a higher engagement rate and conversion rate than other “social” platforms—people have given you permission to contact them. They expect you. They value what you have to say.

Your Email List Is An Asset (And You Should Start Building One)

And you can move it around between providers with ease.

In stark contrast—can you take your Facebook page fans and move them to another social network? I doubt so.

Running ads only to make sales gives you a lower ROI than ads targeting your ideal customer and inviting them to join your platform.

Running ads with no prospect capturing system to support them lets your money drain through the cracks of the funnel. This is a waste of money—more than 90% of your traffic is not going to buy. Some will think about it and very few will agree up front (hence the low ad to buy CR%). Whipping out a credit card and filling in multiple field forms is too much for a first ask.

But if you could stay in touch with the ones who had time to think, you may get lucky—they’ll buy from you :)

So instead of promoting products with your ads, use them to promote something that people value—an informative article, guide or a checklist that’s relevant to your product. Then ask them to join your email list. You are not asking for money, that’s why a higher percentage will take this less-risky next step.

With that approach, people are going to self-select and you’ll be left with the ones that want to hear from you. No need to spend money on the rest. And as an added benefit you get access to them without the need of Facebook as a middleman.

If you’ve read this far, I believe you’ll benefit from my “No Code Shopify Speed Optimization” guide! It is a quick read that’ll help you get the right mindset towards your Shopify store customizations.

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    Rumen Dimitrov