How we used Facebook to get 700 new email subscribers for 370 €.

That’s 0,53 € per subscriber but should go down more because we are getting new subscribers for 27 cents per subscriber now.

This is our first serious try with Facebook ads.

I would like to go through some learnings and maybe spark some ideas for you.

First, why Facebook? And why paid traffic?

With so many active users, it’s almost impossible that a part of your ideal customers is not using FB.

And the cost of reaching them is most likely much lower than trying to use offline methods and probably most other online methods.

Whatever you do, whatever you offer, it’s likely that Facebook can become an important part of your strategy to gain more customers.

It can also be efficient if you know what you are doing.

This is what I believe.

So that is why we started on the path of growth with the help of Facebook ads.

Why not Google Ads?

We offer multi-day tours that cost around 1750 € per person.

So the sales cycle is long, and the messaging has to cover a lot.

When trying to prioritize what to do, I didn’t find a good reason to start with Google since I want to sell the person on our idea and concept of travelling.

People mostly search for destination related information. At least interviews with our best clients showed that.

So we would have to compete with big brands with much bigger budgets to get in front of people.

That would cost much more to get our message out.

This was my thinking. Maybe I am wrong and we learn something new. Looking forward to that.

So our goal was to test the concept of paying for traffic and seeing if how much it costs us to get people into our funnel.

Get leads for our tour business.

Since we are selling a high-ticket item, our primary goal was to get email addresses to educate and indoctrinate those that download our lead magnet.

In this article, I want to share what we learned and why I think the campaign is successful. Topics covered:

  1. Sharing the knowledge you have and educating your audience is the way to go. You have a story; you have something to share.
  2. Ad copy. Crucial since it has to talk about the problem you are solving. Has to be interesting and relevant for your target market. If people are satisfied with the current solution, you have almost zero chance to bring them into your world.
  3. Testing images. I believe that we have significantly reduced our cost by testing 5 different images before choosing a longer-term one.
  4. Interest targeting (we went wide and tried to let the algorithm do its thing) Only after the initial learning and the data we got, we narrowed the audience.
  5. Choosing the right campaign goal. Choosing conversions as a goal proved to be by far the best since all other goals produced lead at much higher prices.

We used the most simple technique of gaining leads.

FB AD → Lead magnet → Lead

But our FB was longer than an average blog post: 1032 words

So we had to hold the attention of someone for a long time to get him to click on our landing page and give us his email.

This is the first point for today, the content of your Facebook ad,

1. Share your knowledge, educate

To get people to sign up, give them something.

Free education, a coupon, a consult, information,…something.

Let’s call this something a Lead Magnet.

A lead magnet doesn’t have to be a free pdf.

It can be a video of you educating, delivering knowledge. It can give a discount.


As long as it is solving the same problem (a part of it) that your service is solving.

The most important thing is that it is valuable to your ideal customer so that identifies her and if possible also moves a potential customer closer to your way of doing things.

That it changes her beliefs in a way they are more in line with what you offer.

I write about this changing the beliefs of your customers in this article.

Sharing your knowledge strategically.

Educating strategically.

Bringing people close to you strategically.

But this education is not in the Ad.

The AD is all about the problem and the promise of the solution.

Education is in the Lead Magnet.

2. Ad copy

We offer high-quality tours around the Mediterranean with a strong emphasis on locals, food and away from classic sightseeing.

Since we are selling a high-ticket item, we need to tell our story and we need to get people to take the time and read it. If we can’t get people to read a FB post that talks about the problem we are solving, we can’t expect them to sign up for the tour we built around it.

They have to feel its educational and possibly important to them.

Only then we primed them to go to the landing page and download the lead magnet.

So what did we put in the Ad?

We wanted to show how mistaken and rotten the world of classical tours is.

The content of the ad is the Problem of classic tourism that kills any possibility for an original experience.

We talk about the challenges of a modern traveller.

(You can find the post here, maybe use google translate so you can see the meaning )

Why do we talk about the problem?

Because if you don’t first highlight the problem, nobody cares about the solution.

When you know of the problem, then your ears are ready for a solution.

Imagine you want to sell lemonade

You put on a sign: ‘Lemonade’.

But a competing sign across the street says: ‘Germ-conscious?: Filtered lemonade’

It stands out immediately because it’s highlighting a problem before the solution.

See how this totally changes the way you look at things.

Let’s find another simple example for the tour industry.

You are offering food tours in your town and are deeply passionate about local food and showing it to your guests.

But some other tour operators close are doing their tours like on a conveyor belt.

How far you have to take this approach depends on what promises your potential customer has already herd.

In our case instead of “Authentic Food tours,” you can say

“Don’t want a mass tour? Personal foodie experiences.”

So this is how we highlighted the problem of others being impersonal.

Takes some work, but it is definitely worthwhile to articulate the problem you are solving. And not just present the solution.

After you have discussed the problem, its time to present the solution

You tell the people what they can do about the problem and where they can find the solution.

The solution in our case is the Lead magnet you are offering and the only way to get it is to sign up.

Giving up their email is a tiny price to pay to get the solution if you highlighted the problems well enough.

If you can, try to convey how they will FEEL if they solve the problem. Try to be as deep as possible.

Marketing is all about feelings.

Try to get them to act. Create tension. Challenge them.

3. Testing images

Testing is the key to Facebook success. In the best-case scenario you test images, ad copy – angles, and audiences.

In our case, we just tested the images using FB split testing feature. We Chose 5 and went forward with the one that gave the best results.

We spent 5 days 1 € per day per image and saw which gave the best results. It was this one

We tested 4 others:

Results could be totally different if we chose another.

4. Targeting

Process and thinking were like this.

Let’s first go far and wide and see what happens. So for the first test, I just chose people in Slovenia interested in travel and nothing else.

Then the data showed we have been gaining leads in a certain age group (for us that was 54-65) at less than half of the cost for any other age group.

So I started a new campaign for just that age group and our costs per lead went down significantly.

I am still running to this target group with minor changes, varying with budgets and age.

Monitoring the results, see what is happening and test.

Facebook is an interesting beast that surprises.

You can do the same things and because of the nature of the FB algorithm and its functioning, get different results.

5.Choosing the right campaign goal

Facebook ads can overwhelm when you start out. Lots of possibilities to do things right or wrong.

So the only way forward is to test. Like always.

I first ran a post-engagement campaign which shows your ad to people that are most likely to like and comment on the page.

The thinking is to first gain some social proof since you know that for us in tourism what other people say and like is the most important aspect.

The problem is that running Post engagement campaigns doesn’t allow to add a title, description and an URL to your post. So I had a feeling this will not be the best possibility for us.

But you never know, so I ran Post engagement campaign and Traffic campaigns (campaigns that show your ad to people most likely to click) and measuring using Google analytics which gave the most conversions per € spent.

Not exactly scientific but for me, It was enough proof that even if Post engagement campaigns are cheaper to get impressions; they were more expensive looking at what was the most important for us, new leads.

After I saw we were getting over 25 conversions per week, I also ran a conversion campaign. (this is the minimum Facebook recommends before starting with Conversion campaigns – campaigns that show ads to people most likely to convert)

So for some time, I was running 3 campaigns to the same audience and same budget but a different goal.

The results were clear.

Conversion campaign was 2 or even 3 times cheaper when looking at the cost per lead than other campaigns.

So after enough days I just turned off the traffic and post engagement campaign and just the conversion campaign is still running.

What is next

We have scaled down now and I am running a conversion campaign for just 4€ per day.

We are still getting around 10 new leads per day on the same ad that has been running for 2 months, almost.

So after spending 18 € per day, we are at 4 € per day with a focus on conversion rates in our funnel.

It can happen that we have completely missed the target market.

You never know.

But the ads already paid the cost of the campaigns by some B2B deal we got with a client that came in through the funnel.

So, whatever happens, it was a win for us regarding money and the learning. Plus, now we can talk to an extra 700 people.

We have their attention.

The next step is email marketing that can help us turn some people into bookers of our tours.

Would love to hear your comment. Was this helpful? Thank you!

Talk soon!


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2 thoughts on “How we used Facebook to get 700 new email subscribers for 370 €.”

  1. This has was really helpful. We are just about to launch a medical tours business and you may have saved me a lot of time and money. Thank you.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment Curtis! These kinds of comments make writing posts worthwhile. If you have any other challenges you would like me to go through, just shoot me an email at [email protected]. Would love to hear from you!

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