For more than a century, Fowler’s Chocolates has been known for its sponge candy, a chocolate-coated, meringue-like toffee first brought to Buffalo by Joe Fowler in 1910. It has a devoted following in western New York, and Fowler’s is now taking advantage of new ways to bring their regional specialty to a national audience through their e-commerce store. That’s where Facebook ads come in.
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Fowler’s sales cycle is a bit of a roller coaster, with huge peaks leading up to holidays like Valentine’s Day and Easter, followed by off-season valleys, which is when they focus on growing their audience with organic social posts. Heather Palmer, the company’s digital marketing lead, shares exclusive discounts with their email list early in the holiday buying season. Then, she reinforces those promotions with Facebook ads to capture last-minute sales.
This year, she created her first Facebook ad in Mailchimp the week before Valentine’s Day, targeting an audience similar to her email contacts. She wanted to find brand-new customers who hadn’t gotten around to their Valentine’s shopping.
“In the past, I would’ve spent hours trying to put the needle on the right target,” Heather says. “The option to show my ads to people who are similar to my contacts is what has made our ads so much more successful.”
Her $150 ad netted $415 in sales—that’s a 176% return on investment (ROI)—but more importantly, it gained her 10 first-time buyers. That meant she could reach back out to those new contacts a few weeks later about Fowler’s Easter packages, whether through an email campaign or a Facebook ad, and turn them into repeat customers.