DRIVING PRE-SALES FOR AUTOMOTIVE ENTHUSIASTS
OVERVIEW & COMPANY HISTORY
Waylens is a data-driven action cam built exclusively for drivers. Started in the summer of 2014, a group of friends from MIT and Harvard got together and began discussing building a first of its kind camera for automotive enthusiasts. With offices in Boston, Massachusetts, and Shanghai, China, the company has grown its team from just a handful of car lovers to sixteen employees in less than 2 years.
The Waylens team reached out to Social Fulcrum shortly after their founding. With the product still in development, they enlisted our help to gauge consumer interest and drive awareness via social media.
GOALS & UNIQUE CHALLENGES
Waylens was preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign and had the primary goal of driving pre-sales. However, to ensure the success of their Kickstarter, they first desired to build brand awareness around their new product and capture an audience of car and motorsport enthusiasts interested in tracking and sharing videos of their own driving experiences.
When driving pre-orders through Kickstarter, Waylens wanted to directly attribute sales to Facebook as a channel. This is a unique challenge as Kickstarter does not allow for Facebook pixels, nor does it pass UTM codes which essentially renders traditional attribution methods useless. Our team was prepared to build a working attribution model to tackle this complex attribution hurdle.
SOLUTION & RESULTS
To address Waylens’ goals, we developed a strategy with two distinct phases:
- drive leads (ie. email captures) via a targeted lead-gen campaign
- leverage the assets and learnings developed in phase one to drive pre-sales via Kickstarter.
Let’s delve into the details of each phase.
We launched the first campaign with the goal of generated brand awareness and building a lead list of potential customers. Waylens initial objective was to obtain 10 thousand emails. Per our standard process, we started by testing various combinations of image, header, and footer copy to determine the creative combination that would resonate with an audience of auto-enthusiasts. These creative variations included value propositions such as: data visualization, automatic editing (a feature of the camera), and video sharing (community). We then tested each creative element of the separate ad units (carousel, single image, etc) systematically to produce ads with the optimal picture and copy combinations.
Our next step was to identify audiences with the most efficient cost per email. We started with interest targeting to identify specific subsets of car enthusiasts such as interested in “motorsports wheel brands,” “sports cars,” “racing,” “luxury vehicles,” and so forth. All interests groups were constrained to car owners, as this is an absolute minimum requirement for a user to be interested in eventually purchasing Waylens’ automotive camera. Once we began to capture emails we created lookalike audiences based on those users. We quickly found that the audience of “email submission lookalikes” and “interested in wheel & tire brands” lead to low $ / email and were pleased to have lowered the $/email by approximately 45% within the first nine days of testing. Due our initial success driving down the $/email, Waylens decided to increase the campaign objective to obtain 20 thousand emails before moving to phase two.
As audience testing progressed, we identified the top performing interest groups and email lookalike groups and began to layer these segments with behavior targeting to identify people most likely to buy Waylens’ camera. We then filtered by behaviors including early tech adopters and specific car owners. Eventually, we were able to leverage the Facebook pixel to create website custom audiences of people who had visited specific pages and lookalikes of these audiences. This helped us expand our reach to find new users with attributes similar to those interested in Waylens and allowed us to hit Waylens’ goal of obtaining 20 thousand emails prior to moving on to phase two.
With the successful completion of phase one under our belt, it was time to fuel product development by driving pre-sales through Waylens’ kickstarter campaign. Having already determined the top performing ads and the highest-converting audiences, we were able to confidently throttle spend at the campaign’s inception coinciding with the launch of their Kickstarter. Starting this campaign with a high daily spend limit was a strategic decision, as the first 24 hours of any Kickstarter is a key indicator of its success. Gaining initial traction can land the campaign on the “What’s Popular” section of Kickstarters homepage resulting in higher visibility and more backers. After day one, we were able to sustain the campaign at a lower spend limit while optimizing performance by rolling out new creative in the form of single image ads, carousels, slideshows, video, and video carousel ads.
This additional creative testing garnered some interesting findings. There were 18 images used and they were distributed across 5 different color schemes. We found that the black and gray color scheme was most effective and had higher click through rates (CTR) and significantly cheaper cost per clicks (CPCs) then the other color schemes (which included variations of black, red, gray, and white).
A critical piece of our strategy in phase two was to address the aforementioned challenge posed by the desire to directly attribute sales from Facebook to backers on Kickstarter (as Kickstarter does not allow Pixels or pass UTM codes). To address this issue, we directed users who clicked an ad to a pixelled landing page before sending them to Waylens’ Kickstarter campaign. Implementing this redirect allowed us to create additional custom audience and lookalikes for the sake of retargeting for the Kickstarter and future campaigns. Since this campaign was preceded by the lead-gen campaign, after the 30 day Kickstarter campaign was completed we were able to tie emails from phase one to the emails from Kickstarter backers, allowing us to directly attribute a specific amount of backing to our FB campaigns. To further estimate the contribution of acquisition ads during the kickstarter campaign, we used data from the lead gen campaign to determine the conversion rate from clicks to backers. This metric was used as a benchmark to estimate that this campaign was responsible for an additional 51- 56% of total Kickstarter pledges.
HIGH LEVEL RESULTS
Waylens’ strategic targeting resulted in a massive uptick in email subscribers and a wider audience of people interested in the camera. The campaign delivered:
- 9X increase in email subscribers (lead generation campaign: August 31–October 10, 2015)
- 53% decrease in cost per click over one week (October 13–October 20, 2015)
- 51% decrease in cost per acquisition over 5 week Kickstarter campaign (October 13–November 12, 2015)
- $0.69 cost per click using slideshow ads (Kickstarter campaign)