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July 8, 2024 in

Strategies I Used to Profitably Scale From $1,000/Day to $38,000/Day That Still Work Today!

Hey everyone! I have been getting several questions about how to scale Facebook ads so I figured I would share my experience and strategies I used to scale my business from $1,000/day to $38,000/day profitably. I still use these strategies today across many ad accounts and they work very well. This is a longer post, but I hope that you will find that it is well worth the read.

Here is a screenshot from my personal ads manager from July 11, 2023.

Month of July spend screenshot.

When is it appropriate to scale a Facebook Ad campaign?

I see far too many people trying to scale campaigns way too early and ruining their results in the process. I look for 2 key things when I am evaluating if a campaign is ready to be scaled:

  1. A consistent volume of sales
  2. A ROAS that is well above your breakeven.

Having a consistent high volume of sales is crucial because it proves there is demand for your product/service and it proves that your campaign, targeting, offer and creative combination is working to some degree. If you have a high ticket offer where you don’t get a high volume of sales, I would focus more on how profitable the campaign is.

ROAS tends to come down as you scale up. Since we know this, we want to make sure that we are only scaling campaigns that have a high ROAS compared to your breakeven (see my other post about calculating breakeven ROAS) So even if ROAS comes down a fair amount when we scale, they would still be very profitable.

When you identify a targeting/creative combination that has these two key elements, that’s your cue to scale. But how?

What are the different types of scaling methods?

There are two main methods for scaling Facebook ad campaigns, vertical scaling and horizontal scaling.

Vertical Scaling – this is when you increase the budget on a campaign by x% every so often. I am sure many of you have heard the 20% rule where you increase your budget by 20% every few days.

The truth is there is no magic formula to vertical scaling. Some ad accounts react well to 20% scales, some don’t. Some you can instantly double the budget and it works great. Others you can’t. Vertical scaling can definitely work as a strategy, especially if have a more consolidated campaign structure or a smaller daily budget. This strategy can take a very long time to get to big daily budgets if you start off small.

If I am going to vertically scale something, I will generally increase it by ~20% (or another % if I found a particular % works better on an ad account) and leave it for 2 or 3 days and observe it closely. If it reacts well, I will do it again. And again. I will stop at a certain point because if I continue, it is very likely my results will collapse.

Biggest Drawback to Vertical Scaling – Every campaign lives on a bell curve. Let’s say you scale your campaign once by 20%, it works. Great. You give it a few days. You do it again. It works. Awesome. You continue this process 2 more times and you maintain your ROAS and scale up. Amazing! Here the catch: every campaign has a point of collapse where when you scale past that point, the results come crashing down. I am sure many of you have experienced this. The worst part? You don’t know where that point of collapse is. This could be after 5 scales or 20 scales. There’s no sure-fire way to know.

It’s kind of like walking towards a cliff while blindfolded. Perhaps there is a pot of gold on the edge of the cliff (high spend + high roas) You get closer and closer to that pot of gold, but eventually you are going to go too far and fall off the cliff. In my opinion, this strategy can be pretty risky but it can pay off sometimes.

Horizontal Scaling – Horizontal scaling is when you scale by duplication or by creating new campaigns. I generally prefer this scaling method for 2 main reasons:

  1. You can scale much faster than vertical scaling.
  2. You don’t risk the performance of a good campaign as much as you do with vertical scaling.

Imagine you have a campaign that is working really well at $1,000/day and you want to scale it to $3,000/day. Well if you vertically scale by 20% every 2 days, it would take you approximately 14 days all while risking passing the point of collapse and ruining your results.

Now image you decide to horizontally scale instead. You duplicate only the best creative/copy from the original campaign and launch a second campaign at $1,000/day. Then a day later you do it again. Now you are at $3,000/day in 2 days and you didn’t touch the original campaign at all.

But what about audience overlap?

I believe that for 90% of you reading this, audience overlap is not as big of a factor as many make it out to be. In my opinion, audience overlap is really only a ‘thing’ when you are targeting small populations (think local areas) or spending $10-40k+/day towards a large population. If my results are good, I really don’t care about audience overlap. I believe ‘audience overlap’ creates a lot of fear and doubt in people unnecessarily.

Take a look at your reach numbers vs. your audience size. Image you are targeting all of the US, around 160,000,000 active users. Let’s say you are spending $1,000/day and getting around 120,000 reach for the day. Guess what, that is only .075% of the population. You haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of this audience. When you launch a new campaign, you are not going to target the same exact 120,000 people as the first campaign. If it was, then horizontal scaling would always drive up your costs of your original campaigns which simply does not happen when you target large audiences.

Here is an example where scaling by duplication worked flawlessly.

I duplicated the first campaign as-is and the cost per purchase either stayed the same or went down. If it was targeting the same exact people again, my cost per result surely would have gone up. But we know it doesn’t do that because we know how Facebook ads optimize.

Brief Explanation of How Facebook Ads Optimize:

When you launch a new campaign, Facebook uses your pixel data, ad account data and ad set targeting to determine the general audience your ad will be served to. Your ad will start to get some engagement (likes/comments). Facebook will then analyze their profile and show the ad to more people like that. Then someone will make the first purchase. Facebook will then analyze their profile and show your ad to more people like that person.

If the first person who buys (or first few people) are your ideal customers then your campaign is going to optimize well and form what we call a ‘hot pocket.’

If the first person who buys (or first few people) are not your ideal customer then your campaign is not going to optimize well and will just fizzle out over time.

When an ad is in a hot pocket, it will continue to be shown to your ideal customers and maintain good performance for a certain amount of time. How long a campaign maintains good performance untouched varies. When you find yourself in a hot pocket, the best thing to do is not touch it, otherwise you risk it exiting the hot pocket and ruining your results.

Isolating Winners

When you have a campaign that has several ad creatives and several primary texts and headlines (i.e. dynamic creative or flexible ads), it is critical to use the Breakdown tool to see what creative/copy is driving most of the results. Once I identify the winning creative and copy based on sales, I will duplicate the existing campaign and only include the winning creative and copy. This results in the new campaign spending all the budget towards the copy and creative that was driving the results in the original campaign. Often times, it results in better performance as demonstrated in the screenshot I shared earlier.

Limits to Scaling

There are certainly limits to how many times you can scale, especially if you are using the exact same creative over and over. We have several techniques to use when Facebook is seemingly ‘capping’ the amount of sales you get regardless of how much you increase the budget.

Scaling using new creatives

When I identify a certain creative or angle that is working really well, I will often generate several variations of the same design/idea/concept/video and test those. Often times, I can find a few more ‘winners’ that allow me to scale further.

New creatives can also be completely different styles or focus on different angles. What’s important is that you use the ‘winners’ to scale.

Scaling into new markets

Sometimes you have a product or service that does really well but you can’t seem to scale it any further in a particular location (local area, state, country, etc). You can start testing your winners from the original location, in different locations and see if you can find another location that does as good or better. This can be a really powerful way to tap into new markets and scale significantly.

Scaling using PostIDs

Many of you know this already but using ‘an existing post’ in the ad level instead of creating an ad leverages the engagement or social proof of that existing post. When you scale an existing post ad (often referred to as a PostID) all the engagement and social proof is concentrated in one place which can sometimes have a ‘viral’ effect if you have many people engaging and sharing your post.

Using a dynamic creative ad sort of has the opposite effect, where all the engagement is dispersed among all the variations of your ad.

Scaling using manual bidding

Scaling using manual bidding strategies like cost caps and ROAS goals can be a really effective way to scale. One thing to note is that these techniques can be a bit volatile in terms of how the campaigns spends. Sometimes they won’t spend at all and other times they can spend through a large budget very quickly.

Scaling with new products

Often times you can scale your ad account further by finding new winning products and then scaling those using the techniques listed above. Since you are tapping into a new market with new demand curve, you can scale fairly quickly if you find another winning product.

Pushing the boundaries and being observant.

If you find yourself in the position to scale, it is important that you continuously test the waters to see ‘how far you can go’ before your results start declining. Can you start your next campaign at double the budget and maintain the same performance? Can you increase the budget of a campaign by 50% and maintain its performance? How many campaigns will your ad account allow for and keep good performance? How often can you scale and keep good performance? Take note of how your account reacts every time you scale. Learn its patterns and you will be rewarded with great returns.

Use periods like Black Friday to scale way past your normal spend. (Bonus points if you scale into periods like BF) When you settle back down to ‘normal’ spends, settle back down to something higher than what you were spending before. (if possible) This is how we scale over the long term.

“Your margin is my opportunity.” – Jeff Bezos

I am of the opinion that if you have campaigns that meet the criteria for scaling (volume of sales and high ROAS above breakeven) and you don’t scale you are making a mistake for two reasons. 1. you are leaving money on the table and 2. you are giving your competitors the opportunity to scale and eat away at your margin. Don’t let scaling opportunities pass you by because you don’t know when the next one will be.

Thanks for reading!

If you found this post helpful please share it with someone who can benefit from it. If you want to share any thoughts or questions, please comment below and I will respond.

TL;DR

  • I look for two things when I am considering scaling a campaign: consistent volume of sales and high ROAS well-above breakeven.
  • Scaling prematurely can ruin results.
  • Vertical scaling and horizontal scaling are both effective strategies. I do both but I favor horizontal scaling a bit more because its faster and less risky overall.
  • There are several techniques you can use to scale further like using new creatives, using new products, advertising in new markets, using PostIDs, and using manual bidding.
  • Push the boundaries of your ad account and be observant every time you scale to pick up your ad accounts patterns.
  • Use periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to scale far past normal spends, then settle back down to ‘normal’ spends that are higher than before.
  • If possible, scale when you have the chance otherwise someone else will.

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