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Easy Facebook and Google Remarketing

28 min listen

Today Jesse and Rich interview Karel Tlustak the founder and CEO of an automated advertising tool — ROI Hunter. Diving deep into remarketing for small e-commerce merchants.


Jesse: Happy Friday, Richard.

Richard: What’s happening, Jesse, how are you?

Jesse: I’m good. I’m good. It’s a good day here in San Diego.

Richard: Cleared up for us too.

Jesse: Yeah. We are also out of the polar vortex the rest of the country was dealing with.

Richard: You don’t miss Minnesota much.

Jesse: No, well, San Diego’s home. It’s all good. Today this is interesting, because we are going to be talking about remarketing and so we’re doing the podcast version of remarketing. We’re hitting people with the same message over and over. The promo for a lot of our podcasts mentions Facebook remarketing. I think this is real life remarking for a podcast.

Richard: For other people that are parents like us out there. They know you can’t just say something one time to your kids. And you are our family out there and we want to help you and this is how stuff works. It’s one of the most effective ways to get more sales, to really get in front of people that have been to your store but didn’t make a purchase. And so we just want to reiterate as much as we can and we have a guest coming on the show that’s got to come in as one of the best at it.

Jesse: Absolutely, the idea is that you have to repeat the same message like you train your kids. Lift the seat up, lift the seat up, lift the seat up. Remarketing is the same way, you keep putting that product in front of people and eventually, they’re going to buy. Today we want to bring on our guests Karel Tlustak. Karel. I think I butchered the last name a little bit. But how are you?

Karel: It was nearly correct.

Jesse: I practiced even but I’ll get there.

Karel: I’ve got some complicated name.

Richard: Another example of needing to do things over and over again.

Jesse: I like it. I like it. Awesome. So, Karel, you’re calling in from the Czech Republic. If people are wondering what the accent is, that’s the accent. Karel, give us a little bit of a backstory. Where did you come from? How did you get here?

Karel: Yeah, thanks for having me here. Look, I’m CEO of ROI Hunter via Facebook and Google partner. And we are managing half a million campaigns, so I could tell you something about remarketing. But really the reason why we’re here is simply to hunt for better ROI for your clients. That’s why we are ROI Hunter.

Jesse: Awesome. I noticed your title was Chief Hunter as well. I like that. (laughing)

Karel: Right now I’m ROI Hunter but I believe in a couple of hours I’m going to be a Beer Hunter (laughing.) It’s 8 a.m., our pm actually here.

Jesse: It’s Friday, so I appreciate you sticking around and there’s no reason you can’t have a pint in front of you while you’re podcasting. That’s the beauty of it.

Karel: I didn’t have this idea. (laughing)

Richard: It’s a little early for us too.

Jesse: Awesome. So you’re the CEO of ROI Hunter but getting back you didn’t just start doing that. How did you start in the digital marketing world?

Karel: Yeah, I liked to establish the agency business factory 10 years ago and we worked with very small customers here in Europe, many ecom businesses. It was actually me creating first campaigns on Facebook and AdWords for them. But since we had more and more customers now, it’s nearly two hundred people in our company, and we wanted to grow and via partnering with Ecwid. So shining future in front of us.

Jesse: And shining future for all people listening if everybody follows along. So you’d have the agency, you didn’t just grow from you and some friends to 200. What was your specialty? Was it your Facebook and Google ads, how did you grow so big?

Karel: Look, it was actually just an agency until one interesting thing happened cuz we had a bunch of developers, I have developer’s background and recreated a lot of internal tools just to make marketing more efficient and working for our clients. But then we were somehow spotted by Facebook. So they literally gave me a ring and they said: “Hey guys, come to London, show us what you have if you see some interesting activity in our IDI”. So we came and I’d realized it was some competition that is they called Facebook accelerate program, which was kind of a combination between interesting companies they selected. And they selected us because they liked what we were doing and we worked with their engineers, product guys, commercial teams for half a year. And we’ve done a lot because we were the fastest, we won this program and became the official marketing partner at the end of 2014. So you could say that we are actually a product of Facebook.

Jesse: Awesome. That’s awesome.

Richard: Not the worst partners to have. (laughing)

Jesse: That’s awesome. So you guys were building the tools internally and for people that are not in-depth with Facebook ads, there’s a lot of creative needs. You need to usually get a lot of images, you need a lot of headlines and everybody wants you to test, test, test but it’s kind of hard to do all that. So I assume your tool was basically helping you do that internally for your own agency.

Karel: Yeah, exactly. But imagine that we were working with a lot of back-end e-commerce companies and they are usually struggling with product feeds and how to make the marketing sufficient and as personalized as possible. We’ve learned a lot, then we’ve realized that we were working with the biggest guys in a region, why don’t we create a simplified version for small guys? And that’s why we created ROI Hunter easy. Just using the same engine as the biggest companies are using but for very small customers that are starting with marketing.

Jesse: Oh, that’s perfect. I like that story because I think that’s a lot of what Ecwid is. It’s taking enterprise technology and then packaging it and making it easy for smaller companies to do it. So maybe that’s why we are working together on this podcast, we both have the same goal there. That’s awesome. Yeah, so the tool was basically… So ROI Hunter and by the way up for full disclosure, I use the tool as well at Ecwid managing our advertising as well. I think it’s pretty cool. Let’s see, how can we describe this for a user? Basically, you connect to a product catalog for people and then… Can you describe some of the magic that happens behind the scenes?

Karel: I think that the magic starts with the data we have as we’re managing half million campaigns. You know what works for what type of customer. We simply look at your website, take the product catalogs that you have, and create structures of campaigns on Facebook and Google so that you are covered and just set up the budget and make sure you got maximum for your budget.

Jesse: Got it. So unlike an agency, people have Delton agency as you usually talk to a person, you say “Make my numbers better and here are some ideas on what we could do”. You essentially have a tool that does that automatically.

Karel: Yes, that’s correct. You have the dashboard, you set up the budget, and you see performance life and the whole magic is happening on a back-end.

Richard: One again, just in case someone hasn’t listened to any of the other episodes. This is specifically dealing with the feeds that you have in your store. So as long as you have your prices and your pictures and your descriptions up, no additional things you need to do other than set the budget and watch how the campaign’s going. This isn’t about creating new creatives, right? This isn’t like an SEO play.

Karel: Yes, exactly. You take your products and we make sure that people that visited these products see them across the channel on different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, or a website. We make sure that we show the products in the right frequency, not bombard it too much. At the same time you want to be onto their mind, right? As you said you need to repeat it to the children so that they eventually do what you want.

Richard: So without going too deep, cuz if you’ve been doing this for that long and doing a half million campaigns, you can probably completely over, go over, Jesse and I even answered this but with this cross-device, what is that? What does that mean to somebody who doesn’t quite understand?

Karel: Yeah, I think this is quite a big challenge for most e-commerce marketers because their customers are visiting the website from different devices. It usually starts with mobile, but then they switch to a tablet, maybe desktop at home and you need to get to their attention on all devices ideally. And I believe that Facebook has very good tools for this. People are looking at Facebook on all their devices. And Facebook knows, alright, it has simply all these devices and even though the visitor comes from a cell phone or a website, we can still show your products on their desktops no matter where they are.

Jesse: That’s a very good important point because especially with the rise of mobile a lot of times people that are looking, search on mobile, but they’re on the move or they’re busy and so they look. Purchases don’t happen on mobile as much as they happen on a desktop because you got to type in all the address and all the credit card information. So that if somebody is looking for your product, they look on mobile and of course, they’re logged into Facebook and Instagram cuz pretty much everybody is, then when they’re back home, maybe they’re at work. They are more in a buying mode because they might be sitting down in a chair and have their wallet and credit card right next to them, then your ad can now be displayed to them. Wherever they go on if you’re using Facebook and so it’s on Facebook, on Instagram. And then if you add Google as well, you’re on pretty much every site across the internet, so cross-device is super important. And I think for people that are like hearing cross-device and think that’s hard. It’s not really that hard at all, those are pixels that pass this information back and forth and maybe a few years ago it would have been difficult to do this cross-device. So that’s awesome.

Richard: You also mentioned frequency and timing. Right back to our joke early on with the multiple touch points and all that. So do you utilize most of Facebook’s AI or is it a combination of information that you have with all these campaigns? How do you figure out the right timing and the amount of times to put this feed in front of people?

Karel: Yeah, that’s a good question because obviously, Facebook has AI, Google has AI as well but they need sufficient data. They can really decide “Okay, I need to do XYZ”. And what we see is that small businesses don’t have freely big traffic on their website. Their network can’t work enough. So definitely we’re using the knowledge that we have from all these customers, half a million campaigns so that we create structure following the best practices we see that are working with other customers. And we try to utilize Facebook and Google AI as much as possible. So that we deliver simply ROI.

Jesse: And the beauty is that you guys are actually combining both of those as well. Right.

Karel: Because I see that it’s critical to really capture attention as soon as possible cuz you want to have the customer in this whole mood when they’re thinking “Should I buy it or not?” and then simply if you reached them on all possible spaces, you increase your chance to win them.

Richard: Yeah, cuz someone’s trying to get in front of them. So you might as well get in front of them again as quickly as possible. It sounds like.

Karel: That’s pretty important.

Jesse: And did you find I mean, obviously the sooner the better. So if somebody visits this site and abandons the cart or do they just visit the product in and not buy, that’s what kind of kicks off the process. Is that correct?

Karel: Yeah, correct. And if they visit multiple products, then we try to actually estimate what products are capturing their attention the most, so that they can see even on Facebook where you see like multiple products and you just survive until you can choose for them and Facebook in a carousel format. You see multiple products, you just swipe and choose from them. Facebook is so clever that they are even adding more products that you even didn’t visit, but they see on that website that these products are interesting for others, for other people that are similar to your profile.

Jesse: I like that. Okay. So if you go visit two products, you might see a carousel ad on Facebook or on Instagram that has five products and basically, Facebook knows because they have seen other people buying on your site.

Karel: Yes, that’s correct.

Richard: That kind of leads to the next question I have. If you’re doing the retargeting campaign and then someone eventually buys, is there anything that the merchant needs to do or does it stop that campaign and maybe move on to other products?

Karel: By default, it stops the campaign. If you have a big budget, and we know that we wouldn’t spend that budget, then obviously we try to reach people similar to your buyers and maybe retarget to people that are similar to those who bought something. And again, this is where Facebook has a lot of information because imagine that for instance, Facebook knows iPhone 9 was bought by people that have iPhone 8 for instance, then it’s a strong signal that we should actually reach out to people without iPhone 8. We do iPhone 9. So there’s a lot of AI behind to choose right products to the right people. And that’s where you are just playing with the budget. Everything’s happening is magic. You just say, “Hey, okay, I’m happy with this. I’m going to increase the budget.”

Jesse: So awesome. I didn’t realize that. This is even beyond remarketing where remarketing means they had to see the product and then be shown the product again. But you also had the ability to target people that look like those same customers.
Karel: Yeah, it depends just on the budget.
Jesse: Okay. Alright. Awesome.

Karel: Obviously, remarketing has the best ROI, right? So I strongly suggest starting with a smaller budget. Did you capture the best promising customers and then gradually increase it, depending on your result. Jesse: What’s the minimum that… A lot of people, they haven’t done advertising before, what’s the minimum budget that people could start with for remarketing? Karel: But it pretty much depends on the traffic that you have on the website. We actually need enough people to even spend the budgets. So I would stop it $10, $20-50 per day and then you can scale it depending on results, but you need to be patient, you need to wait at least two weeks so that you really see how it develops. And it takes time initially for people to decide. So depending on what you are selling, that might be different. The decision processes and it’s usually at least a week, so that, even algorithms can learn.

Jesse: Yeah, I think that’s good advice. A lot of times people get very anxious, but everything takes time. Particularly with this, because it is machine learning and algorithms that are trying to figure out how to, you know until you can find out more people that buy, you have to at least find one or two people that buy. And so it does take time. So that’s, that’s good advice. What else should merchants know before they get started?

Karel: I think it is important to know that we are very transparent and your customers are paying directly to Google and Facebook. But obviously they need to set up an account, set up a page, we come to do this for them. Because of our device, we wouldn’t be transparent and then they wouldn’t pay directly to Facebook and Google. So I think they need to just set up these and they need to be patient. It’s double advice really received so, so often that you just put it on and then you expect that some miracle happens and it’s not coming and now they’re a bit nervous. So you start changing things. No, just wait like one week. It’s the minimum really.

Jesse: So it is magic, but don’t expect miracles.

Karel: You can expect miracles, but after two weeks (laughing).

Jesse: I like it. Yeah. Okay. No, the patience is important and I think also the setup process too, like you mentioned, yeah, you’re going to have to set up some accounts. You have to log in, you have to put in your credit card with Google and Facebook. Expect that, right. There is magic. But you know, there are steps too. So there are a few things to do and be patient. I think also we have, there are a couple different promotions to get people going to. I know if maybe heard the promo at the beginning of the podcast, there are some promotions. What, what type of promotions can people get through ROI Hunter for Google and Facebook?

Karel: Well, friends from Facebook gave us some free coupons for AI advertisers. But they should hurry up because as far as I know, it’s limited till the end of February. Right? It is. Yeah.

Jesse: And for people listening to it, Facebook doesn’t always give out credits there. They’re a little tight with that, so if you think this will be extended forever and I can, I can wait. That’s not the case. It is a hard deadline at the end of February, so if you’re listening to this in February, there’s still time. If it’s later on in the year you’re hearing this, you’re probably too late on that.

Richard: Not too late to use it. Just too late to get it for free.

Jesse: For sure, for sure. You don’t need free money to do the right thing for your business, but if you want the free money, get on it right now.

Richard: Yeah, you may as well. And plus we try to reiterate this every time too. They are advertised, they make their money off advertisers, so to your point Karel, that they want, no matter how low your budget is in the beginning, they want to show you success. Because if you put in $10, I’m not going to, I’ll make up a number. They want to at least give you a 12 or they want to give you some sort of number higher than the number you paid them, so you come back and give them more money and then as you described, then they should, when you get more data, increase the ad spend as long as the ROI keeps coming, keep increasing, keep watching the campaigns. I did have one question there. Even though you pay Facebook and Google directly and you have to set up those accounts, you still just manage it through ROI Hunter though, yes?

Karel: Yeah. It’s simpler for you because then you don’t have to create a feed, a Google, Facebook merchant account and all this stuff and create all these campaigns. So we do a lot of benching in the backend. We use the campaign structures that we see from these half a million campaigns. This is what we do for you, but you can always look into native Facebook and Google interface and see really what was created, how it goes. But we see that usually, it’s easier to just set up the budget and to think about it more top level because I know that small e com businesses, they have so many things to do, they don’t have time really to spend time on Facebook and Google and manage their campaigns nowadays. It needs to innovate and provide good service to their customers. Right.

Jesse: For sure. And for people who haven’t logged into your Google Ads or Facebook Ads manager, it can be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot of information there, a lot of options. So I like that. ROI Hunter has made that a lot easier. But you also have the ability to log into your accounts, native accounts if you want as well. So I think that’s a pretty, pretty cool option. Rich, any last questions for Karel before we sign off?

Richard: Oh man. I mean it’s, it’s always so hard to end the podcast because once we have someone with so much knowledge in their brain, I mean I feel like I get asked eternally questions. I would just say, what do you recommend for people to just step one?

Karel: Well, step one is to start, right. They need to go to your upmarket and find Facebook and Google retargeting in the marketing section and then it’s pretty simple. They just go through steps that they will see it. Just need to create an account page and that’s it.

Jesse: I like it.

Karel: And then again, be patient.

Jesse: You’ve been remarketing the patient message. I liked that. Everybody should remember: launch with ROI Hunter. It’s in the App market at Ecwid, under marketing and be patient, right? Karel, if people would like to learn more about you and your companies, is there some other place that they could go?

Karel: Yeah. And they can google ROI Hunter or just type roihunter.com and they will see. We’ve driven success to very large customers. And at the same time, this is the engine today can use for their small business.

Jesse: Oh, that’s perfect. Well, with the podcast here, the Ecwid E-commerce Show, we’re all about helping small businesses so Karel, I think this is awesome. I’m happy that we could share this with our listeners. Rich?

Richard: Awesome. Thanks, Karel. Have a great weekend. Get out there and get your Friday.

Jesse: Get after it.

Karel: Yeah, looking forward. Thanks a lot for having me. Bye-bye.

Richard: Bye-bye.

Jesse: Thank you.

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