Musings from the Thesis team on Growth Marketing, Conversion Rate Optimization, and more.

How Nextdoor Compares to FB, Google, etc. as an Acquisition Channel

We (along with the entire industry as far as I know) have seen Facebook's performance decline since Apple's introduction of ATT. Over the last 12 months, we've made channel exploration and expansion a core focus.

2021 vs 2022 Black Friday Performance on FB Ads

Our friends at Nest Commerce recently published their Readout for Jan 2023. In it, they discuss a number of trends they see impacting D2C. Their graphs comparing 2021 and 2022 performance on Black Friday caught my eye as they saw a considerable improvement...

Benchmarking Mobile vs Desktop Conversion Rates (Via Google Analytics)

I'm regularly asked what a "normal" mobile conversion rate is in comparison to a site's desktop conversion rate. The reality, of course, is that there is no definitive answer to that unless. Nonetheless, we set out to at least establish a rule-of-thumb benchmark for that metric.

Estimating if Another Mobile App is Increasing, Maintaining, or Decreasing Ad Spend

Last week I was asked a very common question: "Do you happen to have any tool that tries to triangulate if {Mobile App X} is maintaining their ad spend?". But it's a surprisingly difficult one to answer!

A Comparison of One D2C Brand's Paid Facebook Performance Over 3 Years Using FB + GA Attribution

We’ve been working with a supplement brand in the US that launched in Q1 2020 for nearly 3 years now. Over that time they’ve relied heavily on paid Facebook ads for new customer acquisition. I was curious how their Facebook CACs & AOVs have trended over time...

What Percentage of Spend Do Top Ads on FB/IG Constitute in Ad Accounts?

In my experience, a handful of ad creatives will usually swallow the vast majority of spend in FB ad accounts simply due to their outstanding performance. And those winners often survive months (and sometimes even years) of testing/new challenger creatives.

Incrementality on Facebook/Instagram: Benchmarking View-through Conversions As A Percentage Of Total Conversions

In March 2021 we wrote a blog post that looked at view-through conversions versus click-through conversions for a basket of US-based brands. Much has changed since then.

Analyzing YoY Facebook Spend and CAC for ~138 Facebook Ad Accounts

It’s no secret that paid performance marketing on Facebook and most other social platforms is as challenging as ever (and the stock prices for these companies certainly reflect that).

Only Expert Media Buyers Know THIS About Facebook Ads…

Find out what separates amateur/beginner media buyers from the experts. There are several things that make an expert media buyer. Remember we’re all a work in progress though, right?

Is the Power 5 Still Relevant in 2022?

For years, Facebook/Meta pushed the idea of the Power5, which was their best practices approach to Facebook Ads. But is the Power5 still relevant in 2022 in a post iOS14 world?

10 Mistakes to Avoid on Facebook Ads in 2022

Are you considering advertising on Facebook? Or have you been using this platform for a while? Either way, you could be making these common mistakes when creating your Facebook ads.

Guest Post: Call to Action (CTA) Analysis

We analyzed over 300,000 ads from over 700 DTC brands to find out which CTAs perform the best and how to optimally configure CTAs in your ads.

How We Approach Creative Strategy at Thesis

At Thesis, our creative offerings span across three verticals: post-production, studio, and user-generated content. But how do these teams collaborate to develop the initial creative strategy? How do we conduct client and competitor research?

How we use Facebook's Offline Events to circumvent Aggregated Event Measurement

We’ve been leveraging Facebook’s Offline Conversions as a way to circumvent a lot of the restrictions that Aggregated Event Measurement has placed on us.

Benchmarking TikTok Video Hook Rates

One of the many metrics we use internally for judging creative performance on video ads is a metric we call Hook Rate (sometimes called Thumb Stop Rate). We wanted to set some basic benchmarks and use them as a point of reference for the broader ecosystem.

Guest Post: How Butter Payments is solving involuntary churn

At Thesis, we spend a majority of our time focusing on customer acquisition. The team at Butter Payments reached out to explain how they have been tackling involuntary churn.

TikTok Attribution Explained

Like many others we were ecstatic to hear that TikTok was working to expand its attribution window, but it never seemed to materialize and TikTok’s own resources aren’t the most helpful. We wanted to set the record straight on what attribution models are available.

5 D2C Ad Trends We're Seeing on TikTok

With the release of TikTok’s Creative Center, we’ve been taking a deep dive into the Top Ads section to find some trends in what is working on the platform. It’s a great resource for brainstorming new ad ideas for your ads.

Test: How Snapchat's Lifestyle Category Targeting Performs Vs Broad Targeting

At the suggestion of our Snapchat rep, we tested Snapchat's Lifestyle Categories that an account indexed strongly with to see how they performed relative to our standard broad targeting. 

What Is Signal Optimization And How Can It Improve Payback Periods For Paid Acquisition Efforts

A basic introduction to providing ad networks' with a feedback loop that helps their algorithms optimize for payback period rather than pure CAC.

Test: How TikTok's Recommended Category Targeting Performs Vs Broad Targeting

Every new TikTok ad group will come with a prompt suggesting interest and behavior categories. We wanted to test these recommendations and see how they perform relative to broad targeting.

Creative Testing Methodology: How Thesis Tests Creatives At Scale

At Thesis, we’ve developed a testing methodology that generates more learnings, quicker, while also protecting our core scaling campaigns from creative flops. We’ll show you exactly how we set up these creative tests and generate more creative wins for our clients.

How Facebook's Three Ad Relevance Rankings Correlate with Performance

A detailed look at how Ad Relevance Rankings correlate with actual performance.

iOS vs Android Delivery and Performance on Facebook Pre and Post iOS14.5

Inspired by a client with whom we’ve seen delivery shift dramatically away from iOS and towards Android, we wanted to see if this was part of a broad shift on the platform.

Benchmarking Facebook Video Ad Hook Rates

We wanted to establish some basic hook rate benchmarks for our own internal consumption and we thought these might be useful as a point of reference for the broader ecosystem.

D2C Facebook/Instagram Prospecting ROAS Benchmarks (Aug 2021)

We wanted to revisit our Prospecting ROAS benchmarks from February, given that we are now living in a post-iOS14.5 world. For the sake of comparison, we did our best to make this data comparable to our ROAS benchmarks from February 2021. 

FB Ad Account Structure Analysis For 12 Accounts At Scale

The best way I could think of to share what I’m actually seeing in the Facebook/Instagram universe was to do an aggregate analysis of a handful of ad accounts based on very recent data.

What Is Happening to Facebook Performance Post iOS14.5? - Part 2

Another attempt to look at platform-wide dynamics post iOS14.5 through the lens of Thesis clients' data.

What Is Happening to Facebook Performance Post iOS14.5? - Part 1

A feeble attempt to try to understand how Facebook's performance as a user acquisition channel has changed since the iOS14.5 rollout.

The Aftermath of iOS14 & Facebook Ads: The Top 7 Questions Advertisers Are Asking… ANSWERED

Dara & Barry of the Thesis growth team answer the top 7 questions we’ve seen thus far about the iOS14 changes and their impact on Facebook campaigns. 

20 EASY Iterative Creative Tests to Launch On Facebook+Instagram Today

Nothing is more important than creative in today’s paid social landscape. Research shows that creative is responsible for ~50% of performance variance.

About Conversion and Value Optimization Using Detailed Targeting

If detailed targeting is used to "guide" ad delivery, how far off is the DTC equivalent of Facebook's Automated App Ads?

How We Audit Paid Search Accounts #2: Search Keyword Match Type Distribution

The second post in our paid search account audit series in which we take a look at search keyword match type distributions.

An Inside Look At The Performance For 13 Subscription-Only DTC Brands

When managing subscription-only ad campaigns on Facebook, return on ad spend becomes nearly meaningless. Profitability rarely ever happens after the first purchase but typically comes from a user’s lifetime value as they submit recurring payments months into the future.

With Platform Attribution On The Decline, It’s Time For Digital Advertisers To Lean Into Blended ROAS

It’s time to admit the days of relying on a social platform’s native ads manager to evaluate and optimize ad performance are likely coming to a close. In 2021, Blended ROAS will be our first step as advertisers to overcome this wrench in platform attribution.

Diagnosing Incrementality Issues on Facebook: Benchmarking View-through Conversions As A % Of Total Conversions

When we audit prospective new client accounts, I always look for tell-tale signs that they might have an incrementality problem.

Comparing Google Analytics Last Click Transaction Reporting vs Facebook Purchase Reporting for a Basket of 8 DTC brands

Like every other online advertiser, we see differences between what Google Analytics records on a last click basis and what Facebook's pixel reports, even when using a 1-day click attribution window. We wondered if there may be consistent discrepancies, so we dove into the data.

What is the Average Facebook Ad Frequency for DTC Brands?

It’s estimated that the average person sees between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day, so it's incredibly difficult for your ad to cut through the clutter if someone only sees it once a month. What really is the golden number of times to reach a user?

A Quick Look Inside A ~$600k Per Month YouTube DTC Ad Account

I very rarely see D2C brands with meaningful YouTube ad spend being measured on a performance basis. For this post, I'll be breaking down the basics of the setup for Brand X, which spends just north of $600k per month on prospecting on YouTube.

Distribution Of Spend Across Facebook Ad Placements For 15 DTC Brands Using The Automatic Placements Feature

iOS 14 is forcing Facebook to implement a variety of platform changes, and one of these changes is the removal of placement breakdowns. With this loss of data looming around the corner, it’s more important than ever to understand where this feature is distributing your ad spend.

D2C Facebook/Instagram Prospecting ROAS Benchmarks

At Thesis we perform new ad account audits nearly every day. To aid those conversations, I've maintained my own internal ROAS benchmarks for reference. In this post, I've sanitized that ROAS data so that I can share it for general consumption!

If You Want Successful TikTok Ads You Can’t Treat Them Like Facebook Ads

Despite launching ads for the first time in just 2019, TikTok has quickly become a go-to platform for industry leaders. TikTok is vastly different from what we’re used to on Facebook in two different capacities: measurement and creative.

Distribution of FB Spend for 14 D2C Brands: Image vs Video Creative

These days an overwhelming amount of attention is paid to video creative, and for good reason! Thesis now offers creative services including video production and post-production, and I find that most discussions online about FB/IG creative focus primarily on video assets.

How 15 Brands Are Being Impacted By Facebook’s New Default Attribution Window

In advance of Apple’s promise to crack down on user tracking on iOS, Facebook has begun implementing a series of updates to the platform that will forever change the way advertisers optimize and collect data.

How Growth Agencies Structure Facebook Ad Accounts

As we've grown Thesis, I've taken a much greater interest in the agency ecosystem specifically. I'm curious about how agencies decide where to focus, how they position their services, and how they execute.

YoY Analysis of Facebook Reach Costs+CPCs For A Basket of 10 US Subscription eComm Brands

I've spent time this year doing ad hoc analysis of year-over-year January performance for a handful of subscription ecomm brands. To make sure I wasn't missing any macro trends, I analyzed Facebook campaign data for a basket of North American focused, D2C subscription clients.

How We Audit Paid Search Accounts #1: Search Term Efficiency

Thanks to my work with Thesis, I have the opportunity to regularly audit paid search accounts from various ecommerce/D2C and lead gen brands. Over the years, I've developed a few quick reports that I use to gauge account health & expansion opportunities.

Privacy’s Impact on Facebook Performance

Privacy regulations are a new challenge marketers need to overcome, as platforms like Facebook are increasingly implementing their own requirements. And the results of non-compliance are dramatically impacting conversions.

Traffic Source Distribution Analysis For 30 Brands

Here is a sample summary of this blog post. We'll give you the gist in just a few sentences.

Why We Test Long-Form Content Landing Pages For D2C

Prior to starting Thesis, I dabbled with content arbitrage/slideshow sites. These sites featured awful content, misleading ad placements, and worse. One benefit of this work is that I spent a great deal of time looking at native ads, and came across a lot of effective DR funnels.

The Power Of Incrementality Testing

I'm obsessed with incrementality testing, and generally skeptical about paid retargeting and view-through attribution. With that obsession in mind, I'm happy to share the results of a number of lift tests that the Thesis team and our clients have run over the last 6 months.

Introducing Thesis

I'm very pleased to introduce Thesis, a company focused on conversion rate optimization and growth marketing that I started roughly 2 years ago. Today we are a team of 34, and we're proud to work with a number of growth marketing teams & agencies.