How I Got 35X ROI on Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads ROI

During the past 30 days, I spent $297.96 on Facebook ads that returned $10,510.50 in direct revenue. This post will explain how I pulled that off.


I’m a big believer in Facebook ads. They are a major part of the strategy I use for myself and for others.

But during the past 30 days, I did something I hadn’t done before. I launched a product for my personal brand that I would support with heavy promotion.

I’ve done this for others. But it’s the first time I did it for myself. So the types of results would be a major test of whether I truly practiced what I’ve been preaching — and saw the benefits.

On July 22, I announced my FB Marketing Advanced University: Power Editor training course. I opened it up for pre-pay, offering it for 50% off the eventual price when it was fully ready.

I started ads that day. The results I’m going to present will be for ads starting July 24 when I included Conversion Tracking and started using FBX for the purpose of driving purchases.

Note that I also spent money on ads to increase relevant Page Likes and drive webinar registrations, but the entire focus of this post will be on those ads created for the purpose of driving conversions for my training program.

The Campaigns I Ran

I ran 11 total campaigns:

  • 6 were Promoted Posts or Dark Posts that targeted Fans only (videos, links and photos)
  • 1 was a Dark Post that targeted a Lookalike Audience
  • 1 was a Dark Post that targeted non-Fans from my Custom Audience
  • 1 was a Dark Post that targeted various non-Fans based on interests and Partner Categories
  • 1 was a Promoted Post that targeted non-Fans based only on similar interests
  • 1 was a sidebar FBX ad that targeted users who visited any page of my website

The Results: Fans Only

Facebook Ads ROI Fans

When I targeted Fans only, I received amazing results.

I spent a total of $207 on those six campaigns. They returned 129 conversions, directly resulting in $9,481.50 in revenue (45.9X ROI).

The average Cost Per Conversion when targeting Fans only was $1.60. For a $73.50 product.

The Results: Non-Fans

Facebook Ads ROI Non-Fans

While the results were incredible when targeting Fans, I saw starkly different returns with non-Fans. In fact, I had no returns at all.

I spent $52.23 on non-Fans. I created 14 ad variations, trying to find the perfect combination.

Not a single conversion.

You shouldn’t be surprised that I stopped these ads early when I wasn’t seeing results. Now, $52.23 is a relatively small sample size. I could have very easily gotten a positive ROI with a single conversion.

But given the results I was seeing from Fans, I saw no reason to continue these ads.

The Results: FBX

Facebook Ads ROI FBX

Meanwhile, I was running FBX with PerfectAudience. I spent $39.19 on ads targeted at all Facebook users who visited my website.

This resulted in 14 conversions. That works out to $2.80 per conversion and a 26.3X ROI.

Not too shabby for sidebar only ads.

This is one I will invest in more heavily going forward. I have stopped my Fans-only promotion, but I’ll continue targeting anyone who visited my website.

The main reason for this is because the pool of people who can be targeted is much, much larger. Therefore, I’m far from exhausting that target group.

What I Learned

My results validated so many things.

  1. Build a relevant audience. Focus on building a community and that community will pay off.
  2. Don’t waste money trying to get non-Fans to make a high dollar purchase.
  3. Focus most of your ad dollars on building a relevant Fan base. It’s your Facebook sales funnel.

You may ask why I didn’t spend more on targeting my Fans. The reason is simple: Volume and frequency.

I have approximately 15,000 Fans. I was reaching them as many as 20 times with some of these campaigns. That’s approaching the point of overdoing it (possibly beyond that point).

I’m sensitive to that.

Sure, I could have undoubtedly squeezed a few more sales and a few more dollars out of my Fan base. But at the expense of alienating many of them.

And as it is, I’m sure some didn’t appreciate the constant barrage of ads. While I only received one public complaint, I accept the likelihood that some damage was done there.

But it’s a balance.

Find Your Own Amazing Results

Are you seeing similar results? If not, make sure to sign up for my Power Editor training course!

Most of the strategies I used during the past 30 days (Conversion Tracking, Conversion Specs, Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Ad Reports, Split Testing) are covered in the course.

  • Bonnie David

    Thank You Jon. It does shed light on how I need to proceed to prosper in Facebook Marketing.

  • Lena Addis

    Hi Jon,

    That’s a very impressive result! I have only one ad running at the moment with minimal results. However, am I right in thinking that Power Editor isn’t available yet in the UK, where I am based?

  • John F. Hunt

    Another factor to add to your analysis is that you supported this campaign with additional content (FB posts) and email marketing. This probably helped your fans respond even more as they received multiple impressions in an integrated fashion (and might explain why non-fans didn’t take more of a direct-response action). Nice job and congrats.

    • Jon Loomer

      Good point, John! Lots of factors involved. But I certainly don’t attribute my results to the ads only. Many pieces working together. Thanks for the thoughts!

  • Nik Andreev

    Hi Jon,

    I truly enjoyed reading your article. I’ve experimented with different audiences and every time, the campaigns that targeted the most relevant audience converted the best.

    Do you know if/when the Partner Categories will be made available in the UK?

    • Jon Loomer

      Hey, Nik! I haven’t heard anything on the Partner Categories roll-out. You just never know with those things. I’m still waiting on the new News Feed!

      I was a bit disappointed in my non-Fan Partner Categories results. I was expecting to get something there, but a big zero.

      • Nik Andreev

        Yeah, still waiting for the new Newsfeed too, funny enough, a friend of mine got it in the first few days after it was announced. You never know. Thanks for the insightful article again.

  • Jackie Nugent

    Hi Jon, valuable insights here! It would be interesting to see screenshots of the ads you ran – can you post them please?

  • Josh

    Great post!

  • George Newton

    Really nice insights on that Jon.

    See I’m running some FB ads but I can’t understand something: I usually have 4 ads running for the same campaign but only two of them gets thousands of views and the other two gets under 100 views.

    I’ve been doing this for the past 2 months and it seems to a pattern here.

    Is there a explanation to this? Am I missing something? Cheers

    • Jon Loomer

      Hey, George! This is Facebook “optimizing” your campaign. It can be frustrating, but they are supposedly focusing your spend on the ads that are most successful. The other explanation could be if two of the ads have much smaller target audiences.

      The way around this would be to create separate campaigns for those ads that aren’t running and see how they do.

      Good luck!

      • George Newton

        Yeah, frustrating is the word.

        Thanks for the reply and the split campaign idea.

        • Nate Nordstrom

          This might help – I too used to have the exact same frustration. I recently chatted with a Facebook ads employee who said it’s important to make sure each campaign has only one goal. (page likes, engagement, impressions, etc.) If you bundle several different ads into one campaign, but they have different “goals”, then Facebook will not correctly auto-optimize your ad.

          • Jon Loomer



    These 15K fan base appear to be a good start 8-)

    • Jon Loomer

      A good reason to focus on building the number of relevant fans!

  • Mark Leo

    This is great, and encouraging. I am noticing as I build a community for one account, that I am getting the highest results from friends of fans. I’m thinking it’s because I have a high engagement rate on that account, hovering around 18%. Once we get a significant following I will certainly do this. Thanks much, Jon.

  • ernohannink

    Selling a Facebook training, workshop, book on Facebook has a positive effect on the ROI too.

  • Scott Paley

    Just came across this. Curious – do you still like PerfectAudience as the best method for retargeting for small biz? Or do you prefer something else now?

  • Gregory Schneider

    Great info Jon. Glad I discovered your site. It’s a goldmine of information

  • michael

    This isn’t really relative to attracting new customers. Strong misleading title.

  • Luke Abers

    I didn’t enjoy the article. It was very one-dimensional and made a lot of assumptions that I believe are baseless. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing.

  • Jason

    John, It seems a significant omission in your article is your Time, Effort and Cost to acquire those likes that resulted in your ROI. Say you spent 3 years of exhaustive testing & efforts, 1000 hours and $10,000 to acquire those likes, then your ROI is actually negative. Of course, repeated campaigns over time and it gets positive, but what if instead you spent 20 hours, 5 days and $5k in ads to non-fans and made $10k, then that model would be far superior. Plus you’ll pick up many new fans and emails in this process, so the ROI also builds over time. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the method your colleague Amy Porterfield uses? FB Ad to non-fans > Email (& residual likes) > Immediate Sale. Also most 7 & 8 figure marketers I’ve studied have reported the aggregate value of an email address to be much higher than a Like, depending on the business of course. Not that likes/fans are to be disregarded, but with limited budgets/time/effort it seems the priority for most businesses should be on email acquisition 1st, likes 2nd. Looking fwd to your thoughts…

  • Alex

    Thats amazing. Respect. And obviously you should include the information about how this was a complete funnel and not just ad campaigns. Because you provide your blog post updates through email marketing, and facebook posts, you are providing free value and establishing yourself as the authority for the matter at hand. That is also why your current salespage is so simple, you don´t need to do selling, no scarcity, risk-removal, psychology…People just KNOW you KNOW your shit, and after reading 2-4 posts, they will simply pay for the lessons because, again, you proven that you are the “expert” in the field. And that requires the other stuff, so it be nice if you cleared it up for the people who may thing its just about targeting ads and launching campaigns.