In this case study, I’m going to share how we were able to generate several million dollars in sales for a client, by filling out free events in 11 cities using Facebook Ads -essentially for free.
Update: Since the original writing of this case study, we went on to do this 5 more times totalling over 55 events successfully marketed.
We sold out 11 events in 11 cities in 2 weeks with Facebook Ads – generating millions of dollars in sales as a result.
The client had been holding free events to attract prospects (entrepreneurs and small business owners) and demonstrate their expertise.
At the end of the event, attendees would be invited to join business coaching and training programs if they wanted more comprehensive help growing their business.
Before our client started working without us however, they were struggling to fill their free events with more than 50 people.
With rave reviews from event attendees – they knew they had the ability to take their business further.
They just needed to figure out how to fill the room with more people.
So that’s what we helped them do with Facebook Ads.
How We Did It
We had just over two weeks to fill 11 events across 11 cities. Each event had hundreds of seats which we needed to fill.
Here’s what we did:
Pre-Campaign Content Marketing
We wanted to show what our client’s company was all about and start building trust and awareness in the marketplace before we ran our campaign to promote their free events.
We did this through content marketing via social media – posting lots of videos and training materials.
Once we had ‘softened up’ the market and built awareness and trust, we ran our main campaign to promote the free event.
The Main Campaign
We created a number of type of ads because this was an enormous campaign with a large reach.
We tried a few different kinds of things to see what the data told us.
With any sort of Facebook Ad campaign, you can never be 100% certain what will be the winner. Which is why you must run several different ideas and variations.
Then you let the market decide and adjust your budget accordingly.
Hot Tip For Running Campaigns Across Multiple Cities
When running campaigns across multiple cities, you always want to divide up your advertising based on the city.
If you lump all your campaigns into one ad, you won’t be able to accurately tell what’s happening within the data in a region.
It also allows you to ‘fine-tune’ your campaign based on how well a campaign is performing in a particular city. For example, if you are generating 1,000 clients in City A and only 10 in City B, you’ll want to change your ad creative, targeting or even offer, for City B.
Covering Advertising Costs Upfront
We kept it as a free event, as we wanted to lower the barrier to entry and attract as many people as possible.
But we came up with a way to pay for the advertising costs completely – so that there was zero net cost.
After people had registered their details for the event, we offered them the one-time offer to upgrade to a VIP ticket for $47.
This included a number of privileges and value delivered at the event, to the tune of over $2,000 in value.
The $47 Upgrade offer we used to pay for advertising costs completely
We were able to generate enough revenue through this strategy to cover all the costs associated with the VIP tickets, as well as our advertising costs for the event.
So essentially, this multi-city, multi-country campaign had net zero dollars in advertising costs.
That meant more profit when people bought the training and coaching programs offered at the end of the actual free event.
The free events quickly filled up – with many events overfilled before we could even take down the registration website.
We were able to fill events in 11 cities spanning two countries.
Most events were overfilled, with standing room only. Many people spilled out into the lobby at the event.
Our client was able to completely fill out his event and generate millions of dollars in sales.
Here are some of our statistics from one of the campaigns:
- ~ 5,200 leads
- ~ 2-week lead time
- ~ 11 events in 11 cities
- ~ 2 countries
- ~ $0 net spent in advertising
All up, our client generated millions of dollars in front-end (meaning immediate sales) and back-end (future sales) sales, which represented an extremely successful campaign.