Brand: Purple Mattress
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Display Network
Bottom Line: E-commerce brands see higher click-through rates when they target ad content to consumers in specific locations.
When temperatures rise, people get uncomfortable in their beds. This universal problem is something that the advertising team at the direct-to-consumer mattress brand Purple decided it could capitalize on to drive sales with a location-targeted ad campaign launched last year.
“We launched the campaign with the hypothesis that because Purple sleeps cooler than memory foam—the No. 1 type of material used in mattresses—that targeting cities and states that tend to be ‘hot’ to share the ‘sleep cool with Purple’ message would lead to great results,” says Bryant Garvin, Purple’s digital advertising director.
Purple started by creating a landing page for the Sleep Cool campaign, which includes information about how the brand’s mattresses promote airflow, to keep people comfortable, and customer reviews. To promote the page, Purple launched a conversion-focused campaign on Facebook that was targeted toward visitors in warm-weather locations.
Although the campaign was initially launched on Facebook and Instagram in 2016, it has since been expanded to YouTube and the Google Display Network, as well.
“You can run most geo-targeted campaigns using the technology directly built into the platforms,” Garvin says. “While we could have chosen to do more micro geo-fencing targeting using other vendors like Simplify or Gridquire it wasn’t necessary because of the larger targets we used.”
Running location-based ads has allowed Purple to get granular with its messaging. For example, Garvin says when the company tested running ads exclusively in Phoenix, Arizona, it tightened its copy from “Sleep Cool, with Purple,” to “Hey Phoenix, Start Sleeping Cooler.” Unsurprisingly, Garvin found that the ads with targeted copy ended up having a higher click-through rate.
In the 14 months since it launched, the Sleep Cool campaign has become one of Purple’s best performing campaigns, eventually leading Garvin and his team to want to scale the campaign by removing the geo-targeted component.
“We decided to test removing the geo-targeting and simply allowed Facebook’s algorithm — which already had a ton of indicators around which people were most likely to convert—to do its thing,” he says. “The campaigns scaled rapidly and quickly became one of our best sales drivers. This had a very positive impact on everything from conversions to number of people we reached. We also saw a dramatic drop in CPM.”
ROAS (return on advertising spending) and revenue are the primary metrics that Garvin and his team optimize toward this and every other campaign that Purple runs. Particularly because the brand is self-funded, Garvin says every campaign has to be done profitably.
“If it isn’t profitable we don’t have the capital to keep doing it,” he says.
Although the Sleep Cool campaign is one of Purple’s most successful campaigns, Garvin says the company has used the same location-targeting techniques to fuel other campaigns, as well. For example, to promote the company’s anniversary sale at its headquarters in Alpine, Utah, Garvin utilized Facebook to target people within a radius of the headquarters and let them know about the special event.
“This lead to a positive ROAS to tracked sales on our website. However, we took this a step further because they would be coming in-person to purchase. We took the customer data and did an import into Facebook to match up offline sales to our ads,” he says. “Doing this allowed us to track a 500%+ ROAS from offline sales back to our ads on Facebook in addition to the returns we tracked directly to onsite sales.”
Purple is constantly testing new ad creative and targeting options, and Garvin says the company is involved in dozens of beta ad products between Google, YouTube, Bing, and Facebook. He explains that digital advertising will continue to be a primary channel, and that the company’s investment in hyperlocal targeted advertising—including targeting people who visit local mattress stores—will increase in the coming months and years.
“Being able to understand how users flow through our content from beginning to sale is important for us to improve content creation and targeting,” he says. “Hopefully soon we will be able to have even better cross-device and even possibly be able to measure how ads being shared organically to friends and family are driving sales.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.