BookBub Ads is a self-serve advertising platform that lets you easily reach BookBub’s audience of active book buyers. Ads appear at the bottom of BookBub’s daily emails and offer ideal targeting options for book marketers — target by comparable authors in your genre, category interest, retailer preference, and region to reach the most relevant power readers for your title. With complete control over your targeting, ad design, budget, and timeline, you can create a campaign tailored to your specific goals when marketing any book.
To that end, determining your marketing goal in advance will help you set up a more effective campaign. Advertisers’ goals often fall into two camps:
- Revenue: Achieve a positive return-on-investment (ROI) by driving clicks and conversions.
- Branding/Exposure: Boost a book’s exposure by gaining impressions.
While every campaign is unique and your specific goals might land somewhere in the middle, we wanted to provide some tips for advertisers specifically looking to increase the ROI of their BookBub Ads campaigns to generate more revenue.
Tip #1: Try using CPC bidding instead of CPM bidding
You can now choose between two different bidding strategies when setting up a BookBub Ads campaign: cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM).
With CPM bidding, you choose how much you’re willing to pay per 1,000 unique impressions (one unique impression = the first time an ad loads on a specific email opened by a specific user). You’ll win impressions if you’re the highest bidder for impressions by users you’re targeting.
With CPC bidding, you choose how much you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad. CPC bidding is a lower risk to advertisers than CPM bidding because instead of paying for impressions that might turn into clicks, you only pay for actual clicks.
For that reason, CPC can be preferable to advertisers seeking a positive ROI. CPC is also advantageous to advertisers who run effective ads and get high click-through rates (CTR). The platform more regularly shows ads that readers are actively clicking on, so the higher your CTR, the easier it is to consistently win impressions.
Keep in mind that CPC bidding can make it harder to reach as wide an audience — but if you’re prioritizing a high ROI over a high volume of impressions, this may be a worthwhile trade-off. For more details on how Ads bidding works, read this guide to the BookBub Ads auction model.
Tip #2: Link directly to the book’s retailer product pages
If your ad’s click-through URL currently links to a page on your own website, try testing ads that link directly to a book’s retailer product page instead. This way, you’ll link readers directly to their preferred retailer. Reducing the number of clicks required to purchase the book can help increase the ad’s ROI.
Linking readers to their preferred retailer is super easy! Simply select the book you’re promoting when creating a new ad. BookBub will pull in the book’s retailer links, and your ad will automatically target readers in the relevant regions and link them to their preferred retailer.
You can edit or add additional retailer links if necessary.
Tip #3: Use author targeting
If your ad’s CTR is low and you’re not getting a high ROI, you may be targeting too broad an audience. Consider refining your targeting by using author targeting. This will allow you to reach readers who have expressed interest in specific authors, and will likely help you reach a smaller, more relevant audience. Include yourself (or the author of the book you’re promoting) and other authors who have written books similar to the one you’re promoting.
You can get ideas for authors to include by looking at the “Also Bought” section of a book or author’s retailer pages. Scroll through the pages to compile a list of authors who’ve written similar books.
You can also navigate to an author’s Amazon page and look for the “Customers Also Bought Items By” section in the sidebar:
Also note that by using both category and author targeting, you’ll only reach readers who are interested in at least one of the selected book categories and one of the selected authors. This can help narrow your target audience even further.
As you adjust your targeting, keep an eye on the audience dial at the bottom of the page, which will update to indicate your estimated maximum daily reach based on your targeting.
Tip #4: Optimize your creative
If your ad isn’t getting enough clicks, it could mean the design isn’t engaging enough. Here are some best practices that have been effective for advertisers:
- Include a book cover image. Testing has shown that ads featuring an image of the book’s cover get more clicks than ads without a cover.
- Make the text easy to read. The text should be actionable and large enough to read.
- Use a short quote or blurb. Ads including a quote or blurb from a big-name author or publication have above-average click-through rates.
- Include a call-to-action button. Give viewers a final nudge by including a call-to-action button they can click. Use contrasting colors to make the button stand out in the design.
Here are just a few examples:
Ad creative preferences can be highly subjective, and best practices and trending tropes can differ by genre. Testing your ad designs can help determine what works best for a particular book and its unique audience.
Tip #5: Run A/B tests
A/B testing your ads can help you determine which creative and/or targeting would get you the highest CTR. Essentially, you’ll run two different ads simultaneously, and the ad with the highest CTR is the winner. We recommend running several test campaigns with low budgets ($10-20) and then increasing the budgets of the winning variations.
For example, you could test whether including a blurb in the ad’s design drives more clicks than including a short synopsis, or whether including the price point drives more clicks than leaving the price out. Or you could keep the design the same, but target different authors for each variation.
To run an A/B test on BookBub Ads, create two ads with identical settings except for one element. Once you create your first ad, save it as a draft, then duplicate it by clicking the copy icon. This will carry over all your settings from the first ad:
If you have any questions about how to achieve a high ROI with BookBub Ads, let us know in the comments below! If you have specific questions about your own campaigns, you can contact your account representative any time at email@example.com.
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