Week 1: Diving Back in With Rapid Creative Testing + Conversion Ads (Aug 26 | 28m)


Objective and Parameters

  • OBJECTIVE: (1) create profitable ads that I can (2) scale to $300/day ($300/day = $10k in ad spend a month, which is the minimum monthly ad spend threshold I generally have for new clients)
  • STOP LOSS: I have a $10,000 budget over the next 6 weeks; if I can’t make the ads profitable after spending that amount, I’m going to stop.
  • BUDGET: starting with $50/day to test

Starting Out

  • Answer most important question first (don’t try to answer multiple things at once; too many variables): will TikTok Ads convert for books, and if so, what combination of settings / audiences / creative elements convert best?
  • Four key factors in conversion
    • Need to figure out best practices (settings when creating a campaign)
    • Need to figure out what audiences convert (targeting)
    • Need to figure out what creatives convert (ads)
    • Book / cover / blurb etc. on Amazon (e.g., maybe the packaging is bad or maybe the book isn’t a good fit for the platform; will address this by testing multiple books)
  • From here, I need to drill further and focus on just one of these areas first (rather than all of them).
    • Start with nailing down settings best practices (audiences secondary, since I can track this as well with the Conversion objective without impacting testing accuracy)
    • I am starting with the Conversion objective here, since this is what TikTok is built for and my past (very cursory) tests with Traffic didn’t sell books.
    • Once I have working settings and audiences established, will focus on testing creative, because this is the main leverage point on TikTok.

Creatives: Tracking and Improving

  • Need to improve my skills with video production
  • Need to have a system for tracking individual video / creative elements to analyze what works and improve over time (shortens feedback loop / accuracy of feedback loop, so you can learn what’s working with the creative much faster)
    • Can do this via naming convention; on Facebook, to track images, copy, and headlines, can codify as G, C, and H respectively in ad name
      • E.g., G1 C2 H7
    • You can then export the raw ad level data (either manually, or automatically via a tool like Supermetrics) and use the SPLIT formula to break the name into separate columns (e.g., image code in one, copy code in second, headline code in third)
    • Then you have a key that you maintain in a spreadsheet where each creative element is listed next to its respective code, so you can look up what G1 C2 H7 corresponds to
    • This allows you to analyze how creatives and creative elements are performing across your entire account
  • Setting up the tracking is rarely super exciting, but doing so before you start testing / scaling aggressively is critical, because it allows you to identify what’s working / what’s not and thus focus on the right things.


If you want to set up your own tracking system for ads / marketing, the sheet below (this is the same one in many of my courses) is a good starting point that doesn’t require any extra monthly services or skills beyond spreadsheet basics. This approach will be more than sufficient for 99%+ of authors running ads, even those spending hundreds of dollars a day. And if you do want to get more advanced, the general tracking framework outlined is expandable, which is tracking the following 5 things:

  • Official accounting sheet: final revenue and final expenses (monthly)
  • Ad profit: tracking daily and / or weekly (1 sheet per series / region being advertised)
  • Launches: 30 day launch tracking sheet + summary of 30 day numbers from all launches
  • Series Profitability: revenue per sale (RPS) and revenue per borrow (RPB)
  • Creative Performance: ad keywords / audiences / copy / taglines
  • Swipe file: ad / cover / blurb etc. swipe file (folder on your computer of other authors’ marketing that catches your eye; there’s no spreadsheet template for this since you don’t use a spreadsheet to organize it)

In Week 1’s class, all I’m really talking about are more advanced ways to track #2 (ad profit) and #4 (creative performance).

The benefit of the more advanced tools is speed / scalability (I can track all books / across multiple clients much faster) and also granularity, which gives me more analysis insight; e.g., in the walkthrough video for the tracking sheet below, I recommend only tracking your best creatives. This is mostly a time / data sorting + analysis constraint. But with Google Data Studio (visualization tool)+ Supermetrics (automatically pulls in whatever ad data I specify into Google Sheets), these constraints disappear, thus unlocking new analysis possibilities.

Tracking Sheet (Google Sheet) | Tracking Sheet Walkthrough Video (46m)