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How Bleach London reduced Cost Per Acquisition by 20% by improving Facebook Ads targeting using Census

With Michael Lorenzos (Substack), Head of Ecommerce Growth at Bleach London

With Census sending up-to-date data to their marketing tools, Bleach London can run cross-platform promotions that target exactly the right audience segments, reducing cost per acquisition (CPA) by 20% for their prospecting campaigns.

INDUSTRY

Ecommerce

HEADQUARTERS

London, UK

Company size

~50 employees

use cases

Granular segmentation
Audience sync across platforms
Win-back campaigns

Sources

Google BigQuery

DESTINATIONS

Klaviyo, Facebook Ads

Results
  1. Improved email open rates and conversion with more targeted product recommendations based on purchase history
  2. Saved a full workday per month by managing audiences in a single place, on top of the warehouse, and syncing them to both Facebook Ads and Klaviyo
  3. Self-serve data access allows teams to create segments quickly and test performance across different campaigns
"From the first demo, I was hooked. Especially the fact that it would plug in directly to our database, which is our source of truth, so I didn't have to go through Shopify anymore."
Michael Lorenzos, Head of Ecommerce Growth

The company

Bleach London began as the world’s first color-focused salon, based in London. By the start of 2020, it had expanded to several locations and a wholesale business. As in-person businesses slowed down with the start of COVID-19 lockdowns, they expanded again with direct-to-consumer hair color kits.  With that shift came the need for a data stack to support the growing DTC business.

The problem

"We had sophisticated segmentation in our BigQuery database and new customers getting added every day, but needed that data to sync instantly to Facebook Ads. I wanted the seed audience to be replenished and not rely on a static upload that I had to do time and time again."
Michael Lorenzos, Head of Ecommerce Growth

Although Bleach London was creating segments, their CRM tool couldn’t integrate with Facebook directly. That meant those audience segments weren’t available to their primary promotional channel, Facebook Ads. Instead, their Head of Ecommerce Growth was stuck uploading data manually to Facebook.

Since they weren’t ready to change CRM providers, what they needed was a way of automatically keeping segments in sync between their segmentation tool and Facebook Ads. And with Census syncing directly from the database, they can get sophisticated with the lists they send to Facebook Ads.

The solutions

Sync audience and segmentation data automatically to Facebook

With manual uploads happening every two weeks, the audience and segmentation data in Facebook Ads wasn’t as up-to-date as it could be. This left the Growth team without the data they needed to run their campaigns. All their user data, however, was already in BigQuery for analytics in Looker.

When Bleach London started using Census, they set audience and segmentation data to sync automatically from BigQuery to Facebook. Now, instead of waiting up to two weeks for new data, Facebook receives the data every 15 minutes – and more frequently when there’s a change.

"For example, if I want us to send an email campaign to people that bought six months ago to do a win-back campaign, we can send the same audience to our email tool. We can create that segment in Looker, based on our source of truth data, and then we can send it directly to all performance channels and all email."
Michael Lorenzos, Head of Ecommerce Growth

Move segmentation to a single source of truth

Bleach London saw some problems with relying on their email provider to create segments: the segmentation was based on only data from the email system, not the robust, cross-channel data that lived in their data warehouse. With Census keeping data synced across applications, they established their data warehouse as the single source of truth. When it comes to segmentation, they can now trust that segments are built using all the relevant data.

Migrate to a new email provider

Although Census worked just fine with Bleach London’s existing email provider, they were ready to move to a different email marketing tool. The fact that Census already supported Klaviyo as a destination gave the team peace of mind. Since they’d already established the data warehouse as their single source of truth for segmentation, migration was straightforward. When it came time to migrate, Census integrated seamlessly.

The outcomes

More relevant product recommendations

By looking at customer purchase data and segmenting their audience, Bleach London is able to provide product recommendations and promotions that are more relevant. One way that their Growth team does that is by targeting campaigns based on the type of hair color a customer has purchased in the past, for example, by not sending promotions for vibrant pink hair colors to blond-only purchasers.

"We knew that by sending to this segment in particular, we are increasing our open rates. We're increasing our conversion rates. It's because the segmentation happens on something that feels super intuitive, like if we're sending an email campaign about pink, it's not going to go to blond-only customers, for example."
Michael Lorenzos, Head of Ecommerce Growth

Running win-back campaigns across Facebook and email

When Bleach London runs a win-back campaign, they want their message to reach its audience everywhere. They do this by aligning audience segments across channels – using the same audience data in email marketing as they use for Facebook Ads. That’s easier for them to do now that segment and audience data lives in a single place (their data warehouse) and syncs automatically to marketing tools.

"That’s what I like about Census, it’s not that I have to do X for Facebook and Y on email. With one-click and sharing that audience with all the platforms, we can create the activation for all our different use-cases."
Michael Lorenzos, Head of Ecommerce Growth

Identifying more seed audiences for lookalike audience testing

"We have two Shopify instances – a US and a UK store. We can play around with lookalikes in the US vs. lookalikes in the UK. We can observe different segment behavior between the two and adjust accordingly."
Michael Lorenzos, Head of Ecommerce Growth

Identifying an audience of “lookalikes” (LAL) lets Bleach London market to new customers who resemble their existing audience, expanding their reach. With better data collected from more sources, and synced to their other marketing tools, it’s easier than ever. They’re using that data with Facebook’s campaign budget optimization to scale audience testing, slicing up the customer list in new ways to create and test LALs from customer seed audiences.

Focusing on campaign content, not data requests

With access to self-serve data, marketers can spend their time coming up with novel ways to reach their audience and creating campaigns. With Census, data is more accessible to their team than before – meaning they can self-serve rather than coordinating with a data engineer to get the data they need. Anyone with basic SQL knowledge can create a new model in Census, so there’s no lag time when the Growth team wants to look at new data or try a new segmentation idea.

Looking ahead

With better data access and quick data syncing, Bleach London is looking ahead to even more possibilities. Their Head of Growth, Michael Lorenzos, plans to run new, creative segmentation experiments. As he says, “The possibilities for segment creation are endless.”

Learn more about Michael Lorenzos by following his substack on marketing.