Travel company sees $25 in bookings for every $1 spent using Facebook Custom Audience targeting

Facebook ad optimization company AdParlor says the new “Custom Audience” feature for targeting users by email address has delivered 25x return on investment for one client.

AdParlor says it enabled a “large forward-thinking travel company” to run ads directed at Facebook users who had previously stayed at one of its hotels. The Custom Audience feature allows advertisers to upload CSV or TXT files — in this case, a segment of the travel company’s existing database of guests. Facebook then hashes the data so users’ identities and information are protected. Facebook runs this list against its own hashed database of users to find matches. The matches are then eligible to see relevant ads.

For this campaign, the travel company wanted to drive qualified users to a reservation page with a special promotion from the hotel. AdParlor says the ads resulted in $25 in room booking revenue for every $1 spent on Facebook advertising. The company did not share how many users it targeted or other details about the campaign, but AdParlor CEO Hussein Fazal says, “We have run over 100 million impressions for this advertiser with a majority leveraging custom audiences.”

It’s worth noting that the ads in this campaign were marketplace ads in the right rail of Facebook. These were not Sponsored Stories or Page Post Ads in the feed, which are known to be among the more engaging options on the social network. However, with a highly relevant promotion, the travel company was able to catch users’ attention and drive conversions.

As companies have been discovering by testing the Facebook Exchange, which allows remarking through cookie-targeting, Facebook’s small ads on the side of the page are not as ineffective as some advertisers have suggested in the past. Now that advertisers can bring their own data to the table — whether from a CRM database or through real-time bidding — these placements are more powerful than ever.

TechCrunch recently shared some promising early results from other Facebook ads companies testing Custom Audiences. Nanigans helped a gaming company achieve more than 5x return on ad spend with Custom Audiences compared to ads that target users by interest.

SocialCode says one of its Custom Audience campaigns delivered new Likes at 15 percent lower cost per fan. The conversion rate of impressions to Likes was 87 percent higher than with other targeting efforts.  Users who Liked the page after being targeted with Custom Audiences were also more engaged with the page — sharing, commenting and taking other actions on posts — than fans who were targeted by other means. As we’ve previously written about, Custom Audiences makes it much easier for companies to find the consumers who are most likely to support them.

And as AdParlor found for its travel client, Custom Audiences also work well for direct response campaigns. Facebook shared results from OpenSky, an e-commerce site looking to get members who hadn’t bought anything recently to make a purchase. It used Custom Audiences combined with interest targeting to deliver ads about top products in different categories to users who would be most interested in them. Facebook says OpenSky saw a 30 percent better conversion rate by using Custom Audiences.