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Mobile User Acquisition Ad Feedback

Why Negative Mobile Ad Feedback Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

By Sam Szczesny-Dale | December 13, 2016

colette-nataf-headshot-02Guest Blog: Colette Nataf is the CEO and Co-Founder at Lightning AI. Previously, Colette was a User Acquisition Manager at MileIQ. After the company was acquired by Microsoft, she managed the Demand Generation team at Intercom. Colette is now helping marketers scale their businesses through Facebook, Google AdWords, and other channels.

There’s no such thing as bad press. There’s also no such thing as bad feedback on mobile ads.

When I was working at Intercom, we ran an ad on Facebook based around the concept that the more information you have about your customers, the better you’ll be able to build a product to fit their needs.

mobile marketing display ad

We used this idea primarily for retargeting ads. Intercom has an incredibly popular blog, so if you were a frequent reader, you probably saw this ad at least once per day (sorry!). A favorite answer to the question “Why did Peter buy the saw?” that people posted on Facebook was “because Peter kept seeing the ad!” One of these readers got so frustrated with the ad that she actually wrote me a 700-word email about it.

This ad by far received the most complaints and negative feedback from all ads we ran. But, at the end of the day, it had our highest relevance score¹, our highest CTRs and the lowest CPCs. The customer with the 700-word email? She ended up clicking on the ad and purchasing Intercom that same day.

So let’s look at a larger set of aggregated negative feedback data we gathered from Facebook app install campaigns we ran recently and see if those trends are consistent across companies. Note: Step One Growth builds and manages hundreds of thousands of ads so we’ve got lots of data to draw insights from.

First, we look at the CTRs by levels of negative feedback (ranked as low, medium and high). Here, we see the same trend – ads with higher levels of negative feedback actually have higher overall click through rates.

mobile marketing negative feedback

Similarly, CPCs are lower and relevance scores are higher for ads with more negative feedback.

cpc negative feedback

relevance score

The Intercom story holds true for Facebook – having negative feedback is actually beneficial (at least in small doses) for your ads.

As a marketer, I don’t follow my gut – I follow the numbers. People might hate the ad. Your co-workers might hate the ad. But as a marketer, you’re going to love the data..

¹ This is a quality score metric. The precise calculation is not public, but it is a result of engagement metrics with the ad (time spent, clicks, likes, comments, etc). The higher the score, the lower the CPM.