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You may have read my post a few weeks ago about the post about experimenting with PPC adverts. During that post, I spent just under £300 on different forms of pay-per-click advertising. I didn’t get much out of that £300, but I did learn a lot.

I ended the post by saying that we were going to try and use Outbrain and Reddit to try and drum up sales for our table tennis bats we sell on Amazon in Germany. The bats are very popular in the UK and USA but we have been finding it difficult to get traction and sales in non-English-speaking countries.

Outbrain isn’t your standard advertising platform. You can’t buy PPC adverts that lead directly to products, rather your adverts need to lead to blog posts or articles. For a week, we ran an Outbrain campaign where we paid to drive traffic to an article that is very favourable towards our bats: Der beste Tischtennisschläger für Anfänger.

Hopefully, people would read the article, go to Amazon and buy our bats.

This was a very good experiment because we could very easy to track how the adverts performed. Our sales in Germany were so low that any increase would be obvious and would clearly be linked to Outbrain. If we made more profit normal and that extra covered the cost of the adverts, the experiment would be a success. Otherwise, it would be back to the drawing board.

To work this out we took the sales from the previous month and calculated what the average gross profit per day was. We could then compare this to the profit we made in the week we spent money on Outbrain advertising.

Gross Profit: The amount of money we made when taking into account all expenses but not including what we spent on advertising at Outbrain.

For the month before we started advertising: 24 Feb to 24 March, we averaged €18.97 (£15.17) gross profit per day. 

I set a bid of 5p a click and a maximum budget of £25 a day. Here’s a screenshot from the Outbrain dashboard showing it how got on:

outbrain table tennis bat sales 2

£169.79 spent for 3,426 clicks. £24.26 a day, slightly below budget.

For the week we were advertising: 24 March to 31 March, we averaged €79.35 (£63.48) gross profit per day. That’s £48.31 extra gross profit.

That is quite an increase. And it was definitely linked to the Outbrain advertising. 4 out of the 7 days had higher sales than on any day in the previous month.

What is great is that the amount of extra gross profit was more than the cost of advertising. Over the whole week, we spent £169.79 in advertising and made an extra £338.16. Once we take out the cost of the adverts we still made an extra £182.32.

This is very very good. Especially as the results should be scalable. Every £1 we spent on advertising led to £1.93 of gross profit (93p net profit). If we set our budget higher then the profit should scale proportionally. £500 a day on advertising should get us £965 gross profit.

Over the next few weeks and months we will be aggressively scaling this advertising in Germany, and also launching similar schemes in the other non-English speaking Amazon territories: France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.

For once, this was a very successful experiment that beat all our expectations!