Email List Growth: Acquisition Tactics You Can Use


Your email list is one of the most powerful things your brand owns. It’s a list of customers or potential customers who are interested in what you have to say and care about your brand. And your email list growth is obviously an important part of that.

But for many brands, growing their email list is a challenge. Gaining quality subscribers can be difficult, but there are many acquisition tactics you can use to grow your email list!

The Importance of Email List Growth

Growing your email list is paramount to scaling your business.

Many brands choose to focus on social media rather than their email list, but as we saw with the day-long Instagram outage in 2021, no social platform is guaranteed.

Your email list, however, is something you own. This is a list of people you can market to and interact with — so email list growth is of the utmost importance.

Low Effort Ways to Grow Your Email List

If someone cares enough about your brand to learn more in your About section, they might be interested in signing up for your email marketing list. Take advantage of that intent and add a link to sign up for your email list.

Share Your Newsletters

Some people might not be aware of the value your newsletters provide. Consider sharing a screenshot or portion of your newsletter on your social channels to show what they’re missing out on.

Put it on Facebook

Incorporating your brand’s email newsletter into your Facebook page can be a lowkey way to advertise it. Place it next to your social icons in your cover photo, if you include it, or use the Facebook CTA button on your profile to encourage email list sign-ups. In your Facebook bio, include updates about your email newsletter including special offers and more.

Medium Effort Ways to Grow Your Email List

Add a Form on Your Website

Adding a form to your website is one of the easiest ways to grow your email list. Whatever CMS system you use to collect and organize contacts, you can embed a form on your website, either in a section on each page or as a pop-up form. The form can be as simple as just collecting their email address — making it simple is key! No need to ask for tons of information at this stage. If they purchase, you’ll get their name then.

Host a Contest on Social

You’ve likely seen brands all over Instagram host contests to increase their following. You can do the same thing but for your email list! This is a great way to get your Instagram followers to become email subscribers. Offer an incentive for followers that subscribe to your email list — it could be a free set of products, a discount, or exclusive access.

Offer an Incentive

Offering an incentive to encourage people to sign up for your email list is one of the most popular and successful acquisition tactics you can use. Most brands will offer a percentage off your first or next order (usually between 10–15% off). Not only does this encourage people to sign up for your email list, but it also encourages them to purchase sooner.

Additionally, you could offer an incentive in the form of an ebook, downloadable PDF, or another offering specific to your business.

High Effort Ways to Grow Your Email List

Host an In-Person (Or Virtual) Event

Events are such a fun and engaging way to collect email addresses — however, they require a lot of effort. First, you need to plan and then host the actual event, which can be expensive and time-consuming, even if it’s a simple and virtual event. Additionally, unless the event is virtual, you’ll only be able to invite people who live within a specific radius of your event. Considering all these factors is important; however, it can earn you lifelong email subscribers if done right.

Run Facebook Ads

Looking to take a more proactive approach to increase your email subscriber list? Look no further than Facebook ads. This does require the up-front monetary investment and obviously works best if you can offer an incentive alongside the sign-up — like a percentage off or gift with purchase.

Run a Promotion with Another Brand

Co-branded promotions are a great way to expand your email list with new subscribers. Partnering with the right brand is key — you want to partner with someone who is not a direct competitor but whose primary audience aligns with yours. So, for example, a zero-waste beauty brand might partner with a sustainable jewelry brand to offer a bundle of each of its products.

Looking to work with a world-class email marketing agency? Reach out to the team at Blue Wheel.

Blue Wheel Named Winner of Michigan Top Workplaces 2021 Award

We’re thrilled to announce that Blue Wheel has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces.

“As a company with roots in Detroit, this is one of the most exciting achievements in our 10-year history,” says Eitan Reshef, CEO of Blue Wheel. “While we’re proud of the awards we’ve received for client accomplishments, this award is especially meaningful in that it recognizes the internal values and culture we have spent years building.”

The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization — including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“We believe that a positive talent experience comes from a willingness to listen to feedback and adapt to rapidly changing workplace dynamics,” says Reshef. “We thank our team for their commitment to this effort and for being the driving force that has made our company a great place to work.”

Congratulations to all the other 2021 winners! We are honored to be listed alongside so many other amazing companies. Here’s to 2022!

TikTok Trends: A Guide for Marketers


TikTok is a fast-moving platform. Trends come and go quickly, and in order to be successful on the app, you need to hop on trends as quickly as they come.

But in the corporate world, things can get bogged down by tasks, approvals, and scheduling — making TikTok a hard platform to moderate as a marketer. However, it’s not impossible to take advantage of popular TikTok trends for your business! By keeping a few simple tips in mind, you’ll easily be able to adapt the most recent TikTok trends to grow your business!

Find Your Voice

If you’re an established brand, you likely already have your brand voice nailed down.  If you don’t have your brand voice established in a formal document yet, it’s time to do that. This will help inform how you write copy for everything your brand does — from social posts to website copy, in addition to your TikTok videos.

Are you going to be informative, teaching viewers something new? For example, if you’re a skincare brand, you could educate users on how to use a specific ingredient correctly. Or maybe you’re going to be funny, using the app to humanize your brand. You can certainly be a mix of both, but it’s important to have a strategy, just like any other platform.

Look, I’m not saying that you should get paid to watch TikToks all day… but you do need to stay on top of trends. If you’re browsing and night and come across a new trend, make a quick note to yourself to look into it the next day at work. Or, if you have the team resources, you can have someone report notable trends to you.

Either way, you can’t afford to just browse TikTok once a month and assume you’ll see success. You need to be on the social app regularly in order to understand the depth and success of trends.

Have a Plan

While it’s impossible to predict TikTok trends, you should still have a plan and a process for hopping on trends when they appear. Streamline your video creation and approvals process to accommodate for a faster turnaround time.

Do your social posts typically need to get approved by multiple stakeholders? See if you can narrow that down to one person. Set a timeline that posts need to be approved within a certain time frame so you can keep everything moving.

Rather than filming a whole video just to have the concept shot down or heavily edited, create a script and video outline, attach a similar video that uses the same audio, and send that out for approval. Once the concept is approved, you can film and post the video.

Having a seamless plan will allow you to create timely videos while still ensuring you get approval from the correct people in your organization.

Act Fast

This is arguably the most important part of TikTok — staying on top of the trends. TikTok trends often only last a week or two, meaning you can’t take weeks to create a video. As we’ve stated earlier, having a plan of action and approval will help expedite the process while still allowing you to create high-quality, viral content.

Stressing the importance of timeliness is critical to getting stakeholders to respond quickly. Ensure everyone understands the importance of staying relevant while still staying true to your brand.

Additionally, if you have a busy schedule, you can block off one afternoon a week to batch create content. Get all content ideas approved by then, and spend a few hours creating a few videos to post over the next few days. A few simple changes (like a different hairstyle and shirt) will allow you to easily create different content.

Interested in advertising on TikTok? The social team at Blue Wheel can help. Reach out to learn more.

Facebook Attribution Update [October 2021]


Almost exactly a year ago, Facebook announced that they would be removing their 28-day attribution window. After initially postponing the update, it eventually took effect and changed to a 7-day click, 1-day view attribution. Apple’s privacy updates further affected Facebook advertising, so Facebook once again changed their default attribution window to just be a 7-day view, removing the 1-day click.

Now, however, Facebook is reinstating the 7-day click, 1-day view attribution window as the default in Ads Manager. Many advertisers are left wondering what this means for their brand and their bottom line, especially with Q4 upon us and the holiday season coming quickly.

We chatted with Tayler Carpenter, our Director of Advertising, to get some more insight into this update and what it means for you.

Your Immediate Questions: Answered

Will I Notice A Difference In Results?

You will notice a change if you haven’t been including 1-day view attribution in your reporting. The benefit of 1-day view is that if someone scrolls by your ad and doesn’t click, but they convert within 24 hours, that will still count towards your conversions. Anything more than 1-day view is tricky and can overreport in platform.

Do I Need to Do Anything Right Now?

Nope — the attribution will automatically change to this new window. Unless you’d like to change the window, which you can still do. This update only affects the default attribution window.

Is This a Good Change?

We here at Blue Wheel think this change is good — we’ve always followed a 7-day click, 1-day view attribution window, even before Facebook made these changes. We find that it’s the most accurate time frame to attribute sales, giving us more insight in our reporting to clients.

“This is how Blue Wheel has been measuring campaign performance for a few years,” says Carpenter. “But for those advertisers that are seeing lower conversions coming in post-iOS14, adding in the 1-day view will help boost conversions and give you a better look into how your campaigns are performing. Plus, this allows your conversion campaigns to get one step closer to the infamous ‘50 conversion actions’ rule in platform.”

What This Means for the Future

At the end of the day, this is indicative of a larger trend in the increased focus on privacy and tracking. You can expect to see more changes like this taking place gradually over the next year or so across multiple platforms.

And, combined with the recent Facebook and Instagram outage, this is just another reminder that channel diversification is critically important for your business. Branching out to advertise on other platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest will make your brand successful in the long run.

Carpenter notes that this update also makes sense when diversifying your channels. “This update gives each platform a level playing field with conversion reporting. Pinterest and Snapchat also can report on 7-day click, 1-day view, so you can compare how they work compared to Facebook and Instagram more easily.”

Additionally, owning your customers via your email and SMS list is another way to offset these changes. You can provide updates to interested users, regardless of which platforms are down on which day. Building a solid email list is still a must-have part of your overarching marketing efforts.

Lisa Wendland, Director of Marketing at Blue Wheel, affirms the importance of email marketing in conjunction with your Facebook advertising. “When Facebook visitors click through to your brand website, be sure to have an email sign-up readily available so you can keep the conversion conversation going.”

By ensuring all of your marketing efforts are connected, you can create a seamless experience for your contacts to become customers — regardless of the current Facebook attribution model.

Facebook updates still got you confused? Let the Blue Wheel advertising team handle it for you. Get in touch today!

How to Find the Best Instagram Content Creation Agency


It’s a lot of work to find the best Instagram content creation agency — it’s not just as simple as signing a contract, although that would definitely be less time-consuming! You need to vet each agency for their social know-how as well as their creative skills.

Below, we’ve outlined some of our top tips for finding the best Instagram content creation agency, whether you’re looking to switch from your current agency or are looking to work with one for the very first time.

How to Find the Best Instagram Content Creation Agency


Obviously, you’ll want to do your research on each Instagram agency you’re looking into. Browse their website and look at how they market themselves, what clients they’ve worked with in the past, and, most importantly, what their Instagram account looks like.

If they don’t have high-quality content on their Instagram account, then they might not be the best fit for you. After all, you want someone who can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Look at Previous Work

Case studies are a great indicator of how an agency can potentially help you. Everyone in marketing knows that data doesn’t lie, but that data can also be presented in a way that might not tell the whole story.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the specifics of an individual case study. If the agency is as good as they say they are, they’ll be more than happy to gush about the work their team did for a specific brand.


Look, we get it — talking with sales teams can be a nightmare. But it is indisputably an important part of finding the right agency partner. Your interactions with their sales team can be an indication of how your partnership could go in the future.

Are they responsive to emails, or do they take 3 business days to reply? Do they have answers to your questions, or are they uninformed about the business? Do you get along with them, or are your interactions forced? Your agency partner should be someone you trust, have confidence in, and genuinely like.

What to Look for in an Instagram Content Creation Agency

Dedicated Content Creation Department

If you’re looking for someone to create content for your Instagram account, you definitely want them to have a dedicated content creation department. (AKA you don’t want to hire them just to outsource it to a freelancer.)

Ask specifically about their creative department, including who will be working on your account. Do they have in-house photographers and graphic designers? Do they outsource any work that can be, like editing or modeling? The more they handle in-house, the easier communication and coordination will be between you both.

Advertising Experience

It’s obvious that organic social media is an entirely different beast than digital advertising — but an agency that has experience in both areas can apply its advertising-focused mind to social media. While of course this isn’t a requirement for an Instagram content creation agency to be successful, it definitely doesn’t hurt.

Ask specific questions about how they strategize organic Instagram content, how they coordinate organic and paid social strategies, and how they incorporate their advertising mindset into their organic social.

Still looking for the best Instagram content creation agency? Blue Wheel might be right for you. Inquire below!

Social Media Advertising 2021 Guide


Nearly everyone has had a conversation about how our phones are listening to us and then targeting us with ads for correlated products. We’re not Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerberg, so we can’t confirm that your phone isn’t listening to you, but we can confirm that the reason you see so many ads that are perfect for you is because of great social media advertising.

From choosing the right audience to customizing campaigns to fit your place in the customer journey, advertisers around the world have perfected the art of targeting.

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably wanting to get in on this action, if you haven’t already. By investing in social media advertising, you can get your products in front of people who are primed to buy them — or you can prime them to buy from you.

There is an art to social media advertising, which is why not everyone is successful at it. Countless brands have wasted spend on unsuccessful campaigns, leaving a sour taste in their mouth. But, with the right strategy and knowledge, you can run successful ads that will help you reach your larger business goals.

Whether you’re advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, or Pinterest, you’ll need to follow some basic principles and best practices for social media advertising. Once you understand how to structure your ad campaigns in platform, you’ll better be able to track your (hopefully stellar) results!

The team at Blue Wheel has compiled a social media advertising 2021 guide to help you reach your goals — whether you’re looking to gain more customers, decrease cart abandonment, increase revenue, or launch new products.

Social Media Advertising Goals

Before you ever start running paid ads, you need to set goals for your social media advertising. Not only will this help you gauge the success of your campaigns once they reach their end, but it will also help you figure out what types of ads, audiences, creative, and copy you should be writing. Setting goals is the key to success.

Grow Sales

When you ask any brand what their goal is for their social media advertising, they’ll usually say something like “increase sales” or “grow revenue.” These are certainly notable goals, and social media advertising can help you achieve them. For this goal, you would want to track ROAS.

Increase New Users to Site

Emerging brands or startups typically want to increase new users to their site to gain more new customers. Likewise, established brands will want these goals too as they seek to continue to grow their brand and expand to new audiences. You should track clickthrough rate for this goal.

Decrease Abandoned Carts

If your business is seeing lots of people adding items to their cart but never completing their purchase, you likely want to decrease the number of abandoned carts. Email marketing is often used to address this, but social media advertising can help with retargeting campaigns with a similar message. ROAS should be tracked for this goal as well.

Launch New Products

Social media advertising can be used to build hype around a product launch. By strategically advertising your new products to potential and existing customers, you can increase your email list by advertising to get on the waitlist, and then advertise the product once it’s launched. ROAS would be tracked here as well.

Social Media Advertising Platforms

There are a plethora of social media advertising platforms to choose from. The goals you have set will inform which platform you will advertise on.

Channel diversification is extremely important, especially once you start seeing good consistent results on your Facebook and Instagram ads. We’ll talk more about this later, but it’s important to have a good understanding of each of the platforms first!


Facebook is arguably the most popular social media advertising platform — with nearly 2.85 billion active users in early 2021, it’s the social platform with the most users. And, it’s also the platform with the most evenly distributed age range. Hootsuite research shows that all age groups are fairly even. This makes sense, as Facebook is one of the oldest social media platforms, so it’s had time to initiate older (50+ years old) users. (Source: Hootsuite Digital 2020)

With the largest user base and the greatest age diversification, Facebook is a great advertising option for a variety of brands, no matter your target demographic.

On Facebook, there are a variety of ad types to choose from:

  • Image
  • Carousel
  • Video
  • Collection

Your ads have the option to be featured in feed, on the sidebar, in Messenger, or in Facebook Stories. Your campaign’s overarching goals will help you determine which type of content and ad placement is best for your goals. Rigorously testing always helps too!


Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is another popular social media platform. Currently, there are over 1 billion active users on Instagram.

Instagram’s age distribution is more uneven than Facebook — fewer older and younger people use it. The largest age demographic is 25–34-year-olds, tapering off as you get older. Gen Z uses Instagram less than their Millennial counterparts, as they opt for newer social platforms.

Instagram ads can be placed in-feed or in stories. In-feed advertisements can utilize any of the post formats available to Instagram posts — single images, 60-second videos, or a carousel of up to 10 videos or images. Instagram is also now rolling out ads for Reels.

Influencer content is a large part of Instagram, and it serves as a form of social media advertising today. (We’ll get more into that later.)


Advertising on TikTok is a relatively new concept for many advertisers, but this social media platform has absolutely blown up among Gen Z — and it hasn’t stopped growing as Millennials flock to the platform as well. TikTok grew over 233% in 2020 during the global pandemic when new users joined for the entertaining short-form video content.

TikTok’s “For You Page” algorithm is famous for being scarily accurate and showing you content that is incredibly niche. Ideally, then, that same concept could be applied to their advertising audiences, allowing for ultra-specific targeting.

Influencer marketing is also becoming incredibly popular on the app, as creators of all sizes are featuring sponsored products in their videos.


YouTube advertising is a slightly different form of social media advertising, as ads do not appear in a feed as they do on other platforms. Instead, ads are short videos that appear before or during a video.

Ads can be skippable (after 5 seconds) or unskippable, forcing users to watch the entirety of the ad before their video starts. Content creators on the site can also allow ad breaks within their video, where an ad plays before the video resumes playing.

YouTube pays creators who have ads before their videos, but only if users watch the whole ad (hence unskippable ads) or interact with the ad in some way (e.g., clicking). YouTube has also famously not featured advertisements before some big creators’ videos due to their non-family-friendly content and copyrighted music.


Pinterest advertising is, according to the site, “the only platform where ads are additive. Because people come to find ideas, they’re more open to ads and content from brands on Pinterest, compared to other platforms.” Theoretically, this should mean more natural ad placements and better conversion rates.

We’ve had great success with Pinterest advertising for our beauty clients, likely for this very reason. The users on Pinterest are looking for inspiration already, so integrating your brand into that story is a natural way of advertising.


Advertising on Snapchat, another social platform with a younger audience overall, can be incredibly successful if done right. Ads appear in between watching people’s stories, as well as watching publishers’ content on the app.

Geofilters and lenses can also be used for advertising purposes, although it’s a slightly different format. Geofilters appear when you’re in a specific location (using GPS technology), and lenses can be used from anywhere.

Channel Diversification

When you are just starting your social media advertising efforts, you likely will focus on Facebook and Instagram advertising. These platforms are the most widely used and have robust advertising technology behind them, so they’re great for scaling your efforts.

However, as you grow your social media advertising, you’ll likely want to branch out to other channels. Channel diversification is incredibly important for a few reasons.

Grow Your Audience

First, channel diversification expands the pool for your audience. Depending on the channel, you can reach a new type of audience. Platforms like Snapchat and TikTok have a traditionally younger audience base, with many of those younger users not being fully active on those more traditional platforms. Pinterest can be great to expand your audience in a more integrated way since Pinterest is idea-focused.

So, depending on your desired audience, diversifying the platforms you advertise on might be a great idea. Not only can you reach a different audience, but you can also show ads to the same people across multiple platforms to stay top of mind.

Combat Tracking Updates

In early 2021, Apple announced they would be rolling out some updates to their operating software that would affect advertising across Facebook, Instagram, and more.

When the update rolled out, many brands saw a decrease in the delivery and effectiveness of their ads, since they were getting delivered to fewer people. Costs, such as CPMs, also increased with this update. The team at Blue Wheel implemented a robust Pinterest advertising strategy that saw great success for one of our beauty brands — over 1M impressions.

Social Media Advertising Campaigns

One mistake that many novice advertisers make is to just create an ad in platform without an optimized campaign structure. Social media advertising should be created to move users further down the funnel until they become a customer; there’s a very nuanced way to set up ads that will feel natural and convert customers.


Awareness campaigns, also called prospecting campaigns, are used to scale a brand’s advertising and gain new customers. These campaigns are more expensive because you are advertising to people who likely have no idea who your brand is, so they’re not as primed to buy as existing customers or people who have engaged with your brand. However, with a robust strategy, you can nurture these prospects and turn them into lifetime customers!

Typically, you would choose your advertising audience based on lookalike audiences, which are automatically generated by the platform. These audiences are composed of people whose purchase intent matches your current customers — they’re primed to buy a product just like yours! They’re interested in similar products and have similar demographics.


Retargeting campaigns are used in conjunction with prospecting campaigns as well as anyone who has recently visited your site. Retargeting campaigns can address abandoned carts with “Forgot Something?” messaging to remind users they still have items in their cart, but they can also be used to offer a discount code to first-time buyers. (e.g., “Check out and get 15% off with code COMEBACK”)

This type of campaign usually has a high ROAS, as the users you’re serving ads to are already interested in your products. These campaigns typically return a lot of revenue for brands, allowing you to expand your prospecting campaigns to reach a wider audience and then retarget them to purchase.

Social Commerce

Social commerce is a huge buzzword in 2021 — and for good reason. This new avenue on social media can be useful for social media advertising but is also great for your organic social strategy. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s dive in!


Social commerce is, at its very core, a way to monetize social media. With the rise of influencers advertising products, brands selling their goods, and swipe-up links being the only way to link to a product page, it’s only natural that social commerce would make an appearance eventually.

Social commerce allows brands (and now some influencers) to tag products in their photos. When a user clicks the tag, they are taken to the brand’s shop, where they have the option to view more details, add to cart, or buy now.

This is different from how brands previously handled the monetization of their Instagram — many used swipe-up links in stories, which would take the user to the brand’s website to purchase within the Instagram app (not opening a browser). The other option was to include a link in your bio to shop products, which similarly takes users into an in-app browser experience.

Social commerce keeps the entire shopping experience inside Instagram, rather than opening a browser window within the app. Keeping this experience in-app allows brands to more accurately track conversions from their social media, a traditionally hard metric to quantify.


The impact of social commerce has been immense for brands, even though it might seem small! Being able to track the success of posts, stories, and advertisements on social media is a game-changer for brands (and agencies) looking to quantify their social efforts.

For advertising on social media, traditional attribution and tracking work. But with changes to the Apple operating system impacting the success of campaigns, social commerce avoids that by allowing brands to track purchases in their Instagram store, rather than tracking users’ progress outside of the app.

What We Saw in 2020

Emarketer estimates that social commerce buyers grew 25.2% in 2020 to 80.1 million. The pandemic certainly escalated purchases online, as buyers opted for online shopping versus brick-and-mortar stores. And, as users spent more time on social media, advertising skyrocketed and allowed for social commerce to take hold of users’ daily use. 30% of people say that they would make a purchase on a social platform, proving that social commerce is already becoming a mainstream avenue of making purchases online.

What We’ll See in 2021

Social commerce is estimated to grow another 12.9% to 90.4 million users in 2021, according to Emarketer. This exponential growth is a sign of a larger trend in the social media space — that it will continue to be monetized by the platforms.

This number of users will only continue to increase year over year as more brands invest in social commerce and begin to see tangible returns from their efforts on the platforms. Reaching new audiences and making purchases easier will lead to more conversion and sales.

What You Should Do

Get in on social commerce ASAP! If you’re selling online, you need to be selling on social platforms.

Here are a few tips for finding success on social commerce. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog post on 4 social commerce tips for 2021.

  • Launch products specifically on social commerce (not on your dotcom)
  • Don’t input your whole catalog — only import your best-selling or most popular items
  • Tie to influencer marketing

Integrating this with your social advertising strategy can be a huge benefit as well. Because social commerce provides you with a robust amount of data, you can easily begin to see the tangible effects of your social media advertising efforts, as well as the specific habits of shoppers. You can test our promotions on a specific group of people, or offer discounts for those who buy on social commerce.

Integrating social commerce into your entire social media advertising strategy and larger business goals will allow you to get your customers used to buying through social apps, and provide another avenue for you to gain new customers as the ease for buying just gets easier!

Factors for Conversion

Many factors affect your ad’s conversion rate. From your copy to your CTA, to the image to the ad format, everything has an impact on your overall conversion.

A/B testing is an important part of social media advertising. But be sure you only test one item at a time. Testing each of these options independently allows you to determine which components are working and which aren’t.


The copy on your advertisements is vitally important for conversion. Using language that aligns with your customer’s pain points, goals, and desires will help you convert more customers, showing them how your product will help them or improve their life.

Using varied copy for different audiences is critically important. Each audience has a unique perspective, so be sure you workshop each of your audiences to truly understand them. Creating buyer personas can be especially helpful here.


The imagery you use in your social media ads is instrumental to the success of your campaigns. We’ll get into this more in-depth in the next section, but suffice to say that you should probably not just reuse your e-commerce shoots for advertising. It’s important to have thumb-stopping creative—images that stand out and make the user stop scrolling and notice your ad.

There are a lot of best practices for imagery, including:

  • Product details/shots
  • Diversity
  • Variety of types (static, GIF, video, etc.)

Like any element, testing what imagery works for your audience is critical. By understanding your audience’s intent and desires, you’ll better be able to create imagery that aligns with them.


You might not think that a few little words at the bottom of your ad would make a difference in conversion, but any marketer will tell you that CTA text can make or break an ad! How many times have you seen “Learn more” or “Buy now”? Probably a lot! That’s not to say those CTAs are bad—they certainly have their place—but being creative yet clear with your CTA copy can be a great way to make your brand stand out.

Think about your brand voice and how you might provide a variation of “Buy now” in a way that’s true to your brand. If your brand is fun and energetic, you might say something like “Shop the drop.” But if you are focused on sustainability, your CTA might be “Shop recyclable skincare.” Be sure to test your CTAs as well!

Ad Type

The actual type of ad you choose is important as well. There are usually four basic ad types:

  • Image
  • Carousel
  • Video
  • Collection

These ads can vary in success, depending on the content you choose. And you might find that different ad types work better at different points in the funnel or customer journey! For example, a video ad detailing your brand might work well at the prospecting stage, then you follow it up with a static image for your best-selling product, then retarget with a carousel of products they viewed on your website.

Be sure to test different ad types in addition to the rest of your content. It might seem like a large investment to create a video just for social media advertising, but the returns could definitely be worth it!

Social Media Advertising Content

The content that you use in your social media advertising is incredibly important for conversion. As we stated earlier, the creative you use in your ads—whether static images, GIFs, or videos—can drastically impact your customers as they go further down the funnel.

Here at Blue Wheel, we’ve coined the term conversion creative, which is our philosophy (and service) that highlights the importance of high-quality creative that is made especially and just for advertising. Reusing your e-commerce website’s images isn’t enough anymore—you need to invest in creative assets that are specifically designed to convert viewers.

The Importance of Dedicated Advertising Content

If you’re currently reusing your e-commerce or organic social creative for your advertising, your ads are likely not as performing as well as they could! Reusing those assets is certainly cost effective, but it’s not the best long-term solution. In order to scale your advertising efforts to be successful, you need to create dedicated content for your ads.

Conversion Creative

Blue Wheel coined the term conversion creative to describe the type of content we create specifically for advertising. This content is specifically designed to convert users, driving them down the sales funnel.

Different creative is used at different stages in the customer journey in order to convert viewers. Whether you’re trying to educate about your product, show the benefits, or catch someone’s eye, conversion creative can help you achieve your goal.

Types of Visual Content


User-generated content, or UGC, is extremely popular to use in advertising. This form of content resonates with users, as it is relatable and less “professional.” Plus, many social media users get excited to see their favorite influencer featured on a brand’s page!

Some people utilize the content they receive from influencers for their UGC advertising, while others use content they were tagged in on Instagram. (Glossier often does this with the high-quality content they are tagged in.) Whatever you decide to do, you’ll want to be sure that the images fit your brand and are high-quality — you don’t need to share content you don’t like!


Text-based images can be controversial on social media advertising, but featuring short reviews in text form can be a great way to highlight what consumers love about your product. You can feature one especially glowing review or have multiple reviews flash on the screen to show how beloved your product is by many! You can also consider featuring copy that shows how many 5-star reviews your product has — which conveys how much people love it!


Utilizing influencer content is a great way to recycle content that has already been created. This minimizes the amount of time spent on content creation — just be sure you have permission from the creator to use the image in advertising. As we’ve stated before, influencer content can convert really well, as users recognize their favorite content creators.

Model Shots

Model shots are a more traditional form of advertising. No matter your product, you can utilize models to showcase your product. As you select models for your social media advertising, it’s important to keep your target market in mind, but also highlight diversity in your casting. Having a photo shoot with professional models specifically for your advertising is a large part of conversion creative.


Using videos in your advertising is a great choice, especially at the top of the funnel. Videos can be used to inform consumers about your brand from a more general perspective — letting them know your brand’s mission, products, and more. In addition, videos can be used to showcase how to use your product further down the funnel to convert viewers.


GIFs can be used for more than just reactions! This moving picture file format is a great option for social media advertising. Creating animations that showcase your product in a fun way is one way to utilize GIFs in your advertising. Even just having text appear and disappear in a loop can be a simple way to incorporate GIFs.


The copy in your social media advertising is critically important for moving people down the funnel, and ultimately for converting them into customers. Your copy should be clear, easy to read and understand, and concise. While some brands swear by longform copy (multiple paragraphs) for their ads, the general rule of thumb is to keep it short and only write a sentence or two of copy.

The description or caption of your advertisement is important on several levels. First, it can show off your brand’s personality. Whether your business is fun or more serious, your copy is really where your brand voice can shine. Second, your description informs viewers of your product in a clear and concise way. Lastly, your copy will ideally push viewers to convert and purchase your advertised product.


As mentioned earlier, your CTAs are also important for each step of your advertising campaign. Your brand’s voice also has an opportunity to shine here, whether you choose to be clear or a little quirkier.

In the awareness phase of your full-funnel campaigns, a simple “Learn More” CTA might do the trick. As you move further down the funnel, your CTAs should become likewise more conversion focused, such as “Buy Now” or “Shop the Collection.” Your CTA should directly correlate with the goals of each step of your campaign.

Social Media Advertising Metrics

Strategizing, writing, and setting up your social media advertising campaigns is just the first step. After your campaigns have been running for a while, you can start to monitor your metrics to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Hopefully, before you launched your campaigns, you set goals that can help you gauge how well your ads performed.

Depending on what stage of the funnel your advertisement is in, you’ll likely be looking for a different metric. Let’s walk through each metric, from Awareness to Conversion.

Video Completion Rate

If you’re using videos in your social media advertising, as recommended earlier, you’ll likely want to track your video completion rate to gauge the success of your campaign. Videos are often used in the awareness stage of campaigns, showing off your brand’s overall purpose and products.

In this stage, you rarely see conversions — maybe just a few outliers who are primed to purchase. So, rather than tracking ROAS, you should track video completion rate, which monitors how much of a video viewers watched. A higher video completion rate means that viewers watched a higher amount of your video ad.

You can even retarget viewers based on how much of the video they watched. So, if they only watched less than 10 seconds, you could retarget them with an ad that continues to inform them about your brand. But, if they watched the full 60-second ad, they’re already informed about your brand, and you can start retargeting them with more specific ads that are designed to convert.

Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough rate is a metric that many people track in this middle stage of the funnel to monitor interest in your product or service. While this might not result in a conversion at this stage, clickthrough rate does usually indicate that you at least piqued the viewer’s interest.

After this stage, you can further retarget people who abandoned their cart on your site or viewed a specific product but did not purchase. Then you can retarget them with ads that include products they viewed to further drive them down the funnel towards conversion.  


If you’re looking for a stat that is a great place to start for assessing your social media advertising, it would be ROAS (return on ad spend). This stat reflects the amount of money you made from ads divided by the money you spent on ads. 

A higher ROAS means you had higher revenue. For example, if you have a 1 ROAS, you made exactly what you spent on advertising, breaking even on your efforts. But a 14 ROAS means you made 14 times more money than you spent — which would be incredible, obviously!

Influencer Marketing as Social Media Advertising

We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about influencer marketing as a form of social media advertising. While it’s not technically formal advertising, it certainly falls into the general category of advertising, as you are still spending money to promote your products.

Influencer marketing, at its core, involves paying a content creator on Instagram to promote your products on their social platform of choice, which in turn allows your product to be seen by all of their followers!

We here at Blue Wheel use Grin to keep track of our influencer marketing efforts. We’ve also cracked the code on how to monetize and track your return on this relatively new form of marketing. One of the main points of influencer marketing from a brand’s perspective is that it’s hard to track the return from just a single post. But, by using ongoing promo codes for each influencer you work with, you encourage them to become brand ambassadors and promote your products outside of your contracted post or story.

Influencer marketing is certainly booming, and it’s definitely one you should keep an eye on! There are influencers in almost every industry, from fashion to home improvement, so you

Wrapping It All Up

Hopefully after reading this (extensive) piece on social media advertising, you feel more prepared to start or improve your own advertising efforts. There’s certainly a lot to tackle, so just take it step by step.

Some brands choose to keep their social media advertising in house, while others outsource it to a marketing agency. Whatever you decide, it’s important to make sure you set goals, set up your campaigns correctly, and monitor your results. With this base knowledge, you’ll be on your way to successfully implementing a social media advertising strategy!

If you need a little help, reach out to Blue Wheel — our advertising team are experts at social media advertising. We’ve helped countless brands implement new advertising strategies to convert users into customers.

Blue Wheel Fast Five: Ana Gavrilovska

Everyone at Blue Wheel knows Ana Gavrilovska, likely for one of three reasons:

  1. She’s been here since the beginning (she was one of our founder’s first hires)
  2. She is the Queen of Custom Slack Emojis™
  3. She has compiled a running list of band names based on various work conversations

Ana has worked at Blue Wheel since 2013. She was an intern twice and was then hired on full-time. Since then, she’s held a few different content roles, which she’s enjoyed exploring. “My role here has mainly evolved in a lateral way as I’ve never been interested in managing people or overseeing projects,” Ana says. “I see myself as a worker and I enjoy working on numerous tasks at a time.”

Ana has been with Blue Wheel since there were just a handful of employees, and is now part of our growing team of 80+ Blue Wheelers! (Yes, we’re still hiring.) Unsurprisingly, then, her favorite Blue Wheel YOOCI value is Open To Change. “In my time at the company, I’ve seen every possible type of change as well as been open to how my own role has changed and continues to evolve.”

Her current title is Content & Social Media Writer/Specialist, but she’d prefer to be known as just a Writer. “I prefer Writer because writing is my first love and the way that I forge a personal connection to my work.”

As a fellow content specialist, I know how hard it can be to describe your job to someone who’s not in marketing — like your grandparents. Ana offers her best basic description: “I might say something like, ‘You know those pamphlets you see at the doctor’s office? Someone has to write those, or at least compile them. That’s what I do, except the words themselves are all digital, on a screen rather than printed.’”

Ana is also known for her writing outside of work; she was recently recognized as a winner of the 2021 Gilda Awards in Literary Arts for her work in Arts Criticism. She often writes about jazz music.

An avid reader, Ana sets the goal to read 70 books per year. To reach that goal, she takes advantage of reading any chance she can — even at work! “Those who have known me since The Before Times (when we worked in a physical office) will likely recall my habit of walking around with a book in hand,” says Ana. As a former desk neighbor of hers, I can attest to the fact that she was always reading, including while:

  • Filling up the Brita pitcher
  • Raising or lowering her standing desk
  • Getting more coffee
  • Warming up her lunch in the microwave
  • Walking anywhere in the building

Out of the 11 books currently on her nightstand, Ana is currently reading Storm by George R. Stewart. “It is quite possibly the very first eco-novel or climate novel, the second-strangest book ever written about a storm, and a likely inspiration for the National Weather Service’s naming system for hurricanes and tropical storms,” she says. “It’s one of the earliest books to treat a weather phenomenon like a protagonist and I’m really into it so far.”

Note to self: start a book club Slack channel with Ana so I can find out the first-strangest book ever written about a storm.

Want book recommendations from cool co-workers like Ana? We’re hiring!

Blue Wheel Offers 12-Week Training for New Hires

Here at Blue Wheel, we love hiring new teammates. (We’re still looking to add some new faces — check out our available openings!) But we don’t expect everyone, especially recent college graduates, to have 3–5 years of experience. That’s why our paid advertising department developed a 12-week training program for new hires!

For new hires who aren’t experts in advertising, we offer a 12-week program to give them a crash course in either paid social or paid search. Think of it as a Paid Advertising 101 course — without the $150 school book 🤪 The goal of this training is to allow each teammate to be in platform doing all of their own work by week 12.

Throughout the course of the 3 months, teammates typically do one week of training, one week of work, so they can practice everything they’ve learned in real time. When they’re first in platform, we make sure to have a heavy-handed approach to help them learn.

We created a template in our project tracking software, which we clone for each new hire. This allows us to keep track of their progress, see what’s coming up in their training, and even have a list of tasks to complete. Everyone is on the same page!

We piloted this program a few times with new hires who had zero experience working in the portal. From that, we learned to implement a structure to the plan (one week training, one week working) in order to give hands-on experience to what they’re learning in training. Throughout the development of this training, our team leaders had to be open to change (one of our YOOCI values) in order to figure out the optimal timing.

Sean Rudy, a new Paid Search Specialist, took part in this training. “The 12-week training program is what sold me on working at Blue Wheel. I previously had only worked in Google Ads to pull metrics and I really wanted to learn how to build and manage successful Google campaigns.”

In addition, throughout their first week, new teammates receive a crash course in Blue Wheel’s values (our YOOCI values), our project tracking software, and copywriting training from our Director of Advertising, Tayler Carpenter. (She is the queen of witty ad copy.) And, of course, throughout that whole first week, you’re meeting your teammates individually and as a department, including a free lunch — yes, even though we’re fully remote! Our goal is to make connections beyond just the work.

New hires are working on client projects their first week. From exporting reports to pulling copy, they’re receiving responsibilities in their first few weeks, not just watching training videos. One-off tasks, like creating a campaign, are training opportunities. “We want their first day to have a project of some sort because we’ve all sat through the typical boring first day,” says Tayler Carpenter, Director of Advertising. “We want it to be informational — sometimes overloaded I’m sure — but also hands-on.” Because we only hire people we really believe in, we’re able to put that trust in them early, allowing them to build independence and confidence in their skills.

Sean likes the fact that he’s helping clients straight out of the gate: “This training program is special because I am given all of the tools I need to learn and grow in my professional life while getting hands-on experience helping businesses grow with Google Ads.”

Ragen Cooper, Paid Social Advertising Manager, says that this training has helped many teammates who have completed it. “Team members who are going through these trainings love it and are catching on extremely quickly, especially because they can go back and look at the training if they get stuck working on it with a client.”

Sean adds, “I’ve only been here for a month but I have already learned so much all thanks to Jordan, My, and Tayler, who have dedicated hours every week to train me and answer all of my questions!” We’re happy you’re here, Sean, and we’re looking forward to seeing where this training takes you!

Want to learn alongside industry experts? Check out our recent job openings!

Blue Wheel Appears on the Inc. 5000 for the Third Time


Inc. magazine today revealed that Blue Wheel is No. 2,143 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Blue Wheel has been recognized as an Inc. 5000 company for the third consecutive year, nearly cracking the top 2,000 list and achieving our highest ranking over the last three years.

“We’re thrilled and honored to be named an Inc. 5000 company once again,” says Blue Wheel CEO, Eitan Reshef. “It’s a true testament to the exceptional growth we’re experiencing here at Blue Wheel. We’ve been preparing for the current ecommerce shift for years now, and as it continues to evolve, we’re prepared to grow with it. We have an incredible team that is steadfastly committed to our core values and maintaining our unique culture, which has kept us focused on what we believe is the path to success.”

Not only have the companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but this year’s list also proved especially resilient and flexible given 2020’s unprecedented challenges. Among the 5,000, the average median three-year growth rate soared to 543 percent, and median revenue reached $11.1 million. Together, those companies added more than 610,000 jobs over the past three years. 

“The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled,” says Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. “Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people.”

Obsessed with the opportunity for innovation, Blue Wheel’s unique digital marketing approach consistently produces results that set new benchmarks in the digital space. Blue Wheel offers a full-circle approach, combining efforts like branding, content creation, search, social, and content marketing. Each of our tailored solutions is dependent on the client’s business model, product or service, and industry. This approach has yielded much greater online and offline ROI for our clients and serves as a catalyst for our company’s growth.

We’ve been honored as an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company for three consecutive years, were awarded Company of the Year in 2017 by the American Business Awards, and won three additional Stevie Awards in 2021.

Blue Wheel Fast Fives: Lauren Yousif

The minute Lauren logged onto our video chat, we both started squealing. We had sat near each other at our office before our team went fully remote, so we had missed each other!

“It’s so good to see you, buddy!” Lauren exclaims. Lauren calls almost everybody “buddy” — but when she says it to you, you really believe that you’re her buddy.

We caught up a little bit, swapping stories about roommates and what we did in quarantine. (Lauren spent her time rollerblading.) Somehow we got on the topic of odd jobs we had during college. Lauren worked at Coldstone, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Olive Garden, and she says that this experience is why “Cool Under Fire” is her favorite value at Blue Wheel.

“I’ve worked in customer service since I could have a job, so this is super important and valuable to me,” she says. “Cool under fire is also perfect for this agency life in general. I’ve seen a lot of our leadership team embody this, and it means so much.”

Lauren’s no longer slinging ice cream and pasta — now, she’s a Senior Paid Social Specialist here at Blue Wheel. How would she describe what she does to her grandparents?

“People are so confused when I say I work in digital advertising. They wait for me to keep talking. As soon as I say I make Facebook and Instagram ads, people assume I do the graphics and stuff like that. But really I make the campaigns, write the ads, and actually try to find a way to target people.”

As much as Lauren loves her job, she did not always dream of working in advertising. “I was originally in broadcasting. I wanted to be a news reporter.” But, like many college students, Lauren realized that there are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re choosing a career. So she shifted gears.

“When you go to school, everything is so career oriented. All you think about is your career, because that’s what you’re trained to do from high school, but you don’t really think about what else you want or why you want it. I didn’t take into account everything else that would come with a job in broadcasting as far as my personal life — would I find a husband or have kids or be mentally there for my family in an industry like that?”

Her advice to her younger self? “I would have told myself to take a deep breath and calm down, but also imagine what your life will look like in 15 years outside of your career.”

Lauren laughs. “I can just tell this to my little sister instead of my younger self. I’m the first person in my family to have a degree, so I could never go to anyone for advice when I was figuring out my career. I want to be that for my sister.”

Her sister is one of the things Lauren is most grateful for in her life. “I very much dislike when people are like ‘I hate people,’ even casually! I always try to count my blessings and be grateful for people in my life like my family and friends, but also those random interactions, like the person at the drive-thru who was really nice to you. I’m grateful for that too.”

As you talk with Lauren, you can just tell she’s full of love — love for family, life, friends, and work. So when she told me that she was a hopeless romantic, I couldn’t say I was surprised. “My playlists are all country love songs, and my Netflix queue is all romance movies,” she tells me. “And this is very embarrassing, but I have a frame on my nightstand with no picture in it because I’m waiting to put a picture of me and my future husband in there.”

If you know of any rollerblading, romantic-comedy-watching, people-loving dudes out there, hit us up. We’d love to help Lauren put a picture in her frame.

Want to work with people-loving teammates like Lauren? We’re hiring!