The Post iOs Cheat Code? for Facebook Ads

That iOs update made a lot of marketers want to pull their hair out – ME included! I don't know if I realized the exact date ads started performing again, but I'm SO happy that the conversions are back in FULL SWING!

In preparation for the iOs updates, I was testing like a mad scientist. It impacted my accounts at different times. When I saw the iOs updates affect various accounts, I went into hyperdrive to try to discovery how to make things work again.

We were still getting leads and sales during this post-iOs timeframe, but I was paying WAY MORE than I've ever paid to acquire a new customer or subscriber.

Side note: I'm proud to say that I've NEVER lost money on ads even with the iOs updates. I don't agree with that approach of going negative or breaking even on campaigns, but that's a different conversation. After iOs hit, the ROAS was lower than I've ever experienced but still a positive ROI. Nearly every marketer that I know was dealing with the same challenges. I still wasn't happy about the higher prices with Meta advertising during that timeframe.

Back to the point. I think, no, I KNOW that this strategy helped my ad accounts! And the crazy thing is that very few marketers are discussing it. The *few* marketers that I see mentioning this aren't discussing the MAIN reason that *I* believe it's working. 🧐


One of the amazing things about the Facebook AI is that it's super smart! I don't let campaigns run wide open, but feeding it a tiny bit of information for our avatar has always helped it find the right people. And the retargeting was INSANE!

Well, iOs basically made it like a typical teenager. The AI had short term memory and couldn't remember that we asked it to put the dirty towels in the laundry basket just 5 days ago! 😅 AND, typical Meta, they weren't giving anyone insight as to what to do or change.


Nooooo, that would be like giving *proper* customer service. So WE had to make it smart again. Basically hand-feed Facebook even MORE details like a girl ready to get that diamond whose dropping hints on the *perfect* ring. In the Metaverse, that would be…

  • Give Meta the the email addresses but NOT in a manual upload in the custom audiences.
  • Keep the people where THEY ARE (on Facebook) so Facebook can start to understand what they're doing.
  • Let Facebook “re-learn” all of the information to help them know their behavior.

Yes, it sounds very creepy and chip in your eye Black Mirror-esque. The consolation is that people are willingly giving Facebook the information on the platform instead of “Big Brother” tracking it and keeping that info for themselves {cough APPLE cough}. Truly, I like getting served ads myself and have found some awesome products that way. SO KEEP HITTING ME, META!

By the way, the pixel still works but it's not as good as on-platform “movement” and you really need CAPI setup to track purchases better. My results have shown that. Ultimately, Facebook needs to adapt so Apple and Google can't hold all the keys.


Yes, keep them ON Facebook to subscribe* with the On-Facebook Lead Form ads. These help us get the customer or subscriber to take action ON Facebook so Facebook CAN legally track their activity.

I'm thrilled to say we're acquiring leads for LESS THAN A QUARTER – that isn't a LIE (it's also pretty standard for my pre-iOs lead acquisition rates). We had a few of these On-Facebook Form campaigns that went nuts in Q4 too {insert happy dance}. The pic below is current for the month of February so you can see that it's actively working.


These leads are converting to buyers! I always hesitate with spending a lot on list growth because I've had a good track record for cold customer acquisition fairly inexpensive. So I am ECSTATIC that we can…

  1. Provide immediate value to these new subscribers.
  2. Help them get to know the brand (messaging in the funnel – emails and FB/IG messages).
  3. Continue building trust between the customer and brand.
  4. Create a life-long fan (and continue to deliver value through products and services).

The lead ad above was running since mid-January. The screenshot immediately below is from the EPS and shows the value of this segment from the last 30 days for this specific lead ad campaign.

AOV's are subjective given product price points. The goal AOV in this brand has increased multiple times since I've been managing paid traffic. I'm happy with this since it's cold traffic. There's still improvements that can be made in the funnel to increase conversions. The main thing is that IT IS WORKING!


The top screenshot from the Facebook ad dashboard shows you that the average cost to obtain ONE lead being 18 cents. So we paid 18 cents to make that $53 AOV that is displayed.

BUT WAIT, there's more!…

There's ALWAYS more to the story and there definitely is with this specific campaign, too. Digging deeper into this lead and crunching more numbers, I know that only a small fraction of those subscribers have converted (or made a purchase) so far. The total customers who have made a purchase in that segment is how the $53 AOV is calculated.

That's NOT the full picture either. There was a cost paid to Facebook for running the campaign to get those total leads in the funnel AND the small subset of conversions. When those numbers are factored in, the *actual* cost to acquire the customers **who have made a purchase** ends up being around $44.

That's still a profit of $9 with a LOT of subscribers yet to convert in the funnel. I know that acquisition cost will decrease when those non-buyers make a purchase. In order to see more conversions, those 4 things I listed above need to happen: nurture the subscribers so they know, like and trust the brand enough to make their first purchase.


To walk through another example, I ran a different lead campaign for about 8 weeks starting in October. The average cost to acquire a subscriber was 31 cents.

When I ran the report for those subscribers, several of those new-to-brand subscribers have converted. That reporting TOTAL AOV is ~ $50 with the 30-day average AOV being ~ $44 (as shown in the screenshot below).

There is still time left for those non-buyers to convert. But, with the data as it is today, the actual cost we spent on the ad campaign compared to the total revenue from the customers that have already purchased as a result of that first-touch campaign makes each lead (CPA) ~ $15. That is calculating at a 3X ROAS today.

The other thing not mentioned here is the LTV of these customers who have converted in the 31 cents lead ad campaign from October. They will likely continue opening emails and purchasing products. That is KEY!! Always strive to provide value and NOT SPAM the ever-loving daylights outta your customers! They'll stay ON your list (so, segmenting customers and subscribers based on interests is HUGE).

Any marketer will tell you that it's MUCH easier to keep a customer or subscriber than it is to acquire a brand new one. I've seen massive customer unsubscribes because of spamming. :/ I don't even want to do that math on those lifetime losses as a result!

I can also attest to the fact of what happens when you “ghost” your audience because life happens and I've done it. The results of not making your people a priority also result in non-opens of emails and mass unsubscribes too.

Channel Gary Vee in your email strategy – JAB, JAB, HOOK! Take care of your peeps – it's a relationship and it needs attention (speaking to myself on this one as well)!


I was doing lead ads (custom conversions) and utilizing bot messaging before starting the lead form ads, but iOs made it hard to track conversions and know what was actually working. Given the success in low-cost cold customer acquisition with the On-Facebook Lead Form ads AND an improved AI, I'm glad to have them back in the funnel again.

To briefly note the ManyChat bot results. I ran bot ads continually to help with the iOs issues. It really deserves a post on its own since that data is equally fascinating. Bots not only help the AI but also help page engagement, too. Here's the the value (from the last 30 days) of the same offer from October from the ManyChat bot ads.


Were the On-Facebook Lead Form ads the *one* thing that made it all click again? As I said at the start of this post, when iOs hit my accounts, I was already furiously testing things to figure out what would work. Since it's Facebook, we know that it's typically never just *one* thing.

There's no doubt that Facebook IS finding “our” people again! Our cold customer purchase campaigns are seeing great ROAS like the pre-iOs days. HALLELUJAH! It's clear that they've helped my accounts stabilize to what I would consider pre-iOs performance.

Facebook is doing a better job finding the target customer as we go wider (horizontal) and can confidently scale campaigns. As the tik tok sound goes, “A win is a win!

All of that to say, until/if/when it changes again…They gotta keep us on our toes! Drop a comment if you have any questions!

*I've also seen this do fantastic with purchases on-platform too, which is another topic for another day.

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

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