+4 votes
My app is a subscription based app.

I have about 300 subscribe events logged and attributed to a particular ad from the last 60 days.

The app has 3 day free trial period, and trial events are logged as StartTrial, and Purchase (and yes, one trial is logged twice under two different event names). Event count for each of them is over 2,500 for the last 60 days.

When I run ads optimized for Purchase, I get satisfactory results. But not when I optimize for Subscribe.

I have a feeling that successfully optimizing for Subscribe event will improve the free-trial-to-subscription conversion value, so I am very eager to make it work. And I think it has not been successful because of the low event count. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

So my question is, how many subscribe event would I need to run a successful ad optimized for it?

Or it is just the case that FB ad works well with Purchase optimization but not with Subscribe optimization?
by (160 points)
How are you implementing the subscribe event? Do you have the default facebook sdk set up? Since subscription events are server-side, its not clear how facebook tracks these.

3 Answers

+2 votes
While this is counter-intuitive, against recommended best practices and may be temporary, I have heard from FB technical employees that the optimization is always better when using the "Purchase" event of Facebook, regardless of what you mapped onto it. I have optimized for trials successfully by mapping it the FB "Purchase" event.

In your case, if you have enough (real) Purchase events to optimize for, why would you want to optimize for the trials in the first place?
Expert in Facebook by (2.5k points)
100% agree with this. IMO there's no upside to using "Subscribe" to "Purchase" and certainly "Trial Opt-In" will be worse if the volume is high enough.
+1 vote
I have done a bit of testing around this. Optimizing towards a free trial was worked best for a couple of our apps. Big thing to make sure of is that your upsell screen matches your optimization. We found a little bit of success optimizing towards revenue with an upsell screen that focused on non free trial plans. We were not able to scale it more than a couple hundred dollars a day, but the market was already pretty saturated for that product. Could have been effective if tested earlier in the lifecycle.
Expert in Facebook by (160 points)
0 votes

Or it is just the case that FB ad works well with Purchase optimization but not with Subscribe optimization?

Yes, this is generally true: fewer apps implement a subscription mechanic than a purchase mechanic, so Facebook has a larger set of purchase events from which to draw when optimizing an audience for ad targeting. 

In general, I think AEO works best on the purchase event (vs. every other event) for this reason. If you want to optimize against Subscribers, it might be best to implement an LaL workflow using seed lists of subscribers.

by (15.1k points)