42 Memory Lane Hail Mary: Month Three


Crush and punt

In this third installment of 42 Memory Lane's Hail Mary Series, Lynne Hannah, Founder and CEO crushes her latest Facebook ad campaign, falls short on email captures, and makes a big decision. 

The journey thus far: 

Lynne’s dispatch


This month, our Baby Boomer ads on Facebook rocked. We doubled our email captures with this campaign, even with running it on a slightly shorter timeline than the other two campaigns combined.

Here are four insights: 

1. The Gin Lady ad that bombed with Moms clicked with the Baby Boomer market, pulling a consistent click-thru rate of 5%. For context, the industry average CTR for tech ads is 1.04%. (Source: Wordstream)

Gin Lady BB FB ad.jpg

2. We rewrote the Upside Down Toddler ad with a grandparent focus. It pulled over 6% CTR.

Upside Down BB FB ad.jpg

3. Our star ad was Indiscretion. It pulled 6% consistently with spikes to 8%+.

Indiscretion BB FB ad.jpg

4. We updated our Landing Page and increased our email conversions 5x. (Remember what a nightmare our Landing Page conversion rate was in the last update?!?)

BEFORE: More copy, less emotional headline and call to action. Images harder to "read" quickly, leading one to wonder, what is Willa, anyway?

BEFORE: More copy, less emotional headline and call to action. Images harder to "read" quickly, leading one to wonder, what is Willa, anyway?

AFTER: Dark background focuses the eye. Crisp, emotional messaging.

AFTER: Dark background focuses the eye. Crisp, emotional messaging.


  • Facebook pulled our Indiscretion ad. We rebutted, they didn’t relent. See below for details. 

  • The velocity for email capture wasn’t enough for us to continue the campaign within our budget.


Our rebuttal to Facebook

"Our ad was previously approved, and when viewed along with the ad's message about preserving your photos, this ad is appropriate. This ad's distribution is exclusively to 55+ year old (baby boomer) women who relate to this picture. It is highly successful with a 6% CTR, so the majority of this audience is positively responding to this ad and not offended. As this ad is getting our best results reaching our older female audience, we ask for you to approve it again. Thank you."

Facebook's response

Hi Willa, 

Here's what's preventing your ad from being approved:

Image: We don't allow ads with content that features sexually suggestive positioning or that shows a lot of skin (even if it's for an artistic or educational reason) because of their highly sensitive nature. I suggest that you have a look at our Advertising Policies for more details, including some dos and don'ts.

What to do next:

Try editing your ad by following the policy guidelines mentioned above. You can do that through Ads Manager, here. You can also take a look at Facebook Blueprint, which allows you to go through our self-paced e-learning module on Facebook's Advertising Policies.

Was this helpful? Let us know.

Thanks, Blessy, Facebook Ads Team

Key Learnings 
Why did our Facebook ads do so well? 

  • There is interest in the problem for the Baby Boomer demographic. They have photo albums and boxes of snapshots and slides gathering dust, so they need a better solution. The Facebook image, copy and Learn More button proved to be enticing for this specific demographic. 

  • Our photos reflected humor, nostalgia and respect for our customer persona. Running the Indiscretion ad for women 55+ was deeply respectful of the age group, referencing a vibrant, twenty-something time of life for them. I’m consistently astounded at the ads marketing to this age who portray the group as "aged," "weak," and “prudish." 

The big takeaway, and why I’m so excited about our Facebook ad results: 

  • We have a potential Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy on the Facebook platform. We have ads that we know can pull. We had over 13,000 hits to our landing pages in a month with a total spend of $3,900. A 1% conversion to sales equates to a 3% marketing budget for us. The math gets even more exciting if we convert 2% or 3%.

  • We discovered that Baby Boomers engage with us 2x more than the Moms and Brides audiences. Baby Boomers may be our low hanging fruit when we go to market.

Going Forward

The Facebook ad campaign did not result in the number of emails required for us to Kickstart. We wanted 13,000 emails, and didn't come close to that. But we gathered data, for a modest investment, that will be invaluable when we have a product for sale. One can never have too much data.

Internally we have debated the pros and cons of attempting a “get the tribe on board” campaign using Facebook ads with videos of me and additional heavy blogging. We decided that the risk of fatiguing our audience with the time it would take to generate emails and launch Kickstarter is too great. We will save this effort for when we have a product.

We’ll continue our posting and presence on our Facebook page. I post great links to all kinds of resources, such as Storycorps, who will record your family story and put it in the Library of Congress for free. I also posted the 2019 Top Ten Digitizing Services.

We’re planning a booth at the RootsTech genealogy conference in February 2020 in Salt Lake City to gather more emails. Ancestry and MyHeritage are sponsors, two companies aligned with what we do. There will be ~26,000 attendees with an acute pain point that we solve. Our intent is to rent a table at that conference with a simple problem-solution concept:

conference visual.png

It has been fun to share our journey through Facebook ad campaigns with Underwire readers. I highly recommend you dip in if you have the budget. 

In closing, I recently got an unsolicited email from a former Google executive telling me why he doesn’t think our product will sell. I have a new response for techies/investors who continue to tell me the only thing the consumer needs is the cloud and their phone: 

“Let me come over to your house and take your Bose speakers and your Beats headphones and dismantle all the music playlists you use… now, go enjoy your music!”

For the millions of families whose lives we can make easier, we continue on our journey to get this product to market.

Love to all the founders committed to making the world a little better! Stay the course, girlfriends! 

Editorial note: We hope to feature more from Lynne's journey in 2020. Please let me know what you thought of this series. Or if you're willing to run naked through your startup journey and have Underwire follow along. Email me!