Facebook Marketing Social Media

$1 Facebook Ads – Lessons from Noah Kagan (1/2)

How to grow an email list for $1 per subscriber. (Part 1/2)

If you’re unfamiliar with Noah Kagan, he’s the founder of Sumo Group and previously helped grow both Mint and Facebook in the early days.

At Sumo Group, he’s spent $3M on Facebook ads and he created a video explaining how to grow an email list step by step for only $1 per subscriber.

Here’s the breakdown.

1. Post frequently

It’s hard to predict what your audience will take to and what will be overlooked.  Post frequently to get a better idea for what invokes engagement and increases your page’s reach.

2. Find Your Engaging Posts

Find which of your posts have achieved the greatest reach.  If you have a Cloud Campaign account, sort your activity feed by engagement.  If not, navigate to your Facebook page’s insight tab.

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Look for posts that have a large organic reach – these will likely perform the best when promoted.

If you’re looking to grow an email list, promote a blog post or article of yours.  The post or article should have a Facebook Pixel installed.

3. Define Your Audience

Now that you have your post, the next step is to decide who to promote it to.  Connect your Facebook page in Facebook’s audience insights manager to learn more about who already likes your content.

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Look at the demographics tab to figure out which gender/age group to target and look at pages likes to see what other topics your audience enjoys.

4. Creating the Ad

Create a new Campaign from the Facebook Ads Manager.

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Create a new audience from the characteristics you picked up from step 3.

Exclude your existing mailing list by uploading the list when creating the new audience.

Create two different ads with the same link, but different images and different titles to A/B test what works best.

The goal is to just drive a ton of cheap ($0.15 – $0.80) traffic to your site, without actually capturing any emails yet.  We’ll capture emails in step 2 with a retargeting ad.

Here’s the original video created by Noah:



  1. I’ve recently found the ad purchasing process on Facebook to be quite cumbersome. Obviously, as they are under pressure because of the rules governing their ads they had to step up their content rules. That said the restrictions now in place for Facebook advertising are extensive. Recently we’ve begun limiting our Facebook ad buys for exactly that reason. It just isn’t worth our time and effort trying to rework an ad several times before it’s finally accepted.

    1. I think that’s a great point that Facebook is in a tough spot with the flack they’ve been receiving from the community solely due to the potential impact/influence their platform has.

      We’ve been fortunate enough to not have any ads rejected as of yet, but I think it largely depends on the subject of the content you’re promoting.

      I still see it as a great channel to get right in front of your desired audience.

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