An advertising watchdog’s report found dozens of claims that it says were false and deceptive. Wal-Mart blames suppliers.
The retailer uses a tool that lets advertisers target shoppers via their e-mail addresses.
Men’s private sale e-retailer JackThreads.com has more than 2.5 million members, and acquired about one-fifth of them via ads on Facebook.
Because it sends them all daily e-mails, it’s spending a lot of money—and not getting anything back—for each customer who doesn’t open JackThreads e-mails for several months, says Garett Press, the retailer’s marketing manager.
To help drive those disengaged e-mail recipients back to JackThreads.com, the retailer this summer began using Facebook’s Promoted Posts ad format. It also uses an ad targeting tool Facebook released in August that enables advertisers to target shoppers on Facebook based on their e-mail addresses.
Here’s how it works: Both JackThreads and Facebook have an e-mail for Bob Smith, because he’s a Facebook user who has signed up to get e-mail from Jackthreads. JackThreads encrypts Bob’s e-mail address, creating what cryptographers call a “hash” of that address; Facebook, meanwhile, creates hashes of the e-mail addresses for its users. When a hash that Jackthreads submits—such as the one for Bob—matches one in Facebook’s file, Facebook knows to place the e-retailer’s ad where Bob can see it.
The Jackthreads ads feature images designed to be alluring, such as a close-up of a pair of sneakers currently on offer along with a caption like “Would you rock deez bad boys?”
“We don’t want to seem to ‘salesy’ because we know they already know our value proposition,” Press says. “We just want to get them thinking about us again.”
The format has worked, as consumer clicks and subsequent purchases have resulted in a roughly 500% return on ad spend, he says.
JackThreads.com is No. 440 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.