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The Google Ads Strategy of Glossier (Case study)

The Google Ads Strategy of Glossier (Case study)

The Google Ads Strategy of Glossier (Case learn about)


Glossier is one of the direct to client good looks manufacturers which are difficult the established good looks conglomerates.

And it kind of feels that their minimalist glance and shut collaboration with their consumers is impossible to resist for millennials.

Most profile items at the corporate (with slightly assist of its personal PR division) makes it appear that consumers emerge out of skinny air.

But underneath the outside, much more is going on, together with a excellent bit of Google Ads.

Let’s dig in!

The Glossier Origin Story

Glossier originated an approach to life and good looks weblog that founder Emily Weiss began in 2010 whilst she was once operating at Vogue. The website online grew speedy (as much as 10M web page perspectives/mo) and enabled Weiss to seem past the simple promoting alternatives.

Being on the crossroads of giant target market precise shoppers and business contacts, she had a excellent feeling of the alternatives in that marketplace. So in 2014, she controlled to lift $2 million in mission capital to start out Glossier.

The first model of the corporate was once a small product catalog of most effective four SKUs. Its largest promoting level was once the imaginative and prescient of good looks that resonated with so much of (younger) girls. Make girls really feel excellent. Instead of telling them that they aren’t sufficient.

They did that by way of staying with reference to that core target market to assist them increase merchandise and get comments.

That labored and the corporate has been rising since.

The Business of Glossier

To fund its enlargement, Glossier has raised a complete of $186M thus far, valuing the corporate at $1.2billion.

A fairly large quantity. To put that quantity in viewpoint, the corporate made $100 million in earnings in 2018.

The funding has been used to make bigger its product line, increase its platform, make bigger across the world, and open up two bodily retail places.

Cloud Paint, one of Glossier’s most well liked merchandise

That product building section shouldn’t be underestimated. In some interviews, the Glossier crew claims to have spent 2 years developing their sunscreen product

The explanation why at the back of this focal point is to get each and every section of the product proper.

They use the millennial model of Amazon’s Press Release product release procedure:

“If this were an Instagram post, what would the comments be?”

Since launching their product catalog has expanded and now is composed of 54 merchandise, some below a logo extension, known as Glossier Play.

Glossier.com Traffic Analysis

Glossier doesn’t promote on different platforms, so maximum of that $100M earnings come by way of its personal website online.

So with the assist of Similarweb, we will be able to get a better have a look at the place they get their site visitors.

Traffic review for glossier.com – supply: Similarweb

In June 2019, they were given about 2M visits.

The bulk of the site visitors comes direct (44%) and by means of seek (39%).

While the logo may be very sturdy on Instagram, most effective nine% of site visitors is attributed to social.

That share most certainly isn’t correct, I wager so much of the Instagram site visitors is classified as direct site visitors. Which will also be the case for lots of promoting campaigns they run.

The seek site visitors breaks right down to 85% natural seek and 15 paid seek (117,000 guests)

Referrals account for four% of site visitors. Mostly coming from intothegloss.com, the unique weblog from which the corporate sprouted. That website online accounts for 32,000 visits a month, so its a lovely necessary section of their content material technique.

Another 15% comes from Buzzfeed, that’s selling Glossier by means of an associate deal.

Glossier associate hyperlink in a Buzzfeed article

Next, are electronic mail and show, each and every selecting up 1.five% of the site visitors.

From this breakdown, and from the PR efforts from Glossier, it would look like gross sales seem out of skinny air.

Not to take any credit score clear of the good logo and group they’ve constructed, however Glossier additionally spends a excellent quantity on advertisements. Mostly Instagram and Facebook advertisements however I even noticed some experiments with Reddit advertisements.

How a lot? I don’t know, I’m the Google Ads professional, now not Facebook Ads 😎

So within the subsequent segment, I’ll let you know precisely how a lot they spend to get 117,000 visits to their website online by means of paid seek!

Glossier Google Ads Campaigns

Here is an outline of what Glossier spent on Google Ads all through June 2019:

Ad Spend Clicks CPC
Search Ads $40,700 64,900 $zero.63
Shopping Ads $44,285 52,100 $zero.85
YouTube Ads $zero zero $zero
Display Ads $zero zero $zero
TOTAL $84,985 117,000 $zero.73

Source of those numbers is Semrush, Spyfu, Similarweb and my very own ecommerce benchmarks assortment.

Now let’s take a better have a look at the other portions of their technique.

Google Search Ads

Looking in from the out of doors, Google Ads are continuously sort of a black field.

But thank you to a couple detective paintings, we will be able to have a look at the back of the scenes of the Glossier Google Ads account construction 🤓

Here is what that appears like for the Search Ads:

Glossier Google Ads Search campaigns construction

On the best possible degree, there are campaigns for each and every of the manufacturers: Glossier and Glossier Play.

One degree deeper the campaigns are break up intro branded and non-branded campaigns.

Then the ones teams are break up into ACQ & CRM. That may sound somewhat cryptic however here’s what it manner:

  • ACQ: campaigns keen on acquisition. These goal people who haven’t interacted with the website online sooner than.
  • CRM: those campaigns goal other people which have been to the website online. This is the RLSA (remarketing lists for seek advertisements) function in Google Ads. The identify CRM most certainly manner that they’ve a ton of other audiences on this marketing campaign. One might be other forms of website online guests (Product audience, buying groceries cart abandoners, and so forth). But they may additionally sync their electronic mail lists (website online signups, previous consumers, high-value consumers) with Google Ads. That lets them building up the bids for those who are most beneficial to them.

So the ACQ & CRM campaigns are actual copies, with the exception of for the audiences they aim.

Glossier additionally runs campaigns out of doors the United States: within the United Kingdom, Canada & France.

The marketing campaign construction in the ones international locations appears to be a duplicate of america ones. Here is what the ACQ campaigns for the United Kingdom seem like:

  • UK_Google_Brand_ACQ_P_Main_General
  • UK_Google_Brand_ACQ_P_Skincare_Product
  • UK_Google_Brand_ACQ_P_Makeup_Product
  • UK_Google_Brand_ACQ_P_Body_Product

Branded paid seek 

Looking nearer at the ones branded campaigns, we will be able to see a marketing campaign for the core logo key phrases (“glossier”) and a pair of others which are break up in step with the class (Skincare, Body & Makeup).

This resembles the website online construction lovely smartly, which continuously is a superb method:

glossier.com website online navigation

Branded paid seek accounts for 80%, whilst non-branded site visitors brings in 20% of the visits.

Top 10 branded key phrases

Keyword Monthly searches CPC Clicks
glossier 368,000 $zero.18 17,296
glossier promo code 40,500 $1.12 1,903
glossier boy forehead 14,800 $zero.31 695
glossier lip gloss 14,800 $1.87 695
glossier play eight,100 $zero.81 380
glossier nyc eight,100 $1.94 380
glossier resolution 6,600 $zero.43 310
glossier cloud paint 6,600 $zero.three 310
the place to shop for glossier 6,600 $1.42 310
glossier retailer 6,600 $2.36 310

Source: SEMrush

No surprises on this checklist. The core logo identify is looked for essentially the most.

There are a ton of promo code searches, which they are attempting to seize by way of providing a 10% off at the touchdown web page.

Another giant section of the highest 10 are the product and subbrand seek queries boy forehead, lip gloss, resolution, play, cloud paint.

This checklist additionally presentations the affect product identify will have at the value in keeping with click on:

  • “Glossier cloud paint” – does now not come with the generic class description (blush) – CPC: $zero.31
  • “Glossier lip gloss” – does come with the generic class description – CPC: $1.87

A 6x distinction in value in keeping with click on!

This isn’t an important explanation why to get a hold of distinctive product names regardless that.

Having an search engine marketing pleasant product identify (which means it comprises queries that folks search for) mean you can rank organically:

Glossier ranks first for “lip gloss

Search Advertisements

The Glossier textual content advertisements are easy and to the purpose:

Example of a promotion extension

They’re targeted at the logo’s major promoting issues: Skin first, Makeup 2nd, good looks in actual lifestyles, and so forth.

Their advert extensions also are lovely cast.

In the callout extensions, they point out a pair of different advantages: Free delivery over $30, Free returns, 100% now not animal examined, and so forth.

One treasured factor they’re doing is the usage of their sitelink extensions to push a newly launched product: the Brow Flick.


A 2nd sitelink: “Shop the Iconic Brow Duo” in truth issues other people to a combo of that newly launched product.

That pace and keep an eye on is a bonus over the natural sitelinks that every now and then seem.

They’re additionally pushing 10% Off First Order of their sitelinks. This issues other people to the common merchandise class web page, but it surely presentations sort of a notification within the most sensible proper nook of the web page. Pretty sensible

10% off notification on Glossier.com

Glossier additionally makes use of promotion extension to push units of merchandise. This is a lovely good way of discounting.

Glossier additionally runs advertisements in France. Here is what that appears like:


The very first thing that jumps out is the language, the advert is in English whilst my browser settings have been in French.

One of the Headline texts issues out that they’re now “Now shipping to France”.

This is a lovely small tweak in comparison to translating and managing campaigns in every other language.

But sooner than you rush to replicate this, this may occasionally most effective paintings in only a few instances. A special language will alienate most of the people that see the advert. I normally see very low click-through charges on those advertisements, with a top quality rating punishment in consequence.

But within the case of Glossier, their advertisements appear to be restricted to logo and product identify searches. So since shoppers can most effective get -Glossier merchandise from glossier.com, they’ve no different possibility.

Landing pages

Most of the paid site visitors lands at the homepage or particular product pages.

They’ve obviously invested so much within the website online since the general enjoy may be very great. It appears to be like and feels nice, the crucial product data is there (what’s inside of, how you can use it, and so forth) there are so much of authentic critiques.

I will be able to see other people spending so much of time at the website online and it changing lovely smartly.

Non-branded paid seek 

The construction of the non-branded campaigns is much more simple. No particular RLSA campaigns. Only a marketing campaign keen on non-branded queries associated with skin care, and a dynamic seek advertisements (DSA) marketing campaign to hide the remainder of the catalog.

Top 10 unbranded key phrases (looked after by way of site visitors they carry to glossier.com)

Keyword Monthly searches CPC Clicks
Highlighter make-up 18,100 $2.95 850
Boy forehead 12,100 $zero.37 568
Eau de parfum nine,900 $2.10 465
Clear lip gloss nine,900 $1.56 465
Cloud paint 6,600 $zero.67 310
Liquid lipstick five,400 $1.98 253
Best Highlighter 14,800 $1.98 192
face highlighter three,600 $2.06 169
kat von d liquid lipstick three,600 $1.66 169
anastasia liquid lipstick three,600 $zero.46 169

Source: SEMrush

The very first thing that involves thoughts by way of having a look at this most sensible 10 is how few clicks the ones most sensible seek queries herald.

That’s in-line with the whole quantity of non-branded paid seek site visitors, about 12,000 guests/mo. That’s lovely commonplace. These clicks value round $2, which is very exhausting to run profitably on $35 orders. In the teardown of Away Travel we are saying that they WERE ready to make it paintings. But that’s as a result of their marketplace percentage was once so much more potent and they’ve a 10x AOV.

The 2nd observation about this most sensible 10 is the power of product names like “boy brow” and “cloud paint”. That signifies that there’s sturdy logo consciousness round those Glossier merchandise.

Lastly, there also are a pair of seek queries which are in this checklist that will not be superb: kat von d & anastasia liquid lipstick.

Both are seek queries for aggressive merchandise. Sometimes it’s fascinating to stay them within the marketing campaign, and even goal them with particular competitor targeted campaigns. But seeing at how little they spend on non-branded seek, I’m now not certain if that is intentional.

I might counsel them to head by way of their seek phrases document and search for seek queries so as to add as destructive key phrases as a substitute and test the fit varieties of their present key phrases.

Search Ads

The non-branded seek advertisements are an enchanting instance of how you can hyperlink the generic seek queries for your product names.

Here is the advert that pops up for a seek for “eye pencil”:

glossier text ad

They use the Headline 1 to intro Glossier Play, their “color makeup” logo. Then most effective in Headline 2 they point out the attention pencil seek question and hyperlink it to “Colorslide”, the true product identify.

The advert itself is written in particular for this product and comprises some further options and advantages.

Also realize how the show URL is “minimal”, with none paths being outlined. (An choice can be www.glossier.com/Makeup/Eye-Pencil )

The identical is going on with a seek for “eau de parfum”:

glossier mobile text ad

Glossier You is the product identify of their fragrance. The relaxation of the advert is lovely generic, which signifies its served from a catch-all DSA marketing campaign.

This catch-all marketing campaign is excellent to start out and briefly get advertisements up for all of your merchandise with out spending an excessive amount of time.

But as we quilt in our direction, revisiting this marketing campaign and rewriting advertisements particular for those seek queries can additional beef up the consequences. CTR will move up and high quality rating will continuously apply.

Ad extensions are leveraged lovely smartly, identical as for the branded seek campaigns.

Glossier Shopping Ads

Before we get to the main points of what Glossier is doing with their Shopping advertisements, I wish to display you one thing they’re NOT doing.

glossier showcase shopping ads missing

The above screenshot presentations a seek for “glossier lip gloss” however as you’ll see, Glossier doesn’t display in that prime advert carousel. That’s as a result of they don’t seem to be working Showcase buying groceries advertisements.

So as a substitute, MAC Cosmetics is the primary end result/advert that searchers stumble upon. This is costing Glossier clicks and gross sales.

The identical is going on in the United Kingdom:

glossier UK showcase shopping ads missing

Glossier isn’t the one most sensible ecommerce logo this is lacking out on Showcase Ads, I discussed the very same factor in our teardown of Away Travel.

Glossier Shopping Campaign construction

Here is the Google Shopping marketing campaign construction:

glossier google shopping campaign structure
Glossier Google Shopping marketing campaign construction

This marketing campaign construction is so much more practical in comparison to the branded seek campaigns.

Two units of campaigns one for Glossier and one for Glossier Play. These are additional subdivided setting apart branded and unbranded (NB) seek queries.

Then each and every nation has its personal particular campaigns: US, UK & CA.

Multiple international locations

Expanding Google Shopping to different international locations that talk the similar language is lovely simple. Especially since Glossier in truth has native currencies on its website online (and of their product feed).

Canadian Google Shopping Ads
This make-up set is $50 CAD or about $40 USD.

But as Glossier begins promoting in areas with other languages, new problems pop up.

With the Search advertisements campaigns, they (and also you) can break out with appearing an English advert to a French-speaking target market.

But Google Shopping calls for the touchdown web page to be within the language that you’re concentrated on together with your advertisements.

So a Shopping marketing campaign concentrated on French-speaking other people in France must have the advert + touchdown web page in French.

They’ve translated some portions of their website online, basically checkout similar, however the product content material continues to be all English.

lossier french site translation
Add to cart button translated to French

Being from 🇪🇺 Europe, I’ve so much of enjoy with the complexity that a couple of languages deliver. Translating a website online briefly provides dependencies and continuously brings technical demanding situations as smartly.

Missing RLSA campaigns

The largest difference with the Search campaigns is that there aren’t any devoted campaigns for Remarketing audiences. They’ve most certainly added those Audiences to the true campaigns, so they may be able to goal those guests or consumers like that.

But Shopping site visitors virtually brings in an identical quantity of clicks than the Search campaigns, so I’d have an interest to listen to the explanation why they do break up up the hunt campaigns into RLSA and non-RLSA, however they don’t do this for SHopping campaigns.

Campaign naming conventions

Also realize how the PLA within the marketing campaign identify signifies those are Shopping campaigns, that is lovely helpful when filtering campaigns in both Google Ads or analytics. (In case you’re questioning PLA stands for product checklist advertisements, the outdated identify for Shopping Ads)

Ad crew construction

If I speculate at the deeper account construction, I’d say they additional subdivide those campaigns into advert teams according to the other product varieties:

  • Lip gloss
  • Cloud paint
  • Brow boy
  • Etc.

Top Shopping key phrases

Keyword Monthly searches
wunderbrow 22,200
environment powder 22,200
glow recipe 18,100
glitter eyeshadow 14,800
make-up set 14,800
boy forehead 12,100

Source: SEMrush

From this (brief) checklist, we will be able to already spot reasonably a couple of variations with the Search Ads.

First of all of the logo doesn’t display up, regardless of getting 365,000 searches a month. The most simple explanation why for that may be that the Shopping advertisements merely don’t continuously seem on that seek question.

While the Search advertisements seem for merchandise like highlighters, lip gloss, and eau de parfum. The merchandise that display up in Shopping are reasonably other: environment powder, glow, glitter, make-up set.

The most effective constant one is the boy forehead, that’s additionally one of the highest seek queries for the Search Ads.

The most sensible seek question within the checklist is “wunderbrow”, a competitor product. Interesting that they get such a lot visibility on that by means of Shopping, whilst it doesn’t seem in any respect of their seek campaigns.

This may well be a hallmark that their concentrated on is somewhat too extensive and that there may well be some key phrases slipping by way of.

Another factor I discovered all through my analysis is that seek queries like “niteshine” and “vinylic lip”, each product names have been served from the Non Brand marketing campaign.

These two findings point out to me that they may additional optimize their campaigns and transfer from a 2 to a three tier marketing campaign construction.

Existing construction:

  • US_Google_Play_B_PLA: goals seek queries for glossier
  • US_Google_Play_NB_PLA: all different queries

New construction:

  • US_Google_Play_B_PLA: goals seek queries for glossier + product names
  • US_Google_Play_COMP_PLA: goals competitor manufacturers/merchandise
  • US_Google_Play_NB_PLA: all different queries

This can assist them to song their bid technique to the true cost that they’re deriving from those seek queries.

YouTube Video Ads

The view counts at the movies on their YouTube channel are lovely low, with a couple of exceptions.

That’s normally a excellent indicator that they haven’t carried out so much with YouTube Ads.

At least now not one thing publicly, it may well be that they’ve experimented with campaigns prior to now. But as of late, their video bucks are most certainly higher spent on Instagram.

Some of their social site visitors does display some YouTube referrals, however this is extra due to the numerous critiques they get from folks.

search on YouTube for glossier review
Search on YouTube for glossier evaluate

Google Display Ads

Usually, it’s lovely simple to discover a corporate’s show advertisements, particularly if they’re working remarketing campaigns.

But I wasn’t ready to trace down any present banners at the Google Display Network. But they’ve carried out some issues prior to now. Here is one of the banners that I’ve discovered:

glossier cloud paint google display ad

So I’ve to disappoint you with regards to their present show advertisements technique. But I did in finding some remnants of older campaigns that may be offering some clues to their method 🙂

Here are some of the names of the campaigns that I’ve discovered:

  • US_Google_Display_ACQ_RTG_Generation
  • US_Google_Display_ACQ_P_Geng_Customintent

From what we’ve realized from the Search campaigns, the ACQ signifies that those goal people who haven’t been to the website online.

Both campaigns are for a selected Glossier lipstick, Generation G. It was once relaunched overdue 2018, so I suppose that they have been the usage of show advertisements to reinforce that release.

The Customintent on the finish of that 2nd marketing campaign signifies that they’re the usage of Custom Intent, one of the concentrated on choices at the Google Display Network:

google ads display custom intent audience targeting

Unlike the premade audiences that Google Ads provides, you’ll construct your personal customized intent audiences according to particular key phrases or touchdown pages. This lets in Glossier to construct audiences which are thinking about lipstick, now not simply Makeup.

💰The Glossier Scoreboard

Money time!

The Scoreboard is the section the place we pull in combination all of the analysis and have a look at how much cash Glossier is making (or dropping) with their Google Ads campaigns.

One factor that I normally don’t point out is the go back price. Mainly as a result of that data isn’t continuously in public. But in an interview, CEO Weiss published that they simply have a 1% go back price. Which may be very low for an organization that provides loose returns.

Gross margin

Research company Euromonitor published a 75% margin for top class cosmetics manufacturers. Other manufacturers have margins between 60-80%.

Like maximum of the manufacturers we’ve lined on this sequence, Glossier sells direct to client, which normally offers them slightly further margin.

So I don’t suppose it will be an exaggeration to estimate Glossier additionally having 80% gross margins.

Average order cost 

Glossier doesn’t appear to do value promotions. Their merchandise are fairly reasonable in comparison to different good looks and cosmetics manufacturers. And vary between $12-$35, with the perfumes going as much as $60.

They additionally promote so much of mixtures and upsells all through checkout, which all assist lift the common order cost.

glossier checkout upsell

That stated, they provide loose delivery on orders over $30. That makes me guesstimate that their reasonable order cost is slightly bit upper, round $35.

Like at all times, we begin The Scoreboard by way of filling in all of the numbers and think that the corporate spends all of its income on obtaining new consumers:

glossier average order value

At a buyer acquisition value (CAC) of $28, the corporate makes $106,231.five each and every month in earnings and $zero in income.

That’s now not very practical, so let’s see what occurs if we lower that CAC.

glossier customer acquisition cost

Now I’ve diminished the CAC from $28 all of the solution to $2.eight.

To proceed, I pick out a CAC someplace within the heart which quantities to 50% of gross benefit.

Repeat acquire price

For the highest ecommerce firms, earnings from repeat consumers eclipses that of new consumers.

That dynamic takes a while to construct, however it kind of feels precisely like what is going on with Glossier at this time.

Because in a 2018 interview, Glossier CEO stated that 50% of earnings got here from repeat purchases.

That is massive and a large motive force of profitability.

Here is what affect that has at the profitability of the Google Ads campaigns:

glossier repeat purchase rate

The repeat acquire strikes from zero% (just one sale in keeping with buyer) at the left to 50% (part of all buyer acquire once more) at the proper.

The precise dynamics of repeat purchases are extra advanced however this provides a lovely excellent thought of the profitability.

In the red field, I’ve picked the situation that appears to be perhaps. $85ok in advert spend becomes virtually $300ok in earnings, a ROAS of three.five. And it makes Glossier $156ok/mo in gross benefit!

That’s it for our teardown of the Glossier Google Ads campaigns!

What did you in finding maximum unexpected on this research? Let us know within the feedback!

Bonus: Get The Scoreboard worksheet to get smarter about your personal campaigns, or the ones of your competition. Grab it right here!

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