The Grit Guide to Facebook Ads for Email Capture

What is Covered in this Guide:

Marketing is part art, part science, and a (surprisingly) significant amount of math. Efficiently increasing the size of your email list is one of those puzzles you need to unlock to grow your business and drive profitable revenue. In order to be successful, you need all three of those seemingly contradictory disciplines.

As an ecommerce company, your email program should contribute 20-30% of your revenue, and scaling your list is a reliable way to bring in more sales. Sending an email drives purchases; the larger your list, the more you can segment, and the more efficiently you can convert. Half of your audience buys from marketing emails at least once per month. In mathematical terms: a bigger email list equals more cash in the bank.

Now here comes the art and science part: you can leverage a reach medium like Facebook to put your brand and message in front of relevant audiences to capture their email address. This requires a combination of theorizing about demographics, messaging, and motivations, and then presenting an eye-catching piece of creative.

The Facebook Lead Ads format launched in 2015 and revolutionized the conversion game for lead gen-focused marketers. As a participant in their beta test of the ad format, I can personally say I have been sold from the beginning on how efficiently and effectively this ad format helps you capture lead information. And you know what’s included in that lead information? Email addresses.

Enter the advent of email flows and automations. Now, you have the ability to generate email addresses at scale with a minimal upfront buildout of Lead Ads, an appealing offer, and an email marketing platform. We’ve leveraged this formula with our clients and have seen sub $1/email acquisition costs.

Paid media involves a lot of moving pieces, and deploying this strategy is no different. However, that can be to your advantage. After all, who wants to go to all this trouble?! Savvy marketers who understand the value of their email list and the oversized impact of a robust email marketing program, that’s who. School is now in session, so let’s learn how to use Lead Ads to capture email addresses.

How to Combine Facebook Ads with an Email Nurture Campaign

1. Identify your audience

Yes, we want to expand our email list, but there’s growth and there’s good growth. Start by identifying the customer segment you want to target and understanding what would motivate them to hand over their email address. For purposes of our Lead Ad campaign for email capture, Facebook audiences fall into three primary categories: prospecting, retargeting, and look-alike.

In prospecting, you pick from all the demographic and profiling information available to craft the profile of the person you want to add to your email list. For retargeting, as long as you’re excluding potential targets where you already have an email address on file, capturing the contact info of someone who is already familiar with your brand is a no-brainer. With a look-alike audience, you can use your own data (ex. a list of past purchasers) to target people similar to those you know are good customers.

2. Create a lead magnet or offer

Since we’ll be asking for something of value—the user’s email address—we want to provide something of perceived equal or greater value. This can be a discount or another offer (ex. free shipping or unlocking a free gift with purchase). It can also be information, typically packaged as a PDF Guide, that is referred to as a “lead magnet.” You can also provide access to content, especially video content, that is otherwise restricted, creating a feeling of exclusivity. All of these items are created once and then used over and over, making this a one-time uplift.

3. Create a Facebook ad campaign

For capturing email addresses, we recommend using the Facebook Lead Ads format that will display ads on Facebook and Instagram. The Lead Ad is a very “low friction” conversion mechanism which makes it an effective and low cost way to capture email addresses. LinkedIn also has a similar ad format, if your audience is on that platform.

Unlike other display ad formats, where you have to leave what you were doing and go to a separate website, the lead ad shows you the form directly on Facebook in a pop up window. The platform will even go so far as to fill out information in fields where you’ve already provided it – like your First/Last name and email address that you gave when you set up your account – so there’s minimal if any typing involved.

Ready to build your campaign? Go here.

4. Fulfill your offer directly and/or via email

Once the form has been completed, it’s time to deliver on what you promised. There are a couple ways to facilitate delivery but, really, this is where automation is your friend. After clicking “submit,” the user is shown a success screen and provided with a link. You can include your discount code in the message or direct them to where they can download the guide or access the restricted content. While this gets the job done, it’s not always the best user experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that content or information handy in an email so the prospect can reference it later?

If you’re integrating directly to an email platform, you can use the Lead Ad form fill as a trigger to kick off a flow that would deliver an email to your new contact. Another automation platform we utilize is Zapier (which rhymes with “happier” for a reason) to complete a series of post form submission steps, including sending an internal email about a new lead, sending the offer information, adding the lead to your CRM, etc. 

5. Set up an email nurture sequence

Collecting the email address is just step one. Our ultimate objective is to convert this new contact into a paying customer. We’ll be using another one-time uplift tactic here to educate and move this user through the funnel to purchase – the email nurture sequence.

This is a series of emails, delivered over a period of time, that provides informational and practical information about why your product is the right one to solve the user’s problem and how easy it is to purchase and experience a life without that problem. If you’re not sure how to construct your email sequence, Storybrand provides a great framework.

You can combine your “offer delivery” with subsequent emails in one flow. If you have an existing welcome series, insert it after the email that delivers the lead magnet.

Build Your Campaign in Facebook

There are plenty of guides on building lead ads, so we won’t go into a ton of technical details here. You can even go straight to the source and read Facebook’s Lead Ad documentation. We’ll just walk through the key decisions you need to make in order to have everything organized for a smooth launch.

How to Get Started with Lead Ads

  1. Choose your campaign objectives
  2. Build your audience (screenshot below)
  3. Structure your campaign and ad groups
  4. Determine your budget
  5. Design your ad creative
  6. Build your form
  7. Integrate with your platform
  8. Track and report on performance

How to Make Your Lead Ad Stand Out

Clear Value Proposition

  • Get to the point – Your aim is to stop the scroll. What is the shortest, most engaging, most likely way you can leverage your product to interrupt a user on a social platform and grab their attention? 
  • Connect to (or introduce) your brand – Be aware of how much a user may or may not know about your brand. You should be using a different approach for prospecting – reaching new audiences – than for retargeting – continuing the conversation with people already familiar with your brand.
  • Differentiate from your competitors – Check out what competitors are doing using this tool from Facebook, and then make sure your ads stand out and clearly communicate why you’re different.1. Captivating Creative

Concise and Easy to Understand Messaging

  • Problem + solution – It’s Sales 101 to identify a problem someone has and offer the solution they need. Ads on Facebook are no different. Clearly state that if the user suffers with/struggles with/wants to upgrade/isn’t impressing their BF/GF/spouse/etc. that this product will quickly and dramatically improve their life. 
  • Checklist – A variation on the problem + solution approach with a modern twist, incorporate emoji into your copy with a literal checklist to deliver a list of reasons why your product is the right choice. (See screenshot below.)
  • Lead with a question – A tried and tested way to draw someone into your message is to ask a leading question which will elicit the answer you want. Why are you still….? When did you last…? Are you experiencing…?
  • Beware truncation – While you can include more than 125 characters in your ad copy, most users won’t expand your message, so keep all the essential information within that limit.

Integrating Facebook Lead Ads with Your (Email) Software

While we definitely want a “source of truth” for data, everyone’s source of truth platform for their organization may be different. That’s why it’s very helpful to map out the flow of your data and understand where it needs to go next after a form is submitted on Facebook. There are Lead Ad integrations into many platforms (see this list from Facebook) so it’s easier than ever to connect form submissions to the next step in the process. You can then trigger an email automation or whatever next step makes sense in your process. 

Let’s look at an example of sending lead data to Klaviyo and triggering a flow:

  1. Create a list (not a segment) for your new leads. Give this a name that connects clearly to the ad and audience.
  2. Set up the form integration in Klaviyo. Navigate to the All Integrations tab and find Facebook Advertising on the list of available integrations. If this is the first time you’re connecting to Facebook, you’ll have to authenticate the account. Select your form from Facebook and pair it with the list created in step 1.
  3. Build a flow with the trigger “Added to List” and select the list you created in step 1.
  4. Add in the email template you’ve created to deliver the lead magnet you promised the user in your Facebook ad.
    *** Continue the steps if you’re going to send additional emails to this audience ***
  5. Add a delay before sending your next email communication.
  6. Add the first email in your Welcome series.
  7. Add a delay and repeat until you’ve sent all the emails in the Welcome series.
  8. Check its quality and then publish your email flow.
  9. Watch results in Klaviyo and Google Analytics to ensure that the flow is delivering and data is being tracked in the respective platforms.

The process for doing this in other platforms is very similar. In MailChimp, you can trigger a flow from a list or from a tag on the email record. You could also leverage a third-party integration like Zapier to connect to any platform that doesn’t have a direct Facebook integration.

Tracking & Reporting with Facebook

For tracking your funnel and performance for this type of campaign, you’ll be reviewing data across a couple of different sources. It starts on Facebook. Since this is a Lead Ad, the conversion is taking place on the platform. You’ll be able to view your impressions, engagement metrics, conversions, and CPA data in Business Manager. Structure your ad groups by audience to make it easier to digest the aggregated data and understand how each different group is performing. Be sure to include 3 to 5 creative options in each ad group to give Facebook the opportunity to optimize for performance. One of my favorite Facebook KPIs, that I feel doesn’t get enough love, is Frequency. This is a great way to judge if your ad has been seen enough times to drive a result or has been seen too many times and is becoming annoying or invisible to the user. A frequency of 2 to 4 is generally the sweet spot.

Once your conversion has happened, you’ll want to move over to your email platform to continue watching performance. Short term: how is your flow performing? Keeping an eye on open and click rates, as well as revenue (or other key conversion data) will be an important feedback loop on whether or not you’ve correctly identified your audiences in Facebook. Long term: what is your LTV for these leads? Having a list (or tag) set up that allows you to isolate this population of leads will make future analysis easier. For paid social, it’s been my experience that the real value is in the long term addition of these inexpensively acquired leads to your overall customer mix. Utilizing this tactic, it’s important to be committed to a 6-12 month program and a longer look back window.

A/B Testing Facebook Lead Ad

Think back to high school science and what you learned about the scientific method because it applies here, too.

  • Pick a variable to test – Compare different images, different color themes, alternate ad copy options, but only test one variable at a time so you don’t muddy the results. 
  • Choose the KPI you want to measure – This could be CTR or CPL, but having a clear understanding of the result you want to drive will make declaring a winning ad easier. 
  • Collect enough data to make a decision – Don’t make judgements on a small sample size!
  • Gather the winners – Put your best performing ads in their own ad group and let the Facebook algorithm continue to optimize them.

Other Free(ish) Ways to Grow Your Email List

Once you’ve created your lead magnet, why not leverage it to convert organic traffic as well? Setting up a pop-up on your site to offer the lead magnet in exchange for an email address is a tried and tested way to capture email addresses. You can test this against other monetary offers as well – free shipping or 10% off your first order – to do the cost-benefit analysis of conversion rate vs. lead acquisition costs. Plus, if you’re using Klaviyo as your email marketing platform, they have a direct integration with the pop-up form and your email list/flow triggers to further simplify the path from collection to fulfillment of the offer (and built in A/B testing capabilities).

Closing Thoughts

The power of email marketing is in its reach; one message can be sent to millions of people with the click of a button. However, with great power comes great responsibility as marketers. We have the tools at our disposal to put the right message in front of the right person at the right time by leveraging targeting, segmentation, and automation. Let’s make marketing a delightful experience for our customers, one that feels as authentic as a one-to-one conversation. If you’re looking for a partner to strategically grow your email marketing program, we’d love to hear more about your goals.

The Grit Guide to Automated Email Flows

What is Covered in this Guide:

Welcome to email flows, where triggered is a good thing. Automated sequences are an incredibly powerful component of your email program, allowing you to send more emails without additional work. They deploy around the clock when your users are at the peak of their interest and primed to take the next step towards purchase. Set them up and then stand back and watch them work. Find out which flows we recommend starting with, and see how we’re optimizing automations to create positive returns. 

At a high level, flow emails are sent automatically based on a particular user behavior or activity on your website. Automated emails bridge the gap between your transactional emails and your campaign emails, providing timely communications about information relevant to a specific user. Triggers for flows include common activities like completing a sign up form, viewing a product, starting a checkout, or completing a purchase. Goals for email flows generally revolve around guiding the recipient to purchase, but can also support other brand building and loyalty programs.

  1. Add product to cart
  2. Wait 1 day
  3. Email 1 sent
  4. Wait 3 days
  5. Email 2 sent
  6. Click 
  7. Purchase
  8. Revenue
  9. Bounce back offer and cross sell

At Grit, when we think about organic audiences, that includes owned audiences such as email lists. Building a group of engaged subscribers creates tremendous value for your business. This audience can be leveraged for paid media efforts such as retargeting and can also fuel your automated email program. 

3.9 billion people worldwide use email every day, and if your email strategy is on point, all those emails can generate 20-30% of your ecommerce revenue. However, it’s important to keep subscribers engaged by providing them with relevant content both beautifully designed and delivered at an appropriate frequency. 

Advantages of automated email flows

Automation is the closest you’ll come to having a secret army of marketing elves working tirelessly around the clock. Automation, especially in email, allows you to scale your efforts with a one-time setup and minor ongoing maintenance. Email marketing is all about the details: who is the audience, what is the right message for them (at this very moment), how will they react to the content, have you organized all the images, written the copy, QA’d the links, triple checked everything before deploying the email?! Besides the ability to “set it and forget it”, here are four other reasons we love automated email flows:

Scales communication and saves time

Email automation doesn’t care if you’re sending 5 emails a week or 5,000; if the trigger conditions are met, the email is sent. Keep in mind that, while more emails deployed are generally better, there is a tipping point. Monitor your unsubscribe rates and take advantage of features like “smart send” that skip subscribers if they’ve received too many emails recently. 

Supports brand building

Campaign emails tend to be more topical, following a seasonal or product-focused calendar. Automated email flows give you the opportunity to provide a dedicated introduction to the brand and reinforce brand touchpoints. Welcome new subscribers to the family, make them feel appreciated, ensure they’re aware of and take full advantage of all the great products you offer.

Complements email campaign revenue

If you’re only sending campaign emails, you’re missing out on a whole other stream of revenue. Think about flows like your 401K; you know they’re working for you in the background and it’s a pleasant surprise to see just how much money is accumulating. 

Encourages cross-sells and up-sells

In ecommerce, it’s not the first sale that you should obsess over, it’s getting the second (and third…) sale to maximize the lifetime value of your customer base. By leveraging your owned data about customers, you can use knowledge of your product catalog and logic available in email platforms to show your customer what else would benefit them.

The automated email flow starter kit

Not sure where to begin? Start with the basics. These four flows form the core of your automated email arsenal. We recommend starting with these flows because they connect you with your customers at critical points in their path to purchase.

1. Welcome Series

Begin at the beginning! Introduce new subscribers to your brand by sharing your story and highlighting what differentiates you. Your welcome series can include multiple emails, starting broad and narrowing in as you go through the sequence. Introduce subscribers to all the products you offer, then highlight your feature categories or anchor products.

How do you get people into this flow?

Leverage a pop-up or other signup form on your website to enroll users in the flow. Then, utilize an A/B test for messaging to increase your signup rate. For example, compare the effectiveness of an offer like free shipping vs. just a signup message.

Other important considerations:
  • Reinforce the offer and provide the code, if necessary, in the first email in your welcome series to ensure a seamless transition to purchase.
  • Repeat the code as a reminder in your subsequent emails.
  • In the first email, utilize personalization, whether in the subject line of the body of the email, to create a connection. 
  • Continue the conversation by asking for a follow on social media channels.
  • Complete your sequence in the first week after signup.

automated email flow 1

2. Browse Abandonment

Remind users what they were viewing if they didn’t put the product in the cart. This content populates dynamically and will take users back to what they were viewing, making it easy to pick up where they left off. You should also include content that reinforces their reason for purchasing, value call outs like free shipping, made in the USA, or a product guarantee. However, we encourage you to keep this email simple. It’s transactional and meant to drive a purchase. 

How do you get people into this flow?

Use the “viewed product” trigger to enroll users and deploy the email after 4 hours, if they haven’t added the product to their cart yet.

Other important considerations:
  • Depending on how conservative you want to be in your email program, you can limit how often you send this email, opting to only deploy it to a user once every 14 or 30 days. 
  • Generally, there is only one email in this flow but you can test sending a second if you aren’t seeing the desired conversion rate.  

automated email flow 2

3. Abandoned Cart

Sometimes you get distracted (or your credit card is in your purse on the other side of the house) and you leave a product in the cart. If a user gets all the way to checkout and doesn’t complete their purchase, that’s revenue that has a high likelihood of transacting, so it’s worth spending the time on an automation to push it over the finish line. 

How do you get people into this flow?

The “started checkout” trigger enrolls users in this flow. The email will populate with dynamic content, showing them exactly what they added to their cart with a CTA to take them back to checkout. If at any point users organically go back to their cart and complete the checkout, they’ll be unenrolled from this flow. Typically, this flow is deployed 4 hours after abandoning the cart and then again 1 day later. 

Other important considerations:
  • Test different time delays – maybe 1 day later and 3 days after is a better fit for your product and buyer. 
  • Be more aggressive with the deployment timing during peak seasonal times when you’re competing for attention and budget from the buyer.
  • Segment your flows based on price point, considering that bigger ticket items may require more time to pull the trigger. 
  • Limit other messaging and content elements, since this flow is transactional like browse abandonment. 
  • There is a difference between the triggers “added to cart” and “started checkout.” If you want to trigger this flow as soon as someone put a product in their cart, not just when someone has started the process of adding in their shipping and billing information, you’ll need to implement some additional code on your site and adjust your trigger. 

automated email flow 3

4. Thank You

Have you ever had a truly exceptional shopping experience? Replicate the customer service your subscribers would receive in person (if/when you have a brick & mortar store) by sending a thank you email. This communication is a way to foster loyalty by showing your gratitude to either new or repeat customers.

How do you get people into this flow?

The trigger for this flow is “checkout completed” and it can be sent immediately after checkout or at a delay of a few hours to a few days. This is a separate email from the order confirmation, The thank you email is meant to be a foil to the very transactional confirmation email and provide a personal touch. 

Other important considerations:
  • We recommend a logic split that deploys one of two emails, based on whether they are a first time or repeat buyer.
  • In the email design, you have the opportunity to include a longer message. No need for excessive imagery; it’s a thank you note for the modern era.
  • If you have a loyalty or referral program, include that information as a secondary message.

automated email flow 4

Advanced Email Flows

You’re engaging and delighting your customers across their buying journey. Now what? Here are some advanced flows you can consider implementing after you get the basic flows in place. 

Special occasion emails create a personal connection with your customers. If you’ve collected a birthdate, surprise your subscribers with a birthday message. Set up your trigger to be based on a date variable associated with a user profile. You could use the same principle to trigger an anniversary flow or other date specific sequence (national recognition day, industry specific date, etc.). 

Back in stock means back in business. Not being able to purchase a product can be frustrating for users. Including a back in stock flow gives users a clear next step and helps avoid losing the sale. Back in stock flows also give you visibility into how many people are waiting on a product, helping you forecast demand and understand potential future revenue. Deploying the email once the product is available also prompts some important customer service decisions – how many emails do you want to deploy at a time? If there are only a few available, is creating a free for all, first come first served stampede a negative experience? Perhaps deploy emails in specific batch sizes and wait to see how many products are left before deploying the next batch.

Product review requests and cross sell emails drive important onsite actions, increasing review count and driving repeat purchases. Consider the best time to request a review, then schedule your email flow sequence accordingly. If your product is about instant gratification, send it based on the delivery trigger. But, if your product takes a few weeks to understand and use, build a delay into your sequence. Be sure to thank them in advance for their review, since they’re taking time to provide feedback. Including a personal appeal about the impact it makes on your business is a great motivator. 

Winback and bounceback are two different sides of the same coin. Both are designed to drive engagement at different stages of the subscriber lifecycle. The bounceback is an email sent post purchase to encourage a follow up purchase, and typically contains an offer or discount code. Getting to the second purchase is an important milestone, as it builds customer loyalty and increases lifetime value. The windback is used to activate subscribers that have gone cold. You can introduce them to a new product, remind them about a complementary product to what they purchased, or send them an offer they can’t resist. 

Site abandonment is the flow you never knew you needed. This flow triggers when someone vists your site – the homepage or a collection page – but doesn’t go any further. Send them a reminder of all the great things you offer and bring them back to your site. This flow is a revenue generator because, due to the nature of broad targeting, it gives you a lot of chances to get in front of your subscribers. 

automated email flow 5

Custom flows to consider 

You’re always looking for opportunities to put the right message in front of the right person at the right time. Custom flows not only enable you to perform this marketing magic, they do it automatically. If you can build a trigger for it, you can send it. Here are a couple favorites from our customers:

Gump’s Jade Lovers flow

Jade jewelry is a specialty offering with a dedicated following. A marquee product line since the store was founded in 1850, Gump’s offers traditional and modern styles, as well as one of a kind estate pieces. The Jade Lovers flow was developed to showcase the diversity of the jade offering to new collectors and aficionados alike, covering colors of jade, ways to style, and the estate pieces you won’t find anywhere else. 

Performance highlights – First 60 days, 3 email series:

61-68% open rate

10-16% CTR

$1,250 AOV

automated email flow 6

DryFins Size Up flow

Picture this: you’re getting ready to leave on vacation, packing the kid’s swimsuits, and disaster strikes – they’ve outgrown last year’s trunks! DryFins offers chafe-free trunks for men and boys. As a family-oriented brand, the Dry guys want you to avoid vacation tragedy, so they implemented a Size Up flow that reminds you to check the trunks you purchased last year and introduces you to the new colors and patterns available in the next larger size.

automated email flow 6

What about transactional emails? 

Transactional emails perform a very important administrative function, and build trust in the ecommerce process – confirming your order, providing updates, sharing shipping information, and confirming delivery. The automated flows discussed in this guide are meant to live in harmony with your transactional emails, and for that reason, we strongly encourage you to consider their design. 

Consistency across brand touchpoints is one of those never-ending battles you fight in marketing. Just when you think every communication is following the brand standards, another email pops up with your old logo or last season’s color palette. Your transactional emails and flow emails should match stylistically. This creates visual repetition for the customer and reinforces your brand. It’s also one more chance to inject brand voice and enhance the customer experience. 

automated email flow 7


What platform do we recommend? 

Full disclosure, Grit is a Klaviyo Silver Master Partner. But even if we hadn’t deployed over 1,500 emails on the platform, we’d still be a fan. From the integrations with popular ecomm platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, to the exceptional email builder tool, to the incredible segmentation logic, this platform has something for everyone. 


If you’re looking for a partner to get your flows running on Klaviyo, or the platform of your choice, we’d love to hear more about your email automation ambitions. 

The Grit Guide to Product Detail Pages

As a marketer, I spend a lot of time thinking about the “funnel”, the journey from awareness to consideration to conversion resulting in a positive ROI. At Grit, we like to think that the buying lifecycle starts at impression. It starts with ranking for keywords that are relevant to your business, then moving up the rankings to turn those impressions into clicks, taking up space on the SERP to increase your chances of getting a click, and culminating in valuable organic traffic arriving in your store. This traffic is the lifeblood of any ecommerce business, allowing you to acquire high quality customers at a low cost.

With organic and other types of site traffic, all paths to purchase lead to a product page. For practical and technical reasons, all of these pages — on your site and across the internet — are going to be very similar, creating a universally accepted way of shopping that makes users comfortable. This creates a unique opportunity and an interesting tension on your website. How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors without deviating too far from the norm? How do you make sure you’re supporting your organic traffic strategy while still focusing on connecting the user to your brand and story? According to Shiprocket, 98% of shoppers won’t complete their purchase if information on the PDP is incomplete or incorrect.

You’ve invested time, energy, and money to move your traffic this far through the funnel. Let’s avoid any unforced errors at the finish line!

What is Covered in this Guide:

What is a Product Detail Page (PDP)?

A product detail page, or PDP, is a type of page found on ecommerce sites that contains all the information about a single specific product. Typically, you would navigate to a PDP page from a collection page.

PDPs follow a pretty standard formula and will almost always have these sections:

  1. Creative elements – photos, videos, graphics that illustrate the product
  2. Conversion elements – add to cart buttons, payment options, discounts and special offers
  3. Validation elements – reviews, comparisons, badges and other trust signals
  4. Operational elements – how the product will get to you and what to do if there’s a problem

Why is a Product Detail Page Important?

For those of us old enough to remember the dawn of the Internet, shopping online was fraught with danger. If I can’t touch the product or see it in person, if I’m not taking it home as soon as I hand over payment, will I ever receive this product? Online purchasing was a huge leap of faith. In a few short decades, it’s become increasingly commonplace;
over 75% of people are shopping at least once a month online. However, that doesn’t mean that sellers have been let off the hook. The burden of proof still lies with them to convince us that their product is the product we would have chosen if their store was in
our local strip mall.

Enter the hottest piece of real estate on an ecommerce site, the PDP page. Having a fully optimized PDP page can result in increased traffic and increased sales. The majority,
87% of consumers, say that product content influences their decision to purchase. In addition to being mission critical real estate on your site to succeed, PDP pages also appear in mission critical SERPs that brands must win to excel in SEO. And while there are many ways to drive people to your product pages, at Grit, we believe that organic traffic is the key to driving cost effective conversion and strong lifetime value.

But if the PDP page is so important, why is it often neglected? You may have a deep product catalog, and be intimidated by the time you’d need to devote to optimizing hundreds of pages. It can feel daunting and difficult to know where to start.

5 Must-Have PDP Components to Drive Performance

All ecommerce platform templates, including those found on Shopify, are going to set you up with the basics of a PDP page—you and every other store on the web. Users—and Google—expect more if you’re going to generate traffic and sales. So, how do you deliver?

I could definitely wax poetic about the brand experience, that intangible magic that sparks a connection with a product, connects it to a larger “why” in your life, and drives you to get off the couch and find your credit card. That’s another article. Let’s get into five must-haves to set your page apart from the pack.

1. Captivating Creative

Your PDP page is the last stop for a user before they add a product to the cart. Connecting them to a product they can’t touch or interact with takes a creative approach. Start with your primary image. The image should be clear, descriptive, well cropped, and provide a compelling demonstration of why your product is the right choice. Include 3-5 additional images that show additional features, angles, and details. You earn bonus points if you’re utilizing a zoom feature and/or have video content. Lastly, don’t neglect your alt text—include descriptive and unique alt text for each image. You’ve most likely considered ADA compliance for contrast ratios and alt text is another place to ensure you’re constructing your site in the most inclusive way possible.

Still on the fence about investing in video content? Consider these statistics:

2. Compelling Call to Action

Anyone in sales will tell you creating a sense of urgency and catching the buyer at the peak of their interest improves your chances of closing the sale. Showing products that are in stock but with limited availability encourages buyers to get it now, rather than waiting. Include a clear call out on the cost of shipping—if it isn’t FREE—as well as anticipated delivery dates to reinforce that they won’t be waiting long to receive their product. Other value call-outs can also be useful in answering subconscious questions the user has and reinforcing why this is the right product for them. Consider bulleted phrases like: Guaranteed, Eco-Friendly, Vegan, Made in the USA, or FDA Approved/Cleared. Don’t make the user leave the page to confirm these details, as they may not find their way back.

3. Well Integrated Reviews + Q&A

Third party reviews are the holy grail of online shopping. You should prominently include your stars, number of reviews, and links to full reviews near the top of the page. The actual reviews section can be placed further down the page and should include a summary table with a break out of reviews by tier. Review content should be time stamped, and including UGC (user generated content), like photos of the product in use, is definitely encouraged.

The Q&A section is a partner section that helps support review content. Specifically, the Q&A section focuses on answering questions from users. It’s one more way to signal that all the information a customer needs to make a buying decision is on this page. Including multiple questions shows that you’re engaging with the end user and prioritizing customer service. It also allows you to provide SEO-rich answers that include targeted keywords.

4. Behind the Scenes Technical Elements

SEO optimizations and schema markup are the unsung heroes of the PDP page, working behind the scenes to communicate key elements to Google and improve your rankings. Ensure your title tags and meta descriptions are well-structured and succinct. Keep your title tags under 60 characters and include the brand name, product title, and SEO keyword. For metas, ~150-160 characters is an appropriate length. Include a branded description of the product/store with SEO keyword targets, and add in “Claims” such as “in stock,” “vegan,” note the free shipping threshold, and use transactional language.

There’s a whole universe of schema markup to explore. We recommend the Rich Results Test to see what competitor pages are using and to discover options that are a good fit for your content. For PDP pages specifically, we recommend:

  • Product – note the title, brand, variant, description, etc.
  • Variant Selection – use appropriate schema markup to clearly communicate all the variations available
  • Image – replicate this markup for each image
  • Brand name – flag this for brand searches on Google
  • Aggregate rating – pull in star rating into SERP
  • Reviewer – pull in a specific review from a known reviewer and include their star rating

5. Build the Rest of the Page

Don’t sleep on these other PDP page sections. Finish strong with additions like breadcrumbs, comparison tables, and recommendations. Most ecommerce templates will come standard with breadcrumbs, so the optimization you’re looking for is in naming your tiers in a way that balances UX with SEO signals. We recommend “Top Product Level | Product Parent Category | Product Sub Category.” Including a comparison table saves users a lot of clicking around and keeps them focused on choosing a product to purchase. Common points of comparison are ratings, price, ingredients, dimensions, weight, and other relevant variants. Finish out your page with the perennial favorite, “Also Recommended” products. Pair this with a “$XX away from free shipping” to drive a higher AOV.

PDP (Unusual) Best Practices

If you’ve implemented all of the recommendations above and you’re still hungry for more, we’ve collected some additional hints and tips to really set your PDP page apart.

  • Use schema markup for offers to send info to Google. This data will pull in your special offer into the area below the meta description in the SERP.
  • You can also utilize schema markup to send signals to Google on availability (in stock) and quantity available. Win the click by showing you have inventory available.
  • Especially for marketplaces or other instances when you’re using a manufacturer’s product photography, create custom imagery of your product that is annotated to include bulleted lists, ingredients, call outs on features, or brand graphics. This results in a custom image that no one else is using and will be specifically indexed by Google as unique.
  • For breadcrumbs, make sure they’re appropriately spaced on mobile to avoid a “clickable element too close” penalty. Avoid the unforced error!
  • Install the Lighthouse plugin for Chrome to monitor site speed and other performance KPIs for mobile and desktop users.

Writing Product Descriptions that Sell

Keep it short and sweet. This isn’t a recipe blog where your life story is required before you get to the ingredients for chicken soup. Users want to know how you’re going to solve their problem or make their life easier, and that the product fits in a box that will show up on their doorstep in 3 to 5 days. Google wants to know the same thing—is this page the best solution for the user’s search?

This isn’t a recipe blog where your life story is required before you get to the ingredients for chicken soup.

Structure your description with 2-3 sentences that follow this pattern: Describe the product accurately and in a neutral tone, no exaggerated claims. Reinforce the problem this product solves or how it improves quality of life. Close by describing the “after” that the user will experience once they are benefiting from the product. Don’t forget to incorporate your primary and secondary target keywords!

3 Client PDP Examples We Love

Feeling like this is a lot to undertake on your PDP pages? We assure you it is possible and drives real results. Let’s take a closer look at a few client examples to see what this type of optimization looks like when it’s deployed.


Leveraging some of our favorite schema markup, men’s swimwear retailer DryFins is able to pull star ratings, number of reviews, price, and availability into the SERP. They’re also getting an indented listing to show a product review with UGC (user generated content). Getting a second related result is a great result, creating more visibility overall on the page.

Getting into their actual PDP, you’ll notice they’ve included several product silhouettes as well as a customer photo to show the product. There is also a video that shows a model walking through the frame and illustrating the unique features of the product, like the chafe-free liner.

And as we go a little further down the page, there are suggested products and a robust reviews section. The reviews section includes an aggregation of reviews, shows other user photos, and integrates a Q&A section.


Lots of things going right on this PDP page for Gump’s, a luxury gifting retailer. In addition to breadcrumbs, there’s a separate link for the product designer, to dive deeper into related products. For a retailer that rarely offers discounts, they clearly identify that this item is part of their summer sale and show the previous price.

Schema markup has been correctly implemented to pull in the product photo, price and sale price, and availability.

Then, further down the page, they really lean into their customer service value proposition by detailing all of the shipping options and further explaining the gift wrapping option. In the Return & Exchanges section, they outline the Gump’s Guarantee and connect users to Customer Care for personalized support.

Kendra Scott

The review section from popular jewelry retailer Kendra Scott provides the user with even more functionality, including the ability to filter reviews by suggested keywords. They also leverage their army of Instagram influencers to include a style gallery.

The combination of optimization on the page and internal linking around this marquee product nets Kendra Scott a substantial amount of SERP real estate on the Elisa.

Closing Thoughts (Warning – Includes Math)

Knowing what to do and actually doing it are two separate things. If you have a large product catalog or are challenged for development resources, optimizing your PDP experience can seem like a daunting task. There’s a reason why 82% of PDP pages have poor to mediocre performance. Therein lies the opportunity. We started this guide talking about the funnel and ROI. Making a business case for improving your PDP plans is no different than any other marketing strategy you’d pitch internally. If your ecomm CVR is 2.5% and improving your PDP pages gets you to 3%, the math looks something like this:

Step 1 – Calculate the revenue a change of 0.05% in CVR would drive

10,000 visits * 2.5% CVR * $100 AOV = $25,000
10,000 visits * 3% CVR * $100 AOV = $30,000
(conservative approach assumes no lift in traffic)

Step 2 – Compare the incremental revenue to the cost of the project

Incremental revenue – $5,000
PDP optimization project – $10,000, 2-month payback period

Step 3 – Profit

But in all seriousness, if you’re focused on getting more out of the bottom of your funnel, PDP optimization is an incredibly valuable place to put your efforts. If you’re looking for a partner to act as an extension of your team, for a short term project or to provide ongoing, we’d love to hear more about your challenges.