How Alignment and Angles Took Rux from 1.45 - 3.06 ROAS in a Few Weeks

Welcome to the first-ever edition of Campaign Confidential.

A new series where we open the campaign case files of real businesses working with Pilothouse’s Pilot Program – a service that helps brands who don’t quite meet the typical agency criteria scale affordably. 💸

In the Pilot Program, clients get one dedicated media buyer whose sole goal is to identify your needs, scale your account, and do anything they can to move the needle and achieve your goals. 📈

Over the next four weeks, you’ll get to see exactly how the Pilot Program improved RUX’s cost per action (CPA), average order value (AOV), and return on ad spend (ROAS) (while crushing Black Friday). 🖤

Wanna know how the team got these results? Read on, reader!

There are no secrets here. You’ll get real numbers, real results, and tactical insights you can apply to your business right now. Case closed. 👨🏻‍⚖️

👋 Meet the client

The moment we saw RUX come through our queue, we knew we had a winning relationship. Local client with an amazing product, outstanding team, and a perfect fit for how Pilothouse operates.

RUX gives their customers a faster and more convenient way to pack, carry, and store their gear.

The brand’s collapsible, fully weatherproof product is built for life outdoors and has garnered quite the following. RUX has also been featured across various publications, including (but not limited to) Outside, Wired, People, and Forbes.

📉 The starting metrics

The first thing we do when onboarding a client is look at their metrics and what their current account winners are.

RUX had already been running on Meta for the first half of 2022. Here’s what they were seeing:

  • CPA: $148
  • AOV: $215
  • ROAS: 1.45

These are some of the previous winning ads that were running:

🎯 The goal

Our initial stretch goal was to hit a 3.0 ROAS on-platform while also scaling budgets leading up to the holidays and Black Friday. 🎁 Pffft, easy right?

Spend had been in the $300/day range, and we were aiming to grow to $1000/day while seeing that ROAS jump. If there was ever a time to dial up the creativity and start testing, it was now.

🛫 Introducing: The Pilot Test

A Pilot Test is a method of batch testing ad angles, ad copy, or ad creative at a lower cost with accelerated results (2-4 days).

You use ad-set level budgets to ensure each ad gets an even amount of spend and set them small around the $5-$10/day mark.

From there, each ad set is made up of one ad, each with differing assets. And when evaluating results, we’re looking at purchases and metrics like cost Add to Carts and Initiate Checkouts.

✈️ Driver 1: Pilot Tests and evergreen campaign setup

We initially started with a couple of Pilot Tests focused on the ad copy and creative angles.

The goal? To isolate creative into its own test. To do this, we had all ads running using the same version of a broad ad copy.

To test ad copy, do the inverse! Run a broad version of the same creative and get working on those copy angles!

From these tests, we very quickly found some new winning angles:

After slotting these winners into our Retargeting & Prospecting Evergreen Campaigns we saw an immediate boost. Cha-ching! 🙏

We also set up an Audience Matrix campaign that continually tests new audience batches.

The batches included:

  • High-value lookalikes (people purchasing 2+ products)
  • Engaged shoppers
  • Outdoor & adventure-related interests

This was made up of these same winning ads and has since consistently been a top-performing campaign.

Driver 2: Rapid creative iteration testing

After rapid creative testing, you can determine what’s working and what’s not and start iterating.

We worked with the client to ensure we were getting 1-2 batches of new creative each week to keep things moving and fresh.

🆕 Driver 3: Successful new product launch

In month 2 of our relationship, RUX launched a new Grey 70L model. This allowed us to capitalize on some scale with a new announcement!

Creative and copy tests provided strong data on what creatives we should use for the launch. We noticed that creative showing multiple RUX 70L’s was converting well with a high AOV, so we ensured we got a grey version of that created.

We then set up two separate prospecting and retargeting campaigns for this launch. The key here is to isolate the launch as it adds horizontal scale while allowing us to push budgets and optimize based on what’s working specifically for the launch. Often our evergreen campaigns will also pick up when something like this is launched and added to the site.

When performance slowed down in these campaigns, we launched new creatives that iterated off of the initial winners to give it another boost.

📸 Driver 4: UGC testing and darkposting

RUX had not yet tried UGC/darkposting on the account and needed guidance.


  • Identified some early UGC formats to test and filmed the initial concepts
  • Collaborated with the RUX team to select creators that fit the correct demographic and set up darkposting
  • Reviewed results and wrote creative briefs for new iterative UGC concepts

These new videos helped the account find more horizontal scale and greatly improved ROAS. Not to mention, launching creator generated content was a benefit to RUX’s entire ecosystem! Their organic, Google, and email traffic all started trending upwards.

📆 Driver 5: Q4 planning

Pre-planning for important quarters is something RUX had mentioned was a gap from past agencies and partners. Not having conversations around creative brainstorming and Q4 planning leads to misalignment. Having these calls meant everyone was on the same page for upcoming promos and could have input on the best track forward for a strong creative direction.

We now meet once a week to ensure team<>client alignment but will also breakout when needed. Additionally, both teams being connected via Slack has ensured communication is rapid and pointed.

After three months of Pilot Testing and scaling results, RUX saw their metrics climb to:

  • CPA: $111 (25% improvement)
  • AOV: $341 (59% improvement)
  • ROAS: 3.06 (111% improvement)

Now that the account is established, consistent, and growing, it was time to start planning out Black Friday and how we can elevate to the next level….

Catch y’all next week to see how the Pilot Program team handled RUX’s pre-BFCM launch on Meta. 👀

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