In late 2015, my co-founder and I decided to build a product called Suto — a personified bot that helped people make purchasing decisions. By the end of 2016, we decided to stop working on it and pivot to a fast revenue-generating business that became Pearmill due to cashflow issues.

The motivation behind writing this is to recognize the importance that the product had for us and process the stress that we endured when deciding to shut it down.

It’s common to hear that you should work on something you genuinely care about, but no one tells you how to…

Pearmill’s Facebook Ads Playbook: Baseline Conversion Rate

Part of Pearmill’s Facebook Advertising Playbook.

Given that we’re looking at Facebook Advertising with a performance marketing lens, it’s paramount that we look at each step of the funnel in relation to the cost and performance of the Ad, Ad Set, or Campaign.

We follow a systematic way to make sure that each of the steps in the funnel is performing well within a baseline, but it’s important to understand that even if one metric is performing well — it doesn’t mean the Ad is worth putting more of your budget behind.

With that in mind, let’s take a look…

Pearmill’s Facebook Ads Playbook: Baseline Click-Through-Rate Rule

Part of Pearmill’s Facebook Advertising Playbook

Before we get into the CTR rule, it’s important to talk about the lens we use when it comes to Facebook Advertising.

There are plenty of different ways to use Facebook Advertising for growth, however, we’re specifically looking at it as a performance marketing channel — meaning all the campaigns we run, and all the rules in our playbook series are meant to have the user perform a specific action (e.g. make a purchase, install an app, etc.)

This is an important distinction, because every metric becomes related to its positive or negative effect on helping us reach the ultimate…

Facebook Ads Playbook: Enough Impressions Rule

Part of Pearmill’s Facebook Advertising Playbook

The most common mistake we see advertisers make is not having a clear framework for knowing when to make a decision regarding an Ad Unit. A significant part of our rules series will focus on giving you clear guidelines on how and when to make decisions.

We want to be clear enough so that you never have to ask yourself if you’re waiting too long. Or are you not waiting long enough? Is this Ad Unit doing well after a day? Two days? 10 Clicks? 100 Conversions? 2k Impressions?

Note: there’s a mini glossary at the end of this post…

Facebook Ads Playbook: Audience Selection Techniques

Part of Pearmill’s Facebook Advertising Playbook

In order to understand why we use certain strategies for Facebook Advertising — we think it’s important for a brief lesson on how the Facebook marketing engine works.

Facebook Pricing and Pacing Dynamics

The lovely people at Facebook have already done a great job explaining how their system works but we’d like you to remember two simple rules that define their ecosystem:

  1. Each impression (when an ad unit is shown to a user) is priced based on how many other advertisers are currently bidding on each specific user / audience.
  2. Facebook uses a discounted pacing algorithm, which means they’ll attempt to give you the users…

It’s quite common for our clients and the larger community of growth professionals to come to us with this question: how well are doing in terms of performance on cost and creative?

At Pearmill — a tech-enabled ad agency — we’ve spent the last couple of years managing budgets from small to large for a variety of clients in different industries. …

I often get asked which analytics tool one should use. This often leads to a large debate over the extremely large amount of tools on the market. I’ve been a big advocate of a few products in the analytics space and was previously the Head of Product at Taplytics (YC W14).

This isn’t a post about which analytics tool you should use, but rather some fodder for how one should think about building and selling an analytics tool today based on my experiences with analytics as a Founder, PM, and Engineer.

If you’re thinking about starting an analytics company today…

This post is part of a series of open source projects that we’ll be releasing in the next while, as described previously here.

Email Capture

One of the most common things we do is create landing pages to collect folks’ email addresses. There are plenty of service that do this (like launchrock) but they’re always too cluttered and don’t let us have full control of the experience.

We’re makers at heart and care about the simple animations on a sign-up form and how users interact with it. …

I’m an avid Hacker News consumer. It’s one of the first places I go in the morning and tend to visit it multiple times a day. It might as well be my default tab (though to be fair, I have something way cooler for that).

Recently, I noticed that YC has an open and official API for Hacker News so I set out to create a Slack bot (as a way to train myself for a product we’re working on).

This all took just a few hours and credit should all go to Slack’s great Events API that makes it…

Botkit analytics, powered by Keen IO

Open-source middleware to track bot metrics with Keen IO – check it out here and read about the motivation below 🚀

This post is part of a series of open source projects that I’ll be releasing in the next while, as described previously here.

Bot Analytics

One of the things that we had to deal with when we were building Suto was that the traditional “session”-based analytics systems (like Google Analytics) didn’t really work. Even the pure “event”-based analytics systems (like Mixpanel) were too prescriptive for a new medium like chat interfaces.

We wanted to answer slightly complicated questions like “What type…

Nima Gardideh

I help companies grow with art and technology at Pearmill.

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