Stacks London PPC Ads

Stacks London – IOS 14.5 PPC Ads Strategy

On the 26th April 2021, Apple released IOS 14.5 – dubbed to be the ‘end of PPC’ for many marketers across the world. For anyone who doesn’t know, IOS 14.5 was feared to kill many ad campaigns running on the Instagram and Facebook network(s), because the apps were going to prompt users with an ‘opt-out of tracking’ message when users first logged in to either of the apps. This prompt, caused an almost 96% opt OUT rate, making it suddenly a lot harder to find, track user behaviour, and scale upon winning ad campaigns. The days of retargeting were set to be over, and companies would have to resort to traditional above-the-line campaigns, killing off small businesses. But did that really happen? Was IOS 14.5 the end of PPC as we know it? Or, in the instance of Stacks London, were there alternative ways to achieve the same results?

We explore the IOS 14.5 PPC ads strategy that we implemented for Stacks London, and still continue to operate now.



  1. Stacks attracted a slightly higher socioeconomic status customer- and therefore buyers were mostly on IOS devices (over 60%) – of which 80% were using a mobile device (iPhone, or iPad).
  2. Facebook / Instagram’s IOS 14.5 update was so unsuccessful, that over 96% of IOS users were reported to opt out of tracking. Not ideal.
  3. As a lower value item, it was not practical, nor cost effective to implement multi-stage opt-in funnels to capture user data, such as ‘ethical bribery’ (where you are often asked for an email address in exchange for a free download or gift).


Firstly, and this is not hidden knowledge, we needed to implement better use of UTM’s. UTM’s ultimately help attribute traffic to a particular data source, such as a Facebook ad, or Instagram story – and so with a well-configured Google Analytics account, it was then much easier to see where the traffic was coming from into the sales funnel. This didn’t necessarily solve the issue of being able to build a Facebook pixel audience but did help to see the effectiveness of new cold audiences.

Next, we had to build more audiences ON platform, rather than relying on pixel data to build audiences. Previously it was very easy to build lookalike audience based on parameters such as ‘Customers 99% alike our current purchasers’ – but instead, since a lot of these customers could not be tracked, we needed other data metrics to use instead. Any user action that took place ON the Facebook or Instagram platform was, and still is, able to be tracked (such as a video view, a DM, a page like etc).

Lastly, we needed some old-school marketing such as better creative and updated text copy to get the maximum click-through rate, and needed to maximize the value of each checkout, by implementing smart upsells. This theoretically would result in a better ROI since the ad spend would remain the same, but the value of each order increase.


  1. Structured UTM’s within Facebook’s Ads Manager for easy tracking in Google Analytics (G.A). We used G.A + Shopify attribution to work out Return on Ad Spend, rather that the traditional ROAS tab in Facebook ads manager.
  2. We targeted Video View audiences & built our lookalike audience based on 95% watch or more, plus, we build separate interest targeting audiences that hadn’t been targeted beforehand.
  3. We helped guide a creative & copy refresh. Also, we implemented some smart upsells (bundles) so that when a user added X to their basket, they would have the appropriate recommendation for a discounted second item.

Result: Year-on-year Gross sales: +33%, Store Conversion: +9%, Average order value: +18%, Total orders: +13%


Do you own a brand, product, or business that conventional marketing methods don’t quite work for? Have you tried PPC ads that have fallen flat on their backside, or even have an NFT project of your own and don’t know where to start? Perhaps we have the solution for you.

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W2 Solutions

W2 Solutions is a performance marketing agency specialising in PPC & Social media ads, Web Design & SEO.