By making strategic changes to optimize ad delivery for Instagram Stories, the beauty subscription service IPSY was able to reach more people who aren’t likely to click on ads and give them more time to think about making a purchase, increasing sales by 8.5X.

A personal beauty community

IPSY, the largest beauty subscription service in the world, has more than three million active members, and has shipped over one billion products. IPSY’s signature Glam Bags deliver personalized beauty products designed to fit each member’s lifestyle. Founded in 2011 with the mission of inspiring everyone to express their unique beauty, IPSY’s goal is to create a beauty discovery platform that is inclusive and welcoming to all.


increase in sales from ads in Instagram Stories


more people reached by ads in Instagram Stories


increase in overall sales with a 29% increase in ad spend

We knew that viewing ads in Instagram Stories eventually leads to purchases. We just didn’t know how to prove it. Experimenting with different optimization window for ads and allowing more time for clicks from ads in Instagram Stories helped us make the connection between people who viewed our ads and the purchases they made later on.
Increasing purchases with ads in Instagram Stories

IPSY wanted to know if sales for its subscription service would improve if it optimized ad delivery in Instagram Stories for view-through conversions, in addition to using a longer click-through optimization window.

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From views to purchases

IPSY had been running video ads in Instagram Stories with the goal of achieving immediate clicks from the Sign Up button. But since people who look at ads in Stories tend to view the Stories first and shop later, IPSY decided to make changes to the conversion window—the amount of time it expects people will take to convert after clicking on an ad—to more effectively optimize ad delivery.

Advertisers can select the window of time (e.g. one day, seven days) in which they anticipate people will take an action (e.g. a click or a view) after seeing an ad. IPSY decided to add one-day view to its ad delivery optimization window and also extended its click optimization window to seven days. This approach gave people who clicked ads in Instagram Stories more time to think about the purchase and allowed the campaign to reach more potential customers who weren’t likely to click on ads in Instagram Stories.

IPSY followed best practices for mobile viewing when creating its ads in Stories, such as using a vertical format, showing branding within the first few seconds, and keeping the story under 15 seconds. The ecommerce retailer showed the ads to a broad audience and selected automatic placements and campaign budget optimization. These strategies all enhance the ability of Facebook’s algorithm to automatically place ads and budget according to highest performance.

To verify the results of the change in ad delivery, IPSY ran a split test. While including “views” in the conversion window proved essential for improving the performance of ads in Stories, IPSY found that it also improved the performance of ads in other placements across the Facebook family of apps.

According to the split test, the May 21–June 25, 2019 campaign using a one-day view with a seven-day click optimization brought the following results, compared to a similar campaign that used a one-day click-only optimization:

  • 8.5X increase in sales from ads in Instagram Stories

  • 6.9X more people reached by ads in Instagram Stories

  • 39% increase in sales overall with only a 29% increase in ad spend

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