CafePress Drives Return on Ad Spend

Being an eCommerce based business, paid search is a key business driver and is a primary focus for the company as a whole. That's why CafePress engaged Boost to help them refine their paid search ad creative.

About CafePress
With a community of 6.5 million users, and over 11 million unique visits each month, CafePress is where folks from all walks of life gather online to create, sell and buy “print on-demand” products. Each design speaks to what people are most passionate about. It may be a political cause, a cult classic film, an obsessive hobby, a funny (or flirty) thought—whatever the customer’s whim, CafePress has a custom product for it.

CafePress Drives Return on Ad Spend By Increasing Conversion Rates


  • CafePress was able to implement a system that would allow them to test their ad groups to scale
  • CafePress was able to increase conversion by keeping ad creative relevant and fresh
  • CafePress was able to save over 200 hours on writing, testing and reporting on ads. This allowed their SEM teams to focus more on strategy.


CafePress has over fifteen AdWords accounts and 100,000 SKUs. It is impractical for CafePress to write for each of these ad groups. Their solution is to take a two-fold approach:

  • Write individual ads for high volume groups
  • Apply a template to ad copy in the lower volume groups.

Consequently, they rely heavily on templated ads to write against their SKUs. CafePress has developed a strong internal system that allows them to deploy these templated ads efficiently. However, since the templates span across multiple ad groups, it is difficult to test A/B the performance of different template. While CafePress has the ability to efficiently manage their biding and keyword targeting strategy, they did not have a system in place that would allow them to test for performance in their low volume SKUs, which in aggregate, make up the majority of their account.


To accomplish this goal, Boost looked at both pieces of the CafePress optimization process. First, CafePress needed proprietary tools which allowed them to roll up ad groups, thereby creating dynamic templates and making it possible to test at scale. Boost’s solution not only tackled their scalability challenge, but also saved the CafePress team hours of copy writing and testing, allowing them to devote more time for higher priority strategic tasks. Secondly, Boost identified the ad groups with the largest spend and highest volume, what we call the “head” terms, and began to optimize for these. The approach taken with the head terms was to develop ad copy more specific to the product and search query.


Our solution created the benefit of diversity from multiple perspectives, thereby keeping ad copy fresh and edgy, and avoiding the normal CTR fatigue their template ads often experienced. CafePress didn’t realize that there was a service that could help them with their PPC ad text optimization. They were instantly impressed with the quality of the ad copy generated by Boost’s Expert Marketplace, and the amount of time saved. During the course of the last year of testing, Boost saved CafePress an estimated 200 hours—over 80 hours writing copy and 120 hours for A/B testing.