Client: ThriftBooks  |  HQ: Auburn, WA  |  Industry: Online Retailer (Used Books)  |  Wheelhouse Client Since: 2014
Services Provided: Digital Advertising

The Mission

ThriftBooks, one of the nation’s largest online sellers of used books, asked for support with one main goal when they first partnered with Wheelhouse DMG: to accelerate growth of their online book sales.

Reaching for ROAS

Our initial approach was multi-pronged. For more tailored management, Wheelhouse restructured their existing Google Shopping campaigns by specific categories and developed a comprehensive and integrated digital campaign which included 4M keywords, 2M Product Listing Ads (PLAs), and multiple shopping campaigns supported by campaign-level remarketing. We monitored search queries exhaustively in order to maximize efficiency through negatives and then turned around and applied successful search terms to our keyword lists. During the holiday season we proactively ramped up traffic and throughout the year, we adjusted bid rules and targets to drive growth while addressing trends.

From modest beginnings (our initial market test required a budget of just $5,000), Wheelhouse DMG built, and continues to manage, a digital campaign of immense complexity and sophistication. The total number of title and condition books in stock at ThriftBooks has grown from 1 million to 13 million as their revenue has risen through our SEM work with them.

“The number one reason ThriftBooks uses Wheelhouse for our SEM needs is performance. Their diligence in managing our account has allowed us to increase our spend to drive triple-digit increases in sales, customer acquisition, and profitability over the last three years. The fact that they are local is an added bonus. ”

– Matt Sand, VP of Marketing, ThriftBooks

Having exceeded ThriftBooks’s initial ROI targets long ago, our focus has shifted to driving the biggest year-over-year gains possible — achieving 73% annualized revenue growth over the years.  

Dynamic Decisions

In March 2018, Wheelhouse instituted dynamic display ads for ThriftBooks using the product feed. We had found that these ads regularly distinguish themselves with context and relevance and felt this method would help realize the online book seller’s goal for accelerating book sales.

Using data to inform our choices for which titles to boost, and to know which titles would drive traffic or match searcher intent, we were able to leverage all 13 million title and condition books in ThriftBooks’ inventory across various search engines.

“With ThriftBooks constantly breaking new ground with the continued, outstanding growth of its paid search program, the team has a strong appetite for innovation and testing the latest that is transforming the digital ad space. Together, Wheelhouse and ThriftBooks sift through and test the latest features and updates, separating hype from reality to make a real impact for the business”

– Oscar Chow, Sr. Paid Search Analyst, Wheelhouse

From the very first campaign, trust has played a large part in our relationship with ThriftBooks. They entrusted Wheelhouse with their resources and Wheelhouse has consistently hit and exceeded their ROAS goals. As one of our core company values, trust is key to every productive and positive client relationship. We make it a point to share the good and the bad, so that sound decisions, even those that are not necessarily in our best interest but are in the best interests of our client, can be discovered and subsequently delivered on. And whenever possible we try to over-deliver, exercising generosity, another Wheelhouse core value, to bring joy to our clients.

Coming to the ThriftBooks table with a willingness to work hard and bring results has allowed both parties to be open to conversations about shifting budgets and new opportunities ultimately resulting in success for the client.


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