Bradley Nickel

Online Marketing Guy |

7 min read

The Business of Display Part 3: Nutraceuticals

Not too long ago the titles that dominated news headlines included words like:

Baby boomers, medical debt, dismantling Obamacare…

There’s no doubt that the increased uncertainty around healthcare costs has more people worrying about their current and future health situation. This, combined with the increasing awareness behind preventive medicine, has made people seek out alternatives.

Nutraceuticals have been around for years and people continue to turn to them as a remedy for countless ailments. Nutraceuticals are pills, powders, and liquids that fall somewhere between prescription drugs and dietary supplements.

They normally claim to fix some sort of health issue — like high blood pressure — or increase physical performance — like physical activity or sexual health.

They’re not regulated by the FDA and you don’t need to see a doctor or have a prescription to buy them.You can get them online or at any health or supplement store like GNC.

According to Grand View Research, the global nutraceuticals market is expected to reach a whopping $578.23 billion by 2025. Many marketers have taken advantage of the boom and found a way to create effective ads on display.

We’ve taken a deep dive into this industry to show you how one nutraceutical company uses display advertising to sell millions in product per year. Plus, we’ll offer insights you can take from their campaigns and use in your own business — even if it isn’t in nutraceuticals.

Nutraceuticals Have High-Profit Potential but High Startup Costs

Nutraceuticals are pretty easy to make as far as physical products go. Buy a few powders in bulk, buy a few capsules, assemble them, and put them in a jar. Some examples of their uses include:

  • Athletic performance including weight loss, pre-workout, and muscle builders
  • Sexual health and libido
  • Joint pain relief
  • Cleansers
  • Anxiety
  • Blood pressure
  • Testosterone
  • Skin conditions
  • Fish oil, flax oil, and krill oil
  • And many others!


As you can see, nutraceuticals work for a wide range of conditions. The best nutraceuticals solve an issue that the majority of people will deal with at some point in their life. Almost everyone will suffer from conditions like joint pain, lower testosterone levels, high blood pressure, and loss of mental clarity. Any kind of market where there’s huge demand in a large percentage of the population tends to work well on display.

Since nutraceuticals are made up of proprietary blends of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, you don’t need to be a licensed doctor or work at the research department at Pfizer to create one.

Plus nutraceutical businesses have a few other distinct advantages compared to starting a SaaS business. For example:

  • They’re consumable. Unlike an eBook or online course, your customers are eventually going to use up their supply and need more. This means that there are lots of opportunities for repeat customers and purchases.
  • The lifetime value is huge for one customer. It’s a huge advantage when you pick the right nutraceutical to sell because when you target the right people, they keep coming back as they see results. During their time as a customer a person can spend thousands of dollars.
  • They’re easy to sell in bulk. When you have a good product that people use month after month, it’s easy to sell a larger quantity at any given time, either as an upsell at the point of purchase or as part of some special deal. It’s a no-brainer to buy in bulk if your customer knows they’re going to take your supplement every day for the next 12 months and you offer a 12-month supply at a deep discount.
  • They’re a source of recurring revenue. Some neutraceuticals can generate between $40 – $100 per customer per month. Plus, most people like the convenience of having something automatically shipped to them. This makes for an easy customer experience that serves to keep them around longer — regardless of what the competition offers.

But despite all the positives, there’s a steep learning curve when it comes to starting a business and hefty upfront investment in time and money. But since most people find that the potential profits more than make up for the extra hassle, let’s look at how to use display ads to grow your business to offset these expenses.

How to Use Targeting with Display Ads to Generate Revenue

There are a lot of sites where it’s easy to target an older demographic without having to use fancy search keywords.

For example, let’s look at testosterone boosters. Studies show that testosterone levels drop by ~1% every year after you turn 30. Lower testosterone is a fact of life. A man who’s 65-years old will never have the same testosterone levels as an 18-year old. However, there’s no man on this earth who isn’t at least interested in raising his testosterone levels.

Yet, most will not actively think about it unless it gets so bad that it causes some sort of obvious health issue. Most guys are not going to suddenly decide they need a testosterone booster RIGHT NOW and head to Google to search for it.

However, if someone sees an interesting display ad tied to a compelling sales page, they’ll be aware of their lower T levels and at least be open to trying it.

The companies that have high-quality products and sales funnels are typically going to be doing at least 5x (if not 10x) the revenue from display compared to search.

Let’s look at a few examples of companies that focus on specific target audiences and use display ads to drive interest in their products.

Nature’s Bounty

Target audience: People interested in improving their heart health
Why people will buy it: It offers social proof by mentioning cardiologists prefer this product.


Target audience: People interested in boosting their nutrient intake
Why people will buy it: Customers looking for 100% natural ingredients will be more likely to buy if the product otherwise meets their needs.


Target: People who want to get their nutrients through nutrient-rich drinks
Why people will buy it: Prinova advertises on sites like and where their target audience are already looking for healthy alternatives to sugar-rich fruit juices.

Case Study: Test x180 Ignite Testosterone Booster from Force Factor

Test x180 Ignite is a natural testosterone booster sold by Force Factor, LLC. Force Factor is a large distributor that sells a few different supplements geared towards bodybuilders. They spend a lot on display across all their product lines, but they’re doing some really interesting stuff with this specific product.

Let’s take a look at how they buy their traffic.

Ad Network Spend

They use a combination of Yieldmo and direct buys to get traffic. These channels are similar with the difference being that Yieldmo focuses exclusively on mobile ad impressions. Both channels let marketers buy impressions in bulk from ad networks to make sure that their ads are seen by their target audience.

Yieldmo and direct buys are a great way to get guaranteed traffic at lower prices from a site proven to work for your offer. However, another reason why Force Factor and other nutraceutical companies rely on direct buys is related to the type of products and claims that some ad networks do and don’t allow. Buying traffic for anything related to health and wellness can sometimes be difficult on high-quality ad networks like Google AdWords.

Google AdWords is very strict with what type of claims, images, and copy they’ll let you use on your ads and landing pages. Nine times out of ten you’ll have to work with a network rep to figure out how to make your pages compliant with their terms and conditions if you want to sell a nutraceutical. There are a few nutraceutical companies that do very well on the Google Display Network but be aware that it can be a long and arduous process to keep your pages compliant.

Let’s look at an example of what I mean. Both of these ads target customers who want to increase their testosterone levels.

There are a few elements that help turn these into high converting ads:

  • “Boston researchers…” This is a great use of specific social proof. Most advertisers will just say “researchers,” yet by just adding the word “Boston” it immediately incites a higher level of trust.
  • “Weird ingredient…” You’ve undoubtedly seen this type of copy before. Stuff like “1 weird trick to lose a bit of belly fat every day.” A lot of people hate this style of copy because it’s overused. However, if so many people STILL use it year after year then it must still work.
  • Sex appeal. If you’re an older man then there’s no doubt that you want to get higher testosterone levels to feel more energetic, more youthful, and have a higher sex drive so you can get a younger woman like the one shown in the photo.
  • Using a strange picture. The image used in the ad on the right takes advantage of the “weird ingredient.” It’s a picture of some sort of vegetable that’s not commonly sold in western grocery stores. (Note: That “weird” ingredient appears to be “Cassava,” a vegetable popular in South America.)


A big portion of their spend goes to Vox Media and CNN, sites that cater to Force Factor’s older demographic. The copy they use in their ads and landing pages coincides with this demographic (“How Older Men Are Increasing Testosterone”).

As a side note, news sites, in general, tend to work very well for mass market offers in the “Big 3” niches (health, wealth, and relationships). Because who reads the news? Everyone. And everyone wants to be healthier, more attractive, make more money, and attract more sexual partners.


In the past Force Factor used a landing page or “article lander” disguised as an informative article.

This ad format serves a few purposes:

  • It’s in line with what the user expects when they see the ad. They expect to see what the researchers discovered and what this “weird” trick is. They’re expecting an article — not a sales page.
  • It pre-frames the user for the sale. They’ve already read the article and understood the benefits of the product without being blatantly sold on it.
  • These article landers are more likely to be Google (and Facebook) compliant. The user sees what they expect to see, which is very important for higher quality ad networks.

Once they click the main call-to-action — “Get a Free Sample” — the prospect is led to a more traditional sales page, complete with a lot of different elements to help conversions.

Force Factor also uses a mixture of other ads that incorporate messaging geared towards getting interested people to buy. For example:

They use compelling headlines and value propositions like this one:

Ads play up the social proof with this image and the tagline “Bo Jackson Names His Favorite Test Booster”:

And of course the REAL reason why men buy these supplements: Sex appeal

One interesting thing you should take note of is the language they use in the headline and call-to-action button on their order form:

They don’t say “get a free sample.”

They say, “See if you qualify for a free sample.” The difference is tiny but they’ve probably tested this and seen a lift with conversions.


People don’t value free stuff. They always want what they can’t have and want to know if they qualify or work. They’re going to value something they’ve been chosen for, not something that’s given to everyone. It makes it feel like less of a commodity. This type of language is great to A/B test for any offer in any niche of any business you’re running — not just nutraceuticals.

Get to Know Your Audience

When you operate in an industry that offers multiple niches within it, you need to get to know your specific audience before you can target them with the right ads. Nutraceuticals is a large industry but display ads let companies narrow their focus to reach the right customers.

Depending on the ad networks you use, make sure the publishers you choose are compatible. For example, Force Factor relies heavily on Yieldmo to get mobile ad impressions. Yieldmo sells targets found on CNN and Vox Media, the places where Force Factor’s target audience spend the most time.

Making sure ad networks give you access to “the right” publishers increases your reach and ups the chances of you making more money in the long run.

Bradley Nickel

Online Marketing Guy |


  1. Can I use this method with PPC ads? Can’t I direct traffic to a display/sales page? I mean, wouldn’t that basically be the same thing as doing the display? Targeting sites that follow the profile of the visitors and their interests?

  2. Another killer case study!

    Very detailed and actionable… keep ’em coming

  3. Great to see the End to End Funnel. (Appreciated). Guess an ‘Article Lander’ is a better match for this target audience / age demographic than (say) Video. Any idea as to the Cost Per Lead (or Cost Per Sale) this campaign resulted in? Imagine the inclusion of a Free Sample bumped it up a fare bit. (Nicely put together piece).

  4. great stuff !!



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