The Ultimate Facebook Advertising Swipe File For Fitness Businesses
Don’t know where your next members will come from?
Constantly worried about member cancellations?
Don’t have a consistent way to generate high quality members that want the results you deliver?
The goal of this post is to give you proven campaigns that can reliably generate leads through paid Facebook ads. A process which will allow you to get high value clients that pay well and really appreciate the results you deliver.
Be cautious though, you generally cannot run these campaigns all year round. Some are only ideal to run one or two times a year even! So BEFORE you implement, make sure you understand the basic fundamentals of why the campaign works.
And by the way, these campaigns aren’t magic. The campaigns will get you leads. So, you will need to have a solid process in place to deliver value to these leads if you want them to convert to loyal members.
That means a solid application process, qualification phone call, demonstrating value during on-boarding (over the phone, webinar or in a transformation session) and of course, finding the pains that you are going to help solve for the client to get them to sign up to your business.
So without further ado… Here are the campaigns.
1. FREE Transformation Session – Ideal for small studios & personal trainers
The FREE Transformation Session strategy is genius because of the overwhelming value it provides without undervaluing you.
If anything, it increases your perceived value because you are acknowledging the financial value (Worth $99), limited space (looking for 5 more women) and confidently expressing the offer (apply to transform your body).
The backend is where the strategy shines through. You MUST qualify them with an application and then in the ‘FREE Transformation Session’ you provide MASSIVE value. The session isn’t a sales pitch and is 100% focused on helping the person, finding their pain and delivering a major win during the session.
Solve a major pain for them in this session and they are essentially closed. The only way you lose this sale is by not asking for the sale after the session or not qualifying them properly before they show up. These are your ideal members where lifetime values can be in excess of $2,000.
Here’s some examples:
And an example application form:
2. Deep Discount Short Program Offer – Ideal when starting out, cold traffic or remarketing
The shorter low commitment program is great for getting people that are on the fence or skeptical. Think remarketing and cold audiences. Also great if you are just starting out and need to build up both your community and confidence.
You provide a tonne of value for the lucky people that sign up at the heavily discounted rate, you deliver results and discover/improve what works, and you get the confidence you need for the next program that you can make even better. To get the most out of this strategy, you need a few of these people to become loyal long term members and advocates.
The key to success with this strategy is that they need to apply and qualify for your program. Don’t just let anyone into the program. Make sure they are a good fit, committed to working out multiple times a week and committed to working with you to solve their problem.
Here’s some examples:
An application process could include:
How do you feel about your body now?
What would you expect to pay for a fitness program like the one we are offering? (Tip: Don’t accept people that undervalue the program. i.e. <$200)
Have you been involved in a similar program before?
What is your biggest problem right now?
How committed are you to fixing the problem and working with us?
3. Grand Prize + Everyone Wins Contest – Ideal for premium gyms and studios
This strategy brings in more leads than any other campaign.
So if you are a solo fitness entrepreneur, this strategy isn’t for you. And if you are a gym hoping to rely on this strategy alone, realise that this should be run only ONE or TWO times a year at most.
Here’s the breakdown, the prize needs to have high perceived value and viral worthy. This strategy works best for premium gyms (lifetime client value of over $2,000) but you shouldn’t expect the conversion rate to be high in the short term. You will get more members AFTER a few months of remarketing other offers.
An example of a good grand prize is ‘3 Month FULL Access Membership + 10 Personal Training Sessions’. Avoid just giving away ’18 Months Free Membership’, you want the winner to get massive results and be your biggest fan during and after their membership with you.
Where you get members for your gym is in the ‘everyone wins’ section of this strategy. Instead of having just one grand prize, you need a secondary prize for everyone that enters – ’10 Day FREE Pass’, ‘7 Day Unlimited Access’ etc. This is your hook for getting people on the phone, through the door and signing up for membership at your facilities.
Here’s an example:
After people click on the ad and enter, they get the option to get more chances to win. This leads to a viral component where you get even more interested people for free!
4. Win With A Friend + Everyone Wins Contest – Ideal for group fitness gyms, studios and boot camps
Similar to the ‘Grand Prize + Everyone Wins Contest’, this strategy brings in a tonne of leads and isn’t for the solo fitness entrepreneur.
While this strategy can be run more than a few times a year, it isn’t recommended. This is a fun offer and should remain fun. So you don’t want to be running it permanently because people will just be blind to the offer and stop seeing it as a great opportunity to get results with a friend.
While the join with a friend should generally always be part of a gym, studio, and bootcamp marketing campaign. You generally want to ask for the ‘come with a friend’ on the ‘Thank You’ page or over the phone. This campaign flips the script and understands that most people that join with a friend come to the gym more often, get better results and last longer than your typical gym member.
Here’s an example:
This particular example uses a Facebook lead ad to capture details all within Facebook.
5. Come In And Give Us A Try / 2 Week Free Trial / 10-Day Pass – Ideal for new/unique offers and local awareness
The main problem with ‘Trial’ and ‘Free’ campaigns is too many leads or no leads.
The no leads part is rare but is usually a local reputation problem. Most often caused by bombarding everyone with constant promotions – ‘Friday Flash Sale’, ’80% OFF’, ’10 Days For $10’, ’30 Days FREE’. If that’s the case, you’ll generally want to stay away from this campaign.
The more common problem with this campaign is too many leads for first time Facebook advertisers to handle.
You NEED systems in place to handle the leads. Could you handle 20-40 leads in a day? Do you have the team in place to make all the calls? Can you handle 80 booked appointments people?
With all these leads, you need a solid process to make sure every single lead is called, emailed and then reminded of their booked appointment. That doesn’t sound like much, but if you have over a hundred leads, that quickly adds up to a lot of work. A text message or email is an easy way to deal with this influx but if you want to max out your show ups, you need to call at a minimum to make this campaign worthwhile.
Make sure you have these three points of contacts with leads to maximise your lead to member conversions. The phone call to welcome them and get them booked in for onboarding, follow-up emails to keep people engaged and a text message reminder to make sure they actually show up for their booked appointment.
And while your business can handle hundreds or even a thousand plus members because of the nature of your facilities. You might not be ready to onboard this many people at once. This is where problems can happen because the close is done when they show up and go through a valuable on-boarding process with you.
Depending on your city, this can easily be over 100 leads per month. And if your offer is seen as special/new, you can expect upwards of 200 leads per month.
Here are some examples:
6. 4-Week Body Transformation Competition – Ideal for studios and personal trainers just starting out
This is a strategy from Darren Bruce on how to market without selling hard.
It’s very smart and similar to a ‘Deep Discount Short Program Offer’.
So, this strategy would probably be best for studios and personal trainers just getting started off in the industry. As it is a great way to build up confidence when working with fitness members and also build up a community. The loyal members you get here are the foundation of your business success – So choose your clients wisely!
Summary of Darren’s advice:
Offer – ‘4 Week Body Transformation, 6 people get it for free!’,
Advertised and got 100+ leads,
Called all the people and qualified them,
Decided on the six winners who would value the service the most and commit to getting results,
Called up unsuccessful leads that were a good fit but not the winners and offered a deep discount of $97 for 4 weeks.
Outcome = <$100 spend in advertising for $10,000+ in lifetime member revenue.
Here’s some examples:
Note: Avoid ‘First 10 people to comment’ type offers. You want quality people to be joining the program that are committed to getting results. Having a bunch of no shows isn’t good for anyone. And is the difference between a highly profitable campaign with high lifetime members and a very frustrating client base that doesn’t appreciate you.
7. HUGE OPPORTUNITY / # Week Transformation / # Day Challenge – Ideal for studios and personal trainers
This is your high-end offer. Similar to the ‘FREE Transformation Session’ campaign where you can charge $100-300+ per week.
It’s your inspiration/motivation ad focused on delivering results. Limited space, get these results, specifically made for X, must be serious. While similar to the other transformation/short programs, this is for those people that are 100% committed. They are ready for change.
While it can be tempting to let anyone willing to pay thousands of dollars to join. Stick to your guns and qualify hard. Anyone not 100% committed should not be accepted into this program. For this campaign to work best, you are choosing one target market and focusing on delivering maximum results.
Bikini Bod, Sexy Mum, Get Shredded, Fitness Model Challenge, Look Like A Boss…
No matter who it is for, this is the profit centre for studio and personal trainer businesses. This is where you can make the biggest impact on peoples lives and really show off you and your teams ability to deliver results. Accordingly by choosing a single target, you need to adapt your message to suit them and only them for best results.
Make sure you don’t let just anyone into the program if it’s not a good fit! Think long term and either refer these people to other trainers or offer them a different service.
Here are some examples:
Example application pages:
8. # Day Online Challenge – Ideal as intro offer for online programs / remarketing online leads
Similar to your ‘Deep Discount Short Program’, this version is online.
You still need a solid process in place to convert people from lead to member but at a much larger scale than in person.
The challenge with this strategy is the price point. The price is so low that making it work is very difficult. Everything needs to be implemented really well so that you can scale without problems and also be able to transition these low paying clients (<$50 per month) to your higher end online program (>$150 per month) or even a high end in person event or program.
If you are just starting out with an online program, you shouldn’t even think about touching this campaign and first try selling a $1,000+ online transformation program. That campaign is much easier to make profitable without so much selling or up sells.
Here’s some examples:
9. Online Body Transformation / Accountability Groups – Ideal for $1,000+ online transformation programs
The online transformation campaign is great.
You can sell it before you create it, create it one week at a time and get real time feedback from members on what’s working and not working, and you can scale it to help so many people. The problem with these online programs though is that you need to select a specific target client.
40 inch vertical leap… Look BOSS in a suit… Have a healthy baby…
Choosing one and learning how to speak only to them can be tough. Especially if you’ve just helped everyone in the past.
The most common target for these online programs is busy mothers. Busy mums are generally 25-45, want to lose a whole lot of weight, don’t know much about fitness and are keen to get great results. So you need to understand that as a busy mum, they don’t have a lot of time, they are stressed with work/family balance and usually feel guilty when they have any time to themselves.
That’s why online programs appeal especially to them. They can do the program without leaving the family to fend for themselves and they can do it in their free time.
Just a heads up, if you want your clients to get massive results and know your program works when followed. You need a price point of at least $1,000. Less than that and it’s hard to get people committed to actually going through the program to get results. Just realise your competitors are charging up to $5,000 for their programs AND have a monthly fee after the transformation program ends.
Not confident in charging that? Then start with a lower price but acknowledge the price will increase and build out the program with these people that take a chance with you. You will make mistakes, but these loyal members won’t care because you are providing so much value. Build it out week by week and give an amazing experience. Created a workout that didn’t work for them? Re-record something new in its place. Are they struggling with mindset? Record some content around mindset for the beginning of the course. The key is just to start and create.
Here’s some examples:
10. Life Transformation Getaway / Fitness Transformation Retreat / Luxury Fitness Retreat – Ideal for personal trainers and retreat owners
This is a fun campaign.
You change people’s lives forever, help them build healthy habits and give them a new perspective and energy that a local program will never be able to deliver.
For a lot of fitness professionals, you don’t really experience the despair sitting under a fluorescent light day in and day out wondering if this is your life for the rest of time. While you’re hustling before the sun comes up, to after it’s gone down, your typical client for a luxury fitness retreat is dying for something to spice up their life and are willing to pay what you may think is a ridiculous price for a short retreat.
Simple things like just being away from everyday routine will help people tremendously to see the world in a new way, actually absorb the information that you’ve been telling them for months and get reinvigorated with energy. This is where fitness getaways provide amazing value for people and give life changing results.
‘Fresh start fitness bootcamp’, ‘Mind body transformation’, ‘Weight loss retreat’
While established names are charging upwards of $15,000 for a 7-day private luxury fitness retreat that promises life changing results. You probably aren’t there yet, especially for your first retreat. The fact is though that these programs are so transformational and appealing that you can charge in the $2,000-5,000 range without price shock.
Let your personality/wisdom come through. Love abseiling? Cannot live without meditation? Live in nature? Hardcore survivalist?
Don’t worry about creating something for everyone, create something you love first and then think about who’s going to be crazy enough to come on this life changing adventure with you. By the way, make sure you give yourself and others lot’s of free time. They don’t want to see you 24/7.
Here’s some examples:
Now that you’ve seen all these campaigns. Go test ONE!
Implement, make mistakes, get frustrated, figure it out and succeed. These are all killer campaigns for fitness businesses. These are campaigns that can help you go from no profit at all to well over five figures a month. Even without an advertising budget, you can get started with some of the above campaigns by just reaching your immediate network on Facebook. Get creative, have a solid plan to convert leads and change peoples lives through fitness.
If you have a 1,000 likes and post something, you might get 1-2% of your audience to see it when you post – that’s only 10-20 people.
If it’s eye catching and that small group of people likes, comments or shares, and then more people from your fan base will see it.
But if that 2% of your audience that sees it aren’t true fans, ignore it, or never like, comment or share anything… that’s usually where the story ends. Your post will be seen by very few people and it won’t lead to any sales for your business.
The alternative is to pay for your post to be seen by your fans and people similar to them. Not exactly the best way to make money though as even your fans seeing a random post will most likely not generate sales.
Facebook likes are great for bragging rights but they don’t make you money in the majority of cases.
Understanding Facebook Advertising
Here’s how to use Facebook to drive real dollars into your pocket.
The beauty of Facebook is that instead of targeting people actively looking for your product or service – we get to target them based on their interests, demographics and location.
While a plumber might not advertise their ‘emergency plumbing’ on Facebook, they can sure get a lot of interest with an annual membership that entitles members to 24 hour fixed prices, priority service and other benefits.
A good enough offer can grab your ideal prospects attention.
Like any marketing campaign though, we need to know the numbers. An unprofitable campaign is useless for your business.
Here’s what you need to figure out for your Facebook campaign:
Revenue per transaction
Target cost per acquisition
Leads to make a sale
MAX cost per lead
So for example… If we have a service that sells for $1,200 and it takes 100 people clicking your ad to make one sale then:
$1,200 Revenue per transaction
$400 Target cost per acquisition (3:1)
1% Conversion rate
100 Leads to make a sale
$4 MAX cost per lead
This would be our baseline for a BREAKEVEN campaign. If we want profits, we need a better conversion rate, lower costs per lead or higher revenue per transaction.
Taking Facebook To The Next Level With Contests
While you can drive a lot of traffic to your offers through Facebook and generate a profit.
We all know that most people are not ready to buy straight away. Knowing this, let’s you take Facebook marketing to the next level.
Since people are not actively looking for your product or service on Facebook, it’s better to change the conversation from ‘Buy Me’ to ‘Are You Interested In X’. This is why Facebook contests are so powerful. You are finding people actually interested in your offer and getting them to promote you!
Facebook contests change how people engage with your paid advertising. This gives anyone interested in your offer a good reason to engage with you and let’s you capture their details.
Here’s how it works:
Create a contest to win an offer related to your business
Offer everyone that enters a special deal
Capture everyones details and what they are interested in
Encourage people that enter to refer their friends for a better chance to win
Create communication specifically related to the offers they are interested in
Make sales based on the special deal and follow up communication
That is probably a bit complex to follow… So here’s an example to make it clearer:
Contest prize for winner: WIN 4 Free Tyres!
Offer for everyone that enters: Buy 2 Tyres, Get 2 Free!
Capture details: Name, email, phone number and what other services they are interested in – Wheel alignment? Alloy wheel refurbishment? New tyres?
Encourage referrals: People most interested in winning refer their contacts to enter for a better chance to win
Communication: Take advantage of your ‘Buy 2 Tyres, Get 2 Free’ before it expires! and information related to the other services they want from you
Make sales: Book in people for their special offer over the phone and email
Now that we understand how it works a bit better. Let’s dive a little bit deeper.
Choosing Your Offer
Your offer is huge when it comes to Facebook contests.
A bad offer that nobody wants and you’ll get nowhere. While an offer unrelated to your business that is appealing means you’ll spend a whole lot of money for zero return.
Ideally you want an offer that appeals to your audience and gets them coming to your business to purchase from you.
Here are few offers that work:
Dinner for two
1 hour consultation
All offers directly related to the business advertising. That means DO NOT give away iPads, an iPad has nothing to do with your business!
The Side Benefits Of Facebook Contests
When you do your Facebook contests properly there are a lot of benefits.
Instead of the typical Facebook contest of ‘Like’, ‘Share’ and ‘Comment’ on this post that fail miserably.
Facebook contests that get real traction result in:
A list of people interested in your offer,
The ability to nurture this list with specific offers they are interested in,
People actively referring others to your contest,
Brand exposure to tens of thousands, and
A predictable campaign that you can use quarterly or annually to generate profits.
Realistic Expectations With Facebook Advertising
Depending on how your business operates – you might want to lose money or breakeven on the first transaction with leads you generate from Facebook. Why? Well, if it means you gain a customer that will bring in thousands of dollars over the coming months or years – then it’s a pretty good idea.
So you have to ask:
What is the lifetime value of your customer?
How much can you pay to acquire that customer?
Do people actually want your offer?
Is the audience large?
Do the numbers work?
Without understanding these – you probably won’t get far with Facebook advertising.
So you really need to think about what campaigns have worked well for you in the past, what’s not working, who you are targeting, and what your target audience is interested in.
An offer that has worked for you offline will probably work on Facebook.
Realise, Facebook advertising isn’t magic though.
You should expect your Facebook advertising experience to be terrible for the first 30-90 days in most cases. Understanding how to manage your account, testing creative and letting Facebook optimise your campaign with data all take time…
To get the Facebook data you need, your advertising money needs to be spent (which is often 30-90 days of pain). This means small amounts of leads, investing small each day and then ramping up once the numbers make sense.
If you are going to be squeamish over not generating many leads or even no leads for a week or two while you spend your advertising budget, then Facebook advertising is not for you. Facebook advertising can mean a serious amount of time, money and optimisation to get the ball rolling.
Once you get that ball rolling though, the ROI you get from Facebook advertising is incredible and spending hundreds of dollars each day on Facebook will be second nature.
This is the million dollar strategy for live sellers – not anyone else.
A campaign ideal for the people that can sell on stage, over the phone or in person. The beauty of this strategy is that it uses the strength of live presenters and gives them an extremely reliable stream of people that they can connect with, provide value, and then convert to customers they can help.
Not all of us thrive as live presenter type sellers though.
For those that don’t thrive as a live presenter, you can stop reading now. DON’T be sold on this strategy (unless you have the ability to get great live sellers to present for you).
Okay live presenters.
For those of you without a $10K/month+ ad budget, marketing teams and video sales letters closing leads on auto pilot for you already. You’ve probably seen or know that the cost of converting a prospect from a paid ad has become more expensive.
Even if the costs per click are going down, the cost per conversion is starting to get out of control, especially for more expensive offers.
That’s why this strategy is so powerful. With a strong presentation, your leads from paid traffic on Facebook can convert at 25%+ during a live webinar presentation.
Don’t take my word for it though. A couple years ago we interviewed an entrepreneur using this exact webinar strategy to sell a $997 product online.
You see, this is the strategy that John Lee Dumas of EOFire used and continues to use reliably to generate $50,000 – $200,000+ in a single month.
What’s he selling? Back when we originally interviewed him it was a $597 – $997 course/membership focused on teaching everyday people how to create, grow and monetise a podcast. A couple years later, while the course content has improved and community grown, the premise is the same BUT now the minimum price is $988 per year.
If you check John’s income reports you’ll see the course actually bringing in close to $400,000 in a single month. But please realise that emails, price rise announcements and temporary closures of the course lead to a lot of the spikes and this method is not magic all by itself.
How The Campaign Works
Relying on inbound marketing to generate sales can be extremely unreliable.
Guest blogging, podcasts, SEO, or free guides are all great for generating ‘free’ leads for your business. But relying on them to scale up your business and reliably know how much money you will generate next month… now that’s just not going to happen.
If you want a reliable stream of revenue, then online advertising is the way to go.
While selling someone through Facebook ads alone works great for many products and services.
Selling your $1,000+ product or service can be a bit trickier – without using webinars it can lead to a ridiculously expensive experience for you that’s not worthwhile or simply unprofitable. (There are some exceptions – selling something for over $10,000?).
Here’s the beauty of webinars (online seminars/online presentations) for live presenters.
You get a reliable stream of people to your presentation through Facebook advertising, you provide a ridiculous amount of value for people that attend, and you make sales.
Here’s the process:
Use eye catching Facebook ads to capture leads for your free value packed webinar,
Capture their email details and give webinar details through a thank you page,
Give a special offer (<$100) AND/OR give-away via landing page after they’ve signed up,
(Bought the <$100 offer? ‘Want this too’ value add offer for <$500)
Pre-webinar email sequence that provides value and encourages attendance,
Provide webinar with high-value content that you could charge $1,000 for by itself for free (90% value/10% sales)
Do two sales presentations during the webinar – a soft sale where you say you’ll get this if you sign up and then a more in-depth presentation to persuade even more people of the value,
Post webinar follow up email sequence appropriate to your presentation – free replay, paid replay, offer of free consultation, case studies/testimonials of results, low cost and/or high cost offer,
Retargeting campaign to convert people on the fence and get even more people for your next webinar.
Funnel In Action
Getting people to share both their funnel AND numbers publicly is pretty hard…
Unfortunately for that reason, the funnel I’m going to show you is OUTDATED and was actually quite average even at the time we talked with John. They weren’t even using sms reminders to get more people to attend the live webinar back then!
Since then John and his team have made major changes and improved their process significantly. They even made significant copy/landing page changes a few weeks after we interviewed John.
Here’s the insider look at John Lee Dumas’ webinar funnel in action from November 2013 to January 2nd, 2014:
1. Facebook Ads
Budget of around $100/day
Cost per sign up $4-8
We’ve been spending about $100/day on Facebook advertising, driving a very targeted audience to our Webinar signup page to register for the live Webinar. John has also tweaked the Webinar quite significantly since his first couple of go arounds.
2. Landing Page / Webinar Details
Landing Page December 2013:
Landing Page February 2014:
Landing Page March 2014:
Landing Page January 2016:
Webinar Registration Page March 2014:
Approx. 1,461 signups to attend the webinar (from November to January 2nd)
3. Pre-webinar Emails
Reminder to attend and info that there will be no replay.
4. Webinar Presentation
268 attendees (from November to January 2nd)
18:16 Get To Know The Audience!
15 minutes before the official start time of the webinar, John is warming up and building a great connection with the audience by getting to know them.
34:03 Official Start: Story Of Why Podcasting
Why podcasting is exploding and exciting figures directly from iTunes to back him up.
57:25 Stack Of Value At The Beginning
How to start in podcasting.
1:12:21 Brief Look At What Podcasters Paradise Is
Really brief but related to the the learning beforehand.
1:14:06 First Q&A
Q&A to answer any questions that the audience has on podcasting.
1:24:15 John’s Podcasting Story And Explanation Of Podcasters Paradise Value
John’s story and why he is in podcasting. Also why he created Podcasters Paradise and the value.
1:33:48 Demo And Inside Look At Podcasters Paradise
An actual inside look at the Podcasters Paradise membership site and diving deep into the value.
1:40:42 Pitch Of His Product
Giving an irresistible offer to the audience including discount, bonuses and a chance to win if you buy right now on the call.
1:45:09 Second Q&A
Q&A to answer any more questions the audience has based on the demo and pitch.
2:03:00 Live Drawing Of Prizes
Drawing of prizes to reward a lucky few that purchased live on the webinar.
5. On-Boarding New Members To Course/Community
74 sales (from November 13th to January 2nd) of his course/community membership for $597-997.
Without understanding your numbers you can quickly lose your shirt. Especially if you have no idea where your system is failing. Here are the optimisation targets to give you a general idea of whether the math works out for you and your offer.
Facebook/Retargeting Ads cost per lead target: <$5
Landing Page conversion rate target: >25%
Webinar Attendance rate target: >25%
Webinar Presentation target conversion rate: >20%
So if we use John’s numbers from above we see a few areas of improvement immediately.
Facebook cost per lead of $4-8 is just too high. Especially for John since he had a decent fanbase on Facebook already. So the immediate goal for John for cost per lead would be in the $2-4 range and then getting that down further to $1-2.
The next problem we see is the webinar attendance rate. For John this is approximately 18%. Immediately the big improvement for John would be to increase the amount of emails sent out before the webinar and also send an sms message 5-10 minutes before the live webinar.
What saves John is the conversion rate of over 25%. John is a great webinar presenter and people love his presentations. This to me is still another area of improvement though. With such a low price point at the time <$1,000 and such a good presenter – the conversion rate seems low. One thing to test here would be paid replays or shortening the presentation so more people can stick around for the sales presentation/offer.
Taking It To The Next Level
While Facebook advertising to sell people through webinars is already an amazing next level strategy. Even for businesses that are already seven or eight figures just because it is such a reliable method to generate leads and convert sales.
After all how many other marketing strategies do you have that can reliably generate $50,000 – 200,000+ per month? It is definitely an area where you can stop and be happy with the results. Especially if you love doing the webinars yourself.
Obviously doing two to eight webinars per month can get a bit tedious though. Especially if what you are selling requires you to actually deliver a service or product yourself. Or even requires you to do a further consultation to get people to purchase an even more expensive package. That can be a lot of work.
So if you want to deliver a really high standard of service or product, you just won’t be able to scale up by doing more and more live webinars. So there are a few options.
Fair warning though, skipping to this step can lose you a whole lot of money. Webinars have a pretty steep learning curve to begin with. Creating something that you cannot learn from quickly and adapt… now that is just asking for trouble.
The most obvious is to hire others to do the webinar for you. That is probably the easiest evolution of taking this strategy to another level. Especially if you can hire two or three people.
What can work even better though is:
Video sales letter (a long form sales letter but presented through video),
Just in time webinar (pre-recorded webinar starting within an hour), and
Presentation video (pre-recorded video of you speaking into the camera making your pitch while educating).
What takes this to the next level is that you can have many different offers at various price ranges, all three of the methods integrated together and you can convert people within 48 hours on autopilot.
Like I said though. You cannot just skip to this step. Live webinars are definitely where you should start and master your message before a next level strategy like this. After all, you need to find what actually converts people along the way from Facebook ad to purchasing during a webinar.
Need some guidance on this strategy? Book a strategy session to see if we can help you get a 500%+ ROI with this strategy.
Google Adwords has been working for businesses big and small for over a decade now.
What was once a gamble or gold rush where you could buy traffic for cents has become a science.
Adwords has become one of the safest ways to generate revenue quickly, reliably and measurably. Best practices give reliable positive results above and beyond what any amateur can do in their spare time.
This post focuses on only the proven and tested methods to generate income.
There is no guesswork with this article. While there are some new methods that can be 5x cheaper than the proven methods here. They are still being tweaked and tested as many people see what works, what doesn’t and adapt rapidly to the changes that Google makes.
This post focuses only on what we know to work best. We focus on fundamentals. Because without fundamentals you cannot hope to succeed in the long run or replicate successes that have resulted from luck.
That’s on average though. 500-6000% ROI is reality for the best managed campaigns. A 100% ROI on your Adwords should be the MINIMUM result you expect from your campaign. Anything less is unacceptable guesswork.
Guesswork is extremely expensive. Selling people that do not want what you provide is not profitable. When you bid $5, $20 or even $100 for a click can quickly result in thousands of dollars being spent for zero return. Especially if you stick to your guns and push ahead with a poorly designed Adwords campaign.
Remember the people you address are selfish, as we all are. They care nothing about your interests or your profit. They seek service for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a common mistake and a costly mistake in advertising. Ads say in effect, “Buy my brand. Give me the trade you give to others. Let me have the money.” That is not a popular appeal. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
The door to door salesperson doesn’t say ‘Buy My Brand! The best X for only $Y’ and then not speak until the prospect buys. The good salesperson makes sure there are no barriers to purchase and the deal is done before the presentation even begins. They let the prospect experience the benefits of the product for themselves and let them acknowledge the pains that the product or service would relieve for them.
My favourite example of this is the sales representative that sold shatter proof glass.
Here’s an awesome strategy developed by a salesman at Corning Glass on the year that Corning Glass came out with safety glass.
This salesman went throughout the country and before long, he became the top-selling salesman of safety glass for Corning Glass in North America.At the national sales convention, he was given a big prize and an award.And they said to him, “Please tell us your secret.How is it that you sold so much more than everyone else?”
He said it was simple.
“First of all, I got some pieces of safety glass cut into 6″ X 6” pieces as samples.Then, I got a ball-peen hammer.And then I walked in on the prospect and say, ‘Would you like to see a piece of glass that doesn’t shatter?’When the prospect says, ‘I don’t believe it,’ I put the glass on the counter and I go whack it — watch him protect his eyes — and afterwards he’d say, ‘Holy smoke, that’s incredible!’
“Then I’d say, ‘How much of it would you like?’And I’d pull out my order pad and start writing the order.”
Corning Glass was so impressed with this tactic that they equipped all of their salespeople with ball-peen hammers and sheets of glass, sent them out — and they all sold truckloads of glass.
Your presentation or ad copy isn’t about you or your brand. Especially with Adwords. People are actively looking and wanting to buy. So why are your campaigns designed to stop people from buying? And why don’t you know how your campaign is actually performing?
There are countless Adwords advertisers that do not know their numbers. Even many ‘professionally’ managed accounts do not track how much each lead costs or even if those leads are turning into profitable customers.
This often results in you paying 2-300x more than your competitors for a customer. Unfortunately this isn’t that uncommon. Especially if an account managers success is determined by traffic rather than profits. We’ve been asked a number of times where the traffic went on multi tens of thousand dollar campaigns that were purchasing useless traffic. Traffic that served no purpose other than to help the marketing director get their end of year bonus.
Seriously… Spending $20-40 per click on a keyword not related to your product or service is ludicrous. The sad part is that we’ll often turn off these money sucking campaigns and get in trouble because the owner of the business has no idea that this is being done. The middle manager who is paying us only wants traffic. Any traffic – even if it results in zero sales. They want a pretty graph that shows traffic going up and up so that they can show their boss that monthly targets for team bonuses are on track. Don’t be happy with just any traffic and know your numbers.
If you have read this far you are probably serious about your generating profits from your Adwords. You want reliable traffic that turns into profitable sales. The good news is that the Adwords code has been cracked by thousands before you, the bad news is that Adwords competition is intense. Major players are not scared to lose money to prevent competition from entering, the top two percent of advertisers get half the views and if you are not using best practices you will be paying up to 400% more than your competitors for a click that doesn’t even convert.
The sections to follow are the proven methods to improve your Adwords campaign that generate higher quality clicks, convert more sales and maximise your return on investment.
Local, National And Global Market Research
Adwords is not a new way to generate sales.
Adwords generates on average a 100% return for businesses. That means that there are people losing money and many more businesses making money with Adwords.
There are endless phases to psychology. Some people know them by instinct. Many of them are taught by experience. But we learn most of them from others. When we see one winning method we note it down for use when occasion offers. These things are very important. An identical offer made in a different way may bring multiplied returns. Somewhere in the mines of business experience we must find the best method somehow. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
There is an advertising campaign that exists right now that you can research and understand to create your own very profitable Adwords campaign. Collectively businesses over history have invested billions, if not trillions of dollars into finding what messaging works in print, radio, online, face to face, phone and more…
So why not take advantage of this invaluable market research?
The best campaigns do in depth research to find out at a minimum:
Keywords to not advertise for,
Keywords that lead to sales,
How specific your offer needs to be,
Meaningful guarantees/selling propositions,
Ad copy variations that lead to clicks, and
Landing pages that convert.
The best Adwords campaigns are built on painstaking research that delves deep into the emotions of purchasers. The best ads are not boring and enter right into the conversation the prospect is having when they search. More on this later.
Become An Intelligent Investor
A $25/day budget on a $30 per click term obviously doesn’t work.
While you do need to start with small campaigns to find what works and build up. Being a cheap investor and not trusting a system that works will result in failure. If your risk tolerance is not high enough to trust in a system that may require 1-3 months of tweaks, then do not even start with Adwords.
While most campaigns start to generate break even leads within 7 days, the 100% ROI often comes within 3 months. While the $5 return on $1 spent takes even more time, consistent investment and serious optimisation.
This is not guesswork. This comes after intensive research and optimisation. Once you know there are other businesses using Adwords to profitably generate leads online in a reliable fashion – you can create your own campaign with your own data.
Now we let the thousands decide what the millions will do. We make a small venture, and watch cost and result. When we learn what a thousand customers cost, we know almost exactly what a million will cost. When we learn what they buy, we know what a million will buy. We establish averages on a small scale, and those averages always hold. We know our cost, we know our sale, we know our profit and loss. We know how soon our cost comes back. Before we spread out, we prove our undertaking absolutely safe. So there are today no advertising disasters piloted by men who know. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
What’s your cost per website visitor?
What’s your cost per email enquiry?
What’s your cost per phone enquiry?
What’s your cost to acquire a customer?
What’s your average revenue per sale?
What your return on investment?
There’s no point in using the power of online advertising if you don’t have the data to back up your investment. Without the data you are throwing money in the bin because you don’t know if a change hurts or helps your campaign. You absolutely need to understand how to get your most profitable customers online. These are the customers that grow your business. They are easy to work with, refer you customers like them and are the most profitable.
Think like an investor – start small, collect data, find what works and scale up.
Max Your Quality Score
Don’t think of people in the mass. That gives you a blurred view. Think of a typical individual, man or woman, who is likely to want what you sell. Don’t try to be amusing. Money spending is a serious matter. Don’t boast, for all people resent it. Don’t try to show off. Do just what you think a good salesman should do with a half-sold person before him. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Quality score matters.
A good ad is shown a lot. A good ad is clicked a lot. A good ad converts a lot.
Combine all three and you have a golden goose or unicorn as Larry Kim puts it with a high quality score. You take care and cherish that golden goose as the long term investment that it is.
The difference between 2x, 3x or 6x average results from Adwords is in obsession. The ads that generate 85% of the impressions are the top 5% of ads. These are the ads that have had serious optimisation done to them.
When we see unicorn accounts in the AdWords Performance Grader, they share some common traits:
Every keyword in their account has a high QS.
They are effectively using negative keywords to reduce wasted spend.
Their high impression share demonstrates that Google loves showing their ads.
They have those super-high, impressive, double-digit CTRs that outperform the average by many times.
They’re targeting highly specific long-tail keyword phrases.
Their account activity is high – they continue to optimize and improve on an ongoing basis.
If you can home in on the ad and keyword combinations that have these above average CTRs, the rewards are huge – higher impression shares, greater ad positions, lower costs per click and conversion. —Larry Kim
Quality score (QS) = Click through rate, Ad text relevancy, Landing page quality
But realise that this is compared to your competition. You don’t need to be the best advertiser in the world. You do need to look damn good next to the competition though. If you got a competitor absolutely crushing it with Adwords – you’re going to look bad next to them and your costs, clicks and sales will be hurt as a result.
So just because you are showing up in the top Adwords spot doesn’t mean you are using Adwords correctly. With a 2% click through rate, you are getting crushed by the competition. Others are paying less, getting more clicks and converting more sales.
The top Adwords position should have a click through rate of at least 5%. But that’s average. Some of your competitors are getting over 5% click through rate without even being in the top Adwords position. While the best managed accounts out there that are getting over 15% and the absolute all-star managed campaigns in the top Adwords position have a click through rate of over 20%.
Over time the advertisers with the best ads show up in the best position, pay the least per click and show up the most.
Google doesn’t get paid if the ads don’t get clicked and they definitely don’t get paid if people start switching to other search engines because they show crappy search results.
So your terrible ad that is generating a profit for you now is something to worry about in the long run as competitors improve their ads, Google’s quality score gets more sophisticated, and you start to pay up to 400% more per click AND still have your ad show up significantly less.
Use More Negative Keywords
With click through rate being the primary factor of quality score, you definitely do not want to show up for irrelevant search terms.
Changing peoples habits is very expensive. A project which involves that must be seriously considered. To sell shaving soap to the peasants of Russia one would first need to change their beard wearing habits. The cost would be excessive. Yet countless advertisers try to do things almost as impossible. Just because questions are not ably considered, and results are traced but unknown. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Negative keywords help campaigns go from a $960,000 ad spend per year to $192,000 per year for more clicks, enquiries and sales.
You don’t want to be showing up for ‘lawyer jokes’, ‘plumbing apprenticeship’, and definitely not for ‘emergency locksmith’ if you don’t provide 24/7 lock out services.
Realise that there are other businesses that provide the services you don’t and they can bid serious dollars to get those clicks. So don’t show ads for services you don’t provide.
Adding negative keywords means you won’t show up for these irrelevant searches. Overtime you should be adding more and more and more negative keywords so you are not paying for clicks that do not result in sales.
Here’s a quick overview of negative keywords:
Add ad group negative keywords:
truck – no ads shown if ‘truck’ is used in the search.
“toy truck” – no ads shown when the phrase ‘toy truck’ is used.
[truck] – no ads shown when ‘truck’ is the sole search term.
To constantly add negative keywords and reduce your ad spend, improve your quality score and increase your conversions – go into your account and look at the search terms people have used to click on your ad.
If you have never done this, you will probably see a search term that has cost you at least a $1000 for ZERO return. Stop paying for pornographic, informational queries, questions, job enquiries, unrelated products/services and other non commercial intent searches.
You do not want to be paying for search terms like “celebrity excuses for drink driving”, “sydney criminal history”, “best hair styles for fine hair” and more…
People looking for some light entertainment, research for a school paper or some styling tips aren’t going to buy from you but out of habit, mistake or curiosity they will click on your ad. These clicks when not managed cost thousands of dollars every year.
So go into your account and look at what terms people have searched to click on your ad. This makes a huge impact on your campaign!
You get to choose what you show up for.
You shouldn’t be afraid to have a list of negative keywords bigger than the list of keywords you do show up for since they won’t turn into sales.
Optimise For Life
We mentioned that 15% of all searches done are unique. As of now, TODAY will have over 500 million searches that Google has never seen before.
Along with adding negative keywords to ensure you don’t show up for irrelevant search terms at least monthly.
This means as a small business owner you don’t need to put in that much work. A weekly tweak, a monthly landing page test and a few new ads every other month is enough to put you above a lot of the competition.
Finding an ad that improves your existing offer can literally double your business. As an example of optimisation, we look at the Wall Street Journal. This company used the same ad for 29 years. It brought in an estimated $2 billion but they always tried to beat it.
Nothing worked for 29 years. But in 2003 that changed. The copy was updated from two pages to four and some colour was added but the offer kept the same. The result was a 20% bump for the Wall Street Journal.
Even an ad that wasn’t beaten for 29 years can be optimised. Don’t let your campaign fall behind. Especially vital if your campaign wasn’t optimised to begin with.
A dealer may say, “Our prices have been reduced” without creating any marked impression. But when he says, “Our prices have been reduced 25 per cent” he gets the full value of his announcement. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Specific Long-Tail Keyword Phrases
There are clicks out there that cost $0.50 to $5 for you that will convert.
Your object in all advertising is to buy new customers at a price which pays a profit. You have no interest in garnering trade at any particular store. Learn what your consumers cost and what they buy. If they cost you one dollar each, figure that every wasted dollar costs you a possible customer.—Claude C Hopkins (1923)
This is a strategy from Iain Dooley of Decal Marketing that let’s new businesses create profitable ad campaigns without bidding on the obvious super competitive keywords (e.g. sales training or app development) that everyone else is bidding on.
So it might be targeting people earlier in the buying process, even before they know they need or want your offer, this means you may need months or years of nurturing, or you may just stumble upon a mine that rewards you with a consistent small flow of gems ready to buy.
As there are over 3.5 billion searches each day on Google – there is a tonne of opportunities to find cheap keyword phrase clicks that convert into amazingly profitable sales for your business.
The problem is that these gems are hard to find, require a lot of manual work and still needs to be tested to ensure that they are in fact gems. The fact is that these gems usually require totally different ad copy (offers), specific landing pages, different information, a nurturing sequence and more – this makes it very difficult for your average person to put together a profitable campaign.
Have no idea what I’m talking about?
Over time, what people want and need changes.
Before people come to buy your product or services, there is usually a trigger. Before this trigger they might not even know they want or need your services in the future.
If you can reach these people, educate them and add value before your competition. You can cut your Adwords budget by 10 to 100x or more and get better informed, highly qualified and very happy purchasers. Sales that not only close really easily but actively refer you business because you are educating them on exactly why you are the best fit for them and their contacts like them.
Sales training ($15.54) > Business leads ($4.50)
With long-tail keywords related to ‘business leads’ – while not directly related to sales training. It is easy to understand that these people looking for business leads will want to be able to close them later on and may want sales training. So sales trainers are able to get leads from long-tail keywords related to ‘business leads’ for less than $45, and clicks for less than $2 as they capture them earlier in on their journey and rather than go for a sale, feed them great knowledge that helps them generate leads and close sales.
To do this we find long tail keywords that will give you traffic.
Delete all the irrelevant keywords that will never lead to sales, ones that are too expensive and ones that won’t generate enough traffic to test.
Create a campaign that you can test for the low cost keywords to generate leads.
Catering ($4.65) > Party ideas ($1.42)
While a caterer using this strategy of long-tail keyword searches related to ‘party ideas’ generates leads every few days for less than $1 per click for people that can be persuaded to have a caterer for their party.
App development ($26.05) > App wireframe ($5.57)
While the typical lead costs for app developers is in the $250 ball park. The leads that are earlier in the buying process come in at less than $50 per pop through long-tail keywords related to ‘app wireframe’. While less convert than the main app development campaign, the projects that develop are more valuable, more sophisticated and close smoothly because the app development company
Ad Extensions Give A Small Bump
Ad extensions by themselves are not game changers by any means. They do provide a small bump in click through rate though and make your ad stand out from the crowd.
Every type of extension that we offer is intended to benefit our users, which translates to a higher CTR for you. On average we have found that there is a 10-15% CTR uplift from implementing a new ad extension.
While mobile ads can seem more expensive, calls from mobile traffic are much more valuable to you. You want people to call you because they convert so much better than someone clicking on your ad, going to your site and then looking for whatever they are trying to access from you.
The click to ‘Call’ button on mobile ads work great by the way, just make sure you pick up the phone!
It’s not hard to stand out from the crowd and enter the conversation when the competition is doing such a poor job.
With certain situations – you literally need to close the sale as soon as possible. Locksmiths, lawyers, plumbers and tow trucks to name a few. So make it easy to call you.
Don’t Incriminate Yourself. Speak
directly with a lawyer. Call Us Now.
Emergency lockout service.
5-25 minute response time.
Oh and use a LOCAL number. This has been true for decades online now. The old school guys of direct print marketing proclaimed this before the internet existed and they were right.
Use a local number and ditch your 13/1300, 1800 or whatever other non local number you are using. Not local to your customers? Either buy a local number that forwards to your phone or if you’re in Australia – put up a mobile number.
On one line three methods were offered. The woman could write for a sample, or telephone, or call at a store. Seventy percent of the inquiries came by telephone. The use of the telephone is more common and convenient than the use of stamps. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Stand Out Emotional Ad Copy
Adwords isn’t great for generic ads.
Headline, display url, numbers and call to action are all important factors that help you stand out.
Being an average ad in Google is not fun. Generic ads get the scraps.
In Google, 2% of the advertisers get 50% of the traffic. —Perry Marshall
Family owned. 20 years in business. Commercial and residential. These boring ads don’t let you be a top advertiser.
If you want the 10, 20 or 30% click-through rates. Your ads need to speak directly to your prospects.
Ad copy that enters into a conversation with prospects when they search for what you provide is the difference between a 0-5% click-through rate and a 10%+ click-through rate.
People will not be bored in print. They may listen politely at a dinner table to boasts and personalities, life history, etc. but in print they choose their own companions, their own subjects. They want to be amused or benefited. They want economy, beauty, labor saving, good things to eat or wear. There may be products, which interest them more than anything else in the magazine, but they will never know it unless the headline or picture tells them. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
You need to understand that your ads cannot be the ignored pamphlet giver.
Your ads need to be the street performer. Know that if you don’t bring in a crowd, you won’t eat tonight. You have one chance in a city where everyone is busy and distracted.
Literally, thousands of people are walking past, but if you don’t get them to stop by grabbing their attention and get them to give you some of their hard-earned money – you starve. You are talking to people that don’t know you, don’t care about you, don’t have time for you and are doing everything in their power not to listen to you.
Truly understanding this is the difference between an extremely profitable campaign and a mediocre one.
How can your ad capture attention and not be the pamphlet giver we ignore?
Well, start by asking these three questions.
Who comes to you for help?
When do they come to you?
Why do they come to you?
The people that are ready to buy. The ones that click on an ad in the hope for a solution are the type of people you have helped before. But do you know them?
You need to be in the conversation that they are having inside their head.
Do you know that they have been ripped off by one of your dodgy ‘competitors’ recently?
Do you know that they don’t want to go through life bored sitting at a desk under fluorescent lights for the rest of their life?
Do you know they are sick and tired of being home between the hours of 10am and 2pm for a 5-minute repair job?
Entering this conversation and showing you understand them in an ad doubles the average click through rate instantly.
You aren’t selling marriage counselling, tax preparation or mountain climbing lessons.
You are selling the result and the benefit of what you provide. That means speaking to a husband that screwed up and getting them to actively change their ways to improve themselves. That means guiding buyers on how not to get ripped off by bait and switch offers in your industry so they can make an informed decision. That means giving guys in their 30’s a way to not end up like their dad who is miserable, bored and unhealthy.
You need to be more important than whatever other distraction they have in front of them. You need to capture their attention so well that they ignore a phone call, are late to pick up the kids and lose track of what they were doing.
What do they hate? What do they love? People don’t talk in bullet point facts. They speak emotionally. Match the content and emotional tone that they are having in their head. Match the intensity. Not over the top, not below the radar. People buy with emotions and justify with logic later.
Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers with deep dive research found that former addicts were saying ‘If you think you need rehab, you do’. So when she needed a headline for the client ‘If You Think You Need Rehab, You Do’ was the winning message that bumped conversions by 26%. Not a bad result when a 30 day stay brings in over $20,000. So an ad for Adwords might begin with something like:
Think You Need Rehab?
If you think you need rehab, you do
Verify health insurance.
The conversation isn’t complex. The question is ‘Do I need rehab?’ – it’s something people struggling with addiction are asking themselves. But without entering that conversation you’ll see average performing ads ‘Substance Abuse Retreat’, ‘Drug Rehab Centre’ or ‘Addiction Rehabilitation’.
In successful advertising great pains are taken to never change our tone. That which won so many is probably the best way to win others. Then people come to know us. We build on that acquaintance rather than introduce a stranger in guise. People do not know us by name alone, but by looks and mannerisms. Appearing different every time we meet never builds up confidence. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Test Even More Ads
Got hundreds of ads already? Test more ads.
Humans are extremely sensitive. A comma, dot, symbol or question mark can be the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable ad.
People may buy and not repeat. The article may last too long. It may appeal to a small percentage, so most of your advertising goes to waste. There are many surprises in advertising. A project you will laugh at may make a great success. A project you are sure of may fall down. All because tastes differ so. None of us know enough peoples desires to get an average viewpoint. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
You are just not testing enough ads.
Check out this example from Perry Marshall where simply changing the second and third line of an ad resulted in a dramatically different click through rate.
Popular Ethernet Terms
3 Page Guide – Free PDF Download
Complex Words – Simple Definitions
2 Clicks – CTR 0.1%
Popular Ethernet Terms
Complex Words – Simple Definitions
3 Page Guide – Free PDF Download
39 Clicks – CTR 3.6%
Look… That 3.6% click through rate is okay. But it’s not anything to brag about.
Tweaking that ad to get 5% click through rate would be incredible BUT only because you took an ad from garbage to average.
Starting with 0.1% and getting that 50x is a lot of work for hardly anything.
Testing more ads and starting with an amazing ad that you can 50x allows you to get those 10%, 15% and 20%+ click-through rates.
When you are that much better than your competitors, you get nearly ALL the leads!
This is where the ‘Local, National And Global’ research really comes into play. Instead of coming up with something from scratch. The best advertisers steal the essence of what makes a great ad campaign and make it their own. They find the uniqueness of leaders in other industries and apply it to their own.
An ad-writer, to have a chance at success, must gain full information on his subject. The library of an ad agency should have books on every line that calls for research. A painstaking advertising man will often read for weeks on some problem which comes up. Perhaps in many volumes he will find few facts to use. But some one fact may be the keystone of success. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Here are a few ads that have found the essence of why men are really signing up to a 6-week emotional roller coaster mountain climbing experience of a lifetime. Even though they’ve found the essence. Different messaging gives very different click through rates.
People are not apt to read successive advertisements on any single line. No more than you read a news item twice, or a story. In one reading of an advertisement one decides for or against a proposition. And that operates against a second reading. So present to the reader, when once you get him, every important claim you have. The best advertisers do that. They learn their appealing claims by tests – by comparing results from various headlines. Gradually they accumulate a list of claims important enough to use. All those claims appear in every ad thereafter. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
While I’ve covered the actual Adwords ad copy, basic research and optimisation.
The landing page, the website your prospects lands on is serious business all by itself. Even if you had a 30% click through rate, with a zero percent conversion rate – you are out of business with no income coming in.
Here’s a real life example of the difference between a 2.5% conversion rate and a 10% conversion rate is game changing.
Low Converting Landing Page
Conversion Rate: 2.5%
Visitors needed to capture 1 lead: 40
Cost per Click: $25
Cost per Lead: $25 x 40 = $1,000 Per Lead
Conversion Optimised Landing Page
Conversion Rate: 10%
Visitors needed to capture 1 lead: 10
Cost per Click: $25
Cost per Lead: $25 x 10 = $250 Per Lead
Unfortunately, many businesses do not understand the power of a conversion optimised landing page.
In this example, we see leads cost $1,000 with a 2.5% conversion rate, while the optimised landing page captures a lead for just $250. Not bad when a project in this space is typically in the $50,000+ range.
But screw up your website or just send people to your homepage when it is unrelated to your ad and you’ll get similar, if not worse results than the company paying $1,000 per lead. Poor design, confusing copy or a site that doesn’t even load are all factors that kill your sales and are far too common.
The power of Adwords though is that you can easily test the website/offer to see what messaging converts to sales. If you cannot break even with Adwords or have zero competitors with successful campaigns – then you probably don’t have a business.
Not only has the copy been updated but also the design. While we see Joanna’s headline stay the number one option for messaging. The site’s design has become more modern, user-friendly and has added major social proof through two client journeys.
The latest landing page in this example is simple. The headline captures the majority of our attention and speaks directly to people struggling with addiction. This solves the major problem of confusion with most landing pages.
When someone clicks on your ad, they expect to land on a page directly related to what they searched for. That’s the beauty of Google search – Google often gives you the best results. BUT clicking on an ad that gives you a confusing page equals disaster when it comes to conversions with Google.
Since you have a lot of competition on Google search, any confusion results in people immediately leaving your site. You have other Adwords advertisers, the local search results (map) and of course the top one to three organic listings all immediately available to the searcher if they don’t like your site just by clicking the back button.
So when someone does a search, they want a related result. A result that answers a question or provides information, solves a problem or gives them guidance.
This is why Adwords is so great. People are actively searching for a result. A result that your product/service provides. While you generally don’t want to show your ads for questions or informational searches (this is where SEO is best) – people with searches directly related to purchasing are ready and primed to click on ads that lead to your landing page.
Once you have captured a prospects attention with your ad and headline. Your story is being listened to and you generally have ONE chance. In this one chance, you need to provide your full story. The best story you have to convince the prospect to purchase. A page that does this without distractions – solely focused on getting you leads is your landing page.
Up Your Ante (Your Mafia Offer)
Sometimes no matter what you do. You’ve maxed out with Adwords optimisation and cannot create a highly profitable campaign.
There are usually two reasons for this, you are selling rubbish or your communicated offer is crap.
Either way, you cannot successfully sell long term. You need to sell things people are worried about. The world doesn’t need more boring things.
An ad campaign you have spent hundreds of hours on to get less than a 5% click through rate means you have a boring offer.
You need an irresistible offer. A mafia offer that your best prospects cannot refuse.
When you have optimised to death and got everything you can from your current offer. It’s well past the time to create a new offer. You need something that will make an impact – something that will scare you and your competitors.
It doesn’t need to be complex and you probably already provide this offer without even realising.
There probably already is an offer commonly used in your industry. The difficulty comes in raising the stakes and effectively communicating your offer.
A mail order advertiser sold women’s clothing to people of the poorer classes. For years he used the slogan, “Lowest prices in America.” His rivals all copied that. Then he guaranteed to undersell any other dealer. His rivals did likewise. Soon those claims became common to every advertiser in his line, and they became commonplace. Then under able advice, he changed his statement to “Our net profit is 3 percent.” That was a definite statement and it proved very impressive. With their volume of business it was evident that their prices must be minimum. No one could be expected to do business on less than 3 percent. The next year their business made a sensational increase. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
The ‘Your Car Fixed Right First Time OR We’ll Give You Your Money Back AND Fix it For FREE!’ is the best guarantee I’ve ever seen for a car mechanic to begin with.
Combined with ‘2 Year Unlimited Kilometre Warranty ‘, ‘If We Can’t Fix Your Car You Won’t Be Charged a Cent, No Matter How Long We Spend On It!’ and ‘Guaranteed No Parts Replaced Unnecessarily OR We’ll Refund 100% of Your Money AND You Keep the New Parts!’ and you have a business with little competition in regards to offers.
The damage free guarantee for shipping a car across the country.
Ship A Car Direct didn’t start with that killer guarantee and they won’t stop there once competitors start to copy them.
Here’s the evolution of Ship A Car Direct that the owner Michael Strickland went through to get them their highly profitable guarantee that they build their marketing/business around.
Ship A Car Direct started as the ‘Honest’ Auto Transport company. ‘Honesty’ is not exactly a quantifiable thing that people can use to trust you. What type of people tell you they are honest anyway?
The next evolution of Safe Direct Car Shipping was ‘No Up Front Deposit Required’ – something new to the industry that worked BUT was quickly copied by the competition.
The winner and their current marketing has now all focused on ‘Damage Free Guarantee or we pay you’ car shipping.
288.10% increase in clicks from 13.20% less impressions.
Average cost per click down by 22.30% to $2.16, while the cost per conversion dropped 62.70% to $9.58 with a 708.60% increase in conversions.
The cost of that guarantee that the competition is currently too scared to offer? About $100 a month according to Michael. In the first 15 months, they only had to pay out on their guarantee three times.
Take new clients on under the condition that the couple and the marriage counsellor would be all accountable to each other.
‘We’re going to work with each other for the next 6 months and it’s going to cost you $5,000. We’re going to take half of that money now and put it in escrow. And if one of you aren’t happy with the results, then they get half the money back, if you are both unhappy then you get the entire sum back.
But this is only if the homework assignments are done. Mrs. Jones, if he isn’t treating you like a lady with respect, affection and adoration, then I’ll return half the money to you. Mr. Jones, if you are not being appreciated and you two are not making love, then I’ll return half the money to you. I’m going to expect you to do your part though and that’s how I work.
I’m not going to sit here and just do this hourly thing. You know if you like me already, so you can decide. But I’m not going to just have you come in four times and then disappear and have no idea where you went. We get together and we get results.’
A guarantee like this focuses on the result. All parties need to have the sole goal of a good relationship between the couple. You’re putting pressure on the couple to perform and commit themselves to actively working on their relationship. And if they are not committed – you don’t take them on as clients.
If you need help coming up with a strategy like this, I’d like to thank you for reading this guide and reward you with a strategy session. Out of the thousands of people that ‘read’ this article on our blog, social media, email or through a letter we send out. The majority of people will not read this paragraph. If you want a strategy session to develop your own mafia offer, please book a strategy session here [calendly.com/jamiecheng/strategy-session] but please include the secret code ‘Mafia Offer’ towards the end of the booking process.
Conversion Tracking And ROI
Each step along the process has the opportunity to double or triple your conversions.
You need to make sure that every step along the process to buy from you is effective.
That means the ad needs to get clicks, the landing page needs to capture leads/generate calls, the person on the phone needs to capture information or close the sale, the experience you provide to customers is what they expected and the after sales experience is exceptional.
Ultimately the key metric we want to know is the cost per customer acquisition and the profit that the customer generates.
Perhaps we try out our project in four or five towns. We may use a sample offer or a free package to get users started quickly. Then we wait and see if users buy those samples. If they do, will they continue? How much will they buy? How long does it take for the profit to return our cost of selling? A test like this may cost $3,000 to $5,000. It is not all lost, even when the product proves unpopular. Some sales are made. Nearly every test will in time bring back the entire cost. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
What took weeks and thousands of dollars can now be tested in days if not hours with online marketing. In Australia, 90% of all searches are done through Google. Over 90% – that makes Adwords the fastest and easiest way to test if you have a gold mine.
Just recently I made the mistake of telling a prospect to make two changes to lower their mobile Adwords campaign costs by at least 50%. The good news is that they took my advice and implemented what I told them and reduced their costs by 66%.
The problem was that they didn’t understand their metrics. They had no idea what their conversion rates were and for some reason were convinced that a lead and acquired customer should not cost different amounts. They could not be convinced their costs for mobile leads were down 66%.
With their existing mobile campaign based on our conversation they were getting a 20% conversion rate to sale. A lot better than I expected and not terrible for an emergency lockout service. The problem was that the website took 5-10 seconds to load minimum. The phone number was hidden at the bottom of the page and the site wasn’t mobile friendly. They were losing sales.
The changes I recommended was to use a Call Only ad so people didn’t have to visit his website and put the phone number prominently displayed top right so Google would approve the ad. The results – 80%+ phone call close rate, minus a few calls that he missed because he was busy. Because these people didn’t have to visit the site, the calls increased and he got more jobs.
Here’s my understanding of the situation:
Mobile Adwords Campaign
Conversion Rate: 20%
Clicks needed to capture 1 sale: 5
Cost per Click: $14.29
Cost per Sale: $14.29 x 5 = $71.45 Per Sale
Mobile Call Only Campaign
Conversion Rate: 60% (not 80% because of the missed calls)
Calls needed to capture 1 sale: 1.7
Cost per Click: $14.29
Cost per Sale: $14.29 x 1.7 = $24.29 Per Sale
So while the prospect had a 66% reduction in cost per sale from $71.45 to $24.29 and was happy with the increased calls. They thought they were paying more per lead – $24.29 per lead, instead of $14.29 per lead. With that understanding, I can understand why they were angry at me for my recommendation and weren’t exactly open to listening when they thought they were paying $121.45 per sale now.
A man was selling a five-dollar article. The replies from his ad cost him 85 cents. Another man submitted an ad which he thought better. The replies cost $14.20 each. Another man submitted an ad which for two years brought replies at an average of 41 cents each. Consider the difference on 250,000 replies per year. Think how valuable was the man who cut the cost in two. Think what it would have meant to continue that $14.20 ad without any key on returns. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Metrics can be confusing. But they are what make advertising a science. Best practices can only be proven through the numbers. What you think will work often fails, what you think will fail can succeed. That is why you test. You run experiments, measure the data and record the results.
That allows us to be investors. We can choose without question which ad copy brings in the most profitable customers. We can ditch the highest click through rate ads when we realise that they are bringing in low-quality leads. We can invest more heavily in the ads that are generating 500-6000% returns on investment.
For my metrics I use:
Emails Sent #
Replies Received #
Consultations Booked #
Sales Made #
For your online marketing efforts, you should be looking at these metrics.
What’s your cost per website visitor?
What’s your cost per email enquiry?
What’s your cost per phone enquiry?
What’s your cost to acquire a customer?
What’s your average revenue per sale?
What your return on investment?
We see countless ads running year after year which we know to be unprofitable. Men spending five dollars to do what one dollar might do. Men getting back 30 percent of their cost when they might get 150 percent. And the facts could be easily proved. We see wasted space, frivolity, clever conceits, entertainment. Costly pages filled with palaver which, if employed by a salesman, would reflect on his sanity. But those ads are always unkeyed. The money is spent blindly, merely to satisfy some advertising whim. Not new advertisers only. Many an old advertiser has little or no idea of his advertising results. The business is growing through many efforts combined, and advertising is given its share of the credit. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Final Words Of Advice
We who can meet the test welcome these changed conditions. Advertisers will multiply when they see that advertising can be safe and sure. Small expenditures made on a guess will grow to big ones on a certainty. Our line of business will be finer, cleaner, when the gamble is removed. And we shall be prouder of it when we are judged on merit. —Claude C Hopkins (1923)
Online advertising has definitely become a science and encouraged many businesses to adopt online marketing as a major part of their business growth efforts. Especially Adwords with all the tools that allow us to understand what the efforts of our marketing dollars are.
But there are still a tonne of Aussie businesses being ripped off by dodgy online marketers and agencies. Promises of ‘Guaranteed first page ranking in Google’, ‘First page of Google within 48 hours’, free trials, third party ‘Google reps’, under priced services are all obvious red flags for the majority of us.
If you don’t know your numbers, then you’re wasting your money on Google Adwords. Even worse, if your provider doesn’t have your numbers or refuses to give them to you. They either don’t know what they are doing or they are trying to hide pitiful efforts and so called results.
There is a tonne of information in this guide. Information that could easily double, triple or quadruple the effectiveness of your Adwords campaign. If you are unsure about what you are doing – do more research, test small and rely on the data. Don’t make mistakes at $100 per day on a national level. Start small and find your numbers.
Don’t want all the headaches of managing your Adwords account in house? $2000+/month budget for Adwords? Book a free consultation to discover how we can get you a 100-500%+ ROI out of your Adwords campaign.
Getting prospects to read your site, understand your value and buy from you – now that can seem impossible.
The beauty of remarketing/retargeting is that you can nudge the people most interested in your offer to remember you, trust you and then buy from you!
But how do you know who is most interested and only show ads to them?
Well, you test them. This allows you to focus and dedicate 80% of your marketing efforts to close the people that are dead serious for a fraction of the cost.
After all, not every single person that visits your site is worth spending your marketing budget on. The people that clicked on your site and left within 2 seconds probably aren’t that great to invest in.
There’s also no point in advertising to the bloody tyre kickers. Or even the people that clicked on your ad by mistake! That’s wasting your marketing budget and killing your ROI.
Here’s the deal.
Every sale occurs because someone wants what you have. They might not like you or your offer – but they want or actually need it.
You solve a problem for them.
So here’s the strategy.
How To Find Your Best Prospects And Retarget Only To Them
Like most great things – this strategy is simple.
While it might take a lot of work to implement and get humming. This type of campaign absolutely crushes the competition.
Find the most common problem/universal pain that your prospects come to you for,
Create a lengthy content piece that is 90% educational / 10% sales (3000-4000+ words),
Add a retargeting pixel that let’s you target only people that truly consumed the content and demonstrated real interest, and
Send relevant ads to these serious buyers for an enormous ROI.
Why Does This Strategy Work?
Only serious prospects are going to read an epic piece of content or watch an hour long video!
While you might say ‘That’s way too long, nobody reads all of that information!’ – well, it’s been working for 50+ years. But to persuade you.
Think about your absolute favourite book, tv series or movie.
Now imagine that is was condensed down to one minute worth of content. Would it still be your favourite?
If so, you my friend are a strange person.
For everyone else – we want more! We entered the world, got our imagination lit on fire and couldn’t stop appreciating what we experienced.
The problem with long form content is that you can get bored if the creator got sloppy with production. If the information is too formal or just plain boring, it doesn’t work no matter how long or short it is. It only takes a line or two to lose someone.
Do your prospects have a major problem that you solve? Is it a major decision that they spend hours researching? Book a strategy session to see if we can help you get a 500%+ ROI with this strategy.
Getting customers to give you a positive Google review (4-5 stars) is tough.
I’ll bet you asked them – or even begged them for those shiny gold stars.
Especially if you know how important those reviews are for you to show up in Google without having to spend thousands of dollars each month on Adwords or SEO.
Sure your SEO is starting to kick in and you’re on page 2 now. But come on! We all know page 1 is where people look.
So how do you get those reviews?
How do you get those magical golden stars that will get you to show up at the top of the local search results, let you stand out from the other businesses in the area and get you a tonne more business?
Well here’s… [drum roll please]
The Easy Way To Get Google My Business Reviews!
Let’s face it…
Asking for reviews is easy.
Getting your customers to actually do those reviews is hard.
Well, this is why…
STEPS TO DO REVIEW
Create a Google Account / Login to Google Account
Go to Google Maps
Search for the business on Google Maps
Click on either ‘# reviews’ OR find the well hidden ‘WRITE A REVIEW’ text at the bottom
Click the ‘WRITE A REVIEW’ button
Then finally after you are angry about having to do all that crap… You don’t see any other reviews and have no idea what to write.
(For mobile, I believe it’s even more ridiculous and requires downloading Google Maps… I may be wrong.)
But yeah… That’s just great isn’t it…
Not exactly the best system to encourage high quality reviews.
It might not seem like much reading those steps to you and you’re thinking I’m whining… But seriously, it’s a pain and it’s the reason most businesses have ZERO reviews.
So – you need to make it simple. Dead simple.
By doing a little extra work beforehand and dishing out a few bucks. In no time, you’ll be getting a 10,000%+ return on your investment.
RULES before we get started:
Don’t ask for a review after you’ve tripped over their beloved dog, broke an expensive looking statue (even though it had no arms in the first place) and then delivered a bad service.
Don’t bribe people for reviews – apparently it’s even written in the Google rule book. Do incentives count? Apparently so…
Don’t pay for fake reviews – you definitely don’t want 10-100 reviews popping up out of nowhere anyway. They look suspicious at best and scream fake to anyone that bothers to actually read them.
Here’s Google’s Review Policies if you want to read it. But with common sense this one below covers the essence of all the others…
Conflict of interest: Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. If you own or work at a place, please don’t review your own business or employer. Don’t offer or accept money, products, or services to write reviews for a business or to write negative reviews about a competitor. If you’re a business owner, don’t set up review stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.
The ‘How-To’ Setup
The idea is simple.
Give a direct link to customers so they can leave an honest review in under 30 seconds.
Here’s the setup:
1. Find your business in Google search (NOT Google Maps) by typing your ‘Business Name Business Location’ into google.com and make sure your details pop up on the right – Our example for this is ‘Zappos Henderson, NV’
2. Then click on ‘# Google reviews’OR if you have no reviews, the ‘Write a review’ button.
Obviously giving this link directly to a customer would be a major problem. Even in an email it is way too long and strange looking.
4. To create a shorter link. Login to your web hosting account (Bluehost, Host Gator etc.) and setup a permanent redirect for the link. This is typically found under ‘Domains’ – Just click ‘redirect’ from there and do this:
http://(www.)? yourdomain.com / google
redirects to > [Your link from step three]
That gives us a short and easy link that you can share with your customers.
Now this is a much easier link to remember, share without feeling weird and is definitely a whole lot easier to say to your customers. Plus it fits on the back of a business card and also works on smartphones!
By the way – DON’T LEAVE A REVIEW for Zappos! This is an example only. Only ever leave reviews for businesses that you have directly purchased from.
But When Do You Ask For A Review?
The easiest people to ask are the regulars that know, like and trust you.
Don’t have regulars that love you? I think we have a problem…
If you’re running a good business, you should have a process in place that creates an amazing experience for your customers. Something you see as ‘the standard’ should go beyond your customers expectations. The standard ain’t that high.
So when these people thank you and they feel indebted to you for doing such an amazing job. Just ask them for a review.
Ask them when they thank you.
You get emails thanking you right? So ask then.
You get phone calls thanking you right? So ask then.
Say ‘Thank you so much for the feedback. I’d really love it if you shared your appreciation publicly through a Google review, if you type in YourBrand.com/Google into your browser, it will take you right to the review page.’
You get hugs and kisses thanking you right? (Maybe not so much) But when you do, ask!
But seriously – After you’ve done a top job. Just give them a business card that says
“Have feedback? Leave us an honest review on Google – YourBrand.com/Google
It’s quick, easy and let’s us help more customers like you!”
These people want to give back to you! And they have the best reviews.
They’ve been wowed.
Reviews aren’t a stagnant thing.
To remain relevant and seem like your business hasn’t gone under. You should aim for 2-5 reviews per month.
2-5 reviews is doable, hand that business card over with the link, sincerely ask and you’ll begin to see the benefits in no time – especially if you’re in a town where everyone has under five reviews and most businesses have zero.
It should actually take over two years to get your 100+ reviews if that’s your goal. By the way, you definitely won’t need 100+ reviews. Between me and you, that 100+ number is really to just get people to read this post. If you’re like most local businesses, 10-20+ honest and thoughtful positive reviews will put you at the top of the local search results and give you amazing results!
Don’t get a tonne of reviews all at once – aim for 2-5 per month
Don’t bribe to get reviews and definitely don’t get fake reviews
Give happy customers a simple redirected link to review you on Google
Reap rewards after 5-10 reviews and consistently get more reviews for maximum benefits
Ready to ramp up your online marketing? If your customers love you and you absolutely know you’ll be getting rave reviews on Google after implementing this post. Then book a free consultation to see if we can start getting you a 100-500%+ ROI on your online marketing.
Google the SEO business AND company name (they rebrand often!)
These scam companies need MASS clients to stay in business and people generally catch on quick that they are being ripped off.
So you’ll find that there are plenty of complaints about them online. No matter how good their sales pitch is, trust the hundreds of people that have been scammed already and don’t even give them a chance – it’s not worth it.
How Dodgy SEO Companies Get You Penalised
Since Google has published some great videos on this topic, there’s no reason not to share them here.
Here are the dodgy SEO practices that can get your site penalised in the Google search results.
Unnatural Links To Site – Impacts Links
Thin Content With Little Or No Added Value
Hidden Text And/Or Keyword Stuffing
Potential Google Penalties
Algorithm penalties are ongoing. Fix them and your site should go back to normal rankings.
Manual penalties have time limits. So if you get caught doing something minor, you might get a penalty for 30 days. If on the other hand you’re doing something extremely dodgy – expect to disappear from Google search for 6+ painful months.
How much would that cost your business?
How To Think About SEO
Think of SEO as a long term investment.
While advertising through PPC (pay per click) can get you quality visitors that result in sales and calls for your business immediately – as soon as you stop spending, the sales and calls stop. SEO on the other hand has permanent traffic results when done right.
Especially if you are specifically creating quality content that is directly related to your best clients. While you might be spending money initially and getting minimal results, if you are producing high value content for your ideal prospects – you’ll soon get some small wins. Small wins that add up over time and eventually drive traffic to your site for free.
Googles Simple Design With Search That Actually Worked
Before 1998 the search engine wars were over – Yahoo was the clear winner by far. Yahoo actually used people to help catalogue the web to produce the best search results at the time.
But then Google came along with a simple design.
Google was focused on search and search alone. They were a search engine… Unfortunately for Yahoo – they doubled down on what they thought worked for them in the past and added even more clutter to their page.
While Google simplified even more and absolutely dominated the market.
Facebook’s Social Network To Connect With Friends And Family
Pre-Facebook – social networks were crazy.
They were free-for-all blood baths where people didn’t use their real name, people could do whatever they wanted without regard, and the social networks that were close to cracking the code like Facebook never got the funding they deserved to innovate (RIP Friendster).
MySpace – the winner at the time threw everything at the wall to see what worked. Not a bad move as we saw Facebook make their own fair share of mistakes with innovation.
While MySpace was bought out and never cleaned up the mess they made.
Facebook stood out by using real names, innovated constantly and always cleaned up the mess.
The Simple Ad Free Social Network
Ello might not ever be a powerhouse like Facebook but it doesn’t mean it won’t be a successful social media business.
They’ve captured attention on the premise that it is an ad free social network that doesn’t sell user data to third parties – forever. Their stand out manifesto is something to admire.
‘Will it blend?’ Blender
Do you need a blender that can blend rocks, electronics and sports equipment? Of course you don’t!
Doesn’t mean you don’t want it.
Just watch the video.
Twist And Pour paint Containers
No screw driver to open the lid, no paint spillage and no pouring too much. Something so simple allows Dutch Boy Paint to stand out from the crowd and sell at a premium.
The Blogging Software For Bloggers
While Drupal and Joomla tried to be the content management system (CMS) for everyone, WordPress focused on bloggers. A very smart move as bloggers are the top communicators of the online world. Bloggers spread the message of how well WordPress works, how to use it and how to customise it. Targeting bloggers got everyones attention and gradually gained enough credibility to gain the trust of even the most visited sites in the world.
Videos From Real People
Less polished, unedited, captured in the moment type videos make YouTube what it is today. But simply being able to share anything, even if it was quickly taken down because of copyright claims made YouTube a traffic magnet.
Not getting the water-cooler television moment? No worries, just look it up on YouTube.
While other companies tried to protect their ass by having strict rules that they enforced to limit copyrighted content or just went out of business because bandwidth was so damn expensive back then, YouTube took off.
YouTube is the video sharing site for over a 1 billion people per month. And the videos that feature real people with flaws, their genuine personality and minimal edits thrive. While the polished and highly produced content from major companies ‘fail’ on YouTube.
(Don’t believe the hype that Facebook is YouTubes biggest threat…)
Have You Found Your Place That Let’s You Stand Out From The Crowd?
Business can be hard.
Finding your place in the market and actually making a meaningful profit can seem impossible.
But you know your product or service helps people. Right?
Well, there’s some good news for you.
You don’t need to be passionate or creative to thrive. You just need to find something that works. And once you find something that works… You stick to it.
The key to finding something that works?
Do something profitable that you can own in the mind of your customers. You don’t just take what is working for your competitors and copy it. That will just promote them even more – especially online.
You need to be the go to option. The only ‘right’ option for your customers.
To be the go to option, you have to be the industry leader or a category leader. That means being the first of your kind or the company that focuses relentlessly on one key factor.
Be The Leader
Volvo for instance focused on safety above everything else.
The founders relentless leadership in the safe car category standing strong even today as the company strives to eliminate all deaths in their cars by 2020.
Instead, Tesla owns ‘electric car’ and is the industry leader of electric cars. Maybe more accurately, premium electric car.
When you hear ‘electric car’, you think Tesla. So why would you buy an electric car from Nissan, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi or a new startup when electric car is synonymous with Tesla?
Even if you wanted to buy an electric car and Tesla was just too expensive, in most cases, you just don’t buy an electric car. People want to buy their products and services from the leaders.
And Own The Category
The Sony Walkman changed listening habits with the pocket cassette player and held a 50% market share even a decade after its release. The Sony Walkman has struggled ever since then by keeping the ‘Walkman’ name for the transition into CD, minidisc, mp3, video and even mobile phones!
Who would buy a Walkman phone?
Even though the iPod came late to the digital portable music scene, Apple explained to everyone what a digital music player actually meant with the ‘1000 songs in your pocket’ messaging.
They owned the market as the leader, not because they were the first product to market. But because they were first in the mind of consumers by explaining what the hell those gigabytes actually meant to everyday people.
Plus, they weren’t hindered by the primitive cassette tape music player connection.
Did you make the mistake of buying a digital audio player that wasn’t an iPod for your kids?
Do I Need To Be The Best?
It’s tough to make the point that you truly need to be the stand out business. Especially when we all still function mostly offline. There are many competing businesses offline that seem to be doing great after all.
You probably don’t stick to the same petrol station, restaurant or grocery chain every single time right?
But the online world is a bit different. Sure there is competition, but when you look at the numbers, the top business gets over 80% of the market or category. That doesn’t leave much opportunity for the rest.
While there are so many factors that go into keeping a single company from absolutely demolishing the competition offline – logistics, proximity, convenience, staff, scalability, and regulations etc. Online companies don’t need to worry about most of them because the best company can scale relatively cheaply and claim obvious leadership… Why would you even seek out a competitor? Even people that don’t like buying from the market leader choose a category leader online.
Why? Well, because the search results are all about the leading company. The reviews are about their product or service, the articles and interviews promote the company, the guides explain the ins-and-outs of their offer, people in your social network have shared their experiences or given a ‘like’ or ‘thumbs up’, and the YouTube videos are all talking about direct experiences with the company and what they offer.
So why would you take a gamble and choose a random company offering the same thing? Well, you just don’t.
Need to develop a strategy to help you stand out from the crowd? Book a strategy session to see if we can help you find a highly profitable stand out offer for your ideal prospects! Book a free consultation here to get started.
The formula to make money through your website hasn’t changed that much.
Clear communication (words are powerful),
Modern design that generates trust, and
A clear beneficial call to action just works.
The problem is that these things change over time.
Design most notably.
What was ‘acceptable’ a few years ago in design is outdated and unacceptable the next – flash, image sliders, banners, talking head pop ups and more all looked promising.
While communication sees words people barely knew a year ago becoming everyday language. And problems that never existed come to the forefront as everyone learns more and more.
Finally, the call to action has evolved slowly as people test what works best for their industry and busniness – phone calls, email capture, live chat, direct mail and more.
While there are simple (and not so simple) tweaks that have been found over decades to improve conversions. There are few or likely zero best practices that will always improve the conversion rate of all websites. While it may work wonders for 99% of us, there is always an exception.
There is an exception for all the following methods even though they improve conversion rates for the majority of websites.
You should always test what works best for your business long term. This includes understanding the impact of your website before, during and after customers have purchased on your future sales.
Best practices that could move the needle for your business!
7 Ways To Make Your Website Into A Money Making Machine
Use Modern Design
The 90’s and 00’s are over… Design is compulsory now – Apple won.
Beautiful things are instantly trusted more and get respect. Design that is simple and easy to use just works. Everything else online is barely tolerated or given a chance.
The sophistication of this generation of entrepreneurs that take risks and release their ideas onto the world have access to tools (Kickstarter, Squarespace, Shopify, Unbounce and more) that make design simple. Don’t lose to an upstart with an okay product but beautiful design.
Which website do you trust more? The 20 year old store with over 20 links on their home page? Or the simple landing page with ONE clear call to action?
Use Large Product Images
Large product photos tend to work well. A picture is worth a 1,000 words right? Well they sure seem to convert much better than words alone – especially online. Just remember to use that modern design.
Don’t Use Image Sliders
A single large product image on a landing page OR 2-3 images that allow users to compare an item work wonders.
While automatic image sliders, especially on the homepage are ignored. They are distracting, often don’t give enough time to read, are confusing, off topic and more. Even well created and thought out image sliders barely work out better than more simple sites.
So unless you have $10-100k to optimise your image sliders so they perform as well or slightly better than a normal website, just don’t do it.
Street Performer Video
Video length doesn’t matter. What matters is the content, format, pacing and production.
You can get someone to watch an hour long video if you captivate their attention.
A sales call that started out as 30 seconds of your time to see if you would be interested that turns into an hour conversation, you cancelling a meeting, a 6 month commitment to their service and an eventual lifelong friendship. That’s the essence you need to capture in your sales video.
While the percentage of people that watch your video goes down with every second your video goes on, that doesn’t mean shorter is better. Just because 90% of people watch your confusing 10 second video doesn’t mean you’ll get more sales.
Crappy videos no matter how long or short produce equivalent revenue results. Longer videos receive the brunt of the abuse because they are easily singled out for their dismal ‘watched to the end’ statistics.
The truth is that the major revenue generating videos online are not user friendly, have captivating copy, sell billions in products and are typically 5-30+ minutes long. The people that own these videos don’t measure ‘watched to the end’ but measure sales performance.
Attention Driven Design
One clear goal delivers the highest conversions. As you add more products, options and links that draw away attention from your offer, you also lower your conversion rate. While more links with the same goal can help increase your conversion. Your web page should have one clear goal.
Relevant Calls To Action
A call to action on every page and multiple times on each page is often cited as a ‘best practice’ by people. This simply isn’t true though.
Relevant calls to action increase profitability the most. A site with fewer but relevant calls to action produce disproportionate results because they generate more trust, are more conversational and allow the person to feel like they are in control.
Design For Your Ideal Customer
The website doesn’t succeed after they have converted a visitor into a customer. Long term profitability is driven by customer perception. If you convert the wrong customer, your business will eventually fail. Lowering conversion by being clear about who your product/service is best for allows for long term business success.
Don’t let middle managers, consultants or web designers use cheap tricks to fool people into buying something they don’t want. While the short term results might be amazing, think about all the damage that is being done to your business as those people you just pissed off tell not one or two people about you ripping them off but thousands as they write a blog post, create a YouTube video, post it on social media and maybe even create a website just to tell the world how much you pissed them off.
Final Words Of Wisdom
Remember – the website is an extension of you and your business. The story doesn’t end after someone buys from you. Make sure that you understand their perception of you before, during and after they’ve done business with you.
If you are selling more but having all your new found customers cursing you out afterwards… You are going to struggle long term. The overall experience with the business is what matters. Lowering conversions by being clear about exactly who your product/service is for will create a sustainable profitable business that can grow.