I’m showing you the good, the bad, and the ugly today. And yes, there was some ugly.
Now, SPOILER ALERT: I intentionally botched my Facebook Ad Campaign.
Why in the world would I do that??
I made the most common mistake I see business owners make when it comes to Facebook Ads PURPOSELY to show you exactly where people go wrong and why it’s such a bad move.
More on the screw ups in just a second.
First, let’s review what I was offering in the ad.
The ad itself was promoting a “Launch Tool Kit” (aka my “lead magnet”). The Tool Kit is a 7-page PDF that outlines the step-by-step process I use with my clients to launch their digital products (i.e. online courses, web trainings, membership sites, etc) and the web tools I use to get the job done.
When a potential client opted in to receive the Tool Kit, they would be placed in a special email sequence. This sequence first delivered the Tool Kit for download, and then delivered three more emails regarding my Digital Product Launch Coaching service.
See how the lead magnet and the thing I’m selling coincide well?
The Tool Kit gives the non-detailed framework of a successful launch (an eight-phase, many-step process), while the Launch Coaching service offers a 1-on-1 experience where I coach the client through all phases and all steps over the course of a three- or six-month coaching period.
*Side note: If you’re wondering why you don’t yet know about this Tool Kit and Coaching service, don’t worry – all the details are at the bottom of this post.
Both the lead magnet and the Launch Coaching service are designed for my ideal client of that service – a creative, service-based business owner swamped with clients, wanting to create more passive income in their business so they can stop bending over backwards for clients day in and day out.
Makes sense, right?
Now, the ads.
Ad # 1
- Was set up as a Post Boost and not an “Ad”
- Cost $20
- Was targeted at Females, ages 27-45 in the US with the behaviors of a “small business owner”
- Used a stock photo as they graphic with approx. 20% text overlay
- Reached 306 people in 23 hours
- Because it was a Boost, the Engagement metric showed how many people clicked on the post somewhere, whether to “See More” of the ad copy and/or to landing page
- Because of this metric, the Boost yielded 80 Engagements
- 1 person opted in to receive the Tool Kit
- Was set up as a true Facebook Ad
- Cost $20
- Was targeted at Females, ages 27-45 in the US with the Job Title similar to “Business Coach” or “Executive Coach”
- Used a real-life photo of me as the graphic with no text overlay
- Reached 459 people in 4 days
- Because it was a true FB Ad, the Engagement metric showed how many people clicked through to the landing page
- Because of this metric, the Ad yielded 3 Engagements
- 2 people opted in to receive the Tool Kit
Here’s all that info in an easy-to-compare table:
The columns with red headers are controllable variables where I intentionally made the ads differ.
Before we jump into all the ways I went wrong with these ads…
Let’s talk about their success.
In all, I only paid $40. While Facebook ads are “cheap” amongst the standards of paid advertising, $40 is still a small amount to pay on ads that weren’t optimized in the first place.
Regardless of the overall spend, I gained 3 new email subscribers.
I know, not a big deal when you consider how some large companies add hundreds of subscribers a day to their lists.
But in the case of these ads, I paid $13 per subscriber. (Again, not stellar.)
And it’s too soon to know if they’ll purchase the Launch Coaching service because they’re still within the email sequence.
But! If even just one of them DOES become a paying Launch Coaching Client, I paid $40 to bring in $3,000 of revenue. To provide this service, it costs me time, but no other direct expense. So it’s fair to say that I spent $40 to net $2,960.
In this regard, these ads weren’t a total waste. Of course, that’s assuming 1 of the 3 subscribers will eventually become a paying client.
Jury’s still out.
It’s time. Let’s talk about why these ads were honestly terrible.
See, the ads themselves, alone, apart from each other, were not poorly structured ads. Independently, they made sense.
But we’re told to “test” Facebook Ads, aren’t we? “Test and see what happens.”
And when we’re told to test, the most common mistake I see small businesses make is to create two (or more) ads that are wildly different and then try to compare.
The one variable that stayed the same between the two ads that I ran was the Cost. I spent $20 on each ad.
Beyond that, every other variable differed between the two.
And while some business owners would think, “I spent $20 over here and $20 over there. Let’s see which one works better.” This just does NOT work in this case.
Now that I’ve made so many variables differ, I have no idea what my next move is. I don’t know what made Ad 1 yield fewer opt-ins. Was it the fact that it was a Boost? The targeted audience? The graphic? The time it was live?
So, let this intentional screw-up be your opportunity to learn.
When it comes to online advertising, yes, you need to test. Very rarely do ads of any kind succeed in their very first iteration.
But while testing, be sure to compare apples to apples. Restrict yourself to only differing one variable at a time between two ads. Just one.
When you differ just one variable, you can then confidently say what worked, what didn’t, and then move on to tweaking your next variable.
This concludes our Online Advertising series. Next week, we’ll be talking all things Search Engine Optimization (SEO)! Don’t worry – it won’t be nearly as scary as it sounds.
Still wondering about this Launch Coaching I’ve been talking about?
I’ve been working with a clients to launch their digital products (i.e. online courses, web trainings, membership sites) for a while and because of the success I’m seeing with these clients, I’ve decided to package it into its own Coaching service.
As I stated above, this Coaching is ideal for service-based business owners that want to rely less on client work and build a bit of passive income into their business.
Right now, I have five Coaching spots available – the other five are officially spoken for (YAY!).
If launching your digital product and passive income stream is on your 2017 to-do list…