We’re back again with another case study, and in this one, I want to show you exactly what goes into a slam dunk launch that produced $92,000 in sales with an ad spend of just $2,000.
Now if you know any of my stuff, you know that it is my ABSOLUTE pet peeve when Facebook Ads strategists publish big titles like the one above without giving you the full picture because it sets you up for disappointment. Because (and say it with me) Facebook Ads without a PROVEN funnel and a phenomenal offer are a GUARANTEED recipe for disaster. So, let’s give credit where it’s due and show you how ads, PLUS a great funnel and great salesmanship can create magic (cue the unicorns).
Background: This campaign was for a long time client of mine, Adrienne Dorison. She was affiliating for her personal coach and mentor, Todd Herman to promote an e-learning course called the “90 Day Year” which has been independently validated by third-party Harvard researchers.
Here were the key things that made us successful.
1. We set ourselves up for success by growing and nurturing a list AHEAD of time
If you look closely at most big launches, they were kicked off by an intentional (or unintentional) pre-phase which consisted of growing and warming up an audience. It’s in THIS phase that you create relationships and earn the sale.
In our case, Adrienne was already starting with a small but engaged community of people she’d gathered organically. We took her expertise and crafted a lead generation campaign that brought in about 800-1,000 new leads every month on autopilot for as little as $1.04 each (read the Facebook Ads Case Study). This campaign ran for several months, growing her list and filling her Facebook Group.
Once inside the funnel, those leads were given high-quality content that established Adrienne as a subject-matter authority. This was supported with regular live streams in the group (creating the know, like and trust factor).
So when it came time to ask for the sale by promoting the material’s in Todd’s launch, her audience was primed and ready, and it showed in the results. Most online marketers will shoot for a 1%-3% conversion rate during a launch, but Adrienne’s audience converted at an outstanding 11%. To put that into perspective, most marketers will hope for 1 to 3 sales out of every 100 people, but Adrienne was able to pull out 11 sales per 100 people. At a value of $2,000 per sale, she generated $16,000 MORE for every 100 people who participated in her launch than the average person. Multiply that over a few hundred people, and you’ve got $92,000 in sales. #boom.
Key Takeaway: If you want big sales numbers, take advantage of the “pre-phase” of launching and build a tribe that knows, likes and trusts you.
2. We used our ads as vehicles to communicate CLEAR selling propositions.
Once we were in launch mode, the next step was to create a series of ads that would help Adrienne’s tribe understand the value of Todd’s program and that meant focusing on all of the PROOF points we had along with proactively dealing with objections.
We crafted ads that listed the tangible results Adrienne had been able to get as a result of taking Todd’s program and we didn’t mince words; we actually laid out ALL of the results (screen shot right).
We also started creating ads that proactively dealt with objections (like the all too common objection “this won’t work for me”). We did this by telling the story of how Adrienne (who was now positioned as an authority because of all of the work during the pre-phase), had once relied on the 90-day program to get out of an $11,000 mistake. This served as proof that the program works, and that even Adrienne had relied on it to bounce back from a setback (screen shot shot in section below).
Key Takeaway: Your ads are a vehicle for compelling marketing messages (not a message in and of themselves). Take the time to create mini-stories that help you prove your case.
3. We didn’t try to yell at our leads
You guys have all seen a banner ad, right? Those obnoxious ads that follow you around as you surf your favorite websites? Tell me, when was the last time you clicked on one of them (especially from a company that you didn’t already know?) Chances are you can't remember the last time... chances are you’ve grown to recognize those flashing banners as ads… and as a result you have developed what we call “banner blindness.” This is why click-through rates on these kinds of ads have PLUMMETED . Back in my agency days, we’d be happy if we got fraction of a percent for click through rates.
The same goes for Facebook ads. You might already know this, but the original reason why advertisers were SO excited about “dark posts” was because they blended into Facebook, so people clicked on them! Now our audiences are getting wise to our sneaky ways and it'll only get worse as people roll out louder, flashier ads.
So, to avoid this, we tested clean, lifestyle shots of Adrienne and her beloved dog Church (who is central to her brand) against images with stylized call outs. The ads that won out by several points were the clean images, earning fantastic click-through rates of 4% and 5%. And because of the great engagement (click through rate, sentiment, etc.) our Relevance Scores were a whopping (10/10). I've run similar tests to cold audiences across clients in many verticals and this is a pattern that repeats itself more often than not.
Key Takeaway: Remember that Facebook is a social channel first and foremost. People don’t go there to hear your sales messages so you can stand out by blending in.
4. Understand what your most strategic leverage points are and then go all in
Affiliate campaigns can be exciting as you go up against many of your peers to see who can be the most successful affiliate. There’s almost always a leaderboard where you can see how well you’re performing and it adds to the fun and the motivation. It can also cause shiny object syndrome. Here’s what I mean… in any given launch, there are several things you can focus on from an initial lead magnet or challenge, to a video series, to the webinar, to a sales page, to surprise bonus announcements.
After having gone through many affiliate launches against people with WAY bigger lists (and finishing among the top players), I can tell you that there are really only TWO big levers to worry about. The first is the webinar (your most powerful sales vehicle), the second is your “close down” sequence (where you reiterate the benefits of the program, the results they can get and the reasons why they need to take action now). These two are your key leverage points, and so far they win every time- allowing us to perform exceptionally well even when our list and our budgets were smaller.
Why is this the case? For a few reasons:
a) When you’ve already done the work of warming up your audience, they already know, like and trust you. You’ve earned the right to ask for the sale assuming that the thing that is being offered is a good fit with a problem they are trying to solve.
b)The webinar establishes the belief (in 60 minutes or less) that the program/offer/service is THE solution to their problem by demonstrating success stories, showing them the results that are possible and proactively dealing with objections.
Assuming a) and b) are true, your audience is now primed to make a purchase decision.
Key Takeaway: If you’ve done the work of building relationships, then the next step is to show people that you have a solution to their problem, give them a reason to act now and answer objections. Rinse, repeat.
5. Adrienne is a phenomenal sales person who runs a phenomenal business
Any Facebook Ad Strategist who takes the full credit for a launch is misleading you. Sure, it sounds great to take credit for #alltheresults, but it lacks integrity. Every Facebook Ad strategist knows that there isn’t an ad in the world that can sell a product that no one wants or help a business owner who isn’t good at selling. It’s no coincidence that top Facebook Ads strategists screen their potential clients carefully because they know that Ads will only work if the business itself is already successful.
Because Adrienne runs a phenomenal business and is a phenomenal salesperson (and had built a tribe and earned their trust), she was able to blow her sales conversion rates out of the water and CLOSE those sales.
Adrienne didn't shy away from regularly live streaming about the program, sending emails, answering questions, hopping on 1:1 calls and offering no brainer bonuses like a 6-month mastermind.
It’s all of these pieces together: the ads that drive traffic, generate leads, fill a group, deliver memorable micro-stories and provide full-funnel retargeting; plus the live streams and the emails, that create a “surround sound” effect in marketing (a.k.a “integrated marketing"). And at the end of the day, the sum of all these efforts is greater than the parts alone.
Key Takeaway: Ads are a phenomenal tool, but you also need a great product, a great funnel and a great salesman (or woman in this case!).
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