Author: Bayete Inkosi


PPC Automation: Is the Future of Paid Search Already Here?

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Will PPC look like this in 2020?

Probably not. Nonetheless, there are some amazing automation opportunities that make the life of Marketing Managers, CMOs, and PPC experts quicker and more efficient—especially for fast-growing companies that need to scale their campaigns.

PPC automation is a massive topic. In this post, I focus on automation within Google Ads. Google dominates the search market, with about two-thirds market share (roughly 90% if you include image and YouTube searches). So, if you’re looking for new business and easy scalability, the search network is one of your quickest routes.

In this post, I’ll show which PPC tasks can and can’t be automated—and share insider tips on how we automate PPC management at KlientBoost.

I’ll break this down into four major strategies within a search account:

Ad Testing
Finding New Keywords
Negative Keyword Refinement

Automating different functions and processes in these four strategies will save time, resources, and even ad spend.

1. Automating Bidding Strategies

So what can you do with the automated bidding strategies rolling down the Google Ads pipeline? Don’t get too excited just yet. The algorithm that Google uses has not beat, in bulk, human-optimized campaigns that are running on manual CPC.

So the simple answer? Start with manual bidding. Start low and conservative, then work your way up as you collect data—it’s the easiest way to make sure you aren’t getting caught with the highest CPC in your industry.

Google has made rapid improvements to their automated bidding strategies, like Max Conversions and Target CPA. (I’ve seen some wins with this that I’ll talk about later.) However, when I tested the automated bidding betas for over 150 of my clients, manual CPC still won out.

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked about automated bidding is which strategy to pick when. I’ve put together a quick “Use Case” table to help you. These use cases are not only backed by Google, but they’ve also been confirmed by tests in our accounts:

Manual CPC may be the starting point, but let’s not forget the goal: automating PPC performance.

Running bidding experiments in Google Ads

I’m in love with A/B testing (like, in love). But with A/B testing, you need to minimize variables.

Typically, when people decide to test a new bidding strategy, they switch an entire campaign or even account over to their new bid model. That throws another major variable into the mix—time. How Manual Bidding performed in November versus how Maximize Conversions performed in December is not a fair test.

That’s why Google Ads has the best tool: experiments! Use the experiments tool to duplicate your original campaign and change whatever you’d like without touching your legacy campaign.

So, if you’re trying to find out whether an automated bidding strategy would improve your campaign, just experiment with one before adjusting your ad spend budget. Here’s how to set up an experiment in under 2 minutes:

The steps to create your draft in Google Ads.
The steps to create your experiment.
The finished experiment.

As you can see above, using Maximize Conversions beat out Manual CPC by 426% percent. And the best part? If your experiment wins, you can convert it to the main campaign without losing algorithmic learnings.

Third-party software to automate bidding

For most marketers, products like Kenshoo are too expensive. Kenshoo’s system integration and automation usually run around $10,000, with packages ranging between $2,500 (up to two ad platforms) and $25,000 (more than five systems) per month.

Eventually, Google will figure out how to beat manual bidding from the start. But it’s not there yet, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. As Adam Hallas from Mindstream Media confirms, “Going to manual bidding on your typical in-house business account is usually the best long-term solution.”

Still, within the four elements of PPC automation, bidding is the only piece that could be fully automated. Ad testing, finding new keywords, and negative keyword refinement take manual work.

Here’s how to speed those up with automation—while increasing the quality of the work, too.

2. Automating Ad Testing

A couple of tools within Google Ads can speed up your ad testing. If your account is small and has under 30–50 ads, you can pause the losing ad manually and begin a new test. But for accounts with hundreds of simultaneous ads, this process won’t work.

Thankfully, with Google Ads editor, Microsoft Excel, and the use of labels, you can A/B test any element across an entire campaign in under 90 seconds:

Open up a campaign within the Ads Editor and navigate to the “ads” tab.
Scroll up to the “Accounts” bar at the top and select Export > Export current view, and then open up the Excel document.
Sort by the A/B test you would like to make. In my case, the “Try for Free Today” H2 lost. I’m going to replace the H2 with a new CTA.
Change your test cells and label accordingly.
Copy the new cells, reopen Ads Editor, and click “Make multiple changes.” (Make sure that the “My data includes columns for campaigns and/or ad groups” is checked.)
Paste copied excel cells into Ads Editor. Review to make sure everything copied over correctly.
Post changes to Excel and voila…you’re done!

You can view a silent walkthrough of the above seven steps in the video below:

[This post contains video, click to play]

Note: To declare a winner, track Cost per Acquisition (CPA), not click-through-rate. Anyone can place “FREE” in their ad copy and get tons of clicks, but we want to find ads that lead to quality clicks (i.e. from people who actually become customers).

But wait: What about Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)? If you aren’t aware of this new feature within Google Ads, here’s what it looks like:

The main benefit to these ads is the ability to test quickly—including multivariate testing. In the earlier example, you change only one element of the ad, which gives clarity as to what improved performance but slows overall testing.

Responsive ads allow simultaneous testing of up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. Google uses machine learning to test various combinations, find the best one, and show it more often.

My suggestion is to run manual and responsive testing side by side until your RSAs start to beat your manual format. Then, you can make the full switch and test RSA vs. RSA.

As with any test, make sure you

Have enough traffic.
Let the test run long enough.

You can use an A/B test calculator to help determine thresholds for statistical significance.

Since RSAs just rolled out to all accounts weeks ago, we don’t have enough data to promise that they’ll work better than manual testing. But they are another step in the right direction by Google to speed up the testing process.

3. Automating New Keyword Opportunities

Ads are important, but if you’re not maximizing the quality of traffic coming through, ads become somewhat irrelevant. So let’s focus on how to speed up the process of finding new keywords and putting them into what we call SKAGs (single-keyword ad groups).

Once campaigns are up and running, you’ll be able to identify which ones are converting. When you find search terms that are converting and have a substantial amount of impression/click volume, it’s probably worth breaking them out into their own SKAGs.

The main reason that we like breaking high-volume, high-converting keywords into their own ad groups is for bidding purposes. If the search term that’s consistently converting is coming through a broader keyword with a lower bid, you may not be reaching the full potential of that exact search.

By extracting the high-converting search term into its own SKAG, you’re able to bid more aggressively and maximize Impression Share. (For a more in-depth explanation on why we break high-converting search terms into their own SKAGs, check out this post.)

You can also download our free automated SKAG creation tool here. All the steps are within the Google Sheets template. Here’s a quick demo:

Step 1: Navigate to the “Master Exact” tab and enter new SKAG search terms into the “keyword” column.

Step 2: Navigate to the “FOR IMPORT” tab. Copy and paste all columns into Google Ads Editor under the “Keyword” section.

Note: The next steps make changes in two “Ads” tabs because we test two ads per ad group. If you only want to do one ad, change only one “Ads” tab.

Step 3: Fix H1s in both “Ads 1” and “Ads 2” tabs. (They’re currently programmed to spit out the SKAG.) Cells will highlight red if they’re over the character count limit.

Step 4: Add your H2, H3, Description, Path 1, Path 2, and Final URL in both “Ads” tabs.

Step 5: Navigate to the “ADS IMPORT” tab. Copy and Paste all columns into Google Ads Editor under the “Ads” section.

If you’ve ever had to do this work manually, it can take hours to add 30 SKAGS. Now you can do 400 in 5 minutes.

4. Automating Negative Keyword Curation

Finally, the last—and most useful—automation tool for Google Ads is the N-Gram script. This script helps find junk keywords in your campaigns that drive up unnecessary costs.

An N-gram is a phrase made of “n” number of words: a 1-gram is a single word, a 2-gram is a phrase of two words, and so on. For example, “this four word phrase” contains three 2-grams (“this four,” “four word,” “word phrase”) and two 3-grams (“this four word” and “four word phrase”).

With the N-gram script, you can parse your entire account’s search-term list into chains of 1–5 N-grams by account, campaign, and ad group. You’ll come away with stats on how each N-gram has performed.

After you’ve added the script to your account, you need to change a couple of things within the script itself:

The startDate and endDate. Set the time frame for which you want to pull search-term data.
currencySymbol. Make sure that you are in the correct currency.
spreadsheetUrl. For each account, add a new spreadsheet for this script to dump its data into. Be sure to add a new Google Sheets link to each N-gram script you use.

Once you’ve set up and run the script, go to your Google Sheet. It should look like this:

Based on your target CPA, you can identify all the N-grams that don’t meet the goal for the time frame you established. The N-gram script will populate all keywords in your campaigns (within your start and end date) into a single sheet.

In this sheet, you can filter by conversions to check which grams are generating zero conversions. Then, you can filter those failing to generate conversions by their CPA to see which are costing you the most. These are the terms you’ll add to your negative keyword list.

Without this script, you could be going through hundreds or thousands of keywords one at a time—manually checking each for conversion volume and CPA, then cross-comparing them. The N-gram script groups every common “gram” under one roof and identifies its performance across multiple keywords.

Be careful: Some search terms that exceed your CPA target may do so because your landing page experience is terrible, or because they’re in a bad ad group with high a bid. Make sure you manually review poorly performing N-grams before dumping them into a negative keyword list.


What’s the outcome of implementing these PPC automation techniques? Better performance and less time spent doing the work.

And the more time you save on your PPC wins now, the more time you have to spend on bigger wins—PPC or otherwise—in the future.

The post PPC Automation: Is the Future of Paid Search Already Here? appeared first on CXL.


6 Ways to Set Up Funnels in Google Analytics

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Analyzing the customer journey is pivotal to conversion optimization. But how do you track user journeys in a way that is digestible, visual, and useful?

With funnels, of course! Funnel tracking in Google Analytics is one of the best ways to identify—in detail—where you’re going wrong.

I’ll show you six funnel features in Google Analytics to boost your conversions by understanding where prospects falter in their journey.

But first, let’s define a Google Analytics funnel and explain why it matters.

What are Google Analytics funnels, and why are they important?

Website users take specific paths from start to finish, and every site has a goal for its visitors. Google Analytics funnels track this journey so that you can optimize your website and ensure visitors hit your goals.

For example, when prospects land on your homepage, you may want them to:

Navigate to the category page.
Visit a specific product page.
Add an item to their cart.
View their cart.
Make a purchase.
See the confirmation page.

By analyzing how visitors browse your site, you can optimize their experience. For example, a funnel analysis that shows a high exit rate on product category pages suggests that visitors aren’t finding what they want, which could be because product filtering is clunky or unhelpful.

Ultimately, your goal is to increase conversions. Analytics funnels help you home in on the exact stage in the journey that’s causing the most dropouts.

Before we proceed to the types of Google Analytics funnels, we need to understand the difference between strict and flexible funnels.

Strict funnels vs. flexible funnels

In a strict funnel, a user follows an exact sequence of linear steps—they cannot skip or add steps. An example of a strict funnel is:

Homepage  > Category Page  > Cart > Checkout

However, a strict funnel is useful mainly as a model to highlight likely drop-off points in an idealized journey. In the real world, the user path inevitably varies. (Harvard Business Review has talked about the “death of the linear funnel.”) To account for this reality, you can use a flexible funnel model.

In a flexible funnel, the customer journey is fluid. Not everyone follows the same path before they become a lead or purchase a product. Some users may find the cheapest product they can and immediately place an order; others may review multiple product pages or the About page before purchasing.

Flexible funnels account for these variations. Users aren’t restricted to specific pages or a specific order. In that sense, flexible funnels are better equipped for the real-world user journey.

A visitor may still satisfy a flexible funnel’s criteria in their journey as long as they hit defined pages on the site. For example, consider this path:

Homepage  >  Story Page  > Product Page  > Category Page  > Product Page  >  Cart  > Checkout

At some point in their journey, users must visit the steps in bold, but they can still fulfill funnel requirements no matter which pages they visit in between.

When should you use a strict or flexible funnel?

Prospects at the top of the marketing funnel are just learning about you. Don’t worry if they fail to follow a specific path. After all, you can’t expect each person to visit the same pages (in the same order) during an initial research phase.

But once a prospect has decided to buy—when they near the bottom of the funnel—you can expect them to follow a more specific sequence of steps to completion.

If they’re visiting a miscellaneous page when they’ve already started the checkout process, you should consider it a dropout (even if they end up purchasing). A page or other site element is likely distracting the prospect from the end goal.

Identifying the drop-out points lets you start work on solutions. A funnel won’t give you the “why” behind the dropout, but you can get that answer from polls, surveys, and other qualitative analyses.

You may find that people are more likely to buy after reading the Brand page, so you’ll incorporate that content into the funnel. Or you may find that a miscellaneous Instagram link distracts users from taking the desired action.

Google Analytics funnel visualization reports

We’ve covered what Analytics funnels are, why they matter, and strict versus flexible funnels. Now, I’ll introduce six Google Analytics funnel features that track prospects’ journeys to show how to improve conversion optimization.

1. Goal funnels

Why choose this funnel type? This funnel feature is great for beginners who want an accurate report that they can expand to make more granular.

To use a Goal funnel, you must set up a goal in Google Analytics and specify the funnel path.

To do so, follow these short steps:

Go to Admin  > Goals > +New Goal  > Choose a Goal (e.g. Place an order).
Select “Destination” Goal  > Goal Details.
Turn on the “Funnel” switch.
Name each step of the funnel and add a URL. You can also specify whether a step is optional (flexible) or required (strict).

Once you enter the necessary information, you’ll see the results under “Conversions” in Google Analytics. Under the “Goals” section, you can access many reports to learn about user behavior, like “Goal Flow.”

There’s one major limitation: You cannot apply segments to Goal funnel reports. Goal funnels include all site visits from that view. If you want to measure performance by traffic source, device, or any other segment, you’ll need to create a custom horizontal funnel (detailed below).

2. Reverse Goal Path funnels

Why choose this funnel type? This funnel is a unique way to reverse engineer conversion problems and opportunities.

Simply put, reverse goal funnels trace a user’s path backward through your site—from conversion back to entrance. This unique pathway identifies common steps to conversion and highlights undesired steps along the way.

Once you have at least one Goal set up, go to:

Conversions  > Goals > Reverse Goal Path

You’ll see a count of Goal Completions and the pages that users visited leading up to that Goal.

Currently, Reverse Goal Path lets you go back only three steps. You can export the data as a CSV and use a pivot table to find common paths or dissect the data in other ways.

Reverse Goal Path isn’t the best tool to identify common drop-offs. But it will help you check if the most common paths are the desired ones.

You may find, for example, that most visitors arrive at a goal through a long-neglected page. You can then identify a strategy to get more traffic to that page.

3. Ecommerce Shopping Behavior Report

Why choose this funnel type? This funnel type delivers specialized data for ecommerce sites.

This funnel is only for ecommerce and requires you to turn on Enhanced Ecommerce. To see the data from the funnel, go to:

Conversions  > Ecommerce >  Shopping Behavior

This Google Analytics feature counts the number of user sessions for each step in the funnel. It also gives a visual display of the percentage of visitors who arrived at the current step from the previous one.

You can also drill down to specific metrics or pages. To illustrate, you can see how many sessions turned into transactions by clicking:

All sessions  > Product Views  > Add to cart > Check-Out  > Transactions

Focus on optimizing the page with the highest percentage drop-off. One fashion accessory client of ours had a huge drop off between the homepage and a product page.

With this insight, we found a great opportunity to improve their navigation menu. The navigation menu was too small and tucked away; it didn’t showcase the products and product categories we had to offer, especially on mobile.

The Ecommerce Shopping Behavior report is great for analyzing your funnel’s performance at a macro level. Shopping Behavior shows how many people view each product and indicates which pages are least persuasive—a great starting point for optimization efforts.

4. Checkout Behavior

Why choose this funnel type? This funnel delivers granular, sophisticated data for checkout form fields.

This Google funnel visualization feature is a funnel within a funnel. (Funnelception!)

Also within the Ecommerce section, Checkout Behavior shows where users drop off within a checkout process, grouped by form field (e.g. email, phone, address, credit card number). You can figure out which field causes the most friction.

For instance, a user may start the checkout process and enter their email (which usually isn’t a drop-off point) but abandon the page on the payment info fields (which usually is a common drop-off point).

If that’s the case, you can explore more convenient alternatives, like adding a Paypal button or a one-click purchase button.

(Image source)
5. Horizontal funnels via custom reports

Why choose this funnel type? This funnel allows you to apply advanced segments to compare conversion paths for different types of visitors.

Horizontal funnels are a great way to compare drop-off points by segment. As the name suggests, funnel steps are visualized horizontally instead of vertically. The funnel tells you the abandonment rate between funnel steps (rather than the completion rate, like Goal funnels) and the number of visits for each step.

Horizontal funnels are also more accurate than Goal funnels because they don’t backfill steps. As Google explains, a Goal funnel visualization “backfills any skipped steps between the step at which the user entered the funnel and the step at which the user exited the funnel.”

To create a horizontal funnel, set each funnel step as a Goal (e.g. a product page visit). For every Goal you create after the first Goal, turn on the Funnel option and add the destination URL of the previous Goal as a single funnel step.

Once you create your Goals, select Custom Reports under the Customization section of Google Analytics and click +New Custom Report.

Add each Goal Completion to the Metric Groups section in chronological order, with the Abandonment Rate metric between each Goal Completion:

Goal 1 Completions
Goal 2 Abandonment Rate
Goal 2 Completions
Goal 3 Abandonment Rate
Goal 3 Completions…

You can sort your data by any custom dimension (Landing page, City, Browser, etc.) by adding dimensions to the Dimension Drilldowns section when building your Custom Report:

Once you’ve created the report, you can add multiple segments to the same report to see how different visitors interact with parts of your funnel, which a standard Goal funnel doesn’t allow.

Importantly, you’ll be able to identify segments that behave the same except for one drop-off point. That’s how you identify key opportunities to improve the user journey. We recommend looking at prospect, returning customers, and cart abandonment segments.

The drawback to Horizontal funnels is that they can consume many of the 20 Goal slots that Google Analytics offers.

6. Custom Funnels in Google Analytics 360

Why choose this funnel type? This funnel offers robust customization to splice data by almost any variable.

Available only for Google Analytics 360 users, Custom Funnels let you create a funnel for any trackable user action or behavior. For instance, you can use pageviews and events as stages of a funnel—the possibilities are endless.

To create a Custom Funnel, go to:

Customization  > Custom Reports  > +New Custom Report

Then, select the “Funnel” option in the “Type” section. Below that is a “Funnel Rules” section where you can define funnel stages by Google Analytics Dimensions, including custom and ecommerce dimensions.

The beauty of this feature is that it allows you to track funnels based on specific events, like filling out form fields, which you can’t do with other funnel reports that depend on URLs. You can define funnel stages by Event Label, Action, and/or Category.

The report also lets you decide if users:

Can enter at any stage.
Must enter at a certain stage.
Complete the funnel in one session.
Complete the funnel in multiple sessions.

The Custom Funnels report also lets you use remarketing to engage users who drop off during a specific step. (You can also create an advanced segment for that same audience.)

Using custom segments to get more granular with your funnels

Add custom segments to any funnel to splice data even further. There are endless ways to divide the data, including by geography, gender, browser, and landing page.

For instance, you can view funnel data filtered by mobile traffic only or compare mobile data side-by-side with desktop data:

Those insights can help you prioritize areas of your site for optimization. For example, if the mobile version of your site is doing poorly, you can identify the most frustrating parts of the user experience.


Patching the holes in your user journey offers a huge opportunity to increase sales. But to patch those holes, you need to know where they are. A strict funnel is an outline you can use to create a flexible funnel—the type that users actually follow.

The six Google Analytics funnels covered in this post identify drop-off points at a macro and micro level.  Finding the right one for your site depends on the type of site you manage (e.g. ecommerce vs. lead gen) and the level of detail you want in your reports (e.g. segmented vs. not).

Drop-off points help you identify which pages or page elements merit testing to improve performance. That testing, in turn, reveals why potential customers are dropping off—and what to do about it.

The post 6 Ways to Set Up Funnels in Google Analytics appeared first on CXL.


This Simple Facebook Ad Trick Gets More Leads & Customers In 5-10 Minutes Flat

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Do you already have a couple Facebook ad campaigns running?

Would you be interested in a tip that will help maximize your results?

(And not just on Facebook, but with any traffic network?)

Then you’re in luck.

Because in this post you’re going to learn a simple Facebook ad trick that will free the untapped profits that are hiding in your ad campaigns. It’s easy to do, but don’t let that fool you—it’s a powerful tip to help convert more of those near-sales into new sales.

How It Works

Before we dive into the specifics, let me use a simple metaphor to help you understand how this tip works.

Think of your sales funnel as a series of steps. Together, they make a staircase.

In order to reach the top of the stairs (aka make a purchase), your customers have to take each step, one at a time, in the correct order.

At each step in this process, you’re bound to lose people. Perhaps only 40% of the people who reach step A make it to step B. Maybe 60% of those people reach step C. And only 10% of those people reach step D. And so on.

If you’re a regular DigitalMarketer reader, you already know the way to squeeze more profit from this funnel (and get more leads, customers, and sales). You just need to find the steps where the most people are getting stuck and come up with solutions to help them get unstuck.

But that begs the question:

How do you do that? How do you get back in front of those “stuck” people and get them moving through your sales funnel once again?

The answer, in a nutshell, is remarketing.

What Is Remarketing?

Just because someone didn’t take the next step in your sales funnel doesn’t mean they don’t WANT to.

If you’ve been following us long here on DigitalMarketer, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about remarketing. But you may still have a few questions about how it works.

Basically, remarketing allows you to keep track of the people who visit your website. Then it gives you the power to follow them around on the web and show them relevant ads and offers that have to do with what they viewed on your site.

Here’s an example of remarketing at work:

See those 2 ads highlighted in red?

The reason I’m seeing these 2 ads on Entrepreneur’s website is because I recently visited both of these websites. As a result, they know there’s a good chance that I’m interested in their service and so they’re willing to pay to show these ads to me.

Now those ads are being shown on a 3rd-party website through an ad platform such as Google Adwords. But you can also do remarketing on Facebook, Instagram—just about any traffic network out there.

Here’s an example of one of DigitalMarketer’s remarketing ads on Facebook:

The awesome thing about using Facebook for your remarketing is that it’s relatively simple to set up. There’s no extra software to install or learn. If you have the Facebook pixel installed, then you already have everything you need to keep track of what people do on your website.

And once you know what people have done on your website, it’s not that hard to figure out what kind of relevant offer makes the most sense to promote to them.

Keep this in mind:

Just because someone didn’t take the next step in your sales funnel doesn’t mean they don’t WANT to. Or that they wouldn’t take the next step if they had another opportunity.

There’s a good chance that life simply got in the way: they got busy, their phone ran out of battery, something distracted them.

And when that kind of thing happens, the best thing you can do to help move people along through your sales funnel is to give them a gentle reminder.

That’s exactly what remarketing does, and that’s why it’s such a powerful way to improve your advertising.

In fact, let’s talk about that for a second.

Just how important is remarketing, anyway?

Why Remarketing is More Important Than Ever

In the early days of digital marketing, there was no such thing as remarketing. But today it’s a vital part of any successful ad campaign.

And it’s only becoming more and more important over time.

Why? Because traffic campaigns are getting crowded. And all that competition is leading to increased prices.

Over the past 2 years, the average cost per customer rose by roughly 40% at DigitalMarketer. All as a result of increased traffic costs (primarily on Facebook).

Yes, you read that right—40%. That’s a big increase. A 40% increase in the cost of customer acquisition could mean the difference between a company that’s profitable and one that’s not.

Fortunately, there are ways to offset these rising costs. And remarketing is one of those ways.

Through the strategic use of remarketing, we’ve been able to increase our conversion rates by 2-4% overall on any given page. So a page that converts at 8% without remarketing can convert at 10-12% with it.

That’s huge!

And remarketing is especially powerful on Facebook. Historically, the cost for remarketing ads on FB is way cheaper than the cost for clicks to cold traffic. Cheaper clicks + warm traffic = high ROI campaigns and more customers flowing into your business.

I would go so far as to say that remarketing is the best way to quickly get a measurable improvement on your conversion rates and your overall advertising performance.


(And that’s a big… well… let’s just say Sir Mix-a-Lot would like that “but.”)

Remarketing is like a can of worms.

Once you open it up, you realize that you can use remarketing just about anywhere!

And in order to enjoy the benefits of remarketing, you have to be able to figure out WHERE to remarket for the best results.

So how do you do that? How can you figure out—quickly, simply, and easily—where to focus your remarketing efforts?

That’s what you’re about to learn in the rest of this post.

How to Find The Best Place To Do Remarketing

When deciding where to do remarketing, it all comes down to one thing:


When deciding where to do remarketing, it all comes down to one thing: Opportunity.

You want to focus your remarketing on the steps in your sales funnel with the most opportunity. If 300 people are stuck on step C in your funnel, and 2,000 are stuck on step D, doesn’t it stand to reason that step D has more potential than step C?

Because more opportunity = more leads, sales, and revenue.

And when it comes to measuring this opportunity, there are 2 ways you can do it:

1. Measuring Opportunity with Google Analytics

One way to measure potential is by using Google Analytics (GA). Google Analytics is really powerful. You can use it to do super deep-dives and get really detailed in your analysis.

But the downside to GA is that it’s slower, manual, and requires more math. It also requires quite a bit of learning if you’re not already an advanced user.

So yes, GA is a great tool. But for most people reading this, it’s probably not the best way to get started. Instead, I recommend…

2. Measuring Opportunity with Traffic Platforms

What you can do instead is measure opportunity using the remarketing lists that are already built into your favorite traffic platforms. That’s what I’m going to show you how to do in this blog post.

Your traffic platform’s remarketing lists are flexible and auto-updating. They’re a great way to get quick insights to help you make smart marketing decisions.

I’m going to show you how to do this using Facebook remarketing audiences, but don’t think you have to use Facebook for this. You can take the same principles you’re about to learn and apply them to Adwords or any other traffic platform you want.

(NOTE: Want to make creating Facebook ads way easier? Download the FREE Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library so you can just copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Learn more here!)

The “Secret Sauce” to This Method

OK, if you’ve been following along then you know that you’re about to learn how to find the best place in your sales funnel to do remarketing.

And you’re going to learn how to do it quickly and easily using your ad network’s built-in remarketing lists.

But in order to make this method work, there are 2 things you’re going to want to do. These 2 things are the secret sauces that make this method really work.

Exclusion Model

In order for these remarketing lists to work, you need 2 pieces of information for each step of the funnel:

The URL of the last page in your funnel that the person reached
The URL of the next page in the funnel (the page they didn’t reach)

For example, say you’re creating a list of people who reached your order form but didn’t complete their purchase.

In that case, you know that they reached the page You also know that they did NOT reach the page

So in the language of your ad network, you want to INCLUDE people who reached And you want to EXCLUDE people who reached

This way you’ll be targeting everyone who reached the order form but failed to complete their order.

Make sense?

Here’s an example of what this looks like in Facebook:

Pretty much everybody understands the “Include” half of this equation. But it’s a common mistake for people for forget the “Exclude” part of it. Remember that you need both parts if you want to narrow down your funnel opportunity on a step-by-step basis.

Naming Conventions

When creating these audiences, you’ll have an easier time if you use a consistent naming convention. The naming system I like to use is:

Media – [Funnel Name] – [Stage Letter] – [Stage Description]

When you follow a consistent naming convention like this, it becomes super easy to sort and filter. That way, you can quickly see all the funnels steps you want at a glance.

For example, here are all the stages for our “FB Ad Templates” funnel:

Having all this information right there in the name of the audience also makes it easy to filter them so I see only the audiences I want. For example, if I want to compare all of our paid traffic campaigns, I just filter for the word “Media.” If I want to look at one specific funnel, I filter for the name of the funnel (like “FB Ad Templates”).

I can also compare similar stages across funnels. For example, if I want to compare all of our audiences of people who reached the shopping cart but didn’t make a purchase, I filter for “Cart No Purchase.”

So when you put this all together, you get a screen that looks like this:

Take a look at that for a moment and just think how useful it is. You can see at a glance how many people are stuck at each stage in the funnel.

Want some immediate revenue? Well, there are 3,400 people who abandoned their shopping cart. Remarketing to those people is going to generate some instant sales.

Or maybe you need more leads? You can see right away that 28,000 people reached the Lead Magnet page but didn’t opt-in Remarketing to those people will give us an influx of new leads.

And because I use the same naming convention for all of our funnels, I can do something like this:

Here you see all the people who are stuck at step B in one of our funnels. This view makes it really easy to compare the traffic potential in each of our funnels side-by-side.

Step-by-Step Example

Let me walk you through a quick step-by-step example from one of our funnels at DigitalMarketer. This might be a good time to follow along with one of your own funnels.

First, write down all the URLs of each page in the funnel:

Opt-In Page:

Sales Page:

Shopping Cart:

Upsell 1:

Upsell 2:

Order Confirmation Page:

Next, you want to create a Facebook audience for the people who got stuck at each step of the funnel. To do that, the audience should include everyone who reached a certain URL:

Then, exclude everyone who reached the URL of the next stage of the funnel:

Make sense? If we target everyone who reached the opt-in page, but who didn’t reach the sales page, then we’ll see how many people got “stuck” on that step of the funnel.

Next, I prefer to set the date ranges for 180 days, so we have more data to work with:

And finally, use the naming convention you learned (or come up with your own) to make it easy to compare different funnel steps:

When you complete the process, you’ll end up with something like this. It’s a list of funnel steps that show exactly how many people got stuck at each step in your funnel:

The awesome thing about this view is that all you need to interpret it is a little common sense. You don’t need any sort of special tool or calculator to understand what’s going on here.

Another useful trick is to put this data in a spreadsheet, so you can compare the performance of several different funnels at once.

Here I’ve added the data for 3 of our funnels, so you can see exactly how many people made it to each step in each of them side-by-side:

What sort of actionable information can you take away from this quick and easy chart?

First of all, take a look at the “Perfect Blog Post Templates” funnel. In row 3 (step B) you see that only 4,300 people saw the opt-in page and didn’t opt in. But in the next step, we had 21,000 people who opted in but then didn’t add the product to their cart.

So the Lead Magnet section of this funnel is working great. But the sales page might need a little work.

And if we were going to run a remarketing campaign for this funnel, we wouldn’t run it to opt-in page visitors. Instead, we’d run it for people who viewed the sales page.

OK, now I want you to give it a try. Take a look at the spreadsheet above and answer this question:

If we wanted more immediate sales, where should we run a remarketing campaign? Which funnel, and which step in that funnel?

(I’ll give you a minute to think.)

(Hey, no peeking!)

OK, hopefully, you took a minute to think about that.

If we wanted more immediate sales, the best place to retarget is shopping cart abandoners (step D). So scanning that row, you can quickly see that the Facebook Ad Templates funnel has twice as many cart abandoners as the other funnels. So that’s where I would start with a shopping cart remarketing campaign.

(NOTE: Want to make creating Facebook ads way easier? Download the FREE Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library so you can just copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Learn more here!)

4 Advanced Tips + A Disclaimer

You now have a simple process you can use to analyze traffic volume and potential in your sales funnels using Facebook remarketing lists.

But we’re not done yet.

Because with this strategy in place, there are some even more advanced things you can do to help really skyrocket your paid traffic results.

First, however, there’s 1 disclaimer I should make.

Disclaimer: Only Use This for Funnels You Trust

I want to mention a caveat to keep in mind.

You should only use this process on funnels you trust. Funnels that work. That convert well.

You should only use this process on funnels you trust. Funnels that work. That convert well. That you’re comfortable sending paid traffic to.

Think about it for a second. Let’s say you run traffic to a funnel that is losing you money. Maybe the opt-in page and sales page convert really poorly.

If you send a lot of traffic through this funnel, it might show up as a high-opportunity place to do some remarketing. But there’s nothing to be gained from sending traffic to a funnel that doesn’t convert. That’s just throwing good money after bad.

So keep that in mind when going through this process. If your funnel isn’t converting well enough to turn a profit, spend more time optimizing it before you start remarketing heavily.

Facebook Ad Advanced Tip 1: Choosing New Primary Traffic Campaigns

So far, you’ve learned how to use this process to improve the performance of your existing traffic campaigns. But you can also use it to help discover new traffic campaigns that you should be running.

It works along the same lines—by finding content on your website with high opportunity.

Here’s how it works.

First, come up with a list of keywords that come up a lot in your content.

For example, some of our frequent keywords at DigitalMarketer include “Facebook,” “social,” “Adwords,” etc.

Then create a Facebook audience for each of those keywords. And make sure to exclude anybody who has already opted in for any Lead Magnets relevant to those keywords.

For example, at DigitalMarketer we have a Lead Magnet called “The Customer Avatar Worksheet.” It’s a downloadable worksheet that you can use to help define your customer avatar and fine-tune your advertising for the right kinds of people.

But how well are we doing with this Lead Magnet? Are we doing a good job of getting people who are interested in this topic to opt-in for the worksheet? Or do we need to create a new ad campaign targeting these people?

To find out, we would create a custom audience like this:

This creates a list of everyone who has read a blog post with the words avatar, research, or customer, but did not sign up for the Customer Avatar Worksheet.

And we can use the size of that audience to judge how much opportunity there is around this topic. If the audience is really small, then we know it’s not worth going after these people right now. But if it’s a big audience, then maybe it’s time to start targeting it with a new traffic campaign.

Facebook Ad Advanced Tip 2: Tracking the Health of Your Offers/Web Pages

So far, I have been using the longest possible date range (180 days). This is helpful because it gives you the biggest possible audience size. Generally speaking, larger audiences will help make trends more visible.

But if you shrink down the date range to something much more recent, say the past 10 days, you can use it as a sort of health check. Those recent audiences will let you know anytime something breaks.

For instance, let’s say you notice that nobody has made it past your opt-in page over the past week. That’s probably a good indication that something is broken on your site.

This can help you stay on top of technical problems, so you don’t lose business to 404 pages and other website errors.

Facebook Ad Advanced Tip 3: Finding New Hooks for Lead Magnets

You can also use this process to keep your finger on the pulse of what your website visitors are interested in. And by doing that, you can measure when it’s time to create a new Lead Magnet to bring more leads & prospects into your sales funnels.

For example, at this writing, we do not yet have a Lead Magnet that’s geared toward helping people to create a Facebook Messenger chatbot. However, we know that this is a topic that’s growing in popularity. So sooner or later we may want to create one.

One way we can keep our finger on that pulse and measure the popularity of chatbots is by creating a Facebook list of anyone who visited a blog page containing relevant keywords like “chatbot” and “Messenger.”

Here’s what that might look like inside Facebook:

Do this for all the main keywords that come up regularly in your content, and just keep track of the volume. When you notice any of these audiences start to grow in size, you’ll know it’s time to create a new Lead Magnet on that topic.

Facebook Ad Advanced Tip 4: Track Other Traffic Sources in Facebook

Earlier in this post, I mentioned that increasing ad costs are becoming a big problem for many advertisers. This has been especially true on Facebook, where more and more companies start advertising every day. More competition = higher prices.

Luckily, this is an area where remarketing can help cut your costs. Because as I mentioned, retargeting ads on Facebook are historically much cheaper than front-end ads.

So what a lot of marketers are doing is using cheaper traffic networks to drive cold traffic at a lower cost. (Networks like YouTube, Google Display Network, Bing, and so on.) Then they use Facebook to remarket to those people once they’ve entered your funnel.

This way you avoid the high cost for running front-end ads on Facebook. And as a result, you can save significantly on your ad spend without sacrificing performance.

A Great Reference for Developing Remarketing Copy & Hooks

In this post, I’ve shared a process you can use to find the funnel steps with the most opportunity for remarketing.

But simply knowing WHERE to remarket is only half the battle. The next step is actually digging in and creating a high-converting remarketing campaign, complete with eye-catching images, benefit-rich copy, and a compelling call-to-action.

That’s beyond the scope of this blog post, but if you’re interested in a program that helps you do exactly that, I recommend checking out The Boomerang Traffic Plan Execution Plan (EP).

In a lot of ways, this blog post is kind of a primer for that EP.

You now know how to find the parts of your business that have the most potential for remarketing.

And with the Boomerang Traffic EP, you’ll get everything else you need to finish putting together an effective remarketing campaign that brings promising leads back to your website, so they can complete their purchase.

You’ll discover tricks for coming up with good ad creative, get access to copy templates, learn the exact bidding strategy that will maximize your leads while lowering your costs, and much more.

How to Put This Facebook Remarketing Tip into Action

Now that you have a step-by-step process to find the highest-opportunity spots for remarketing in your sales funnel, how should you get started?

Here’s what I recommend.

Start with your biggest funnel. The one that drives the most new sales and customers to your business. And go through the process you just learned, finding the step in that funnel with the biggest opportunity.

And remarket to the people who are getting stuck at that step.

That’s the way to make sure you’re getting the absolute best bang for your remarketing buck.

Then continue to repeat the process for additional funnel steps whenever you can. The process doesn’t take much time, so if you find yourself with an extra 15 minutes, go through it again. Each time you’ll find the next-highest opportunity for remarketing.

Easy, right? Just take it one step at a time, and watch those sales funnels start doing their job and funneling more and more new customers into your business.

(NOTE: Want to make creating Facebook ads way easier? Download the FREE Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library so you can just copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Learn more here!)

The post This Simple Facebook Ad Trick Gets More Leads & Customers In 5-10 Minutes Flat appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


47 Facebook Ad Examples That You Can Swipe for Your Business

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Launching a Facebook ad campaign is easy.

Launching a Facebook ad campaign that ROIs, however, is another story.

We’ve all been there… developing your offer, crafting your creative, writing your copy, setting up your targeting, choosing your budget, and hoping for the best.

It can be intimidating to put your hard-earned money into an ad without knowing if it will actually be worth it. Luckily, you’re not alone. According to Statista, over 6 million brands are currently advertising on Facebook, each trying to craft that perfect ad that speaks directly to their audience, in hopes of turning a stranger into a customer.

(RELATED: How to Build Traffic Campaigns that Convert Higher and Scale Faster)

Earlier this year I taught an Elite Workshop on launching a brand-building social media strategy in which I highlighted the importance of analyzing your competitors. One of the exercises that we worked through was diving into the “Info & Ads” section on our competitors’ Facebook pages. You know, the handy dandy tab on Facebook pages that allows you to see all of the active ads a brand has published on their account. To my surprise, many of the entrepreneurs that attended weren’t even aware that this was a feature available to them.

Ever since Facebook rolled out the “Info & Ads” section, shortly after their first big data scandal with Cambridge Analytica, I’ve been using this feature as a way to analyze how big brands are crafting ads on the platform. After all, they’re the ones who have the money to try and fail at scale, so why not use them as a guide to what types of creative, copy, and offers seem to be working best.

Let’s take a look at how 47 of the biggest brands on Facebook are using the platform to attract new audiences and expand their customer base.

Facebook Ad Example #1 | Allbirds

What Makes this Ad Great: This video ad for Allbirds grabs your attention with an animated character on top of a static image. They prove their value with a customer testimonial and ensure you’ll agree by offering a risk-free trial. They never mention the word “comfort” and instead rely on the imagery and descriptions to allude to the fact that these shoes are, in fact, comfy!

Facebook Ad Example #2 | Best Buy

What Makes This Ad Great: The video ad for Best Buy relies on quick, stop-motion style cuts to grab your attention while showing off the unique capabilities of the product at the same time. The best part is that the ad talks about what YOU can do with the product instead of just what the product can do.

Facebook Ad Example #3 | Brandless

What Makes This Ad Great: This video ad features quick cuts between products to capture your attention as you’re scrolling through the newsfeed. In addition, the ad features a customer testimonial focused on the cost benefit of these products and ends with the main feature of the company: offering 300+ everyday essentials for $3 each.

Facebook Ad Example #4 | Glossier

What Makes This Ad Great: Glossier uses a great example of social proof, featuring a Tweet as a customer testimonial in this eye-catching video ad. The use of Twitter in Facebook’s Newsfeed is disruptive and piques interest in a unique way. Simple, yet super effective.

Facebook Ad Example #5 | Root Insurance

What Makes This Ad Great: Root uses color and interesting imagery to capture attention with this ad. This strange-looking, brightly-colored car grabs the user’s attention, and the copy highlight’s the main benefit for the user in 3 different places.

Facebook Ad Example #6 | Dollar Shave Club

What Makes This Ad Great: The video ad starts off as a meme, and quickly moves into highlighting the features of the product in addition to customer testimonials. The quick cuts of this video ad grab the user’s attention and the checklist within the copy makes it easy for the user to understand the benefits without having to read every word.

Facebook Ad Example #7 | Hulu

What Makes This Ad Great: Hulu is already so well known that they don’t even highlight any of the features of the product other than the price. Using quick animations and color changes, this video ad grabs user attention and highlights what Hulu believes to be an undeniable offer to attract new subscribers. They also add in the element of scarcity by highlighting that this offer is only available for a limited time.

Facebook Ad Example #8 | Purple Mattress

What Makes This Ad Great: This video ad shows an unrealistic and over-the-top scenario to show a main selling point of the product that users are able to understand within seconds. Nobody is actually going to be building card towers in bed, but within 3 seconds it is clear that with this bed you won’t disrupt your partner, no matter what. The copy makes no mention of the feature highlighted in the video and instead focuses on their risk-free trial period.

Facebook Ad Example #9 | Intercom

What Makes This Ad Great: This video ad highlights a customer testimonial that quickly slides into the frame as a way to quickly capture attention. The copy paints the picture of what their ideal customer has already done, and wraps up by offering to be the tool to bring your efforts altogether. Next, the copy highlights a feature of the platform that is reinforced by the image of the egg with a chat bubble. Finally, the ad copy ends by highlighting their trial period and hinting that the trial is only available today.

(NOTE: Want to make creating your own amazing ads easier? Download the FREE Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library so you can just copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get it here.)

Facebook Ad Example #10 | Fuego Box

What Makes This Ad Great: Instead of highlighting the product, this ad focuses on what the product can transform. In this case, hot sauce is the product, but the delicious looking burger is what draws the user in. The ad copy has nothing to do with the product but instead highlights the quirky and fun nature of the brand. Finally, the call to action (CTA) at the end explains exactly what the product is, and invites the user to the site to shop.

Facebook Ad Example #11 | The North Face

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad features a collage of images to create a compelling video that captures attention with quick cuts and inviting colors. As you watch, you can see the different uses for the product as well as the different variations. Another important feature of this ad is eye contact. The people within the ad are looking directly at the user, ushering in a feeling of connection that is an invisible, but powerful force.

Facebook Ad Example #12 | Hootsuite

What Makes This Ad Great: EMOJI! This ad is perfect for the brand considering the popularity of emoji on social media. The kicker is the fact that the emoji is insinuating that this offer is a secret, provoking feelings of exclusivity and an elevation of status for the user. The copy then reveals the secret and confronts the user with a rhetorical question.

Facebook Ad Example #13 | Whole Foods Market

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad is a great example of using the carousel ad format in a unique and captivating way. By making the photos feel like they are connected invites the user to engage with the ad by clicking the arrow to the right. On top of that, Whole Foods is using the pumpkin trend during the fall season to capitalize on what people are interested in at the time that they are seeing the ad.

Facebook Ad Example#14 | Airbnb

What Makes This Ad Great: This video ad quickly asks a question and immediately offers you a tool to help you answer. Extra money is very desirable for most people, and Airbnb makes sure to highlight that within the copy by showing the user their best-case earning potential with the platform. Finally, this ad speaks directly to the users within a specific location, utilizing personalization to make the ad resonate more with the target audience.

Facebook Ad Example #15 | Lyft

What Makes This Ad Great: Everyone likes free money, and this ad showcases exactly how Lyft can give it to you. This ad assumes the user already knows what the platform does, but uses the photo to provide some additional context. Finally, the CTA leads users directly to the download button, with specific instructions of how to claim their free money.

Facebook Ad Example #16 | Yeti

What Makes This Ad Great: Quick cuts capture the user’s attention, while also highlighting the many ways the Yeti brand fits seamlessly into the active lifestyle of the target audience. With no mention of features, the ad copy taps into the ethos of who the product is made for, allowing the user to feel elevated by the brand.

Facebook Ad Example #17 | BURST

What Makes This Ad Great: Notice how this ad does not come from the brand itself? Instead, Burst partnered with an influencer to showcase the product and paid the influencer to publish the ad using the influencer’s ad account. The video itself is extremely captivating as well by using 2 objects that are never used together to showcase the product’s effectiveness. Finally, the ad rounds out with a coupon code and a nod to the fact that people are ‘raving’ about this product.

Facebook Ad Example #18 | Warby Parker

What Makes This Ad Great: Here we see another ad that features a quiz. Notice, too, how the quiz is available through Facebook Messenger, making the process very easy for the user. The ad starts by posing a question and offering a solution for the user if the answer is yes. The photo then highlights the diversity in the product line while avoiding distracting the user’s attention away from anything but the glasses.   

Facebook Ad Example #19 | Bonobos

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad hits directly on a pain point that the product solves. Nobody likes laundry day, so this ad works to ensure that this product will make it less of a hassle. The use of a quote also helps to put words in the user’s mouth, making it easier for them to see how this product will make their life better.

(RELATED: [DOWNLOAD] The Customer Avatar Worksheet: Finally, Get Clear on WHO You Are Selling To!)

Facebook Ad Example #20 | Harry’s

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad hooks you in with the photo, which insinuates that these razors will produce a soft, smooth, and comfortable shave. The copy dives into the customer pain point of high-priced razors and explains exactly how this product can be the solution.

(RELATED: Customer Value Optimization: How to Build an Unstoppable Business)

Facebook Ad Example #21 | SEMrush

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad is targeted directly to users who already use the platform and dives into new features that have become available. Instead of trying to acquire new customers, this ad focuses on revenue expansion of their current members.

Facebook Ad Example #22 | Better Mortgage

What Makes This Ad Great: This simple video uses a dynamic customer testimonial that puts emphasis on the 5 stars. Notice, too, how the testimonial highlights the pain point that the product solved. In addition, the copy establishes credibility by mentioning the size of their current membership base, making the user more comfortable with the product.

Facebook Ad Example #23 | ZipRecruiter

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad gets right to the point and qualifies the user immediately by posing an extremely simple question. ZipRecruiter knows that the hiring process can be complicated, so they highlight the fact that they are an all-in-one solution, with the added bonus that it’s free.

Facebook Ad Example #24 | quip

What Makes This Ad Great: At first glance, this ad doesn’t look like much. But at a closer look of the photo, the ad showcases the fact that this product is better than others due to its smaller size. The copy alludes to the fact that the product can be the guide for the customer, which is a super important quality for attracting and converting an audience.

Facebook Ad Example #25 | Infusionsoft

What Makes This Ad Great: This video ad uses the popular “meme” format to highlight the pain point that this product solves. The video also features a relatable person who makes eye contact with the user and reinforces how this product will help them.

Facebook Ad Example #26 | StubHub

What Makes This Ad Great: This video ad is simple yet effective. If you dive into StubHub’s other ads, you’ll notice that every game each week is the “game of the week” in their respective cities. This ad taps into the elevation of status by “highlighting” this specific game, while also ensuring that the tickets bought on the platform will not be fake.

Facebook Ad Example #27 | Grubhub

What Makes This Ad Great: The goal of this ad is not to get users to download an app or sign up for a service, but instead join in on the conversation. This is a great example of using a polarizing topic to drive curiosity that results in clicks back to a website.

Facebook Ad Example #28 | DoorDash

What Makes This Ad Great: Before any mention of the product, this ad features exactly what the people want… FOOD! By showcasing what potential foods a user could buy, the ad focuses in on the positive outcome that downloading the app can solve.

(NOTE: Want to make creating your own amazing ads easier? Download the FREE Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library so you can just copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get it here.)

Facebook Ad Example #29 | UglyDrinks

What Makes This Ad Great: This is another video ad that hooks the user in with quick cuts and bright colors while highlighting what makes the product different from competitors. In addition, the copy features a customer testimonial that highlights all of the features that make the product great.

Facebook Ad Example #30 | Bombas

What Makes This Ad Great: This video ad captures attention with quick cuts (a quality that keeps popping up in this list) and highlights the many designs and scenarios that the product makes sense for. Within the copy, the user is presented a coupon and in the CTA the philanthropic nature of the brand is touched on.

Facebook Ad Example #31 | Snap Kitchen

What Makes This Ad Great: Again with the quick cuts and bright colors. I’m beginning to think this is the most common and potentially most effective formats… This ad immediately focuses on the pain points that the product solves, provides a coupon, and highlights the lowest cost option to attract as many people as possible to the site.  

Facebook Ad Example #32 | Chomps

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad does a lot to highlight the features of the product, but also makes sure to include a heavy hitting customer testimonial to tie it all together. Even the coupon code highlights a quality of the product. Now that’s just plain smart.

Facebook Ad Example #33 | mahabis

What Makes This Ad Great: What’s this? You guessed it! Another video ad with quick cuts to capture the user’s attention, a coupon code, and a customer testimonial. The ad also uses the element of scarcity to encourage immediate action.

Facebook Ad Example #34 | Nespresso

What Makes This Ad Great: Now this is just genius. I don’t think I even need to describe what makes this ad so great.

Facebook Ad Example #35 | AllModern

What Makes This Ad Great: That’s a lot of words to read in an ad, but the graphical nature of the words makes this feel right at home on Facebook. The ad highlights the complexities of life and how AllModern can help simplify.

Facebook Ad Example #36 | Wayfair

What Makes This Ad Great: (This is actually and IG Stories Ad, but it’s too cool not to include) This video ad uses a popular format, the boomerang, which users are familiar seeing on social media platforms. By blending in, this ad feels less like a promotion and more like content, while highlighting a unique product in Wayfair’s inventory.

Facebook Ad Example #37 | Salesforce

What Makes This Ad Great: Holidays are a stressful time for retailers and Salesforce knows that. They also know that their product is not something that a user will choose to purchase directly from a Facebook ad. So, they utilize content that helps their target audience to get through the hardest quarter of the year.

Facebook Ad Example #38 | Shutterfly

What Makes This Ad Great: Did somebody say “lead magnet?” This ad offers up something free to entice users onto the website. Shutterfly is the ultimate lead magnet machine and they don’t shy away from that fact with the majority of their Facebook ads.

Facebook Ad Example #39 | Ollie

What Makes This Ad Great: Quick cuts, loud colors, cute puppies, and a coupon make this video ad unstoppable. Pair that with an emoji checklist of product features and the dogs will be howlin’ at the moon. Okay, I’m sorry. That was too cheesy.

Facebook Ad Example #40 | Ladder

What Makes This Ad Great: This is another ad that does a great job at tackling a customer pain point right from the start. The ad is very relatable and it does an excellent job of scheduling the time to sign up for life insurance without interrupting the customer’s day.

Facebook Ad Example #41 | Social Media Examiner

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad is a great example of turning a single photo into a video. It does a great job of capturing attention with a variety of moving elements and follows that up with a massive discount to entice the user to visit the site and attend the conference. Notice, too, that the ad uses the element of scarcity to nudge the user to act fast.

(NOTE: Want to make creating your own amazing ads easier? Download the FREE Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library so you can just copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get it here.)

Facebook Ad Example #42 | Slack

What Makes This Ad Great: K.I.S.S. I’m not talking about the band, but instead the acronym for “keep it simple, stupid.” This ad captures attention with eye contact and bright colors and uses one line of copy that hits on a customer pain point.

Facebook Ad Example #43 | Spotify

What Makes This Ad Great: This ad is really smart. Instead of paying for everyone to see this ad, they are relying on those that do see it to spread it further. Brands can’t tag specific users in ads, so why not have the users do it for them. This ad is a fun way to keep costs low, but reach a lot of people.

Facebook Ad Example #44 | Upright

What Makes This Ad Great: At first glance, this ad almost looks like a normal user’s Facebook post, helping to capture attention by getting the user to ask, “wait, who is that?” In addition, the video highlights what the product does, the bottom photo shows where to use it, and the photo on the right shows what the product looks like. This ad accomplishes a lot in a small amount of space.

Facebook Ad Example #45 | Daily Harvest

What Makes This Ad Great: As Ezra Firestone mentions on The DigitalMarketer Podcast, customers today are interested in the story behind a product more than ever. This ad does exactly this. Instead of focusing the copy on the features of the product, they focus on the story behind it. Not only that, this ad features a testimonial from a reputable source, building trust amongst the target audience.

Facebook Ad Example #46 | Myro

What Makes This Ad Great: This is another example of an ad that uses a reputable source’s testimonial in the copy. The photo includes eye contact, a glance at the product, and a simple tagline to help paint the picture of how this product will make the customer feel.

Facebook Ad Example #47 | DigitalMarketer

What Makes This Ad Great: Last, but not least comes, an ad from us here at DigitalMarketer. The quick cut between the front of the template and what’s inside is what’s used to capture a user’s attention. The copy then goes on to accomplish a few things. First, a pain point is addressed and solved. Next, the copy works to overcome objections. Finally, the copy puts the user in a relatable scenario, enticing them to continue reading and eventually download the free resource.

(NOTE: Want to make creating your own amazing ads easier? Download the FREE Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library so you can just copy and paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get it here.)

The post 47 Facebook Ad Examples That You Can Swipe for Your Business appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


Chatbots vs. Live Chat: The Questions You Should Ask

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There’s a reason why people say “the first impression is the last impression.” Some 51% of customers never approach a business again after one bad experience. That puts pressure on every interaction—and every missed opportunity—with potential customers, recent purchasers, and long-time users.

Web chat is often the first impression for customer service interactions. While chat services initially connected consumers with real customer service staff, chatbots have become increasingly common—for obvious reasons and with obvious limitations.

Ultimately, no platform guarantees an improved customer experience. Consumers care most about solving their problems. Whether they do it with a person or a chatbot is secondary.


Move Over SEO: How Developers Can Generate You More Traffic

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I’m a marketer. I know more about traffic generation than most others, and I surely know more about marketing than developers.

But what if I told you that developers can generate you more traffic than an SEO or any other type of marketer?

And no, it’s not because the developer implements changes to your site… they are just able to produce more traffic.

What’s crazy about this is that it’s cheaper in the long run than paying marketers.

Most of you know that I have an ad agency, Neil Patel Digital. And although I always want more big companies to pay us, typically a developer can generate you more traf… Read More


How to Transform Cold Leads into Sales Conversations Using LinkedIn

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If you’re not active on LinkedIn, you could be missing out on 80% of your leads.

I know that’s a bold statement, but I wanted to get your attention.

If you’re a B2B marketer or salesperson, LinkedIn is your Pacific Ocean. It’s the biggest body of water there is—the one with the most fish, and the biggest fish.

80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.

Think about that statistic another way.

If LinkedIn accounts for 80% of all B2B leads, and you’re not using it right now… that means you’re only getting 20% of the results you could be getting.

So if you start leveraging LinkedIn to effectively generate new business, then you should be able to 5x your lead flow—from 20% up to 100%.

Sound like a good idea to you?

Great. And I’ve got even more good news for you: in this post, I’m going to show you how to do exactly that.

I’m going to walk you through the 7 steps of creating an all-star LinkedIn profile, and then I’m going to show you how to leverage this awesome platform to make valuable connections that result in new leads and sales conversations.

Why You Need to Use LinkedIn

Let’s look at why LinkedIn is such a critical network. For one thing, it’s huge. It recently passed the half-a-billion user mark (546 million, to be exact), and continues to sprint toward its goal of having 3.3 billion members (one for every person in the workforce worldwide).

If, for whatever reason, you aren’t one of those 546 million, what are you waiting for?

It’s the only big social network that is 100% professional in nature. This is not a place where you’ll find cat videos and vacation pictures. LinkedIn is a network that’s designed to help you find a new job, connect with prospects, and host your professional footprint online.

Those 2 things put together—LinkedIn’s professional nature and its huge size—make it an essential tool for any B2B marketer or salesperson. There’s simply no other place online where you can connect with professionals so effectively and on such a massive scale.

And like I said before: 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.

That stat pretty much says it all.

7 Steps to Creating an All-Star LinkedIn Profile

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to use LinkedIn to generate new leads, it’s a good idea to take some time to clean up your profile. After all, your profile is the first thing people are going to see when you connect with them.

(RELATED: The DigitalMarketer Podcast Episode 7: Why You Should be Using LinkedIn to Boost Sales and Brand Image)

So let’s start things off by making sure you have an all-star LinkedIn profile. To do it, follow these 7 steps:

1. Do Not, I Repeat, Do NOT be Unprofessional

Considering LinkedIn is a professional network, you might assume that most people would realize that means you have to display yourself in a professional manner.

Your profile is the first thing people are going to see when you connect with them.

You’d be wrong.

So let’s start things off by just making sure you aren’t doing anything really, really stupid. This is what we call picking the low-hanging fruit.

Double-check your LinkedIn profile and remove all of the following:

Unprofessional profile pictures…

Unprofessional descriptions…

References to being a ninja (Can we stop being Ninja’s, y’all? Aren’t we past this?)…

More unprofessional profile pictures (Seriously, save your college frat party pictures for Facebook)…

Unprofessional summaries that you copied from Tinder…

And whatever this is…

Feel free to chuckle—some of these were pretty funny—but don’t ignore the lesson here. These are serious mistakes that will completely undermine your authority on LinkedIn. So don’t do them.

Be professional!

2. Get a Decent-Looking Headshot and Banner Image

So first things first: get a recent headshot (no catfishing). And keep in mind, pictures in LinkedIn are small, so it should not be a group shot. You should be the only one in the picture (taking up about 60% of the frame), and you should dress appropriately to the audience you serve.

Another thing you really ought to do—most people miss out on this opportunity—is customize your banner image at the top. Most people are still using the generic banner that comes standard on all LinkedIn profiles:

But I highly recommend updating that and using a customized image that stands out and helps build your credibility. Here’s mine:

The cool thing about a banner photo like this is that it’s also a conversation starter! When people see this photo they’ll often ask about it, where was I, what kind of event was it, and so on. And that leads very naturally into a sales conversation (since the photo is of me at one of our T&C events).

These 2 pictures are the first thing people will see when they click on your profile, so make sure they look good.

3. Remember Your Headline is Not Just Your Job Title

Here’s another thing that a lot of people miss when filling out their profile:

Your headline is not just your job title.

Yes, you should probably mention your job title. But this is one of the most visible parts of your profile. Take advantage of the space you have to call out who you’re looking to connect with.

Here’s how I do it:

I do include my job title, but before that I say, “Executive Sales Leader”—because that’s who I’m looking to connect with.

You could put anything here. If your prospect is agency owners, put “Agency Expert.” If your prospect is small local businesses, put “Consultant for Small Local Businesses.”

You get the idea.

(NOTE: Want to make extra sure that your LinkedIn profile is the best representation of you and is helping you generate the most leads possible? Download your FREE 10-Point LinkedIn Audit for a detailed checklist for turning your profile into a lead-generating machine. Learn more here!)

4. Tell a Story with Your Summary

The summary is yet another part of your LinkedIn profile that’s commonly a missed opportunity.

Most people’s summaries are very bland and boring: “Developer with a demonstrated history of providing valuable contributions to a variety of…”


Nobody wants or needs you to rehash your qualifications, or even list out your greatest qualities. After all, you’ve got a line-by-line account of your job history further down the page, and those great qualities would be much better demonstrated in your endorsements and recommendations. PLUS, these summaries are searchable, so you will be more likely to come up in someone’s search with a good summary.

The point of your summary should be to put all that other stuff into context. You have 2000 characters (and you should use it all) to tell a story about your life and career. Why do you do what you do? Why is it important? Why does it get you fired up?

Here’s my summary for an example:

See how I’m telling a story?

This kind of summary goes a long way in building some rapport with the people who come to your profile. They start to see you as a human being, and not just a bulleted list of generic adjectives. I have 20 people every week who reach out to connect just because they read my summary and feel connected to my mission.

5. Add Media to Build Credibility

You also have the opportunity to add some media to your profile. This is something you don’t see on most profiles, but trust me—adding visual resources like this can go a long way in helping you to show people what you’re all about.

They show up at the bottom of your summary in thumbnails, like this:

Pictures like this help to paint a better picture of what it is you do. Bonus points if your media also helps to build credibility, like a photo of you presenting something onstage.

6. Post Relevant Content and See Who’s Engaging With it

LinkedIn is a great place to post content that’s relevant to your ideal prospects. When you do, it will show up under the “Articles & activity” section of your profile.

Content is a HUGE part of making LinkedIn work for lead generation. I’m going to dig into that topic in greater detail in just a bit, so for right now I’m just going to say that you should be posting relevant content to engage with your ideal prospects.

7. Get Endorsements and Recommendations

If you’re a regular visitor here at DM, you’re probably familiar with social proof—the idea that the best way to build credibility is not to brag about yourself, but to get other people to do it for you. Third-party endorsements and recommendations are always more believable and compelling than anything you say about yourself.

And fortunately, LinkedIn makes it really easy to get those kinds of third-party testimonials.

In the “Skills & Endorsements” section, LinkedIn will display your most relevant skills (which you get to choose) along with the number of people who have endorsed you for that skill. Your goal with endorsements should be to reach 99+, like I have here:

The endorsements section is probably the easiest to spruce up. The best tactic is to go out and endorse other people for the skills they excel at. Most people will return your endorsements in kind.

The second place where you can leverage third-party credibility is in the “Recommendations” section. Here is where you can display positive comments made by other LinkedIn members about their experience working with you:

A few glowing recommendations can go a long way in improving your LinkedIn profile. Especially if your recommendations come from well-known people in your industry, that stamp of approval is going to build a lot of credibility for anyone looking at your profile.

So how do you get recommendations on LinkedIn? Simple: just go out and ask for them.

Talk to people you’ve worked with, people you have a good relationship with, people who are leaders in your industry that you’ve done good work for, and ask them to write you a quick recommendation. You might be surprised by how many will respond.

How LinkedIn Fits in With the Sales Process

Earlier in this post, I wrote that if you do any sort of B2B marketing or selling, you have to use LinkedIn.

Notice the wording I used there. I said, “You have to USE LinkedIn.”

I didn’t say, “You have to be on LinkedIn.” Everybody is “on” LinkedIn.

But only a small fraction of savvy marketers and salespeople actually USE it effectively.

It’s a small distinction, but a critical one.

And that’s why, if you want to be one of the small percentages of people who extract the overwhelming majority of new business out of LinkedIn, you have to change the way you think about this network altogether. You have to stop thinking of it as your online resume and start thinking of it as an online channel to do these 2 things:

Everybody is “on” LinkedIn. But only a small fraction of savvy marketers and salespeople actually USE it effectively.

Post content that is relevant to your ideal prospects
Connect with the right people in the right industries and positions

If you do these 2 things on LinkedIn on a regular basis, it will help you to keep your sales pipeline full at all times.

(And the best salespeople will tell you that THAT—keeping their pipeline full at all times—is the real key to sales success.)

So let’s unpack those 2 things and how to accomplish them.

Step 1: Post Relevant Content

The best way I’ve found of reaching potential leads and starting sales conversations with them is to consistently post content.

If you post high-quality, targeted content that speaks to your ideal prospect, that content is going to naturally find its way into the activity feeds of the people you want to talk to the most. And it’s going to make it much easier for you to get a conversation started with those people and direct that conversation in the direction you want it to go.

This is a process that you can refine over time. Start by posting content, and then view the stats for that content to see if you’re reaching the right people.

For example, this post of mine did really well in terms of reach. It generated over 42,000 views, 3,100 likes, 350 comments, and 800 shares:

So, that’s pretty cool. But who are those 42,000 people who read the article? Are they the kind of people I’m trying to connect with?

You can find that out by clicking “View stats.” Do that, and LinkedIn will show you a detailed breakdown of who viewed and shared your content:

So you can see this particular article generated engagement all over the place: from recruiters, strategists, CEOS, marketing specialists, and more.

If those are the kinds of people I’m trying to reach—then that’s good news! This article is working well, and I should post more just like it.

If those aren’t the kinds of people I’m trying to reach—that’s OK. It’s a data point. And it’s incredibly valuable data because it tells me whether or not my content is resonating with the right kind of person. If you’re trying to reach decision-makers, for example, then they should be the ones reading your content (Partners, Owners, VPs, C-level executives, etc.).

There are several ways I can rework the piece to reach the right people. Maybe I should try repositioning the article or rewriting the headline to speak more to my desired audience and see if that helps me.

And when someone reads a post of yours on LinkedIn, it becomes a lot easier for you to connect and start a conversation with that person. Which brings us to…

Step 2: Connect With The Right People

Ultimately you want to use LinkedIn to connect with potential leads and open up sales conversations with them.

So how do you do that?

Well, it becomes a lot easier if you follow my advice and post relevant content that reaches your ideal prospects.

For one thing, it can lead to profile views if someone reads your article and wants to learn more about the person who wrote it. When that happens, they’ll show up under “Who viewed your profile.”

And if you’re posting content regularly, this section of LinkedIn should give you a never-ending list of people you can reach out to.

Another way to connect with people is to jump to the “Notifications” section. To get there, just click the bell at the top of the screen.

Here you’ll see a list of everyone who has interacted with your posts on LinkedIn.

This is another great list of people to connect with because they’ve already read and engaged with something you’ve put out there. You have a common interest and a conversation starter.

OK, so now we’ve talked about some of the places you can go to find people to connect with. Your next question might be: How do you actually connect with people? Should you just send them a connection request and launch straight into your sales pitch?

In a word, no.

Keep in mind, people are used to getting spammy pitches these days and they won’t hesitate to close your message and ignore you forever if they think that’s what you’re doing.

A much better strategy is to reach out to people with a personalized message. You can do this with mutual connections (you can find this right on the person’s profile)…

…or you can reach out to new connections directly through their profile.

But make sure you use and personalize the 300-character message when requesting a connection.

This will set you apart and give the person some context to who they are, so they will be more likely to accept.

This is a much better way of starting a conversation.

(RELATED: The 5-Message Sequence: A LinkedIn Marketing Strategy that Generated $101k+ in 9 Months)

And you can make this even MORE effective by leveraging “Active Status” to start conversations with people only when you know they’re online and available right now. Active Status shows up as a green dot in the in the lower-right part of your profile picture.

Those are some of the basics of using LinkedIn to find and connect with good prospects. But once you get the hang of those basics, I highly recommend upgrading to something called LinkedIn Sales Navigator to really get the most out of this network.

(NOTE: Want to make extra sure that your LinkedIn profile is the best representation of you and is helping you generate the most leads possible? Download your FREE 10-Point LinkedIn Audit for a detailed checklist for turning your profile into a lead-generating machine. Learn more here!)

How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Connect with Your Ideal Prospects

LinkedIn Sales Navigator has probably been the best investment that I’ve made personally and for my team. So yes, it does cost some money. But if you use it to its full potential, it’s well worth every penny.

When you log into Sales Navigator, you’ll see a feed. This feed will be empty at first until you start saving leads. Here’s mine:

So how do you find leads? Basically, just search for them—click “Advanced” in the search bar and click on “Search for leads”:

A window will pop up showing you all kinds of ways to search for people based on their location, industry, title, seniority level, and so on.

And the great thing about this tool is that because LinkedIn has so many users, you can get really dialed-in with your targeting and still reach a lot of people. For example, here I’m searched for “marketing agency” in Texas and still got 69,008 results.

Now, 69,000 is still too big, so I’m going to narrow this further by targeting the people I really want to be talking to—the decision makers. And if I filter for Partners, Owners, VPs, and Directors, I still get 14,520 results.

So now I can see a list of all these results—people who would be really great leads. To save them as a lead in Sales Navigator, just click “Save as lead” on the right.

When you save someone as a lead, they’ll show up on your dashboard—and you’ll see all their activity in your feed.

There’s another useful tool in the panel at the very top of the search results.

Using this panel, you can even filter for profiles of people who have changed jobs, been mentioned in the news, or those who are connected with your team in some way (meaning you can get an easy introduction).

And you can use this information to help start a conversation. For example, say I click to filter for all the profiles that have been mentioned in the news in the past 30 days.

Now you have a really easy conversation starter for 90+ high-quality leads. Just mention that you saw them in the news and wanted to connect.

And while I’m on the topic of starting conversations, remember this:

These days, starting a sales conversation is just starting a regular conversation.

You have a lot of data on these people—you know where they’re located, what kind of work they do, what connections you have in common, where they’ve been mentioned in the media. You can filter profiles that are active (have posted on LinkedIn in the last 30 days), that have shared experiences with you, or that follow your company on LinkedIn.

These are all really great data points you can use to strike up a conversation.

Striking up a conversation on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be complicated. I send a lot of really simple, thoughtful messages like this:

Notice that I’m not being annoying or asking them to buy something right away—I’m just dropping a nice little note that people are much more likely to appreciate and respond to.

These days, starting a sales conversation is just starting a regular conversation.

(On average I get a ~90% response rate to messages like this.)

Another thing that I love about Sales Navigator is that you don’t have to be connected to these people to send them a message. You can send Sales Navigator InMail messages without connecting first.

So to sum it up—LinkedIn Navigator. Yeah. You gotta get it. It’s awesome, it lets you find and connect with your ideal prospects much, much better than you could without it. I highly recommend it.

Other LinkedIn Tools I Recommend

Let’s assume you’re using LinkedIn Navigator, and you want to kick up your results even further. What can you do?

Here are a few additional tools that I find useful for prospecting:

Tool #1: Sales Navigator Plugin

If you’re a Chrome user, it’s a no-brainer to start using the Sales Navigator plugin. This will pull information from LinkedIn right into your browser.

Here’s an example. I got an email from Parker, and the Sales Navigator plugin automatically displayed his information right there beside the email—so I could instantly see his title, location, shared connections, and more.

Using this tool, you can save someone as a lead or add them as a connection right from your browser. Super fast and convenient.

Tool #2: Native QR Codes

QR Codes may seem pretty useless and feel like you took a step back in the tech time bubble… unless that QR code is native to the BIGGEST professional networks in the world.

Do you still use business cards? Me either… and I’m not saying you “shouldn’t” have business cards; I’m just saying they are old and out of date.

Meet your new business card.

Now, instead of rummaging around in your wallet or purse for a bent, boring card, you just use your phone’s camera to connect instantly to the person’s profile and see all their info (much more than you can fit on a 3.5 x 2’ piece of paper).

It’s as easy as that.

Tool #3: PointDrive

If you’re using Sales Navigator, you’ll also get access to a tool called PointDrive.

PointDrive gives you a much easier and more professional way to share slides, presentations, and any other sales collateral. Instead of having to email a half-dozen attachments a hundred times a day, just use PointDrive to create a great-looking presentation like this:

This makes it really easy for people to view your documents and resources. And PointDrive also tracks your visitors’ activity—so you’ll get deeper insights into how they’re interacting with these materials. AND, it can also connect you with the coworkers of who you send things to, so it is one more way to grow your network.

If you send this presentation to the owner of a company, for example, you’ll be able to see who they shared it with. Did they forward it to a VP or a Partner? This gives you a better idea of who’s involved in the buying process, so you can tailor your approach to include the right people.

The Secret to More Effective Prospecting on LinkedIn

You’re almost there guys. We’ve covered a lot in this post, I know, but before I send you on your way, I want to take a little time to go deeper.

And always remember that in today’s world, it’s the strategic, helpful, and empathetic salesperson who wins.

We’ve talked about the tools and the tactics. But what about the mindsets?

I think it’s essential for any salesperson to realize what prospecting on LinkedIn really is at the end of the day:

Prospecting on LinkedIn is a series of failures that results in a YES.

It’s not a quick process, and it doesn’t generate instantaneous sales. In order for this to work you have to be consistent in your follow-up. People need to get to know you are your brand before they are willing to fork over any money.

A lot of people forget that, and it causes them to miss out on sales.

The message here, I hope, is obvious: be persistent in your follow-up, and consistent in your prospecting. Follow the ABCs (Always Be Connecting) to keep your pipeline full at all times. I recommend blocking out 30 minutes, twice a day, to do your LinkedIn prospecting.

And always remember that in today’s world, it’s the strategic, helpful, and empathetic salesperson who wins.

(NOTE: Want to make extra sure that your LinkedIn profile is the best representation of you and is helping you generate the most leads possible? Download your FREE 10-Point LinkedIn Audit for a detailed checklist for turning your profile into a lead-generating machine. Learn more here!)

The post How to Transform Cold Leads into Sales Conversations Using LinkedIn appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


A Blog Isn’t a Blog, It’s a Business

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I wrote my very first blog post on July 24, 2005. That blog post is no longer live because it was terrible.

The post was called, “Winning the Search Engine Marketing War.”

It was 412 words long, contained no images, no external links, and it didn’t provide much value because it didn’t teach you anything.

But you know what, back in 2005, the blog post was pretty darn good.

See, I wasn’t competing with a lot of blogs back then. Currently, there are well over 440 million blogs and back in 2011, that number was 173 million. And in 2005, the web was still so small that there were only 64 million websites (with only a small portion of them being blogs).

In other words, my first blog post was pretty darn good because something is better than nothing. People were just happy to get some information, even though it wasn’t great.

But over the years, blogging has changed. What it used to be in 2005, isn’t what it is today.

What blogging used to be

A blog used to just be a blog.

It was a place where you would share your personal experiences with the world. From photos of the places you traveled to and blogging about the food you ate to even sharing personal information about your family life…

In 2005, social networks weren’t popular. Facebook launched in 2004, but it wasn’t what it is now. And sites like MySpace focused heavily on music.

As social networks evolved, people realized it was easier to share personal stories on Facebook and Instagram than it was to write a whole blog post.

Over 250 million people share what they are doing in their personal life each day just on Instagram. All you have to do is talk (or look) into your phone for just a few seconds. It’s really that simple.

And that’s why more of you use social networks on a daily basis than a blog.

Just think of it this way… if you wanted to update your friends on your life, is it easier for you to just upload some pictures to Facebook or is it easier for you to write a blog post?

Of course, it’s easier to just upload some photos to Facebook. It’s why Facebook is so popular.

For that reason, people started to focus their attention on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat over blogging.

So why do people continually create more blogs?

There are many reasons why blogs have grown in popularity. As I mentioned above, there are well over 400 million blogs today.

The biggest reason why blogs have grown in popularity is that you are an end user and continue consuming the content that blogs put out.

Just in the United States alone, 42.23% of people from the ages of 18 to 49 read blogs.

And because people want to read blogs, Google has no choice but to rank them. The average page that is listed on page one of Google has 1,890 words:

There are many reasons you may want to create a blog, but from someone who blogs on a weekly basis and has been for 13 years, here are the main reasons to have a blog:

You control your own destiny – social networks have restricted how many of your friends actually see your content. With a blog, you have more control over your destiny. You can collect emails to get people back to your site, you can build a push notification subscriber list, you can rank your content on Google… overall, it’s just easier to get a consistent stream of traffic from a blog than it is from a social profile because you aren’t relying on 1 traffic source. This is more important than ever because the top referring sites on the web are starting to send less traffic out to other sites.
Paid ads are expensive – Google generate 6 billion dollars in ad revenue in 2005 and that number shot up to 95 billion in 2017. With ad costs continually rising, you have no choice as a business but to find other traffic channels. A blog is an obvious question as Google loves ranking text-based content. Just look at Wikipedia, they rank for everything and generate 5.4 billion visits a month.
Marketing has moved to an omnichannel approach – there are currently 1,766,926,408 websites on the web. In 2005 that number was only 64,780,617. That’s a 2,627% increase. That means you as a business have more competition online, which gives consumers more choices. Why should someone choose you over the competition? Well, branding plays a huge part, if you can get a consumer to see or hear about your brand 7 times they are much more likely to be a customer. A blog creates another additional touchpoint.

A blog isn’t a blog, it’s a business

As more sites have come online, SEO has become more competitive. Yes, more people are using Google, but they are searching for the same popular terms.

With Ubersuggest, we have a database of 646,777,704 keywords.

And out of those keywords, only 15,301,405 keywords generate a search volume of an excess of 10,000 searches per month.

As more people come online, it doesn’t mean that they search for brand new keywords. It just means that the popular terms get even more popular.

That’s why it is harder to get people to come to your site over the competition because you are competing with more companies to get those eyeballs.

See, as SEO has become more competitive, you have no choice but to treat it as a business. It takes time and money to produce content. It takes time and money to promote your content. And then once you have those visitors, it takes more time and money to convert those visitors into paying customers.

In other words, because it is so competitive, you won’t do that well unless you put in tons of time or money (or ideally both).

Just look at Quick Sprout, the marketing blog I don’t put much money into it. Even though it’s older than, it generates a lot less traffic. blog generates 693% more traffic because I put over 6 figures into the blog each month (mainly in developing free tools and creating audio and video content), and I treat it like a business.


Look, I am not trying to persuade you into building a blog. But I believe most companies should have a blog. And if you don’t have one, just follow this guide to get up and running.

A blog is the only way you are going to rank well on Google and generate traffic without directly paying for it by using Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.

But if you want to do well, you can’t treat your blog like a “blog”… you have to treat it like a business. If you don’t, then you won’t do well.

Here are the 3 important steps you need to take if you want to do well:

Focus on writing amazing content consistently – it’s not about writing one or two amazing posts… you have to be consistently awesome. The market is so competitive, you can’t write 400-word blog posts as I did in 2005. Sure, if you are in a new niche with no competition, by all means, write 400-word posts, but the chances are you are going to eventually have some competition. And if you don’t have the time, you should just hire a writer to help you out.
Promote your content – after you have content, you’ll have to promote it. Promotion isn’t easy but I’ve broken it down into 4 steps for you. Just follow them and you’ll do well.
Focus on monetization last – most bloggers who get this far face one big problem… as their traffic increases their revenue typically stays flat. Just because you have more visitors, it doesn’t guarantee an increase in revenue. Towards the end of this blog post, I teach you how to convert those visitors into leads and customers. Follow them.
Don’t forget about voice – I know I said you only have to follow 3 steps, but if you’ve followed all of them successfully, you’ll need to start thinking about voice. 40% of adults use voice search daily, so don’t take it for granted. Follow this guide to ensure that you capture the voice search market share before your competition.

What do you think about blogging? Are you going to start taking it seriously?

The post A Blog Isn’t a Blog, It’s a Business appeared first on Neil Patel.


Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature: Everything You Need to Know

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Facebook Messenger ads are all the craze right now.

They’re the most PERSONAL ad type on the market.

Our culture has bred an expectation of instantaneous communication. Whether through text, chat, or social media… when someone sends you a message, you FEEL the need to respond in a timely manner (or at least most of us do ☺).

Think about it—this is what makes Facebook Messenger marketing so powerful. It taps into a channel that 1+ billion people are already using… and also facilitates communication in a way that people now expect.

As messenger becomes a more and more common communication channel for companies, the brands that utilize messenger to communicate with their prospects and customers will win.

In a separate post I explained the ins-and-outs of Facebook Messenger Ads, and now I’m going to expand on that information by highlighting one of the most popular messenger marketing features out there: the comment-to-messenger tool.

The way this tool works is pretty simple, really cool, and ultra-effective. Basically, you just sync a Facebook post (or ad) with your favorite messenger marketing tool (mine is definitely ManyChat)…

…and it will automatically message anyone who comments on that post!

And as always, if they interact with your bot then they will be added to your subscriber list and you can continue to follow up with them via messenger.

This is really exciting stuff, guys.

Today, I’ll be explaining the details of this tool:

What it’s good for
When to use it
And tips to get the best results possible from your comment-to-messenger campaigns

But before we talk about the “how,” let’s talk about…

Why Does Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature Matter?

It’s an easy way to build messenger subscribers

Facebook allows you to build a “list” of messenger subscribers that you can later send broadcasts to (similar to email, but we’re seeing 80%+ open rates). If you read this post, you know why this is so important.

To become a messenger subscriber, someone simply has to have messaged your page in the past. If you use the feature the way I outline below, you can build a subscriber list using the same comment-to-message strategy we are… without even buying ads.

Increases relevance score

If you are using the comment-to-message strategy and then turning that post into an ad, this is going to significantly increase relevance score.

Relevance score is a number out of 10 that Facebook uses to tell advertisers how relevant their ad is to the audience in which they’re targeting.

The higher the relevance score, the more reach your ad gets and the lower the cost.

Social proof weighs heavily on your relevance score, so the more positive comments, shares, and reactions that your post gets, the higher the score.

By accumulating a ton of comments on your post using this strategy, you are in turn increasing your relevance score—and encouraging Facebook to show your post to even more people.

It’s a great strategy to generate leads and sales (isn’t that what we REALLY want?)

This strategy isn’t just about “talking” or “building a list.” You can use it to generate leads and sales for your business, too.

The key is to make sure your post leads to an ideal sales conversation for your business.

Asking people to comment with their favorite color just to build your messenger list isn’t the best way to use this feature (unless you’re selling something that has to do with coloring ).

You can use ManyChat to set up an automated follow-up sequence that eventually leads someone to a sale. You can also use ManyChat’s tagging system to segment audiences so that you can make them an offer that’s most relevant to them.

How Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature Works

So, how does it work?

I’m glad you asked!

First I’m going to explain the big picture, to help give you some context. Then I’ll walk you through an example just to make sure everything is 100% clear. And finally, I’ll dive into the specifics of exactly how to get started using this tool in your own business.

In a nutshell, the comment-to-messenger feature works like this:

Create a Facebook post. I recommend asking a polarizing question and letting people know that when they leave a comment they will automatically receive a message on messenger.
Set up the comment-to-messenger growth tool inside of ManyChat and sync it with the post you created in Step 1. Part of this will include deciding on what message(s) people will receive when they comment on your post.
If you want to promote your post as an ad, you can set that up inside the Ads Manager. Just be sure to choose “Engagement” as your objective.

Here’s an example of what this looks like from the user’s perspective.

First, you’ll see a post in your newsfeed (it could be a paid ad or an organic post). Like this one:

Notice how the post sets your expectation—it tells you that if you leave a comment, you’ll get a response via messenger.

After you post a comment, you’ll automatically get this message:

Scroll down and you’ll see the offer being promoted—a free container of protein:

And finally, see how easy it is to respond—just tap “Heck Yes!” or “No, thanks”:

Pretty simple, right? As the user, all you have to do is comment on a post, read a short message inside of messenger, and click “Yes” to claim the offer.

If you interact with the bot in any way—even if it’s to say “No, thanks”—you will be automatically subscribed to this advertiser’s messenger list. Then over the next few days, you’ll continue to receive follow-up messages from them.

And as you can see here, those follow-up sequences can be extremely effective:

Open rates of 88.4%-98.5%, and click-through rates of 18.8%-80.7%?

Compared to traditional email marketing engagement metrics, those numbers are INSANE. (In a good way.)

(NOTE: Ready to get started with your own Messenger bot? Check out our BRAND NEW 6-Step Facebook Messenger Bot Builder to get our exclusive strategy that makes running your Messenger Bots easy for any business. And if you act now, you can get this Execution Plan for 85% OFF! Learn more here.)

Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature in Action

This is still a relatively new feature, so we’re still testing and finding ways to use it ourselves.

But, we’ve already seen some other marketers do cool things on their own pages.

Our good friend, Derek Halpern, recently published a post in which he asked a question: “What is a good (and realistic) sales page conversion rate?”

Once you comment on this post with your guess, Derek sends you a message with the answer. He also takes advantage of your attention to make a relevant offer and send interested visitors to a webinar registration page:

Derek then broadcasted to his messenger list a few days later…

Cole from Sherpa Metrics also used this functionality to generate 500+ messenger subscribers and to segment his audience in efforts to make relevant offers…

Then he followed up to further segment the audience…

Within 36 hours, Cole was already seeing insane open and click-through rates…

How to Set Up Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature

It may seem complicated, but this feature is actually pretty easy to put into action.

Step 1 is to create the post that you’ll use. And to do this, you have 2 options:

You can use a normal post that anyone can see on your wall
Or you can create a post in the Business Manager that won’t be front-facing on your Facebook page. To do that, just make your way to the Page Posts area here:

The only difference is whether the post will be shown on your Facebook page or not. If it’s not, you’ll need to promote the post through an ad in order to generate impressions.

Step 2 is to set up your growth tool. To do that, just log into your ManyChat account and click on “Growth Tools” and then “+ New Growth Tool”:

Then choose “Facebook Comments”:

You then have the option to select the post you’d like to use based on its URL, post ID, or a dropdown list of recent posts to your page:

Notice that you can choose to send messages after a certain period of time, to exclude certain keywords, and to only trigger comments for certain keywords…

For the best results, here are the settings I typically recommend:

Track first-level comments only: Turn this ON
When user leaves a comment, send message after: Immediately
Exclude comments with these keywords: Leave this blank
Only trigger for comments with these keywords: Leave this blank

Next, you’ll click the “Auto-response” button:

This is where you’ll craft the automatic response that people will receive in their inbox after they comment on your post. This response should deliver on the promise you made in the post, and prompt the user to engage with you (so they’ll become a subscriber).

Notice the sentence in parentheses at the bottom of our welcome message:

Facebook automatically adds a link back to the original post, so we always put a line of text here telling people to ignore that link so it doesn’t cause confusion.

Then, you’ll hit “Back” and then “Save.”

Next, How Do We Trigger Specific Follow-Up Messages for Certain Keywords?

You need to set up automation for the keyword you’re asking them to type into messenger. For example, in one of our campaigns, we set up an automation that delivers a free report to anyone who types the word “guide.”

As you can see above, we clicked the “Keywords” button under “Automation.”

We then created a new rule that when people typed “guide,” we responded with…

We also told ManyChat that we wanted to tag them as having downloaded this report…

The tagging is important because now we can visit the “audience” tab and see how many people have messaged from that particular post, AND we can subscribe everyone with that tag to a particular follow-up sequence…

Using this feature we’re able to generate lots of high-quality leads and customers while helping us to learn more about our audience at the same time.

Comment-to-messenger is definitely not the best growth tool for every possible situation. But it works great for generating a discussion on Facebook that transitions to messenger.

And it gives you a lot of freedom to get creative with how you engage with your customers. So definitely brainstorm new and creative ways to use this tool.

(NOTE: Ready to get started with your own Messenger bot? Check out our BRAND NEW 6-Step Facebook Messenger Bot Builder to get our exclusive strategy that makes running your Messenger Bots easy for any business. And if you act now, you can get this Execution Plan for 85% OFF! Learn more here.)

In the meantime, here are a few best practices that I’ve picked up from my experience using it:

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of the Comment-to-Message Growth Tool
1) Ask a polarizing question

Your goal should be to generate is what Facebook calls “authentic engagement.”

In any comment-to-messenger post, your goal is to generate engagement and discussion around a topic that is relevant to your audience. And the best way I’ve found to do that is to ask a polarizing question that sparks some curiosity and debate. Something that will compel people to share their own feelings, while making them wonder what your brand thinks on the topic.

For example, if you were in the typewriter-selling business, your audience would consist of writers. Here’s an example of a polarizing question post that might appeal to writers:

2) Set the proper expectation

Take a look at that picture again, and re-read the last sentence. See how I specify, very clearly, what will happen after you leave a comment?

You want to do this on all your comment-to-messenger posts. This is a new feature and most people won’t expect a message to pop up after they leave a comment, so make sure to set that expectation so people know what’s coming.

3) Track first-level comments only

When setting up your growth tool, I recommend tracking first-level comments only. Here’s where you can change this setting:

Switch that setting to “on.” Basically it just means that if somebody tags a friend in their comment, and that friend replies to the original comment, the friend will not receive your automatic message.

Here’s how this would work:

Since anyone replying to a comment is probably more interested in responding to their friend than getting your auto-message, this generally results in a nicer experience for everybody.

4) When using comment-to-messenger in combination with Facebook ads, make sure to use “Engagement” as your objective

This makes sense when you think about it. What you really want is for people to comment on your post so you can transition them to messenger.

And because you’re asking people to comment, you’ll want to stick with just the Facebook feed as your placement:

5) Watch out for “engagement bait”

One thing you’ll need to be careful of when using this tool is posting what Facebook now calls “engagement bait.” And this is such an important point that I’m going to give it a subhead so all the people who are just scanning this article will notice it.

Warning: Avoid Posting “Engagement Bait”

In the past, many marketers (myself included) wrote posts that urged people into interacting with a specific post. Here are a few examples from Facebook:

The problem with engagement bait is that it can feel kinda spammy, and in many cases, it leads to low-quality engagement rather than real discussion.

You need to watch out for this when you’re using comment-to-messenger because it can be easy to create an engagement bait post without even meaning to. Here’s an example of a post we created here at DigitalMarketer over a year ago. At the time it was fine, but today it might fall under the category of “engagement bait”:

Here’s another example:

Keep in mind, back in early 2017, this was a perfectly acceptable use of this tool.

Today, however, things are different. If you publish a post like this now, Facebook will punish you with a lower reach. And if you repeatedly share engagement bait posts, you “will see more significant drops in reach.” (Facebook’s words.)

So the take-home message is, don’t do that.

Instead, your goal should be to generate what Facebook calls “authentic engagement.”

And that’s what this tool is really all about. Having real conversations with your audience, about the things that matter to them. You have so much to gain when you hear your audience’s real voices and real opinions.

Not only can it lead to a lot of warm sales conversations, it can also help you to learn more about the people you’re serving in your business, what their biggest challenges are, and how you can help them even more.

(NOTE: Ready to get started with your own Messenger bot? Check out our BRAND NEW 6-Step Facebook Messenger Bot Builder to get our exclusive strategy that makes running your Messenger Bots easy for any business. And if you act now, you can get this Execution Plan for 85% OFF! Learn more here.)

The post Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


Write Compelling Email Copy: 4 Questions to Ask Before You Write Your Next Email

sourced from:

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but…

No one, especially not your ideal customer, is sitting around wondering why they haven’t gotten your promotional email today.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Your prospects are busy people, and they’ve got important things going on in their lives.

Oh and they probably receive at least twenty emails from other companies each day, all wanting the same thing you want, their attention (and maybe their money too, but that comes second).

When you send an email out to your list, you have only a few seconds to grab their attention before they delete it and move on with their day.

So how can you make the MOST of those precious seconds and start to bridge the gap from interruption…

…to attention…

…to transaction?

The answer is simple but not easy.

(Wrap your mind around that for a second…)

Here at DigitalMarketer, we’ve come up with 4 simple questions we ask ourselves before we write every email. I’m betting that if you answer the same 4 questions, your emails will be more relevant, compelling, and engaging to your audience.

Oh, and you’ll probably generate more sales too…

Let’s get started with the first question!

Question 1: “Why Now?”

Email by nature is interruptive. So when you interrupt someone, you’d better be able to quickly explain why… and it had better be good.

That being said, maybe a better way to ask this question is:

“Why should your subscriber stop what they’re doing and give you their attention NOW?”

Keep in mind there are probably 2 very different answers to this question: there’s your answer, that ultimately benefits YOU, and there’s what you say to your subscriber… and it better benefit them (or you shouldn’t be interrupting them in the first place).

Your answer might be:

“I’m sending you this email now to increase sales.”  


“Because I spent money to get you on this email list and my boss is insisting that I need to show a profit on that advertising spend.”

While this may be an honest answer to the question for you, it can’t be the answer you tell the person receiving the email.

Imagine receiving an email like that yourself…

“Sorry to interrupt but I’m about to miss my quota so could you please stop what you’re doing and buy this real quickly? Thanks!”

While that email would probably grab your intention, and likely even move you to action… it probably would not be a purchasing action.

Instead of focusing on your why, the answer needs to focus on your customer. Ask the question “Why now?” from their point of view.

Instead of focusing on your why, the answer needs to focus on your customer.

In some cases the answer will be straightforward, because your offer will be…

Because it’s new…
Because it’s on sale
Because it’s time-limited or time-sensitive…
Because it’s exclusive

Here’s a great example from Kate Spade. They answer the question “Why now?” right in the subject line of their email:

Why is Kate Spade emailing you now? The answer is clear:

Because there’s a $99 sale going on, and you have only 1 day to take advantage of it!

But what if none of those things are true? What if your email isn’t new, promoting a sale, time-limited, exclusive, or timely? Then how do you answer this question?

Start by thinking about some of the resources you have available. You may not have a sale or a time-limited offer to promote, but do you have customer reviews or testimonials? Case studies? Valuable content?

Are any of those resources relevant to your prospect’s situation right now?

Let’s say that you have a testimonial from a customer who was skeptical at first, but then purchased your product and experienced great results.

In that case, you could say something like this in an email to prospects who have not yet converted:

Hey [Name],

I got this in my inbox last night and it made me think of you.

I know you said you wanted to achieve [desired end result], and thought it might be helpful for you to hear how someone else did it using our product or service.

See what we’re doing here?

First of all, we start out by telling the prospect that we were thinking about them. This triggers a  powerful emotional reaction..

Most people are only thought about by their parents, their spouse, their kids maybe a few close friends.

So telling someone “I was thinking about you last night…” is a great way of grabbing their attention—because it’s not something most of us hear very often.

Psychologically, it’s a powerful thing to say because it makes them FEEL thought of.

It also answers the first question. Why am I emailing you now? Well, in this case, because I saw something that made me think of you.

This is a great way of grabbing the prospect’s attention… and then focusing that attention on one of your customer stories or testimonials that addresses their current objections from a credible third-party source, someone just like them.

Question 2: “Who Cares?”

Now that you’ve cleared up why you’re emailing the person NOW, the next thing you need to figure out is…

“Who cares?”

In other words, who would be most affected, positively or negatively, by having or not having your product or service?

This question is important because it tells your ideal customer that you understand who they are and what they want… you’re a friend who listens when they talk and is here to help.

In traditional direct response, this was often done with pre-headlines that read something like this:

“Attention: Sales people who need more leads”

“Attention: Ecommerce sellers who need more sales”

“Attention: Anyone who wants to get a better night’s sleep”

I’m not saying you need to go that far in your emails. But the idea of calling out your audience is definitely a shortcut that will grab their attention by letting them know right away that you’re speaking to them or at least speaking about something that they’re interested in.

This is an effective strategy that we used in our emails at DigitalMarketer quite often. Here’s an example of an email calling out a specific audience (marketing agencies):

If you use this technique in your emails, just make sure that you’re being specific enough without being too specific.

For example, if you begin your email:

“Dear VP of Marketing…”

That’s a really specific opening. It’s probably going to turn off anyone who doesn’t fit that exact title.

What if your audience could include Directors or Marketing, Marketing Managers, and so on?

The trick here is to be specific enough to include everyone in your target market… without being so broad that you aren’t really speaking to anyone in particular.

You want your prospect to open your email and instantly think:

“Oh, they’re talking to ME here.”

(NOTE: Tired of your email marketing being mostly guess work? Use this FREE plug and play guide and tracking sheet to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy. Download it here!)

Question 3: “Why Should They Care?”

Now that you’ve clarified “who,” it’s your job to paint a clear picture of “why.”

“Why should they care??”

Why should your subscriber or prospect care about the message in your email?

If you’re promoting a product or service, how is that product or service going to benefit them?

What does their life look like before and after they start using your product or service?

How will you make their average day better or easier?

This is a crucial question to ask, and answer, because it’s so easy to spend the entire email talking about yourself…

“We’re the #1…”

“Our product is…”

“For years we’ve been…”

The truth is that none of your prospects care about you, your company, or your product.

They care about themselves. And the only way they’re going to become interested in your product is if they can see how it benefits them.

One of the oldest and easiest ways of demonstrating this is with a good old before and after (B&A) picture. These images are extremely persuasive for weight-loss products because they show you, at a glance, how dramatically the product can benefit the reader.

Here’s an example of a B&A pic from a BioTrust email:

If you can portray the benefit of your product or service in a visual way like this, that’s a powerful way of communicating value and convincing people to care about what you have to say.

Communicating benefits like this might sound fairly straightforward. And often, it is. But let me make a caveat:

Sometimes you will need to take extra steps to make sure to explain how your product or service is going to benefit your prospect—because this is not always self-evident to your readers the way it seems self-evident to you.

Just what do I mean by that?

As marketers and salespeople, we have to deal with the curse of knowledge.

We’re so close to our own business that we know it inside and out… and sometimes it’s hard to forget what we know and see things from our customer’s point of view.

And because of this curse of knowledge, sometimes we assume that our audience is going to connect the dots when they really aren’t.

Here’s a snippet of copy from an email I received:

This copy is good and it points out some great features that probably really resonate and call out to their ideal customer. BUT, I’d be willing to bet that it would have worked even better if it would have FIRST focused on the desired end result or ideal day, something like this:

“Imagine standing up from your desk 20 minutes after 5,000 words just flowed fluidly on to the page… your work was automatically saved and backed up safely so you don’t even have to press save before you take a quick walk as a reward for a job well done.”

This bridges the gap between what you know about the benefits of your product and the features that lead to your prospect experiencing them.

Think about it, the original copy asks a lot of the person reading the email.

They have to:

Know the benefit of setting session goals
Know the pain of losing work because it didn’t automatically save (and connect that pain to this product as a solution)
Acknowledge that distractions are a big reason that they’re not getting their writing done

What does their life look like before and after they start using your product or service?

In a nutshell, this paragraph tells you what the product does… but it doesn’t tell you why you should care. Just adding my copy before their copy changes everything because the reader understands that the end result is finishing their writing and then rewarding themselves.

They have to say, “I want to experience that” before they can ask “how”…

Let’s go through another example. Imagine we’re sending an email to promote an offer—let’s say it’s a Facebook ads course.

Now because we’re marketing experts, and we’re thoroughly familiar with this course (not to mention Facebook advertising in general), it’s easy for us to assume that the person reading this email will instantly grasp how this offer can benefit them by bringing traffic to their website, retargeting website visitors who didn’t convert, and so on.

But maybe they won’t.

Maybe they don’t know much about Facebook advertising. They might assume that it is only for companies with a huge social media following, or B2C companies, etc. They might not realize how much this FB ads course could help their business.

When that happens, your reader is often left wondering: “Is this relevant to my situation? Will this work for MY company?”

And the odds are pretty high that they’re going to close out of your email without ever really listening to what you have to say—because they didn’t understand WHY they should care about your message.

That’s why we, as marketers, sometimes need to make that connection for them. Here’s an example of how we accomplished this using bullet points in an email for our Customer Acquisition Specialist Masterclass & Certification:

Here, as you can see, we’re telling people exactly why they should care about this mastery course. Because it will help you build an automated traffic system that generates leads and sales for your business 24 hours a day. Because you’ll learn how to analyze the metrics that actually matter to help you scale your campaigns. And so on.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind. The more evocative you can be when you’re communicating these benefits, the better.

For example, if you’re in the golf industry then your ideal customer is obviously a golfer but you wouldn’t just say “Hey, want to golf better? Or even “Want to shoot a lower score?”

It’s not specific enough… no one knows exactly what it feels like to “shoot a lower score.”

If you wanted to speak to their language, you’d say something like:

“This will add 50 yards to your drive”

That gets the message across, technically, but it doesn’t help the person to FEEL that benefit.

Now if you can paint a picture and evoke an emotional response, your message will make a much bigger impact on the reader. Notice how much more powerful this feels:

“Imagine you walk up to the first tee and hit it on your first swing…  your ball flies 280 yards and lands just over the furthest bunker, right in the middle of the fairway. You turn around and see your buddy’s jaw hanging open, and you know he just died a little inside watching you hit a shot like that.”

You see how much more evocative that is? How it describes the prospect’s life after they’ve used your product or service? How it hits on the real hot-button emotional triggers like vanity and social status?

Copywriters call this “future pacing,” and it’s an extremely powerful way to pull readers into your emails.

Heroes & Vehicles

When you’re thinking about question #3, remember this:

Imagine your prospect as they are right now as being at “point A.”

Then understand that what they want to be, their desired end result, is “point B.” This describes your prospect the way they WANT to be: thinner, richer, more popular, getting that raise at work, and so on.

Your prospect wants to go from A to B. Ryan talks about this a lot in his “Before & After Grid”:

But here’s an important thing to keep in mind (and a lot of marketers get this wrong):

You can NEVER be the hero in your ideal customers story… that’s their job. You’re the guide and your product or service is the vehicle.

Many companies try to position their product as the hero. But again, your product is NEVER the hero! The prospect is the hero. Your product or service is more like the vehicle, the guide, or the mentor who helps them to achieve whatever it is that they want.

Remember that everyone wants to be the hero of their own life, and the job of your product or service is not to be the hero for them… but to be the vehicle that helps them shine.

So if your prospect is King Arthur, then your product is Excalibur and you’re Merlin. If your prospect is Luke Skywalker, then your product is the force and you’re Yoda.

I could keep going, but I’m sure you get the idea.

(RELATED: Perpetual Traffic Episode 64: Donald Miller Shares 7 Proven Story Formulas for Sharpening Your Marketing Message)

Question 4: “How Can You Prove It?”

In question #3 you explored WHY your prospect should care about your message, by communicating how it can act as the vehicle that delivers them to their desired end result.

But just because you tell them what your product or service can do, doesn’t mean they’ll believe you.

And that’s why the fourth and final question you need to ask yourself has to do with proof. Credibility. Believability.

“How can you prove it?”

Now that you’ve explained what your product can do, you have to prove that you really can do it… and that THEY can do it, too.

Interestingly enough, most people will believe that YOU can do what you say you can do. They’ll even believe that others have done it too.

Where people get stuck is believing that THEY can do it.

And if you don’t address this limiting belief, I guarantee you it will cost you sales.

This is where it becomes critical to include proof points where you show your prospect real-life examples of how other people—people just like them—have used your product or service to achieve their desired end result.

This includes things like…


People are more likely to trust other customers than they are to trust you. So any time you can showcase somebody else saying good things about your product, service, or company, you should take advantage of it—like this email from reMarkable:

Customer Stories

Customer stories can go beyond testimonials and add a human touch to your company. In this email, 23andMe does a great job of showing how their rather technical-sounding product (at-home DNA kits) can have a very human effect on their customers:

Case Studies

Particularly for B2B companies, case studies are a great way to showcase the previous results you’ve achieved. This is a powerful form of credibility-building that Conversion Rate Experts leverage very well in this email:


We all know the power of reviews in today’s online economy. Anytime you can slip a positive review into your email, you should do it—even if you’re just remembering to add 4 or 5 stars underneath a product photo the way Kayak does here:

And if you really want to inject some serious customer credibility into your emails, you can show a customer’s entire review along with the 5 stars (or 5 tacos, in AppSumo’s case):

News Stories 

Media coverage is another form of third-party credibility that you should definitely take advantage of in your emails. If your product or service has received favorable press, for example, that’s marketing gold you should not hesitate to share with your prospects:

Now what if you don’t have any of these resources yet?

In that case, it becomes important to leverage third-party credibility. In other words, find examples of times when other reputable sources have said things that validate what you’re saying. Even though that source isn’t endorsing your product or service per se, the fact that they said something supporting your message makes it look like they are validating your message.

And in the meantime, get to work writing those case studies and gathering more reviews (try for an easy way to generate authentic video reviews from your customers).

2 Bonus Email-Writing Tips

Now that we’ve covered the 4 questions we ask ourselves every time we write an email, here are 2 bonus tips to help you create a positive experience and get a better reaction from prospects in your emails.

Tip #1: Only Reference the Previous Positive Action

If you’re emailing a prospect and they didn’t do something—say they didn’t purchase your product or show up for your webinar—do NOT acknowledge that.

Bringing up something negative will only create an awkward experience. Instead, go back to the most recent positive action and reference that instead.

So let’s say you’re writing to a prospect who opted in to your email list but didn’t purchase your product.

Do NOT say: “I’m sending you this email because you didn’t buy my product…”

Instead, say this: “I’m sending you this email because you opted in to learn more about…”

It’s a subtle difference, but the first example will make people feel weirded out. The second one will remind them of why they signed up with you in the first place, bringing back good feelings instead of awkward ones.

Tip #2: Give People an “Out”

Whenever someone didn’t take the action you wanted them to take, give them an easy, ready-made excuse:

It’s important to make sure that all your communications should be sending the same, consistent message.

“Did life get in the way?”

“This probably went in your spam box.”

“Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t follow up with you…” (Even though you did.)

This is what I mean when I say you should always give your prospect or customer an “out.”

By giving them an easy out, you’re wiping away any guilt that they might feel about not taking action… which helps to avoid awkward or negative feelings and clears the way for them to take action NOW.

Tape These Questions to Your Monitor

If you send a lot of emails, you should write these questions down on a Post-It note and stick it to your monitor.

They’re that important.

And don’t keep them to yourselves. Share these questions with your team members, too! Even if they aren’t writing emails, your coworkers can also benefit from thinking about these important questions.

While this post was geared toward writing better emails, remember that you are communicating with your customers and prospects through multiple channels. These channels include your emails, your blog, social media, outbound sales people, and so on.

And it’s important to make sure that all your communications should be sending the same, consistent message.

If the messages coming out of your company aren’t congruent with one another, your customers will get confused. They’ll be unclear on the value you deliver, the promises you’re making, and this can make it hard for them to trust you.

(This happens a lot in siloed companies, where different departments are responsible for different areas of the business.)

But if you (and your teammates) ask yourselves these 4 questions on a regular basis, it will help make sure you are delivering a consistent message that is relevant and compelling to your audience.

Who knows—they might even start looking forward to your emails.

(NOTE: Tired of your email marketing being mostly guess work? Use this FREE plug and play guide and tracking sheet to track, analyze, and optimize your email marketing strategy. Download it here!)

The post Write Compelling Email Copy: 4 Questions to Ask Before You Write Your Next Email appeared first on DigitalMarketer.