3 Keys to Monthly Recurring Revenue (For Online Business Owners)

3 Keys to Monthly Recurring Revenue (For Online Business Owners)

Table of Contents

One of the biggest gifts you can give your online business is monthly recurring revenue. It provides you with reliable, predictable cash flows, avoids the feast and famine cycles, and most importantly gives you the freedom to focus on developing a sustainable business rather than rushing from one launch to another.

The best part of all when you follow what we cover in this post you will trigger one of the most powerful forces in business and investing which is the compounding effect.

Where each promotion builds on the previous increasing both your Monthly and Annual Recurring revenue. And when you have the compounding effect working for you scaling your business is so much easier

3 Primary Business Models and Key Differences Between Each

In this post, I will show you the 3 primary models for building recurring revenue in an online knowledge business, including the critical success factors that you absolutely must get right for long-term success.

Now if you miss any one of these three factors are almost guaranteed to struggle in your business

I will also share the specific models that you can use to build a highly profitable, low-stress, enjoyable online business that gets massive results for your clients and produces a stable, reliable Monthly Recurring Revenue stream for you.

Oh and if you hang around to the very end I will share the 1 Thing, if you get right, will guarantee your online business success and unlock the key to building recurring revenue.

Now creating monthly recurring revenue streams is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself and your business.

And while there are plenty of ways that you can do this in a physical product business or as a SAAS business through subscriptions today I am going to focus entirely on the online knowledge niche.

So if you are a coach, consultant, expert or you have a repeatable process that people can use to get a desirable result then this post is for you.

Now before I get into the critical success factors, I first want to talk about the 3 primary business models that you can use to start building recurring revenue and some of the key differences between each

You see no matter what type of business you have today, I believe you can add on some to these elements to supplement your existing revenue or build an online knowledge business with low overheads, predictable revenue, and most importantly provides you with the time, money and lifestyle freedom that you want.

And I believe the best method to do this is with a membership. Now memberships can take many different forms but loosely speaking I group them into three categories:

Now before I dive into the 3 models you might be asking yourself what is a membership.

For me, a membership is a support system that assists people to make lasting change in any area of business or life and helps them progress from where ever they are today to their ultimate desired state.

Now how does this differ from an online course? Well, an online course delivers a defined body of knowledge over a defined time period. The vast majority of courses have 5-7 modules delivered over a similar number of weeks.

Now I am a huge fan of courses and I think they form an essential part of a modern online business but knowledge only gets people so far.

In my experience what really gets people results is the support and guidance around the implementation of the knowledge over time.

This is why even within the course model people are seeing far better results with a cohort coaching-based approach.

So let’s look at the 3 different models

A Front End membership is one that you promote directly. This may be a standalone membership or it could be the starting or entry point to bring a perfect-fit client into your world with the intent of elevating them to higher-level memberships, courses, or even products and services.

A front-end membership doesn’t always have to be a pathway to somewhere. It could be a standalone membership but I really do feel you are leaving money on the table if you don’t have a logical next step for people to take.

But more on that later in this post.

Recurring Revenue Model 2 is a back-end membership.

This is a membership that has a pre-requisite. In other words, something that people need to have completed before getting into the membership.

Now the pre-requisite could be a course. In my mind courses and memberships form the perfect partnership. You deliver the knowledge during the course and then help people form the habits and implement the knowledge through membership.

But the pre-requisite doesn’t have to be an online course. It could be for clients who have purchased products or services and to help them further you support them through your membership

Recurring Revenue Model 3 could be a small group coaching program or a mastermind.

The big distinction between this level and the previous two is the level of access members have to you, the exclusivity of the relationship, and the time you spend with them.

Whereas a membership may have 1-4 deliverables per month as in calls or content released and is accessed by all your members a small group coaching model tends to be more intimate where you have 50-60 people per coach.

A mastermind on the other hand is where you meet with a small group of no more than 50 people 3-4 times a year normally for 2 days per meeting

Now obviously the higher the contact and level of access the higher the price.

There really are no rules around these but from my experience most front-end membership range from $27 to – $97 dollars.

Back-end memberships can range from $47-$497 dollars per month

Small group coaching packages from $197 – $997 per month

And Masterminds are normally $997 and up averaging out at around the $2,000 per month mark but some are multiples of this

My advice to you is to start out with something small and manageable from a delivery perspective and once you have found your grove then you can build over time and release new levels

Success Factor 1: Growth – Attracting New Members

OK so now that we know the different models, lets look at the 3 Critical Success Factors for a Recurring Revenue Model

These are:

  1. Growth – Attracting New Members
  2. Retention – Keeping Existing Members
  3. Revenue Maximisation – Increasing Existing Member Spend


So first up let’s look at growth or attracting new members

The number one way that you can attract new members to your membership is through a Product Launch.

Now, this model was developed by my friend and mentor Jeff Walker and the chances are even if you are not familiar with the name Product Launch you have been through the process at some stage.

The basis of a launch is that you create huge volumes of anticipation, excitement, and desire through the release of highly valuable, free but very intentionally structured content in advance of making an offer for your membership.

And having delivered just under 60 of my own Product Launches and helped countless others with theirs trust me, this process works.

There are 3 phases to the launch

  • The awareness phase
  • The pre-launch phase
  • The offer, or open cart phase


When I’m coaching or working on the delivery of a client launch I like kicking the launch off with a two to three-week awareness phase.

During the awareness phase, you are not talking about your membership. The awareness is of the problem you solve and the results that your members have gotten or how they have overcome these problems.

In fact, I would go as far as saying that you shouldn’t speak about your membership or your upcoming offer at all but instead you should share the success stories of your members.

The most important thing is that the success stories are positioned in such a way that they demonstrate the key problems that you help people solve and what is possible for people once these problems have been solved.

It’s important to start increasing your email frequency during this phase to at least 2 emails a week to start building visibility.

This is also a perfect time to up your live stream frequency and social presence so that when it comes time for your Pre-launch phase you have warmed up your audience.

Now if you have ever taken part in a 3 part online Masterclass or Workshop the chances are that you have experienced a launch.

And that is exactly what we deliver in the Pre-Launch phase.

During Pre-Launch we offer people the opportunity to register for a free online workshop. This can be 3/4 individual training sessions or you can combine the core principles into one single session.

In the first session, we are going to share the opportunity. That is, what is possible for people if there were to implement your methodology. People need to understand why they should pay attention and what is in it if they were to follow your process.

In the second session, you position the transformation. And this is how their lives would change if they got the results that you are offering. In this section, you go deep delivering huge value, demonstrating your ability to get people results, and sharing some key components of your overall approach

In the third part of the workshop or masterclass, you are going to really hone in on ownership. Now, this is not necessarily ownership of your membership but individual ownership of one’s own situation.

In other words, you want to demonstrate to your audience that no matter what is going on in their life they have the ability to get the results that you promise.

One of the key ways that you do this is through case studies and success stories. People love seeing people like them getting results and it helps instill a sense of belief that your process works and most importantly that it can work for them.

At the very end of this third part, you can foreshadow the fact that you will be giving people who are interested in continuing their journey and going deeper with their learning an opportunity to join your membership in the coming days

This then brings us to the offer, or open cart phase.

Throughout Pre-launch you haven’t mentioned the fact that you are going to make an offer until the very last section of the final module, you are entirely focused on delivering value and creating an exceptional experience for people.

But this changes in the offer phase. Directly after the final module, you open cart, preferably with a video sales letter and supporting email.

The open cart period can last for anywhere from 3 days for a quick launch to a more standard 5 day or long 6-day open cart.

The key for the open cart is to have a single focus. Every communication drives people to your offer page.

You should email every day of open cart and each email focuses on a key element of your offer

The transformation

Your process for helping people achieve the transformation

The results others have achieved in your membership

Your bonuses

Your guarantee

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to Open Cart having a defined deadline and sticking to it is one element that will possibly drive the most sales. Having a deadline forces people to get off the fence and make a decision.

And it is not uncommon to see 30 – 60% of your total sales come on on the final day of Open cart

Success Factor 2: Retention – Keeping Existing Members

Ok so that covers the first Critical Success Factor for building a Recurring Revenue Model in your business and that is Growth or Attracting new members.

The second critical success factor is Retention

Now, this model I am sharing from another friend and mentor Stu McLaren that is the Success Path.

One of the keys to keeping your members is having a defined path for them to follow towards the ultimate transformation which they want to achieve.

You see when someone has a path to follow they can see where they are starting from and most importantly they can see the progress that they make over time

Having a defined success path clearly describes the 3-to 7 levels that someone will go through from joining your membership to achieving that ultimate transformation.

Your success path should describe the characteristics of a person at each level and it should also give them the milestones they need to hit to attain that level and the actions they should be taking in your membership to help them hit their milestones.

For an example of stage characteristics are as follows:

Stage 1 They are just starting out, they have identified their niche they understand the current pain points of their perfect-fit clients and they are working on their lead magnet and their opt-in page

Stage 2 could be someone who has set up Facebook Business Manager and their Ad Account and has launched their first ads. They are learning how to optimize their ads and their landing page. They are working toward their first 1,000 leads

Stage 3 they have a steady flow of leads. Are comfortable managing and scaling their ad campaigns they have launched a Mini-Front End product and getting their first upsell from opt-in.

Stage 4 Sales from their Mini-Front end product are covering the cost of their paid advertising and lead generation activities and they have launched additional upsells and revenue maximizers.

Stage 5 They have a reliable and stable funnel that is generating perfect-fit clients at scale and have now started working on a second funnel

Once we have the characteristic we can then develop milestones for each stage and link them to specific actions and activities in our membership.

This clarity and visibility around the ultimate goal you help people achieve, the path they need to take, and most importantly, the milestones that help them measure their progress, will keep your members engaged, excited, and coming back for more which will dive your retention rates through the roof

Success Factor 3: Revenue Maximization – Increasing Existing Members’ Spend

The third Critical Success Factor for building a Recurring Revenue Model in your business is Revenue Maximisation or Increasing Existing Member Spend

And this is where my Value Ascension Roadmap comes in. Now you can find a more detailed description of my Value Ascension Roadmap here, but for now, know that your Value Ascension Roadmap is the journey that a Perfect-Fit Client takes through your business.

You need to make sure that you always have the next step for your Perfect-Fit Client to take.

For every group of paying client, you will have 20% who will be willing to pay you 5 times more if the right offer was placed in front of them

Your Value Ascension Roadmap gives the 20% of people who want to spend more money, in exchange for even greater results of course, the opportunity to do so.

Now if you look at how I laid out the 3 Categories of Recurring Revenue Models that you can apply, they were laid out in an ascending manner.

That is the lowest cost, lowest interaction, and lowest levels of access first. This could be a front-end membership or indeed your front-end course.

Then we had your backend memberships which provide an even deeper level of transformation for your perfect-fit client all the way to your small group coaching programs and eventually to your high-end mastermind.

By lining up each level in your business as the logical next step for someone once they have gotten the result they desire on their existing level you are making it easy for them to ascend through your business and in doing so paying you more money and maximizing your revenue all while getting them massive results.

Unlock the Key to Recurring Revenue Stream

So we looked at the 3 primary models for building recurring revenue. Front-end memberships, back-end memberships, and group coaching and masterminds.

We then looked at the 3 Critical success factors for building Recurring Revenue

  • Growth – Attracting New Members
  • Retention – Keeping Existing Members
  • Revenue Maximisation – Increasing Existing Member Spend

And I shared the key models to maximize your results for each of the critical success factors.

So what is this one thing that will guarantee your online business success and unlock the key to building recurring revenue?

You see there is a major issue in the online business world. There is an impression that anyone can start an online business and I don’t agree with that.

Now I don’t for a second believe that you need to have a major qualification or need to be a recognized thought leader to have a successful online business.

In fact, some of the people who have the biggest impact in the online world have no qualifications and were initially looked down on by their profession or by the big gurus

So how did their businesses grow and what do you need to do to make your business a success.

Well, it is all about the results that you can help people achieve.

If you have a proven process that works

A proven process that gets people the results that they want

It isn’t about if you will be successful it is just about when

So the starting point in all of this no matter what kind of course, membership group coaching or mastermind you want to launch focus first on building a repeatable process that will ensure people can get the result that you promise

So now that you know how to start building recurring revenue you are probably going to want to take a deeper dive into Generating leads for your online business.


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What To Put On Your Landing Page - Best Landing Page Design

What To Put On Your Landing Page – Best Landing Page Design

What To Put On Your Landing Page - Best Landing Page Design

Table of Contents

In this post, I’m going to walk you through the 5 key elements of a high converting landing page as well as the most common mistakes that online businesses make that kill their conversion and opt-in rates.

We will look at how these 5 key elements should be laid out on the landing page and I’ll give you some top tips for how you can optimize each component to maximize your on-page conversion rate.

Whether you are just starting out or you already have an opt-in page up and running you will be able to apply everything we cover today and start seeing instant results and watch your email list

Landing Page Fundamentals

Hey, its Mícheál O’Neill here from Lead2Launch where we help you attract profitable perfect-fit leads at scale to fuel your online course and membership launches.

So if you are a course creator or membership site owner who wants to build predictable and profitable lead generation processes which take your launches to the next level then this video is for you.

Being able to attract leads and build your email list is one of the most important elements of building a profitable online business.

The fact is that you can build a massively successful business on the back of 2-3 high converting landing pages so for me, really getting to grips with this is absolutely essential.

However, so many people struggle with what exactly they should put on their landing page, and then even if they figure that out then they are unsure how to lay it all out.

And trust me this is one part of your business where you want to follow a proven blueprint because it will cut out lots of wasted time effort, energy, and most importantly your hard-earned cash.

And, if you hang around until the end I will share 5 tips to help you get your opt-in rate to above 60% from cold traffic

Ok so first up let’s start with the foundations because if we understand purpose everything else will make far more sense.

Now in this post, I am going to be talking specifically about a landing page for a lead magnet opt-in.

A lead magnet is anything of value that we can offer a potential perfect-fit client in exchange for their email address.

As online business owners if we want to build our email list a lead magnet is one of the primary mechanisms we can use.

A landing page or opt-in page is a web page built specifically to offer the lead magnet to potential clients.

It is a highly focused page and is designed for one purpose and one purpose only.

To drive visitors to opt-in for our lead magnet and give us their email address.

Now, this may seem basic to some but it is amazing how many, even experienced marketers break this core fundamental principle when designing their landing pages.

And I will show you how they do that and more importantly how you can avoid this costly mistake in this video.

So now that we understand the purpose let’s jump in and look at the key elements

When you boil it all down there are only 5 things you should have on your landing page

Element 1 – Your Headline

The goal of your headline is to capture people’s attention and drive them to consume the rest of the content on the page. You only have a second or two for someone to decide if they should remain on the page or leave.

In fact, with a really good headline, a visitor may well skip all the rest of the content on the page and jump straight to exchanging their email address

In order for a headline to be effective, it must contain a number of factors:

Satisfy self-interest – Your headline must instantly answer the question – what’s in it for me. They have to feel like they have just discovered a solution to a big problem they face.

In order for our landing page and headline to be effective, the copy we use must be based upon an understanding of the challenges our prospects face.

For instance, in my world a good headline could be – Get Your First (Or Next), 1,000 Email Subscribers in 30 Days

because I know that the number one thing that people struggle with, in the online course and membership world initially is growing their email list. And who wouldn’t want an additional 1,000 email subscribers in 30 days?

It should help them avoid pain or gain pleasure. The reality is that avoidance of pain tends to be a stronger motivator than the attainment of pleasure but you should try out both. An example of a pain avoidant headline would be – The 3 Biggest Mistakes Online Business Owners Make (and how to avoid them)

It has to be specific. You will notice in the previous examples that I used 1000 email subscribers, 30 days, 3 Biggest mistakes. These are all very specific terms that people can relate to and it will strengthen the impact of your headline. Broad general terms like getting started or Beginners Guide tend to be a bit generic and while you might use them to qualify your prospective leads later in the copy they will weaken your headline

Describe the desired transformation. Don’t tell them what you are going to give them. Describe what will be possible for them once they have implemented what you are about to give them. Paint the possibilities. That is exactly what the first headline did. I didn’t describe it as – A Beginners Guide To Lead Generation. It was to get your first or next 1000 email subscribers in 30 days. I described what would be possible for them once they got their hands on my lead magnet

Element 2 – Your Subhead

The sub-head is another key section of your landing page.

A sub-headline is 1-2 lines of text, maybe 10 – 30 words max, that sits below your primary headline. This is normally presented in a slightly smaller font than the primary headline but is larger than the body copy font.

It is rare that you can pack everything you want to say into a headline. Remember that shorter snappier headlines will be more likely to grab people’s attention so the sub-head gives you an opportunity to elaborate on the headline and reel people into your concept and the body copy.

If you like the headline grabs their attention, the sub-head draws them in deeper and propels them to the Call to action where you tell them what to do.

The subhead also gives you an opportunity to qualify your lead and let your specific audience know that they are in the right place. For instance, in this post I am specifically talking about landing pages for course creators and membership site owners and by getting specific I can better connect with them and show them that I understand their challenges.

As with all of your copy your sub-head should talk about the benefits and the transformation that someone can achieve once they have implemented the lead magnet rather than just listing what it contains.

Picture your perfect-fit client, imagine if they took your lead magnet and implemented it, how would their life change, what would they see hear and do differently now that they have gotten the results that you know are possible for them.

This new world is what you want to describe in your headline and sub-headline.

Element 3 – Your Image

After the headline and subhead, the next most important element of your landing page is your image.

Like all elements, landing page testing is absolutely essential when it comes to your image.

The purpose of your image is to capture attention and amplify your message in a nonverbal manner.

There are no absolutes when landing page conversion rates but the first type of image I always test is one of a person.

In the info product and membership niche, especially when businesses tend to be personality-based my go-to option is an image of the business owner but obviously, the quality and personality of the image is going to have a massive impact on the conversion rates.

Whatever the image you choose it is important that it is congruent with the message and moves the visitor towards opt-in whether that be through displaying authority, building a connection, or demonstrating what you are offering

It also helps if the image draws attention to the headline. This may be that the person is looking or pointing toward the headline.

Now another very common approach for the image is to use a visual of what the person will get on opt-in whether that be the checklist, blueprint or guide.

It could be the pages of the lead magnet fanned out behind the cover page or even the pages displayed on multiple devices, anything that gives the prospect an idea of what they will receive.

You can have these mock-ups designed on Fiverr for a couple of dollars or there are lots of free templates on Canva.

Element 4 – Your Body Copy

When you are starting out either with a new landing page or trying to optimize an existing opt-in page you want to keep this as simple as possible

Don’t feel compelled to fill the page with words. You want to make it easy for people to scan and comprehend the message you are conveying quickly and easily.

I am a huge fan of pairing a single line of copy with 3-4 fascination bullet points

The purpose of the copy is to link from the headline and the subhead into the fascination bullet points

So what are fascination bullet points?

They are a copy technique that captures readers’ imagination, builds curiosity and intrigue, and creates desire.

When you simply describe what is included in your lead magnet people lose interest but when you say things like:

3 Ways To Create a high converting Lead Magnet

How to tell if a landing page will convert – before it is even built

Why landing pages fail to convert (and how you can avoid it)

3 Ways to improve your landing page conversions (and one huge mistake that most online business owners make)

The purpose of the body copy is to build on the momentum you have created through the headline and subhead and visitors to the Call To Action.

Element 5 – Your CTA

And the 5th essential Element of a Landing page is your call to action.

This is normally in the form of a button which opens the form for people to enter their contact details or sometimes you may have the fields visible on the page and the CTA is the button to submit their details.

Your Call To Action needs to be the most prominent element on the page.

This is definitely a time when you want to breach brand colors. I like really really bright colors like oranges and yellows.

You want your CTA to really stand out from everything else on the page and testing different colors can make a huge difference in conversion rates,

however, don’t fall into the trap of taking the data from someone else’s tests and assuming you will get the same results. There is no such thing as the CTA color that best converts you need to test it for yourself.

In addition to the color and prominence, another key part of the CTA is the language that is used.

Register, subscribe, sign up are all very weak

The approach that I have found converts best is when you include an element of the transformation in the call to action. For example

Get Higher Conversion Rates

Attract More Leads Today

Discover 3 Optimization Secrets

Reduce Your Cost Per Lead

You will notice in each of the examples above I have started with a verb. This is also a copy tactic that will significantly increase your conversion rates.

BONUS – How to: Landing Page That Converts At 60% and Above From Cold Traffic

Ok so there are the 5 key elements that you need to have on your landing page and how you should lay them out.

Now as you refine and optimize your page you can start adding additional elements but until you have your opt-in page converting over 50% of cold traffic stick to this model. It will make your life so much easier

Now at the start of the post, I promised you 4 tips that will skyrocket your landing page conversion rates and if you hang with me for a minute I am going to get straight to that but first up let’s recap what we looked at today

So the 5 key elements of your landing page are:




Body Copy


And if I was to pick one overarching theme for what we have discussed it would be how essential it is to capture your audience’s attention. And one of the key ways you can do that is through self-interest, by being specific and paining a picture for them about how their lives will be better once they have implemented what you are offering.

Ok so now for the bonus section. Here are 5 tips for designing a killer landing page that converts at 60% or above from cold traffic.

  • One option and one option only

The only thing people should be able to do on your landing page is opt-in or leave. Make sure that you remove all other links apart from privacy policy, terms and conditions, and earning disclaimer if required. There should be no menu links like a home page, about us page, or contact page. People either opt-in or leave. This includes social sharing buttons.

  • All information above the fold

Above the fold is an old newspaper term that literally means the content that was visible at the top of the newspaper when it was folded over. In modern terms above the fold means everything that can be seen on the initial screen when someone opens the landing page. When you are starting out you want your entire landing page to appear above the fold

  • Less is more

Every word counts. If you are not sure that a word is driving someone towards opt-in then the chances are, it is blocking them from opting in. This is why until you have had a chance to test and optimize your copy the fewer words the better

  • Use the language of your audience

Speak in the same language and use the same words that your avatar uses. Your unique voice is secondary to the voice of those that David Ogilvy one of the masters of direct response copywriting said “If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.” stick to this principle and you won’t go too far wrong

  • Test, test, test

The chances of you hitting a home run straight off the bat are slim. In order to get your conversion rates up, you continuously have to be in a state of testing. Test the headline, test the subhead, test the image, test the body copy test the call to action. Only test one element at a time and make sure you keep a diary of the elements you have tested so you don’t end up repeating the same tests twice

So now that you know what to put on your landing page and how all the elements sit together you will probably want to start driving traffic to it.

So make sure you check out the videos linked on screen for lots more information on how to plan your next Facebook Ad campaign and some key tips on what’s working right now when it comes to Facebook Ads.

If you haven’t already done so make sure to click that subscribe button and give me a thumbs up.

See you in the next video 

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Profitable Facebook® Ads – 6 Top Tips for Success

Profitable Facebook® Ads - 6 Top Tips for Success

Table of Contents

If you’re an online course creator or a membership site owner, who is 

  1. Launching your first Facebook® Ad Campaign, 
  2. Optimizing an existing Facebook® Ad Campaign
  3. Wants to scale a successful Facebook® Ad Campaign, 

Then read on because this post is for you.

Today I am going to share 6 top tips from the trenches that will set you up for Facebook® Ad success. 

Leverage the Power of Lookalike & Retargeting Audiences 

Let’s start with Lookalike and Retargeting audiences. People are always excited and eager to get cold interest and behaviour based to convert. 

However, if you want to build profitable Facebook® Ad campaigns your audience arsenal will have to include Lookalike and Retargeting audiences. 

Suitably sized lookalike and retargeting audiences will almost always outperform cold interest and behaviour based audiences. Yes, the recent Apple iOS 14.5 update is having an impact on our ability to build these audiences but contrary to popular belief, it is not destroying Facebook® ads. 

There is a lot of misunderstanding about iOS 14.5 and the impact it is having. In April 2021 Apple released an update to its mobile operating system which powers all iPhones and iPads. Once installed it upgraded the software of the device to version iOS 14.5.

One of the features of this update was to block tracking pixels, including the Facebook Pixel, from reporting on the actions that iPhone and iPad users took on 3rd party sites (ie your website).

This specifically prevents Facebook from adding people with the iOS14.5 update installed to a custom audience for you to retarget with specific ads at a later stage, however, all is not lost.

The fact is it’s not blocking Facebook® from tracking who’s taking those actions, it is only blocking the reporting of these actions. Facebook® still knows who is taking the actions on your website based on the pixel. It still knows who those people are. So your lookalike audiences are not going to be impacted in the same way as your standard retargeting audiences. 

In addition, there are several ways to get around the iOS 14.5 update. One method is to use a program like Zapier. In my mind, Zapier is an essential tool for the modern marketer. 

If you are not familiar with Zapier you can think of it as a concierge who has a set of operational instructions who looks for certain events in one software program and when a specific outcome occurs performs a defined action in either the same program or one of 3,000 other integrated programs.

In our Facebook example, your pixel might be blocked from reporting any action taken once they visit your opt-in page, but with Zapier, either based on data received through your opt-in page builder, shopping cart, or email platform you can report back to Facebook the event outcome and add that person to a custom audience and follow up with retargeting ads. 

This very simple to set up workflow will ensure your retargeting audiences will operate at a similar level to pre-iOS 14.5 times. It’ll also give the option to build your lookalike audiences from the people who’ve taken the action that you want on your website. 

While we are talking about iOS 14.5 I do have to mention the impact on reporting within Facebook®. While I have provided a solution to building custom audiences for retargeting one of the big impacts is the fact that your reports on Cost Per Lead or Cost Per Acquisition will be flawed.

Please make sure that you have established a reporting system outside of Facebook that combines data from Facebook®, your opt-in page builder, shopping cart, or email platform to provide you with an active assessment of your true campaign metrics.

When it comes to lookalikes and retargeting, the most important thing is to start your audiences from day one. Even before you start running ads, you need to plan and set up the retargeting audiences that you want to leverage in the future. 

I always start broad with an audience of everyone who visits your website. From there I define ever more specific sub audiences based on the pages they visit and what that tells me about their preferences and likelihood of taking follow-up actions.  

This means building retargeting audiences based on people who visit specific pages or who have an interest in specific areas of your website. 

Based on this you can retarget these audiences with ads for specific lead magnets or offers based on their past behavior and preferences. 

Another valuable audience is your blog visitors. If somebody’s visited your blog, that means they’ve engaged with your content. You can now make assumptions about their knowledge of “the problem” you solve, how you solve it, and where they are on their journey. 

The first step in setting up your Ads for success is to create custom audiences for each of your landing pages, opt-ins, thank you pages, upsell pages, and down funnel steps. I can’t tell you how often I have undertaken a campaign audit only to find that this simple but essential step has been skipped.

The further down the funnel and closer to the ultimate conversion point the more valuable an audience is. However, this value is often offset by the size of the audience as fewer people graduate to the lower levels of a funnel.

The first level of the audience could be people who interact with your ad on Facebook®. This will be the largest retargeting audience but also the weakest. 

Level 2 may be people who visit your opt-in page. Now, something caught these people’s attention on Facebook sufficiently enough that they took action and visited the opt-in page. 

However, this audience includes lots of people who decided not to opt-in but also a percentage of people who do go on to take further action and go to the next phase of the funnel.

Level 3 may be people who visit your opt-in thank you page. That is people who have completed the opt-in process and have been directed to the success page.

When you build a Lookalike audience you ask Facebook to go out and find a percentage (1-10%) of the population of a specific country or countries that look most like your base audience.

The closer the audience is to taking the ultimate action you desire the more specific the data Facebook® will have to base their Lookalike audience on. However, the fewer the people in the audience the less data Facebook® has to work with and the more difficult it will be for Facebook® to identify the defining traits that will make people more likely to take the action that you want.

As a result Lookalike audiences work best on a base audience of at least 1,000 people. When you are starting it might take you some time to get to a point where 1,000 people have opted into your lead magnet. That is the reason why you might start with a higher level audience to start with and then move to lower levels as the size of your audience grow.

Like most things Facebook® Ad related, it is always best to test, however. I have had great results with Lookalike audiences of under a hundred people. In one specific campaign, a 5% Lookalike of a lead magnet thank you page which had 86 visits outperformed the original interest-based audience by a factor of two meaning that the leads from the Lookalike audience cost half the price of the interest-based audience. 

Larger Audiences Are Outperforming Smaller Audiences

In a slightly counterintuitive twist, larger audiences are trending toward outperforming smaller audiences. The old metric was that your perfect audience size was somewhere in the region of 1.5 to 2 million people. And if you had multiple audiences that were three, five, six, seven, 10 million, you’d split those up into smaller segments, because that was the optimum size for ad set budget optimization. 

But now what I’m seeing is that the bigger the audience’s size, the better results they’re getting.

Facebook® has recently made target expansion on audiences mandatory. Up until recently, you could choose whether to switch target expansion on or not. 

Target expansion allows Facebook® to go outside the audience you define while respecting any specific demographics like age, sex, and location if it thinks it can get you more results.  

In announcing this Facebook® said that with detailed targeting expansion on, especially in interest-based audiences, there is a 37% decrease in cost. 

Not only that but they found in website custom audiences that lookalike expansion gave a 17.3% decrease in costs. And with custom lists, a decrease in costs by 10.1%. 

What Facebook® is doing in the background is, it’s spending X% of the budget you specified on your ad sets, but it’s also siphoning off a little bit of money and spending it in other places where it thinks it could potentially get better results for you. And then if it gets good results, it spends more and more money on these audiences.

There’s absolutely no question or doubt that the Facebook® AI is not in a position to 100% select our audiences for us, but this development is pointing to a real statement of intent for the future. 

All this to comfort you as to why it is a good idea to make your audiences as big as possible, feed the Facebook® AI as much data as possible, and let it do its thing.

Personally, I always keep the AI honest by testing multiple versions of the Lookalike audience. 

Let’s say you’ve got a thank you page from a lead magnet. You build the audience of people who visited the thank you page, and then you ask Facebook® to build a Lookalike audience of the 1% of the population of a specific country that looks most like the people who have visited this page. 

Intuitively you may think that the 1% of the population that looks most like the people who have visited your thank you page will perform better than a 3% or 4% or a 5% audience, but actually, in many cases, it doesn’t and the wider audiences outperform the smaller ones. 

When it comes to audiences, remember ABT – Always Be Testing and the most important part of testing is making sure that you’re collating and analyzing the best possible data and that every decision you make is backed up by that data. 

Split Audiences Into Dedicated Ad Sets For Testing

Often when auditing an underperforming ad campaign, I see multiple interests and behaviors and lookalike audiences, all mixed into one Ad Set. While this is certainly meeting the requirement of bigger is better from an audience perspective it is far from helpful when it comes to optimizing your Facebook® Ads.

Essentially what that means is, you don’t know which audience is working, which audience isn’t working, which audience you should drop, and which audience you should put more budget into. 

Always separate your primary interest, and behavior, retargeting, and Lookalike audiences into separate ad sets. 

Initially, you’re going to have to control how many Ad Sets you have. If you are only starting, your overall campaign budget may be lower. 

This will pose a problem because to exit learning each Ad Set must hit 50 instances of your nominated objective or conversion events that you set. 

When launching a Facebook® Ad campaign your first goal is to ensure each Ad Set exit learning. It is only after exiting learning that your costs will even out and you can begin to optimize your campaign.

So let’s say you have five Ad Sets, and each one of those Ad Sets has to hit 50 conversions each week, which means 250 conversions in that week. Now that’s fine on bigger budgets, but let’s say if it’s costing you $5 per conversion, now we can see that’s a total weekly spend of $1,250 per week or $150 per day. 

Now a $150 per day budget is tiny for a lot of advertisers but if you are starting out facing an unknown cost per conversion and an unknown Earning Per Lead this may be a little daunting.

I normally set Course Creators and Membership Site Owners who are new to Facebook® Advertising up with two to three Ad Sets, featuring three Ads per Ad Set in each. 

Once the campaign is up and running this gives you enough variance to assess winners and losers, and then introduce new audiences overtime when the losing audiences are dropped. 

You always want to give an audience five to seven days to settle down to give Facebook® an opportunity to work out the best people in the audience to display your Ads to. 

And remember, as you initially refine your Ad copy, opt-in page and funnel audiences that may not have worked in the past could work better with the revised copy so it is always worth retesting audiences over time. With different audiences, you’re going through a continual process, like refining your ad copy, refining your opt-in page and funnel. 

Remember your audience messaging match is hugely important too. Small tweaks to your Ad copy based on the specific audience may have a big impact on the end result. This could be one or two words in the Ad but always be conscious of the people you are talking about and how you could potentially tailor your Ad copy for them.

One of the key metrics that will tell you whether your audience and messaging match is your CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions). If you’re getting a high CPM, it means that the message for your audience is off or that the language of your Ad could be approaching a breach of Facebook’s Advertising Policies. 

The goal of Facebook’s Advertising Policy is to safeguard its users’ experience. They want their users’ feed to be a safe and enjoyable place to be. It’s what keeps users coming back to the platform. Your Ad copy may not breach a policy but if it isn’t contributing to a positive experience, or if Facebook® doesn’t feel like it is adding value to its users’ feed you will be penalized with higher CPM.

If your goal is a profitable Facebook® Ad Campaign having a solid audience testing strategy is key. To appropriately test audiences it is essential that you split them into separate Ad Sets and track their performance. 

When to Use Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO) and When To Use Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)

When you are launching a Facebook® Ad Campaign one of the first decisions you are faced with is whether to use Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO) or Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO).

 During the early stages of a campaign when you are testing creative and testing audiences you should always start with ABO.

ABO lets you set an individual budget for each one of your Ad Sets which forces each Ad Set to spend the budget assigned to it. This will give you a solid basis to assess each audience individually and make a decision on your best-performing audiences.

As mentioned earlier in this post, we need each ad set to exit learning as quickly as possible As a result when you are starting, especially with low budgets, you want to limit your campaigns to 2-3 ad sets with a minimum of 3 ads per ad set.

Once you get your initial ad sets up and running you then enter the optimization phase, testing, honing, refining the creative and audiences until you reach the point where you are happy with your conversion rates and your CPL or CPA

At this stage, you’re going to want to scale your campaign. This is when you move from ABO to CBO. 

Campaign Budget Optimization hands more of the power and decision-making process back to Facebook®. This is not wise early in the campaign as there are too many variables at play, but once you have figured out your winning combinations it’s time to hand the reins back over to Facebook® and give them the flexibility to find those who will be most likely to take the action that you define.

When you move to CBO, you have to make sure that you give Facebook® even bigger audiences to work with. A common initial CBO campaign will feature one super audience containing all your audiences from ABO combined into one.

This one super audience will be used in 4-5 ad sets with the exact same ads in each. This seems a bit strange I know, but in effect what Facebook will do is venture into different pockets within the audience to figure out who will be most likely to convert. 

Once you exit your learning phase, now there are a number of different strategies you can pursue.

You could go with one ad set with all your audiences and let that scale. Or you could possibly go with a super broad audience, where your only definition of the audience is a demographic like age and location. Alternatively, you could go with multiple % lookalike audiences: a 1% lookalike audience, a 2% lookalike audience, and so on with the 3%, 4%, 5% lookalikes. 

That gives you plenty of options in terms of scaling because the more finite you make your audience, the higher your CPM will be. By making it super broad and moving the budget to a campaign level, you’re giving Facebook® much more control.

2 Ways to Scaling Your Ad Set Budget Optimization Campaigns

In order to get to the level of ad spend that makes it viable to move to CBO, you are first going to have to scale your ABO campaigns. Let’s say you begin testing with a $50 budget a day, and things are working out. You have identified your winning creative and you are now looking to scale.

You have no idea how many times I have seen people bump their ABO budgets from a daily budget of $50 all the way to $200, only for the ads which were doing so well up to this point collapse and die.

You can only scale your ad spend by 20% of the budget every 72 hours. So if you’re starting with a budget of $50 a day, it means that you can only increase the budget to $60 in the next step. If you exceed this daily budget you’re likely to reset learning and there is no guarantee that your ads will exit learning in the same way as they entered learning. 

72 hours after this initial change you can then increase the budget again from $60 to $72. Now, most people, if they get their ads up and running, they’re uncomfortable with moving at that slower pace. 

For the majority of people in my audience you may be coming up to a launch, a big promotion, or maybe you have a webinar just around the corner and your ad campaign has a specific deadline so the slow and steady budget increases can be frustrating. Well, the good news is that there are several ways around this and there are two approaches to scaling which I like to use.

The first is vertical scaling, which is what we’ve been talking about thus far in this section, and that is increasing the budget of an ad set. The second is horizontal scaling, and that is scaling through the addition of extra audiences.

One of the best ways to scale horizontally is through the addition of larger lookalike audiences. Let’s say you have a lookalike audience of visitors to a thank you page, or lookalike visitors to the opt-in page itself, depending on how long the campaign has been running and the size of the base audiences. 

If you are currently using a 1% lookalike of the thank you page, one strategy is to duplicate the ad set and use a 2%-5% lookalike audience and set the new budget to $150 or $200.

If we needed more spend we could undertake a similar process using a 5%-8% lookalike 

Another approach is to introduce new interests or behaviours. Bringing in additional interests and behaviours is always tricky because the audience might not necessarily respond in the same way and you are introducing a new variable to the campaign. 

In addition to the horizontal scaling strategies we also have a vertical scaling strategy to get around the 20% every 72-hour rule.  

This is to simply duplicate the ad set keeping everything the same but increasing the budget of your new ad set to your desired level.

 In effect, this will put the new ads in direct competition with the old ads targeting the same audience, but this has a high success rate. 

One downside to this strategy is that your new ad set will start the learning phase again but Facebook will be able to leverage the previous data accumulated. A big upside is that the original high-performance ad will continue unaffected. 

When this strategy is shared with people, many worry about competing against themselves. What you have to realize is you’re competing with hundreds of thousands of other advertisers who are targeting your audience. So the little increase in your budget is not going to have a discernible impact on your overall CPM. 

One word of caution with this strategy is to watch duplicate reporting between the two ad sets. As the same people are in both audiences if someone opts in through one ad having been shown an ad from the other ad set it is likely that they will be double reported in both ad sets. 

But remember what I said earlier in this post, you need to have a way to independently verify the Facebook® reporting and a second method for calculating your Cost Per Lead and Cost Per Acquisition.

Never Ever Kill The Golden Goose

Number six is one that most Facebook® Advertisers encounter and they normally experience it at the very worst time possible. And that is that you never, ever kill the golden goose. 

If you have an ad that is performing, never make any changes to that ad or to that ad set. It is always best to duplicate your ad into a new ad set, or even into a new campaign if you’re switching objectives.

This rule applies to any edits outside of your 20% budget increases, anything that has to do with changing images, videos, headlines, body copy, or audience changes. 

When people optimize their ads, normally they are cutting their losers and introducing new creative. But, never forget that a good optimization approach is the incremental improvement of your best-performing ads. 

And that is when it gets dangerous. Never be tempted to make changes to the winning ad or ad set because that’s going to drive it back into learning, and unfortunately, as weird as this may sound it may not come back out of learning in the same way. 

So, yes, this might cause some untidiness in your campaign and possibly some headaches from a budgeting perspective, trying to match up the budgets and getting everything to balance, but it protects your CPL until you have other ads that are outperforming it. 

Today we’ve presented a “what’s working now” report from the Facebook ® ad trenches. 

I know there is a lot to unpack in this post but hopefully what we have outlined above will save you hours of frustration, and lots of $’s as you launch and scale your profitable Facebook® ad campaigns.

So, let me know what challenges you face with your Facebook® ads, whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro looking to scale your ad campaigns. 

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How To Optimize Your Facebook® Ad Audiences For Lower Cost Per Lead & Acquisition

How To Optimize Your Facebook® Ad Audiences For Lower Cost Per Lead & Acquisition

Table of Contents

Facebook® ads can be a bit of a bottomless pit for cash unless you can get the right message in front of the right audience. 

Every month, thousands of people jump into Facebook® ads without the correct strategies and end up wasting their hard-earned cash. 

Many people would be better off putting their cash in an envelope and mailing it to Mark Zuckerberg, because at least then they wouldn’t have wasted the time setting up their ads.

The majority of Facebook® Advertisers never get their ads off the ground. And they end up saying things like, “Facebook® ads don’t work,” or “My clients aren’t on Facebook®.”  But one of the big reasons they are not getting the results that they want is that they have selected inappropriate or suboptimal people to display their ads to. 

Most people fantasize about their ads generating sales and converting cold, interest-based audiences when the reality is that even the best Facebook® advertisers struggle with these audiences. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use interest or behaviour based audiences. The issue is that most people move in for the kill and ask for the opt-in or the sale far too early.

What I am about to share with you in this post is proven methodology for engaging with your audience through your ad campaigns and enticing your very best candidates to self-select and put their hands up so that you can follow up, and show them ads that solve a specific problem for them.

This will significantly boost your engagement levels and will ultimately result in lower Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).  

Get this right, and you will cut out days, weeks, and months of pain, frustration, and wasted money. Yes, you still need to put in the work. But you will know that you’re on the right track and that you’ll be short-circuiting your Facebook® ad success.

This strategy is one of the quickest and fastest ways for you to slash your CPL and CPA especially if you’re only starting with Facebook® Ads. 

I will explain the three levels of Facebook® ad strategy that every Facebook® ad campaign needs, the ad type that works best with this strategy, and why the Apple iOS 14.5 update ensures that this is one of the most valuable ads that you have in your arsenal. 

And then I will wrap up with four additional audiences that you can leverage to significantly reduce your CPL and your CPA, and how you can start building these audiences today. 

Why We Need A Better Facebook® Ad Strategy 

Ad costs are rising. Now, this isn’t just true on Facebook®, and it isn’t because Facebook® is deciding to put up its costs. That’s not the way it works. 

Simply put, Facebook® has a limited amount of real estate that they can serve ads on. By real estate I mean the newsfeeds, right column, stories, results, videos, search and messages of their Facebook® members. 

As more and more advertisers enter the auction market for this limited real estate and are willing to spend more and more money to serve ads to Facebook users the price to serve said ads increases.

As ad platforms mature and gain popularity the cost of advertising increases, it’s simple economics. But here is the thing, the increased costs are not the issue, it’s the fact that most people don’t have a system for optimizing their funnel and maximizing the immediate and lifetime return of each lead they attract.

When it comes to optimizing your audience one thing that many people don’t consider is that they are not just competing against other advertisers in your industry. You are competing against everyone who may want to target the individual Facebook® user that you are targeting.

For example, you may be in the fitness industry but someone who is a perfect target for your ad may also be a dog owner, a bitcoin trader as well as an avid golfer.

And guess what the people who are most likely to opt-in and purchase from you are the same people who are most likely to subscribe and purchase from other advertisers.

So before we start the argument that Facebook has no shortage of real estate to advertise on we have to understand that a substantial portion of people, even if they perfectly fit into our defined audience and we craft the perfect no brainer offer, they still won’t take the action that we prescribe.

All this to say, that the most valuable audiences, the ones that we want to get in front of, are not just attractive to us but attractive to others and that is the reason why they are the most expensive.

There is very little we can do on an audience targeting level to change this. However, what we can do, deploy a strategy that identifies the people within our broad audiences who are most likely to take the action that we want, using the cheapest possible ad types and then use that data to retarget them with ads that ask them to take some action.

The 3 Levels Of Facebook® Ads Every Campaign Needs

When deployed the strategy that I’m about to share is a proven winner but you still need to apply all the steps and optimizations that we’ve already discussed in this series including your overall strategy, offer, landing page & creative.

So before attempting to launch this strategy make sure that you firm grasp of fundamentals because they will need to be deployed with this strategy too.

With that warning out of the way let’s dig into the 3 Levels of Facebook Ads Every Campaign needs.

Top Of Funnel (TOFU)

The Top of Funnel is all about engagement. At this level we want to keep our audience size large and more than likely we will be relying on interest-based audiences. 

When using cold interest-based audiences one of the problems we face is that people don’t know who you are, understand what you do, or the transformation you can help them achieve. As a result, if you go directly for “the ask” they are unlikely to take the requested action.

This is the problem that we must address. One of the big objectives for the TOFU is to drive engagement with our content and give people an understanding of who we are, what we do, and how we help people. 

Our goal is to find the people who are engaging and consuming our content so that we can then move them up to the next level and retarget them during our middle-of-funnel campaign. 

Across the TOFU level, we want to hook people into your concepts, your values, and your approach. Your campaign objectives will be reach, traffic, engagement, or video views depending on your ad format. 

Now, why engagement and not a conversion objective? There’s a time and a place for conversion campaigns, but the TOFU is the time to get in front of people and let them self-select. Because there is no specific “ask”, engagement campaigns using the objectives above are the cheapest form of ads that you can run. 

Now, just because they’re cheap doesn’t mean we don’t need to work hard and be strategic about the content. In fact, the content for your Top of Funnel ads is just as important as the content for your conversion ads.

So what content works best? Your TOFU content should be unbiased, informational, educational-based content. Think about how you can best engage people and show people that you understand them, the problems they face as well as the hope and dreams they hold. 

Your call to action will be relatively weak. As in you’re not asking them for any level of commitment. The “ask” is simply to watch a video, consume your post, read a blog post, and maybe comment or engage. Any action that doesn’t require a big commitment, because if somebody doesn’t know you, they’re unlikely to commit to something significant.

Middle Of Funnel (MOFU)

When we enter the MOFU phase, we’re going to leverage the audiences built from interactions from the TOFU phase. We are transitioning from the awareness stage to the evaluation stage and as these people have previously engaged or interacted with your content you can now bring the relationship to the next level.

You can look at your MOFU as the bridge between your free content and your offering. If the goal of TOFU was to engage with your audience, show them you understand them and the problems they face, your MOFU content seeks to filter and sort out the people who are not just interested but motivated to take action.

Our goal here is to move people from a prospect to a qualified lead, by enticing them to exchange their email address in return for something valuable via a lead magnet opt-in. 

Earlier in this series, I went into detail on the best lead magnets and what a lead magnet should do. 

In summary, the best lead magnet is one that helps your Perfect-Fit Client get unstuck and take their very next step on their road to the ultimate transformation that you can help them achieve. To do this you have to understand the micro problems they face and provide fast-acting tools to help them move forward.

What are some of the hot lead magnet formats at the moment? Checklists, quizzes, cheat sheets, templates, scripts, roadmaps, and fill-in-the-blank worksheets, are all working well at the moment. 

Some less appealing magnets are guides, white papers, ebooks, videos, mini-courses, webinars. There’s nothing wrong with any of these, and many have worked well in the past but the bigger the Lead Magnet and the longer it takes to consume the less likely someone is to implement it.

People are tired, people are lazy. A great lead magnet delivers its value within 15 minutes of it being downloaded. 

Your primary goal for your MOFU campaign is to get people to opt-in for your Lead Magnet. There are two different ad objectives you could use for this level of your campaign: i) conversion objective or ii) the reach objective. 

As everyone in the MOFU audience has previously interacted with your content on paper the reach objective is the one that should work best. Whereas if you choose a conversion objective, Facebook® will only show your ad to the subset of people within the retargeting audience which they think will be likely to convert.

This is always something that I test in my campaigns and I’ve been surprised at times of which one wins out. So I’d advise you to test both approaches.  

Bottom Of Funnel (BOFU)

During the BOFU stage is where we ask for the sale. So far during TOFU & MOFU, we have delivered real value all of which without asking for anything other than an email opt-in.

From a sales perspective getting an opt-in is an important step as it invokes a psychological principle called consistency. Once people make a decision and take an action in a specific direction, they will feel compelled to behave consistently with what they have said or done previously. This is one of the reasons that gaining micro-commitments in advance of a big ask is so powerful.

On the BOFU level, your audiences are tight. We’re only working on retargeting people who’ve taken specific actions from higher levels in the funnel. 

That could be people who have registered for a lead magnet or people who have proceeded through a certain amount of steps in a launch or indicated some intent to purchase. And as a result, these will be threads with the lowest spend but the highest Return On Ad Spend (ROAS).

During the BOFU stage, we can make some assumptions about the people we are targeting. 

We can assume that these people already know us because they’ve already been through some communication process in the upper levels of the funnel. 

We can assume that they understand the problem we solve, that they’re familiar with the method we use to solve the problem, and that they’re vested in solving their problems. 

So based on that then we can then start honing in our messaging on how our offer is going to impact their lives. We can get right into the specifics about, how we’re going to help them achieve their goals, we can outline any risk reversal, and give them a deadline. 

We can use any of these triggers because we know with certainty that at this stage they are very much aware of the problem facing them, they have gotten a good sense of who we are, and they understand how we can help them achieve the ultimate transformation we know is possible for them.

4 Audiences To Begin Leveraging Today For Lower Cost Per Lead (CPL) & Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

As I mentioned above most people fantasize about their ads generating sales and converting cold, interest-based audiences when the reality is that even the best Facebook® advertisers struggle with these audiences.

So what audiences should be looking to first to test and hone our offers?? 

Retargeting Website Visitors

Well, the first place we can look to is our website visitors. Notwithstanding the iOS 14 challenges, the pixel on your website is still a really valuable source of audience data.. 

The starting point is to ensure that the pixel is installed throughout your entire website. Within Facebook® Ad Manager I would have one audience tracking all website visitors, that’s anybody who visits any page on your website. 

Then I would break my audiences down between individual service and product pages and your blog or content pages. The significance of this is that if somebody has visited your blog content, they are slightly more qualified than somebody who’s just visited your home page or an individual landing page. 

Speaking of landing pages you also want to have custom audiences built for each individual landing page and their associated thank you pages. 

And remember from a retargeting perspective, until you have traffic at scale you can combine all of these audiences together initially but the longer you delay tracking them individually the longer it will take them to build to the critical mass required to become highly effective.

When launching Facebook® Ads for a Lead Magnet the first campaign that should be built is a retargeting campaign for website visitors, meaning that once someone visits your website they get retargeted with an ad on Facebook® driving them to your lead magnet. 

But not all retargeting audiences are equal. For each custom audience that you think is valuable, I would also include a time dimension. 

The people who are most likely to take the action you specify are the people who have visited your site within the last 3 days. Depending on the complexity of the ad campaign, I normally set up a one-day, a three-day, seven-day, and then out to 14, 21, 30, 60, 90, and 180-day audiences for relevant pages.

Often I will rarely target the 30, 60 & 90-day audiences but you never know when you might them so it is better to have them set up and running in advance.

Retargeting Facebook & Instagram Post Engagements

Another powerful audience is people who have engaged with your Facebook® and Instagram page and posts. 

Let’s say you produce weekly blog content. One approach is to take each blog and create a post on Facebook® giving some value and teasing what’s in store for the reader if they were to read the remainder of the blog.

From here we create an ad based on the post and put a small amount of cash behind it, anywhere between $25 to $50 per blog post. 

The ad objective will either be for blog page visits or engagement. With either objective, you are building your retargeting audience from the website and your engagement audience on Facebook & Instagram. 

In addition, your blog should be promoting an opt-in of some kind which means you might pick up additional subscribers. If you are doing this regularly you can build large pre-qualified audiences in advance of launching your MOFU Lead Magnet opt-in ads which will outperform cold interest-based audiences.

Leverage Your Existing Customer & Prospect Lists

And another one that sometimes people forget about, is your customer and prospect lists. Both people who have purchased from you in the past and opted into your list can be uploaded into Facebook® and a custom audience created.

For most people with sub hundred thousand lists, these audiences are not hugely powerful in their own right, but they do allow you to create Lookalike audiences which are a complete game-changer.

What does a Lookalike audience mean? Lookalike audiences are a way of leveraging existing audience data to provide Facebook® with a baseline to identify other people with similar traits and who are likely to act similarly in the Metaverse.

Despite the grumbling, iOS 14.5 has not impacted the ability of Facebook® to build Lookalike audiences. iOS has stopped Facebook® reporting on actions taken by people on 3rd party websites for the purposes of retargeting but Facebook still knows who the people that took specific actions are and therefore can still produce solid Lookalike audiences.

Practically, when creating lookalike audiences I will create multiple versions of the same audience. The measurement of a Lookalike audience is based on a percentage of the total population of a country or countries that you have selected. 

What you are doing when creating a lookalike audience is that you are asking Facebook to find the X% of the population of your target country(ies) which look most like your base audience.

Normally what I do is I would create 3 Lookalike audiences

  • 1%
  • 1% – 3%
  • 3% – 8%

I then run each of those lookalike audiences against each other in different ad sets to see which performs better. You might only test it for a week to see which audience comes out on top and then promote that as the primary audience.

So that wraps up this section on optimizing your Facebook® audiences for the lowest possible Cost Per Lead (CPL) & Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

And, remember this is a process so you don’t have to get it all right on day one. It is a matter of continually refining and improving your audience building and optimization. The earlier you start the quicker you will see results so get stuck in and create your audience-building plan today.

Let me know what challenges you face with your Facebook ads, whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned pro looking to scale your ad campaigns.


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5 Steps To Lower Facebook® Ad Cost Per Lead And Cost Per Acquisition

5 Steps To Lower Facebook® Ad Cost Per Lead And Cost Per Acquisition

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In this blog, we will roll up our sleeves and get down and durttty with 3 steps you can take to tune up your Facebook® Ad creative to slash your Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

But first a word of wording. The goal of your Facebook Ad Campaign is not to simply get the lowest CPL (or CPA if you are offering a mini-front end product or immediate upsell). The goal is to produce the most cost-effective leads which go on to provide the highest lifetime value.

And by lifetime value, I mean the leads that will go on to convert for offers further up your Perfect-Fit Client Value Ascension Roadmap.

It will take time to establish the metrics and data required to determine the leads most likely to do so but it is essential to have this front of mind when undertaking any optimization actions.

This is why sometimes an $8 lead is far more attractive and will provide a greater Return on Ad Spend than a $0.50 lead.

When it comes to optimizing your Facebook® Ads the fact is, there are no absolutes. There is no one type of image, video, headline, or body copy that will outperform another type every time. 

What will work best for you is dependent on your business, what you’re promoting, who your audience is, the problem you’re solving, and even down to your audience’s level of awareness about the problem, the solution, and the method by which you’re bringing about the transformation. 

That’s why I want to introduce a framework to think about your Facebook® ad creative optimizations. Because even the best Facebook advertisers can’t pick the winning version of a good ad with any greater certainty than a flip of a coin. 


The truth is, the only way to know what is going to perform best for you is to test. And the only people that can give you the feedback that matters are your audience. 

But unless you have a specific process to follow, and understand what all the metrics mean, the optimization process can be confusing, so that’s exactly what we are going to look at today.

We will start with how best to set up your ad campaigns to facilitate the optimization process. From here we will look at optimizing your images and videos, before finally providing a framework for optimizing your Facebook® Ad copy.

What we will cover today is one of the most fundamental skills required to run profitable Facebook® Ad campaigns. No matter how good you get at drafting ad copy and designing your images or shooting your videos, not alone will you always be able to improve, but the fact is you are always going to have to continue optimizing even the best Facebook® Ads.

With Facebook® Ad there’s no such thing as set and forget, there’s no such thing as coming up with the one ad that works forever. Even if you have a good ad straight out the gate, you are still going to have to optimize it over time, because ads decay, and that one ad will never survive and perform optimally long-term. 

When you nail this skill, it’s going to guarantee that you can take losing campaigns and turn them into winning campaigns and take winning campaigns and turn them into home run campaigns.

How to Set Up Your Facebook® Ad Campaigns to Facilitate the Optimization Process?

There’s a famous phrase when it comes to selling, which is ABC, that stands for “Always Be Closing”. From marketing and specifically from a Facebook ads campaign perspective, I like to say ABT, “Always Be Testing”. 

But to get your testing and your optimization process in place, the first thing you need to do is you need to start with the right foundation. The first part of ensuring this is making sure you have multiple ads in play. 

This might seem a very simple point to make but you have no idea how many times I have been contacted by a frustrated Facebook Advertiser who wasn’t getting results and when I opened up their Facebook® Ad campaign there was one lonely little ad trying its best but failing to live up to expectation.

When I’m starting on a lower budget (anywhere up to $250 per day), I will normally have two to three unique versions of the ad copy including headline and body copy. In addition, I like to start with at least two versions of the image or video. That will give you a total of four to six ads. 

If you are starting with two versions of the Ad copy I would draft one long-form and one short-form, to begin with. Properly optimized long-form content will nearly always outperform short-form content, but initially, it will be easier to start getting conversions with your short-form content. The other thing that I love about short-form content is that it puts more of an emphasis on the headline. It gives you an extremely good test of how solid your headline is.

My normal starting point for a low-budget campaign is three ad copy variations: one short, one medium, and one long format. When these three versions of ad copy are mixed with two image or video versions you have a starting point of 6 Ad variations which is perfect.

With any more than four to six versions on lower budgets, Facebook will struggle to build the data required to assess each of the ads. It’ll favor one ad variation and push that over the rest. This means you are unable to make a solid determination as to the effectiveness of the copy in the other ads. 

If you start with less than four to six ad variations it’ll take you way too long to test your creative. 

In addition to this, you will ideally have at least two ad sets. That’s two ad sets targeting two different audiences. In practice I build the 6 ads in the first ad set and then simply duplicate them all over the second ad set, meaning the only additional work you need to undertake is to update the audience settings.

How to Approach Optimizing your Facebook Ad Campaigns?

Now you’ve launched your ads. When will you have enough data to start the optimization process? You want to give your ads at least three to five days to settle down. You won’t have any firm data before that. Sometimes ads are wildly successful in the first couple of days. Other times, it can take them a couple of days to catch, to gain traction, and for Facebook to figure out who best to show the ad to. 

Ideally, you would let your ads exit the learning phase before starting the optimization process. You exit the learning phase after 50 of the events that you’ve optimized the ad for have occurred. That may be page visits, conversions, button clicks, or an event like Lead Magnet registration.

If you have a mini front-end product, you could be optimizing your ads for the purchase of the mini front-end product or events further down the funnel.

After 50 of whatever event you specify your ad will exit the learning phase. Sometimes on lower budgets, especially when you’re starting with $20 a day or $30 a day, it might not be possible to wait until you exit to start the optimization process. 

Whichever situation you find yourself in after that initial three to five-day period, you then need to sit down and analyze your stats and come up with a hypothesis about what needs to be changed.

There are lots of variables, but you need to look at them and ask yourself: What do I think is wrong? And what do I think if I improved would improve the results of this ad? You could look at the image or the video first, you could look at the headline first. 

And remember, your goal is not always to get the cheapest front-end outcome. Your goal is to get the leads and front-end clients that go on to convert on your primary offers further up your Value Ascension Roadmap. Initially, however, cost per lead will probably be the best metric to work to. 

When you review your numbers you will start to see trends based on which copy and media element is performing best. This is why it is so important to start with multiple ads as it gives you instant data to work with. 

You want to optimize for the action furthest down the funnel that you have reliable data on. And what I mean by that is you may not have sufficient data initially to make a call on which ad is converting best, but there will be other clues like the click-through rate, page visits, or even the CPM. 

In the early stages of an ad, I very often optimize for page visits as opposed to the conversion objective, like opt-in, because you have to let Facebook figure out who is most likely to take the action that you want. And if you overprescribe your objectives initially, it can limit Facebook's ability to learn. You have to feed Facebook with data for it to work best.

Remember, one of the most important things about optimization is to never kill the golden goose. If you have an ad that’s getting you results, don’t make any changes to that specific ad. Duplicate the ad and optimize the duplicate because if you make a change that decreases ad performance it is almost impossible to get it back to its prior performance levels.

How to Optimize Your Facebook® Ad Images for Higher Conversions?

When approaching images for your Facebook® Campaigns I always, start with a native first strategy. Until you know the exact words and triggers that convert you want to blend in to stand out. 

What do I mean by native first? If you think about the average person scrolling through Facebook®, they’re used to seeing photographs from their friends, and family members. They’re used to seeing images that look like they belong on Facebook®. 

When you include a graphically designed image with your Facebook® ad, straight away people know it’s an ad and initially, that can create some friction. 

Obviously whether or not it’s a bad thing that your target audience on Facebook® knows it’s an ad depends on their level of awareness of you, and what you are offering.

If somebody is predisposed to consuming your content and you have brand recognition, as in your audience recognizes your logo, very often it can be a good idea to include your logo. 

But if you’re advertising to a cold audience who has no idea who you are you are best to go the native route. When going with a native image it is important to have some contextual link between the photograph and the overall message of your ad. 

Ideally, your image would speak to the transformation or your authority to help someone achieve the transformation. It could be a photo of you doing the very thing that you’re promoting, someone else doing it, or it could be you helping somebody achieve the transformation on offer.

And remember, what’s the purpose of the image or the video? The goal of the image or video in a Facebook® Ad is to capture your Perfect-Fit Clients attention. It has to stop the scroll. You have to have an image or video that stops somebody in their tracks. 

If you are going with a graphically designed image, what are some of the ways that we could take the principles we’ve discussed and apply them? One common way to achieve this is to use an image of what it is you’re offering. 

If your lead magnet is a checklist or a three-step cheat sheet, for example, you could have a picture of the checklist maybe with the pages fanned out. Obviously, not so visible that people could read exactly what’s on them, but enough to give them a sense of what they will get. Or maybe it could be a picture of you holding the lead magnet.

Bottom line, the best Facebook® Ad consultants can’t predict the winning creative between two well-performing ads. The best and the only way to find out is to put it out there and test it. And that’s why you always want to start with two options so that you can see which one is winning, which one is losing.

This will give you the data you need to start making optimization decisions. When you start seeing clear winners and losers, you can either tweak to improve the existing image, or you can introduce entirely new images, but always have a hypothesis in mind and track your changes over time so that you have a record of what has worked, what didn’t work, and make sure that you don’t end up down dead ends testing something that you’ve already tested. It happens more frequently than you think!

How to Optimize Your Facebook® Ad Videos for Higher Conversions?

There are three different types of video ads that you can deploy. 

  1. The text and image-based video. 
  2. B-roll style where you voiceover stock video or your video relevant to your promotion. 
  3. ”Talking head” style direct to camera 

The easiest is the text and image-based video with some musical background. And these are often where you take your ad images and combine them into a short video. Canva enables you to do this easily. 

You could also do this in PowerPoint, or any of Adobe family apps. In some ways, this is creating a video for the sake of a video and leveraging the fact that as people scroll, the video will start playing and the motion will more than likely stop them in their scroll. This is a good approach and an excellent place to start. 

If you’re serious about getting the best results for your ads, I would invest time and effort in having you in the video speaking. This will build rapport and increase trust more than the other two options. 

But here’s the thing, when you’re drafting your script for the video, the script is as important as your ad copy, if not even more so. And if you’re using video, you have to spend as much time dialing in your script as you do your ad copy.

Video Ads can be hard to get right and often will be likely to produce lower conversions initially but if you persevere you will be investing wisely and it is a skill that once cracked you will reap massive rewards

Whenever I talk about video ads the first question I normally get asked is, what length should these videos be? 

Your video should be no longer than 60 seconds, 45 seconds, if possible, and ideally even shorter than that. The shorter the better. 

Your script will depend very much on your audience and the steps you have taken to engage them earlier in your campaign. Do they know you? Are they aware of the problem you solve? Do they know the method you use to solve the problem? Based on this, you will have to prioritize the positioning required in the video. 

Facebook® Ad Video Script – Phase 1 – The Problem 

(Max 20 Seconds)

The opening part of the video needs to address the problem that you solve. This has to answer the question for your audience what’s in this for me? Why should I listen to the rest of this video?

Start with a big hook. They need to understand the problem that you are promising to solve. Through your explanation of the pain they face, you are building a connection. 

This should be no longer than 20 seconds in duration. 

Facebook® Ad Video Script – Phase 2 – Authority 

(Max 5 Seconds)

In the next phase, you have to build authority. You have to answer the question why should they listen to you?

This is not about telling them that you’re brilliant, but it’s about subtly positioning how you have helped people just like them to get the result you are promising in the past. 

It’s demonstrating how your previous experience and knowledge are invaluable and instilling confidence that you are the person who can finally help them break through and get the result that they want.

This phase should be no longer than 5 seconds in duration. 

Facebook® Ad Video Script – Phase 3 – Solution 

(Max 20 Seconds)

In Phase 1 you’ve introduced the problem, now you need to explain the solution to this problem. Ultimately the solution is to sign up for the Lead Magnet or purchase the product on offer but you have to give them some insights into what that solution is.

Having given them insights into your strategies to solve their problem you then link it to the lead magnet or product that you are offering.

Facebook® Ad Video Script – Phase 4 – Call To Action 

(Max 15 Seconds)

And then finally, comes the call to action. You have to give them the exact steps that they need to take to get their hands on the solution to their problem. If possible it is massively powerful to work in a description of the transformation that they could achieve with your Lead Magnet or product and how their life will improve.

Now let’s look at the format of the video. Most videos are based on a 16:9 resolution with the two most common formats being 1280X720 or 1920X1080 

Videos Ads on Facebook® work best in a 1:1 square resolution so 1280X1280 or 1920X1920.

If you record your video in a 16:9 format the best approach is to place the video in the middle of a square background with an attention-grabbing headline at the top and subtitle in the space underneath the video. 

One of the big reasons why this is so effective is because the square shape takes up more space on the Facebook® feed. This is especially true on mobile where the majority of your ad views will come from.

Square video ads take up the majority of a mobile screen when scrolling and you can use the headline above the ad to catch people’s attention as they scroll in a manner that the native Ad headline doesn’t. It’ll take up the whole screen. You want to command that area. 

Experiment with the color of the background for the square ad our goal is to stop the scroll and I have found that brighter colors tend to gain more attention than softer pastel colors. 

And finally, your subtitles. And, I know this can take time, but if you can animate the words by including emojis, underlining specific words, or even just bolding some keywords it makes a huge difference to your ad performance

Copywriting Framework to Look your Facebook® Ads Through

Your Ad Copy will make or break the success of your Facebook® Ad Campaigns. Unfortunately, nobody can tell you what will work best for you. 

What I can tell you however is apply the principles from the earlier sections in this series – Profitable Facebook Ads: Crafting A Knockout Offer and Your Step-By-Step Formula to Landing Page Optimization and Profitable Facebook Ad Campaigns you are going to be 5 steps ahead of your competition.

  1. Connect with your audience through their self-interest. 

  2. Answer the question: What’s in it for me? 

  3. Demonstrate that you can solve a very specific pain point. 

  4. Promise a specific outcome, a highly desirable outcome. 

  5. Painting a compelling future, 

  6. Make a compelling offer, that somebody would feel stupid to turn down

But now I want to dig a little deeper into a framework you can apply when thinking about drafting and optimizing your Facebook® Ad copy. Using this framework will ensure that your ads jump off the timeline and grab your Perfect-Fit Clients by the collar….in a good way.

There are four components to an irresistible offer that make people sit up and pay attention.

These components sit nicely together in an equation described excellently by Alex Hormozi. I like to call this the Shut Up And Take My Money Equation.

This equation can be deployed in paid offers when drafting sales page copy, or they can be deployed in your ad and landing page copy for no-cost offers. 

Remember that the offer of your ad is to get people to take action and visit your opt-in page and prime them for the next step. If your offer is not strong enough to get them to invest the time, effort, and energy to visit your landing page, your ad will fall flat on its face. 

There are two drivers on top of the equation and two drivers on the bottom of the equation. The goal is to increase the two drivers on top of the line and decrease the two drivers below the line.

So What Are The Four Elements of The Equation?

Irresistible Offer Equation – Part 1 – Primary Outcome

This is your main promise. This is what your Perfect-Fit Client wants. It’s the expression and feeling and experiences that your Perfect-Fit Client has envisaged in their mind. This is the gap between their current reality and the life that they want. 

Your job is to help them bridge the gap and to paint a vivid picture of what their life will be like once they achieve their innermost desires. But what is it that people desire? Well, Josh Kaufman explains five core human drivers that influence behavior as follows:

Core Human Driver 1 – Drive To Acquire

This is the drive to acquire, this is the desire to collect material and immaterial things like a car or influence. While it is normally easy to see how this driver applies to our offer we have to ensure that we fully understand what it is that our Perfect-Fit Client wants to “acquire”.

Remember not everyone feels driven to acquire a Ferrari. We have to be extremely careful that the promises we make are fully aligned with (…firstly… what we can deliver) what our Perfect-Fit Client truly desires. 

Core Human Driver 2 – Drive To Bond 

This is the desire to love and to feel valued in your relationships with others. While a driver like, acquire, might be easier to see it applies to our lead magnets and offers, of equal strength could be the drive to bond, either through connecting into your community or helping people connect and bond with others in their life. 

Core Human Driver 3 – Drive To Learn 

This is the desire to satisfy our curiosity. As Course Creators and Membership Site Owners we might get excited at the prospect of seeing the Drive To Learn, but a huge word of warning, most people don’t want to learn more. They want the outcome of what learning will bring about. 

Core Human Driver 4 – Drive To Defend

This is the desire to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our property. The drive to defend is a massive, massive trigger. Remember, people will do more to avoid pain than they will to attain pleasure? How will what you’re offering to prevent future pain for your Perfect-Fit Client?

Core Human Driver 5 – Drive To Feel

And then finally, a drive to feel, which is the desire for emotional experiences like pleasure or excitement. In many ways, the ultimate transformation that you are providing will end up here. Why do people want increased business success? why do they want to make more money? Why do they want to learn more? Why do they want to defend? Well, more often than not it is to secure or protect a future pleasurable state.

You need to weave each of the drivers above through your offer understanding how what you’re describing is triggering one of the above drivers.

The more drivers your offer connects with and the better you communicate with those drivers, the more attractive you will become. You might not necessarily be able to hit on all the core human drivers. 

But the more you hit on, the more that you will connect with people’s innermost desires, and the more that you will move people to take the action that you want.

Irresistible Offer Equation – Part 2 – Perceived Likelihood of Achievement

The second above-the-line element is the perceived likelihood of achievement. The more certainty you can provide as to the likelihood of success, the more chance that they will take the action that you prescribe. 

There are lots of ways you can do this including risk reversals, guarantees, showing how you’ve helped others achieve the promised result building authority, and social proof. 

One of the strongest ways to reinforce this for people is through sharing success stories of your previous clients as you not just say that you can produce a result but you are demonstrating how you have achieved this for others.

Look through your ad copy and identify where you’ve spoken to the likelihood of achievement. How are you setting them up for success and providing them with the belief that they need? And remember, this is belief in themselves, belief in you, and belief in the process or the methodology that you’re using. 

Part 1 & 2 sit above the line of the Irresistible Offer Equation and to increase the likelihood of someone accepting our offer we want to increase and maximize both of these elements.

Irresistible Offer Equation – Part 3 – Time Delay

How can you guarantee quick wins? We’re all impatient. We all want results right now. What is the very shortest time frame that you can promise some results? 

It doesn’t even need to be the full transformation. It could be just the first stop on your journey. If you can decrease the time delay that somebody will achieve their dream outcome and you can also give them a guaranteed likelihood of achievement, now things are starting to heat up. 

In fact, fast beats free. As in, the monetary cost is not as important as the timelines to achieving the promised transformation. This is one of the reasons why I always say people need to be able to consume and achieve the transformation of a lead magnet within 15 minutes of gaining access to it. 

If it’s any longer than that, people will lose interest. And more importantly, you can’t provide a promise a speedy result.

Irresistible Offer Equation – Part 4 – Effort & Sacrifice

The fourth element, the second below the line, is effort and sacrifice. I said it once and I’ll say it again, people are lazy. They all want results right now without lifting a finger. 

This is where streamlining your process, getting to the core of the issue, and cutting through as much of the clutter as possible is absolutely essential. If you can show people how your process can save them energy and effort and sacrifice, they will love you for it. But remember, this can’t just be empty promises. 

This is one of the reasons why the success of your Facebook® ad campaign is highly dependent not just on your ads and your Facebook ad strategy, but on the overall premise and promise of your funnel. 

You have to make sure that you have thought about the steps that you’re giving people. Cut through all the pain and effort people need to go through to get the result you promise, and package it in an extremely easy, usable, and frictionless process.

The combination of how you verbalize these four elements in your ad, will in a large part, dictate the success of your ad. From an optimization perspective, continuously refining your copy through these lenses is massively powerful. 

You may not be able to bring all four elements into play, and that’s fine, but when you do, your ad copy will take off. And every time you tweak your ad copy, you need to ask yourself the question, have I increased the dream outcome or the perceived likelihood of achievement? Have I decreased the perceived time delay or the effort and sacrifice? 

If you can’t see how you can do any of these, then perhaps you have to find a different angle or approach to your Facebook® ads and what you’re promoting.

And remember…

Optimization is a process. There’s no wrong and right. It’s a massive experiment. I outlined my process for approaching the optimization of your landing page in the last video of this series, and it still applies here. 

An approach to optimization:

  1. Research
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Prioritization
  4. Testing
  5. Learning

Be methodical and always keep an optimization diary. Document your hypothesis, the changes made, and the results, so that once you’ve conducted your experiment, you don’t fall into the trap of repeating the same experiment in the future.

So today we’ve looked at an approach for fine-tuning your Facebook® ads. Remember, this is a skill that you have to develop over time. There’s no one-size-fits-all. The most important thing is that you have a structured approach, you learn to read the data, and act accordingly. 

We started with setting your ads up to facilitate optimization, e looked at some ideas for optimizing your Facebook® ad images and video, and finally, how to think about optimizing your copy. 

So let me know what challenges you face with your Facebook ads, whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned pro looking to scale your ad campaigns.

Know someone who would like this post? Share it with them on social… 

Key Principles to Plan, Launch and Scale a Profitable Facebook Ads Campaign (Part 1)

Facebook Ad Strategy: How To Plan, Launch, and Scale a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign

Facebook Ad Strategy: How To Plan, Launch, and Scale a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign

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The costs were piling up. She felt like she was going round and round in circles. And no matter what she did, she just couldn’t get her Facebook ads to work. She had a great membership and the results she got for her members were amazing, but she just couldn’t draw people into her world. She couldn’t bring enough people in to give her a sense that her business was working. 

She was frustrated, she was angry. She was almost about to shut down her business. She felt like Facebook had defeated her. But when we applied this framework in her business, everything changed. 

If you are an online course creator or a membership site owner who is either about to launch a Facebook ad campaign, has a Facebook ad campaign that’s underperforming, or you have a Facebook ad campaign that’s working well and now you want to scale it, then this post is for you. 

I’m a huge believer in principles. The online world is full of hacks and tricks and sure they can work, for a while at least.  But when you bring things back to a principle level, that is when you can have certainty that what you are about to do will have long-term success


The principles in this post are essential for the long-term success of your Facebook Ads and indeed your business. If you get this wrong, you will struggle with every campaign that you launch. You’ll constantly be fighting against Facebook and it will feel like an uphill battle. Your ads will cost more. Your leads will be more expensive. And what’s worse, when you make an offer to your leads, they might not even convert. 

Ultimately, your ads will be unprofitable and you will struggle to scale your online business growth through PPC.

But if you get this right, you will have a process to follow that will enable you to produce high-quality, cost-effective, or cost-neutral leads that convert when you make an offer to them.. 

Ultimately, if you crack this, you will be enabling your business to have an unlimited lead generation budget, as your lead generation process will cover its costs.

Facebook Advertising is Dead…. Or is it??

Not a day goes by that I don’t see somebody complaining that they can’t get their Facebook ad campaigns to work. 

“Facebook advertising is dead” 

“Facebook ads only work for people in XXXXXX niche.”

“I can’t find my audience on Facebook”. 

“Facebook is just out to screw people over.” 

None of this is true! And I think that a lot of people misunderstand the game that they’re playing. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson once said: “The universe is not under any obligation to make sense to you.” What he was trying to say is, a lot of people look at the universe and if they don’t understand something, they say, “No, that couldn’t be right.” Or, “Well, that’s not the way it works,” because it just doesn’t make sense to them. 

They go against the facts just because it doesn’t make sense. 

Now, if we were to adapt that saying for the online marketing world, it would be:

Facebook is not under any obligation to build your business” or “Facebook is not under any obligation to give you cheap leads”. 

You have to understand the game that you’re playing. You have to understand the rules. You have to be equipped to win. If you go into this half-baked, you will lose. And that’s a fact.

In the early days of  Facebook advertising, things were simple,  all you had to do was put $1 in and you got back $5. With very little in the way of strategy or deep tactics even the uninitiated could get amazing results.

But today it’s a different story. As more and more people see the potential of Facebook Ads and begin to advertise the more cash enters the ad market. 

The real-estate available to Facebook to advertise on (as in the number of newsfeeds etc of their members) although continuing to increase is relatively fixed. As Facebook is an auction-based market, the greater the amount of cash bidding on a relatively fixed level of inventory, the higher the price will go. 

This increase disproportionately impacts popular audiences and segments so if you are targeting people who have appeal to a large number of advertisers your Ad costs will increase even greater than other audiences. And, remember this is just your direct competitors but advertisers in other industries which may also want the attention of your audience.

#1 Mistake Infopreneurs Make When Getting Into Facebook Ads

One of the main mistakes I see people make with Facebook Ads is that they don’t start out with a specific Facebook ad strategy. The depth of many people’s strategy is to create a lead magnet (the one that is easiest and quickest to create) get their opt-in page built (as quickly as possible)  and start running Facebook ads to “build their list”. 

But they don’t have a clear plan to cover the cost of their leads. Everything in business and marketing should start with a strategy. And this is especially true for Facebook ads because there’s a lot at risk. It can get expensive. It can be time-consuming. 

You need a plan to monetize the leads once they start coming in. I don’t agree with the term list-building. To me, this is an aimless, pointless task. Your campaign needs to bring people towards a very specific outcome. That could be an immediate promotion or a promotion in three weeks but there has to be a very specific outcome and a very specific plan to get a positive return on your lead generation investment.

Now here’s the funny thing. Facebook ads and launches don’t necessarily go perfectly hand in hand together. In a traditional PLF Launch, the condensed workshop registration period and open cart period mean that Facebook Ads are not the most suitable promotion methods.. 

It’s hard to test and scale Facebook ads in a short period of time. This is why it is essential that we use the correct Facebook Ad strategies to support our Launch strategies. 

Before getting started with a lead generation strategy, it is beneficial to shift your mindset to thinking in terms of value optimization as opposed to building your list.

There are two main strategies we can adopt here. The stack ’em and rack ’em approach or the mini front-end liquidator

The first Facebook ad strategy, the stack ’em and rack ’em, is where we have Facebook ads going directly to an opt-in page. When somebody registers, they get sent out the lead magnet, and then they enter our email list. Hopefully, once they hit our list we have some sort of engagement sequence to keep them warm, and engaged. 

And then at some stage in the future, we’re going to offer them something. That could be 3 months from now or 6 months from now but you sit and hope, as you watch the costs pile up, that when you do make them an offer they will convert and you make your money back. 

In many ways, this was the traditional approach to Facebook ads. And when Facebook ads and leads were cheap, that strategy used to work, because it was purely a numbers game and there were big margins of error between the costs and potential returns.

However, now that Facebook ads are getting more costly and our audience’s level of awareness of the marketing strategies and tactics that marketers are using increases, we need to have a slightly more evolved approach. 

And this is the second Facebook ad strategy which is the Mini-frontend Liquidator. This is where Facebook Ads drive people to an opt-in page. The opt-in page offers a strategically developed lead magnet that helps our Perfect-Fit Prospect take the first step on our Value Ascension Roadmap

Once somebody registers for the lead magnet, they are offered a mini-product aligned with the lead magnet (and the next steps on their Value Ascension Roadmap at a low price point. The purpose of this mini-frontend offer is to liquidate the cost of the ads. 

If you’re going with something like a $27, mini-frontend product, it’s an easy decision and thought process for somebody to take out their credit card. You don’t think about spending $27. 

Now don’t interpret this as it is an easy sell. You still have to work really hard on your offer and you need to have a really compelling reason for them to make the purchase. 

With a $27 mini-frontend offer, it’s going to be hard to cover the full cost of your ads so you might need to look at a $47 or a $97 offer. Depending on your audience and the strength of your offer these will be the starting point of generating an unlimited marketing budget. 

If you want to go a step further and turn this into a profit-generating campaign you could add an upsell after that initial product to a secondary product. The initial product might contain tools, templates, or fill-in-the-blank sort of document at $27 or $47, and then you might have a secondary upsell for $197,  which could contain a video series helping people implement the first product. 

The business that can afford to pay the most to acquire a customer, will win. And this is what we are trying to achieve with this campaign We’re trying to create a situation where we can afford to pay more than our competitors to acquire a customer and still maintain profitability.  

STEP 2: Map Your Perfect-Fit Clients’ Journey

I call this your Perfect-Fit Client Value Ascension Roadmap. You need to have a very specific sequence of steps that a Perfect-Fit Client needs to take to get them from where they are today to some stage in the future when they’ve ultimately achieved the transformation that you know is possible for them. 

What I have found is that most online businesses can condense the core topics that make up their overall message into 5-7 key areas. The ideal case scenario (though be patient with how long it takes you to get here) is to have a lead magnet for each of your key areas. 

This becomes really powerful because every piece of content you create within your 5-7 key areas will automatically link to a specific lead magnet. 

When you strategically create your mini-frontend liquidator products you can cover one or a number of your key lead magnets which means that over time, every piece of content you produce becomes a revenue-generating opportunity. 

The first step is to bring people from your ad to your lead magnet, then from your lead magnet to your mini front-end product. And then you’re going to map the journey from the mini front-end product to your signature product and beyond

This through-line is hugely important because it has to be logical, and sequential bringing people in the same direction. Every step that’s taken is bringing them one step closer to the overall transformation that you know is possible for them. 

And when you’re mapping their journey the lead magnet and mini-product are providing them either with a small percentage of the overall transformation or the very next step towards the ultimate transformation. As people move higher up the Roadmap they are getting an ever-higher level of that transformation or they’re getting the same level of transformation only quicker.

And when you’re building your Facebook Ad strategy, you need to know where you want your Perfect-Fit Clients to end up. You need to know the through-line from your free front-end content all the way to your signature product and your coaching program or mastermind. It is so important to know the steps they need to take and to have pre-mapped and pre-built them into your Value Ascension Roadmap

Alignment here is key and two of the big alignment mistakes I see people  often make are:

  • MISTAKE 1: Facebook ad copy not aligned with the lead magnet or the opt-in page. This sounds strange but often, especially if the ads and the landing page have been drafted by different people, the key offer and promise of the ad copy and the offer and promise of the opt-in page or the lead magnet are not fully aligned. Storytelling is massively important in drafting Ads that drive high-quality traffic but you need to be careful you don’t bury the lead and end up confusing a potential lead. (equally as bad is where the ad copy is an exact replica of the opt-in page copy)
  • MISTAKE 2: The lead magnet is not aligned with the journey that you want to take a Perfect-Fit Client on. The lead magnet might be handy or easy for you to produce, but if it is not the best next step for a Perfect-Fit Client to take on their journey towards the transformation you can provide then it is not serving you, your business, or your Perfect-Fit Clients. The same is true of your mini-frontend products and other offers on your Value Ascension Roadmap. Everything has to be sequential and the logical next step for a Perfect-Fit Client to take.
  • TIP: Be clear on what the roadmap is for your clients and make sure that you can give them that pathway.


STEP 3: Understand The Lifetime Value Of A Perfect-Fit Client

As more and more people enter the Facebook Ad market the amount of money being bid on a relatively finite amount of ad real estate (Facebook users newsfeeds and related advertising slots) increases. This will increase the costs of the impressions and the costs of link clicks. 

And while the advertising world shakes its fists at the increases in ad costs I believe it is only an issue if you don’t have a specific Facebook ad strategy, to monetize your leads both in the short term with a self-liquidating offer and medium to long term with a Value Ascension Roadmap. It does, however, require a change in mindset from the “put a dollar in getting 5 back” to having a “play the long game” mentality.

With the increased costs of Facebook Ads, you have to be very strategic with the path you have for someone once they join your list or register for a mini-frontend product. 

You also have to have a very firm grasp on your downstream conversion rate metrics because if you know with certainty the conversion levels and rates of your downstream metrics now you can be braver with your front end spend up to the point where you will deliberately go negative on the front end because you know you will make your profits on the back end.

Here are some of the metrics you should know and track:

  • What are your lead magnet opt-in conversion rates?
  • What are your upsell conversion rates?
  • What are your conversion rates for your signature product launches? 
  • What are your conversion rates for other promotions? 
  • If you were to run a campaign for a webinar, how many people from your list would register? 
  • How many people would show up for the webinar? 
  • How many people then convert when you made an offer on your webinar? 
  • What are your conversion rates on your virtual events? 
  • How many people do you need to have to make the virtual event profitable? 
  • And when you make an offer, what percentage of those will convert into a mastermind or a group coaching program?

These are just some of the common conversion metrics that I track with my clients but every business will be slightly different.

You need to become a conversion rate nerd. Start building a database of your conversion rates for your backend offers. Because in reality, there’s no such thing as too high a lead cost. There’s no such thing as too expensive a lead. There’s only suboptimal optimization of the revenue that you produce from that lead once they come in. 

And this is why I place such emphasis on the Value Ascension Roadmap. It provides you with a clear visual of the stepping stones and levels in your business and the stages through which you will move people from free content, lead magnet, mini-frontend product, signature product, membership, group coaching program, and mastermind program. 

And when you know how many people convert from a lower level to an upper level, you can take a more strategic long-term view of your lead generation investment strategy. This is a key to your long-term success with Facebook ads. But unfortunately, it’s the one thing that most people don’t think about, nor pay attention to.

Uncover Your Facebook Ad Strategy to Launch, Plan, and Manage a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign

We covered three things here in the Facebook ad strategy today. We compared two lead generation strategies: the stack ’em and rack ’em and the mini front-end liquidator. We looked at building your Value Ascension Roadmap for your Perfect-Fit Clients so that they always have the next step to step to and that you always have a higher value offer to put in front of them. And third, we looked at understanding the lifetime value of a Perfect-Fit Client

If you take what we have covered here and formally applied it to your business (even if you don’t have all the hard data or numbers yet) you will be ahead of 90% of Facebook Advertisers. And, guess what. You don’t need to be the world’s best Facebook advertiser to get great results, you just need to be a couple of steps ahead of the pack in your niche.

I know Facebook ads can be a frustrating area, so let me know what your challenges are. What challenges do you face with Facebook ads? Whether you’re just getting started or whether you’re a seasoned pro looking to scale your campaign, drop me a comment below and I promise I’ll answer you.

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