Email List Building Funnel – How To Get Leads Online

Email List Building Funnel – How To Get Leads Online

Table of Contents

As a course creator or membership site owner if don’t have a process for consistently attracting new email subscribers to your list you will struggle to grow your business, and have the impact you want.

Building an email list that is fully aligned with your core offers is one of the key skills every online business owner needs to master.

In fact, I would say that it is the number one thing that holds people back when it comes to building a profitable, stress-free, online business.

In this post, I am going to break down a simple front-end lead generation funnel. I will describe each step in the funnel, the key to success for each step, and the technology stack you need to support you.

If you are just starting out with lead generation this post will give you a massive head start cutting out hours and hours of pain, frustration, and wasted time and money as it will give you a proven framework to apply quickly and easily in your business today.

If you already have your lead generation process up and running this post will give you an opportunity to review your funnel and identify the key areas you need to optimize to reduce your Cost Per Lead, increase your conversion rate and increase your revenue per lead.

Lead Generation Funnel Overview

We are going to start off today with a simple lead generation funnel and over the coming weeks I am going to expand on this model and introduce more complex funnels but in order to do that, we need to have solid foundations in place.

So for the purposes of today’s post, we are going to look at 3 phases




Once we have our funnel ready to go the very first thing we need to do is drive traffic to it. So Phase 1 is the traffic phase. This is such an important step as we have to ensure that we are driving the right people, at the right time, and at the right price.

This brings us to Phase 2 which is the capture phase. The goal here is to convert the traffic into subscribers and get the subscribers’ email addresses over to our email provider.

Unfortunately, this is where most people’s lead generation strategy ends. And having reviewed hundreds of funnels it is very often the single biggest point of failure I see.

For me, Phase 3, the engage phase, is the most important part of your lead generation funnel. And I will break down why and exactly what you need to do in this post.

Ok, so now that we have broken down the high-level funnel let’s dive into each section and look at the key components and your focus for each.

Phase 1: Traffic – Driving the Right People at the Right Cost

You can break your lead generation traffic sources into 4 primary channels.

Paid Traffic

Search Traffic

JV Traffic

Social Traffic

Now one of the big traffic sources missing from this list is email. If you have a new lead magnet I think it is a great idea to share it with your existing email list.

In fact, doing so, and getting them to opt-in again is a great re-engagement strategy to keep them warm and it will also give you some great segmentation data and will also identify your most committed subscribers.

However, as we are speaking specifically about lead generation I am going to exclude email from our traffic sources for today.

When it comes to developing your traffic strategy I think the worst thing you can do is try to implement all 4 at once. The real results come when you master a channel.

And by real results, I mean attracting email subscribers who go on to become repeat customers over a long timeframe at the right price

Mastery only comes through intense focus over a sustained period of time so I really want you to get specific and intentional on the strategies that you adopt.

Paid Traffic – Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Ads, TikTok Ads

So channel number 1 is Paid Traffic. This may be in the form of Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, TikTok Ads, and to a lesser extent Twitter, LinkedIn, Bing, Yahoo.

The great thing about Paid Traffic is that you get immediate feedback and you can also get a volume of consistent traffic which enables you to optimize your landing page.

In addition, you can get almost instantaneous results and you are in full control of both how much you spend and by extension the number of leads you generate.

On the downside, it can be tough to break into this channel. Especially on mature platforms like Facebook and Google where there is strong competition and you will be pitched against experienced advertisers.

Each platform has its own approach and best practices that need to be observed to get results and there is a steep learning curve.

Plus mistakes can be costly and add up quickly over time. My key piece of advice here is to invest in education and Mentorship early in the play.

I very often think that until you have a funnel that is converting reasonably well and your ad spend is up to at least $150 per day you should not approach an agency to run your ads. But engaging a Mentor will help you get to this point so much faster plus it will teach you so much about your offer and how to write copy that converts.

Search Traffic – SEO – Blog SEO & Video SEO

By search traffic, I am predominately talking about SEO in the form of written blog posts and videos on YouTube. Google and YouTube are the number 1 and 2 search engines in the world.

This is very much a long-term play. You have to commit to this process in time frames of years instead of weeks and months.

It can take even the best in the business up to 6 months to see any rewards from this channel.

Does that mean that it isn’t worth doing? Hell no. Some of the big benefits of SEO is that once the initial work is done it doesn’t cost any more to keep generating leads. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t an initial investment, nor does it mean that once you publish a post you can forget about it and it will bring you new leads every day

However, over longer timelines, the ROI from SEO will far outstrip the ROI from Paid Traffic

When it comes to blogging and YouTube one of the best strategies you can follow is to be very specific in the topics you cover and to niche down on who you are speaking to and the topics you cover. Above all else consistency is key.

1 piece of quality content a week is all you need to make this strategy work but you need to deliver it once every week and have your timeframes set to a period of years rather than weeks and months.

Social Traffic – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok

Here I am talking about Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook. Obviously, there are hundreds more out there but these are some of the main ones.

The 4 biggest networks are Facebook with 2.5 billion monthly users, Instagram at 1.5 billion users, TikTok at 1 billion monthly users, Twitter with 460 million monthly users, Pinterest at 431 million active users.

Each network has its own process for growing your network organically and through paid methods. As networks get more mature and attract more users it gets more difficult to grow organically. That’s why I am so excited about TikTok at the moment.

TikTok has become the most popular website in the world taking the title from Google which held the crown for the previous 11 years

No matter which Social channel you choose make sure that you fully understand the native growth practices and create content to suit the specific platform.

Once you start building your audience you then need to develop specific strategies to drive people from the platform to your opt-in page.

And herein lies one of the biggest challenges of building an audience on social. There is a very fine line that needs to be thread between entertaining, providing value and making asks of your network to perform some form of action like visiting a landing page

It is important to get into an established cadence and get people used to asking without overdoing it. But one of the best ways that you find this balance is by turning everything into a conversation and by truly engaging with your audience.

One of the things that will help massively with building your social traffic is using scheduling apps like Later, Loomly, MeetEdgar, Plannable or Hootsuite

I have used all of these tools and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

None of them will integrate with all platforms and even within platforms they do integrate with some formats are not available to post so the first port of call is to sit down and figure out your primary platform and post type.

JV Traffic – Joint Venture List Building

Now JV traffic can be one of the most powerful and quickest ways to build your list.

Most JV partners, especially those with bigger lists know the ROI of each email they send and very often there is going to have to be a financial incentive for them to email their list unless you have a personal relationship with them.

This is why the JV traffic source is best used for list building on the front end of a promotion or launch.

However, if you invest in building your network and you have something of true value which will appeal to someone’s audience it could be possible to convince them to mail for you

It is absolutely essential if they do however that

  1. Your landing page is proven to convert. Ideally, if you were getting a JV involved you will have first-run traffic to the page from paid advertising and hit a conversion rate of 50+% from cold traffic.
  2. You have some mechanism for reporting back to the JV the number of visitors, subscribers, and conversion rates from their traffic. You can either do this through affiliate links or by providing them with a unique landing page where the only traffic is from them.

Phase 2: Capture – Convert the Traffic into Email Subscribers

The key to success in Phase 2 is creating a landing page that converts.

Now to discover how you can do that I have an entire post on the components and layout of a landing page that converts above 60% from cold traffic.

As a high-level overview, there are only 5 key components of a landing page.




Body Copy – 3-5 bullet points

Call To Action – Button

Now in order to deliver your Landing page, you are going to need to pick a site builder.

To start with you could go with WordPress or whatever your website is built on.

I love building landing pages in WordPress. You have the ultimate freedom to design it in whatever way you want. This is made especially easy if you use the Elementor builder plugin for WordPress.

Elementor is a drag and drop builder for WordPress which makes it super easy for even inexperienced designers to build custom designed pages in WordPress

Despite how easy Elementor makes it there is still a learning curve and that is why lots of people go with option 2 which are the specialist landing page builders.

The two best know and most widely used options here, especially amongst course creators and membership site owners are Clickfunnels and Leadpages.

Clickfunnels specializes in building marketing funnels. They have a lot of pre-made templates and funnel flows to get you started. Again they are a drag and drop builder with a much easier learning curve than Elementor however the trade-off is the cost.

With Clickfunnels there is a monthly fee of either $97 or $297 per month.

I am a huge fan of Clickfunnels especially when it comes to more complex funnels where you are going to have upsells and order bumps.

Plus the content that you get to once you are a member really helps you in your funnel design planning and implementation.

The next major platform is Leadpages.

Leadpages has all the functionality you need to deploy high-converting landing pages.

Again Leadpages is a drag and drop builder that is so easy to use and understand. Most people can get up and running with Leadpages after an hour or two of playing around with the builder.

You are a little more limited with your design options in Leadpages and it certainly isn’t without its quirks however it is a solid option and one that I have used many times to deploy fast loading, good looking, and most importantly high converting landing pages.

Once someone opts-in from your landing page they should be redirected to a Thank you Page.

Your thank you page is a hugely important part of the process and is so often a missed opportunity to start building rapport and the foundations that someone needs to make the step from email subscriber to paying customer.

Phase 3: Engage – Build Connection, Build Rapport

So many people get pissed off with Facebook saying it sent them crap leads when often all that happened was they landed in your email platform, they were neglected and they disengaged with you before you had a chance to nurture them properly.

You need to have a nurture or indoctrination sequence in place that people are automatically sent across the 7-10 days directly after you opt-in.

The purpose of this sequence is to build rapport, give them insights into you, your business, your passion, your methodology.

And remember people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.

You want to inspire people and show them that you are not just another faceless marketer who is out to make a quick buck. You are committed to the cause of making their life better.

This is a great opportunity to share your very best content and to make the best possible impression.

In addition to sending them the Lead Magnet, why not follow up with an additional surprise and send them a high value, related or follow on download.

Make them feel really special and show them that you deliver over and above what you promise. Creating this impression will serve you in the long run plus you are upping the levels of reciprocity and building a deeper connection.

In order to do all this in an efficient and automated way, you are going to need an email platform to support you.

When it comes to email platforms there are lots of different options at lots of different price points.

As a course creator and membership site owner some of the key things you are looking for in a platform are:

Ability to build automation

Clear and visually initiative campaign builder

Ability to tag and segment users without using lists

An intuitive email builder

A platform that has good native integrations and more importantly integration with Zapier

Solid, easy to configure, and deep reporting on subscribers and actions taken by subscribers

With this in mind, I have picked 3 platforms that depending on the stage of your business and your appetite for rolling up your sleeves and figuring out the platform will suit you best:

Ok so level 1

If you are just starting out and you want something that is quick and easy to get up and running, intuitive to use, and also has the capacity to deliver a launch then ConvertKit is my go-to platform.

ConvertKit has become hugely popular over the past number of years and they are continuing to develop and add features to their platform.

They have a great feature set including landing pages, email sign-up forms, drag and drop email builder, e-commerce, and automation. The ConvertKit platform is only going in one direction and I love how simple it is to use.

Level 2 is ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampign has become one of the most popular platforms in the course creator and membership space. They have an advanced feature set and will serve the needs of most launchers with landing pages, e-commerce, drag and drop email builder, marketing automation, sales automation, lead scoring.

There is a little bit more figuring out with ActiveCampagin, however, you are rewarded for that effort with the ability to build complex launch and automated sales campaigns.

Level 3 is Keap formerly Infusionsoft

Now I’m not going to lie to you there is a lot to get your head around in Keap. There are people who have used it for years and they still find new features or ways of doing things

There is a really steep learning curve and more than likely you will need a level of training and support.

However, the very reason why this is the case is also the reason I love Keap so much.

If you can imagine it you can build it in Keap. It is a full business automation platform featuring sales and marketing automation, CRM, Sales Pipelines, e-commerce and subscriptions, reporting and analytics, email marketing, and text marketing platform

The campaign builder gives you 100% flexibility to build highly complex and integrated launch and follow-up campaigns.

So if you are willing to put the effort into learning how to use the platform you will definitely be rewarded for your efforts.

Bonus Section – A Simple Tweak to Massively Improve Your Results

Ok so that is an overview of Sales Funnel Number 1 which is your Email List Building Funnel.

Over the coming weeks, I am going to bring you through a number of other funnels introducing additional features and possibilities for your business.

Now at the start of this post, I promised I would share one simple tweak you can make which will massively increase the value of lead you generate. And I will get right to that but before I do I just want to recap what we have covered today.

There are 3 Phases in your email list building funnel Phase 1 is your Traffic Phase. This includes Paid, Search, Social & JV Traffic

Phase 2 is the Capture Phase. In this phase, we use our Opt-in page to capture people’s email addresses and then the Thank You Page to make sure that they interact with our initial email and start building a relationship.

We then enter Phase 3 which is the Engage Phase. In the engage phase we start building connection, reciprocity, and positioning your new lead so that they are ready to take the next step when you make an offer to them.

Ok so now for the bonus.

One of the issues with lead generation is that lots of our emails go to spam and promotion folders and despite our best efforts a good % of the people who opt-in will never open our email.

In essence, this means that despite having paid to get someone on our list we will fail to get a return on that investment.

And that pisses me off.

So here’s what you can do

Set up a free front-end Facebook Group. Try to have one Facebook group that can cover all your lead magnets so that you can leverage it on all your front-end funnel.

Then on your Thank You Page just under your video place a big button offering people the opportunity to join your community and get an additional item of value when they join your group.

This will give you the opportunity to test and sample the quality of your leads and as there is still good organic reach within Facebook groups it means your future offers will be visible by the group members.

It also gives you an opportunity to build an even deeper relationship with your new leads which in the long run will lead to more sales and an even stronger community.

Ok so now that you know the phases of your Email List Building Funnel you are probably going to want to take a deeper dive into Lead Generation.

So make sure you check out some of my other posts for lots more on how to get started with lead generation and how to design landing pages that convert.


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How To Launch A Product Online - 5 Step Product Launch Tutorial

How To Launch A Product Online – 5 Step Product Launch Tutorial

How To Launch A Product Online - 5 Step Product Launch Tutorial

Table of Contents

If you have an online course, membership, or program and you want to get more people registered so you can have a bigger impact, grow your revenue and create time, money, and lifestyle freedom through your online business then the 5 Steps that I share with your in this post are the simplest, quickest and easiest way for you to do so.

I am about the share the strategies and tactics that I used to build a multimillion-dollar business with $1,5 million in annual recurring revenue from online memberships and courses

Not alone have they worked for me but I have now helped countless others to implement these strategies to quickly launch and scale their online businesses.

How To Build Your Product Launch & Promotion Calendar

First, let’s talk about the overall strategy of promoting an online business.

Whether you have an online course, membership, or group program the best way of building your strategy is to break your year down into 4 cycles of 90 days each with each cycle ending in a promotion.

Now that might not be a primary promotion and as your business grows you probably will not run 4 promotions for your primary program a year. You may have 2 primary and 2 secondary.

Your secondary promotions could be for a smaller product or front-end membership, event, or even a JV promotion that you are going to go all-in-one.

One of the things I love most about this approach puts very defined timelines on your marketing focus and attention.

It gives you time and space to build your list between promotions, not just that but build a relationship and connect with them making sure that they understand who you are, how you can help them, and what makes you the perfect person to help them achieve their deepest dreams, goals, and ambitions.

Ok, so now that we have dialed in on a 90 Day cycle I want to break down the 5 phases or steps and bring you through the key components of each and what you need to do to maximize your results in each. 

Phase 1 – The Build Phase – Lead Generation & Engagement Strategies

List building into a launch is the best strategy except for JV traffic

Time to engage, build trust, and build relationships with engagement sequence (3-10 emails)

  • Share personal insights – build a connection
  • Share the best content
  • Raise and eliminate big objections
  • Share your dreams and your plan for them
  • Demonstrate your unique mechanism
  • Prove to them why and how you are different.

How You Show up here dictates the success of your launch. What do people need to believe to purchase your offer? You need to provide evidence. Think of it like a court case. What questions are holding people back and how can I get them to start taking action.

Phase 2 – The Awareness Phase – Preparing Your Email List For Launch

2 Weeks before you enter your pre-launch.

Share very focused stories of how ordinary people achieve remarkable results using your methods.

Build awareness of the problems your program solves and how it solves them through the results that your previous students have achieved

Call out the big objections and answer them in advance

No mention of your product but start building excitement for your Pre-Launch

Culminates in the Shot across the bow survey

Phase 3 – The Pre-Launch Phase – Promoting Your Launch Masterclass

Principle-based marketing

Registration for free Masterclass / Workshop

Build excitement, anticipation, energy and momentum

Deliver huge value – content density – strategies rather that tactics – big mistake people getting bogged down

Psychological triggers – Reciprocity, authority, proof, social proof, community, conversation

This has evolved and lots of people have built onto this model

Seed Launch

Traditional pre-recorded 3 module course

Live launches


Coaching week




Phase 4 – The Launch Phase – Making Your Offer and Selling Your Online Course

3-6 day period

Increase the dream outcome, increase the likelihood of success, decrease the time delay and decrease the effort required


Destroy objections

Help people get the result they desire faster

Day 1 release sales video and offer page

Daily emails

We’re open



Case Studies



But remember you don’t have to stop providing value.

Weave in livestreams and webinars

One of the key reasons why launches work is because of the deadline

Phase 5 – The Post-Launch Phase – The Secret To Making Money Online

Your success will be directly related to the success you help your clients achieve. The start is essential.

When someone purchases you pull them out of the offer campaign and you need to have daily emails until your first deliverable.

Remember some people are going to get all emails so save essential info until after close cart.

Put as much effort into this experience as you do into your launch.

And remember this is the perfect opportunity for a down-sell. Lots of people are all reved up. Not ready to step up to your primary product but they want to buy something.

Offer them something that is going to get them results and prepare them to step up to your signature program the next time you launch.

How To Launch An Online Product Overview

Now at the start of the post, I promised a bonus session on how you can add an additional 10-15% launch revenue guaranteed with hardly any additional work, and if you stay tuned I will get right to that but first let’s do a quick recap on what we have covered today.

Phase 1 – Build – all about lead generation and all about positioning our list for the launch

Phase 2 – Awareness – Building awareness of the opportunities and the successes others have had while overcoming the most common objectives

Phase 3 – Pre-Launch – Promotion and delivery of our Masterclass or workshop

Phase 4 – Launch – where we offer our signature program or memberships

Phase 5 – Onboarding – lay the foundations of success for our new members

Bonus Session – How To Add An Additional 10% – 15% Launch Revenue

Ok so let’s look at a way that you can add an additional 10—15% guaranteed to your launch revenue.

So you have whipped your audience into a frenzy. You build huge reciprocity, excitement, and momentum. You make your offer and a certain % of people sign up.

Now for every person who signed up, there is another person who was on the fence. Who wanted to buy but either didn’t have a bad enough need at that time or who couldn’t justify the value proposition. But they would love to spend some money with you.

Well, let’s give these people something to buy.

Now if you have a low ticket course or membership that is aligned with your primary offer then you can run a down-sell starting a day or two after you close cart for your primary offer.

This will be a lower dollar offer and based on the momentum you have built will, as long as it is a solid offer in its own right convert like crazy after all the heavy lifting you have done during your launch.

I have seen some crazy figures with these down-sells, especially with bigger lists but no matter what you can definitely add an additional 10-15% of launch revenue with a down-sell.

Ok so now that you know the phases of a launch you are probably going to want to take a deeper dive into Lead Generation.

So make sure you check out some of my other posts for lots more on how to get started with lead generation and how to design landing pages that convert.


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6 Ways To Improve Your Facebook Ads Performance​

6 Ways To Improve Your Facebook Ads Performance

6 Ways To Improve Your Facebook Ads Performance

Table of Contents

Neil deGrasse Tyson famously coined the phrase “The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”. In the online marketing world, I like to say “Facebook is under no obligation to provide you with cheap leads”

Facebook’s job is to serve our ads to the people who are most likely to take the desired action we specify. Facebook is extremely good at this and remember, it is in their best interest to seek out the very best people to get the result we desire so that we will come back and spend more money with them.

However, despite the various metrics we use to judge the effectiveness of adverts, Facebook is paid based on the ads they serve. How much you pay is based on the auction for available ad inventory based on your bid (budget) and performance (ad quality).

Everything that happens after that is based on the ability of our ads and landing pages to capture people’s attention and move them emotionally to a point where they are willing to take the action we desire (eg. watch a video, opt-in for a lead magnet, or purchase a product) The profitability of our ads is dictated by the quality of our funnel and the revenue opportunities that we create once a lead enters our world.

So once Facebook has delivered ads to the most suitable individuals the ball is firmly in our court and despite all the panic and hype over iOS 14 and the ever-increasing costs of advertising, it is still possible to run very profitable Facebook Ads campaigns once you understand the rules and play the game.

Before You Start…Understand The (Facebook Ads) Game You Are Playing

When it comes to maximizing your return on Facebook Ads, there is a hierarchy of elements that I work through to optimize the ads and funnel. Different people will have slightly different approaches. The most important thing is to have some structured way of thinking about the launch and optimization of your Facebook Ads and your Funnel. Without a structured approach you will be likely to end up running in circles, producing hit and miss results, or worse still never getting your Facebook Ad Campaigns off the ground.

These are listed in order of priority and in the order that I use when launching or reviewing Client Facebook Ad Campaigns.

Let’s get started!

1. Your Facebook Ads And Facebook Ad Funnel Strategy

The costs of ads are increasing as more and more advertisers enter the market and consumers become more sophisticated and marketing aware. It is important to have a fully thought-through Facebook ad strategy to convert your PPC leads to paying clients and then optimize their lifetime value. This is one of the reasons I love putting a Self-Liquidating Offer upfront, in Facebook campaigns, but is also why having a Value Ascension Roadmap is essential.

The business that can afford to pay the most to acquire a customer will win. You can achieve this by maximizing your Average Order Value on the front end and then having multiple back-end offers overtime always providing your Perfect-Fit Client with a next-level or offer to step up to. This will maximize each client’s lifetime value and give you comfort as to the amount you can spend on the front end to acquire a Perfect-Fit Client.

This also demonstrates that the goal is not to get the lowest cost front-end lead but the lead that will convert best and produce the maximum lifetime value. It is very rare that a Facebook Ad Campaign will be profitable on the front end. You need to plan accordingly and while it is tempting to look for the lowest CPL on the front end these might not be your Perfect-Fit Clients who will produce the most revenue in the long term.

2. Your Offer Is Key To The Success Of Your Facebook Ads

As with all things marketing and sales the most important element is your Offer. In the case of FB Ads you have multiple layers to the offer and each one is important in moving people to the next step of the process and ultimately converting taking the action that you want.

Your offer is the compelling reason why someone needs to take action now. This has nothing to do with you, your product or how you do what you do. The offer is only compelling if it can help your client avoid pain or gain pleasure. You have to show them how their life will be better when they take the next step.

The first offer that you need them to accept is to stop and pay attention. The next offer is to get them to read the ad copy. Then the final offer (from the Ads perspective) is getting them to leave Facebook and visit your opt-in page. Each one of these “offers” also has to position them for the next step and ultimately registering for your lead magnet or whatever upsell is going to come their way.

Self-interest rules all else. We are inherently lazy and we have evolved to conserve energy above all else. You need to present a compelling offer for how you are going to save the viewer time, money, emotional distress, effort, or the flip side of these. Unfortunately, most people will do more to avoid pain than attain pleasure, but it is always worth testing positive and negative. Broad, generic, high level promises make for weak offers. You need to be concrete, specific, speak to a pain point that your audience has and show them how their lives can be better.

3. People Often Over Look Landing Page Optimization To Reduce Facebook Ads Costs Per Lead

Very often people confuse a Facebook “cost per lead problem” with a “landing page optimization problem”. Your base level target for conversions should be somewhere in the region of 40% but really your target should be up to 60%. (I have gotten far higher, but this only comes over time, with traffic and a specific optimization plan). Even with the best Facebook traffic in the world if your landing page is underperforming there is no hope that you will get a CPL that you are happy with.

If you are getting, even a low level of traffic from Facebook, I look to optimize the landing pages early in play. The reason for this is that changes in the messaging and offer will have an impact on the copy and approach in the Facebook ads as does it impact the audience that Facebook selects to show your ads to. Taking your landing page conversion rate from 20% to 40% will cut your cost per lead by 50%. This is one of the big 80/20 levers in Facebook Ads and it deserves a lion’s share of your time and attention.

The offer on your landing page has to match or be aligned with the offer in your ad and you should also align with your offer further down the funnel. While it is worthwhile and indeed a good way to test your landing page copy one version of an ad can quote the landing page copy verbatim, but you also want to test at least 3 other different angles for ad copy. The key to success is that the landing page feels like the next step on your audiences journey from the Ad to the transformation that you promise in your offer. 

The 3 key elements on your opt-in page are the headline, image, and body copy. Start your optimization with the headline and then move through the body copy and image in that order. Remember that you should only optimize one element of the funnel at any one time and give 3 days for the optimization to settle before declaring a winner and moving on.

The reason for this is that a tweak to a headline in an ad may send more traffic to the registration page but they might not convert as well or they could convert better on the registration page but result in a lower conversion rate on the front end offer. You have to give time for the changes to update throughout the funnel and Facebook time to find a more suitable audience for your updated content.

4. Tune Up Your Facebook Ad Creative For Even Better Results

The first thing that you need to do with your Ad is to get them to stop scrolling. Therefore your Ad image or video is so important. You must give them a reason to stop. Native images tend to work better than graphically design images. I always try a couple of variations of each.

Videos can perform better at all levels of the Funnel but your video needs to be 45 – 60 seconds long and it needs to verbalize your offer in a slightly different manner than the ad copy. It can be harder to fine-tune a video to convert but when it does you can normally optimize it for cheaper leads than images.

Once you have their attention your initial “offer” is to get them to consume your ad content. This is where the headline and the first two lines of text come in. You need to compel people to want to click the “See More” link.

Eye-tracking testing has shown that people look first to the image/video, then the headline, and then to the first two lines of text.

If you have done your job really well most people won’t bother clicking “See more” on the ad and they will click the button to visit your opt-in page. If they do click the read more the job of your body copy is to do one thing and one thing only. Build enough curiosity, intrigue, and self-interest that they take action and visit your opt-in page.

Initially, I always start with short, medium, and long-form copy. The short-form copy is great for testing headlines, the results from which can inform the optimization of your landing page later in play.

In the initial phases, it can be easier to get the short form copy to convert but overtime longer form copy will normally outperform short-form copy. (Though every campaign is different and there are always exceptions) Every word in your ad matters and if that word is not driving the audience member forward to register for your opt-in it is giving them a reason not to.

While your job is to rack the shotgun to attract your Perfect-Fit Client and repel others you never want to give your Perfect-Fit Client an opportunity to say “no that is not me” or “no this is not for me”. Be hyper-specific on the feelings, emotions, circumstances, etc. that you 100% know your Perfect-Fit Client experiences but make sure that you don’t unitedly repel the people you most want to attract.

There is no neutral copy and there is no room for any filler or unessential words. Be ruthless, your ad shouldn’t contain one word more than it absolutely needs to. Over time you figure out what words and sentences are working, and which ones are hurting. This is how you build really effective long-form Ad copy.

5. Fine Tune Your Facebook Ads Audience To Target The Most Relevant People

One of the most common mistakes I see people make with Facebook Ads is they rush to “the ask” too quickly with a cold audience who have no idea who you are, what you do, or how you can help them. The best way I have seen this described is – Let’s suppose you were single and looking to settle down with a partner. You are out one day, and you see someone that you think you might really like. What do you think your chances of forming a relationship are if you walk right up to the person and ask them to marry you?

The chance of a favorable outcome is slim. However, if you walked confidently up to the person and started a conversation with them, finding out more about who they are, what their hobbies are, and find some common ground. It gives you an opportunity to find out if this person is a potential “Perfect-Fit” partner and indeed give them a chance to do the same.

When you have the appropriate level of trust built then you can ask them for a coffee and if further down the road things progress that is brilliant but to form a strong relationship you must build the appropriate level of trust before moving to the next level of your relationship.

It is the same when it comes to Facebook Ads. In order to do this it is important that your Facebook ad strategy contains 3 levels of campaigns:

a. Top Of Funnel Facebook Ads Campaigns

These are value-based content ads with no ask. The purpose of this portion of the funnel is solely to interact and engage with potential Perfect-Fit Clients. Cast your net wide using interest-based or custom (email list, customer list, etc.) retargeting and broad Lookalike audiences to build topic-specific audiences for retargeting lower in the funnel.

Video is massively effective for Top Of Funnel ads, especially in a post iOS 14 world. You can create audiences of people who have watched different percentages of each video and then retarget them with your Middle of Funnel ads.

As all the interaction occurs on Facebook you can track you people who have viewed your videos for up to 365 days even if they have opted out of iOS tracking and as you can specify to only build audiences from people who have looked at 75% or 100% of the video you know these people are open and interested in your message.

b. Middle Of Funnel Facebook Ads Campaigns

Once you have created a retargeting audience of a suitable size from your Top Of Funnel campaign you can then begin to retarget that audience with “an ask”. Think of this as inviting your potential “Perfect-Fit” partner for coffee.

Your Middle of Funnel ads will direct people to a landing page where you will be asking them to opt-in or register for free, for something of value, like a lead magnet, webinar, quiz, or masterclass.

It is always good to test a range of audiences, especially in the early days of a campaign, against your Top Of Funnel re-targeting audience as you may need to refine the content of your engagement videos to hone in on the message that produces the best results lower in the funnel.

c. Bottom Of Funnel Facebook Ads Campaigns

In our “Perfect-Fit” partner analogy this is where you ask for the commitment. Your Bottom of Funnel Ads retarget the people who have taken the designated action from the Middle of Funnel and have raised their hands to say they are most interested in you, your message the transformation that you can provide.

Your Bottom Of Funnel Ads will have the lowest level of spend but the highest ROI as you are only showing ads to the people who are most likely to make a purchase.

With this audience, it is important to strike when the iron is hot. 0-3 days is when they will be most receptive to an offer and for every day past this time frame your offer, copy and collateral will have to be ever more honed and refined to convert appropriately.

Sure, lots of people have had some success with implementing this strategy but if you want long-term repeatable success this methodology has been proven to work and it is an essential framework to keep in mind when you are structuring your campaigns.

6. Facebook Ads – What’s Working Now – Tips From The Trenches

On top of these principles there are a couple of “what’s working now” tips to keep you on top of what is working practically now:

  • Bigger audiences are performing better than smaller audiences. The sweet spot for audiences used to be 1.5 million to 2.5 million. Previously if your audience you built was in excess of these ranges we would split the audiences down and run them in different Ad Sets. Now bigger is better and audiences of 15 million to 20 million are outperforming smaller audiences. I worked on one project where the only targeting we used was country-based. Facebook still found the perfect people to serve the ads to and the CPL cash flowed within our funnel.
  • Retargeting and Lookalike audiences will outperform interest-based audiences. Build your audiences for each step of your funnel before you need them. Once an audience hits critical mass create a Lookalike Audience based on that. The closer your custom audience is to the conversion objective the better your Lookalike audience will perform. But think of every touchpoint along your funnel as a potential audience – Video views, link clicks, page visits, button clicks, step 2 of a 2 step opt-in, registration thank you page confirmation, lead-magnet download.
  • Ad Set Budget Optimization (ABO) works better than Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)for testing creative and audiences, however, CBO is the best way to scale. Start your ads out with ABO. Ideally, you will start with 3 Ad Sets with a minimum of 3 Ads Per Ad Set. At lower daily budgets this may be a stretch as 3 Ad Sets may struggle to exit the learning phase but always think in terms of multiple audiences, copy, and images/videos. Your campaign will be severely limited if you only have one ad and one ad set.
  • Give 3-5 days before making any significant changes to your Ad Sets and Ads. It takes time for Facebook to find and optimize audiences. Sometimes this means the initial results are poor. Sometimes it means that the initial results are brilliant. One way or another don’t make any big decisions until the 3-5 day window has elapsed. (3 days for minor changes, 5 days for major changes)
  • Never ever kill the golden goose. If you have an Ad Set/Ad that is performing adequately never ever make any changes to that Ad Set / Ad. Duplicate the Ad Set or Ad into a new Ad Set or Campaign and make changes to the duplicate. This includes budget increases, image/video, headline, body copy, or audience changes.
  • If you need to scale Ad Set/Campaign budget quicker than the 20% every 72-hour limit that pushes the Ads back into Learning Phase you explore creating a broader Lookalike audience excluding your current audience eg. Current LAL audience 1%-2% then create 2%-5% LAL or 5% – 10% audience. This will allow you to duplicate the Ad Set, assigning a higher daily budget without killing the original ad off. (You can also create a competing Ad Set targeting the exact same audience, but this strategy is a little bit riskier)

While the principles above are well established and proven to produce the best results no two campaigns are alike and the people who are most successful are the ones which can assess each situation independently and arrive at the best next step.

Launching and maintaining a successful Facebook Ad Campaign is an agile process. The most important thing is knowing what tests to run, how to interpret the feedback, and then identify the next best steps while playing within the rules of the Facebook Ads game.

If you would like to schedule a Focus Strategy Session to review an existing Facebook Ad Campaign or plan your next campaign click here 

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