A colleague of mine works for an agency that manages millions of dollars worth of ads.
Frustrated, he told me a hilariously stupid story.
One of his clients is a pharmacy chain. And that chain has an egoistic idiot for an owner.
Despite seeing sales and revenue increase phenomenally due to my friend’s ad management, the client is incessantly unhappy. At every reporting meeting he complains:
“Why is our ad showing under the ad of [#1 competing pharmacy chain]?”
Clients are notorious for weird ideas about “ad performance” that defy reason. i’ve seen all kinds.
Certainly, no one runs ads to make less money. Yet, many get sidetracked by vanity metrics that mean NOTHING in terms of profitability.
In our industry, i always see it. With email marketing, they panic if there’s a drop in their open or click rates. With ads, they whine about how their click or lead cost is high.
If i remind them open rate is meaningless to profit, they’ll argue like so: “Yes, but if people aren’t opening my emails, then they won’t see my offers, which means they won’t buy my product.”
Same with ads and Click-thru-rate: “If people aren’t clicking my ads, then they’re not gonna buy. If people aren’t filling my lead form, i can’t sell to them.”
While this all SEEMS logical, in practice, it proves wrong.
If you want a high click-rate, write click-bait subject lines and short dumb emails with lots of curiosity about what’s on the other side of a click. You’ll get your clicks but you’ll have no opportunity to make your case and sell your stuff.
In fact, i’ve often found that my LEAST read, LEAST clicked emails are those that make most money. They have tame headlines, so they’re usually only opened by loyal readers who open ANYTHING i send. And they’re long, so the only people who get to the “buy” link are those who read my entire argument and gave me a chance to persuade them.
Marketing defies logic.
Rory Sutherland, one of the few marketers i listen to, says marketing is the only place where 1+1 is not necessarily equal to 2.
For instance, suppose you’re struggling to sell your product. Logically, you’d think lowering the price will get more buyers, right?
I used to think so too.
A few years ago, i’d just discovered the power of post checkout, “one-click” upsells. I thought if only i could get a ton of people to buy my frontend offer, i’d make a killing on backend sales.
Until this point, my lowest launch price was around the $100 mark and i had upsells going up to around $3,500. I decided to launch a product for $10–so cheap it would be a no-brainer for my subscribers, and i imagined i’d convert 80% of my subscribers to buyers. Thousands of people would see my upsells, more would buy, and i’d kick so many butts.
That’s not what happened.
The people who bought the $10 product were EXACTLY the same loyal people who previously bought each of my $100 dollar products when launched.
Meaning, had i launched that product at my normal price point, i would’ve made 10x more money. And quite possibly more, if they went for the upsells too. In fact, in other experiments, i tried DOUBLING my price and saw little reduction on overall conversion but doubled my revenue.
i once was frustrated with the quality of my leads, so i created a certain kind of landing page that i expected would LOWER my conversion rate and INCREASE my lead cost but would have the effect of giving me BETTER quality leads and more sales.
Instead, that bugger QUADRUPLED my conversion rate, reduced my lead cost, and made more sales than any other page i ever advertised!
That kind of page, btw, is detailed in Module 5 of the Super Traffic Machine.
That’s why you can’t rely on the logical thing being the profitable thing in marketing.
So anyways, back to the story about this pharmacy client.
Clearly this silly client wants to be on top of his competitor’s position because he thinks, LOGICALLY, if he’s above them, he’ll steal their exposure, get their traffic, and make more money as a result.
This is unlikely.
What he doesn’t understand is that it’s not a matter of “outbidding” or outmarketing them. It’s not because of inferior ad copy, landing page, or bids that he’s being beaten.
In fact, the other brand is better known in the market, and it’s top of mind for locals. When they see the ads of both brands together online, they CHOOSE the one they recognise most. Google rewards this relevance with a higher rank and a lower cost.
To get the higher position, the dumb client would need to bid so disproportionaltely high it would destroy any gain he might expect. And in fact, he’s probably going to end up being pushed down soon after anyway.
He should be happy with his increased sales, put his ego in check, and ignore his ad position.
It’s why, in the Super Traffic Machine we don’t bother with vanity metrics and overly micromanaged measurements of performance. That’s not my philosophy. We do things in ways you wouldn’t expect because we focus on what matters…
things that make the difference between 0 sales and some. Key to a successful brand is a frictionless path from somebody seeing your ad, to clicking it, to arriving on your site, to ultimately purchasing a product, to repeating their business with you.
things that make it efficient to run business online, without wasting your time and energy on dumb ideas that have no effect on profit.
So, here’s where you go to learn about the Super Traffic Machine and tell us where to ship your first module: