i started work with a new client recently. Before going live with a new ad campaign, there’s a bunch of things i have to get sorted BEFORE even opening the ad account. So i thought in this lesson, i’ll walk you through some of what i do or had to do with this client to get things rolling.
1. PLAN CONVERSION STRATEGY
After some back and forth, we decided to go with a straight for the sale, long-form sales page landing page. He had a sales letter that had performed well in print. We published it onto his WordPress tech stack, with some major rewriting to tone down claims, clean formatting, and so on.
Recall from one of our earlier lessons that there’s two drawbacks with the long-form sales letter approach:
(1) You can’t collect leads without distracting from the sales pitch
(2) and, it exposes you to a host of Google reviewer scrutiny
After weighing our options, we thought, despite the drawbacks, this would be the fastest way to get started. However, we agreed to run a hybrid landing page funnel as a backup plan. The client was VERY reluctant to try anything so drastically different, so i asked him to commit only 5-10% of each month’s budget to testing this hybrid page.
I know there’s a good chance Google disapproves our ads, down the line (it’s a risky business category, which is why people come to me–i specialise in risky business categories). If Google’s objection is simple enough, it can be resolved with light changes to the letter. No big deal. But to be honest, i don’t think we’re going to be that lucky with this one.
There’s precedent that suggests their objection will be to the sales letter’s main HOOK. The “gimmick” or story that makes it work.
Should that ever happen, we will either need a brand new letter / story (which may not be anywhere near as effective), OR we need a brand new conversion strategy.
Either way, the main funnel that would have been generating sales is going to be completely stopped. While we’re building out a new funnel, no money is coming in. Which means, this client won’t be able to afford to pay me during the time he needs me the most!
Having a hybrid page funnel as a backup plan, that’s a whole different strategy for converting traffic. It’s probably going to be my next move if Google disapproves the sales letter. This way, we give Google less to object to, it’s easier to isolate elements for testing and improving conversions, and we have multiple avenues to convert visitors.
Rather than wait for Google to kill the main funnel before building out a hybrid page funnel, i rather do it now. Then we make a small budget allocation to that backup funnel. An investment into “R&D”. We get to develop that backup strategy while the client is making money from the main funnel, where he won’t feel the sting of negative profits while it’s being fine tuned.
Should we ever need to use the backup, we won’t start from scratch.
The backup funnel is how we’re dealing with the potential for exposure to Google’s reviewers. The second issue of not being able to collect leads is irrelevant; the client doesn’t want to deal with non-buyer leads.
2. COVER YOUR ASS
For this sales page to run on Google Ads, we’re going to need to add a clear disclaimer for claims made about the product and a carefully worded guarantee we spoke about in an earlier lesson in this series.
The trouble is, if you recall, one of the techniques to make a “direct to the sales letter landing page” work is to make it sound informational. Having a loud, clear disclaimer early in the page is really going to fuck this up for us. You can’t talk about your guarantee and cover your butt about what your product can do for people before you’ve had a chance to get them reading.
On a hybrid page, i put the disclaimer at the end of the first copy block. But a hybrid page is clear about its intent to present something to sell. A sales letter is not so immediately obvious. It’s part of its charm.
I thought, initially, no problem, we’ll put the disclaimer a little further down the page…but there’s still the risk that a lazy google reviewer won’t notice it and will disapprove us despite having the proper disclaimer. So i thought instead, i’ll put a fixed footer at the bottom of the screen (not the page), containing the copy of the disclaimer.
This would sit in the lower, say 10-20% of the screen and persist, even if you scroll, until you dismiss it.
But when i tried it, on mobile it covered up half the headline!
This thing needed some creativity to work. What can i do?
Using Elementor’s Popup designer, i built the disclaimer as a popup anchored to the bottom of the screen. Then i instructed it to be triggered about 15 seconds into the reader’s arrival on the page.
This allows the reader a chance to read the headline and get into the hook BEFORE seeing the disclaimer. And the disclaimer, by this point, may as well have been a generic sitewide statement, making the reader aware that this site sells things. Which is perfectly ok.
But more importantly, it allows even the lazy Google reviewer to see the disclaimer if they visit.
On a side-note, after running this page, i watched how visitors react to the disclaimer…and they mostly ignore it. They don’t even bothering to close it! How cool is that 🙂
3. OPTIMISE THE FUCK OUT OF MOBILE
Now, with this all done, i spent the next few days perfecting the appearance of the page on mobile.
Why? you ask.
Well, a few years ago, we would deliberately turn off mobile ads in Google, because mobile traffic would never convert. But today, i find that more than 80% of all traffic i drive for clients come from some sort of mobile device.
Not only that, but people are more willing to buy with their mobiles than ever before.
The trouble is, most of us build pages for desktop FIRST and do mobile responsive as an afterthought. Often fonts end up being too big or too small, important CTA buttons wrap around and break, images appear before important text that gives them context, etc. All kinds of horrible, horrible things that cause mobile traffic to convert less frequently.
So what i do is i test the heck out of the landing page on mobile starting from the iPhone 4G size all the way up to iPad Pro sizes.
And when i design with the CSS rules, i try to simplify my life by stating font-sizes in rem (root em). This way, i assign a main font-size to the HTML / root tag of the page in px (pixels), and then everything is sized relative to the root using rem units.
Eg, if the HTML (root) tag is set to 22px font size, then i might define my main heading as having a 3rem size which means 3 x 22px = 66px and the subheading as 2rem which means 2 x 22 = 44px.
The beauty of doing it this way is when you want to setup the different mobile sizes, you don’t have to change the font-size of every heading. You only change the root element’s font size (the reference point). So i’d say on mobile, make the HTML tag 10px. Then the main heading which was set to 3rem originally will automatically scale to 3 x 10px = 30px and the subheading which was set to 2rem will scale down to 20px.
Bit of geekiness. You can do these things easily with Elementor without touching the code if you understand the rem unit.
4. CONNECT FUNNEL PAGES
Once the landing page is all done, the next step is to connect it to the checkout page and the product you’re selling. And if you’re going to be doing upsells (which you should), you’ll need to set those up too. Since i use Cartflows for my clients, i was able to do this pretty easily and quickly.
Make sure you setup your Abandoned Cart Recovery emails and build your checkout page. Test it too on mobile.
Here’s a little “hack” if you want to know one…
I don’t generally condone this, but i know my clients think they can convert WAY better if they didn’t have to abide by Google’s strict rules. So i tell them they can do whatever “ the fuck “ they want on the upsells and in emails. I let them go to town, doing whatever they want and i don’t interfere.
Google reviewers are neither interested in, nor will they ever purchase or sign up to your forms to see what comes next. So as long as the remainder of your pages are not reachable by clicking a link on the page, you can get away with just about anything on there.
I still think you should take Google’s guidelines as generally good advice for being a responsible online business. But if you really can’t live without your scams, hype, bullshit, and lies, at least hide it in your upsells, email follow-up, and pages that are not publicly exposed to Google.
5. INSTALL TRACKING
Once you’ve got checkout setup and upsells are in order, checked them thoroughly on mobile, the next thing i always do is ensure i have Inspectlet installed. I add it on:
1. the landing/sales page,
2. checkout page,
3. all upsell pages.
This is how i ensure the entire process is working exactly as i expect and can troubleshoot if something isn’t working.
In addition, you need to get the Google Conversion Tracking pixel on at the very least the page seen immediately after a purchase completes. Ideally, you setup all the conversion values through the entire funnel so you can tell the full value of a particular traffic source.
6. TEST PAYMENTS
Then you switch your funnel to test mode and make a test purchase. Go through every step. Go through every branch of your upsells, systematically. Ensure congruence and make sure everything works as expected. You cannot possibly spend enough time on this. Test thoroughly.
No sense starting an ad campaign, spending money, then discovering it’s not selling and having to hunt around to see what you forgot to do.
Once you’ve finished the test mode test, turn off test mode, drop the price of your product to $1 and purchase it at least one time using a real transaction to ensure it works in live mode, with a real credit card. If all is well, raise the price back to its original.
Double check your funnel is set back to live mode with the price of product set to what you plan to sell it for BEFORE you move to the final step.
7. START TRAFFIC
Then and only then are you ready to start your traffic campaign. Generally my initial ad campaign is VERY simple. I manage accounts in a way to minimise effort and maintenance. So i typically start with 4 VERY distinct ad groups, 5-20 keywords each, with 4 very different ads in each group.
I don’t do any exact keyword matching, nor any split-testing of ads. This is a load of shit only idiots do. Many times the campaign runs perfectly ok for months with nothing but this original campaign.
Turn on your campaign with a minimal budget to start (eg, $20). Google likes to blow the first day’s budget immediately on stupid things. Use the maximise clicks target to get as many clicks for your budget as possible. You can always change this to optimize for conversions after you’ve had like 100+ conversions. There’s plenty of details on how to do all this stuff and why in the Super Traffic Machine.
That’s all for now. That’s the checklist of things i like to do before going live with any ad campaign. If you’re interested in getting a more detailed, step by step plan for preparing yourself for major traffic, leads, and sales…
You know the drill. Check out Super Traffic Machine. It has everything you need to get going with your online business.
Read all about it at the link below…
P.S. If you have missed previous messages in the series, check out the following:
- Part 1: The “Yaghi Way” of Traffic Generation
- Part 2: Sending Traffic Straight to the Sales Page of a D!CK PILL
- Part 3: Sell More With Amazing *Hybrid* Pages
- Part 4: Why “Funnel Templates” Cause Refunds & Support Nightmares
- Part 5: Making Google Apologise to You
- Part 6: User-Friendly Buying Pages
- Part 7: Watching Visitors
- Part 8: Fast, High Traffic, Unconventional Website Advice
- Part 9: Why I Don’t Do Email Marketing Like That
- Part 10: Your Professional Email Addy
- Part 11: Build Your Own Clickfunnels Clone for a Fraction of the Cost
- Part 12: How to Choose Your Website Tech When I’m Gone
- Part 13: How to Build Incrementally Robust, Reliable Revenue & Traffic
- Part 14: Mailerlite & Facebook’s Dumb Email Marketing Ideas
- Part 15: How to Make $3.5 Million When Your Campaign is Bleeding