[Live Case Study] 14-Day Facebook Ad Experiment

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

What’s the #1 thing you are procrastinating on?

I know what mine is.

For 18 months, I’ve performed over 100 different marketing experiments and reported the results back to you with detailed case studies on how you can use the experiments in your business.

But there is one thing I’ve completely avoided…

Facebook Ads.

It’s time to change that!

🙂

I have a goal of growing my email list to 40,000 email subscribers by September 30th.

Currently I have 17,134.

One of the 4 core strategies I originally planned to use to hit my goal was paid advertising.

But we’re 24 days into the quarter and I’ve been dragging my feet. Mainly because I’m completely intimidated by it.

• “What if I waste a bunch of money?”

• “How do I create a good ad?” 

• “What if my ad doesn’t convert?”

• “What audiences should I target?”

• “What if my tracking isn’t set up correctly and I don’t know who converted and who didn’t?”

You know… all the stupid crap we get hung up on when doing something new.

It’s time to take a piece of my own advice and just figure it out.

So today I’m going to kick off a 14-day challenge.

Here are the parameters:

  • Primary objective: Get 500 new email subscribers for less than $1 each.
  • Spend $500 on ads in the next 14 days.
  • Make sure all new subscribers are interested in the topic of list building (my core topic).
  • Get 50% of them to install my List Goal browser extension.
  • Hold myself accountable by publicly reporting the results back to you.

I’ve found the key to KILLING procrastination is to start small.

Then slowly increase the size, scope and complexity over time.

So, this is my plan…

Step 1: Create Facebook Ads based on past popular social media posts.

One of the main reasons I’ve been dragging my feet is because I’m not sure how to write a good ad or pick the best images to accompany those ads.

I see these super-polished ads from people like my friend Billy Murphy and think to myself, “Dang! That ad looks good. No clue how to make something that looks like that. Ugh!”

Evernote_Premium

Then it hit me this past weekend… screw writing ads!

Forget about making really nice images!

Instead of trying to come up with really good ad copy, I went to analytics.twitter.com and picked out my three most popular tweets from the past 180 days.

My theory is: This copy has already proven to be popular with my target audience. It’s been tested.

Why not just re-use it in my ad copy?

So that’s what we’ll do.

Here are three of my most popular tweets: 

blog-graphs_key

 

blog-graphs_key

blog-graphs_key

Action Item: Turn each of these tweets into a Facebook ad.

Due Date: EOD Monday July 27th.

Step 2: Target people who already know me.

Another intimidating part of Facebook advertising is deciding who to target with your ads.

There are so many options it’s paralyzing.

You can target other Facebook pages, specific countries, age groups and on and on. But before we dive off into that complicated split-testing menagerie, I want to start by targeting people who ALREADY know who I am.

People who have visited my website or have liked my Facebook page.

Facebook allows you to drop a little bit of code on your site and then display ads to people who have visited your site. This is called retargeting.

blog-graphs_key

And according to a lot of smart people I’ve talked to (h/t to Brennan Dunn), it’s the best ROI for your ad dollars.

Sounds easy.

So I like it.

There are three different groups we’ll target with our ads:

Group #1: Existing website traffic.

Group #2: Existing look-alike audience based on our email list.

Group #3: Existing Facebook fans.

Action Item: Set up each of these audiences inside my Facebook account.

Due Date: EOD Monday July 27th.

Step 2: Send people who click on the ad to a landing page to opt in.

Quick review…

First, we’ll be setting up 3 ads. Those ads will be based on tweets that have already proven to be popular.

We’ll re-create each tweet as an ad within Facebook.

Then we’ll create three different audiences inside Facebook to show those ads to.

Those audiences will be based on my existing web traffic, email list and Facebook fan page.

Seems simple so far.

The next decision is deciding where to send the people who click on those ads.

All we need is a basic landing page for them. So I took a quick look through existing landing pages I have used in the past and found this LeadPages template:

blog-graphs_key

So we’ll use that as the template for our first two ads.

Ad #1: My 18,000-word email launch sequence.

Ad #2: How to launch a 6-figure course.

The basic funnel will be: See Ad > Click Link > Go to Landing Page > Enter Your Email > Get the Promised Bonus

On the first two ads, this is fairly straightforward.

For Ad #1 I’ll give away the bonus I include in this post.

For Ad #2 I’ll package up this blog post as PDF, design it up nicely and call it an eBook.

But Ad #3 is a little funky.

It’s a video.

What do I do with that?

It would be weird to make people opt in to watch a video. Conversions would suck.

Recently I was listening to the “Art of Paid Traffic” podcast and heard Rick (the host) describe an interesting video advertising strategy where you run ads to your video and then retarget all of the people who watched the video with another ad.

Listen to him talk about that strategy here.

Sounds slightly more complicated than what I would like.

But I’m not sure what else to do with this video.

I know people like it. I know people watch it. But there is no direct call to action.

So this is what we’ll do…

Step 1: Set up the video as an ad.

Step 2: Retarget everyone who watches it with another ad.

Enter Ad #4…

This ad we’ll display to people once they watch the video in Ad #3.

It’ll be a slightly modified version of Ad #2.

Ad Copy: Need help figuring out how to create and launch your next product?

I’ll show you every step of the process. Download my exact workflow for free.

[insert graphic from ad #2]

Action Item #1: Set up landing pages for each ad.

Action Item #2: Create the deliverable for each ad (eBook and PDF).

Due Date: EOD Tuesday, July 28th.

Step 3: Once they opt in, ask them to install List Goal.

The last step is to deliver the item they opted in to get and to introduce List Goal to them.

To do that I sketched out a quick autoresponder series in my email service.

It looks like this…

_FB-PPC__FB_Ad_Campaigns

Once someone opts in with their email address, we’ll send them two emails.

Email #1:

Subject: The thing you asked for

Thanks for checking out Videofruit!

Here is the [insert name] bonus that you asked for:

[insert link to bonus]

Looking forward to helping you get started with [insert subject of bonus].

Quick question…

What is the #1 thing you are struggling with on [subject of bonus]?

Hit reply and let me know.

Would love to help you out!

-Bryan

PS: The absolute most important thing to [insert desired outcome] is growing your email list.

Install my free list-building app to help you do that.

[insert link to list goal]

After sending this email, I’ll send this email the next day to anyone who didn’t install List Goal.

Email #2:

Subject: About your email list

Yesterday you downloaded the [insert bonus name].

Good first step to [insert desired outcome].

However, the #1 most important thing you need to do is to start growing your email list.

Why?

Check out what you’re able to do with even a tiiiiiiny email list. 

Your homework for today is two-fold…

Action Item #1: Read the story linked above.

Action Item #2: Pick your list goal for the next 60 days.

Action Item #2: Download List Goal and use it to help you hit your goal.

Capisce?

Holler back at me if you hit any roadblocks.

-Bryan

The goals of these two emails are to 1) give my new subscribers the item they opted in for; and to 2) introduce them to List Goal and give them a few gentle nudges to install it.

Action Item #1: Wireframe the autoresponder series.

Action Item #2: Customize the email series for each ad.

Due Date: EOD Wednesday, July 29th

Make your prediction

And that’s my plan.

First, create 3 ads based on past popular social media posts.

Second, create landing pages and deliverables for each ad.

Lastly, set up a 2-part autoresponder series for each ad that prompts them to install List Goal.

The objective is to get 500 new subscribers and get half of those to install List Goal.

If this goes well, the next step will be to figure out a way to turn these subscribers into paying customers.

I’ll report back on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week with updates on each step.

You’ll get a look at the finished ads, the landing pages and the fully-written autoresponder series.

So be sure to check back throughout the week.

🙂

Once everything is set up and ready to go, we’ll turn the ads loose and I’ll show you how they are performing.

What do you think?

Think we’ll hit the goal of 500 subscribers?

Update #1: 6:35 PM on Monday, July 27th

Action Item #1: Set up targeting.

I decided to target 6 different audiences in total.

1. Visitors to my blog

2. A look-alike audience based on the visitors to my blog

3. A look-alike audience based on my email list

4. My Facebook fan page

5. A look-alike audience based on my Facebook page

6. A look-alike audience based on friends of people who have liked my fan page

Note: I am EXCLUDING anyone who is already signed up to my email list.

The visitors to my blog and that look-alike audience will take 24 hours or so to start because Facebook requires a few thousand visitors before it turns on that pixel.

Here are the three campaigns I set up:

Each campaign consisted of 6 ad sets (one for each target group I’m focusing my ads on):

Each ad set contained one ad:

Lessons Learned:

1. The native ad manager sucks. Use the power editor.

2. Traffic-based retargeting audiences take a bit to populate. Set up at least a week before you start your ads.

3. There are three organizational levels to Facebook ads (campaigns, ad sets and ads).

4. Create a new ad set for each target group.

Action Item #2: Create the ads.

Creating the ads was a bit more painful than I would have anticipated.

Mainly due to Facebook’s 20% text rule.

This forced me to re-configure the images in my ads.

I found this grid overlay tool and mocked up a quick grid in Keynote (my photo editor), and then retooled each image to fit inside this graph while having the text fill no more than 5 grids.

Original Image:

Tweaked Image:

The final products were these three ads:

Tomorrow I’ll be creating the landing page for each ad, setting up conversion tracking, developing the bonus deliverable itself and setting up a basic email autoresponder series.

See you then 🙂

Update #2: 3:45 PM on Tuesday, July 28th

Today’s mission was to set up the landing pages and create the deliverables for each ad.

After spending a few hours working on this today, I’ve decided to make a few minor adjustments.

Adjustment #1: I’m killing the video ad (for now).

After spending 45 minutes trying to figure out how to target people who had viewed the video ad with another ad (one that would send them to a landing page), I gave up.

This article makes it look super simple.

But in my ad manager and power editor, the option to create this custom audience simply didn’t exist.

Bummer.

Adjustment #2: I’m simplifying everything.

Instead of having 3 ads with 3 different landing pages and 3 different deliverables for each, I decided to make everything much simpler.

Here is the updated strategy:

I’ll run two main ads (this one and this one).

Ad #1 will send people straight to a landing page to download my launch swipe file.

Ad #2 will send people to a blog post where I’ll then retarget those people with Ad #1.

 

Why do this more complicated strategy?

A few reasons:

Reason #1: My theory is that sending people to a blog post will cost us less than sending people to a landing page.

Also, the people who make it to the landing page will already be semi-familiar with me and have a high chance of opting in.

It’s a more indirect route, so we’ll test it and see how it works.

Reason #2: I’m up against a deadline and don’t have time to set up another landing page and create another deliverable for this ad.

This way, I can start testing tomorrow and only have to mess with one landing page and email series.

Less variables = happier Bryan.

Note: I’m not going to link to the landing pages here so as to not skew the results of the test. Once this experiment is over, I’ll send you links to everything so you can check it out.

Current Status: Both landing pages are set up.

The lead magnet itself is also created. I was able to use the content upgrade I had created for this post as the lead magnet.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be writing the email that delivers the bonus, and one additional email that transitions the people who opt in to the subject of list building and then prompts them to install List Goal.

Credit: Much thanks to Cathryn for helping me make it look really snazzy and be something I’m proud of.

Also, thanks to Manyu for his guidance on helping me set up these ads.

If you need a designer or Facebook Ads guru, both are excellent.

Update #3: 9:30 AM on Friday, July 31st

A few updates.

Some good.

Some extremely frustrating.

Thing #1: The onboarding email is written.

Here it is…

This is how it will work.

Step 1: Someone sees this ad.

Step 2: They click on it.

Step 3: They go to this landing page.

Step 4: They enter their email address.

Step 5: They get the email pictured above.

Step 6: Then I transition them into an email course that will get them to install List Goal and eventually buy a product from me (to cover my immediate ad spend).

Thing #2: All of the ads are set up and activated.

This part was extremely painful.

Gouge-my-eyes-out painful.

After setting up all of the ads on Tuesday, I went to activate them and kept getting random errors.

Eventually… somehow… they started working. (Death to you, Facebook Power Editor!)

But after a few hours it was obvious that something wasn’t set up right.

This is what my reporting looked like…

I had spent $29.95. Shown the ads to 2,845 people. But didn’t have a single conversion.

Were the ads terrible?

Was something set up wrong?

No idea.

After a few hours of asking around, my theory was that the goal of the ads was incorrect.

Instead of the goal being “conversions” it needed to be “website clicks.”

So I re-made all of the ads and ran that campaign over the last 24 hours.

Here are the results:

I spent $80.37. The ads were shown to 11,349 people and 72 of those people clicked the ad and went to my landing page.

A quick look in my email account shows that 8 of those people converted into email subscribers.

For a total cost per subscriber of $10.04.

That’s 10x my original goal of $1 per subscriber (remember, we’re targeting people already familiar with me).

Ugh.

If we were at $2 to $3 I’d be happy. Shoot, even $5 would feel like we were close-ish to being able to make this happen.

But we’re at $10+.

GAR!

Anyhow, this is the plan…

Here is what I’m going to try over the weekend:

1. Turning back on the conversion-based ads.

2. Making sure all of the conversion tracking is correctly set up on my landing pages.

3. Turning off Ad #2 (this one targeting the blog post).

4. Focus exclusively on Ad #1 until I feel confident things are running correctly and that I have some semblance of a clue as to how this stuff works.

A few lessons learned so far…

Lesson #1: Over-complicating things is MUCH easier than we realize.

Lesson #2: Facebook Power Editor is massive pain in the butt.

Lesson #3: Doing things for the first time takes 100x longer than we think it should.

Lesson #4: Doing new stuff is fun (despite the pain).

Update #4: 11:00 AM on Tuesday, August 4th

Last update, I was pretty disappointed by this entire experiment.

Power Editor was annoying.

The price we were paying for leads was annoying.

The amount of time I was spending on this without any results was annoying.

So I decided to take 3 days off from messing with any of it. “Just let it sit and come back Tuesday morning with a fresh approach” was my plan.

This morning I hopped back into Power Editor to find that Facebook had re-skinned the entire app. And… surprisingly… the new design is MUCH easier to use.

I started executing the plan we laid out on Friday.

Mission: “Simplify Everything.”

Step 1: Kill all of the old campaigns.

Step 2: Set up ONE new conversion-based campaign.

In this campaign are 6 ad sets.

For those like me who have no idea what an ad set is, it’s just another level of organization for your ads.

Level 1: Campaigns

Level 2: Ad sets

Level 3: Ads (what you actually see)

I am using ad sets for targeting. Each ad set has exactly the same ad in it but is set to target a different group.

This is what the ad sets look like:

So this is the basic structure of the new campaign:

Step 3: Make sure all conversion tracking is set up correctly.

Paid advertising is pretty basic at its core.

I spend $1 and make more than $1.

Then I take the difference between the money I spent and the money I made and re-invest it back into ads to make more dollars.

The key to knowing if the money I’m spending on ads is making money is tracking.

In a perfect world you would know every click on every ad and whether or not that click led to someone leaving their email with you.

And then if that email subscriber turned into a customer.

All of that requires you to set up your tracking correctly.

Currently this entire campaign is simple. There are three content pieces involved in getting someone’s email address.

Piece #1: The ad

Piece #2: The landing page

Piece #3: The thank-you page

This morning I went back through each piece to make sure it was set up correctly so we could tell how many people who clicked on the ad turned into a subscriber.

To do that I set up a new conversion pixel (which is just a little piece of tracking code).

It looks like this:

I put the conversion tracking pixel code on my thank-you page.

So now any time someone visits that page, Facebook will count it as a conversion in their reporting tool.

Since the only way someone can access this page is by clicking on the ad and then entering their email address, the tracking is simple.

How many people clicked on the ad?

How many people loaded the thank-you page?

Facebook will charge me based on the number of people who clicked the ad.

We’ll simply be able to divide the clicks by conversions and know exactly how much a conversion is costing us.

The goal of this experiment is to be at or below $1, which means clicks need to be well below $1 because only a small percentage of the people that click the ad will convert.

Make sense?

Good 🙂

With the new conversion pixel code installed on the thank-you page and that pixel code attached to each ad, the tracking is good to go.

 

 

Step 4: Set the budget and turn them loose.

With the new campaign set up, ads created and conversion tracking set up correctly, it’s time to turn everything on.

I set a budget of $100 per day for the entire campaign.

The goal is to run these ads for 24 hours and see what our baseline is.

If we’re in the $2 to $5 per conversion range, I’ll start tweaking the landing page copy and design.

If we’re in the $5+ per conversion range, I’ll throw something across the room and punch the wall.

🙂

Nah. If this test is an abject failure then we’ll re-evaluate and figure out what to do next.

So… stay tuned.

The ads are all on. This time tomorrow we should have some results to talk about.

Any ideas on how I could improve my results?

Let me know in the comments. (I read every single one.)

Update #5: 1:45 PM on Wednesday, August 5th

BOOOOOOOOM!!!!

My original goal was to pay $1 per subscriber.

The first run-through produced subscribers for $10.04 each. Wayyyy off my original goal.

Then yesterday I scrapped my entire plan. Started back super simple and the cost dropped to $1.99 per lead, with one ad set producing leads at $1.20 each.

That’s fun! 🙂

We’re getting closer.

Here is the plan for the next 24 hours:

Step 1: Kill the low-performing ad sets (the ones based on FB Page Likes).

Step 2: Dump the budget for both of those ($16.50 per day) onto the top-performing ad set.

Step 3: Narrow the look-alike audiences down to 300k-500k people (based on relevant interests).

Step 4: Match the copy in the ad to the headline on the landing page. (This supposedly will increase relevance and lower the cost.)

Step 5: Only run the ads on Desktop.

I’ll make these changes, then run another $100 worth of ads for the next 24 hours and see if we’re able to get the cost per subscriber down from $1.99 to closer to $1.

The cost per subscriber for the four top performing ad sets was $1.52 each.

By focusing exclusively on these ads and narrowing the focus even more, my hope is we can get to $1.25 per subscriber.

If we hit that number, I’ll start split-testing images and copy tomorrow.

Update #6: 11:00 AM on Tuesday, August 11th

Curious thing happened over the last few days.

After our last round of changes, the cost per lead went UP across the board.

There are two reasons that this might be the case:

Reason #1: The initial sample size was small, thus not representative of long-term results.

Reason #2: Since I’m re-targeting my own traffic, I could be running into issues of showing the ads to the same people over and over again

I was a bit discouraged by seeing the “VF Readers” ad set go up in price. My theory is that I need to lower my spend on that ad set until I have more traffic to my website. I could just be burning those readers out, causing the price to jump.

Here is my plan for the next 72 hours:

Action Item #1: Lower my ad spend on VF Readers (the ad group that directly re-targets anyone who lands on the blog) and distribute that ad spend across the other three ad sets.

Action Item #2: Refine my email sequence to get more people to install List Goal (my secondary goal of this experiment).

Action Item #3: Spend $300 over the next 72 hours to get a good baseline of where we are at on both metrics of this campaign (cost of acquiring a subscriber and getting those subscribers to install List Goal).

Sound good?

After this I want to transition into sending these new subscribers through a free email course that sells them on a paid product. (More on this in the next update.)

Update #7: 10:30 AM on Wednesday, August 14th

 

First off, I’m trying something new.

Daily-ish podcast updates for the Facebook Ad Experiment.

Here is the first one:

Now for the juicy details not in the podcast.

🙂

The final numbers are in:

The original goal was to spend $500 in ads and get 500 new email subscribers.

The actual results?

I spent $500 and got 279 subscribers.

I fell short of my goal, but considering I had no context for what was possible and more or less just pulled that number out of thin air, I’m very happy.

The secondary goal for this experiment was to get 50% of my new subscribers to install List Goal.

This part is strange.

No one installed the app. Not a single person.

At first I thought perhaps my tracking had broken, but then I went back and checked. Everything was set up correctly.

So… not sure what to think about that.

The basic workflow was:

Step 1. Sign up for the lead magnet.

Step 2. Get an email with the lead magnet.

Step 3. In that email are two calls to action to install List Goal.

Here is the email I sent after they opted in:

Confounding indeed.

Asking people to install directly after getting their freebie is obviously ineffective.

However, I need to dig deeper. I still have a hunch something else might be going on here.

..

Diving back into the primary goal of the campaign (email subscribers for $1 each)…

Check this out:

For Wednesday the 12th, the “email look-alike” target group absolutely killed it at $0.77 per subscriber.

Overall this ad set performed the best throughout the entire experiment, with an average lead cost of $1.34 each.

The most effective targeting groups in order were:

#1: Email list look-alike audience

#2: Re-targeted website visitors

#3: Facebook page look-alike audience

#4: Website visitors look-alike audience

There are quite a few things I can do to get my cost per lead lower. However, I feel confident that I can stay in the $1.30 – $1.75 per lead range with a $100-per-day ad spend.

The next step is to convert those leads into customers to cover the money I’m spending for the ads themselves.

..

Enter Phase 2 of the 14-Day Facebook Ad Experiment.

Operation “Figure Out How to Make Money.”

🙂

There are three primary approaches I have in mind:

Approach #1: Send the new subscribers through a free course that upsells them on my $200 paid course.

Approach #2: Send the new subscribers to a webinar that upsells them on my $200 paid course.

Approach #3: Immediately show my new subscribers a $5 – $15 product offer. (I don’t have a $5 – $15 product but I’m sure I can whip something up.)

Which approach do YOU think I should start with?

 

Update #8: 12:30 PM on Monday, August 17th

Giving these podcast updates a whirl.

In today’s update…

• Full update about the monetization strategy I decided to pursue

• More info on the actual install numbers of List Goal (my original numbers were wrong)

• Action items I’m working on over the next 24 hours

Listen below:

 

Update #9: 1:30 PM on Tuesday, August 18th

Over the last 24 hours I made some serious progress.

1. A new entry-level product was created.

2. Upsell video was shot and edited.

3. The upsell page was created.

4. Everything was plugged up into Infusionsoft.

Listen to today’s update for a full rundown:

Need a refresher on how this whole funnel works?

Step 1: Here is the ad:

Step 2: Here is the landing page:

 

Step 3: Here is the upsell page (used to be a regular thank-you page):

(I chose not to put a link to the video in this post because the video has a direct link to the checkout page and I don’t want to skew the results.)

The Results? 2 hours ago I pushed the new funnel live. I’m tripling the ad spend over the next 24 hours so that we’ll have some tangible results by this time tomorrow.

What do you think will happen? How many copies will we sell? What will the conversion rate be?

..

Update #10: 1:30 PM on Wednesday, August 19th

The numbers are in!

We sold 4 copies of the List-Building Checklist… boom!

It’s incredibly fun to create something, then have random people you’ve never met pay you money for it.

Even if it’s only $7.

Here is the full update:

Action Items for next 24 hours:

Action Item #1: Increase price of the product to $10.

Action Item #2: Add a sales sequence into the Jump-Start Your Email List class to upsell my $200 email list-building course.

 

Update #11: 11:30 AM on Friday, August 28th

I decided to let the action items from the last update sit for a week to get a big enough sample size to draw some solid conclusions from.

First, let’s review over the actual changes I made.

Action Item #1: Increase the price of the List-Building Checklist from $7 to $10.

That was done.

The results? 121 people saw the $10 offer and 9 people bought it.

That’s a conversion rate of 7%.

With the $7 price we were seeing around a 10% conversion rate.

In the end the math works out about the same.

Main takeaway: Increasing the price lowered the number of people that bought but total revenue stayed the same.

Action Item #2: Add a launch sequence to the end of the Jump-Start Your Email List class that sold my $200 course

This is what the entire Jump-Start Your Email List class > Launch sequence looks like now.

There are three main things that happen here:

Step 1: Someone joins the Jump-Start Your Email List class when they buy the $10 checklist.

Step 2: After completing the class, they enter a bridge series that gets them synced to a “day of the week” sequence for the launch series.

Step 3: They go through a private launch sequence for the Rapid List-Building System course.

Here is what that launch sequence looks like…

The results? Well, it’s too early to tell yet. No one has started the launch sequence yet. The first 6 customers will get the “Intro to Course” email on this coming Monday.

That’s one of the bummers about having a course that drips into a launch sequence. It takes 2-ish weeks to start seeing the results

However, I’m VERY happy with the overall structure and the way this came together, and I have high expectations for how it will perform.

What happens next?

I’ve recorded a new podcast to go over the next steps and give you some insight into how I plan to use this new funnel going forward.

Enjoy! 🙂

(Oh! And I finally came up with a name for the podcast. Yay!)

..

 

Have you been following along with this experiment? How do you plan to use what you’ve learned in your business?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

  • Nicolò Borghi

    Wow, love this post. I am exactly in the same situation: I don’t like to run fb ads but probably I should test them.

    One question: would you recommend this kind of technique even for people who have smaller list? Or do you think it works only for list your size?

    • Good question. I’m not versed enough in FB Ads yet to give an extremely educated response. However, the nature of ads is that it levels the playing field. If you have money, you can play. Current size seems irrelevant.

      • Nicolò Borghi

        Thanks for your reply. Can’t wait to see your results! I will probably try your same strategy myself.

        • Hi Nicole,

          I have a small audience/small budget ($5/day) but it’s not hard to build subscribers using FB ads. Try using Audience Insights in FB and pop in a similar page in your niche that has a large following (it will only work if the page has a big following). They will tell you other pages those users like and then you can target based on those interests. Then just test and tweak, test and tweak.

          Then as you build a custom audience with that ad traffic you can simply create a look alike audience and then you have another testing group!

          • Nicolò Borghi

            Hi Stephen,
            thanks for your comment. $5/day is what I would like to start with!

  • Hi Bryan,

    This is going to be an awesome experiment! I, too, have thought about doing Facebook Ads for a while, but I’ve been complacent. Plus, I didn’t know where to start. You’ve given me a great blueprint to follow…

    Very interested in seeing how you do!

    -Kevin

    P.S. And yes, I totally think you’ll hit 500 subscribers. Easily!

  • Hey Brian

    Don’t forget to burn pixel those who opt-in so you don’t waste your budget still advertising to them afterwards
    I would also test different lead magnet offers based on high performing (commented) sections of articles
    Finally, I have been having great results retargeting those who reach a page and DONT take the content upgrade, with a follow up LM campaign (I would actually think with your traffic this may be the lowest cost for new email optins)

    Daniel

    • Hmm, interesting. What is a LM campaign?

      • Ah sorry I mean multiple Lead Magnet campaigns. I’ve noticed that the more specific, quick and actionable the offer, the higher the CTR
        If you can lead with the fast, immediate thing you normally see great results (even a cheat sheet)

      • Another great tactic is to offer multiple variations of the same offer-for example certain email headlines will attract different opens.
        You could offer the same LM but under a different name/offer copy

      • DirtCheapStartup

        Bryan, Just had Daniel on my podcast. The dude had some crazy results from his retargeting campaign. Worth checking his walk through out 100%.

    • Pete VS

      Yea, I’ve seen your toolbar facebook ads even though I’m already on your list.

      Maybe this was intentional and you already know all about it but if not, you can create “excluded audiences” of your subscribers and people who opted-in already. This article http://www.digitalmarketer.com/funnel-facebook-retargeting/ about half way down, shows how.

      So, you can your ad spend more productive. 🙂

  • Nice experiment, interested to see how it turns out.

    I think a simple way to pick your target fb audience would be to choose people who like multiple brands focused on list building.

    So if they like Pat Flynn/SPI AND Noah Kagan, for example, chances are they’ve heard of list building before and have a high likelihood of going for Listgoal.

    • Good idea. Might branch out into the related interest in the next round.

  • Joseph Michael Foster

    My struggle is developing the lead magnet…

  • Simo

    Hi Bryan,

    Great case study,i will be following you.
    Don’t forget to add pages in your Landing pages (Privacy Policy, Contactus, the Logo of your Site) to get your FB Ads approved quickly.
    Try to add pixels on those LM pages to track who optins and who not to retarget them again…

    Good luck
    Simo

    • Solid tip on those three pages. Didn’t know you had to have that.

  • Chris Webb

    Bryan, first off – I f**n love your blog. Thanks for the great content

    You may have problems with those images .. I think Facebook have a rule of no more than 20% text in your ad images, but plenty of people get away with more based on who’s approving the ad (random).

    I’ll be interested to see how you do with the CPC … 🙂

    • Yea, was wondering about the image/text thing. I’ll fiddle around with it. Should be able to make it work.

  • Bryan, I am in a similar situation, having only dabbled in Facebook Ads for a long while. It’s time to finally take the deep dive. Making sure the the campaigns are set up correctly so that you know if there is a weakness somewhere (is it the offer, ad copy, ad image, landing page, etc), you can identify exactly where it is in your test seems to be the key.

  • I’m interested in how this plays out. I need to boost my use of FB Ads as well. I’ll be following, learning and implementing.

  • Facebook hates direct to landing pages. I think you’ll end up paying higher CTR in the end. I drive people to the actual content. On really good content with a solid target market, I’m getting 17 cents per click. Then I’m getting a 25% opt-in rate on the lead magnet on that content. So I’m paying 68 cents per e-mail (it takes 4 clicks at 17 cents to get one email). I also end up with a lot of Facebook likes which I pay for (at 17 cents) but don’t even factor in to my ROI.

    I’m guessing you’ll be above 68 cents with your direct to landing page and then I’m curious what your opt-in rate will be on that page.

    My two cents.

    • When you link to your quality content, is that content on FB or on your website externally?
      Dale.

      • Driving people to content on my website. Once on the site, I do my best to get them to opt-in.

        • Hi Jay,

          Very interesting insight.

          I have to imagine most people aren’t going to get anywhere near a 25% opt-in rate for a piece of content, though. Right? Even with a great lead magnet that’s going to be difficult for most people!

          Nice to “meet” you, by the way. Haha. 🙂

          -Kevin

          • Yeah, the Leadpages statistics say 25% opt-in but it’s more complicated than that. I’m getting 7% click through on my facebook ad which is already hyper targeted to a very narrow audience. (I use a lookalike audience of adjacent websites to mine.) So for every 100 people who see the ad, 7 click on it and 2 opt-in. So it’s a 2% opt-in rate on the global scale.

            The people who click are already really interested so getting 25% of them to give me their e-mail isn’t that absurd.

  • Pumped to follow along to this Bryan, I’ve been really wanting to investigate FB ads for awhile. Thanks for leading the charge :).

  • Great post as always Brian, could you for the video not use something like Wistia which allows you to add CTA’s pop up in the video? That way you don’t need to then market to them again?

  • Andreina Friedman

    Hi, how Billy Murphy was able to post an ad with so much text. I always have the problem with Facebook with their “only 20% text rule”. Anyone knows?

  • James GrowEverywhere Fry

    I think it’s important that people looking to build a list with this strategy (and don’t yet have something to sell) should consider the potential LCV (lifetime customer value) they might be able to generate before setting a cap on cost per subscriber acquisition (or even forging forward with this). Sorry if that’s abundantly obvious 😛 Wouldn’t want to build a list on NON-buying tire kickers now would we?!

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    You are talking about just what I’ve been procrastinating on – FB ads. I will follow you and imitate it – because I know it will work!

    Thanks, Bryan.
    Sue

  • Great post idea. Looking forward to the results!

  • I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to add value to your post, but you have nailed it.
    Great comprehensive start and work.

    I would be interested to see if you could work in power editor and create some dark post for specific regions or demos? It’s taking it another step as far as work, but could be worth it.

    I’ve ran some campaigns in the past targeting specific age groups and religious preferences and seen different results with ad copy and imaging.

    But I think you are hitting a lot of this with your use of multiple ads.

  • Cool! I just made my first FB ads this past weekend, will be fun to follow you and learn! you will hit the goal for sure.

  • Very excited to see your plunge into paid advertising.

  • Michael Pozdnev

    Fantastic article! I think this will really help a lot of people around here. In my experience for each ad it is important to create multiple copies and photos (each with divisions for devices).

  • Andrew M. Warner

    Hey Bryan,

    This is an awesome experiment. I recently did a dry run on a facebook add and was able to get 7 new signups. Didn’t spend a lot. Only $20, but I’m now reading up more on Facebook and Facebook Ads and when I know more, I’ll try again. But, I’m looking forward to seeing your results here.

    – Andrew

  • Brian Dean

    Awesome dude. I’m so following this experiment.

  • Pol

    Amazing like always Bryan! I’ll be following your updates.

  • Danny Outlaw

    It would be super interesting to test these “novice” designs against professionally done ones. Im a designer. Hit me up if you want some help. (sample attached)

    • This ad literally means nothing (never does it answer the question, “Why?”). I could be wrong, but I don’t see it converting very well.

  • Nicolò Borghi

    Bryan, while doing some research, I’ve found this. I think it’s pretty helpful http://adespresso.com/academy/ads-examples/

  • Interested in seeing how you allocate your $500 budget for testing before you scale.

    Hint: interests, then copy, then images.

    Good luck have fun! Great sharing 🙂

  • jaredkimball

    Bryan, great idea! Why not think a little bigger?

    Instead of just trying to acquire 500 subscribers for $500 ($1 per subscriber). What would happen if you could spend $100-$300 per Customer? With your list building course you would hold a solid positive ROI. You could even go as high as $600-$700 per customer and still stay profitable with your product.

    Infusionsoft gives you the ability to create automatic funnels that could do exactly that for your business + put it on auto-pilot when combined with LeadPages.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your reports on this.

    • Bigger = a bad idea when you are already procrastinating on something.
      Smaller is the way to get started. Smaller = momentum and progress.

      Add complexity and scale over time. Start small. End bigger.

      • jaredkimball

        Totally understand. Keep It Simple.

  • You have one massive opportunity missed here: the tripwire. You are paying for ads to ultimate drive people to a landing page. However on the next page you just say “check your inbox and share with your friends”. If you offer a one-time offer (“liquidation offer” or “tripwire”) you can offset a large percentage of your ad spend immediately.

    • I imagine it might be a “branding” move on Bryan’s part — kinda like derek, ramit, marie, etc.

      • That’s a fair point. Also if he knows his value per email (which he does), then as long as he’s paying less than that, he’s good to go.

    • Classic DM marketing, it works. So basically sort your 7 USD tripwire offer out and pivot to it when you land on your thankyou page

  • Love this post, Bryan, and the great step-by-step instructions. I’m trying to learn about FB ads and have gotten pretty overwhelmed. This hands-on illustration was very helpful.

    There’s one thing that continues to stump me, though, and I’m not finding an answer to it in any of the resources I’m searching — the 25-character limit on headlines.

    Looking at the images of the ads you created, you were able to use long headlines. How did you get around the character limit?? I’m dying to know. Have I completely overlooked something obvious?

    • Diane, you can do it within the Power Editor. The character limitations are different there.

  • Bryan, thank you for your wonderful post. I am struggling with familiar things.

    I agree with you, Ad #1 will probably produce much higher cost per lead compared to Ad #2.

    You wrote “remember we’re targeting people already familiar with me” but that is only valid for:
    1. Visitors to my blog
    4. My Facebook fan page
    It is not valid for your lookalike audiences.

    To create an audience with video:
    In “Ad Sets” you need a “Lifetime Budget” (I used 50 € for one week).
    In “Ads” you switch on “Create audiences from people who view this video”.
    Thats it, Facebook will automatically build 2 audiences:
    “Video viewed” (at least 3 seconds)
    “Video completed” (at least 95 %) (so take a short video!)
    To do advertising with this audiences is much cheaper as they are warm.

  • This guide is really good for getting started. Includes that “click to website” remark.

    Also shows how to adjust CPC (maybe play with that to get higher quality clicks that will convert?) and how to create the look-a-like audience. (maybe base it off the Email1k fb group, it has 6k people in it and they ALL know you from the course)

    http://okdork.com/2014/03/04/how-to-start-advertising-on-facebook/

    But maybe fb is just the wrong channel for you, this is also a matter of experimenting which channel works best for your audience.

  • jaredkimball

    Thanks for sharing your update.

    I’ve seen similar subscriber acquisition costs in the past. Although I was driving traffic to a blog post. If I knew how to do retargeting I might’ve been able to get those paid blog visitors to convert at a possible lower cost.

    I’ve heard that people are seeing success like that.

    If you target other countries besides the US, Canada and Australia you might be able to lower your cost per subscriber.

    BTW this is awesome.

    Jared

  • Fitter Biz Profits

    Hi Bryan, I’d be happy to help with anything you need with Facebook Ads, this is one of my specialities I help businesses with. I’m doing your list building course so would be happy to give any advice or critiques to let you know what works. Just email me if you want to info@fitterbusinessprofits.com Tamra 🙂

  • Shian K

    I’m pretty pumped to see what happens. Genuinely helpful/fascinating data!

  • Great work so far. FB ads are an expensive PITA in my experience, so more than happy to follow someone like you into the fray!

    Noticed a typo lcue->clue in the post.

    Looking forward to the results!

  • I think you’re budget might be the issue. The lower your daily budget, the more FB rings out. I’ve had the most luck at setting a $5-10/day limit.

    YMMV, but let me know if that works (you already be doing this, too–I’m not sure).

  • This is ace, I’ve been in the same position and sadly gave up. Can’t wait to see the results.. Stay positive

  • Something definitely wasn’t right initially. You should be around .45-.64 cents per website click.
    As well, I like to set an overall budget for the life of the campaign instead of focusing on an amount per day. Just seen better results with that.

    Also, I launch my campaign and watch it closely, if it is not performing at a price point I want I shut it down immediately and go back to my targeting.

    What is your target audience size?
    That also goes into how well the ad performs.

    • Seeing the .45 = .65 range on this latest one Kyle.

      Audience size varies. The lookalikes at 2mil. The others are much smaller. Any magic number here? Do you narrow your lookalikes further by interests?

      • Yes, I think your lookalike audience is too big. I try and narrow that down to about 1 million at the highest and 300-600k on average.

        So in your case, I would start with my 1% lookalike audience.
        Then go in and narrow that down to about 300K-400K target audience.
        Narrowing that down by focusing on interest and other pages people like.

        Once there I would test results and see if % of response is what you want.

  • Hey Bryan!

    A few things:

    – Whatever you do, make sure each ad set is running to a DIFFERENT audience. If you have different ad sets sharing an audience, they will be bidding against each other, and you may find your full budget not being spent–plus, the cost will be higher.

    – Your landing pages & lead magnets are good, no problem there

    – What are your relevancy scores? (Match landing page copy with headlines/copy of ads will increase them, lowering CPA)

    – Are you doing interest targeting, along with custom audience, lookalike, and FB fanpage fans/friends?

    – Your headlines need to tell people EXACTLY what they’ll get when they download in one line — no question marks (From Flight Media managing $10’s of thousands in ad spend/mo, we’ve learned that some of the most converting headlines are: “Free Ebook: How to Launch a $220,750 Product”)

    – Make the description below the headline a testimonial. Immediate credibility. When you say it about yourself, you’re bragging. When someone else does, it’s proof!

    – When doing your targeting, set up a specific custom audience website pixel for the thank you page of the lead magnets. Similar to tracking visitors, it’ll track conversions (seeing as they reached the thank you page.) Exclude this audience in all your ads because they’ve already converted. You’ll be spending money running ads to the same people.

    – Although they can be cheesy, try an adset with Shutterstock’s stock images that are relevant to your ad. We’ve found that graphic-heavy images don’t convert NEARLY what stock images/face images do.

    Hope these lower your CPA and see some results! We live and breathe this stuff!

    – Josh @ Flight Media

  • Hey Bryan, I think you’re on the right track with simplifying the campaign. One thing you could try is creating another version of the ad to test new headlines and images (which is best when your ads have a 1:1 match with your ad groups like you do now).

    You can do this by clicking the duplicate button in Power Editor.

    See which headlines/images are getting more clicks and then ditch the old ad. Repeat the process (it’s a ghetto way of A/B testing your FB ads). It’s important to keep an eye on the number of clicks in the beginning and then make adjustments accordingly before your dolla bills go down the drain. I use Canva to create all my ad images. Don’t forget to make sure the ad headline matches the landing page headline 🙂 This will increase your relevancy score and lower your cost per conversion. You can view these metrics in the Ads Manager.

    Good luck amigo! Looking forward to your end results.

  • K_shenz

    Good stuff Bryan. I think this next iteration will reveal a lot of interesting things. Definitely following this. A lot of folks sent you some actionable stuff already, so I’m not gonna pile on anymore. Good luck! =)

  • — Three things from years running FB ads and spending over $100,000 —
    1. You’re making this too complicated. If your goal is to convert them to ListGoal, why offer all these other lead magnet downloads and thereby dilution the actually CTA. Directly offer ListGoal.
    2. From experience — split testing your graphics will make a massive change in your CTR (Click Though Rate). The ones you have now are very “click-interesting.”
    3. Some people will click “LIKE PAGE” button on the ad banner, without clicking the image/link therefore you will not get a landing page visit — so make sure you’re dong “on page” advertising as well during and after your ad campaign.
    PS: There is more to advise on, but these 3 are good to start.

  • Some easy stuff to make the most out of whats left in your experiment

    – Keep it to desktop news feed ads – highest converting of the bunch. Best to use early on before scaling and to see if they convert which is where youre at with just 14 days to experiment.

    – In the majority of cases, your original plan with shooting them to the blog post and pixeling works better. You can often get roughly the same cost per lead even with the initial higher cost of pixeling them. But the conversion on the lead magnet page is usually higher. And the quality of leads are usually higher too. They end up becoming customers

    – Split test audience first before split testing copy and images. No sense in seeing which buns sell more hot dogs if most of these guys like veggie burgers

  • Just sent you an email with a few ideas and tweaks that I think will give you a much better result!

    • Post it here dude. Public consumption and such 🙂

      • Cool beans
        I’m in the middle of testing this and was about to run a case study, but you have a much larger audience so will see results quicker!

        I’m currently focused on retargeting lost email subscribers to bring them back to a sign up

        I don’t have huge traffic to test but i’m getting $0.29 sign ups and around 54% conversion from those who see the landing page

        I know you already get traffic organically, and this was more of a test for FB ads but I would love to see how retargeting could work for you as a follow up article perhaps

        Rather than focus on top of funnel cold traffic, convert the much warmer traffic yet to optin, for much cheaper.(Similar to what you did with Michael Hyatt and content upgrades)

        I’m going to throw down a few steps here at its most simplest
        (There is more but this is a rough breakdown):

        Set up tracking for every top article which features a content upgrade
        Build a dedicated landing page offer for each offer
        Target those that didn’t optin with a sequence of ad campaigns, back to the landing page offer
        Have this continue to convert new traffic ongoing in the future

        ……so here’s a few other things you could also test:

        How warm is the traffic?
        Where did they come from?
        Have they read other content on the subject on your site?
        How much content?
        How long were they on page for?
        Why didnt they optin?
        Did they not see the offer?
        Did they not think they could do it?
        Were they busy at the time?

        Etc

        Like I say, if adding a content upgrade to old traffic can boost organic traffic optins, how well would a sequence of retargeted lead magnets work?
        Answer: Like awesomesauce 😀

        Daniel

  • James GrowEverywhere Fry

    Great post here Brian. You’ve got more motivation to acquire subscribers than I do. How about an ad that causes a stronger pattern interrupt? I’ve attached two of my recent favorites here. Hope that helps… good luck!

    • What would that look like for me?

      • James GrowEverywhere Fry

        Good question Bryan… Honestly, it takes a lot of thought. But here’s what I do: Walk down a busy street and say “Ok, what’s the craziest sh*t that could possibly happen right now… hmm how about a naked dude running with a leaf over his thing… Ok cool, now how can I relate that outlandish mental image to my product/service?” Rinse and repeat until you think of a good one. These days you’ve gotta shock people into paying attention with curiosity and benefit. The key is to make it relatable and unexpected. I’m working on a killer one now, I’ll send it to you when I launch it. I’d be curious to know what you (and others here) think of this sort of marketing craziness.

  • We just had a Facebook retargeting expert on our show and it was EPIC. So much good stuff. http://youtu.be/DmOlLf_5PWY

    • Haha, so looking through the responses I see Daniel has been posting great stuff here already.

  • Alex

    I just started out myself with FB ads and I did this:
    Created a new FB page which is named based on my target audience and their interest and my product, but feels like a community/cause (for example, I want to quit smoking this year). Got this idea from some online fb ads training.
    Then I created a post on that FB page, which had some text and a link. Then I boosted it, so it gets shown to people. I had 0 likes, 0 everything, my FB page was brand new.
    I targeted my desired audience (in the case of smoking, it would be smoking related interests). I used the interests section to target people who like 9gag and also the behaviour section to target people who had behaviours related to travel, since my biz idea is in the intersection of these areas.
    I set up the ad with the page post engagement objective. So I pay per post engagement (like, comment). I only chose desktop and mobile news feed ads, because I know people engage more with them and that’s what I wanted. I didn’t really care about the clicks to the website, actually the link was to a wikipedia page. 😀
    FB said I should bid $0.11 so my ads actually show (it’s cheaper because it’s in Romania, not the US). I tried less but got 0 impressions, so I did what they suggested.
    I set the budget to $1 per day for 5-6 days, because I just wanted to learn via a small test.
    Results for this campaign:
    $5.71 spent, 145 post engagements, $0.04 cost per post engagement, total reach 8,384 people, frequency 1.26, 1.37% result rate, 498 clicks on the link, that’s a 4.72% ctr (huge), a $0.01 cpc (extremely low), out of 10,555 impressions.

    I did this because my purpose was to gather FB likes and then use ads to show my fans stuff, which I heard is cheaper (targeting your fans than targeting other stuff).
    Also I chose page post engagements, not page likes, because I got the idea from Jon Loomer that the more people comment on your stuff on FB, including ads, the more organic reach it gets. He says this is the only correlation he found between viral organic reach and how people interact on FB via ads. Or something like this, he has a free pdf where he explains it better.
    Another reason was that in an ad, the text is limited to a few characters. But when boosting a post, you can write however much you want, more of it shows up compared to a normal ad.

    What about that organic reach hypothesis? When I go to the post, it says underneath 3,589 people reached, organic 435 and paid 3,154. Not sure why, I assumed the reach would be the same as the reach from the campaign, which was 8k+. Weird. But still, some organic reach is there…

    Conclusion: I would use the page post objective with a FB post to promote something, even though my real objective is website clicks, because this may happen again: $0.01 cpc. Or lower cpc in general, compared to when you choose other objectives. Not sure if it works, but I’d try that if I were you, Bryan.

    I also created a campaign with the FB page likes objective today and I had to use a normal ad, with limited text, and had to bid $0.07 to get it running. Afterwards I decreased the bid to $0.02 and it still got 1a few likes. Anyway, the average cost for a like is $0.05, which is okish.

    I prefer the page post engagements, because even though the page likes were more expensive, I got the organic thing going on: people commenting, which lead to more organic reach. And I think it’s better to have people like my page after they engaged with my post, because they know a bit more about it, so they’re slightly warmer traffic. Plus, did I mention you can use links and get a $0.01 cpc!?!?!?!? That’s just gold.

  • Hey Brian… we exchanged emails awhile back about FB ads and retargeting…

    I’d focus on existing readers who haven’t opted-in yet to get the best bang for your buck (warm vs. cold traffic)… you have good traffic already so use it to your advantage.

    Also, if you set up a little bit of categorization around your lead magnets and your content, you can more precisely target the “not opted-in yet” readers based on what they’re most interested in.

    I actually used your site as an example explaining how this works with Facebook’s new custom audience pixel in my blog post here:

    https://funnelboom.com/facebook-new-custom-audience-pixel-walkthrough/

    It includes the exact setup steps and event code you would use.

    You don’t have to make this terribly complex upfront (a major time suck)… but a little “segmentation” can go a long way to lowering those CPAs.

    Happy to help you with setting it up, if you want.

  • Wow, dude that is awesome. I want to get back into Facebook ads but they suspended my current debit card #jerks but still. Do you think I can use a pre-paid debit card for Facebook ads?

    • Also can’t wait to see what you do with that latest update. You should see some pretty awesome results with it.

  • Fact & Fitness

    Hi Bryan, sorry if this was said in a previous post, but have you considered using Facebook Go?

    https://www.facebook.com/business/go

    If you spend $25/day for 30 days you get someone from FB to help with your ads. Not sure if you’ve heard of it or thought about trying it, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

    Good luck man!

    –Brian

  • Jarek Cudzich

    Just a comment…

  • Hey Brian, I learned this from Mike Shreeve who I just interviewed on zbooks.co, the interview is going up this weekend but until then here is a graphic. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/68e1aea4bd6de222fa312509dfc12bcabc3b06df8217b2e19226cd1d53545ba0.png
    If you didn’t already know, you use the pixel on you website to generate a look-alike audience, then target that audience in the 300 million fb users – your multiplyer!

  • Hey Bryan,

    Reason #2 would be my best guess for the increased costs. I’m not on Facebook a lot, but I’ve seen your ad three times now. I’ve also seen the same Zippy Courses ad three times, too. Through you and Derek, I think God is trying to tell me I should create a product. 😉

    -Kevin

  • Dustin Riechmann

    I would do all three of your suggested approaches to liquidate your ad spend. You can offer them an immediate low-dollar offer (that also upsells to the $200 product), then put everyone through a follow-up series that sells your $200 product…and periodically hold webinars for everyone that hasn’t already purchased.

    If you get enough of the low-dollar buyers, you can also frame the webinar as a Free Bonus Training just for those customers. I’ve had a lot of success with this approach.

  • Oleg Starko

    Honestly, I’m curious to see how #3 (offering a $5-15 product right away) will turn out. Hurray for instant gratification! However, upselling for higher-priced courses will probably yield better results. Why not segment your FB ad subscribers and test all 3 approaches?

  • Lara

    One of the things that I’ve noticed is I have better luck with just having a call to action.

    My vote is for the free course to upsell to the paid course!!! I’m interested in seeing how to get someone interested in a sale with just the right amount of information.

  • Ivan

    Hi Bryan,

    I would split test which one comes with better conversion and pick the winner.

    But if I have to pick, I would start with Approach #2. The reasons are:
    1. Engagement
    2. You can do it for a few times (you can also use the topics that is in the free course, and tweak it a bit) It can be another free course (or put into the same course as Approach #1), or if you want to bundle it and price it $5-$10 products later (so that saves up a lot of times!)
    3. I would use the free course or the $5-$10 product as bonuses added to $200 (but that depends on what is the courses, just make sure it matches the $200 course and really add value)

    After all, I would prefer testing it and repackaging the courses.

    It just my two cents. I believe you will come out with a good decision for this!

    Looking forward to your update. 🙂

  • I am going to vote for option 3.
    I went back and forth on my vote, but I think capitalizing immediately on a small commitment move them to the next phase of a bigger course. Maybe option 3 then move to option 2 after they have made that purchase.

    Also, giving a free course that upsells seems you will have non-commital people wasting your time. It’s a quick commitment to go from a Facebook ad to a $200 product.

    Looking forward to next update. Thanks for sharing Bryan.

  • Jonathan VanHorn

    I’d be interested in the webinar’s results. Seems like the simplest.

    Spend a couple hours on a webinar. Few more hours on emails, test and see.

    I think the tripwire $5-15 would be ok but seems a bit sleazy on the front end to be selling right off the bat. The first option sounds like too much up front work. (Unless that free course already exists)

  • Great experiment! Keep on following this one;)

    Cheers,

    Yordi

  • Hi Bryan, I suggest approach #3 (Tripwire). You get immediately a result and you have the chance the refinance your ads. If a lead buy you get buyers, much more valueable than leads. I assume to upsell the buyers through email-marketing is much easier.

    Nevertheless would be interesting to do split testing your 3 approaches. I think the webinar would produce great results as the visitors get easily warm with you.

    Best regards – Peter

  • The free course to paid course is a proven concept. The $5-$15 would be a pretty hard sell I believe. I’d love to see the webinar to paid course path.

    Wondering how that would convert, haven’t heard about that before. I’d dig it!

    • Oh and I’d call the podcast the 10kSubcast!

  • jaredkimball

    I think you should sell the course through the webinar model, but you probably should charge more than $200.

    You have shown people time and time again how they can grow their email subscriber list, and that’s where you can shine.

    With the webinar you could offer either a 2 or 3 tier package. The first package could start at $3,000 and includes access to you through a live Q&A group coaching call every week (for x weeks), plus the training course, plus access to a group (forum, Facebook group, or etc.)

    The second tier could be just access to the course and Facebook group and you should charge something like $1,000.

    Those are just my thoughts. Awesome job with this experiment. I’ve enjoyed reading all your updates.

    Cheers,
    Jared

  • Hey Bryan,

    I’d go for Approach #3 and work them through the Customer Value Optimisation that Digital Marketer recommends: http://www.digitalmarketer.com/customer-value-optimization/

    So create a $5-$15 product that’s splintered from your $200 course (you’ve already done the work). You can then upsell the course to the people who have bought the cheap product knowing they are people who will spend money and are interested in the course content.

    I’m excited to see which approach you choose and how it works out.

    Nate

  • Emile Emiabata

    Hi Bryan, your posts and general approach are radical by the way. I sincerely doubt you’ll have much effort growing your email list as soon as word gets around about your blog posts. Im of the opinion that you should convert to sales via the webinar which is an excellent, flexible and low cost pre-sales medium and further provides opportunity to extract email and other details. The feedback and comments on webinar threads are often a goldmine of information too. I have a question. What do you mean when you say ‘your email lookalike list’? If I assume you collect an email address on a landing page how do you profile subscribers from this information sufficient for you to know who to target on Facebook? These podcasts are a great addition too :¬)

  • Emile Emiabata

    Hi Bryan, your posts and general approach are radical by the way. I sincerely doubt you’ll have much effort growing your email list as soon as word gets around about your blog posts. Im of the opinion that you should convert to sales via the webinar which is an excellent, flexible and low cost pre-sales medium and further provides opportunity to extract email and other details. The feedback and comments on webinar threads are often a goldmine of information too. I have a question. What do you mean when you say ‘your email lookalike list’? If I assume you collect an email address on a landing page how do you profile subscribers from this information sufficient for you to know who to target on Facebook? These podcasts are a great addition too :¬)

  • Hi Bryan.

    I think approach #1 might work better, because you could sell the product in 10 emails, while

    with #2 you have only one shot (webinar) and with #3 (5-10$ product) the risk is attract bad customers and work harder for few money.

  • You don’t have a 5-15$ product? Use mine! Facebook ads for authors,perfect for the topic: https://gumroad.com/l/fafacc , we can split the profit!

  • Go with approach #1.

    First off I think it it will be easier for you to recover $500 from a $200 product sale than it would be from $5-$10 product.

    Secondly, sending a free course (maybe over email) builds a continuous relationship with them. The ask for $200 at the end of the email course should be easier than the ask for $200 at the end of just one webinar.

    I think you can increase the value and make the sale even more smooth if your free course includes a series of videos along with transcripts

  • Ryan Breitkreutz

    Why not split the subscribers up and try all 3 approaches, so you can gauge which one will more effective for the future? So helpful, can’t wait for the final results.

    • Definitely Will do that eventually. However, keeping it simple is key to progress. Complexity comes over time.

  • Bryan, this experiment is awesome!

    Never thought of creating an Email Look-a-like group.
    I just realised there is an “Import from MailChimp” option when creating Facebook Audiences.

    What do you think of this?

    1. Get emails who are on my list, but rarely/never open my campaigns (maybe they are interested but never read the Promotion tab in Gmail)
    2. Import into Facebook.
    3. Target them.

  • Lucas Sanchez

    Great post Bryan. We are getting 20k leads per month with FB Ads Cold Traffic. 90% ROI before 15 days (when autoresponder ends).

    Take a look to my account: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wsy0gqq0zcds4ov/Screenshot%202015-08-19%2011.28.57.png?dl=0.

    Some tips/findings after a lot of tests (look at my screenshot first):

    – One campaign per country / product or funnel / bidding objective / placement.

    – Divide adsets by gender, interests, lookalike.

    – Use UTM’s to track Revenue in GA / Mixpanel (utm_campaign=campaign_name, utm_content=adset_name, utm_source=facebook, utm_medium=cpc). Use underscores to naming convention.

    – Send UTM parameters to Infusionsoft. You can adapt this: http://www.terminusapp.com/blog/bet-you-havent-used-utm-parameters-like-this/.

    All this tips helps you compare tests easily in Google Analytics / Mixpanel.

    And finally, focus on: CPA < LTV, not cost/lead < $1.

    Good luck!

  • I’m thinking that adding the upsell would easily boost profits for your campaign.

  • Jamie

    This is epic stuff Bryan. Thank you.

    I’m about to launch my own product and want to create a “pre-launch” email list using FB Ads. So seeing this process, step-by-step… it’s been smashing!

    How are things progressing now?

    And out of interest…have you tried using FB’s ‘interest targeting’ at all? I don’t have any lists (email or pixel) to start off with. So a little further ‘up’ the road from where you started at I guess.

    Thanks again for your time help and time dude!

  • Alexis

    Deep and interesting thank you very much. Just a question, which tool do you use to design / map your email sequence ? is it omnigraffle ? thanks in advance.

  • Alexander Limberg

    Hi Bryan,
    I’m just finishing reading the book on FB advertising by Perry Marshall. It’s a good introduction to FB advertising and contains a couple of helpul thoughts, but it’s not pure enlightenment either.

    The authors claim that you can only do valid split-tests by running your test ads in different ad sets (one ad variation in each ad set). That’s because that’s the only way FB will distribute the impressions evenly among the ad variations (variations of image and text).

    Do you have any experience with that/any opinion on it?

  • Suggestion: Push the class (rather than the checklist) on the OTO and increase the price…significantly. $7 or $10 is way too cheap. I could download that and never even look at it. I’d need to spend at least $49 to care about what I’m purchasing.

    Too cheap also causes me to think your product isn’t very valuable, plus it’s anchored at $0 for the freebie. Ideally, you’d want to anchor me higher, and then maybe afford me a limited-time discount to encourage impulse purchases.

    Another way to anchor is to tier the offer.

  • Antoine Bonicalzi

    Yo Bryan! Would you recommend testing FB ads without the monetization first or testing the tripwire from day one?

  • Hi Bryan – great case study and love the podcast updates! What’s the latest??

  • Ola myEmpirepro

    Very cool to review this… found you from the AOPT podcast.

  • Shelby Tatomir

    Hey, Bryan! I’m creative a comprehensive ad test myself for each product line of the business I work for. How did you decide to allocate $500 on ads in the next 14 days in your first iteration? Do you have data on 1. the appropriate amount to spend on an ad test and 2. How long is an effective time frame to run the tests?