Today I’m lucky to have Rick Mulready on the show. Rick is someone who I met at Social Media Marketing World while waiting for a gigantic mob of people around Amy Porterfield to dissipate so we could say hello to her.
He’s a Facebook ads specialist and helps small business run profitable Facebook campaigns. He’s also runs a popular podcast called the Art of Paid Traffic and a training class called The FB Advantage. Enjoy the show!
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What You’ll Learn
- Where to begin when launching a Facebook ad
- Some guidelines for setting up a a high converting campaign
- How to choose an audience
- How to test your creatives
- Best practices when running Facebook ads.
- Sample metrics to reference as you run your ad campaigns
Other Resources And Books
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But before we begin I want to give a shout out to Klaviyo who is also a sponsor of the show. Now I’m always excited to talk about Klaviyo because they are the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store, and I actually depend on them for over 20% of my revenues. Now Klaviyo is the only email platform out there that is specifically built for ecommerce stores and here is why it’s so powerful.
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Now I also wanted to give a shout out to my other sponsor Seller Labs, and specifically I want to talk about their awesome Amazon tool, Scope. Now if you know me I get really excited about tools that I like and use, and Scope is actually a tool that increased my Amazon sales on several listings by 39% within the first week of use, crazy, right?
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Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.
Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit her Job Podcast. Today I’m lucky to have Rick Mulready on the show. Now Rick is someone who I met at Social Media Marketing World, and it’s actually pretty funny how it happened. We were both standing around waiting for this gigantic mob of people surrounding Amy Porterfield to disappear so we could actually just say hi to her. And while this huge crowd was mobbing Amy, Rick and I we just kind of met and started chatting, and I’m really glad that we did.
Rick is Facebook ad specialist, and he helps small businesses run profitable Facebook campaigns. He also runs a popular podcast called The Art of Paid Traffic and a training class called the FB Advantage. And yeah, Rick is very knowledgeable about Facebook ads, and he actually also spoke at the conference. And with that welcome show Rick, how are you doing today man?
Rick: I’m doing great Steve, thanks for having me on man.
Steve: Yeah, wasn’t it crazy like we were waiting like 30, 40 minutes [inaudible 00:03:50].
Rick: I’d love to give her; I’d love to give her a crap about that. She always has a big mob of people and you described it really well, that’s exactly how it happened.
Steve: So Rick give us the quick background story, and tell us kind of how you got started with Facebook ads.
Rick: Yes I’ve been doing online advertising for about 17 and a half years now, actually a long time.
Rick: And started back in a while back when the dial up days were going strong and AOL was sending CDs out in the mail to get you online, and that was my first sort of exposure if you will to online advertising on a big scale. I spent five years in well back in starting in 2000, and then came out here to the west coast. So at AOL I was on the operations side, so I ran some of the operations teams who were — we were implementing all the online advertising deals that were being sold.
So I got to see a really unique side starting out on that end of online advertising. I got to see it from the back end if you will, and then came out here to the west coast and I spent a couple years at Yahoo where I moved more to the client facing side. So I did campaign management, and worked with the clients in the ads, the campaigns that they were doing, and then also got into sales at that point. And then I was in online ad sales for the rest of my time in the corporate world.
So I was at Yahoo for a couple of years, spent time at Funny or Die doing video and stuff like that, yeah and then also worked for a company called Vibrant Media which is a textual advertising platform. And sort of during this time there was a kind of a shift going on where all these big brands, all these companies had like these minimum advertising spends that companies needed to hit in order to work with them. And it makes sense because there’s a lot of resources that go into working with an account, the Yahoo or AOL or whatever company it is.
And that minimum spend is often too tight, too often too high for many small businesses, you know it makes sense. And so I saw this going on and this is right around the time, right on 2010, a little over seven years ago. This was at a time when Facebook was starting its meteoric rise, and really started to gain traction and you know small businesses — this is back when you could post something on Facebook and all your fans were able to see it.
Steve: Oh yeah.
Rick: And so the good old days.
Steve: Good old days, yeah.
Rick: Yeah and so I started seeing what was happening here for the opportunity that small businesses had on there on the platform, and not only to build a community of fans and people who like the business, but also the opportunity to advertise in a very targeted way because all these people were on the platform, and Facebook was getting — was starting to get really — starting to get sophisticated with the data that it had available. Not like today of course, but it was starting to get more sophisticated. And because of my background in online advertising, I naturally gravitated towards that side of Facebook.
So I was like you know what I’m kind of thinking about leaving the corporate world at some point, I’d like to start doing my own thing. I didn’t know what that was, but because I was so interested in the Facebook ad side, I kind of dive — I dove in at that point and started teaching myself as much as I possibly could about Facebook ads, this is seven and a half years ago. There was not a whole lot out there of learning about Facebook ads and how you do this.
So it was kind of like find what you could and then just dive in and start doing it. So that’s what I did, and I started managing ads for some friends who had online businesses and so forth just to kind of get more and more experience with that. And I was really the star. I left the corporate world at the end of 2012 to focus full time on doing this as a business, and it really — it took me a good year and a half after I left the corporate world to gain traction as a “Online entrepreneur.”
Steve: So you were making any money when you quit?
Rick: Very little bit, very little bit.
Steve: Oh wow, okay.
Rick: Yeah and so when I quit it was one of those — I look at that as if you’re in the corporate world and you’re looking to leave the corporate world, or leave your day job if you will to do something else, I kind of look at it as you’re going to fall in one of a couple of categories. You’re either going to be your side gig or whatever you’re doing is going to equal your day job income. And so I was doing really well, I was making a few hundred thousand dollars a year doing that, so I wasn’t necessarily coming out of the gates making or equaling that.
The second, I was in the second phase of that would be if you have that side gig and you are bringing in some money, and it’s not equal to your day job but it is looking pretty consistent, and you’re growing that. Or you just make the jump, you just like you know what, I’m going to go for it and this is going to work out. I kind of fell into sort of that second and third way if you will where I was like you know what a couple things I need to have happened is I need to have a big safety net, and I also want to be out of debt.
And so I at the time I was $75,000 in debt and — not at the time I left, but I was $75,000 in debt those last few years in the corporate world. So I got out of debt, I built up a big savings and it was like you know what, let’s do this. And so that was in the end of September 2012, and for the next year and a half it was a really, I fumbled around really trying to make this work on a consistent basis. And you know [inaudible 00:09:32] you know this whole thing.
I was doing it myself and things weren’t really working. And it wasn’t until really January 2014 that things really started to take off when I created a Facebook ads training program, and I used Facebook ads to sell that that training program I did webinars and stuff like that. That was supposed to be a short answer; it turned out to be a long answer.
Steve: No, no, no, and the reason why I’m always curious is it took me 17 years to quit my job, and I still kind of on the fence on whether it was the right decision believe it or not. It was never because of the money, it was always because of like the people that I was working with, and the nature of the fact that I studied, microprocessors, that was my thing for so long, and I gave it up. And like that whole side of my intelligence and career is now over with, so I’m still trying to get over that, but…
Rick: It makes sense.
Steve: So Rick what I was hoping to do today is actually run through a complete example of how you use Facebook ads to kind of build up an audience, and so this is your product. And we were talking earlier about your clients who are doing this and this is kind of how you got started with webinars and selling your stuff?
Steve: So on a personal level at least; I’m sure that I’m not doing everything correctly. And so I’m curious to see how a seasoned pro runs things. So let’s start from the top, shall we?
Steve: Where do you begin? So let’s say I go up to you and say, hey Rick I got this course, I got a small audience, I got a little bit of content, maybe a blog, what are the first steps?
Rick: First thing that I’m going to ask you is you said you have this course, I’m going to want to know what you’re trying to achieve, like I have — always the first question I ask people is why? Why are you doing what you’re coming to me talking about? And a lot of that unfortunately a lot of the time people say, well I keep hearing how great Facebook ads are, I have friends who are using them in their business, so I just figured I’d start using them as. Well I applaud you for that, but that’s not a good enough reason because you got to go into Facebook ads with a strategy, what is the goal I’m trying to achieve.
So if you’ve got an online course, so let me ask you Steve is that course in this hypothetical situation is already created, or do you have a course sort of in mind that you’d like to create?
Steve: Let’s say it’s already created.
Rick: Okay cool. So you have this course now, and like all right how can I promote this course? The next question I’m going to ask you is who is your target audience, who is the ideal audience that you want to target? And you’ve got to have a very, very specific knowledge of who that person is. And I say have a specific knowledge; just know that that’s going to be evolving. Like you know I have been doing this a long time now, my ideal audience is always evolving, I’m always looking at, okay I understand who it is, but there’s always iterations if you will of that audience that I can understand more, or create a better “avatar” of who that person is that I’m trying to reach, and who I’m trying to reach might be different from product to product that I have.
Rick: And so I want to make sure that I understand that so that I can speak to specifically those people in my marketing, in my advertising. And when I say advertising and marketing, I’m talking not only Facebook ads, but also the emails that I’m writing or on my landing pages, on my sales pages, that sort of thing. And so if you’ve got the course, all right cool, you’ve got a very clear understanding of who your target audience is…
Steve: Let’s say I don’t know who my target audience is, like how do I figure it out?
Rick: Yeah, I would at that point look at, okay what is the problem that you are solving with that course, what is it that — what business or what niche are you specifically in that you can help somebody with? And then once you understand that look at, okay, who are these people, what’s their demographic, what’s their age range, are they men or women, what are they interested in? This is one of those things where people get really sort of tunnel visioned if you will, and I like to use the example of if I’m in the yoga niche. And so I know that I probably want to be reaching women between let’s just say I don’t know 25 and 45, let’s just say.
That’s my primary people — women between 25 and 45 who have an interest in yoga. That’s kind of the obvious one. So most people would kind of stop there, maybe they’re interested like in maybe Pilates or something like that. You’ve got to take a step back and think about, all right what are they also interested in, what are they reading, where they shopping, what are they watching? Those types of things. So for example, if I’m trying to reach those women who are inside yoga, yes I do want to target people who target women who have an interest in yoga. But also they might be reading Yoga Journal magazine, maybe they’re shopping at Lululemon for their clothing or Lorna Jane or something like that.
Maybe they’re shopping at Whole Foods, you know taking a step back and looking at the big picture of what your target audience, who their target audience is and what they’re interested in on all different types of levels. Again where they’re shopping, what they’re reading, what they’re watching, that sort of thing.
Steve: And where they’re hanging out and that sort of thing?
Steve: Okay, got it.
Rick: Or it could be yeah it could be are they attending conferences, are there associations that they might be a part of, that sort of thing. And this is where I say getting a really clear picture of who your target audience is and who you want to be reaching. And so once you have an understanding of that, then we want to look at, oaky what is the strategy that we’re going to use? Remember we haven’t even set our Facebook ads up at this point.
Steve: Right yeah right.
Rick: We haven’t even guided the system yet, and most people are just like, all right I want to do Facebook ads, let’s jump in and start setting stuff up. All well and good but you’ve got to do this sort of pre-work upfront if you will, and this is the hard work I like to say that no one really wants to do. But yet when you do this work, this is what sets you up for success with your Facebook ads, you know having a clear understanding of why you’re trying to achieve what you want to do, who your target audience is, how you’re going to be serving them, and then what’s the strategy there to start selling that course. Okay so what’s the initial offer going to be?
And so let’s just say that if you have an online course, let’s just say in our example here that we’re going to do a webinar. And so we’re going to do a webinar, so we in the very most simplistic sake, let’s say one strategy could be we’re going to run Facebook ad to a webinar. So we’re going to do a live training and then on that live training we’re going to offer our program to people, and then we’re going to have – let’s just say we’re going to have a close date after that. So we’re only going to offer our course for a certain period of time. Okay cool, that’s one strategy.
Well another strategy that we could do is we could run a Facebook ad to a free piece of content, and that could be a blog post. You mentioned Steve that this person, this hypothetical situation has — they have a blog and they’ve got some content there. Well we could send people from the Facebook ad to that piece of content, and on that blog post, on that video or whatever, that may be there is an opportunity to register for a webinar. And for those people who land on that page, consume the content but don’t actually register, they don’t opt in, we can retarget them to get them to opt in to that webinar.
So our goal here is to get them on that webinar, and we’re doing that a couple of different ways. And so having that clear picture of, okay what is the strategy going to look like beginning with what’s the offer that I’m going to be doing? In this case here in our hypothetical is our offer is going to be that webinar. And so from there, then it’s really like, okay what are we going to be teaching people?
Steve: So let’s back up a little bit. So you mentioned a bunch of different strategies, or two different strategies right there. Like how do you know where to start, or you do actually try to implement both and see what works well, like the content play versus just direct webinar sign up?
Rick: I mean ideally you do you want to be doing both, but that can be really overwhelming for people to say, oh I have to do all this in order to get going. I mean the easiest thing that you can do, and it’s going to be most likely a little bit more expensive these days is to run an ad directly to a webinar registration. And so like, all right, maybe I do — I know I want to test both of these things, but let’s start with this first.
So we’ll get this final set up, we’ll get this strategy in place, and then we can look at, okay, maybe we send Facebook ads then to that free piece of content to try to get them eventually over to the webinar. But let’s just start with the first thing, getting that done.
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Can we set some expectations also, like I know this is going to be too broad of a question, but like how do you calculate what you should be spending per lead on the webinar and that sort of thing, and what you should expect?
Rick: Great question. So everybody wants to know like, well what should my cost per lead be, how much should I spend on my Facebook ads, right? So allow me start with the how much should I spend on my Facebook ads. The first one, like I look at that as sort of a two ways to answer that question. Number one is what can you afford? Like the easiest is like if you’re just starting out, what kind of budget can you afford? You can be getting results on as little as say five to ten dollars a day. So you really don’t need to be spending a whole lot of money in order to get some results going.
And the idea with Facebook ads and really with any kind of paid traffic is start off. I mean if you’re just starting out, start off small and then sort of snowball. So as you start making money and getting some results, putting it right back into your ads. So maybe start off spending $10 a day, you’re spending $300 a month. But then once you get into it, you start making some more money and you put it back in. Before you know you’re spending $500 a month and $700, $1,000, just kind of snowballing that and letting that build.
So I’d start there, is what can you afford, what will your budget allow. And in the longer term answer there Steve as far as like how much should you spend on your ads, it’s really doing this for a little while, and starting and really tracking everything that you’re doing. So how much money that you’re spending on your ads, what’s the revenue that you’re making coming out on the back end, figuring out what your ROI is so that you can eventually get to a point, and you can get there pretty quickly is by watching the numbers, you can know, okay for every dollar that I put into my Facebook ads, I’m getting two or three or five dollars back.
And so then it becomes very easy to figure out how much you want to spend, because you’re like, all right well I know pretty much from what I’ve been seeing in my campaigns, I know that for every dollar I put in, I’m going to get two dollars out, so let’s just start spending on that. And of course that does align with what your budget is as well, but you do need some obviously historical numbers there, you need some experience doing this for a little while before you can say, okay, I know exactly – I know roughly, I never want to say exactly, but I know roughly how much money I can put in and get back out.
Steve: So at the beginning, there’s just too many variables, right? Like the effective – so the webinar, the product also comes into play. So from what I gather what you’re saying at the beginning is just spend a little bit of money, get some leads, actually run your webinar and get some data and then over time with enough webinars, you’ll get an idea of what your ad spend is.
Rick: Absolutely and you bring up a great point there Steve is that you can’t go into this stuff thinking with the mindset of, this is going to work tomorrow, like this is going to work overnight. You have to go into it with knowing that it could work, like right out of the gate, so you could be seeing success right out of the gate. I was very fortunate, now granted it took me 15 months to get there. But I started running my first webinars in January 2014.
I did $30,000 in 45 days, and so things were successful very quickly. But you know this is all testing, this is all figuring like trying different things out to see where the sweet spot is, and also or where the sweet spots are I should say, and then also again figuring out your numbers so that you can start making more educated decisions. But that’s a big thing that people sort of get hung up on.
And I would say easily what separates people who are successful with Facebook ads and really any kind of paid traffic is those people who have the mindset of, well I’m going to go into it, I’m going to start testing different things out, I’m going to spend a little bit of money to see what works and what doesn’t, and I’m just going to be flexible here. I’m going to try different things until I find what works, and I’m not going to give up after the first 30 days if things don’t go my way.
And I see that all too often when in fact it’s those people who are getting to that point, and they’re like you know what things are not working, I’m trying different things. It’s the people who stick with it just past that point where they feel like giving up. Oftentimes that is when things really start to click for them.
Steve: Okay, so far we’ve talked about an audience; we’ve kind of made an educated on the audience. And then we decided we’re going to do a webinar. Let’s talk about the creative a little bit, like how do you structure that?
Rick: Well that really goes — so when you’re putting your ad together, whether it’s the image or if you’re doing a video and the ad copy, so when you’re putting your ad together, it really goes back to who is that target audience that you’re trying to reach. And so let’s just say that you are trying to reach your – I’ll go back to the yoga example, and let’s just say that you have a product that is you’re teaching I don’t know — I don’t know how much…
Steve: I don’t do Yoga either, but…
Rick: Terrible example for you that I’m bringing up here. But let’s say there’s different levels okay, but I’m teaching all this in here. And so I need to be able to speak to the people who are at different levels. And so the conversation I’m going to have with a beginner is very different than what I’m going to have with the more advanced type of person. And so that’s why it really comes down to understanding who your target audience I,s and then are there sub-segments of people within that target audience, so that I’m going to have different conversations with those people, right?
Likewise, if I’m targeting people who have an interest in Yoga Journal magazine versus people who shop at Whole Foods, that’s probably going to be a little bit of a different conversation there. And so when you’re putting together the ad, whether it’s the image of the video and the ad copy, you need to make sure that you’re speaking directly to that person within your target audience. And so you know people get hung up on the images and so forth, or a video. Right next to me right now I’m actually just picked it up is my iPhone.
One of the best things and one of the easiest things that you can do is just start taking pictures that you find that might be relevant to your specific niche and your specific business. Same thing goes for video. If you’re doing video that you want to do a video ad on Facebook, you don’t need to hire this big production crew in order to do it. You could be doing Facebook live, or you can be just getting in front of your Smartphone and start taking video.
But you do want to make sure that whatever image that you’re using or video that you’re doing is relevant to the audience that you’re speaking to, and obviously you can try to convey the message that you are trying to get across with that. Now…
Steve: Do you recommend videos now over images? At least in my experience, videos just tend to have a lot more engagement than just images these days. So I was just curious what your experience has been there.
Rick: Yeah video does really great. I would never say only do this over this, I’m always going to say test both. But there’s a few different benefits of video, actually lots of different benefits. Number one, the kind of connection that you can make with your target audience is I mean with a video, I mean they get to see you, they get to hear you, they get to watch you. So you can create a connection with your ideal audience that you can’t necessarily with a standard image ad. Video gets higher play with on Facebook because Facebook has really put an emphasis on video in the newsfeed, on the platform in general.
The other thing that you can do is you have an amazing opportunity to create what they call engagement audiences based on how long people are engaging with your video. So you can say, well if I have people who are watching 75% of my video, that’s a pretty engaged person, versus somebody who’s only watching say 25% of my video. And so we can go down a big rabbit hole here, but so you can build these audiences, you can build look like audiences out of these people who are watching these videos. So video is a really, really powerful tool to be to be using.
Steve: So let me ask you this, so assuming we have the creative and then we have the audience, like our best guess audience, and we’re driving to a webinar landing page. So let’s say we hit go and it’s running, like how long do you let it run before making a determination? How do you decide which creative is working and what is not working, like what are some of the metrics involved that you use?
Rick: Great question. So one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that they make a determination on their ad far too soon, and you really got to give it at least, let’s just say at least three days. I mean we’re talking 72 hours from when you start your ad before you make any kind of determination. And it’s the hardest thing for people to do. So like if you start your ad — let’s just say you start your ad at six o’clock in the morning, you know people you’re there watching it at ten o’clock. You’re like what’s the ad doing, like what are the numbers really, what’s going on here? And it’s the hardest thing.
So what I like to say is when you schedule your ad, let’s just say you started the next morning, just check in with it when you get up to make sure that it is running, and that it’s active, and then the hardest thing you have to do is just leave it alone. You got to let your ad get into Facebook’s algorithm if you will, and let the algorithm do its thing for you, and so at least three days before you start making any kind of changes to your ad. I like to try and get the reach if I can depending on what kind of budget I’m amusing to about 1,000 again before I start making any determinations there, and generally that will happen over — and again it depends on what your budget is, but generally that will happen over those three days.
Then you can take a look and go in and start to diagnose what’s going on with the ad. And the first number I like to say that you look at is whatever your objective is. So in this case here in our hypothetical, we’re trying to get people to register for a webinar. So I want to see what is my cost per registration, what’s my cost per lead? And everyone always wants to know what’s a good cost per lead here? That’s always going to depend on — it just depends on what niche that you’re in, what your offer is. Going from an ad to a webinar registration is likely going to be more expensive than if you go from an ad to a PDF, a free cheat sheet download sort of thing.
Rick: So it really depends. People are saying, well Rick just give me a number. For most people who are doing the online course, I would say try. If you’re under $8ish, you’re doing pretty well.
Steve: Interesting, I think it depends on the course or class too, like I remember when I was doing this for my class, I made an estimate of how many registrants would show up and estimated the conversion rate. And I determined that my breakeven point was like twelve and a half bucks.
Rick: Yes and that, again that goes back to figuring out how much you should spend on your ads because what they have this number called earnings per lead that you can figure out. So it’s like okay I brought in this many leads, and then I did this much in sales. So that will help you determine what your earnings per lead is so you just divide the amount of revenue that you made divided by the number of leads that you brought in, and that will give you like you said Steve that twelve dollars and fifty cents let’s just say.
So then you can start to say, okay, well for the next one, based on this last campaign that ran, I can probably spend up to twelve dollars and fifty cents per lead before I’m losing money on that. And again that just means that you need data in order to make those decisions. So once I looked at that metric that most aligns with my objective here, so in this case here it’s we’ve figured out what our cost per conversion is, then I’m looking at what I like to call troubleshooting numbers.
And so then we’re looking at what’s the conversion rate on the landing page? What is the click through rate on the ad? What’s the relevance score which is at the ads level by the way, what’s the relevance score of this? And if your ads have been running a little while, what’s the frequency? So like you’re using these other numbers to help you diagnose what’s going on with your Facebook ads campaign.
Steve: Interesting, so what relevancy score do you typically recommend?
Rick: Well it’s a one to ten scale, and basically we don’t know everything that goes into the relevance score. But it’s safe to say that Facebook is looking at how relevant is this ad that you put together that you’re showing to the target audience that you have, that you set up? So how relevant is this ad? Facebook wants good content on the platform, and so this relevance score is a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest. So the higher the relevant score, the lower cost you’re going to have, and the more of a higher delivery reach that you’re going to have with that ad, because again Facebook sees that as, oh this is a good ad, I’m going to show this to more people, because it’s a higher relevance score there.
So if you’re in that seven –now this is going to be again some general generally issues that we’ll make here.
Steve: Of course, yes.
Rick: If you’re in that seven to ten range, you’re doing really well on the relevance score. If you’re in that four to six range, sort of obviously middle of the road there, I’d keep an eye on it, and then generally if you’re in that one to three range, again probably need to look at changing things up. Now relevance score is one of those stats that it’s really hard to pinpoint, okay go do this, because the relevance score has to do with the ad that you put together and the target audience that you are targeting.
So it could be things with the ad, it could be things with the audience that you have set up there. So it’s just a matter of starting to look at each of those different things to figure out, okay what are some changes that I might be able to make to improve this relevance score. Now I see a generality with that on the one to ten there. If you’re in that four to six, I’ve actually seen lots of ads that are doing quite well with a really good cost per lead that are like a three relevance score.
Steve: Interesting okay.
Rick: Yeah. So in that case there I would probably say, okay well my ad looks like it’s doing pretty well, I’m pretty happy with it, the cost per lead is I’m not too unhappy with it there, I’m going to let this run for a while, and just keep a close eye on it.
Steve: Do you have any click through rate guidelines?
Rick: Yeah, I like to see at least above one percent or above, and if you’re in that maybe like let’s just say 0.85 to 1%, you’re not — and here I am saying 1%, but if you’re right around that, again I would say look at the rest of the stats just to try to diagnose what if any changes that you might want to make to that. But I would say try and be at least 1% and above. Likewise on the conversion rate on the landing page, now this is not a sale by the way, so different from a sale. If you’re sending people to an opt-in page or registration page, I’d like to see that conversion rate at least 20% on that landing page.
Steve: Okay, any special guidelines on the landing page that you recommend or tools that? Do you just have people use Lead Pages or Instapages?
Rick: Yeah exactly. I use Lead Pages every day in the business, and so Lead Pages is great, ClickFunnels, Instapage. Use a tool that makes it super simple to create a landing page. They run all these tests, all these tools like Lead Pages or ClickFunnels for example, they run all kinds of tests, they know what’s working and what’s not, and so they’ll just give you these templates, they’ll make it available to you, that you can go in and quickly create a landing page that you can use.
Now I will say, you said as far as I got any special things to be thinking about, make sure there is consistency between the ad that you’re running and the landing page that you’re sending people to. There’s nothing worse than — think about how you would react if clicked on an ad, and you go this landing page and it looks nothing like the ad that you just clicked on. You’re like, am I on the right place here? Make sure there’s consistency there. That can greatly affect the conversion rate on that landing page.
So if you’re using an image in your ad for example, try and have that same image on your landing page. Or if there’s a headline that you’re using or words that you’re using copy you’re using in the ad, make sure that that copy and that headline is the same on the landing page as well. Or a color scheme, that sort of thing. Make sure there’s consistency between the two things.
Steve: Okay, can we talk about the campaign structure real quick. Like do you separate out each audience in different ad sets, and then how many creatives do you use like when you’re doing split testing?
Rick: Yes, so I’ll start with the audience question, and this is something that has shifted over the past let’s just say eight to ten months for me, because it used to be that we only put one target audience per ad set. And the reason for that is because Facebook in its reporting doesn’t break — if I put multiple targets within multiple target audiences within one ad set, Facebook isn’t going to break out which of those target audiences is performing the best for you, or performing the worst. So there is limited visibility there.
Now what we’re doing now, and we’ve been testing this is that we are now combining multiple interests, so cold audiences meaning other Facebook pages for example into one inch, into one ad set. And the reason for that is we’re trying to get that potential audience size up between say 500,000 and 2 millionish people. And the reason for that is we’re trying to give more data to Facebook’s algorithm. That algorithm has gotten very, very smart, and so this algorithm is sort of what’s sort of running in the background on your Facebook ads, and it’s what’s trying to get your results.
Facebook wants us to succeed, because what happens when we succeed is we’re going to spend more money. So Facebook does want us to succeed, and so the more data that we can give to Facebook to work with, the better. So that’s why we’re trying to get that audience size a little bit larger, and thus we’re combining interests within one ad set. Now when I say we do that, really think about combining similar interests. So let’s just say for example, I don’t want to target — I wouldn’t target Whole Foods and Yogurt Journal in the same ad set necessarily, because those are two different types of things.
Or if I’m targeting newspapers, I’m going to target Wall Street Journal and New York Times and whatever in the same ad set, because those are similar interests. So try to combine similar interests within one ad set. Then when we’re talking about warm traffic or warm audiences like our email list or our website visitors and stuff like that, we will look to combine those into one ad set. Again depending on — it all depends on how big that is for you, but we will combine those into one ad set again to try to increase that potential audience size.
Steve: Interesting, how did you come to that determination?
Rick: Just testing, it’s because the longest time is that for the longest time we were just putting one interests or one target group within the ad set. Let’s just say, okay now our audience size is like 60,000 people, let’s just say in this one ad set. Okay great, but we can kind of tap through that audience pretty quickly because it’s not that large. But then if we start combining it with two or three or four other interest there, maybe now we have like a million and a half people in the audience. We’re never going to reach all those people, but we’re getting data, we’re getting more data for Facebook’s algorithm to work with.
And when we’re using the Facebook pixel and we’re looking for these conversions and stuff like that, the algorithm is learning. So it’s learning the type of conversions that you’re getting, and then once it’s learning, it’s looking for more people like those people who are converting, and will show your ad to those people. So again it’s all about giving more data to the algorithm. And then to answer the question about split testing, the biggest thing I see that — the biggest mistake I see people make is that they get started and they start, they’re like okay I know I need to split test, I’m going to have ten different ads running.
And it’s like they don’t know what’s working and what’s not working. And so it can be very overwhelming if you kind of — you can lose track of that really quickly. Now the other thing that we don’t like to do, and again this is over, we’ve been testing this for about two years now. We just don’t get the results that we would hope that we get is we don’t put multiple ads within one ad set, and the reason for that – let’s just say I put three ads within an ad set, Facebook’s algorithm is set up to rotate those ads through and find out which of those ads performs the best for you, and sort of do that testing for you.
But what we’ve found is that it “declares a winner,” way too soon. So for example if I start my ads let’s say like six o’clock in the morning, within a few hours it has identified one of those ads that is performing the best, and it gives all of its like I’ll just say delivery love to that one ad, and then very little love to the other ones. When in fact like it happened too fast, when in fact those other couple of ads that you have running in there, they really could be actually good ads, but they just didn’t give –Facebook’s algorithm just didn’t give it a chance to run to actually truly see if they’re doing pretty well.
And so what we’ll do instead is we’ll actually break those up. So we’ll do one ad set with one ad, and then identical ads set we’ve had and we’ll split test another ad. And again it’s not a true 100% split test, but it’s more we’re trying to run it more evenly to now we can see which ad is performing better.
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Okay that’s a great tip. And then in terms of — so you wait three days and then do you immediately cancel the ones that aren’t doing as well, and just try to narrow down to one high performing ad?
Rick: Well I mean it really depends on how many we’re running here. So let’s just say that I have 25 different ad sets running. So I’m doing 25 different groups of targeting and I’m trying to see which of these is performing the best, I’m trying to figure out which ads are performing the best. We might end up with six ad sets that are better performing the best, and that’s what we run with, and we’re always trying to beat that best performing ad.
But it really depends on how many ad sets that you’re running and that sort of thing, but it goes into, all right after three days jump in your campaign, start to see what’s going on there and looking at what’s performing and what’s not performing, and really try to start to see like you’re going to have definite outliers, like you’re going to have things that just are not performing well at all for you. In that case there, okay cool, maybe we shut those off. Well while other ones they’re performing really well for you, then we start to scale those ads, and we want more of those good results.
And then you’re going to have sort of those sort of the middle tier if you will of ads that are — they’re not terrible, but they’re not really good either as good as your good ones. Well, what kind of changes can we make to those in order to try to improve those results? And then that goes back to looking at the stats that we talked about before.
Steve: Okay, so everything we’ve been talking about has been top of funnel so far. Can you talk about your middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel, what that looks like?
Rick: Yeah so for sure. I mean the cool thing about Facebook is unfortunately too many people, and here we are actually talking about a webinar campaign which is you’re looking to get quick results. You’ve got to look at Facebook ads as a long term play. It’s you’re building — because Facebook is not like Google where people are physically searching on something, and you can just show an ad and then it’s relevant to what they just searched on, Facebook is more of an interrupted experience. Like they’re on there to share with their friends and family, look at a cat photos and stuff like that.
So whatever kind of ad that you’re showing needs to get their attention, always needs to be relevant to them, and really need to be focused on how you can be helping those people. And so if you think about it from that perspective, like all right, you know what, I’m going to come on to Facebook here, I’m going to play the long game, I’m going to provide value to attract my ideal audience. Then at the top of the funnel there, we could be going like providing free content and sending people to free downloads and free content videos and stuff like that.
Then we can move people further in that middle of the funnel there like we just talked about with the webinar and that sort of thing. Again we can start right there with the webinar if we want to, but again thinking about what is the long term play here? And then as we move further down the funnel, then we get into the more sort of advanced stuff with retargeting, and we can use — Messenger ads are all the rage right now on Facebook, and how can we use Facebook ads to have a more deliberate conversation with people to move them from, you know what I’m really not sure about buying this or enrolling in this or signing up with this service or whatever it is, to how to actually moving them to the sale.
So how can we use Facebook’s retargeting, how can we use Facebook’s engagement retargeting, how can we use Facebook’s Messenger ads to have actual conversations with people, to move them from maybe up there on the fence to having an actual purchase?
Steve: Yes, so Rick in my experience, and I don’t have a whole lot of clients, I just run the ads for myself. I discovered that running ads is just like content, and then retargeting them to like a webinar or landing page or a email sign up form has been dramatically cheaper than just going for the sale right away. Do you find that with your students and your clients?
Rick: Yeah absolutely. I mean we do quite a bit of running ad directly to webinars ourselves, but again going back to what we were just talking about is looking at Facebook as a long term play, and really starting to nurture that relationship with people. The example that gets thrown around there out so much, we were talking about this sort of stuff and it’s very relevant, it’s like you don’t walk up to somebody that you just met and ask them to get married. In this you get to build a relationship and then you go on a few dates and that sort of thing.
Well it’s the same thing here where if you are showing your ad to somebody who doesn’t have any idea who you are, you’ve got to build that relationship first. It’s not like, all right, I’m going to sign up for a webinar, and although this does happen, but you spend an hour with somebody, and then you’re pitching them $1,000 course let’s just say. I’m just, okay cool, I’m going to whip up my credit card and give you that money. Yes, and that does happen, but for the most part you’ve got to build that relationship, you got to what they call warm people up.
And that’s what you’re talking about Steve is or what we’re talking about here too is sending people from our ad to that free piece of content. You’re building goodwill if you will, you’re positioning yourself as an expert, they’re getting value out of it because your — it’s whatever a blog post or a podcast episode or a video, and they are able to take and implement that hopefully right in their business and get help. That starts to position you as the expert, and the more or the better the relationship that you can build, the further that you can take that person giving them free content and so forth, then you can move them through your funnel as we’ve been talking about here, closer to a sale.
Steve: Okay, and then I’m just curious like how often do you rotate your ads, like what frequency do you look at before that ad gets fatigued so to speak?
Rick: Yes so the frequency, great question — the frequency is a numbered score of — it’s the average number of times that one person is seeing your ad. And so the higher that number — we get in to what we call banner blindness, meaning like how many times have we seen the same ad over and over and over. What’s going to happen is you’re just going to tune it out. When you’re on Facebook, you’re just going to tune that ad out.
So I like to say if you’re in that one to four range for frequency, you’re doing pretty well, like you’re okay there. I would be looking at that, I’d be looking at, okay my frequency is getting a little bit high, and obviously the smaller the audience that you’re targeting, that frequency is going to increase more quickly because the audience size is smaller. But I try to stay in that one to four range.
Steve: Okay, interesting. For me at least I tend to just look when my conversion rates start plummeting and then it’s time to rotate.
Rick: Yeah I look at that frequency again is what I like when I’m troubleshooting numbers. It’s like all right what’s my cost per lead doing, okay is it starting to go up a little bit? Okay what’s going on with that? And then frequency number is one of those things that I’m going to look at to try to help determine why my cost per lead might be going up.
Steve: Okay and final question here since we’re running out of time. When you’re choosing your targeting, do you always go for conversions, or do you sometimes do website clicks or video use when you’re first starting out?
Rick: Yeah great question. So if our goal is to, okay this is why from the very beginning of our conversation we said it’s very important to understand what’s our strategy going to be, what are we going to kind of come out of the gates with here? And so if our goal here is to get people from ad to webinar, then I’m probably going to do website conversions as our objective. But if our goal here is to get people over, we’re going to send people from our ad to a free piece of content, and then retarget them; well then traffic would be our objective.
And why we’re choosing objective in very simplistic terms, you want to choose an objective that most aligns with what you’re trying to achieve. So if I choose traffic, essentially and there’s other different factors here, but you’re telling Facebook, show my ad to as many people in my target audience who are most likely to take this action, meaning click on my ad. All we want them to do is click on our ad over to the landing page, versus conversions is like we want people to convert.
And if we’re using say like video views, well video views is, okay I have this video here, and all I care about is just getting people to watch the video. I don’t necessarily care if they click or convert on the landing page; I just want people to see this video. And so it’s more of like an awareness type of play, but you’re using video to do that, and so that would be good. Again if all you want to do is just get people to watch your video, you can also use that to get people to watch your video, but also with the strategy of I want to build engagement audiences based on how long people are watching that video, so that I can turn around to retarget them.
Steve: Right cool. And I don’t know if you can sing the same thing, but like if I’m trying to drive traffic to an article, but indirectly I want to get an email sign up because there’s email sign up forms within our article. I found that paying for clicks is generally cheaper than paying for website conversions, at least in my experience, I don’t know if that’s true in your case?
Rick: Yeah, 100% because the experience when they land on your landing page isn’t an opt-in page, it’s actual piece of content. So we’re just trying to get people there because once they are on that page, the goal, yes you do you really truly want them to opt-in? Yes it is, but when they get to that, it’s a content experience; it’s not an opt-in experience. So if they opt in, it’s just sort of an added bonus there.
What you’re really trying to do is give them free content, warm them up, if they opt in great, if they don’t that’s okay, because we’re building those retargeting audiences, the people who are coming to that piece of content to try to get them onto our list after that. So yeah traffic is your objective to drive people over to that content.
Steve: Hey Rick we’ve been chatting for quite a while now, and I want to be respectful of your time. Lots of knowledge that you dropped on the audience today. Where can they find you online, what’s the name your podcast again, and what’s the name of your class?
Rick: Yeah its The Art of Paid Traffic is the podcast, and we talk a lot about Facebook ads on there, but also other forms of paid traffic and copywriting and stats and all that fun type of stuff. So that’s The Art of Paid Traffic. RickMulready.com is the website, and the FB Advantage is my training course for online programs, and I also have the FB Ad Manager for people who want to manage Facebook ads for other businesses, and the FB Advantage local for local business.
Steve: Cool, and then Rick also does a live event also where it’s like really hands on and it actually helps you launch your campaigns during the event, right?
Rick: Yeah absolutely, we call it FB Live, and it’s a multi-day live — I call it a workshop here in San Diego where it’s a lot of teaching. I get guest speakers to come in. I’m teaching a lot, but it’s also as you mentioned Steve, it’s very implementation focused. And so it’s very hands on, like I want you leaving there with stuff set up, whatever you’re trying to achieve like let’s get it set up for you by the time you leave.
Steve: Which is very cool, and I’ll link all these resources up in the show notes, so you guys don’t have to jot all that stuff down. But Rick, thanks a lot for coming on the show, I really learned a lot, thanks a lot.
Rick: Absolutely, thanks Steve.
Steve: Take care.
Hope you enjoyed that episode. Rick is actually one of my go to guys when it comes to Facebook ads for digital products, and you can find him at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego every single year. For more information about this episode, go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode179.
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Now I talk about how I use these tools on my blog, and if you’re interested in starting your own ecommerce store, head on over to mywifequitherjob.com and sign up for my free six day mini course. Just type in your email, and I’ll send you the course right away, thanks for listening.
Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information, visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com.