How do you come up with high-converting offers? In this episode, hosts Molly Pittman and John Grimshaw detail their journey from ideation to launch of Smart Marketer’s new mentorship program,Train My Social Media Manager. You’ll hear why they included additional teammates in the creation process and why it was important to have 4 great hooks. Plus, Molly shares how she structures Facebook campaigns post-iOS 14 and John explains why the ICOSA Framework will always be relevant to your business.
- Which team members were included in the mentorship creation (and why)
- The 4 marketing hooks we used in this product launch
- Why so much content was given away 100% free
- How Molly set up the Facebook campaign to succeed post-iOS 14
- Smart Marketer
- BOOM! By Cindy Joseph
- Episode 45: I.C.O.S.A. Framework: Our 5-Step Social Media Strategy
- The “I.C.O.S.A.” Framework
- Train My Traffic Person
- Join the waitlist for Train My Social Media Manager Now</li>
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0:21 Molly and John discuss the process of creating a high-converting offer and why their recent launch was so successful.
1:15 “We came up with, you know, four-plus hooks… The first being…” -Molly
4:30 Teamwork — The outcome is better when the whole team is involved.
7:01 A closer look into the advertising behind the launch.
10:38 Molly shares the Facebook Ads Manager setup.
13:03 How John handled tracking and attribution for this campaign.
16:28 Was the offer TOO good?
20:57 “If you are doing anything with social media, understanding this framework, understanding these principles will help you work smarter every single time.” -John
22:53 Thanks for listening! To share your feedback or get a question answered on the podcast, follow and message Molly on Instagram at @mollypittmandigital.
Transcript Of Episode 51:
0:00 Molly: This cold campaign does have five different ad sets, targeting a slew of interests where we know we can find people that are interested in social media.
0:21 John: Hello, and welcome to Episode 51 of the “Smart Marketer” podcast. I’m your host, John Grimshaw, and I am so excited for today’s episode. We’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how our launch of Train My Social Media Manager is going. In today’s episode, Molly and I discuss the actual process around creating a high-converting offer, and why this is probably the most important phase of any marketing effort after iOS 14.5. Molly will also share exactly how she’s setting up Facebook campaigns these days. This episode is actually part two of a two-part deep dive. In Episode 49, we introduce our philosophy behind launches, talk a little bit about why they’re critical for every business type but dangerously easy to get wrong, and how thinking about the structure of the launch has gotten us $3 leads on Facebook when so many businesses are struggling with the platform changes. You’re definitely gonna want to go back and listen to Episode 49 if you haven’t yet. But for now, let’s dive in.
1:15 Molly: John, and you know, those four to six hours that we spent ideating, most of that was in regards to the hooks. And, I mean, we do this whether we’re creating a new offer, whether it’s a new ad campaign. Most of it is at the offer level, but this is also where you need to be spending more time, because if we hadn’t spent time in this area, we really would only be rocking the hook of, you know, “social media provided $7.5 million in revenue.” Which is still really significant, but that’s not going to appeal to every single marketer that we’re gonna try to promote this offer to. So, through that time together, chatting, we came up with, you know, four-plus hooks, but really ended up going with four, the first being, you know, Laura’s story. She was working at Cracker Barrel five or six years ago. She met Ezra. She started in customer service. She worked her way up to marketing manager. Now she’s had all of this success with her social media strategy. She’s now teaching at Smart Marketer. I mean, she’s an absolute badass.
And that story is really interesting to people, and we’ll get to the ads in a minute, but shocker, you know, the ads that talk about her story are doing the best, because people can relate. People want that outcome in their life. Of course, as I said, we have the $7.5 million in revenue hook. That’s a proof hook. We know that’s always gonna work, but we need other stuff, too. We have the framework, of course, as a hook, more of an education hook. People that like to learn, they’ll be attracted to that framework. And then we’ve been using this more, like, pattern interrupt hook, that’s a counter-intuitive question, or I would call it, like, an against-the-grain hook, even, where we’re saying, you know, organic social isn’t dead, right? Or is it? Because what that does is it actually speaks to how much more there is to this than just saying, “Okay, John, hop in Google Analytics and let me know how many visitors organic social media sent us yesterday.” You know, as you said earlier in this episode, there’s so much more to this. There’s so much more value in this. This is a content machine. This isn’t just about traffic from organic social. So using that pattern interrupt and kind of going against the grain, that is also a really powerful hook that we’re using.
John: Yeah, and what’s really nice, and I know, I’m not gonna steal your thunder and talk about the ads, but we came up with all these concepts, which later became the ads. And it’s so important because we talk a lot about this idea of ad [inaudible 00:03:44], all over, right? This idea of you need the ad itself to be matched or reflected, or, kind of, anyone that clicks over to the page says, “Oh, I know how I got to this page. It was from this ad.” And you can do this visually, but if there’s a huge disconnect in the offer and the language and the messaging, where somebody thinks they’re gonna get, you know, a solid bar of gold, and instead, you, you know, I sell them a bunch of lead in a little vial of magic, they’re gonna say, “This isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t gonna work at all.”
And so, by starting with the hooks, in the asset itself, right, in the thing we’re building, we are able to create ad [inaudible 00:04:19] not just in the look and the feel, but in the story, and in the way that we are attracting and engaging people. And so, that’s why the opt-in rate has been really good to cold traffic. It’s over 45%.
4:30 Molly: And, you know, something else that I think we did well on this particular resource was involving the team in a big way. So, there were multiple calls where, for example, we would get on with the copy team, Danny, our marketing manager, and Laura, the instructor, and we actually went through the lead magnet together, and we came up with ideas. And that was so powerful because, you know, you start with one idea and then someone adds something, and another team member looks at something a different way, or perceives value in a way that’s different from maybe you and I. And I just, I can’t think of anything more valuable that we could have done in regards to this offer than the inclusion and the teamwork that came with it, because I think that’s really the biggest reason that this has ended up being so successful so far.
John: One thing that’s interesting, that I think kind of reinforces this further, is we had a really good case study that we had that was selling one of our blueprints, right? It was about the “Love-Demo-Love” ad formula. Which is a really great thing. The case study’s solid. But we said, “Oh, let’s just turn that into a lead magnet, right, where people can download the case study and read it on their own time. And we just had the hardest time feeling like we had the title right, and feeling like we had the opt-in page right. And it’s a good resource, still. I think you guys should check it out if you want to. But it’s because we sort of said, “Oh, well, we’ll just do that,” right? You know, we already did the work. Let’s just, you know, stick it in a PDF and let people download it.
Molly: Slap it in there.
John: Yeah. And we just kept bumping up against a wall, not from a design perspective, not from a copy perspective, but we just felt like this doesn’t do justice to the idea. And it’s because we were just spending not enough time on it, frankly. And so, it was nice to honestly do that a few months before we did this, because we really knew we gotta go all in and talk about this the entire way, right? We can’t just tell somebody, “Yeah, go build this. You know, take an hour or so. That’s fine.” This is so important. And, I mean, the results really show, right? We’re six days in,, and we have over 1500 leads already, and we’ve been able to scale the budgets without any
increase in the cost per lead, which is great.
Molly: And as you said, the landing page is converting at 45% to cold traffic. That’s insanely good. And of course, there are always multiple factors at play here, one of them, of course, being the design, but the reason that that page is converting so well is because the offer is something that people really want, and we only got to that place after a lot of collaboration and thought was put into this resource.
7:01 Molly: So, John, let me dive into the ad side of things, because that’s obviously the next step after the creation of this lead magnet. So, as soon as we started to collaborate and we felt like we were in a pretty solid place with the offer, enough where the copy team could go start actually writing the lead magnet, it was in production, that’s when Danny and I started to work on the ads. And so, the process for this was fun, and we changed it up a little bit from what we normally do. But of course, this started with the hooks. So, I’m looking at the document right now that we used to create this ad campaign, and of course, at the top of the page are the hooks, so that we know we’re always going back to these hooks, that they are reflected in these ads, and also, to start to get ideas of, for example, for creatives. What is a visual representation of this particular hook, or this story that we are trying to convey? So that’s really where it started.
We then came up with creative ideas. So, for example, okay, how do we depict Laura’s great transformation? Her story? Well, the “how it started, how it’s going” memes, you guys love those. And we’ve used them before as ad creatives. So, of course, that’s a great ad format to use to reflect that hook. So we got a picture of Laura cooking food at Cracker Barrel, and then one, I believe, of her speaking on stage, and that is one of our best converting creatives. We also wanted to leverage Ezra’s authority, and have him shoot some videos, very native-style videos on his farm, where he’s talking Laura up. He talks about the significant impact that she’s had on the business, talks about her story, her growth in her career.
Of course, we have Laura also, on selfie videos, so, native-style video shot on her phone, where she’s just walking down the road with some headphones in, but it works. And in one, she’s telling her story, and the other, she’s using more of an education hook, teaching people about the ICOSA framework. We’re using a creative where we scroll through the lead magnet, since it is so beautiful, and there’s so much value in it. We wanted to show that in an ad. And then we also worked with our new designer, Anna, on some really cool video text ads. So, basically, taking a lot of the ad copy that had been written, or these different hooks, and turning them into short, punchy videos, lots of fun color, but basically, a glorified video sales letter, to get people to opt in for this particular offer. And then of course, we use some native-style images of Ezra and Laura, one of them that looks like they’re superheroes, and of course, we played off of that hook.
But really, this next step was this creative ideation. Of course, that led to the writing of the copy, which a lot of that came from the landing page, the lead magnet itself. I did write a few variations that are performing very well, that are more story hook. Ezra always says, “From Cracker Barrel to Gucci Apparel.” And, no surprise, that’s the best-performing ad right now is us opening with that hilarious statement. And then, of course, after that came the actual building of the campaign. And for this, we decided to optimize for conversions, of course. We optimized for leads. So essentially, we’re optimizing for someone to land on that thank you page, which would mean that they did complete the opt-in.
10:38 Molly: And let’s talk a little bit about the setup. And our setup is getting more simple over time, on Facebook.
John: It’s been trending that way for the last six years, I think.
John: I remember the old school “Michigan method,” right, that, was, like, [inaudible 00:10:51] 1200 campaigns for each offer, and now it’s nice and easy.
Molly: So much complexity that is now completely unnecessary. So, we have two different campaigns set up. One is of course to warm. That has just one ad set, with all of our warm audiences lumped into one, anything we can get our hands.
Molly: Squishin’. Really simple campaign, of course, with 13 ads within that particular ad set. And then we have a cold campaign also set up. Both of these are utilizing CBO. This cold campaign does have five different ad sets, targeting a slew of interests where we know we can find people that are interested in social media, different authority figures that teach social media, different brands, like Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, etc., etc., utilizing interest targeting in all five of those ad sets, and then within each of those ad sets, of course, we had those same 13 ads, aggregating all the social proof onto the same post ID’s so that we can continue to generate more momentum. So, the actual Ads Manager side of things was really simple here. And again, we’re continuing to trend in that direction, especially with iOS 14. So, two very simple campaigns. We’re continuing to up the budget. I don’t think we’re gonna need any more ads than our 13 ads. I don’t think we’ll see any fatigue here by the time this launch is over, but I do think this is something that we could evergreen in a big way, especially, again, with the cost of traffic, right now, I mean, we haven’t seen a lead cost like this in our market or for Smart Marketer in a long time.
And of course, all of that really goes back to the offer, the fact if that page was only converting at 20% instead of over 40%, the cold traffic cost per lead would be $5 instead of $2.50. That’s why this stuff matters. And guess what? Traffic is only going to get more expensive. This is only going to be more of a pain in the ass, honestly, right? And we should just accept that and really focus as much of our energy on this side of marketing as possible.
13:03 Molly: John, do you want to talk a little bit about the tracking side of things? Because something we were very excited to see was that the number of leads we are seeing reported inside of Ads Manager actually matches almost perfectly to what we’re seeing inside of our CRM and Google Analytics. And we did not expect that.
John: Yeah, it was a really big surprise. So, I have always been talking about, like, you really need a few different perspectives on what performance looks like, because Facebook historically has over-reported the number of leads generated. And it’s not… I still love Facebook. I’m not criticizing Facebook, but you go into your CRM, Klaviyo, and you see there’s 1000 opt-ins, Facebook says there’s 1500. And it’s because they see somebody opted into something else, they just notice the lead event happening, but in this case, it’s been really amazing to watch how closely it’s matched. It’s been within 3% or 5% the entire time. So, everything we’re seeing in Facebook is what I see in Google Analytics, is what I see in Klaviyo.
So, interestingly, the kind of shift away from the 28-day click at 7-day view window, to the tighter window attribution, right, has really helped Facebook actually reflect what’s going on. And I think one of the reasons for this is we created a quick snap campaign. So, instead of a campaign that sells Train My Social Media Manager over 28 days, we said, “Okay, we’re gonna break each part of this down into a step. So, this campaign’s job is to get the opt-in. And then the webinar’s job will be to get people engaged and interested. And then the sales campaign, the job will be to show people the sales page who have been through all the other parts of this.” And I think that’s a [crosstalk 00:14:39]
Molly: And then scarcity, of course.
John: Exactly, yeah. And I think that’s a thing people should be doing in any kind of business, right? It’s not just a you sell information business, but thinking about, okay, with the new way that iOS is working, I could start to think about what is the customer journey, and if it takes people on average 21 days to buy whatever it is you’re selling, try to think about how you can have a campaign that gives yourself a quick win, a quick action for them to take, and then the next campaign reaches out to people with the next logical step they need to take. I think that’s one of the best ways to get good visibility, in the time of iOS 14, and to make sure that you’re showing up and connecting with customers in the way that they need you to and want you to. So, I think it really just shows that all the big changes coming with iOS 14 aren’t a disaster. And I feel like we say this on every…every time we talk about Facebook ads, we say it’s not so much about the campaign setup, it’s about the offer. But I love that we’re talking about this while the thing is running, while it’s working so well, because it just goes to show…
Molly: This is proof.
John: Yeah. This is the big thing about marketing. It’s not some crazy little hack. It is just really getting in and knowing who it is you’re serving, what are their problems, and what is it they’re looking to accomplish? And when you can take those ideas and translate them into something that solves that problem, that speaks to that need, that helps them become who they want to be, you are going to win every time, because it’s no longer about using some weird system. It’s no longer about, you know, “Oh, you need to target this secret audience,” right? It is just about plain, clear communication of benefit for people.
Molly: And creating something that people actually value, and something that they want. And just a little detail for the nerdy media buyers out there. We are using the one-day click attribution setting for these particular campaigns, just FYI.
16:28 Molly: John, I want to touch on something, because I think a lot of people out there might be thinking this when they check out the lead magnet we’re describing. And that is, “Whoa, are you guys giving too much value? Are you worried about giving away too much of this information inside of this PDF, and therefore people will be satisfied, and they won’t want to purchase the product.”
And what’s funny is this is something that Ezra said to us a few weeks ago. We sent him the lead magnet. He said, “I love it, but oh my goodness, aren’t we giving too much away for free?” But he was, like, you know, “You guys are the info experts, the lead magnet experts. I trust you.” And so, it’s not just something that you might be thinking. It’s also something that Ezra was thinking. And our answer to that was, I do believe that there are times, especially when you’re selling information, that maybe you could over-satisfy the consumer with the lead magnet, and that could cause them not to buy. Like, there is a case where that could occur.
But for what we are currently doing, we are selling more than information. We can afford to give so much value in the lead magnet, so much value on the webinar, because we know, number one, when someone purchases this mentorship, there’s so much more information, right. There’s so much more knowledge to acquire. The lead magnet or the webinar is just a very small piece of that. But we’re also selling the coaching aspect of things, and the Q&As, and the community. And there’s more to it than just the information. I mean, information is a huge commodity nowadays. And I wanted to bring that up because number one, I thought it was funny that Ezra said that, and number two, I do believe there are cases where you could give too much in the lead magnet, but I don’t think that happens too often, and I think nowadays, most of us in information are actually selling so much more than the information itself.
Molly: And the purpose of the lead magnet is to be a small piece of that experience. Give them a little taste of something that does have standalone value. You don’t want it to feel incomplete, like, “Oh, okay, now buy, and I’ll really give you the answer.” No, that’s crappy. And of course, we’re always on the board of over delivering.
John: I think that’s really key. And it comes from knowing what our product is, right? The product is not the information, right? That is an important part of it, but the reason you join the Train My Social Media Manager mentorship, or join the Train My Traffic Person mentorship, you want the information, but more than that, you know you need support, you need feedback, you need guidance to get there. Because if it was so easy to just magically pick this up, you guys wouldn’t be listening to this podcast, right? We wouldn’t have seen the growth we’ve seen at Smart Marker. We wouldn’t have seen, just across the board, people that are saying, “Come, let me help and teach you.”
Molly: And, which is interesting. That said, when I think about us evergreening this offer in the future, so, the mentorship goes well, it’s a success, and we decide that we want to sell this on an evergreen basis, which would be essentially selling the recordings of this mentorship, I still would use this lead magnet, even if it was just “Okay, opt in for this lead magnet,” okay, now there’s an opportunity to sell them on just the recordings of the information, I still think this is the best funnel we could put together.
John: A hundred percent agree. Yeah, and it was helpful for us when we were building it to have that perspective, but I think it’s gonna work very well. Because honestly, you can’t explain everything there is to know about social media in a 12-page PDF.
You said you can run into an issue of over delivering lead magnets. I think one of the biggest mistake people make is they put too much in there, right? We’ve talked about this for as long as we’ve been marketing. An eBook is a really bad lead magnet, because it’s way too much information. I love to read, and it takes me a couple of days to read a book, right? Nobody’s gonna be able to consume an eBook. So the lead magnet needs to be very short, punchy, and juiced up. That is the key. And this is something that does that very well, right? It’s I think 12 pages long, but 6 of them or so are the schedule. So, it’s a tool you can use, and the content is beautifully laid out, and it really gets to the point quickly, and so, it’s not something that you’re gonna open and say, “Whew. I don’t have 26 hours to read this whole thing.”
Molly: Totally. Well, we’ll keep you all updated.
20:57 Molly: So, the next step is the webinar next week. That will mainly be promoted through email marketing to our full list, and also, you know, these new leads that we’re generating from this lead magnet, and then of course, we’ll go into a 7 to 10 day promotion, where we really get the replay of that webinar out there, which is, you know, a glorified sales message, essentially, with a lot of value in it. And then we’ll go into a few days of scarcity, and we’ll see how this mentorship sells, and we’ll go from there.
But looking at the lead cost here, and looking at the interest, and also the confidence that we have in the value of what we are putting out there, I think this is gonna go really well.
John: Yeah. And just for all of you listening, to guide you in time, you can still go find this download, smartmarketer.com/icosa. You’re gonna have missed the webinar, but the course is gonna officially start on June 24th. So, I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you think you’re interested, you can probably still join us when this goes live. And if you aren’t but you want to check out ICOSA because you’re curious, definitely recommend it. If you are doing anything with social media, understanding this framework, understanding these principles will help you work smarter every single time. And that schedule is a really great resource, because it maps ICOSA to day-to-day actions, which is what is often a big missing piece with any framework or idea is “how do I actually do this?” So, definitely check that out.
Molly: All right, y’all. So, opt in for that lead magnet, hop on the wait list. We would love to see you in “Train My Social Media Manager.” And as always, thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.
22:33 Molly: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the “Smart Marketer” podcast. For any resources mentioned on the show today, please visit our show notes at smartmarketer.com/podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us an honest review on whichever platform you are listening. Thanks again, and we’ll see you next time.