Waiting and praying for traffic to your website is stupid.
Most of you know that already.
Which is why you are probably working on getting traffic and customers from Google or Social Media, right?
Me too. And it works, at least a little bit.
But that only gets you so far. Especially when you want a truckload of new customers, in a short period of time.
That is why a lot of people end up going down the paid route – Google Adwords, banner advertising, retargeting and of course Facebook ads.
I have written about Facebook ads before, so I am not going to write a whole lot about how great they are in this post.
Here is the short version:
With Facebook ads you can target people like never before – using the massive and diverse data available on Facebook, the power is in your hands.
Using Google Adwords, you are targeting people with intention. People who are searching for something specific: eg. “best toaster of 2014”
Facebook lets you target people who have never even considered your product, or may not have a specific need – yet.
And the things you can target are so specific, it is sometimes scary – for Facebook users.
For a marketer, it is a very powerful.
As many of you know, I am building my online marketing and web design business.
In the early days of 2013 I was building my online presence, social media profiles and website traffic through my blog.
Towards the end of 2013, I realized I had to focus on using that knowledge and hard-earned traffic to make an online business.
Six months later things are going well, but I want to accelerate my results.
Traffic from referrals (other websites), Google and social media are still growing consistently, but I want targeted customers, and lots of them.
I have heard a lot about Facebook ads and some of the results people can get, so I earlier this year I decided to use them for getting more people onto my mailing list.
As you might know, your email list is where it all starts: the relationship, the sales funnel and lead generation.
From there, you nurture your relationships with the leads, taking them through to the end goal – customer.
If you need a quick guide on this, check out Hubspot’s Lead Generation Beginner’s Guide.
I have played with Facebook ads a bit in the last six months, but now I wanted to make a serious go of it.
So I sat down and thought about the kinds of customers I wanted to attract, and what I would do to get them to my site and my email list.
To begin with, I wanted to try to get more customers for my web design business.
Not an easy industry to win customers in, because there is already a lot of competition.
But what the hell, I am up for a challenge!
I already offer a short report as an opt-in on my website called “The 5 biggest website mistakes (and how to fix them)”.
And this certainly gets people onto my mailing list. But it is not generating the amount of interest in web design I had hoped.
So I decided to try something new.
So how do you go about getting people to your website, and list, from Facebook?
Before I go into the specifics of what I did on Facebook, I want to show you how everything fits together.
As I mentioned earlier, the idea is to get leads onto your email list.
You have to offer them something they want. Like you do on your website, only this will be done via a Facebook ad.
That is where my detailed 25 page guide on How to start building a website comes in.
I want to target people who are looking to build a website, but do not know where to start.
People who are confused by the whole process.
These are the kinds of people who need my help. But before getting to know me, and trust me, they need to understand that I know what I am doing.
So I decided to teach them all they need to know, to get started with building a website.
I use Aweber for my email list management.
For a Facebook ad campaign like this one, you can add people to your standard email list, but I wanted a special follow-up sequence for my offer.
So I created a separate list. I recommend you do too. It is easier to track and tweak.
Once people sign up via my landing page, they get my ebook (offer) via email.
In the following weeks, I send them a series of emails giving them more useful information.
Then gradually let them know that I can also do it all for them, or maybe just help them.
I am still working on this part, as this is the final stage of my lead generation process. And obviously very important.
But at the moment I have a separate list with 4 emails going out in just over 2 weeks.
The people I am bringing to my website from Facebook are coming there because of my offer. The offer will interest them via a Facebook ad. That is step one.
And when they click that Facebook ad, and land on my website, I need to have a page that will lead them to opt in and receive my offer (the 25 page ebook).
In return they will give me their name and email address.
This is where Landing Pages come in very handy.
There are a whole bunch of options when it comes to landing pages, and I have written a very detailed post on that here (showing you all the options).
But if you want my two favorites, here is the quick and dirty version:
In this case I used LeadPages and I created my landing page in about 10 minutes. I then added it to my website via the WordPress plugin they provide.
I used one of their highest converting pages, and tweaked it to show the benefits of my offer to the visitors.
If you want to see my landing page, you can pop over and see it here.
In my opinion it is nothing special, but the results are amazing. And that is what counts
More on the actual results later.
Once you have your offer, your email list and sequence, and your landing page, you can get started with your Facebook ad.
Basically what you are doing is creating an ad that shows your offer to your selected audience.
The image is the biggest part of that, as it catches their attention.
You also need to create a bit of copy to go with it – the headline and text describing the offer.
I will show you exactly what I did in the next section.
Once you launch you ad, and it gets approved by Facebook (they review all ads) you just sit back and see what happens.
Well, more or less.
After everything is set, most of the work is in creating and maintaining the Facebook ads.
You can make this as simple or complex as you like, but it is something you need to watch, at least occasionally.
In my opinion this is one of the most important parts of your ad.
It gets people’s attention, amongst all the other goodies they are seeing on Facebook.
And don’t forget, they are there to have fun and interact with family or friends, so you need to really get their attention.
This is something that takes some practice, but the main points in my opinion and experience are:
This is what my main ad looks like:
As you can see, it fits the bill when it comes to attention grabbing and an enticing headline.
I tried other variants like this one:
But I found it got far less clicks.
(Yes, I also changed the second part of the headline, but that came later – the first ad still got the most clicks)
The one that does get the most clicks, and actual signups, uses an image that really gets attention.
Not only that, but it is interesting to see that the image does not relate at all, to the topic. Boxing and web design? Go figure!
Something to think about.
This part of Facebook ad creation is actually the toughest.
There are some sections of the ad where the selection is quite obvious. This is taken from my current ad:
Potential audience for this advert: 380,000 people
I have chosen most of the countries that have English as their language.
And I have also chosen 18 years and over (I want customers that have a job and some money – I could maybe even go 25 and over).
Language is also more or less default, but I made sure to add UK English as well.
There are other areas you can tweak such as demographics, location and more. But they were not relevant to my worldwide audience.
For me, the toughest part of the audience choice is the interests. This is where you really get to find your audience.
I was looking for people who had interests that would mean they were thinking about a website.
That of course could be anyone, and I have not finished my ad campaign yet. But here is what I have tried so far:
There are two kinds of things you can search for in a Facebook ad – general/specific interests and pages. I tried both.
So far the pages from famous marketers are the ones that are getting me the most traffic. Perhaps because they are conditioned to know an offer when they see it. Who knows.
But that is not to say there are not other audiences out there that would like my offer – there are loads of other niches, and they all need websites. I just have to try them.
You are probably wondering what kinds of results I am getting from my Facebook ads.
I have been running my ads for less than a week, with very restricted budgets (less than $5 a day).
I recommend doing this, especially in the beginning, because you do not know if your ad works. So an unlimited budget is dangerous.
Sure, people might click on it (that costs you money) but do they sign up for your offer on your website? Only time will tell.
If not, then you are paying for nothing. So you have to watch your ad and your landing page conversion.
I know. It is more complex than you might think. That is why some people pay other people to do this for them.
In case you are interested, here is an excerpt from my current ad:
For those of you who cannot read it (I need new glasses too) here are the key numbers:
Total Clicks (includes ad likes, and page likes): 67
Clicks to website (Results): 40
Reach (people shown the ad): 3718
Click Through Rate: 1.68%
Average Price per click: 48c
Without Facebook ad experience, you might not know if these numbers are good, but from reading Perry Marshall’s Facebook Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ads I know that this is a great result.
I am getting an average price of 48c per click. Which is not bad. I could get less, but i payed more in the beginning. It is getting lower with time.
Also keep in mind that some clicks are “wasted” on post and page likes. But this is also building my Facebook audience (which is admittedly my weakest social media outlet). So wasted is perhaps not the right word.
And I am getting over 1.5% click through (In the Ultimate Guide, Perry says that in his experience, 0.1% or above is great). So overall I am happy.
When an ad is converting well, you could move from paying per click to paying for impressions (ie. people just seeing your ad).
The idea is, that you know your ad is getting a good amount of clicks, so just pay to show it (impressions). It is usually far cheaper.
I have tried this a few times, but I think the Facebook algorithm is a little different now than it was when Perry suggested this approach.
Because for me, I find that I still end up paying a lot for thousands of impressions with very few clicks.
So in my opinion, stick with paying per click. You know what you are getting.
Important: Do not let Facebook automate the price for you. (they recommend it, of course)
Put in a price, in the high end of the range they suggest, then when it is working, slowly reduce the bid offer.
This is why I watch my ads at least once a day (ok, not on the weekend, I was busy!)
Sometimes I bid too low, and it stops is no longer shown. There is a balance.
Remember, your ad is competing with other people’s bids.
You have to play with it a little. At least in the early days.
Or you can simply let Facebook automate it. But you will pay more.
Once you get the people to your landing page, you also have to get them to sign up.
Although having a great Facebook ad is a good start, it is not the end of the process.
You also have to have a high-converting lead page.
So how is my LeadPages page doing? On average 30%!
At the moment it is sitting at 30% conversion. But this is after me adding less converting variations.
This LeadPage has been as high as 40%. Which is amazing. Good lead pages usually get results in the 20s at best.
However, two other variants I tried (a different headline, and a completely different page) brought this average down quite a bit. So I removed them.
That is one of the great things about Leadpages, you can try small variations or even complete leadpages template variations – and test them.
In this case, my first variation was the best (just luck) and the variations I have tried proved this.
Well, kind of.
Technically speaking, you need a lot bigger numbers to prove this kind of result. That’s statistics for you.
But I was impatient.
For now, I am sticking with the page that works. And 30% conversion is fantastic for a landing page.
I will continue to tweak the copy (ie. landing page text). Because you can always do better!
I have learned a lot of things from this simple case study.
But I will try to summarize them all into easy to digest, bite-sized chunks for you to use in the future.
1. A compelling offer that fits your market
I have run far less successful Facebook ads before, and my offer was just not that great.
Make sure you have something worthwhile to give to your audience.
And that it suits their needs, problems, desires.
2. Facebook Ad Images are key
From my experience with Facebook ads, you need to have a very catchy image.
In this case study I tried three different images, with one variation of text.
Of course the ad text is important, but without getting their attention first, you are lost.
3. Facebook Ads are only Step 1
Once you have the ad working, you have to work on the rest of the process.
Have a great landing page is also super important. And being able to test variations to find the highest converting is key.
That is why I use and recommend Leadpages (it’s fast, easy to use, and high-converting).
4. Always test your lead generation process
Each part of the process can be tweaked and improved.
An increase in one part can significantly increase your signups.
Just think. A better landing page, means your leads are more likely to sign up. Which means your ads need to bring less people in.
So always tweak your ad, your landing page and your emails.
Even if you are not at the stage of using Facebook ads, I recommend creating a great offer (aka freebie, or giveaway) to entice your readers to sign up.
The next stage is to use a great tool like LeadPages to increase your conversions.
After all, it is nice to get people to click on your offer, but it is even better to get them to actually sign up.
If you need any help setting up LeadPages or Facebook Ads, feel free to send me an email .
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).