This is “Part 1” of a 4-Part series we like to call “How To Build A Better Business”. After watching millions of clicks and millions of dollars in sales, these are the 4 things that we’ve seen that the largest and most successful online direct response companies do (and many smaller would-be successes don’t do). This is the difference between your website becoming a business rather than a hobby.
There are two primary pieces to any business. The offer and the audience. Once you have those two defined, there are a series of steps any business should implement to ensure they’re setup to make every cent they deserve.
This series is going to walk you through the 4 major parts and help you set them up so you see massive success.
The first thing you have to do is ensure that you’re protecting yourself while advertising to reach your audience. If you set this up right, the odds of wasting your advertising budget goes way down.
What to test
What we’re going to be talking about here is not what you normally hear about testing. We’ll be addressing that in another post in this series, but for now we’re focusing strictly on ensuring your traffic sources are producing revenue and income.
Sales are important, but that’s not the only thing a business is looking to measure. A business has to have profit. If you’re spending a dollar to make a dollar, that’s not the kind of business math that works.
For this kind of testing, we’re going to be ensuring we’re getting what we pay for with any form of advertising. Specifically, we’ll be measuring this via link tracking and split testing ads.
For this to work, you have to understand how and what to measure, so let’s get right to that:
You’ll first want to understand that each traffic source needs to be tested separately from each other. Just because your landing page does well for traffic coming from a Dedicated Email Broadcast, does not mean the same is true for the same landing page coming from a Facebook Ad. So, you’ll want to really isolate your results tracking from Email Traffic vs Facebook Ads vs Google Search vs Instagram vs Each and Every Individual Traffic Source you may want to work with.
Buying email drops or clicks via email is tracked a bit different from standard advertising. It’s a traffic source you should be using as long as you can find decent lists in your market.
When you first start out with a list, your best bet is to start off small to ensure that the consistency is there and conversion is where you expect it to be. If the smaller amount of clicks performs, double your budget every week and continue using that list for as long as it’s performing with your offer.
Even better, order a blast to the entire list.
How to measure
When it comes to your business, there are specific things we want to measure:
EPC = Earnings Per Click. With your EPC, you need to know what every single click is making for your company. If your traffic source is consistent and you know your EPC, you should be able to go into an advertising scenario knowing exactly what kind of income you should make based upon how many clicks you’re getting.
The EPC formula is Sales/visitors = EPC
If you’re paying on a PPC (Pay Per Click) basis, you have to make sure the amount you’re paying per click is below the amount you make per click (your EPC).
The easiest advertising to track is the one that has the least variables (or spots you can make mistakes). This is why TrafficForMe only requires your landing page URL. We use emails we have that are proven to work and you simply pay for clicks. As long as your offer is setup to convert, you should get solid results when you buy email clicks from us.
If you can make this work, you have a functional business. Yet, there are other pieces to this puzzle that you also want to track and adjust as necessary:
Link tracking is actually quite simple. The only thing we need to avoid is over tracking. If you have too many services tracking a link, it can delay the process of getting someone that clicks on it to the location you want to send them to. Never use more than one link tracking system at a time.
Depending on what your website is built on and how many links you’re tracking, you might be fine with the Pretty Link Lite plugin for WordPress. If you’re not heavily into email or affiliate marketing, that should be plenty. Create a special link for any traffic source you want to track and you can access your info in your wordpress dashboard. If you find you want more detail or more features, they have a pro version, too.
If you’re going to need to track a lot of links, you’re going to need something a little more robust. While there are dozens of different services for this sort of thing, the current industry favorites are: ClickMagick and Quality Click Control. (YES, these are affiliate links. T4Me will be paid a commission if you sign up through either of these links.)
Buying Email traffic is unique and has to be tested differently from the kinds of advertising you’ll find below.
There are 3 basic steps:
Why start small? Many email traffic sellers are full of it and before spending a large chunk of your advertising budget, you want to make sure that the list converts for you.
How to raise your budget: The safest bet is to double your budget each week and let each buy make you some money to reinvest. If you’re very confident in the validity of the list and how well it will perform, feel free to raise your budget higher and faster.
How do you know when to dump the list and move on? You should have a basic idea of how well your landing page and offer will perform. If you know that 1 in 3 opts into your lists and that 1 in 10 of those will buy, you should expect similar performance from any email clicks you buy. If it outperforms your standard numbers, scale faster. If it doesn’t perform, dump it and move on.
If you’re going to heavily invest in email traffic, keep a spreadsheet of all lists you advertise to. Make sure you’re tracking which ones perform and which ones don’t. Another key factor are dates. If you’ve burnt out a list that crushed it for you, it makes sense to go back 6 months to a year later as there will be plenty of new people on that list.
This part is actually quite easy. Any forms of advertising you’re using will provide you with data related to the success of any ads you run. The key is to have a link tracking each campaign separately to ensure you can compare the data they give you with the data you have with your link tracking service. This will help you find fraud and cut it off before it costs you a large chunk of your advertising budget.
Generally, you’re going to want at least 1,000 clicks before making any major decisions about your ads. The only exception to this is when you have an ad that obviously isn’t performing. It’s better to cut out early than to wait and waste a bunch of your budget on an ad that isn’t converting.
With short ads, the only pieces you will be testing will be the headline and the short text you get to use in your ad. If you go into advertising with a clear picture of the kind of customer you’re targeting, you should also have a clear idea of what they’re responding to. If you don’t, you need to spend a little time looking around.
Google is going to show you ads based upon search terms, so search and see what comes up. You may also want to take a look at their keyword planner to see what the average CPC is. If it’s expensive, you can be comfortable knowing that they’re either doing well with their ads or wasting a bunch of money on ads that don’t work. Either way works to your benefit. Model their ads and use the basic idea to create yours.
When you get your ads written and running, you need to mindful of your EPC and keep your CPC below it. If your costs are higher than what you make, you need to make some adjustments to your ads.
Try not to get frustrated if your costs are high to start. It’s a wise investment to make in your business to spend a little and find ads that will perform for you.
When it comes to longer ads, Facebook is the king. I’ve seen ads that are brief and simple and I’ve seen others that are the equivalent of a page or two of text. The cool part is they both work depending on who you’re targeting. Depending on what Facebook thinks your interests are, your competitors are already probably targeting you. Pay attention to their ads and see which ones stick around for awhile. If they stick around, they’re working for them.
Facebook is tracking all kinds of things about you. Take a moment and look into your interests on Facebook – make sure it has you interested in the kind of things you sell. Next, look at the ads others are running.
With banners, you have to add another thing to test. The graphics. Generally, you’re not going to be able to use a lot of words in a banner. You’re going to have to make your desired impact in a sentence or two at most.
You’re going to want your banners to look nice, but don’t focus too much on making them pretty. The most important part is to get the attention of your prospect and get them to click. Everything in your ad should be focused on making that happen.
Don’t hesitate to test huge differences in your banners. You won’t know what your audience is going to respond to unless you get it in front of them and give them a chance to respond.
Should you scale fast or be careful? Most of that is dictated by your budget, but if an ad is performing your best bet is to scale as fast as you’re comfortable scaling.
If your ad is performing, double your budget and watch. If it continues to perform, double it again. Continue doubling your budget until you hit the maximum you want to spend or your performance begins to drop.
You’ve made it through part 1! In the next piece, we’re going to talk about optimizing and tweaking your offer to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck with your traffic efforts.