*SPECIAL GUEST EPISODE*
Wanna get to know Team Hirsh a little better? I’m so excited to introduce the genius behind some of our biggest client accounts – Senior Strategist, Roger!
In this episode, Roger explains the NEW testing phase we’ve added to our clients’ ad campaigns. It’s called Sandbox Testing, because this phase lets us play with ad copy before the full launch.
Our conversation highlights…
The benefits of testing (and how it’s working for our client accounts)
When + What to test, plus a basic “How To”
And, Roger’s formula for what to include in your ad copy (a WINNING solution for any business!)
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with this method. You will create a winning ad, IF you tweak one variable at a time and pay attention to your numbers.
Tune in to this *must-listen* episode, and then share your takeaways on IG stories (tag @emilyhirsh for a shoutout!).
[2:30] What to test first… the headline, the image, or the body copy?
[4:33] The KEY to testing, according to Emily
[8:18] “Your CPL will increase initially… but quality testing takes time.”
[10:05] When to use sandbox testing (hint – it’s ongoing!)
[12:40] Creative copy that WINS across the board
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Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh and this is the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Attention innovators, influencers, creators and game changing entrepreneurs, your internet domination begins right here. We are the powerhouse marketers that you’ve been looking for. You’re already making waves in your industry and we’re here to help amplify those waves of change by creating a connection that cuts through the noise. We take everything you’ve built inside your zone of genius and find its audience. With killer strategy and laser eye for impact we launch multimillion dollar campaigns and skyrocket your reach online.
And now we are doing the unheard of. We’re unveiling everything we’re learned, taking you behind the scenes with the Hirsh Marketing Team and giving away the secrets to our clients’ success. Stay tuned for top converting learning strategy, ROI reports and insider knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else. You’re changing the world, and we’re the team to help.
All right. In today’s episode I have a special guest with me, Roger, who is on my team, one of our senior strategists, a hilarious team member of ours who actually also runs our daily huddle because he’s so much fun.
Roger: The pressure is on now.
Emily Hirsh: Today we are talking about a newish process that we’ve rolled out in our company called the Sandbox Testing Process which is what we’ve been doing to really dramatically cut cost per leads down in ads, and a lot of it came from a lot of Roger’s experience and ideas that he actually brought to our team, and it’s worked across the board. So I wanted to bring him on to share with you guys what that is from a high level.
Roger, do you want to start and just give people a quick summary of what it is, and then we can go into a little more detail and even talk about examples of using it.
Roger: Yeah, absolutely. Explain when you say newish because all we’re trying to do is bring traditional copywriting, the stuff that’s worked, the stuff that’s working direct response for years, and how do we apply that on the Facebook ads’ platform. Figuring out how we prioritize certain elements of an ad, what the things that we should test based on the metrics that we’re seeing, and how do we move on from there, that has dramatically lowered the cost per lead for us in many of our accounts. It also just provides us good direction on what messaging is resonating with our audience, what images are resonating with our audience, and that’s the best way that we can create new creatives for our clients.
Emily Hirsh: Yep. Basically, we added on a testing phase to all of our campaigns now. For example, if you run webinar ads before a live webinar for seven days, we try and do it for nine days before now, so that we have two days of testing so that we can actually get the winning creative and the winning copy. Right?
Roger: Absolutely. What we’re doing is we’re looking at the flow of an ad as a customer might see it as they’re scrolling through their feed. So the first thing that we test is our headline because that’s our messaging, that’s what’s going to drive our acquisitions. So if someone is scrolling through their feed and they see a headline that resonates with them, whether that goes below the creative or sometimes we put that headline up in the above the full copy, or even just at the bottom, right before they click. That’s going to be the messaging that drives the acquisitions. That’s the first thing that we want to test.
The second thing that we test is the body copy itself. If someone’s scrolling through, they see a messaging that relates to them, we know that’s what’s going to drive the acquisitions. Then we have to say, “Okay, are they going to read that and then say, ‘That resonates with me,’ I’m going to read what else they got going on in this ad.” And we look at some metrics to really determine are they reading through that ad or does that resonate with them?” to get them to click over to our landing page and eventually to either make a purchase or become a lead. That’s the body copy part of it.
And the third thing is really just the image or the video that we use to create it. That’s what’s going to make it pop. I wouldn’t say that an image or a video would ever drive a sale or in it of itself drive an acquisition of any kind, but I would say that’s what’s going to get people to stop. So once you have your messaging that’s working, once you have your headline that’s working, and then the body copy which talks more about the pain points that are going on for your customer, once you have that dialed in and you say, “Hey, I really think that we can lower the leads here. I really think we can lower the sales here,” that’s when we switch up the creative to get more eyeballs on that ad.
Emily Hirsh: Awesome, so let’s give them just a overview of what we’re doing. First we’re starting with the headline and testing, right? And the key is that you keep all the other variables the same, so same audience, and you’re just testing the different headlines first.
Emily Hirsh: And then next, what are you normally do?
Roger: Next we’ll save the headline that’s working best, and then we’ll apply that with two or three different body copies. It’s important that we … We don’t want to just change up a couple of words in the body copy. We’re changing the messaging. We’re going from someone who may be completely unaware that they have a problem or someone that knows they have a problem and is looking for the right solution. So it’s important that we’re not just tweaking emojis or tweaking words here, we want to develop entirely different messaging for entirely different avatars and see which one we can find for that audience that we’re testing.
And that’s another important point to remember, too, is sometimes we’ll find messaging, “Hey, it works for this audience, but not for this audience as well.” So it’s important to also remember who that audience that you’re targeting is. And then once we’ve locked in on the messaging that works the most across the board, that’s when we start testing out a different image or a different video. So we usually put about two or three just to get to total specifics, two or three ads in one ad set, so about 30 different audiences. Because one of the main concerns when you put multiple ads into one ad set is, “Well, what if Facebook doesn’t give all this spend to one? What if it favors the other?” That’s why it’s always important to have a myriad … I’ll just put it that way … of ad sets in different audiences so that Facebook has the time to look at all the different audiences, to give the spend to the ads, and we can most fairly come up a control.
Emily Hirsh: Yep. Awesome. Let’s go into some examples of when we started rolling this out to the Ads Managers implementing this, of what it did for results for clients.
Roger: Sure. Okay. I’m thinking of one in particular who is running a course on how to take your yoga studio online. They sell a product of software, but mainly the point is they’re reaching out to yoga instructors and fitness instructors that want to have a wider reach. They want to get their studio on online courses, really livestream it or something like that, so we wanted to figure out how the best would resonate with them. So we tried a few different headlines. Some of them were a little more esoteric where it was, “Hey, Create a Great Impact in the World,” but then we compared that with, “Step by Step Guide to create a Virtual Wellness Studio,” which we also compared with something that’s more of a business opportunity where someone who doesn’t have a studio can launch a studio out of their own home.
So three different people, someone who’s a little more spiritual minded, and then we had someone who just wants the nuts and bolts like, “I already have a studio. I just want to know how do I get this thing running?” And then someone who like, “I don’t have a business, but I’ve always been interested in yoga. How can I turn that into a business?” Three completely different avatars.
When we started with the creative given to us, those CPLs were thirteen, fourteen dollars. We’ve gotten this all the way back down to two or three dollars from this aggressive testing. But the most important part about that is we were able to find messaging that not only got the low CPLs, but also resulted in sales. So it’s important to remember as we raised the budget, the CPA will increase, the cost for those leads will increase. So it’s important for us to say, “Okay, we know who we’re talking to. We know the right customer. Now let’s figure out how do we change up the creative to get those cost per leads back down.”
Emily Hirsh: Yeah. Yeah, and I think that biggest thing with this is that people don’t give time for this testing, and also you don’t know what’s going to work, and the numbers are what we’re always looking at. I think that’s so important because you can even have … Know where we’ve had a client who’s like, “I know that this is what will work. Here’s the creative,” and then we just test it against various things and we can sometimes prove differently for that. So it’s so important to go through this testing phrase, and I’d argue that a lot of people and also other ad companies and marketing companies lack testing. Because whenever I’ve gone into accounts that we’ve taken over, it’s like five ad sets or something in a campaign. And this is aggressive testing and no room for not testing something, and I think that’s why this works so well. Would you agree?
Roger: Yeah. Back when I was in retail, too, they would always tell us, “Don’t fall in love with your product because the thing that you love to sell the most, it’s always going to be the thing that doesn’t resonate.” It’s the same thing here. We’ll have a headliner, a body copy where we’re like, “We know this is what’s going to ad do it,” but we have to test, because you’ll be surprised at what’s working, what’s reaching the audience best.
Emily Hirsh: Yeah. Yeah, and the numbers are everything. That’s what you make decisions on always with everything in marketing. Marketing is number [crosstalk]
Roger: Yeah. We got metrics to know how are headline’s performing, metrics for how our body copies performing, metrics for how are image is performing, metrics that were, yeah. So we can always look at that and take a step back and say, “Okay, here’s what we need to tweak based on the numbers.”
Emily Hirsh: Awesome. And then we do this process to start out any new campaign to a funnel. Right? You also do this process if somebody stops converting and we need to go back and test new messaging. Correct?
Roger: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s ongoing, and the actual details of how we do it may differ for client to client or for the time that something’s been alive, but yeah, anytime we start to see a lack in performance, we look at the numbers. We say, “Okay, what needs the tweaking? Is it the image? Is it landing page even? Or is our conversion from outbound clicks to conversion in the landing page suffering? How do we best tweak that?” So we’ll just go back in. We launch out our ad sets. We launch out our testing with our strongest audiences with this new element. See what sticks. Turn off what doesn’t, and scale what does.
And we never just throw stuff out there and then say, “Okay, I think we have something.” We turn everything off, and then we go try to … No, it’s whatever’s sticking, so if I have five different ad sets that have five different images, they’re all in KPI, they’re all performing, “Hey, leave them on. That’s a good day for me because we can scale [inaudible]”.
Emily Hirsh: Yeah, it’s awesome, and honestly I’ve watched … We have three senior strategists. Roger is one of them, and he definitely manages some of our biggest ad spend accounts in the company. Roger’s skill set and the way that he looks at ads has made it so that we can scale those really fast. We just had one come in brand new, and within a month we just announced some models at $5,000 a day spend. That doesn’t happen unless you can be aggressive. And I think that one thing that people really lack, either a marketing company or an individual’s time to put into this testing. Because it’s so much just work and labor to load all the ad sets and duplicate them, and do all the testing, and it’s aggressive.
I think that a lot of companies don’t put that amount of time into an account or an individual thinks they can run their own ads and can’t put that time in, but I’ve seen firsthand like you come into the company now … Roger’s only been here 90 days, and he’s such a rock star. But you come into the company and take some of our biggest ad spend accounts and kill it with all of them.
Basically if their funnel is working and the product sells, an account does well under Roger’s roster because you can’t go wrong with this method. You will find a winning ad at some point. It might take two days. It might take four days. It might take a week of different messaging, but you will find it at some point, and it will convert. And I think that’s something that’s been a core value of mine always, is like marketing always works. It’s just a matter of when, and do you have the patience to test enough things to get it there.
Roger: Absolutely. Absolutely. If I can just quickly summarize because I know we talked a lot about numbers and getting into the details in the middle there, but I just want to remind people, when you’re testing things out, just remember, “Hey, your headline, that’s the thing that’s going to drive your acquisition.” If you’re satisfied with the acquisitions and you just want to lower the cost per lead, look at your image and your videos as what’s being tested next.
Emily Hirsh: Yeah. Do you have any … I don’t know. You may not have an answer to this, but any headlines that you’re seeing across the board, types of messaging that seems to always win?
Roger: Yeah. I like to keep in the headline where you mention what you have, so seven steps, or a checklist or a guide that does this, that helps you get to this certain point. Then in the body copy, you start talking about what pains are eliminated by doing that. So if you have a Seven Proven Steps to Creating an Online Course, then in the body copy you would talk about how you don’t really need a lot of followers. How you don’t really need to spend a lot of money on advertising. How you don’t really need to be a huge expert in your field to do this. I would just plainly put out what you’re doing, what it provides for you in the headline, and then in the messaging, the pain points that are eliminated.
Emily Hirsh: Awesome. That was super helpful. Thank you so much for coming on with me. Roger is so brilliant and so fun to watch. He’s also a hilarious person. That’s why he runs our huddle. Our entire team loves him, but also just an amazing strategist that I’m so honored to have on our team and working with our clients. Thanks for taking the time to walk through this with me, Roger.
Roger: Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. It’s super [inaudible].
Emily Hirsh: Yeah. If you guys want to work with Team Hirsh and work with Roger specifically under his team with your big ad spend and scaling and testing, you can go to Helpmystrategy.com to apply to work with us. Thanks for tuning in guys.
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