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7 Things You Need to Do AHEAD of Your Black Friday Facebook Ads According to Meta

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7 Things You Need to Do AHEAD of Your Black Friday Facebook Ads According to Meta

Are your Facebook Ads strategy ready for Black Friday? 

This is THE time of the year when shopaholics are hunting for the best offers, so you need to make sure your Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads campaigns are ready to attract hungry buyers. 

So, do you have your Black Friday Facebook Ads strategies all planned out? No? Well, you’d better get on that, because the big day is just around the corner! 

With so many changes to how we advertise on Facebook and Instagram in a post-iOS world, the Meta algorithm is going through some growing pains of its own. So, how can you be sure you’re setting your ads for success? Well, we talked to ACTUAL engineers at Meta and created a checklist with everything you need to have your target audience open their wallets for you!

7 Meta Tips & Updates You Need to Know BEFORE Creating Black Friday

#1. 20 is the New 50

Everyone has heard that an ad set needs at least 50 conversions in a 7-day period. And yes, that was true a while ago, but now things have changed. 

In the past, the Facebook Ads Learning Phase ended when, in a 7-day period, an ad set reached 50 events (whether it is conversions, lead gen, landing page views, etc). However, the Meta Ads Manager has evolved and improved. Now to exit the learning phase for optimization, your campaigns need 20 completed events in a 7-day period.

What does that mean? 

Now, a campaign can leave the Learning Phase after it reaches 20 events, again, depending on the objectives you select. The algorithm will gather data until that time to help you make better decisions in a simplified, quicker way, and make it easier for you to be successful on the platform. 

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But what happens if my campaign doesn’t achieve that goal? Then, after the 7-day period *and not a minute before*, you can edit your campaign to optimize it! The algorithm will still learn based on successful events, but to hit true Meta Ad success velocity, you’ll want to consider increasing your budget so that you can achieve the 20 events Meta needs your campaign to hit for optimization in a 7-day period.

#2. Keep Your Cold & Warm Audiences Separated

Let’s think of our cold and warm audiences like a dating process. 

Cold traffic is like when you’re interested in someone you don’t know and want them to swipe right back at you. Your profile pic and information is all they have on you to make a snap judgment decision on whether they’ll engage in a convo and maybe give you their number.  

This is the same for an IG ad. They have 1-3 seconds MAX to decide whether or not your ad is worth ‘swiping right’ via engaging with your content by stopping their scroll. 

Meanwhile, our warm traffic is geared to those that have already engaged with your profile and is either mid-convo or mid-first date. Like a Facebook ad, you’ve already captured their attention, and now you’re ‘courting’ them. Asking them to get to know you more and ideally make some sort of commitment. With dating, you’ll want to ‘make it official’ and with ads you want that lead or purchase! 

They’re totally different, right? 

  • Cold Traffic’s primary goal is to get them to swipe right or engage with your content (and maybe purchase!)
  • Warm Traffic’s primary goal is to get them converted into being Facebook officials by subscribing to your list and actually purchasing a product

When you blend warm and cold audiences in your campaigns, you’re giving the algorithm the chance to favor warm audiences as they’re more likely to convert to a more cost-effective bidding strategy. This means, using our last example, that it’s more likely for someone that already had a first date with you to say “yes” to a second date because they already know you. Thus slimming down the chance of new swipes showing up on your feed.

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Taking this into account, at the top level of your campaign, for cold audiences, you’re teaching the Meta Ads algorithm which cold audiences are yielding conversions. A successful conversion sends a signal to the platform to find more humans like the user who just converted. 

When you’re using cold audiences in a campaign, and excluding warm ones, you’re forcing the platform to find new people *aka people that don’t know anything about your product/service* that will make the desired conversion event.

Should you blend the audiences and include warm audiences in the campaign, Meta will favor the warmer audience time and time again because an abandoned cart purchaser is more likely to convert than someone who doesn’t yet know, like, or trust your offer. 

And Meta is always optimizing for the easier (more cost-effective) win in their algorithm.

That’s why at Mongoose Media we recommend not mixing these audiences in the same campaign. When you throw cold and warm audiences together you’re not teaching the algorithm to specifically find new prospects, you’re asking your algorithm to find the best buyers possible, allowing it to cheat and deliver the ads to people that already know who you are. So, instead, build a campaign for prospecting and another for retargeting warm traffic. 

#3. Know What CPA You’re Willing to Pay for Your Cold & Warm Audiences

The algorithm is listening to you, so you have to tell it exactly what you want. And this applies to anything you set up in Facebook Ads, but it is especially important for the CPA.

Let’s suppose that you are willing to pay $85 per CPA (cost per acquisition) for a skincare customer, but you capped the bid budget at $75. In this case, the algorithm doesn’t have the means to know that you have more money than what you put, so you’ll be forcing it to optimize your ads for a $75 budget. Which can mean you’re limiting your audience reach to forced CPAs that fit within your lower budget. Meaning, you’re missing out on potential customers that you’d be willing to pay for but your bidding strategies say otherwise.

Why is this so crucial? Because there may be better people with potentially higher order value or propensity to purchase available to you, but because you told the algorithm that $75 is your spend limit, your ad may not reach those people. 

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Bear this in mind: if your CPA is too high, it will eat into your profits. Conversely, if your CPA is too low, you could be missing out on potential customers. 

Additionally, every day we get closer to Black Friday is a day that the auction experiences additional new competitors to the marketplace and more auction pressure that you’re competing against. So, start thinking about your CPA before the big day approaches. 

{important dates graphic: September 20th, the soft pressure increase in a ‘pre-Black Friday auction’. October 15th – the unofficial kickoff for Black Friday and the D-Day for heavy auction bids. November 15th – consider using different Meta objectives cause everyone and their grandmothers are doing ads.}

And, if you’re not sure what your CPA should be, working with a qualified Meta Ads consultant can help you to set a realistic CPA for your business!

NOTE: Your WARM CPA and COLD CPA should be different.

#4. Your Ads are a Marathon, Not a Place to Bet on Horses

I know that it is very tempting to look at your ad campaigns and ads like they are competing in a horse race. But you’re not betting on a pony, you’re marketing your products or services, so there’s no rush. 

What I mean is that even though you may want to perform a gazillion changes every time you check your ads statics and something seems off, you need to let it rest! As I said above, the Facebook Ads Learning Phase covers a 7-day period; however, if you edit your ad every other day, what will happen is that the time period will restart with every change and your campaign will be stuck in the Learning Phase *sounds like time traveling, right?*. 

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Plus, you won’t be giving the algorithm enough time to optimize your campaign! Simply put, let’s suppose you launched your ad on a Monday, but by Wednesday you don’t get any of the results you wanted, so you turn it off. But, what you don’t realize is that, in a 7-day period, the algorithm is working to understand your campaign, so it may take time to reach your target audience and generate conversions. 

And don’t worry! 

Everyone is tempted to edit or stop a campaign when it is not achieving what we want! In fact, at Mongoose Media we used to make that decision after a 4-day period. However, we realized that, by doing this, we were potentially wasting the effort the algorithm is making to optimize a campaign, so now we wait a full 7 days before touching anything. 

So, walk away and go back in a week… But wait, there are a few things you need to be mindful of before you sit back and relax. Here’s a quick ads checklist

For Facebook Ads to be effective, it is essential that you have your tracking set up correctly. Without tracking, you will have no way of knowing whether your ads are succeeding or failing during the Holiday season. 

During Black Friday, brands compete for consumers’ attention with ads that are often loud, colorful, and eye-catching. As a result, it’s important to make sure that your ads are designed to be thumb-stopping.

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One way to do this is to start working on your ad creatives well in advance of Black Friday. This will give you time to experiment with different designs and ensure that your advertising campaigns are truly eye-catching. 

Have you already put some thoughts into your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals? It is important to craft a must-click offer that your specific audience is going to love. 

Remember that Facebook, unlike Amazon, is like walking into the mall during the holiday season. There are a lot of options you can pick and different offers that sound appealing, so, with many competitors out there, it is important to create deals that really persuade your audience!

  • Work within a comfortable budget

Have a budget that you’re comfortable spending daily with a long-term goal of success. If you’re coming to Meta ads for a silver bullet, a single solution in your company’s bottom line, you better have a budget to back up the investment for data and the algorithm to find your target audience.

Meta Ads are great to-scale offers that work and as a discovery tool for new audiences. When Meta Ads stand on their own without a cohesive marketing plan for omnichannel remarketing, subscriber engagement, and more, expect to pay high acquisition costs to cover your marketing gaps. 

{Meta Ads on a CVJ image? Meta ads drive awareness, meta ads help subscriber acquisition, Meta Ads can drive excitement and loyalty, but Meta Ads aren’t Atlas, holding the weight of the company alone – that’s my graphic recommendation…. People think Meta Ads are the Atlas holding the world, but instead, it’s the offer that’s atlas and Meta is the muscle on the one bicep only}

#5. The Algorithm Assumes the Data is True

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is important to understand that the algorithm can’t read your mind, so it learns from the data you give it. 

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That’s why it is so important to be mindful about what you tell it. From your target audience to your ad spend, that algorithm will take everything you put as a fact and, if you’re not careful, it can affect your campaign negatively.

#6. Advantage+ Placements & Advantage Campaign Budget & Why They Matter

Placements are also known as the different platforms on which Meta can show your ad. An example of this is running your ads on Instagram, Facebook, or Messenger.

In this case, choosing multiple placements is a great idea if you want your ads to reach your target audience across different platforms. Meta’s platform is going to try and serve your ads on the placement your targeted audience is most likely going to engage and convert.

Taking this into account, by using Advantage+ placements, you’ll be allowing Meta to find the best conversion opportunities for your ad in all the placements.

This not only will help you to get the optimization events at a low cost (because Meta’s delivery system will analyze the data from all available placements and choose placements that are both cost-effective and high-performing) but also will help you make the most out of your campaign budget!

Another way of automating your campaign is by using the Advantage Campaign Budget. This is a feature that allows Meta to distribute your budget depending on the placements where each ad set will get the most optimization events at a low cost. 

With both features, you can make sure that your budget is effectively invested, Advantage+ placements and Advantage Campaign Budget are godsend help during the Black Friday season

#7. Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

If you were looking for a way to increase your campaign’s performance without having to stick to your computer 24/7, the new Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, launched on August 15, 2022, is quickly becoming my favorite new roll out from Meta. This new Meta product can automate an entire ad campaign with machine learning, so you can focus more on the general aspects of your online store and less on managing campaigns.

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Just imagine being able to automate EVERYTHING from creatives and placements to audiences. With Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns you can maximize your ads’ performance throughout the Black Friday weekend (and beyond) without all the manual work it used to require. 

Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns allow business owners and paid media buyers to use AI to automate a campaign from end to end and make the best out of their ad budget by finding the best placements in which your ad will get the most conversion events at a lower cost.

And, if that wasn’t enough, this new feature can also automate creatives to analyze which ones are more effective in a specific audience! 

Finally, if you have a Facebook or Instagram Shop, Meta is using AI to drive traffic to the most converting destination for your eCommerce store. Either your in-platform store (FB or IG shop) or your website, depending on which one will generate the most optimization events in a certain audience! 

There’s nothing you can’t achieve with this tool and, even though it’s still in its Beta version, acting on it now will give your campaigns a lift as most other brands and advertisers aren’t taking advantage of this new campaign!

What’s the Best Time to Run Facebook Ads for Black Friday?

As soon as possible! Taking into account that you have to wait for the Learning Phase 7-day window, help the algorithm understand and optimize your campaign, and make edits if necessary, at Mongoose Media we recommend our clients to start their Black Friday Facebook Ads campaigns between July and September. 

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However, this doesn’t mean that you should have launched your sale months ago! What you should have done is launch campaigns to find your audience and build a warm list.

The idea is to build a list of buyers that want your product/service and are eager to get a good deal, so you can offer them early access or another offer if they signup or register ahead of the big day. 

Why is this so important? Because even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday may seem like a weekend events, more and more people start craving good deals and offers even before November starts, so it is crucial *and cheaper* to start warming up your traffic early

But wait! If you’re reading this in October/November, that doesn’t mean everything is lost. You just need to be mindful that, when you launch your Facebook ad campaign, there’s going to be a lot more auction pressure. 

Ready to Start Preparing for a Successful Black Friday?

Planning your Black Friday campaigns with time is the key to not only crafting profitable ads that catch the attention of your target audience and persuade them to click the “Buy now” button, but it also helps the algorithm understand your brand and put your deal in front of the right people. And now you have a checklist with everything that has changed in Facebook Ads and you need to keep it in mind to set your campaigns up for success. 

Do you feel already overwhelmed with all the preparations pre-Black Friday? Fear not, you’ve come to the right place! At Mongoose Media we have a team of Facebook experts, copywriters, designers, and strategists that will help you with the planning while you worry about running your business!

So, meet with us and start your journey to a successful Black Friday Facebook Ads strategy!


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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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