So you’ve started tracking your results from ads daily, weekly… but what are you doing with the data? How do you know what it means, really?

Tracking your immediate results is one thing (i.e. what’s happened in one week?).

But tracking long-term + cross-checking with third party systems is where you’ll find the goldmine of information.

Because cold traffic rarely clicks your ad, hops on the webinar, and buys your product same day. You have to follow the customer journey start to finish to really understand what’s working + what’s not with your ads.

In this episode, I’m diving into a mistake you’re likely making tracking your own ads (or reading the results), plus…

  • The problem with surface-level tracking
  • How to track data from ads over the long-term
  • And what you can learn from a recent launch by a big influencer…

Tune into this quick lesson in marketing – and then hop over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to ask any follow-up Q’s. We’re always happy to help.

NOTE – listen to episode 51, “The second strategy call we added for clients,” for more about the importance of third party tracking, plus episode 69, “Using Facebook attributions to maximize your ad results,” for more details into Facebook’s attributions + our step-by-step tracking system.

Key Points:
[2:02] I see so many people making this mistake
[4:20] Here’s how we use UTM codes to fix this problem
[5:56] Then we create duplicate funnels…
[7:28] It’s important to know where the leads have come from
[8:57] Here’s an example from a big influencer launch…
[11:09] “We discovered that the average customer lifespan was one year!”
[12:08] The bottom line.

If you want this reporting done for you, go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh.

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Episode Transcripts:  

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’ve 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 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.

Hello, hello, everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in today, and hope you are all having an amazing week. I hope you’re all doing awesome. I am doing pretty great. I am in an awesome routine, and I’m only home [for] two weeks out of September. My husband was just making fun of me. He’s like, “Why do you like to travel so much?” Like I really do. I really like my routine, but after a week or two, I’m ready for a quick change. So I’m going to both California and Hawaii in September. When this episode comes out, I might be on one of those trips, and I’m just super excited. So, I’m also super disciplined with my content creation this month, because I only have two weeks to do any recording, any content that I need to do, out of the whole month. So I have to be really disciplined with it.

And so that’s what today is, today is content recording in various ways, including the podcast. Today, I am talking about a common mistake that people are making with tracking their ad results and the results from their ads. So I see this mistake made both with my students in IGNITE, before like… they’re understanding, I guess, of ad tracking before they go through the content and understand the goal of it. And then also with potential clients when we audit what they’re doing with their tracking, how they’re looking at their ad results. It’s not only a mistake in how they’re tracking it, it’s actually a mistake in understanding how to track ads and attribution to ads. And we’ve also had to explain this to a lot of our current clients, and so I figured doing a podcast on it would be helpful.

And first of all, a lot of people who come to me, before working with us, are not tracking anything. So first step is actually track your ads and do your daily, weekly tracking, which… I’ve done an episode on what to track in those times [episodes 27, 51, 69, 87]. But we have like, obsessive tracking. But we go a step further. And what you want to track, and the mistake people are missing is, how do you attribute ad results? So, Facebook, a lot of times is… so they have what’s called an ‘attribution window.’ And so you can set it to say, I think it’s 28-day attribution window. You can change that to be 7-day, 14-day. And basically what that means is, if somebody clicks that ad, and then in like 7 days or 14 days, they then buy or they then take action, it will attribute it back to the ad.

In theory. Now, Facebook’s pixel is not perfect at this. And so you want some backup measures to make sure this is happening. But the bottom line is this, to know truly how your Facebook ads are working and have the full big picture… This might even, a lot of times, hopefully improve your results, because not everybody is going to click an ad, watch a webinar, buy. And a lot of times we’re just looking at that immediate metric. And you need to also be tracking the long-term metric. Or, what else are people buying? Are they going to the webinar and then buying your product… but then maybe in a month buying your book or signing up for your membership site? And ideally, not just because we want to know our true ROI but, we also want to know what’s working and what’s not working, and what audiences are working, what audiences have a higher customer value. So we need to know those things.

So there’s a couple ways that you can do it. One of the big ways we do it is UTM codes. So that basically will help cross-check with Google Data, Google Analytics, and Facebook pixel, and cross-check that. And also you set the bigger attribution window so you can see, in 28 days for example, all of the activity, because there’s going to be a lot of people who don’t immediately convert. And so if you make the mistake of only viewing the leads in that way, then you’re going to miss out on knowing what is and isn’t working. And obviously, there’s other contributors to getting those people to convert besides the ads. So they’re probably going through an email sequence, and they watched a webinar, and they’re being nurtured by your content. And all of those things are contributing to the big picture of getting your ads to work. But you want to ideally know what campaign they came from, what ad set they came from, what audience they came from, so we can put more money into that.

So the other way we track this with most of our clients, because it’s kind of a pain sometimes, but it really is like 100% accurate and not arguable at all with if it’s right… because the Facebook pixel sometimes you’re like, “Really? I don’t think that’s accurate,” or it’s double counting, or it’s undercounting. And the problem is, a lot of agencies, most agencies, just report on the Facebook pixel, and they don’t cross-check the third-party data at all. And it’s a big problem, because then you’re like, “Wait a second, I’m not actually making that much money that you’re saying I’m making. And so then my ads are not actually working as well as you’re saying they are.”

So what we do is, we create a separate funnel. So let’s say you have a webinar funnel in ClickFunnels, we duplicate it – or we have you duplicate it if you’re a client, but we suggest you duplicate it, or I teach that. And you create that separate funnel, and that link you only use in your ads. So you only use that link in your Instagram ads and your Facebook ads that you’re running. And then if you promote it organically, you are then using a different link. And so that way, through any other way that you’re promoting it, you’re using a different link. And so what that does is, you can tag the person who came in originally from the Facebook ad, and then in most CRM softwares, you’re able to pull up a list of people…

Like in ours, I use Ontraport, and in ours, I can make a group of people who have my Facebook ad tag and bought IGNITE, for example. So then after my launch… We’re list building now, for three, four months, and after that, I can go back and say, “Well, how many people from my initial list building ads for sure converted to buy in IGNITE, and were cold traffic?” And I can do that report. That’s so key, because that gives me a really good picture of also long game, how my ads are converting. And so having that tag usually allows you to see, “Okay, everybody with that tag, what’s everything they’ve bought? And what’s the trends there? Are they buying multiple products? How long is it taking them to buy that product?”

And so it’s really important that you view your Facebook ads and your reporting and what we call attribution, to know originally that lead came in from Facebook, and ideally you try to figure out where it came in. If you have the UTM codes and the pixel set up, what you can do in your ad account is have all your products and your product values set up, so you can pull all those columns, and look at your campaigns and look at all of the sales of, let’s say you have a webinar and a book and a challenge or something for sale, like you could pull all those different products… and you’re able to see what ads… so for example, your webinar campaign might contribute to 100… last month, 100 course sales… but it also might contribute to those people converting to, let’s say you have an upsell, and five of those people bought the upsell. And so then you’re able to add that together and see the full ROI, if that makes sense. And then you’re also able to see what campaigns are producing the highest valued customer.

So we usually do both. We usually do UTM codes so we can see it all in ads manager and the tagging and the third party, just in case something doesn’t fire right or it over fires… that third-party measure of having that separate funnel, separate tag is, you can’t argue it with Facebook. It’s accurate, because you’re actually seeing the leads. The other thing to note that we had a situation that… I think we had to explain kind of like, let’s look at this. So we had a client who had two different funnels. It’s a big client, so I don’t want to actually say the funnels, since… it could give it away. So they basically had two different lead gen funnels, and each one led to each other. So they opted into one, and then that one on the ‘Thank You’ page promoted the other lead gen funnel… and then they opted into the other, and that one promoted the other, if that makes sense.

So basically… sorry, I’m trying to do it without saying what they are, because it’s a big launch happening, and I think you guys will guess it. So basically, though, what we found was one converted a lot cheaper on the front end, so that opt-in A was converting [at] $1 a lead, really cheap, really good. Let’s just say, I don’t know exactly what it was, between $1 and $2, it was great. And then option two was converting a lot higher, like triple that. And what we noticed was those leads were actually going from opt-in A to opt-in B. And so they were like double signing up for something, which is a really valuable lead, because they’re that invested, and they’re willing to sign up for two things and consume that content, and they’re very valuable leads.

So what we did was we said, “Let’s put the budget in opt-in A, because it’s cheaper in the front door, and then we’re getting them into opt-in B anyways.” And so you might have a situation there, too, where it’s like, the leads are coming in maybe less expensive from an opt-in and then to a webinar or something like that, but they’re still making it through the steps, and they’re high quality when they do that… So knowing the attribution and knowing, “Okay, the lead initially came from this Facebook ad, this campaign promoting this, but then here’s the action they took, they signed up for this, they bought this, then they bought this, and then in six months, they bought this,” is so powerful to have that data. And for my launch, having the data in a year+ from now, of how long people maybe sat on my list before buying IGNITE on average, is going to be really powerful.

And I know one of our clients… this was a couple of years ago, but they’ve been launching for a really long time, and they had all this amazing data. And what we discovered is that the average customer lifespan, between when they came on the list and then they bought, was a year. And so that’s a long time! And so knowing that is so important, because people get frustrated when they don’t have that initial results and initial, immediate response and results. And that’s just not always reality. Yes, there’s going to be a percentage of people who always are quick action, fast action takers. But then there’s going to be a probably even bigger percentage who sit there, and maybe it’s not the right time for them right now, maybe they need some nurturing. And the key is that you know where they came from. And if you know that, then you’re able to put more money into that original place, if that makes sense.

So I guess this is not… first of all, track your ads. Second of all, understand attribution and so that you understand initially where was the first point of contact a cold lead is having with your brand, and then what are they doing after that? What’s their activity? What’s their customer journey? What are they buying? How long is it taking them? And where can you attribute that back to that initial ad? And it will help you understand your ROI. It’ll also help you optimize even more, to know where to put your budget. Because, for example, let’s say that example that I said about the two opt-ins was different. And it was like, opt-in A was really expensive and opt-in B was really cheap, but we knew opt-in A was getting a bunch of sales and opt-in B wasn’t. What if I only looked at the cost per lead, and I was like, “Well, let’s put all the money into the cheap opt-in,” but they’re not converting to sales and I didn’t notice that, it would really affect my results.

So sometimes you pay more for the cost per lead, but then you’re getting that quality lead. And you have to know all of those numbers and that journey that that customer’s taking, and the actions they’re taking, in order to make those decisions. So hopefully this helped you guys understand that, kind of picture that, and you’re able to look at that in your own marketing. If you want this kind of support in your marketing with Team Hirsh, where we set all of this up for you, the reporting, and we make sure it’s all set up, and then we report on a weekly, and we look at that, you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with us. And I will see you all next time.

Thanks for listening to the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Go behind the scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies, dive deep into The Hirsh Process, and listen to our most popular episodes over at HirshMarketingUnderground.com. If you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review, so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now, and I’ll catch you next time.