The #1 thing people get wrong with ads is… REPORTING.
Because, it’s actually really hard to get accurate reports to explain exactly what happens to your leads – through the whole funnel.
First, Facebook’s reporting can be up to 30% wrong (and usually they “over-report” your results).
And then, the biggest challenge is actually tracking the whole customer journey.
This includes everything from a clear overview of everything + the intricate, day-to-day stats – both compared with your predetermined goals.
That’s why we recently created an incredible spreadsheet for reporting EVERYTHING you need to know to make the best decisions with your ad spend.
Because, how else will you make confident, smart decisions with your money but to know what’s *really* working (and not)?
In this episode, I’m going deep into our brand NEW system for reporting all the data, including a detailed description of our incredible spreadsheet, plus…
Why you need to track more than Facebook ads’ success
How our process is different from any “tracking software” that’s available
And how you can get access to this incredible system for reporting a.s.a.p.!
Listen in, and then SHARE with your best-business-friends! (Tag @emilyhirsh on Instagram for a quick shoutout in stories!)
And if you want access to reports like this from a Team who knows their stuff, head to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh!
[1:51] The #1 thing people complain about other agencies is reporting
[4:17] Because reporting is hard – especially tracking the lead through the whole customer journey
[5:33] You also need a clear overview… including goals
[7:28] We created the best spreadsheet possible for tracking your marketing!
[9:25] And here’s how it’s different from any available software you’ve tried
[11:31] We include 3-day, 7-day, and monthly summaries!
[13:45] The point is, if you can’t track every step of the funnel, how can you make good decisions with your marketing?
[16:44] This is your KEY to success with ads…
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Emily Hirsh: Hello everyone. Hope you guys are all doing amazing. Welcome back to the podcast. I know that I start it literally the same way every time. I need to come up with a better way to start with the podcast. I should listen to some for inspiration. Talk about the weather? I don’t know. I’m not so good at small talk. I just start, and then dive right in.
Today, I am excited, because I get to share our new… and this will come out a while after it actually was rolled out, but it’s great, because… we will have worked out all the kinks and everything… but our new reporting spreadsheet that we rolled out for clients. I actually want to share the inspiration behind it, because I think it will help a lot of people with their own marketing reporting and what I’m calling, kind of, reporting transparency, because I would say one of the number one, by far, things that people complain about, with marketing, with other agencies, and even if they have an in-house team or they’re doing it themselves… is reporting. Because it’s really not that simple to get accurate marketing reporting.
I’ve heard many people be like, “Reporting is the bane of my existence.” It’s felt that sometimes for us, too. Getting accurate reporting is really hard for several reasons. Here’s the reasons. One, the Facebook pixel can be wrong. And so, if you just depend on Facebook data and the data inside of Facebook Ads Manager, it can be wrong. If you have an agency, which this happened to clients who came on with us, showed us their reporting, and we’re like, “This is not matching up to your backend.” If you have an agency or somebody who’s just giving you the pixel data, it can be up to 30% wrong, especially on purchases. Because if you’re moving somebody through a funnel and they’re going into a webinar and then they’re being offered something, a lot of times the pixel is triggered or not triggered, and so the reporting is wrong.
Oftentimes, it over-reports, unfortunately, and so you’re seeing like, “Oh, we got this great cost per lead.” But then you’re like, “Well, where’s the leads?” That’s happened way too many more times than I can count, even if the pixel is set up right. Our process has been, for the past year, year plus… since I started, I’ve done this, because as soon as I realized that, I was like, “Well, we need real data.” That is, having a third party check it. Let’s say that you run your contacts through Infusionsoft or you run your contacts through ClickFunnels or Ontraport, we have a way to verify that data with Facebook. In an ideal world, it’s a separate funnel for ads, so they have a separate ads tag when they come in, because that allows us to not only verify it, but also see what happens to that lead in three, six, 12 months from now even, to just see the overall long-game ROI, which is super powerful.
If not, then we’re using UTM codes or Google tag manager, something to be able to verify the pixel data. That’s part of our requirement. When you come on as a client, you have a second call after your strategy call that’s about your reporting and your numbers, because we will not turn on ads unless we know we can verify the numbers. That’s the first reason why reporting is so difficult in marketing.
The other reason is, it’s really hard to track the lead through the entire customer journey. You might be able to track webinar leads, and then are you falling off when you track your sales? Or are you falling off when you track your sales in three months from now? What happens to those webinar leads as they move through your entire funnel, or what’s happening to those applications that you got booked for your call as they move through your entire funnel? You have to really set up tracking and monitoring that will track this and actually track the true return on your ad spend that you’re getting, based on the action the leads take, not just within the couple of days of opting in, but within that month of opting in, what happens and the sales that come in. Those are the big reasons.
But then also, I would say with my students, too, the biggest thing I see is that, is tracking the journey. They can focus on the Facebook ads stats, they can focus on if their Facebook ad is performing, because it’s right in front of them in the dashboard, but then if it’s reporting wrong, that makes it hard. But then it’s like, “What’s happening to that lead?” You can’t make decisions unless you know the money you’re making back from that ad spend. So unless you know the money you’re making back, how do we know if the entire strategy is working or not? We don’t. Right?
Then the third thing is, just getting a clear overview of everything. And so for me, the best way to review your reporting is to say, “Here’s our goal. Here’s what we accomplished. Did we achieve our goal?” In every step of the funnel. That’s always been the clearest way for me to tell if a funnel is on track or not, and if a marketing strategy is working or not. But it really needs to be put next to each other, and so it needs to be, “Here’s my goal. Here’s my results. Am I on track?” For every single step. And I’m talking about the click, the landing page conversion, the cost per lead, the sales conversion, the number of sales, how much you spent, how much you made. Every step is tracked, and you have a goal for every step that you’re comparing against.
I wish I could screen share on this podcast and show you, but we created the best spreadsheet that, I believe, exists out there today for tracking your marketing. Now it’s what we use in all of our clients’ [accounts]. It started with… we created it for my account, we tested it for a couple of weeks in my own ad account, because I have an ads manager assigned to my ad account. I’m like the Guinea pig. I just was so anal about getting it to perfection, like myself, in a client’s lens. Then that’s what we rolled out to clients. It is a spreadsheet that, it separates out each funnel. So, every funnel has it laid out with every step. You’ll see, starting at the top ad spend, and then it goes through in order, and it will have your cost per click, and your CPM, and your click through rate, and your cost per lead. Then it goes deeper into the funnel, and it has every step. Like, let’s say you have three products. Every product, and then the conversion percentage of that product.
Let’s say you have one product for $500, and then an upsell for $1,000, and then an upsell for $2,000. We’re tracking each product, and we’re tracking the percentage of people who make it through each step. Or, let’s say it’s an application funnel. We’ve customized it. Like, I have an application funnel, so I have several steps. I have step one of my application, step two of my application, and then I have a call booked. And so, I see how many people completed step one, step two, and booked their call, and the cost for each one. How much did I pay for all those applications, step one, step two, and call booked? And so, we have [a] customized funnel for each client on a tab, that’s a monthly tab, and it will end up summarizing your whole month.
Let’s say they have two funnels. We have two sections that are very clear, laid out with all the steps of the funnel, that’s target tracking every single metric. Now, it’s in a box, and then over on the right is a daily tracker. My ads managers are going in every single day and filling out the numbers for all of these metrics. Now here, I’m going to get on a little soapbox here, because I know that there are softwares that will pull these numbers and generate these reports, like AdEspresso, whatever, all those softwares. Here’s the problem. One, they can’t customize them. This spreadsheet’s customized for every single one of our clients. Two, it is so beneficial for my ads managers to go in and pull these numbers, because then they have this in their brain every day. They know how the account is converting.
They have no choice but to know that. I’m not ever saying that my ads managers wouldn’t do that. But subconsciously, if you have a report generating for you, you’re not going to look at the numbers as deep as you would if you’re inputting them yourself. I believe, for reporting to actually work, and be successful, and people to pay attention to… numbers are numbers unless we have meaning behind them… so, pay attention to the meaning behind the numbers, that you have to manually input some things. Because you have to manually make that connection in your brain, “Oh, cost per lead is $6. Our goal is $5. What am I going to do today to get that down?” Right? If you just look at a report, you’re going to scan it, and you might miss things. That’s why every day part of my ads managers processes to come in and do what we call daily tracking.
We’ve done this for forever, for two years, for two plus years. The thing is, it wasn’t all connected. What we changed was, it’s now integrated into one master spreadsheet, and the daily tracking is generating a weekly report and a monthly report for clients, and our clients have access to this. So, at any time, if they wanted, they could go in and look at their daily tracker that was filled out and see the numbers, from not just the ads but the entire funnel. They can do that as an option. I’d say most of our clients don’t look everyday, but they do get a weekly report. But the data is there.
A whole month is filled out. Every day, they fill out a tracker. On Monday, they fill out two days, two previous days, because they fill out the weekend, so we’re still filling it in. That is all generated in a summary. That gives us a three-day summary of performance, a seven-day summary of performance, and a monthly summary of performance.
Then next to that is a goal. For every stat is a defined goal of what we’re trying to achieve that month. Next to that is either red or green, are we hitting our percentage to goal? We’ve even created these killer formulas that I don’t know even how my person did it, but they take into consideration the days of the month. For example, if your goal is to get a thousand leads, then by the fifth of the month, there’s X amount of leads you should have. And if you don’t have that many leads, then you’re either red or green. If you didn’t have the days of the month considered, you’d be red all month, right, because a thousand by the end of the month, you’re going to be red until towards the end of the month, and so it’s not as accurate. Which is what we first ran into when we were testing this, is, “Oh, some of these formulas have to take into consideration the days of the month.”
Not all of them, because cost per lead doesn’t. It’s either you’re on track or you’re not with your cost per lead. It doesn’t matter the day of the month. Cost per purchase, same thing. But number of leads and number of purchases, those matter, right? Number of landing page views matter, how many days the month has it been, how far into the month you are. Now, anytime you can go in to a spreadsheet and see for a client: their goal, their progress to their goal for that month, in easily red or green, like is it on track or not, and then a seven-day summary, a three-day summary, daily tracking if you wanted to review each day to see where the changes are happening, and then you can take that and just be able to make those decisions and be able to see that summary. But it’s also not just about, “Oh, let’s see how our Facebook ads are performing,” which is what something AdEspresso or those softwares will pull for you.
It’s the whole funnel. Every week, every day, the whole funnel, purchases, are we on track with those? Are we on track with various products, the various steps as you get deeper in my funnel? That is the power of reporting. That is the level of reporting that you should have on any of your marketing, regardless of who’s doing it. If it’s you, your team, an agency that’s doing it. Because if you can’t, then how can you ever make decisions? That’s the problem. I will speak to students who are working on this themselves. I mean, it’s really hard to do this all yourself. My IGNITE students, we try to give them all the tools and the resources, but they still have to fill out the spreadsheets, and they still have to do the tracking, right? And so, we give them actually these resources that we use on clients in IGNITE.
IGNITE benefits from this, too, but they still have to go fill it out, and it’s daunting to fill it out. But if I get on a support call with our students, and they’re asking me like, “What else can I do? How do I improve my results?” The first thing I ask for is, “What are your stats? Let me see the entire funnel stats. That’s great you got a hundred leads. What happened with those leads? I can’t give you any advice or make any decisions unless I have that information.” It’s the same thing with any of your marketing, any of your funnels, you have to be able to have that information to make the decisions.
It can’t just be about the little piece of Facebook ads, it has to be at all integrated together. That’s what I’m so pumped that we finally solved was, creating something that’s in one spreadsheet that integrates every step of a funnel, every metric to a funnel, the goal, are we on track for that goal, and then the summaries that we need to be able to see the trends in the last three days, seven days, and then a monthly.
And my ads managers love it, because we used to have it separated. They used to have to fill out daily tracking and then generate weekly reports for our clients in a separate spreadsheet. They were filling out weekly tracking, but it wasn’t summarizing perfectly, so they were pulling weekly reports. But now, you’re just checking formulas, so you’re filling out daily tracking, and then you’re looking at the weekly report, and it’s generating those numbers for you. Same with the monthly report that we actually send out. We send out a little presentation for clients monthly, of their numbers, and also more information like ads that converted, audiences that converted, strategies, et cetera.
I am pumped, if you can’t tell. When I look at that spreadsheet, I’m like, “This is so good.” I am so grateful for my team. It took so much back and forth between me, actually, Alex Charfen, he’s a friend of mine, helped me, because he’s so good at spreadsheets. I was like, “Tear this apart,” three different times, “Tear this apart, tell me what you think we should change. How do we make this more clear?” Because that was another thing for me is, a lot of our clients wouldn’t read their spreadsheets, because they were overwhelming. And so, we actually had a quarterly goal in my company that was, “Get clients to read their weekly reports.” It was everything we had to do to do that, which the first one was, overhaul the spreadsheet. We also put a note under every single metric about how it’s being calculated and what it is so you can understand it as a client.
This is key to success. I titled this Reporting Transparency, because in some form, whether it’s from your team, or from an agency, or if you’re doing it yourself, you need to have that reporting transparency to know exactly what’s happening. It needs to be verified with the backend, with a third party. On our spreadsheet, we have Facebook leads and then we have leads confirmed with Infusionsoft or leads confirmed with Ontraport, or whatever it is, just so that it’s showing the difference. There is a difference in, I’d say, over half of the accounts have a little bit of a variation, where Facebook is like, “Oh, we got a thousand leads.” But in the backend, it’s actually only 880.
Obviously, our cost per lead needs to be counted from the 880, because those are the true leads we have in our backend. Even if Facebook is saying different, we’re not going to inflate that reporting. Which I guarantee you, if you’re not getting that, if you’re not looking at the backend in third party, you have inflated reporting. Like, almost can guarantee you that it’s not accurate, because Facebook is almost never 100% accurate. It can get close, but we always have this fail-safe, especially for the sales piece of it.
With all of that said, I think that the spreadsheet we created is worth so much. I am so proud of it. Proud of my team. I have an amazing, we call her our data architect, who builds out these spreadsheets, and has the patience with me to keep picking it apart. She’s so awesome, because she understands all the formulas, but she doesn’t necessarily get the marketing, so we’ve had to merge that with the team. I personally went through and audited every client’s spreadsheet, because I wanted to get it to the standard, and I needed to teach my team, what am I looking for when I audit? And so, it’s improved our team tremendously, our ads managers’ understanding of the spreadsheets, of the numbers, of reporting, all of it.
So, I’m super proud of it. If you want that in your reporting, if you want to work with Team Hirsh, you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com and apply to work with us. Thanks so much for tuning in today, guys. I hope I gave you some ideas for your reporting, and if not, made you question what you’re doing a little bit, because that third party data is real, and you have to really plug that in, and make sure you’re tracking that, because it will come back to bite you if you’re not. I promise, because I’ve seen it happen dozens of times, that it did to clients that came to work with us, and showed us their reporting, and we’re like, “That’s not right, because the leads are not actually there. The sales are not actually there.” So, HelpMyStrategy.com if you want to apply to work with Hirsh Marketing. Thanks so much. Talk to you guys soon.