Ever since the iOS 14 updates hit, so many marketers have been struggling to recover.

They went from having solid, converting marketing strategies to all of a sudden having a strategy that WASN’T working, leading to a dip in results, a loss of sales, and everything in between.

I won’t lie and say Team Hirsh was impervious to the effects of iOS 14.

Our clients definitely felt it too.

But what set our clients apart is that our team quickly intervened, pivoted our strategies, and got those results back up for those clients almost immediately.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing the exact steps we took to go from having clients who struggled to even make sales after iOS 14, to generating 3-4X returns on ad spend within two weeks by following our SOS iOS Response.

Tune in to uncover what our clever acronym means and how you can implement it in your own business to not only recover from iOS, but from any challenge that leads to a dip in your results!

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. Welcome if you are new. Let’s do this. Today I am sharing our SOS iOS response. I guess you can use it aside from iOS, you can use it with anything that is not working, not converting. I’m going to share just a couple of strategies and stories from our clients that my team shared with us. I put it into this SOS response, which I’m not amazing at acronyms, so this took me a little bit to be like, “what is a word that starts with S?” But I did it and I love it. It does bring a lot of clarity, but some people are naturally really good at that and some are not, and I am not normally naturally good at that, but it does bring clarity to what I’m trying to teach.

We have had a few different clients situations where this is the scenario of what happened, where they have both been with us for a while and on our roster and were doing well. They were between 3-4X return on ad spend. They had been there for several months. There are long-term clients. One is an e-commerce business, and one is a digital product business with a webinar. So completely different businesses, different products, different models that they’re selling. That’s important to note because this SOS response will work for any business product in digital marketing and can be molded to that. So doing well, been with us for awhile, consistent 3-4X return on their ad spend. Then in the last couple of months, iOS updates hit. Things have shifted online. Definitely messaging changes around COVID changing and all of that happened, and both of their results dipped down. One had a week with no sales, when they consistently had 15 sales a week. So that was a big deal. That was a digital product business. Then one had a massive dip in their sales. So working, stops working, dip in sales, and then we got it back up and both of them working. 

This is my favorite thing to talk about because I like talking about failure to success. I wouldn’t even call it failure, but I think that people have this wrong mindset around marketing so often where it’s like, once you get something working, it will work forever. That is never the reality. This concept of an evergreen funnel that makes money while you sleep and is so easy, doesn’t exist. Evergreen funnels are awesome. Things that run every day and make you sales every day are great. They are not easy. They don’t result in and they don’t mean that it’s no work and that you never have to change something once you got it to work. The industry is always changing. Your industry, niche, and messaging around that is going to always be changing. The competition around you, the saturation around you, all of that is going to be consistently changing. If you don’t change and adapt with that and you don’t stay ahead of that and innovative with that, you will absolutely fall behind and your performance will drop. 

The reason I like to talk about these is because true marketing is actually about taking something that was either never successful or is not currently successful and bringing it to success. That means it’s tweaking, it’s optimizing, it’s pivoting, it’s updating, it’s making those changes to equal improvement, to equal that success. That is where true marketing comes in. I’ll tell you, even in successful client launches with multiple seven and eight figure businesses, there are components in those launches that didn’t work and we have to pivot and adapt. We have to get costs down. We have to shift messaging. We thought one thing would work and it didn’t. That’s on both sides, client and us, sales conversion and ad results. If you can do that fast enough and effective enough, then you’ll create that success. 

The SOS response starts with search, which means first you have to find the gap immediately. You need to find, especially in these cases, we had historical information. We had, here’s where the numbers were. We were able to, it was really cool, in one of the client’s accounts pull an entire annual report, look at their numbers, look at where they were trending this time last year, where the sales conversion was, where it dipped, where it dropped off. If you don’t have that, you can’t make decisions without numbers in general. If you’re there and you’re saying, it’s not working, then how do you know what, would be my question? If you know something isn’t working, you have numbers to say that, right? Even if it means zero sales is the problem, the ads or the sales conversion? Where is the drop-off? You have to search, you have to dig, you have to do research, you have to plug in the numbers. You have to figure out where are people dropping off? Where is the gap? If your funnel or ads worked before they should be working now, or you have a gap. 

The first thing we did was create those reports to create that big picture. This is where I love looking at, if you can, a 12 month snapshot, a three months snapshot, a one month snapshot and comparing because then you can be like, “oh wow, our 12 month average was this, but then last month we were here. We’re way below our average with leads or we’re way under our sales conversion.” Again, if you don’t have that data, you’re going to have to work with what you have. But if you’re classifying something as not working, you have numbers to show that it’s not working, even if that means you’ve gotten zero sales. So we’ve got to search for that. 

What we did was we searched to find the problem. In both cases, it came down to the messaging. On the webinar funnel, it came down to the sales page and the webinar positioning itself. Then on the e-commerce funnel, it came down to the sales page, around the products, and then the messaging in the ads. That’s where we found the gaps where people were dropping off. So we searched, we found those issues, and then we dug deeper to figure out what we could do.

Then we moved on to the O, which is overhaul. We did messaging workshops with both of them on updating angles, on basically asking the question like, how do we stand out more? How do we be more innovative with your messaging? How do we be the best? What are you the best at in the world, and how do we communicate that clearly in your marketing? It was an hour, so a 60 to 90 minute call with our lead copywriters and our ads team together on one call. We were pulling out ideas, and it’s actually amazing. Our team has commented many times how doing those calls in that collaborative format with the client, even though the client might know some of these things, they didn’t express them. I experienced that a lot too with my team where if they get me talking, I can go because like I’m a personal brand and I know my audience and I know my content, but a lot of times my team does even have to pull it out of me of like, which direction should we go with this angle? 

So here we are overhauling. We go do these messaging workshops, then we take that, we update the sales page. We changed the ad copy. We changed the webinar title for that example. We updated the sales page for the e-commerce products. We changed the positioning. We even changed the focus of the product that we were going to do to try to overhaul this strategy. So completely overhauled it. While we were doing that, we had ads running, but we lowered the budget because things weren’t working as well. We wanted to continue to get leads because that’s always positive, so we kept on what was working at least marginally, we lowered the budget for that. It took about two weeks overhauling. We lowered the budget, overhauled everything. 

Then we go back to the final S which is scale. You re-get everything out there. You re-up the budget. If you are completely turning your ads off while you do this overhaul, then you’re scaling back to turning them on. You go and you put that out there, and ultimately your goal is to get back to where you were, if you had that success or to success. When you do that, you’re doing two things. Also, you are monitoring the numbers because you might have to go back to the beginning of this process. If you go and launch it and it’s still not working, you have to go back to search. You have to go back to the beginning, find those numbers, go back to overhaul, do it again. And you keep repeating that process until you create that success. 

In our cases, both of these messaging updates, which I think really leads to the fact that we had the data and we had the experts on it fast and urgent worked, and it got us within two weeks of that, we had one account at 4X return on ad spend and one at 3X within that time frame. So going from massive dip in sales to 3X and 4X return on ad spend just from following this process. Then the other thing you’re doing inside of this final scale step is you’re preparing for the next downturn, because if you can get ahead and you can get proactive with your response and know, where are our dependencies? Where are our issues potentially with messaging, right? What is our plan for the next quarter for marketing?

For example, with the e-commerce product, once we saw that one product that we shifted to start to take off and work better, then we were thinking through, okay, how do we pair some other products with that one to increase the average cart value? How do we get different messaging angles that we can try out in a week or two weeks from now once these start to saturate. How do we ramp up the email marketing on the backend so we can increase that average cart value? Then with the webinar one, a lot of it was we launched that to see if the updated webinar, landing page, sales page, and all of that was going to work. Then from there it was like, okay, that was working, now we need to go update the emails even more. Now we need to go deeper on this in our videos that we have the client do, because we know this, that we’ve hit the nail on the angle that we took. And how do we have ad copy prepared for that next downturn?

Ultimately, with marketing you’re going to have these ebbs and flows. You’re going to have times where it’s working really well and then you have a dip. How you respond to that dip is the make or break it of your success. So you’re going to respond to that dip, and then you’re either going to not bounce back or you are going to bounce back. Your goal is to get to a proactive place and to start looking at where are our gaps? Where are we potentially going to have an issue in the next couple of months and can we get ahead of that? 

Because if you have that delay… I just recently did the podcast secret series, where I talked about profit or plummet, and basically what I was saying is there is no such thing as plateauing in a business. You’re either growing or you’re not growing. You’re either creating marketing momentum and growing your leads and your sales, and are able to increase that and continually see that success, or you’re not. If your results dip down, you are not growing. There is no such thing as plateau because we all need new leads and sales. We all need returning customers. We all need new products bought from our store to grow month over month and not just stay where we are, but also not go backwards. 

So you’re trying to find those gaps and project them by having updated messaging, by building out the backend of your funnel, by making sure your email sequences are top notch, by making sure you’re getting the most out of your audience out of your customers. And you are leveraging that so that you never get to the place where sales completely dip and you’re like, “I don’t know what to do.” That’s the worst case scenario. If you follow this search, overhaul, scale process and you continually come back to that, you stay in that calm, collected place as you’re implementing this, you will always get great results with your marketing. Because I always say, this is where this comes from, marketing always works it’s just a matter of when. 

Marketing is a process. It is not a magic thing that you hit the gold pot and then you’ve made it and you never have to do any more work. There is this understanding out there, and I get it. That sounds so great in theory, but even automated evergreen webinars, or this webinar client example was an evergreen one. She always runs the webinar. It’s not a live launch. She had success for a good chunk of time, 3X return on her ad spend, and that shifted. We had to adapt to that and do a lot of work around that, that you would not see on the front end if you were just looking at that. 

This is super important to pay attention to. I hope this has helped you guys and you can go implement this in your business, the SOS strategy. You can use it with iOS results that shift, you can use it with general marketing. This could be used in a year from now. This is how you respond to marketing results that shift and change. Thanks so much for joining me today, guys. I’ll talk to you next time.

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