A marketer’s worst nightmare is trying everything you can think of, but still having your ads fail to convert.

There’s actually a very simple process you can follow to determine WHY your ads aren’t converting, and where you need to implement changes to fix them.

My team has refined it over and over again, and we’ve proven that it truly works.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing that process with you and breaking down the specific steps we take for each step:

  1. Quality Control
  2. Testing New Copy & Creative
  3. Testing New Audiences
  4. Perfecting the Offer

If your ads aren’t converting, that isn’t a sign that you should give up completely.

It simply means that it’s time to roll up your sleeves and put in the work to fix what’s broken.

Be sure to tune in, and share your thoughts on this episode with me over on my Instagram page @emilyhirsh!

If you need additional support with your ads head over to helpmystrategy.com to see if you qualify to work with Team Hirsh! 

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello my friends, what is up? Hi everybody. How is your week going? Thanks so much for tuning in, making time for me during your week, and hope you guys are having a fabulous one. I am inspired. This episode is inspired by a training we recently did for our ads team and kind of where my head has been with our processes, because we are, it’s interesting, like when you’re in a really good place in your business and you’re like, okay, what is going to be the next thing to break? And so you’re trying to be on like that proactive piece instead of reactive. And so we’ve been trying to like stay ahead and be like, okay, where do we see gaps? Where are our weak points? What can we do to like, stay ahead of those? 

And so one thing we do is a monthly training for existing team members, because we have a pretty built out robust new team member training that new team members, especially ads managers, go through, but we’re always trying to keep up our existing team members training. And one thing I’ve learned is sometimes you have to say things like every, you know, two to three months, the same things to just keep it top of mind for people. And I’ve been kind of reflecting on this a lot of like, what are our core values as a company? We have core values, you know, take initiative and those type of values that we represent, but like what are our core values in terms of processes and how do I want our team to basically, you know, represent me and represent our brand across the whole team so that clients and students get the same service, no matter who you’re working with?  And it should feel like you’re working with me and that’s a really hard thing to achieve.

So I’m always looking for like, places where there’s a disconnect in the way the teams responding to something and how I might respond to it is an example. And just kind of trying to hold that quality and expectations, and it’s my responsibility to communicate those expectations and not just assume that, you know, team members know what they are just because I think, oh well that’s the right, anyone should know that, you know? So we try to do a monthly training that’s either around some sort of skill that you need, you know, like last month we did IGTV. So just how to master that, how to help our clients with that, which was definitely more of like a tactical skill strategy piece. 

And then this month we actually went over like, updating our SOP of what to do when ads are not converting, and so I wanted to actually share it here with you guys because I have it pulled up because I’m like, this is really, really valuable information. And whenever our team creates a training, it’s like gold because I actually didn’t create it. I contribute to it and I ask questions and probe for the information, but it’s a collaborative effort by several team members to create this. And then they do the training. And so we’re really focused on creating a standard process and making sure we were clear about everything past the onboarding point for clients. And that’s where it gets difficult because we have different clients who have different products and different offerings and different strategies, so there’s a lot of room for differentiation and same thing in your ad account, right? Like what works for one person that, you know, might not work for you.

And so you have to be able to make those decisions, but here’s kind of a standard process that we follow that we just kind of beefed up for what to do when ads aren’t converting. So I’m going to walk you guys through that for yourself. And so this is if you’re running ads, they are not converting the questions to ask yourself, to go through this process, to figure out what the problem is and take action. 

So the first step is quality control, and this might sound like really obvious, but truly like sometimes this is the issue. Make sure the links are working, that the landing page is working and the buttons are obvious, you can find them, it works when you opt in. Also when ads stop converting or aren’t converting, we always check the ads for comments. Like, are there negative comments, spam comments, people saying, oh this is not working. or this is garbage, or whatever, just to kind of see, like, obviously you’ll get, always get some trolls and haters, but like if ever, you know, there’s like 25 bad ones on there you might have a broken link or something. And then also sounds obvious, but confirm that the pixels are working and that the thank you page hasn’t been changed. We sometimes have clients who changed their funnels and then don’t tell my team. And so then it messes up the pixel. And so then we go in that account and we’re like, oh my gosh, there’s no conversions today. And then it’s like, oh, there actually are, just the pixel, the page got changed and the pixel got messed up. So that can happen. And it sounds really obvious, but that’s the first thing you should do if you, especially if it like drops off suddenly.

The next thing is the copy. Is it a messaging issue? Maybe the ad is reaching people, but then they’re not clicking through to the landing page. If you have a low click through rate compared to your click through all rate, that’s a sign of this. If you have a high cost per click. So if your cost per click is above $2.50, you have a high cost per click, which a lot of times goes to the copy, the messaging in the ads. Do you have a low click through rate? Is it really low? Is it below 1-2%? We want it above 1% click through rate. And then again, that’s most likely pointing to the copy and creative. Go through the experience if this is an issue, or at least start here and ask yourself, like, if I am a person scrolling the feed and I see this ad, and then I click to go to the ad, like ask yourself, is anything off? Is this confusing? Do I need to update my copy? Because this, you know, disconnect from the landing page, or it doesn’t stand out enough in the feed, and maybe you’ve been running your ads for a while and you need some new copy versions. We recommend getting, at least it depends on your ad spend, we have kind of tiers, but one to two versions of updated copy a month to put into the mix of your ads to help your conversions. So if it’s been a while since you refreshed your ads, you might just need fresh copy, so get that going. 

Step three is the creative. So the images, the video, a lot of the metrics I just said kind of relate to that. So do you have a high cost per click or a low click through rate? And do you feel like your copy’s really good, but maybe your graphics are not, or your video is not? Maybe you need to have a refresh of the graphics, test something else, test something else with a different headline on the image, or without a headline on the image. And then have you tested videos, and gifs, and carousel ads, and all of the options that you can test to see if you can get the best conversion? If you haven’t refreshed that creative, or even refreshed that video you did in a while, it might be time to do that. 

And so the first piece that you’re looking at with your ads is, is my cost per click high and my click through rate low? That would indicate that my ad creative is most likely not doing well and I need to either write copy that goes a little bit deeper and really connects with my audience better and stands out in the feed better. Or I need a new image, a new video. I need to test a GIF. I need to test more versions. Maybe you’ve only tested like one or two versions of your copy and creative, and you just need to test more to figure out if it’s working or not. So that’s the first thing that we really look at is like, are we nailing the messaging here with our copy and our creative? And if we’re not, on our team we go, you know, go back to our copy and creative team and request new versions, but if you’re doing it yourself you’d be making new versions, rewriting things. 

The next thing to look at is the number of audiences. The number of audiences you test though depends on, really it varies. The kind of product, the cost per acquisition goal, like what their budget is, all of those things. So for example, if your goal is $3 cost per lead, you can test a lot more audiences for $3,000 a month with a $3,000 a month budget, versus if your goal is $50 cost per purchase product, you may not have as many audiences because you have to let it run, right, before you even know, okay, I spent $50 and did I get a conversion or not? So this is going to depend, but some standard things to make sure is that you’re testing multiple lookalike audiences that you, if you have the data to create the lookalike audiences. So if you don’t, this wouldn’t be relevant, but if you do have the data like engagement audiences, video view audiences, your list. 

Make sure you create those lookalike audiences to test and also create audiences, including your pixel. So people who triggered your lead pixel event, you can create a lookalike audience of that, and you can do all different date ranges for these. So people who triggered my lead pixel in the last 30 days, and then I can create a lookalike of that. Same with your engagement audience. Do all different versions, your 30 day, 60 day, 90 day of your page engagement, and then make lookalikes of those. Make sure also that if you’ve updated your email list in there, your purchaser’s list, if you have it and you update that lookalike, audience in general. 

Our standards with campaigns and audiences is we usually, we do CBO campaign budget optimization campaigns is our standard. Now, since that really is Facebook standard too, and we typically do one warm, so all of the clients warm traffic, if we’re targeting warm, bundled into one campaign. And then we’ll do two to five cold traffic campaigns, and typically what my team does is separate out, like one CBO campaign has interests all with the kind of the similar size. And then one campaign has lookalike audiences, again, all around the similar size. And so depending on your budget, you can have multiple campaigns and then within there’s multiple audiences. So if your ads are not converting and you think for sure it’s not the copy and the creative, which is the first thing we go to, the next thing to ask yourself is have I actually tested enough variety of audiences? Have I tested enough interest? Have I tested enough lookalike variations? What could I test more of? Because a mistake people make sometimes is they’ll have a campaign with like two audiences, and like my ads aren’t converting I don’t know what to do. You could test 20 audiences like it, depending on your budget, but you might have to test that many to get there.

Now, one other important thing to note here that I want to say, though, is if you’re targeting audiences that you know should convert, like for example in the influencer entrepreneur space, Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, Russell Brunson, like those are all standard audiences that should convert if your audience hangs out in the digital influencer entrepreneur space. If it’s not converting, it’s most likely the messaging or the offer. That’s like the last thing to look at is the actual offer that I have not converting, which I recently did a podcast on that. So you can dive deeper into that, but if you’re targeting audiences you know that would work, your copy and messaging you think is good, then you go to the offer. 

But for audiences, a big mistake people make is they don’t test enough. And so just make sure you’re testing enough audiences and variations of lookalike audiences, and if something’s not working, be creative and find some more to test. If there’s enough budget for you, around a hundred dollars a day, you should have an additional CBO campaign. So make sure you don’t just have one, but you have multiple that you’re testing. And our typical setup that we do is, like I said, we’re gonna repeat, this is just, we’ll do a CBO of interests bucket and then we’ll usually do at least two CBO’s of lookalikes. And we’ll kind of do different values, like one a higher budget and one a lower budge, and test all of those. Okay. 

So here’s our standard too, for a high value CBO campaign we’ll do $50 to $10,. for a low value we’d do $20 to $50. We’d have three to five ad sets in those, probably more like three on the lower budget one. Make sure that if you have like a budget of $20 a day, don’t put 15 audiences in your CBO campaign. You want to have $5 to $10 a day budget per audience you put into your campaign. So that might make it hard for some. If you have really low ad spends you might only be able to use a couple of audiences a day, but make sure you’re filtering out and testing new audiences, if that is the case. Okay. 

And then I started diving into this, but the last thing that we really look at is your offer. So if you know your messaging is nailing it, you know your copy and creative is good. It should stand out. It connects with people. You know you’re targeting audiences that your ideal customer is hanging out. And you know that for a fact, and you’ve done enough testing. The next thing to look at is your offer, which again, I recently did a podcast about is it is your offer the issue. So go listen to that in depth. But by offer, it all it means what the ad is going to. So that could be the webinar title and the webinar sign up. That could be the product itself. That could be the, whatever the call to action of the ad is. Is either the offer itself, the problem, or the way the offer’s being presented the problem, which is oftentimes more the case. 

Like a lot of times people have really valuable offers and things that they sell and then they just, they just are positioning it wrong. The title’s not good. The benefits that you get out of the offer is not being clearly communicated and so somebody doesn’t know like, why should I care about this? Why should I sign up for this webinar? Why should I buy this product? So that’s the final piece to look at. 

And so when ads are not converting, it also is a process of just kind of going through a diagnosis of do I have a really high cost per click? Like, is my ad creative, does it either refreshed or redone to go deeper? Is it my offer? Is it my audiences? Like what is the problem? And you can test the various things, updating them, see what happens and try to diagnose the issue when something isn’t converting it really, and this is ads, this is not funnel. So I’m specifically talking about ads in this episode. So you’ve got like the whole next piece would be I’m getting leads and they’re not converting, which I recently did an episode on that too. So if you want to go back and find that one, you can, it’s what happens if my leads are buying, converting to customers and what you can do.

But all of those are just a process that you follow and you go through the steps of diagnosing what the issue could be. Could it, cause it can only be these things that I said, it can’t be other things. So we need to find the problem, whether it’s the offer, the audiences, or the copy and creative, and fix that problem and get your ads converting. And that is, you know, the standard that we follow as a team. I just literally read some of this from our standard operating procedure document that we have for our team. 

So hopefully you guys found that helpful if you need support with your ads, and honestly getting ads to convert, and kind of going through and diagnosing ads is a lot of work. This is where a lot of people struggle because they don’t have the time to write new copy, to create new creative, to find new audiences, to constantly refresh things in their campaigns and so things will work for like a week and then get stale because they don’t have time for it. It’s just time intensive to go in your ad account, manage it. And especially if you’re doing your copy and creative. So that’s where, of course, we come in. If you want support with that, you can go to helpmystrategy.com to apply to work with us. 

We have several different options, depending on if you need done for you, you need done with you just really depending on where your business is at. So that application will take you through those different options and tell you kind of what we recommend based on where your business is, and then from there you get to schedule a free strategy audit with our team and decide, you know, which we help you decide kind of which offer would make the most sense. So you can go to helpmystrategy.com to see if you qualify, and I will catch you guys all on the next episode.