Have you ever launched an advertising campaign where the results fell flat?
Chances are you have.
And, I know I shouldn’t admit this, but I have too.
So I know how bad it feels.
Not only are you disappointed in yourself, but it also feels like you’ve let down everyone who depends on you to succeed.
If you were targeting cold traffic – people who don’t know your brand, or haven’t expressed an intent to purchase – then there might be a simple reason why the traffic didn’t convert.
And it’s not because your ads were bad, or that your sales page sucked.
In other words, your landing page didn’t reflect where your audience sat in the buyer's journey.
For a prospect to become a customer, they need to move through each stage of the buyer's journey, from problem aware to most aware:
As a marketer, our job is to guide prospects through this journey, and if possible, accelerate it.
So, if you’re targeting cold traffic, there’s a very good chance you were targeting prospects who are interested in learning about their problems.
However, if the page you were sending traffic to doesn’t relate to those problems (and just talks about your product), then you’re likely creating a mismatch between what your audience wants vs. what you’re giving them.
We need to move them from problem aware to solution aware before you introduce your product.
Most people need a reason to buy—they’re not going to buy something if it’s just placed in front of them.
These reasons come in the form of having a problem to be solved, or a desire that’s unfulfilled.
An example of that problem could be people leaving your website without converting, or you simply want to look good (but don’t have much money to spend on clothes an accessories).
A pre-sell page sets up your prospect to purchase in a non-salesy way by connecting your product with the problem or unfulfilled desire of your audience.
In other words, it moves your prospects from problem-aware to solution aware by acting as a warm up page between your ad and your sales page:
So what does a presell page look like? I’ve found that there are a few different types:
When to use it:
A pre-sell engagement page is an article that engages your prospects and connects the subject matter (problem) to your product.
An iconic example is the Old School New Body presell article:
This pre-sell article is 5 pages long, with each page dedicated to one simple tip that helps people lose weight, be fitter and live healthier.
Each tip is related to the product they’re selling, helping establish the core principles and beliefs behind their product—effectively educating readers on their problems and building trust before selling them on a solution.
Once they finish the reading last tip, they are then prompted to go to a sales page:
You can use engagement pages on your blog, or even a dedicated website, but regardless, the content needs to be focused on providing value rather than selling the product.
There’s no set formula for an engagement page. It can be anything from a listicle, a how-to, or even a review.
A great example is Next Vacay:
A partner of theirs create a review on her blog, where she discusses how Next Vacay has helped her secure cheap flights anywhere in the world.
When to use it:
MVMT watches use this strategy extensively for promotion on Facebook and other low-purchase intent networks.
If you’re familiar with MVMT, their entire brand has been based around providing incredibly high-quality and stylish watches for affordable prices, which is the primary message in their presell pages:
On these pages, MVMT is connecting their product to the common beliefs, desires, and problems of their target audience:
When a visitor lands on these pages, they have 2 options:
If the visitor leaves the page, MVMT then remarkets to them to encourage them to explore their range of watches.
When to use it:
Facebook Canvas Ads don’t get the credit they deserve.
Sure, they’re difficult to make...
Tricky to get right…
And only available on mobile…
But they ARE a hyper-engaging, relationship-building medium which can be utilized in multiple ways:
1. You can communicate your brand story—why people choose you over others. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself and connect your brand with that unfulfilled desire.
Just look at the MVMT watches pre-sell pages. MVMT could effectively communicate similar messages with Canvas by utilizing videos, animations, extremely brief copy, all while interactively showcasing some of their most popular products using carousel ads, and imagery.
2. Or you can connect your product to your audience’s pain points using a Problem – Agitation – Solution formula.
Because we’re looking at Facebook Ads, it’s difficult to find specific examples of a Canvas Ads, especially ones using a PAS formula. However, here’s the closest I’ve been able to find:
If a user doesn’t convert from the Facebook Canvas, you can add those users to a remarketing lists so you can target them later on.
When to use it:
Up until now, I’ve been focusing on low-touch strategies to warm up cold traffic.
But, if you have high-ticket items, or you’re in a skeptical industry, you’ll need to spend time establishing credibility and authority before prospects will consider purchasing from you.
An easy method of accomplishing this goal is by offering Lead Magnets to your audience in exchange for contact details.
A lead magnet is a free and desirable, no-brainer offer, often in the form of:
Once you capture your prospects details, you can effectively remarket to your audience at scale through email or chat services like Facebook Messenger:
Any of the above formats can be used to capture prospect details, however an effective lead magnet strategy matches 3 criteria:
A free course matches those criteria, but can often be quite time intensive to create, which is why many experts are opting to create an email course instead—where each lesson is delivered in a single email.
Not only are email courses relatively quick to make, but they also provide valuable information in a format that’s easy and convenient for your readers to consume.
Wes Bush, a Product Led SaaS Consultant, has successfully launched his own free email course. Here’s what he has to say from his experience:
"Offering a free course helps you turn cold traffic into customers. In addition to having a high signup conversion rate, a free course is a great way to front-load the value at the beginning of your relationship with everyone and have a scalable way to stay in touch."
You can find his free course about learning who your best SaaS customers really are—and how to find more of them—at doubleyourtrials.com.
Despite most brands failing at converting traffic into customers with a single touchpoint, many brands succeed. But whether you do or don’t doesn’t matter.
What matter’s most is that you can profitably scale your campaigns over time. And how you accomplish this depends on your offer, audience and industry.
If you want to learn more, I've written about customer acquisition and optimizing landing pages here.
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