Today we have the special privilege of speaking with Caleb, director of marketing at The Foundation. They’ve used Interact to generate thousands of leads using Facebook ads and are bringing in new email subscribers at the cost of $3.80 apiece, resulting in over 400% ROI. They have figured out how to “print money” using Facebook ads, and they were kind enough to share exactly what they did to get there.
How did you go about coming up with your quiz?
It’s all about understanding your customers, understanding human drive, what it is that they want.
To begin with I did some research on how Buzzfeed does their quizzes and then started to come up with a quiz title based on how we do our marketing. The Foundation teaches people how to start a software business, and our main product is a six-month online course. Our target audience are employees who want to quiz their job and start a business, but want to do it in a legit way.
Based on that demographic, the original quiz title was “What is your entrepreneur type?” and we ended up refining it down to “Do you have an entrepreneurial mind? Most people don’t.”
On the title change – I needed to get the quiz done fast, so I thought of it in terms of okay, how can I get this 80% done and then take it to other members of our team for refining?. That way I can get it to 100% percent, or at least an MVP and launch-able.
Our title gets into people’s minds, makes them think a little bit, which is exactly what I wanted to do.
How did you go about creating the quiz itself? The questions and results, etc.
I’m really into psychology and personality tests. Things like Myers-Briggs, Strength Finder, Enneagram, all that kind of stuff. So I have a basic understanding of how these things work. I made five different quiz results, entrepreneurial styles, based on what I’ve seen from our most successful students at The Foundation.
Then I wrote questions that I know would get into people’s minds and make them think. The questions came from knowing our customers and the attributes that set the ones who excel apart from the pack.
How did you turn Facebook ads into profitable leads?
My first recommendation is to pay someone who’s job is to run Facebook ads. Honestly I think it’ll save you way more money in the long run because it really is a hard skill-set. There’s a whole technical side of Facebook ads. There’s both the marketing and copy aspect and the technical aspect and you really do need both, so that’s where the Facebook ad expert comes in.
As far as our actual strategy goes, we started off with a $200/day spend for a week with the first version of the quiz. We made two ads, one that displays in the right hand ad area and one for the newsfeed. After we got some results of $2.50 per lead, which is unheard of, like very very very good we started ramping it up big time.
For copy we used the title of the quiz “Do you have an entrepreneurial mind, most people don’t – find out here” and we also used the whole paragraph of copy for the quiz description. It’s gotten 19 shares which is unheard of for an ad, there’s comments on it where people are discussing stuff because it’s controversial.
Do you use the quiz cover image for the ads?
Yes, it’s a cartoon image of a blindfolded guy throwing a dart at a target. We used the same short description from the quiz for the description of the ad, and the title of the quiz as the header of the ad.
How did you target people with your ad? And who did you target?
The key for Facebook advertising is to be very targeted, narrow it down to a small group. This quiz has been really good with the startup interest group that we created in our Facebook ads portfolio, people who are interested in The Lean Startup, Tim Ferris, etc.
We’ll continue to expand out, but the whole thing is to get it working with specific groups of interest.
How did you tweak the ads after they were up?
Couple of things.
1. The first thing I did was I looked at the analytics in Interact to see which questions were way off-balance. For example, if one of the answers was only getting like 5% of the clicks it needed to be changed. So I simplified all the answers to optimize for completion rate.
2. Then I created two landing pages for the Facebook ads. One for our homepage traffic and one for our adwords traffic. Then I set up different lists in Aweber with an intro sequence to watch the engagement. Then I placed a 1×1 pixel from my adwords code and Facebook ads code in each quiz result respectively so I could track completions on the ad rather than just doing it manually.
to speak to the technical side of Facebook ads. When we made the two landing pages we ran a new campaign with the same target group and both of the costs per click went up, almost double what the old one was. So we paused those and are re-combining those back into one.
What to do after you get the lead?
It really depends on what your product is and how much money you make. You want to know how much each lead is worth to you. Currently we are working on adding some lower end products so that we can get a faster return. Right now we don’t do that but we have a high-priced course so I now how much leads are worth.
We used to pay around $6 on Facebook, now we are holding steady at $3.80 now we can get 263 leads a day on Facebook with a $1000 spend versus just 166 like before. If we put a value of say $20 per lead (that’s not exactly what ours is, but you can see the value). With the new quiz cost per lead we are getting a 426% ROI versus a 233% ROI so it nearly doubled.
So what I would say to people who are trying to figure out how to make it work for them – they really just need to know how much a lead is worth to them so they can know how much to spend on them. It doesn’t really matter how many leads you are getting, what matters is how you are nurturing them and what they are converting at. What is the actual economics behind the business?
I made a spreadsheet for us that shows conversion rates from traffic to lead to applying for a program to purchasing. I can put in our conversion rates there and see where the opportunities are. Get serious about the numbers and analytics if you are having trouble with making lead generation work for you.
Have you seen if there’s been any change in quality of the leads coming through the quiz?
It’s pretty high, it’s profitable so I haven’t cared too much about that yet. What I’ve been paying attention to is the follow-up sequence. Normally we get 25-30% open rates on leads that come through other sources, and with these leads we’re getting 58% open rates on the first email. that first email we send is a direct response email, there’s not any links in it, it’s just Dane (co-founder of The Foundation) introducing himself. He just says “Hi, it’s really great that you find out your entrepreneurial type, my question for you, is have you ever thought about starting your own business? It just gets a conversation going and our support team literally replies to those emails personally.
Those become really good leads because there is a personal connection. We can sell them on their deepest fears and desires and personalize the sales process.
What words of warning/advice do you have for people just starting out with quizzes and Facebook ads?
Don’t make excuses, don’t make your quiz more complicated than it needs to be. That’s not saying to release something that sucks, but don’t go for perfection at first either. Start with a small ad spend and start testing.
The copy counts, if you don’t have excellence in your marketing and aren’t moving people with your words and your ask, then it’s not going to convert.
The actual content and quality of the quiz is a lot less important than the words and marketing that gets them to the quiz. I spent less time making the quiz than I did creating the ads, making the landing pages, and making the ads look really good. Make sure the quiz is good enough that they don’t regret taking it, but don’t obsess over it.
Final words of advice.
For most businesses, you need to spend more time looking at the numbers. If you’re getting 400 leads a week and you’re spending $350 a month on Interact, then you are spending $.25 per lead plus ad spend. The goal would be to pay three dollars or less on ad spend. Some people can pay more or less. We are happy if we pay anywhere between $3 and $7 per lead.
You have to look at your numbers. The cost for interact goes down a lot if you are getting more leads. You have to look at where the economics break down. It’s simple when you break it down and look at your numbers, your funnel. It doesn’t have to be some big emotional thing of why isn’t the business working? It’s actually probably really simple if you break it down and look at the numbers.