There was a time when we were running ads in a variety of Facebook campaigns. One of these ads targeted the audience of a very well-known personal development person.
It was brought to my attention that our ads were being questioned in an online Facebook group. The question was about whether or not the ads passed “the BS detector”.
First, I thanked our client who was looking out for us, and had brought this to our attention.
Second, I told the client that I wasn’t going to engage in the online discussion. Mostly, because there’s no value in that type of engagement. I don’t need to go there, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or professionally.
And I don’t engage in those sorts of discussions mostly because the truth of it is this: whether or not someone questions your ad is pretty irrelevant if it’s an honest ad, and if it’s working.
Don’t make marketing decisions based on emotion
My response? “How foolish of those marketers if they are making a decision based on emotion. Would I keep running the ad if it weren’t working?” In my book, it passed “the BS detector” solely because of the response; the numbers told us that our target audience was interested.
Of course, I never encourage anyone to say something that makes them uncomfortable, or that makes a ridiculous claim. And I don’t talk about money in my ads because I’m not trying to attract those sorts of people (“get rich quick”; “push button software”; etc.).
But when you find yourself thinking, “You know, I wouldn’t do that because I don’t like the way it looks,” or, “I won’t run that kind of campaign because I don’t think anybody’s going to buy into it,” or “I don’t think it will convert well,” or, “I don’t like the way that type of thing looks. I’m not a fan of the colors.” None of those statements or thoughts have a place in direct response marketing.
Sometimes disgusting colors work!
At one point last year we brought on a new member of our team. He’s from the real estate investing educational world; very different from the type of stuff we normally do.
I gave him one of our under-performing pages to work on and he immediately began testing different variations.
One of the variations he showed me was horrifying in terms of colors. He changed the colors around and there was absolutely no color palette. The headline was orange, the button was green, the background was blue. I first saw it and I was horrified by it!
But of course, he started updating me daily, trying to rub it in my face that the disgusting color variation got a 67.6% bump over the control – which is massive – and ended up being the winning variation.
If I had pre-judged the color combination and said, “No, I don’t like the way that looks,” or, “Dude, nobody’s going to respond to that,” or, “That’s a freaking nightmare right there,” we would have completely missed out on a 67% improvement!
That’s why everything we do is numbers-driven.
Like I said in a recent post, you must track your individual campaigns separately so you can make decisions. Things become complicated when you bundle everything in one campaign. It becomes impossible to make informed decisions.
Of course you will struggle to make decisions if you run all your campaigns through one tracking link (or – God forbid – NO tracking link!). At the end of the day, you will look at your numbers and say, “I don’t know what to do! We’re spending a ton of money, but we’re losing a ton of money!” It’s because you have no idea how each audience is performing.
But decisions are easy when they are based on simple math.
So don’t let anyone else tell you what works from their perspective, and don’t make decisions without data, or based solely on emotion.
Only make marketing decisions based on what the numbers tell you is working.