The secret to profitable lead generation from PPC advertising
Advertising pays (IF you do it right…)
Advertising through Google and Facebook Ads is a powerful way to bring new customers into your business.
Done correctly, this can generate more leads/enquiries (leading to more sales), almost INSTANTLY. And it can be controlled — turning it on and off like a tap whenever you need more business or things get quiet.
But like any powerful tool, you have to use it correctly…
Online advertising can very quickly burn through money, for little or no return if you do it wrong.
One of the biggest factors in the success or failure of any ad campaign is the landing page — the page that people go to when they click on your ad.
Everything goes through your landing page — it acts as a multiplier (or de-multiplier!) for your whole campaign.
Even a simple mistake here can decimate your results…
Conversely, a small percentage improvement can explode your results.
Just a tiny difference in conversion rate can transform your campaign, and make the difference between losing money and making money on your ads.
Or turn an OK performance into a huge success.
This guide will show you how to build landing pages that maximise your profits, and avoid wasted ad spend.
The Magic of Sales Funnels
Ideally, you should be using your ads to move people through some sort of sales funnel. This is a process where you move people from being ‘cold’ prospects who don’t know you, through to becoming customers.
They go in the top of the funnel having never heard of you, and come out of the bottom as paying customers. Ideally, as regular customers who go on to buy more and more from you over an extended period.
A funnel usually works by attracting people in through a free or low-cost offer (maybe a just simple money-off saving or introductory discount), before going on to sell them your main products or services.
It’s much easier to sell something to people when they already know and trust you. It’s very difficult to sell things to ‘cold’ prospects who don’t know you.
So for that reason, funnels normally start with a low-cost, or even free, initial offer that will be attractive to your target customers.
The purpose of the initial offer is to ‘warm up’ your prospects. To get them to know you, and experience what you have to offer, without having to make a big investment or commitment on their part.
If you try to advertise directly to a cold audience without doing this first, you will likely lose money. The cost of your ads will probably be more than the profits they generate.
That’s why savvy businesses use funnels — they work!
Facebook and Google Ads are very effective ways of promoting your initial offer, so you can get them into your funnel and sell them more expensive things later.
However, it’s vital that you don’t just pitch your offer and then leave them to take it or leave it…
The fortune is in the follow-up
Many people don’t buy the first time they see something. Maybe the time was wrong, or something got in the way, or they just weren’t ready at that point.
You will get far more conversions if you follow-up with the people who clicked on your ad, rather than just taking one shot and hoping for the best.
A good funnel includes a series of emails, that not only follow-up on your initial offer, but also go on to promote your other products or services as well.
In order to be able to do this, your landing page MUST capture their email address, and not just deliver the offer and send them on their way.
Email capture is an ESSENTIAL part of a profitable landing page.
The follow-up emails can be sent automatically at pre-determined intervals, so the follow-up doesn’t require any work from you.
And there is a huge additional benefit — once you have an email list, you can use this at any time to promote any new products or offers that you have. For free (no ad costs!).
Your landing page must get their email address in a seamless manner so people aren’t put off by being asked for their email address, but instead see it as a natural part of the process.
More on that later, next we’re going to look at what makes a good landing page.
Or more accurately what makes a good landing page set, because a landing page isn’t just one page — it’s the landing page, and the page they are taken to after they have entered their email address (called the thank you page).
What makes a good landing page?
A landing page is VERY different from any other page on your website. It has one single purpose, and that is to obtain the result that you want (called a conversion).
Anything that does not serve that purpose, anything that distracts the viewer, or gives them an opportunity to do something else instead, SHOULD NOT BE ON THE PAGE!
So your landing page should have NO navigation, no links to other parts of your website, nothing else to click on, no other content — only what is required to get that conversion, and nothing else.
Now actually, you do need to have some links on the landing page, just to satisfy Google and Facebook.
It’s a good idea to have a link to your home page too (if you have one), because this will show Google and Facebook that you are a proper business, not just a one-page fly by night!
HOWEVER, these links are only there because they have to be there — we don’t want anybody to click on them.
So make them as small and unnoticeable as possible, just so long as a Google ad reviewer can find them if necessary.
Most people make one fundamental mistake with landing pages…
What makes a great landing page?
The purpose of the landing page is NOT to sell your offer. The advert has already done that.
Your prospect has ALREADY decided they want your offer — that’s why they clicked on the ad.
The deal is already done — all you have to do now is not mess it up!
The first objective of your landing page is simply to not get in the way!
Your landing page should just give them the means to receive the offer in as simple and frictionless way as possible.
It should reassure them that they are in the right place, and perhaps offer them a little encouragement.
But what it mostly does is ASK them to take ACTION — to hit the big red button that says ‘Enquire’ or ‘Send my free sample’, or ‘Give me my discount voucher’, or whatever your offer is.
This is called the Call To Action and it’s arguably the most important part of the landing page.
Usually it’s big red button!
It might look a bit cheesy, but the reason everybody uses big red buttons is they stand out on the page, and they WORK.
Countless tests have proven this time after time in real-world situations so don’t bother reinventing the wheel.
Make your button big, red and beautiful!
Elements of a high-converting landing page
The only elements you need on the page are:
1 – Headline
This should exactly match the headline in the ad. If you feel you need to say a little more, you can use a smaller sub-headline or tagline beneath it as well.
2 – Picture
Pictures usually increase conversions. In particular, pictures of people, including their faces seem to work particularly well. You don’t have to use a picture if you don’t want one, but you will usually find it will help your conversions. Test it and see.
3 – Supportive copy
It may be helpful to provide a little more explanation of your offer, and offer a bit more persuasion, but this should be short. If your offer requires a lengthy explanation, it’s the wrong offer (for an introductory offer anyway). Come up with a simpler one!
4 – Call to action button
Big, bold and prominent. Choose the wording carefully to convey the benefit and make it as compelling as possible.
5 – Any links required by your advertising platform
The landing page should just re-state your offer, and ask them to enter their email address in order to get it.
Once that’s done, they are taken to the ‘Thank You Page’ which is where they actually receive the offer.
The Thank You Page
The landing page has done its job in capturing their email address, and delivered them to this point, which is where they get whatever it is you are offering.
For a bricks and mortar business, the best goal is usually to get them actually in to your business so that they can experience what you do first hand. Face to face contact gives you your best opportunity to turn them into a regular customer.
If you can’t do that straight away, then the first step would be to at least speak to them on the phone.
The thank you page is where you make these things happen.
You may need to be little creative in how you structure this (and how you structure your offer) in order to get the result you want.
Here’s a simple example to illustrate the principle:
Let’s say you run a restaurant and you want to get more people to try your restaurant because you believe once they try it, they will come back.
Your introductory offer is a free dessert when they buy a main course.
The process is: You will email them a voucher entitling them to this offer (that’s why you needed their email address!), and the thank you page then asks them to call you to make a reservation.
If they don’t immediately call to make a reservation, your automated email system follows them up over the next few days until they do.
The landing page gets the email address, and the thank you page then prompts the action that you want. They work together.
You can add in an element of scarcity on the thank you page to increase conversions if you like — e.g. ‘call now, only 15 slots available’, or a limited time offer.
Landing Page Checklist – 9 mistakes you must avoid
Here is a checklist of my top dos and don’ts so you can check your landing pages for best practices:
- Make sure there are no unnecessary elements on the page to distract from the conversion. No navigation, minimum links to other pages.
- Have a very clear and compelling call to action that is prominent on the page and shows very clearly what they are going to get.
- Make sure you are capturing an email address (and follow them up). Don’t just send them to a page with your phone number on it and hope they will call!
- Don’t have too many boxes on your response forms. Every additional field in your form will decrease response rate. Try to have just the email address, and get any other information you need later.
- Make sure your landing page looks good on mobile. More and more clicks are coming from mobile these days, and it’s usually cheaper to advertise on mobile, so make sure your pages work properly on all devices.
- Make sure your call to action is ‘above the fold’ — i.e. it’s visible without scrolling (on all devices). If they can’t see it they can’t click on it!
- Make your copy brief and to the point. People don’t read long copy.
- Ensure your landing page loads quickly — people won’t wait around for it to load.
- Make sure your ad and your landing page are congruent — i.e. they look and feel the same, and they have the same messages/headlines.
If you do all of those things correctly, then your landing page should be well on the way to delivering the best results for you. After that it all comes down to testing, and making continuous small improvements.
How to make your own Funnels
There are two ways you can build the landing pages you need for your funnels — you can give the job to your web designer and ask them to do it for you, or you can do it yourself.
With the right tools, building your pages yourself is very easy. And by doing it yourself you have the ability to quickly tweak and change things as you go, rather than having to wait (and pay!) for somebody else to do it for you.
The main tool I use for building my pages is ClickFunnels.
There are some other alternatives. I’ve tried them all and in my opinion ClickFunnels is the best. It’s the market leader, used by most of the big- name marketers, and there is an incredibly helpful community of other users who will give you advice and inspiration when you need it.
One of the great things about ClickFunnels is you don’t even need a website — all of your pages and funnels can be hosted within ClickFunnels if you want.
This is great if you are experimenting with different projects and you don’t necessarily want them to be associated with your main website at this stage. Or if you don’t have a website yet.
On the other hand, the pages you build within ClickFunnels can be automatically published within your normal website if you wish.
It’s surprisingly easy to build your own pages with ClickFunnels. There is a simple ‘drag and drop’ interface, and you just place the elements you want on the page — headlines, pictures, text, buttons etc., and style them as you wish.
Change the font, colour, size, position to suit, and you’re done! You can straight away see how your pages will appear on computers, tablets and phones and easily alter them to make sure they look good on all devices.
I’ve got a ready-made landing page set that you can have to use as a starting point for your own landing pages.
Just change the image, colours, fonts, logo etc. to suit and you’re good to go! You can download this for free from the link below.
Try ClickFunnels for free!
You can get a free 14 day trial of ClickFunnels here:
Get ClickFunnels FREE for 14 Days
Yes, a credit card is required to get the trial, but you can cancel at any time before the trial is over and not be charged a thing, so don’t worry about that.
14 days is plenty of time to try out ClickFunnels so you can see if you like it, and if it’s going to work for you.
And if you’d like my free template as a starting point for you to customise you build your on landing page, you can download that here:
Download the ready-made lead generation funnel here
The funnel is completely free for you to use (my gift to you!), but you do need a ClickFunnels account to be able to use it.
The normal ClickFunnels price is $97 per month (after your free trial ends), but if you signup via the free funnel above, they MAY offer you a limited version of ClickFunnels for only $19 per month.
They don’t always do this — it’s an offer they don’t give all the time, but hopefully you will be lucky if that’s what you would like. It is a limited version of ClickFunnels (less pages, less users etc.), but it will probably be enough for you to get started, and you can upgrade it to the full version at any time.
NOTE: There is also a high-end version of ClickFunnels called Etison Suite which is $297 per month. I don’t recommend this for most people — you’ll probably be better off with something like AWeber or ConvertKit for your email automation, so unless you have particular need, when you signup for the trial, just take the standard $97 ClickFunnels (called Startup Plan).
Here is a summary of the resources mentioned in this guide:
Get the free 14 day trial of ClickFunnels here:
Get ClickFunnels FREE for 14 Days
Download the ready-made lead generation funnel here
To create and send automated emails that follow up your enquiries for you automatically, you will need an email autoresponder service.
There are two that I use myself and recommend to clients:
AWeber is a simple and straightforward autoresponder service — the one most people start with, and probably the market leader.
Get a free trial of AWeber here
ConvertKit is a much more sophisticated product (and consequently slightly more expensive), that enables you to tailor your emails very precisely depending upon what actions your subscribers take, so that you can send them very relevant and personal emails that work much better. This is my weapon of choice for email marketing
Get a free trial of ConvertKit here
If you want to learn more about these two services and which would be best for you, this article ConvertKit vs AWeber – A detailed comparison explains the differences which you will find very helpful. In particular, this article will explain the ‘new way’ of email marketing (which most people still haven’t caught onto yet — your chance to steal a march on the competition!).