4 Steps for Creating And Optimizing The Perfect Digital Marketing Campaign

Creating and optimizing the perfect digital marketing campaign

The most important thing about every strategy and tactic you’re using to generate new customers using paid traffic from platforms like Facebook is without question… your product/service OFFER.

You may be an absolute genius at driving paid traffic… but if you’re sending all those qualified prospects to an offer that sucks you’re going to lose your shirt.

Unfortunately, I’ve had some experience (ouch!) as well as creating products (when I first got started with internet marketing in 1998) that nobody wanted. (ouch again!)

What I’m about to cover in this post is the key to everything.  

I’ve talked in previous posts and on my webinars about… “How to get prospects to click on your ad by using correct targeting methods”… and every marketing strategy I use on the Facebook (and how I set up my landing pages so that they’re converting visitors I drive to them)…

…and what I’m about to cover here is the glue that holds it all together and makes it work.

So now, let’s talk about what it takes to create the perfect offer for your marketing campaigns so that you can begin (consistently) selling more of your products and services online.

One of the points I alluded to above (and want to make again) before we begin is that you can be really really great at generating traffic to your landing page and/or website… but if your offer is lame (which most are) know this:

The better you are at generating traffic the more money you’ll spend showing your prospects how much your offers suck!

So traffic-generation functions as a powerful force-multiplier of a good offer…but you really have to start your promotions with a good offer.

On the flip side of that… know that a really great offer can make up for a lot of flaws and inadequacies on the traffic side.

For me personally… I wasn’t as tactical as a lot of people were when I was first getting started in 1998. I wasn’t able to figure out every nifty trick and hack that the “gurus” were using back before Google really took off.

The approach I used (that worked very very well for me) was quite simple…

… I focused on creating better offers than my competitors.

Here are the strategies that I used:

  1. Create Better, MORE Compelling offers than my competitors
  2. Optimize the offers (as effectively as possible) so that you’re converting ad/video views to clicks to website visits to sales appointments and/or sales… and just as important – so that the value of your new customers (as they’re coming through the funnel) are as high as they can be.  By doing that you will…
  3. Make A Lot MORE Money which (in turn) you can pump back into your marketing program to buy more (and better) traffic.

Before I get started I want to acknowledge that what I’m talking about in this post probably isn’t the coolest, the hippest or the sexiest topic out there…

…but IT IS the topic that is vitally important to making your campaigns work effectively as well as making all the difference in your marketing’s ability to consistently generate better-than-expected ROI’s each month.

Bottom Line: When you get your offers dialed in, generating high-quality traffic, leads and customers is easy and it’s fun!

STEP #1:  The Blueprint for Creating a Powerful Offer

Over the last few years I’ve been trying to figure out “How to do you transform the process of creating offers from “an art” (the way I used to do it that quite frankly wasn’t consistently knocking it out of the park) into a more data-driven process that generates predictably-higher net results and ROI?”

I knew internally that approach wasn’t good enough so I had to create a methodology around how do you create a really really good offer.

And so what I’m going to outline today are the four steps for creating the truly optimized… perfect offer for ALL of your internet (and offline) marketing campaigns, promotions and communications with leads, prospects and customers.

Below you’ll find the four (4) major steps involved.  Below that I’ll start reviewing each one.

  1. Figuring out your sequence: What is the sequence that your offer should be presented in. And just to drill this point home I’ll say it again… “Sequence plays a significant role in the effectiveness of every marketing campaign you run. It’s probably 80% of the battle.”
  2. Messaging: How do you craft the perfect message?
    1. What is that ideal perfect message that’s going to hit your prospect right between the eyes where they’ll know “Yeah… this is for me… this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I need to pay attention to this.”  Then we’ll get into…
  3. Commitment: How do you build commitment and micro-commitment into your offer? How do you build it into the process?
  4. Little-Victory: What is a little-victory you can offer that will give your prospects hope… allow them to feel inspired…have a sense of abundance and have them go through quickly and pay you even faster because they’re having a phenomenally great experience?

The 4-Points of Campaign Optimization:

1. Sequence
2. Messaging
3. Commitment
4. Little Victories

I want to quickly run through these but first remind you that the greater number of leads and prospects you can get to respond to your offers who then become paying customers… the GREATER the amount of money you’ll have to invest in buying more traffic (which leads to more paying patients… etc.).

Step #1 – Sequence

The first step in crafting a winning offer is determining what the sequence of the campaign is going to be…

  • What’s the flow of your offer going to be.
    Does your offer follow the same flow?
  • Does it follow the same form and function of a normal/healthy human relationship (stay with me here… this is big).

So first, let’s define what I mean when I say “Offer”.

So with respect to your offer, I’m not simply speaking about what you say (for instance) on your landing page.

When I’m speaking about an offer… I’m talking about a process that has multiple steps.

Your “offer” is going to take your prospects all the way through a journey… a cycle of engagement if you will.

It’s likely that the vast majority of your leads and prospects really don’t have a clue who you are when they enter the cycle of engagement with you.  As they move through the cycle they’ll first reach the point…

  • Where they become aware of who you are…
  • Then they’ll get excited about what you do… and then
  • They become a paying customer.  From there…
  • They become excited about who you are, and…
  • Then they’ll ascend all the way up and become a promoter… a referral machine for you.

So the goal (or challenge if you will) become…

  1. “How do you craft a sequence of offers that’s going to cause them to go through each of these different stages without falling out of the cycle?”And then…
  2. “How does that sequence need to be put in place?”

The thing that I want to emphasize most is this idea of “an offer.”

An Offer Is A Relationship

When you are making an offer… it’s not your business that’s making an offer to another faceless entity… you’re a person who’s making an offer to another person.

This process is person to person… human to human.

This is a human relationship so if we want to take a closer look at what’s the best way to create an offer… a great question to ask ourselves is:

“What’s the best way to create and then maintain a healthy human relationship?”

Interestingly enough there have been numerous studies on this. For example, Zoologist Desmond Morris wrote a groundbreaking book called “Man Watching: A Field Guide to Human Behavior”.

In his book, Morris studies the human animal and uncovers how intimacy happens in relationships.

How does someone go from not knowing someone to say… getting married?

You go from essentially not knowing them at all… to getting married and sharing a bed with them.

Think about this on a purely psychological level and ask yourself… “How does that happen?”

That was Desmond Morris’ big question which lead him into realizing the 12-stages of intimacy that all human beings go through. It’s really fascinating stuff.

I’ll quickly give you a basic outline of the first few (of the 12-stages) here and then discuss with you how they have EVERYTHING to do with creating successful offers that lead to consistently successful (and profitable) marketing campaigns.

Stages 1-4 from “The 12-Stages of Human Intimacy (By Desmond Morris)”:

Stage #1: Starts off with “eye to body”, mean we as human beings notice another person and find them attractive.

Stage #2: This stage is “eye to eye” where two people actually make eye contact.

Stage #3: Next you get “hand to hand” – where we shake hands with the person of interest.

Stage #4: Next you get “hand to body” – this is where we hug each other.

This process progresses eventually all the way to the last stage where (without meaning to get overly PG-13 here) we become sexually intimate. Those are the 12-stages.

Now here’s the fascinating thing about Desmond Morris’ story…

…the 12-stages in and of themselves are fascinating… but the most fascinating thing he uncovered in his research (and subsequently put in his book) deals with the rate

…the speed in which you progress through all 12-stages does not define the success of that relationship.

In other words, you can go from stage one to two to three to four to five to six to all the up to 12 very very quickly and still have a successful relationship. You can also do it methodically… over time… building your relationship over many months… even years… and still have a very successful relationship.

It’s not about the amount of time that determines success in the relationship, but what does affect the outcome is…

…whether or not you skip stage and specifically whether or not you skip more than two stages… which (if you do) is assault.

Think about it for a moment… if you skip more than two stages at any point in the relationship (and the other party isn’t on board with you)… they’re going to feel like you’ve assaulted them.

So the BIG question is:

“What does this mean to us moving forward when creating offers and campaigns designed to attract leads and prospects for your business?”

What it means is that…

The SAME RULE APPLIES to you and me!

Whether we realize it or not… it applies.

Oftentimes, however, what we’re doing in our marketing campaigns and in our offers is that we’re (actually) assaulting our prospects.

We’re making the wrong offer… or maybe we’re making the right offer at the wrong time.

As ridiculous as it sounds – we’re basically proposing marriage on a first-date.

When you’re sending cold traffic from your ad to one of your landing pages – your offer should NEVER be…

“Hey… give me $10,000 and I’ll give you my Get-Rich-Quick marketing system and you’ll never worry about money again!”

NOTE: If you’re not familiar with the 3-stages of traffic – there’s only 3 types ever… you should READ ABOUT IT in my previous blog post here.

Like I said…you should NEVER do this, but I see small businesses doing this on a daily basis. I also see it a lot of times with “canned” ads created by the so-called get-rich-quick marketing gurus (where their ads are taking cold traffic and sending them straight to a page that sells a $2K – $5K product… cold).

“Sign up for your $10K Business Building Weekend Workshop!”

That’s like a guy walking up to a gal that’s a total stranger and saying “Hey… what are you doing Friday night? I’d love to have you over to my place for dinner!”

Her response? “Who are you?… I don’t even know you! Why would I invest my time with you (a total stranger) before I have any clue as to who you are?” (While she’s thinking to herself… “This guy is a creep!”

The other mistake I see a lot of small businesses making is that they’ll try to add in all the steps but move through them way too quickly (thus skipping steps in the process). By doing this you come across as fake, disingenuous and high-pressure in the minds of your prospects.

By running promotions and making offers that aren’t authentically trying to serve your prospects and (hence) you move too quickly (by skipping steps) … your promotions not only DO NOT convert the prospect into paying customers… they end up (in many many instances) turning these prospects off so much that they will never respond to any promotions you run in the future.

Again… if you’re a single guy and you walk up to a girl in a club and say “Hey… my name’s Bob what’s your name?” and she says “Hey… my name’s Julie”… and you say “Nice to meet you Julie… would it be OK if I bought you a drink?” and she says “Sure… that’d be fine”

And then you say… “OK… let’s finish our drinks and go back to my place right now” and then she slaps your face or walks off… you can’t be like “Whoa… wait a minute… I bought you a drink… what’s the big deal here?”

You can’t get upset with her reaction in that case because you’re acting like a pervert… and hopefully she slapped you hard enough that you would never make such a fool of yourself ever again.

The IMPORTANT thing to remember when crafting your offers is that it CAN hurt to ask… and if you’ve ever heard the expression “Well it doesn’t hurt to ask” … I’ve got news for you. IT CAN… and when done incorrectly… it DOES.

Of course it hurts to ask… when you do it the wrong way and/or the wrong time.

You’re a small business owner and by saying (in your offer) “Hey… nice to meet you, welcome to my website… come in to my office, give me $10K and naming rights to your first-born child” … understand that you can’t back off of that.

Those prospects are G-O-N-E!

Especially on the internet… they are gone. That back-button is right there… it is ever-present. They’re gone.

It DOES hurt to ask… so sequence matters… and at the same time… you DO have to ask

(Huh?)

A lot of my friends out there who own small businesses are focusing heavily on inbound marketing strategies to generate leads… but C’mon folks… at some point you have to ask the prospect to download the Lead Magnet… purchase your Tripwire offer and/or call for the sales presentation with you.

If you’re afraid to ask for the purchase you’re never going to get out of the “friend zone”. There are small business owners who are reading this right now (I guarantee it) who give and give and they give and they have been “friend-zoned” by a huge number of prospects in their market.  These folks will always have prospects reading their blog posts and articles… but when it comes right down to it… the prospects always buy from folks like me.

So creating a successful offer which leads to a successful and profitable marketing campaign is all about doing the right thing at the right time, because there does come a time when you want to (in internet marketing terms) … “ask for the sale”.

So now… let’s talk about what these steps are. When we’ve gone back and reversed engineered your customer journey… (which is) how do you take them from total stranger to raving fan actively promoting you and your brand?

These are the steps and they’re worth noting. Remember that we’re still talking about sequence.

Step #1-1 – AWARENESS

So what’s the best way to make a new customer prospect aware of your business?

ANSWER: To have really awesome content (that the prospect sees value in… not what you “think” they should find valuable) … and then pay to drive traffic to that content.

If you’ve got really great blog post (for example), then you should be buying advertising (ex: “sponsored posts on Facebook and things like that”) and sending it to that content.

You should be making people aware of your awesomeness. And start by giving them tremendous (free) value in advance.

Step #1-2 – ENGAGE

So how do you engage with your prospects?

The best way to engage with your prospects is by telling stories. You can tell SUCCESS stories about your existing customers … and you can tell stories (without thumping your chest) about yourself.

The key is to make sure that your content will be perceived by your prospects as having value and creating it in a way that they will consume it.

Content that is too technical, boring, self-promoting or just doesn’t deliver value to your prospects will never be consumed and the potential relationship with those prospects will end here.

Step 1-3 – SUBSCRIBE

This is where they’ll opt-in to get more content (this is akin to the stage in Desmond Morris’ research: “Hey… can I get your number and call you sometime?” Now we’re heading into…

Step #1-4 – CONVERT

When we’re thinking about a conversion, we’re NOT thinking about a conversion of a prospect into (as an example) a $10,000.00 new customers (which is akin to you trying to convert them from a total stranger into your spouse).

The correct approach in this step is that you’re trying to convert them from a stranger into a friend. So if we were comparing this to dating relationships this would be “Hey… we should go have coffee sometime”. This is a low-commitment stage.

In this stage in this sequence, you want a low-commitment offer. So ask yourself…

“What is the lowest barrier commitment you can have that does get your prospect to show a little bit of commitment?

We’ll talk more about that in a bit, but you’re not asking them to take a lot money out of their pocket to get it.

If you’ve been around the internet marketing scene for any length of time you’ve probably heard of the phrase “Tripwire”.  If you’re not familiar with that term you should study my system for optimizing the value of prospects and customers.

That’s what I’m talking about here. Getting them to make a really really small purchase here. It’s appropriate at this point to say “You know what… why don’t you download the $7.00 Implementation Plan I created to help you with “X”?” That’s a small commitment that they’re making.

Step #1-5 – GET THEM EXCITED

Which means that once they have made that small purchase or they’ve met with you for a sales presentation…

Now you’ve got to Deliver the Goods!

You have to actually over-deliver on the value that you deliver and get them excited about it.

Step #1-6 – Ascend

Once you’ve got them to make a small commitment and you’ve got them excited about it… now it’s appropriate to say (using the comparison from Desmond Morris’ study) “Can I take you out to dinner?”

Not “Can I meet you somewhere for dinner?”… but “Can I pick you up at your house, take you out to dinner and drop you back at your house?”

Step #1-7 ADVOCATE

This is the step where they begin to advocate for your brand, which is a passive form of promotion so when somebody asks about you, they’ll say something like “Ken’s consistently over-delivered on his promises and we’ve double (or tripled) our sales in less-than seven months since we hired him…”

Step #1-8 – PROMOTE

This is the point, where your customer becomes an active-promoter of your business. This is where they become a true ambassador on your behalf.

So thinking about your offer, not as a single offer on a single page, but as the entire customer journey. And specifically, what are the offers that you’re going to make along the way in the appropriate sequence has everything to do with the success of your offer.

Consider this: You may have the greatest offer in the world… In other words (using our Desmond Morris reference) … you could be the greatest looking guy (or gal) in the world… have a gazillion dollars in the bank… be the world’s greatest Casanova type person… and if you go up to total strangers and say “Hey… let’s go back to my place for… you know…!!!” … Chances are good you’re going to get smacked in the face (or worse if you’re in Chicago)

The quality of your product or service has nothing to do with the degree to which you are able to make that offer.

It has everything to do with the sequence.

So understand first and foremost, when you’re creating your offer… “where are you in the sequence and make an appropriate offer with regard to the commitment?”

I actually recommend that you get out a piece of paper and MAP your customer journey. I can tell you what it looks like for Ken Newhouse & Co. (KNC)

You know at KNC… prospects are gonna typically see an ad on Facebook or Google.

That’s going to make them aware of our brand then they’re going to click on are ad, and that’s gonna take them over to content.

High quality block posts, where they’re going to hopefully engage with that content and they’re going to like it so much they’re either going to subscribe to our list on that page…

…or are retargeting ads are going to follow up with them and they’re going to subscribe at a later date.

Once they have subscribed, we’re going to ask them to make a small purchase… usually like a $7.00 report or video. But now we’ve got a conversion.  They’ve converted… so now we’re up to step four.

  1. We’re going to make sure that that’s a great experience.
  2. We’re going to try to get them to ascend into a full blown iLab member.
  3. We’re going to get them excited once they become a member by encouraging consumption and getting them to come onto our coaching calls and things like that.
  4. We want to get them excited by getting them to participate in the KNC eXecute® group
  5. And hope that they ascend again and purchase some other products and eventually they’re talking about us.
  6. Eventually they may even become a certified partner and are actively promoting it.

But understanding your “customer journey”… and what are those necessary steps… That is probably the most critical part of offer creation…

Because sequence is everything.

I know that I’ve spent a LOT of time on (just) part one of the four of, but it’s because this is probably the most important.

Most of my clients…when I go to work with them… And they’re like my campaigns aren’t working and the prospects are not converting to paying customers… What’s the problem?

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the particular service they’re selling… There’s nothing wrong with their services or any particular products that are selling… their services and products are great.

There’s not a problem with the price point… Many times there’s not even a problem with the sales copy… The problem is with the sequence… of when they are offering it.

What they need to do is put something else in front of that offer they’re making.

They need to just STOP going up to total strangers and saying “Hey… can I take you out on Thursday night?” and they need to engage them in conversation and ask them if they want to get coffee.

So let’s move on to…

Step# 2 – MESSAGING.

I think most of you were probably hoping to get a lot of this part of the blog post as an example “How to craft a message for your offer?”

I’m gonna make this really really simple, when it comes to messaging I want you to answer one question:

Does your copy speak (so the copy on your page; sales copy; landing page copy; the scripts in your video presentations; your webinars scripts; scripts that your staff uses when new patients call for an appointment; whatever that copy is…

“Does that copy speak to a specific, desired end result?”

What is the specific desired end result that your new patient prospect wants to achieve?

In other words, where do they want to be?

Your prospects are only interested in giving you money (for your services and/or products) because it gets them something that they don’t yet have. That’s why we buy stuff.

And so understanding “What don’t they have yet that you’re delivering (beyond just the features of that) is absolutely critical.”

And yet in my experience, most small business owners grossly over-complicate the copywriting process.

They want to come up with these really clever and witty headlines because they’ve seen copywriting legends like Gary Bencivenga, John Carlton and Gene Schwartz crafting these amazing stories and they want to duplicate that.

When that happens (i.e., “the creation of a killer story with a great hook”)… it’s magical. Take for example my friend John Carlton. He created a series of golf ads based on a story of “The One-Legged Golfer Who Could Consistently Drive The Ball Over 300 Yards”.

That series of ads sold millions of dollars of a specific golf product because people (mostly men) were like “Geeze… this guy’s only got one leg and if he can hit the ball that far… I bet I can do even better. I have to know his secret!”

Selling the amazing is easy… and it’s even easier when you’ve got a great story like the one above.

NOTE: In a second I’m going to share a secret with you for pulling out a great story if you don’t have one.

At the end of the day… don’t over complicate the this process. Speak to the desired end result of your prospects.

One of the best examples to highlight this is a book that was published back in the 1980’s by Nora Hayden called “Astrological Love”.

What was it about?… I have no idea but that doesn’t matter here.

The book sold approximately 1,800 copies and then summarily went out of print. Now fast-forward 8-9 years and a new publisher gets a hold of the book and republishes it.

Same author… same content… but a different title. They changed the title of the book to “How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time… and Have Her BEG for More!”

So ask yourself… which title speaks to the “Desired end result (of frankly both men and women)” more effectively?

This version of the book (remember… same author and same content) went on to become a #1 New York Times BEST SELLER with over 2.5 MILLION copies sold.

Now that is the power of speaking to the “desired end result”.

We “ALL” make the mistake of crafting marketing messages that are designed to be cute, funny, or catchy (and they fail) when we should be focused (and disciplined) enough to build them on nothing other than the desired end result of our target clients and patients.

Specificity IS The Key To Your Success

When you’re crafting an ad or campaign you must be specific when going after your prospect’s desired end result.

Here are two (actual) examples of ads offering free lead magnets that teach users how to run a marketing campaign on Facebook. Read the headlines and ask yourself which one generated a bigger response.

Example #1: “Click on the button below to download your FREE Facebook Marketing Tutorial”

Example #2: “How we generated 250 leads on Facebook in under 18 hours without spending a dime on advertising”

Which one is more specific? Which one generated a better response?

The second one of course because it was packaged better and more specific to the desired end result of the prospects we were targeting. The funny thing about this, is that the lead magnet was the same for both.

Both ads were offering a “Free Facebook Marketing Tutorial”.

So remember… when I talk about specificity I’m not simply talking about specificity as it relates to the number of something or the service that you’re offering…

…rather I’m talking about specificity as it relates to the desired end result of your prospects.

One of the (100% FREE) pieces of content (that focuses on the specific desired end result of our target market) is a lead magnet we created called the Customer Avatar Creation Cheat Sheet.

The Customer Avatar Creation Cheat Sheet will allow small business owners to quickly and easily determine who their best prospects are (they’re not who you think they are)… where to find them (in order to get your marketing and advertising in front of them)…

…what messaging you should use in your marketing and advertising (i.e., “targeting their desired end result with specificity)… and how to build and optimize your online funnels to generate the highest conversion rate possible.

Now if you’re looking for information that will help you improve your marketing efforts (online and offline) so that you will consistently generate more high-quality new customers and you see our ad for the Customer Avatar Creation Cheat Sheet…

…(which will help you find the perfect customers for your business and help you craft marketing messages and ads that will generate MORE online sales and in-person sales appointments)… you’re going to see that and you’re going to click on it.

You’re going to go to this post and read it. Our ad has taken you to a very passive offer which is: READ this post.

On this post you’ll find a headline that speaks to the desired end result of small business owners who want to consistently generate more new customers from the internet… a headline that passively encourages you to read this post.

Now next to that piece of content (in the side bar) is an active call to action. “Opt-In” to access these other free tools that will help you generate more quality new customers from the internet.

All of this is happening within minutes of them reading our blog post. Think about it. They saw an ad… (they had no idea who Dental Marketing University was) …they go to the blog post and consume the content… they’re feeling pretty good about our brand which results in their opting in to download our free content.

At this point we’re not asking them to give us money or to become a paying client… they’re only giving us their email address. Then we’re providing them with some additional value…

…they’re consuming that and then we’re saying “If you like this… you’ll really love this other thing.”

At this point they’ll buy one of our Trip Wires (like $7.00) and that piece of content provides amazing value to them which makes it much, much easier for them to justify (to themselves) investing in (as an example) Newhouse Inner Circle or Marketing iLab.

What’s cool about all this is that ALL OF THIS can occur in less-than 60-minutes time! So if you’re worried that this process might not be a super-fast method for generating new customer traffic… don’t be.

It can be incredibly fast and even more importantly, it delivers a much-higher quality of prospect which means (putting it simply) that you’re going to have an easier time getting new customers to purchase your products and services.

And to remind you of an earlier point in this post… we did NOT skip a single step in the process of building a relationship (as outlined by Desmond Morris).

Every single step was present in our funnel (thanks in part to technology) … and in making our offer at the right time.

I want to revisit the copywriting subject here and make it radically simple for you. Here’s what you need to do to create winning copy in your ads and marketing campaigns…

You need to be able to articulate the move from the “before state” to the “after state”.

Let me explain.

Your prospect… your customer… right now (where they are today) …they are in some state of discontent… to some degree. Maybe they’re happy but they want to be happier.

Maybe they’re frustrated and they don’t want to be frustrated. Maybe they’re sad and they want to be happy. Maybe their job doesn’t pay well and they want a better paying one… or maybe they’re not well and they want to be healthier.

Whatever it is… they are in some state of discontent, or they’re not in a buying mode.

We buy stuff… even really really wealthy, happy, thin, successful people…buy stuff because it takes them to an even happier “after state” … or at least they believe that it will.

So your ideal prospect (right now) is sitting somewhere in some state (and some degree) of discontent. The most content person in the world isn’t going to be buying your products or services.

The question you have to ask yourself is that once they have paid for your product or service and consumed/used it … what does their after-state (assuming you did a good job) look like?

So they’re some place before… where are you gonna take them “after?”

NOTE: Good copywriting… good advertising and marketing… a good offer simply articulates this move from the “before-state” to the “after-state”. That’s what it does… but it does it in the appropriate sequence.

You know… walking up to a total stranger in a bar and saying “Can I buy you a drink?” Right now they’re thirsty but after they drink it they won’t be thirsty… but they will have someone to talk to.

So what’s the most effective method for describing this “before” and “after” state in this process?

The easiest way to do it is to look at it terms of “have.”

Meaning… “What do they have before… that they don’t have after?”

Or… “What don’t they have before that they do have after?”

How has “what they possess”, changed?

I’m talking in reference to really basic features here. If you’re talking to a small business owner who wants more new clients, you might say “If you’re frustrated and tired of spending your hard-earned money on marketing campaigns that simply do not produce…” (the before) …

…“and you’d be really excited to discover how Progressive Adaptive Response… which is an automated marketing method … can speed up your sales cycle dramatically by customizing your marketing messages based on the specific behavior of each of your prospects on an individual basis…” (the after).

That’s how you describe the before and after.

The second way is in terms of feeling.

What do they feel before and what do they feel after? What is their emotional state before and what is their emotional state after?

Most of us have heard that we need to inject more emotion into our copy, and the best way to do that is to ask yourself:

“How do they (your prospects) feel before and how do they want to feel after?”

For a small business owner who is struggling their before state may be that they feel a sense of embarrassment when they are compared to siblings, friends and/or their brother-in-law and (once you’ve worked your magic) their after state may be one of immense pride and confidence.

The third way of articulating this is “average day”. What does the average day of your prospect look like before they know you … and what does it look like after they know you? What does that look like?

A great example of this is a Dentist client that practices in Austin. He’s running cosmetic dentistry ads where it simply shows him handing a mirror to his patient who’s looking at the results and weeping because they’re overcome with (positive) emotions as they look at their new smile.

His ads don’t even show the before and after of her teeth… you only see the before and after emotional response of his patient.

The unspoken before state could be “You were embarrassed by your smile and found yourself covering your mouth when you laughed so your friends couldn’t see your teeth”.

The unspoken after state could be “You’re going to be extremely confident and proud of your new smile… and your life will be transformed because you’ll have the most beautiful smile of anyone you know.”

His ads contain absolutely NOTHING about his cutting-edge equipment… his AMAZING educational institution where he was trained…

…his BEAUTIFULLY-DECORATED office… his AWARDS… none of that crap.

His campaigns are killing it because he’s speaking directly to his patients’ desired end result. They could care less about his diploma, his awards or his equipment. They care about their results.

The fourth way is “Status” … and status is the most-powerful of all. If you can change someone’s status… they will follow you forever.

Napoleon once said… “I have made the most wonderful discovery… men will fight long, hard, even die…for a bit of colored ribbon.”

Understand that most people walk through life grossly underappreciated that if you show them (even) the tiniest bit of appreciation…

…give them just a little bit of status bump… they’ll follow you.

So how can you incorporate status into your offer and how can you speak to it in your copy?

So those are the four ways we can articulate before and after.

If you’ll go through those exercises I guarantee that you’ll create far more compelling headlines, hooks, lead magnets and offers than you ever have before.

So far we’ve talked about #1 – Sequence and we’ve talked about #2 – Messaging.

Step #3 – Commitment

How can you deploy micro-commitments to lock your prospects into the process?

There are two ways to get prospects to show commitment. The first way is with their wallet.

Can you get them to make a small purchase… before you ask them to make a BIG purchase? That’s critical.

How do you get them to do that?

Don’t ask for the sun, moon and stars up-front… just get them to make a small purchase.

I don’t say: “Hire me to create custom marketing blueprints for your small business… you should sign up today and I’ll make all your wildest dreams come true”

Not at all.

I say: “How would you like this Implementation Plan called Building Your Internet Promotions… it’s only $7.00? Yep… only $7.00!”

Now once you buy that Implementation Plan for $7.00 it’s really easy for us to say “Great… you’ve got this one Implementation Plan for only $7.00 (it’s a tremendous value)…

…if you’d like to get (like) thirty-three more just like that for a buck ($1.00) you can test-drive iLab for 30-days and if you’d like to remain a Member you can do so for just $49/month.”

It’s a whole lot easier to do it that way than trying to sell a membership in iLab directly… just like it’s a whole lot easier to ask someone out for a 2nd (more involved date – like dinner) if you weren’t a creep on the first date when you met for coffee.

So lower those barriers for commitment and get some of those micro-commitments in before you ask for the bigger commitment.

This is why I love webinars.

With webinars people are making a commitment with their time… committing to being in a certain place at a certain time, for a certain duration. That’s a commitment.

Once you’ve had someone on a webinar… that’s like a first date.

That’s why is a LOT more effective to generate higher-ticket transactions from webinars than you can be offering them on your website.

It’s also a lot lot easier to get a new customer to make a small, $7.00 purchase than it is to get them to buy your $5K product right out of the gate.

The fourth point of optimization is “The Little Victory”.

With the micro-commitment we’re trying to get the prospect to give us a little commitment with their time or money. It’s like the “C’mon… just meet me for coffee and then (once you see that I’m cool) I’ll ask you out to dinner”

It’s about getting the prospect to bend a little bit.

When you talk about incorporating the little victory… you’re talking about something (on a small level) that’s going to let your prospect feel like they “won” …

…like “they got it (the result)” … this is going to allow them to feel like “they can achieve anything with you”. This method helps them overcome their biggest hurdle, which is self-doubt.

This is the thing that’s really going to help them consume (i.e., “take action”) and get excited about it. A great example of this is Constant Contact email service.

Constant Contact found that when they signed up a new customer for their service (when they said): “Step #1… upload your email list”… people got confused… they got scared.

The customers were saying… “That’s hard… I don’t know how to do that. I can’t figure this out and I don’t like feeling like a failure… so you know what… just cancel my subscription.”

When Constant Contact switched it to “OK… Step #1: Let’s design your email template. Upload your logo”

The customers were like “OK…easy enough.”

The Constant Contact said “OK… Write your first welcome message. Pick a template from our list. What colors do you like?”… Those kinds of things… Their new customers were like “This is great… and it’s easy.”

Now that Constant Contact gave their new customers that little-victory”… once they’ve given them that quick-win of “Congratulations… you just crafted your first email… it was really easy to say… “Now… who do you want to send it to?”

“OK… Step #2: Upload your list” That one small change cut their churn (cancellation rate) DRAMATICALLY!

Now you may be thinking “Ken… what does that have to do with making an offer? You’re talking about a scenario where the sale has already been made.”

That’s where I put the brakes on and tell you that you’re wrong. Marketing doesn’t stop just because the sale has been made.

Just like when you’re in a healthy human relationship, you don’t stop buying your girlfriend flowers and taking her out on dates just because you’re married.

Once you’ve acquired a new customer you don’t stop marketing to them… offers don’t stop… dating doesn’t stop just because the sale has been made. Why?

Because (if you’re smart) you want to continue to encourage ascension.

So in this case (in getting users to “stick”) they’re going to encourage their new customers to stay month-after-month after month, because they got them that quick win.

Now to be fair… you can’t always implement this… but in every instance you should be asking yourself “What can I include in my offer that will give my new customers that “quick win?”

Even better… if you can have something that gives your new customers that quick win… and teaches advocacy (referral).

Now… not only are you going to lock down that new customer so that they stay in your business, but that customer is going to begin to self-replicate (i.e. “refer”)… there’s going to be a viral co-efficient to your marketing.

So to recap… check your marketing campaign’s sequence. Map your customer journey through those eight steps that we talked about.

Map your new customer journey all the way from:

  1. Awareness to
  2. Engagement to
  3. Subscription to
  4. Converting… (and remember… converting doesn’t mean that you’re “married” … converting just means that you went from strangers to friends to now you’re dating.
  5. They’re getting “Excited”. The flowers, the dating… that doesn’t stop just because you’ve made that first sale because we want them to
  6. Ascend (up the value ladder)
  7. Advocate (i.e., “Refer”). The way we get them to advocate is to teach it to them (specifically) how to refer. You should walk them through the right way to do this early on in the relationship.Do NOT leave it up to them to figure it out. Invest the time to show them what to do and what to say to successfully refer someone to you. And the last step is getting your customers to become…
  8. Active Promoters.

Not all of your customers are not going to become active promoters but if map that process of your sequence, then you can go back and you can say…

a. What is their (i.e., “your customers”) desired end result at each of these stages?
b. How can we map our offers and our messaging to it throughout the stages?
c. How do we map out our traffic?
d. How do we tie this into our landing page copy?
e. How can we incorporate little-victories along the way?

If you’ll use this approach and keep that in mind in your marketing and in every step of your new customer journey, I can guarantee you that you don’t have to be the best marketer/copywriter in the world to enjoy great success.

You just have to put yourself in the shoes of your new customers and ask:

What do they want?
Where do they want to be?
How does my service and/or product(s) get them there?

Answer those questions and then speak to that.

Speak to that and articulate the shift from the before state to the after state and you’re going to create offers that consistently deliver amazing results for you.