That sounds funny to me too. But it’s the truth and i’m going to show you why in as few words as possible.
Let’s go back a few years.
No. Further back. I’m talking about pre-historic, before-the-internet, days.
Introducing: Direct Mail Guy
Before Google and YouTube and Facebook. Small companies wanting to get their crap sold had to use direct mail agencies whose asset was that they collected and classified “targeted lists” of mailing addresses.
Stats like household income, socio-economic class, education, and gender were known about each member on their lists. And Direct Mail Guy got very good at matching up these stats with various selling offers.
That’s why “compelling” ad copy was so important.
Certain groupings of people would suffer similar problems and one would guess at their pains and try to sell them something. Enough people would bite that Direct Mail Guy made money. It took some guessing, but it worked.
Anyway, so apparently, from what i hear (i didn’t grow up in that era), the guys who were real good at it became “gurus” and sold courses by direct mail about how to target and write compelling ad copy. Cool?
Along came the internet.
Direct Mail Guys all around the world quickly got on board.
They figured out a way to cut costs by collecting emails instead of mailing addresses. And no longer needed direct mail agencies since they could just start making and categorising their own mailing lists pretty easy.
And that’s what they did.
Once more, people made a bunch of money. Same idea, they just looked for a pain in common between groups of people and tried to sell to them. Eventually, ex-Direct Mail Guy got good at that and started telling his secrets to everyone on the internet who’d pay for it.
Then Pay-Per-Click was invented.
And it made every online marketer a complete dinosaur.
Look, it seems that companies like Yahoo, Google, and Facebook made intelligent computer clones of all the things a direct mail marketer used to have to do to sell stuff. But they did it better. Way way better.
Turns out, in most cases, almost anyone can sell anything if they offer it to the right person.
So instead of classifying their users by demographic…these guys decided to just show a set of
SALES MESSAGES to
I know that might be hard to grasp. So lemme break it down:
instead of lumping people into groups, and then offering them all as a group ONE sales message…and hope some go for it (guessing)…
These advertising engines created a way– to follow a billion people around at all times of their day, one by one. And as each individual performs his various activities, the engine would show the individual EXACTLY the ads that the individual would be interested in.
Translation: NO GUESSING!
Think about it.
If you can reach the right people at the right time in their life or day that they would be keen on your stuff….what in the world do we need “online marketers” for?
Off with all our heads!
What we need is more people who have something valuable to exchange for money. That’s what we need. Being an online marketer unfortunately no longer has a value on its own.
The engines like Google and Facebook have expensive research facilities that spend all day analyzing ugly raw data and writing computer programs to personalise advertising at a much larger, faster, more accurate scale than was ever possible before.
It shits on the direct mail dinosaurs. And it shits on every online marketer including me.
So let’s take a look at how this all works and what it all means to people who sell things online:
When Artificial Intelligence systems are designed, they’re made very complex. Usually each major task is divided up into what’s known as a “Module”.
Yahoo, Google, YouTube, and Facebook are no different. And btw, guys if you do SEO, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you. because it’s probably even more important than it is for PPC.
So there is a module, let’s call it…
… the “PERSONALISER”…
A Personaliser has access to a lot of data about any individual who uses the platform. things like:
- – what activity are they doing right now?
- – what kind of sites do they spend most of their time looking at?
- – who are the people they associate with?
- – what interests do they have?
- – what interests do they share with their friends?
- – how much “buying” do they do from the internet?
- – how old are their kids?
- – how many people in their household?
- – what emails do they tend to open up?
and a lot of much crazier stuff that wouldn’t even make sense if you see it in this list.
If you’re wondering how they know all that–well let’s just put it this way.
data is a very powerful thing.
From the very first moment you got on an internet connection, from the very first search you ran, the first email you checked, and the first chat with your sis or your bud…
you’ve been feeding the “personalisers” of Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, and every other platform you’re on.
You’d be amazed at how numbers and data can be used to figure out personality information, activity information….all implicated from how you use a platform throughout the day.
None of this is a secret. Google gives you the option to “login” and see personalised search results, for example. Think of Adsense ads and Facebook asking you all day long to share and to like what your friend liked…
they’re using that all to classifying you 🙂
It’s no secret. The personaliser knows the answers to MANY questions and more–
About every one of us.
So lately i’ve been giving the gurus a lot of crap for how they’ve been teaching PPC. Because they’ve either been trained by direct mail guys or they ARE ex-direct mail guys.
those professions are now obsolete.
Replaced by the “personaliser”.
So there’s no more need for you to go and over-“tweak” your advertising. Unless you’re a local brick and mortar business with overhead and capital investment–in which case you probably also have a limited customer pool…say the neighbouring 3 or 4 suburbs?
Those poor fellas are going to have to work hard to squeeze more money out of less customers to cover their high overheads.
But virtual businesses, online businesses, like affiliate programs, info marketing businesses, and network marketing…haha
Dude. Online businesses have a natural advantage. they are light-weight and can be “moved”, opened and closed with the push of a BUTTON. a new idea for a product could be out in a single hour.
And most importantly, online businesses should be able to sell their stuff to ANYONE. ANYWHERE. in the world.
Actually…there’s one more thing that’s even cooler about Online Businesses…
Most online businesses are evergreen! Like “make money” and “weight loss” are bought forever by the same people.
You should not be narrowing your targeting to SAVE money.
You’ll actually waste money this way!
Even a dumb promotion can sell SOMETHING if enough people see it.
By all means, a strong offer is always better. But in general, you should be making an effort to WIDEN not narrow your net. Especially that everyone on EARTH is a potential customer of an evergreen online business.
The more people you let see your ad, and your sales presentation, the faster you get sales.
Ohhhhh….but hang on.
What about ROI? Surely you’ll spend yourself BROKE if you’re paying for those ads. Right?
ÃÂ The Personaliser’s job is to keep showing your ad where it gets response. And it’s made to NOT show it when it won’t get response.
(Btw, if you do PPC or SEO and Google doesn’t let you get impressions, it’s cause your ads and websites are too cubby-holed. …more on that in a bit)
Ok, it’s true a lot of people aren’t going to want to buy right away, even if the message was shown to them at the right time.
But that’s why we collect the people in our own lists. And keep trying to sell them more of our related stuff!
If it’s an evergreen need, like “making money” then people don’t just stop buying because they bought once from you or someone else. They keep buying this stuff. no matter what.
think of “make money” opportunities, products, and services. When do people EVER stop buying those? If they don’t make money, they buy harder. And if they make money, they buy harder.
Don’t believe me?
When i started making lots of money online, i started buying more expensive stuff to make MORE money!
I don’t buy $97 ebooks…i buy $10,000 seminars, i learn to manage employees, i spend money on outsourcing, buy accounting services, pay for legal things, crap like that. My point is, evergreen businesses should be sold to the WORLD not to a cubby hole of people searching for one little long-tail query or whatever.
Look, you can split-test and optimise and keep trying to shave a cent or two at a time in cost. But chances are, whatever changes you make have little effect because over-optimising means confining yourself to “little traffic”.
I am by no means suggesting you go out and blow thousands of bucks on ads until you get a sale and then hope for the best. No. Do as best a job as you can.ÃÂ just don’t over-tweak because that equals LESS traffic. And quite frankly, i have yet to see these tweaks give a huge jump in ROI.
I lost around 2 years of my life stunting my own growth because i refused to send traffic unless i optimised every little bit of it. And i’m not so great at making stuff sell either so it would take me about 2 months to test a landing-page headline to half a buck of saving. It’s not like i was spending millions on ads and it would add up to any worthwhile profit jump.
i’d stay in the negative for months if i did that!
How many more optins or sales do you think you can squeeze out of 10 or 20 leads a day?
But what if you put up a funnel that’s SUPPOSED to work. Then you spent the rest of your time shoveling all the different kinds of traffic you’ve been doing anyway…right into that funnel…paid, free, social traffic. Any traffic you can comfortably, consistently, and quickly send….
you do this till you get your first sale. if the funnel is broken, patch it up, but don’t lose sleep over it.
Total whatever it cost you to generate that first sale in money and time and sell something that gives you as much money as it cost you. Sell it to the same people. And repeat this as many times as you want.
How to Measure What Your Time Cost:
Here’s a really easy way to translate your personal time into a DOLLAR-VALUE expense (or cost):
Multiply the total hours you spend to get your first sale by minimum wage. For example, if you spent 2 hours a day, for 3 weeks, and minimum wage where you live is $5, then here’s how much “money” you spent:
2 hrs x 21 days x $5 = $210
i say minimum wage, because most of what you probably end up doing to get that traffic can be outsourced later to someone else who will probably do it for even less than that.
But in reality, that $210 worth of time you just spent…when you have the money for it later, you could probably afford to just throw it away on “extra” ad spend for sloppier marketing that takes you maybe 1 day instead of 3 weeks to do.
How to make your money back IMMEDIATELY:
Meanwhile, here’s how to make your money back on the next sale. All you do is go out and find an affiliate product which pays out exactly what that sale cost you. spend an hour writing a review and throw it into your email sequence. You’re done. That should be your business.
Not the tweaking, not the traffic.
Go get the next sale! You should see an immediate increase in ROI. Repeat. Until you’re making whatever you want from your business.
This is a better way.
Letting Google or Facebook or YouTube take care of optimising for you makes use of their way more effective PERSONALISER modules—and you widen your reach to get your message out to all kinds of people from around the world.
The beauty of this, is that it WONT necessarily cost you more than “cubby holing”.
do you realise what it means when your advertising medium goes out and personalises your audience to your ad for you?
Finally, the Story About Sarah 🙂
It means that, a social platform like Facebook may decide to show your ad to a lady called “Sarah” between the hours of 7 and 8 after dinner, because it seems that 36 year old Sarah who has a dog and loves Oprah…spends all day talking with people who are unhappy about their weight.ÃÂ And while she doesn’t necessarily have a weight problem, at that hour after dinner, she just feels “fat”!
She doesn’t need to be talking about it…
It’s just that the “ad personaliser” has noticed that your weight-loss advertisement appeals to others who also like Oprah and have a pet…immediately after THEIR dinner time.
It doesn’t MATTER what YOU think is relevant to your ad.
Your ad just happens to “work” with people like Sarah—AT THAT AFTER-DINNER HOUR!
That’s when you have an advantage over your competition in “relevance”. Because it’s possible that the personaliser figured out already thatÃÂ Sarah’s attention at that time of day cannot be had by them. So the system shows your ad and gets you dirt-cheap clicks (that’s exactly how i can average sometimes 6 cents on some of the most competitive terms in an evergreen industry!).
Now also keep in mind…
The personaliser might not find your weight loss ad relevant to Sarah at a different time of day. Say, at 10am while she’s at work.
It’s possible that if you force the system to show your ad, Sarah will see it but won’t click it.
Or if she does click, then she won’t optin or she won’t buy. and she’ll waste your money.
That’s what happens when you cubby-hole your marketing like a direct-mail guy.
Virtual businesses need to stop CRIPPLING themselves–because the traffic and the customers are out there. It makes no sense that the marketing gets more and more cubby-holed to a point it can only be relevant to a TINY pool of people.
How cubby-hole advertising ends up costing more
Well, cubby-hole advertising cripples the personaliser. It might force the ad to show for Sarah all day. It might not even show for someone like her at all!
This is stuff you simply cannot guess.
The lesson to take away is this:
Let the platform’s “personaliser” do its job. Just guide it gently and you’ll be rewarded with MONSTERS of traffic for your online business.